The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland(2)

By: Rebekah Crane



She plops down on the bed, crossing her long legs.

“I’m Cassie,” she states but doesn’t hold out her hand. “I know. It’s a fat girl’s name.” Before I can get my name out, Cassie proceeds to dump the contents of her duffel bag out on the bed. I scan the pile of clothes looking for a bra of any kind, but all I see is a hot-pink bikini, short shorts, and tank tops in multiple colors. Cassie takes an armful of clothes and says, “I take it you met Madison.” She stuffs them into a drawer without folding or separating the items. She just shoves all the chaos into one space. “She’s a fucking moron.”

As she talks, Cassie grabs her empty bag and turns it upside down. A waterfall of pill containers splatters onto the bed.

“Like I said, these counselors are idiots. They don’t even check the pockets.” She pops the top on a bottle. “Don’t stare. It’s rude,” she says.

“Sorry.” I look down at my hands.

“I’m kidding. Everyone stares, especially here.” Cassie holds out a handful of pills to me, an offering. “Diet pills. You want some?”

I shake my head. “I hate pills.”

“Suit yourself, but I’d stay away from the macaroni in the mess hall.” Cassie puffs out her cheeks and points at me. I can’t help but look down at my body. No one would ever call me skinny, but I’m not fat. My mom would never allow that.

I tug at my yellow T-shirt so it’s not so tight. “Noted.”

She tosses the pills into her mouth and swallows them without water. “So why are you here?” she asks.

“What?”

“Is it because you’re deaf?” Cassie makes a fake frown face and enunciates every word, speaking louder. “Why are you here?”

“I’m not deaf.”

“No shit, moron. That’s a different kind of camp.”

I play with the front of my T-shirt, picking a mosquito off it. Why am I here? Looking at the girl in front of me, we’re nowhere near the same. I don’t belong lumped in a group with her. I squish the mosquito hard between my fingers and say, “I’m here because my parents signed me up.”

Cassie laughs so loud it echoes in the bare cabin. The noise rattles me. “So you’re one of those.”

“One of those?”

“A fucking moron and a liar.”

I sit up straighter. Did a girl who eats diet pills for breakfast and refuses to wear a bra just call me a liar?

“Uh-oh, did I make you mad?” Cassie mocks.

“No,” I say.

“Well, I can’t help it. I’m a manic-depressive-bipolar-anorexic disaster. Self-diagnosed. And some days I think I’m a boy living in a girl’s body.” She stands up. “But at least I’m honest about who I am. Just remember, people who are really crazy don’t know they’re crazy.”

She stuffs the pills back into the hidden pocket of her duffel bag and shoves the bag under the bed. Before she leaves, she glances down at my luggage to the name written on the outside. “Zander? That’s your name?” She shakes her head. “Yep. Definitely crazy. Have fun talking to yourself, Zander.”

Cassie disappears out the door. For a moment, I consider telling Madison about her pharmacy of pills hidden in her bag, but something tells me that getting on Cassie’s bad side for the next five weeks isn’t a good idea.

I take a breath of the heavy air and stare up at the wooden ceiling. One match would light this place on fire if it could get past the humidity. But burning down a cabin would send me home and prove that Cassie is right—that I am crazy.

And I can’t be crazy. It would make my parents too happy. And as far as going home, I don’t want to be in my house. Not with how it is now.

My parents didn’t even ask if I wanted to come here. We sat down to dinner a few months ago and it was announced. I swirled my spaghetti around my fork as my parents talked about me like I wasn’t even in the room. To be fair, I had a huge French test the next day, and I was conjugating verbs in the passé composé tense in my head.

J’ai mangé

Tu as mangé

Il a mangé

Nous avons mangé

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