Paranoia by Chris Morin

As I brought the fork to my mouth, I could see their stares. I knew what they were thinking. "Go ahead you little boy! Eat that food! Eat it all up!" I can see their grimaces. But what is a boy to do? Eventually they will break my spirit and kill me.

It all started about a six months ago. I asked for a new red bike. You know, one of those cool ones with the sparkles in the long banana seats and the little flourescent orange flag that sticks up from the back portion of the frame. I just couldn't wait to put a Star Wars card in the spokes to make that airplane sound when I drove down the street proudly displaying my wheels of coolness.

My surprise came when they agreed to buy me the bike. It was very unusual. They never agree to buy me something without at least a little bit of crying involved. You have to know how to get things from time to time. But this was the easiest time I ever had.

The day I got the bike it was raining out. I knew mom and dad would never let me ride in the rain but I had to ask anyway. Sure enough, they agreed! I couldn't believe it. What had got into these guys? They were almost pushing me out the door.

I got on and put Luke Skywalker between the spokes and off I rode. I drove and drove as the rain began to fall harder. I stayed out for about an hour. On my way back to the house, I was getting cold and my nose had started running, I wasn't looking where I was going and rammed my bike right into a car. Where did that come from? It wasn't there a minute ago. It was dad!

Did he try to run me over? He later tried to tell me that he was on his way out to look for me because he was worried about me. He backed out of our driveway and rammed right into me! How can you miss a red bike with reflectors all over it and an orange flag waving in the breeze?

Life started to be that way for a few more months. I would get these stares and smiles whenever we were at the dinner table. Fortunately for me, there was my dog Bear. He would always be there and watch over me. He would test my dinner on occasions and bark at me when he thought something was wrong with it.

I began to eat less and less at home and was losing some weight. I decided to have my main meal at school and have very little at dinner just in case mommy and daddy decided to lace it with anti-freeze or something undetectable. Because I wasn't eating, I started to get sick. That's when the fun really began.

They must have been paying off these doctors to inject me with stuff. There was just no other explanation. First it was flu shots, then it was vitamin shots. Flu shot my ass, they were trying to poison me! Whatever they were doing, it didn't seem to help at all. My health began to deteriorate rapidly. Mom and dad were slowly killing me.

People in suits started coming over to the house. Whenever those individuals came over, I was forced to go into my room. Why? What were they saying that was so bad that I couldn't hear? They must be working with hitmen or something. That has to be it. They're trying to cover up my murder.

One night I decided to take a glass with me to my room. I put it up against the wall and listened. All I needed to hear was my dad's voice say, "I don't want our son finding out about it until it's final." I knew at that point that I was in trouble.

Then one day the unthinkable happened. My dog Bear died. They said it was liver disease. Sure. I might believe that. The liver is used to filter out all the poisons in your blood. The food that Bear had been testing for me had slowly killed him. I began to wonder when my turn was coming. I began to feel that the time was real soon.

So here we are, having my favorite meal. Lasagna. I knew it. Today was the day. Bear was gone and so wasn't my security blanket. I could just see their stares, their grimaces, their anticipation of my demise.

Suddenly, without warning, my dad said, "Your mother and I need to tell you something. We have decided to get a divorce. We have been planning it for a few months and we didn't want you thinking it was your fault."

It all began to make sense. The bike, the presents, the dinners. What was I thinking? What had I become? I fell to my knees and I broke down in tears. "I'm sorry Mom! I'm sorry Dad! Please forgive me."

They came over to me and hugged and kissed me. They told me that they loved me and would always love me no matter what. I was so happy I was wrong about them. In an instant my appetite returned after all of the months of paranoia. I ate my dinner like it was my last meal. After I finished eating, I looked up from my plate. My mom and dad had these big grins on their faces.

I then started to feel a little faint.

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