I’ll fall asleep with those thoughts sometimes, and even if I haven’t had the nightmares, in the morning I’ll be lashed down by the sheets. It’s the way my grandmother tucks them in. They twist around your ankles like ropes. Come morning, I’ll try to hide the fact that I’m in one of my moods, but by now my grandparents know better. When I plop down at the kitchen table, they’ll give each other the look that says, "Watch out." They won’t bother being cheerful. My grandfather will say, "Another bad night." He’s right just to say it and not to ask it, because those mornings, I can barely keep my eyes open, much less answer questions.

They used to try to force me to talk about "it," whatever "it" was. But forcing someone to talk is like forcing them to eat: you may have to break their jaw to do it, and the whole thing can land you in a hospital.

They’ve been sending me to a girls school called Field, which is supposed to be different from other schools in that you go on a lot of field trips. At first, I liked it. The teachers weren’t always making me empty my pockets, and I could go to the bathroom without an act of Congress. My main teacher, Ms. Bellows, was extra nice to me, and not in a condescending way. She was the only one who bothered to call me "Chlo," the way I like, and not "Chloe," with two syllables and the ugly "ee" sound at the end, which is my actual name. The rest of the teachers insisted on the whole ugly thing.