I pulled my jacket tighter to my body and grasped the handle of the coffee that they had pushed lightly in front of my nose. Eyes burned into me from two directions; one set wearing glasses and holding a notepad, and the other standing in the corner in uniform, hands behind his back, fumbling fingers nervously. The one with the glasses pulled his chair in closer and visibly arranged himself for better comfort, planning on staying there for quite some time. My hands grasped much more tightly onto the coffee mug, as if for leverage.
“So, Marjorie, tell me something,” the man across the table from me replied, though I had never seen his face before, couldn’t place him to anything, there was a certainty in his eyes that he had seen me before, a relaxed facial expression that said ‘I’ve seen this and done this before and now it’s just boring to me.’ “What exactly felt different about today when you woke up? You said something just felt…off all day?”
“From the moment I woke,” the words escaped my mouth like a script, just another actress on the television screen. “I had this terrible feeling that something awful was going to happen. I woke up and got dressed for the day, and I packed myself a lunch, carefully as usual….”
The man with the glasses caught a glance at the guy in the corner, who was still moving around nervously, carefully listening to and assessing the situation as we spoke. “Right, Marjorie. Went about your usual routine but you just felt like something was off. Was there a reason for that?”
“The students had been especially rowdy that week. It was the pep rally week that they have at the school every year,” I sighed, beginning to feel a little stressed out just thinking about it. “The kids were atrocious. And when you welcome all the fuel into their little bodies to get excited about something as typical as a homecoming football game, jam packed with all these preparations in-class, they just think they can blow off everything. Blow off classes, blow off their homework, blow off teachers; everything that, you know, you go to school for in the first place. But there was this one kid in my class who I had my eye on, who was the worst of all…”
“His name, Marjorie? Tell me a little about this specific child?”
“I wouldn’t even call him a child,” I shook my head at the thought, “But more like a thirteen-year-old monster.” My head lowered to the table and I took a sip of my coffee, never taking my eyes from the man with the glasses. “That’s not a very nice thing to say about Bobby. I’m very sorry for my lack of compassion and unprofessional ways during what I’m sure is a very stressful situation already…” As I drifted off, I saw the man nodding, taking notes every second. “Anyway, Bobby was a problem child. He was big into sports as far as things were concerned and he was constantly stirring up troubles for his teachers. They were always centering discussions around him in the break room and there were many concerning the fact that Bobby would probably never make it to college. He never asserted himself; he never did anything useful like the other children. He was just a trouble maker and liked picking on kids and teachers and attempting to get people to laugh all the time.”
“Like a class clown, Marjorie?”
“A bit, I suppose, “I continued, choosing my words carefully. “Well, this week especially, Bobby was goofing off in class and decided that he didn’t have to participate in anything. Oh, I was boiling at the fact…but again, he didn’t deserve anything that happened to him; nobody deserved anything that happened…”
“Now we’re getting to the bottom of things,” the man with the glasses smiled as he jotted down some more notes and sipped on his own coffee. “So what you’re saying is that it was easy for Bobby to have enemies at the school?”
“Yes, I suppose he did have some. Bobby was usually the center of attention in the most terrible way. He used to pull on the pigtails of this beautiful girl who used to sit in front of her until I granted her wish and changed her seats, her name was Sandy. She had this wonderful orange hair and freckles and he had a knack for picking on her and making her scream, and when I would ask what the problem was, she would go silent and he would yell out, ‘I’m innocent, I’m innocent!’ Well, you could just tell from the gaping smile on his face that he wasn’t innocent. There was another time when I had taken him aside in the hallway because he had thrown a younger kid in a locker. Can you even imagine that? A locker? I told Bobby – do you know the repercussions of throwing a person inside a locker, like some textbook bully inside any children’s story? It almost never ends well, and you can look forward to getting expelled. Well, the principal likely threw away my report after I took a statement on the incident. Bobby was used to getting away with things…”
“So, is it likely then, that somebody wanted to make sure he wouldn’t get away with anything any longer?” the man asked, tapping his pencil across the table, as if he was coming onto something.
“I’m sure you’re correct about that assumption. I’m sure a lot of people were getting tired of his actions. I know I was.”
He lowered his head and glasses, staring directly into my eyes. “So, you’re saying, that there’s a chance you were getting most tired of Bobby while he was getting away with things?”
His words sent a shockwave through my body and I was merely left to sputter out the rest of my words, “Wh-what are you getting at there, S-sir?”
“Marjorie, when you packed your lunch to take to school that morning, what did you place inside the bag with your sandwich?”
“Maybe an applesauce,” I shrugged. “Maybe a bottle of iced tea, just things to aid in my lunch. I usually eat naturally-“
“And maybe a gun?” the man interrupted.
I burst into a fit of fury at this statement. My heart thumped wildly in my chest and his words burned in my ears like a volcano erupting the moment they were spoken – my hands flung around aimlessly, scattering coffee all over the place, scorching hot as it fell into the man’s lap and he shrieked in pain. As the taller man across the room fumbled around, he snapped to order and grabbed me by the arms, telling me to calm down or else there would be trouble. But all I could hear were muffled voices and the familiarity of the situation hitting home.
“Well, that sure was something,” the man from across the room said to Mr. Nelson, the psychiatrist with the glasses. “Perhaps the furthest we’ve gotten with her on the entire situation.”
“Perhaps,” Mr. Nelson agreed, nodding and wiping coffee stains from his pants. “But not far enough.
Marjorie is completely and utterly insane, made so by the psychosis. Blinding her view from what she did that day. She wakes up every single day in this asylum after reliving the terrible dream of shooting all those children at the middle school, and she calls me on the room phone until I ‘take her statement’ over and over again, like clockwork. Every single day and she never notices the differences, never understands that it’s happened a damn year ago, and never has any remorse. It’s like she thinks she was living another normal day when she decided to take a gun to ten kid’s heads that got in the way.”
The orderly laughed, and then said, “So what was in her lunch bag that day?”
“A sandwich, a revolver, some pain pills she had bought illegally to take after she shot up the entire school. And, best of all, a brownie.”
“A brownie? What’s so important about that?”
“Well,” he finally laughed too as he realized things would never change, “Marjorie said that she only eats healthy food. And this was a big fucking brownie. She’s the biggest liar I know.”