P. I

I don't know how I wind up in these messes, but when I do, there's only one thing I can do to fix it. I write.

Ever since I was a child, I was able to figure things out better if I wrote them down. Especially if I turned them into a story and brought it to life beneath my fingertips with pen and paper. For me, that was the only way to achieve a better understanding of the way things were…through the translation of them from real life to a story between the pages of my notebook.

My parents used to be concerned that I wasn't social enough, so I pretended to make friends at school –some obnoxious girls who didn't care to pay too much attention to me. Only one of them, Olivia, was even slightly interested in what I had to say, but she was just a good person in general, and didn't want to leave me out of things. The singular boy in the group had been of my interest for quite some time, however. He was very attractive, and he seemed to not mind being around me, but he didn't speak to me much, either. I didn't mind, because I picked them for that very reason. So that I could be left alone to write, and my parents would think I had made friends.

But these friends weren't too great, because they were the reason I was sitting in the principle's office, waiting for him to return with my records, itching to write, but so confused and frightened that I didn't know what to put down. I shuddered. Writer's block.

As I sat twitching, I considered what I should say to my parents. Then I realized that it would probably be said for me.

"Xaviere Renata Presd'eaux," a voice drawled behind me. I turned slightly to see the stocky principle pacing in front of the office door, scanning my file.

"It's pronounced 'save-y-air'," I retorted. "Not 'save-y-er', like the boy's name." The silver tongue I had for the written word was sharp, and sounded even sharper when spoken aloud, but I had no interest in biting back any inappropriate remarks. My being here, framed for a disturbing crime that I did not commit was a mistake as far as I was concerned, and I would make that clear to anyone who asked.

The principle looked at me with disgust.

"Do you have any idea of the seriousness in which this crime is being taken?" he huffed, his face turning a new shade of purple.

"I do, sir," I replied, glaring at him. "Because if you haven't noticed, I'm the one being held responsible for it."

His jaw tensed, and he turned to the door, waving in a couple of police officers in their horrendous puke green uniforms that were unique to our small town.

One of them took my file and flipped through it as the other leaned against the desk in front of me and stared at me long and hard. I stared back, already bored with this game.

"Xavier-" he began.

"Xaviere," I corrected.

"Xaviere," he continued with a scowl. "All the evidence points to you as the one who vandalized the girl's locker room, and according to your records, you have had behavioral problems in the past, haven't you?"

"Nothing I'd consider unusual," I answered calmly, willing to have an adult conversation with these illiterates if they were to at least go about things in an organized fashion instead of freaking out and calling in backup as soon as they heard the words "school" and "blood".

The officer sighed deeply, as if this were a great burden for him to have to do the job he is paid to do.

"We spoke to your counselor and a few of your teachers, and they said that you've been having trouble with the other girls, is that correct?" he said carefully.

"If by that you mean that I am generously tolerating their ignorance until I can graduate and get out of this hell hole, then yes," I replied evenly, not even bothering to make my case, seeming as how they have already made their decision, labeling me as the freak who committed the crime.

"Xaviere, you stole all of the Red Cross blood donations from yesterday's blood drive," he said in a hard voice. "And you painted all of the mirrors in the girl's locker rooms with them. Can you see how that could be considered worrisome, and even a major offense?"

"Sure…if you choose to believe that I'm actually the one who did it."

A strained look came over him. "And why shouldn't we believe that you were the one who did it? You weren't in class at the time it occurred. You were seen wandering around the locker room until all the girls left…witnesses said you looked suspicious."

I rolled my eyes. "Of course they did, everybody hates me here."

"And why is that?"

"Because I'm different."

The officer sighed and nodded to his partner, who led the principle out of the office, whispering something about telling my parents to come in.

"We're trying to help you," the officer said seriously. "We don't want you to be persecuted for something that your counselor is considering a cry for help-"

"A cry for help?" I shot back in a shrill voice.

"Arrangements have been made for you to attend in school suspension for a short period before participating in a program for trouble teens," he continued, but I was already shaking my head. He seemed to notice my distress.

"Ms. Presd'eaux, it's either this or you have to leave the district entirely. You won't be welcome back here," he said tensely. I stood briskly, picking up my things and facing the officer squarely.

"I'll take that option."

And with that, I made my grand exit from Meredith Jackson High School.