There’s nothing more humiliating that bursting into tears during class. For absolutely no fucking reason. Or at least, one that would make sense to anyone but you.

It’s not necessarily an explosion, per se. There’s no trembling in the earth, no sound to be heard. I’d consider myself more like a waterfall than a volcano. I’m absolutely motionless as my tears fall, so no one realises what’s going on until my teacher comes up to me and asks to see my work, and they all turn towards me and see my tears.

Payne looks at me in mock sympathy. I know she doesn’t mean it, because she immediately whispers something and laughs to the girl next to her. My face is still as stone, but underneath, the feelings boil and hiss.

I don’t speak to Mrs S on the way out; she’s talking to a student, and although I know she’d want to speak to me, I know that she doesn’t have enough time to actually help, so I quickly get out of the way and hurry off to Math. I only last half the lesson before I hurry out, just wanting to lock myself away and cry.

Then Shiny comes out, calling my name. My new math teacher, who’s only been vaguely informed of my blackouts, and has probably got no idea about my growing death wish. So now, not only is he going to see me crying for no reason, but people will know that I’m out here.

I’ve got no choice but to stop. He catches up to me and takes in the sight of my wet face and scarlet cheeks. “I’ll give you five minutes to calm down,” he says. “But next time, tell me when you’re going.”

I nod, and he lets me go. I don’t bother to argue with him, but while I walk away, all the reasons why I can’t keep this promise to him flow through my mind; if I did, they’d send someone with me. And there was no one in that class that I’d be willing to let them see my tears; he might send frigging Payne with me.

The bathroom is empty. I grab onto the sink for dear life and break down sobbing. At last, the bubbling inside stops, everything simmers down, and I feel calmer, even sleepy.

Suddenly I hear footsteps.

Self preservation kicks in, and I go onto one of the stalls, though the girl opens the door to the bathroom a second before I close the door to the cubicle. “Cat?”

It’s not Payne, thank god. It’s one of her friends though, albeit one far nicer than that stuck up cow. I take a moment to breathe in enough air so I can say “I’m fine” without letting my voice crack.

“No you’re not, you’re in here,” she replies. “What’s wrong?”

How should I know? “I’ll be fine,” I lie. “I just need to collect myself.”

“Okay…” Her voice is skeptical, but I hear her retreat from my hiding spot. I take a few more moments to sob silently, to get that rest of that stored up energy out, before I dry my face and head out of the stall.

She’s still waiting. “Is there anything I can do?” She doesn’t ask me what’s wrong, and for that I’m grateful.

“No,” I tell her. I wash my hands and we start heading back.

“Are you okay now?”

I grin brightly. “No.”

She frowns. “Why do you do that?”

“Do what?”

“Contradict yourself.”

“Everyone does it, not just me,” I tell her, before I open the door and things go back to normal.

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