Pandemonia stops Eric at the stairs before they head down to the first floor, deciding not delay the inevitable. It always started this way; kids befriending her at her new school followed by the realization that she is the cause of all the freak incidents which then turns their friendliness into fear and anger.

“Hey, there’s something you need to know about me, Eric. It’s not a coincidence that I was named Pandemonia. It’s my fault that swarm of wasps came into the classroom.”

Eric turns toward her. “You mean opening the window? How is that your fault? The teacher asked you to.”

Pandemonia shakes her head, no. “No, I made those wasps come into the room somehow. Not consciously but things like that just happen around me. I create pandemonium wherever I go. When my mother went into labor with me, my parents were followed all the way to the hospital by a tornado which tore down every house and building along the way. The only structure left standing was our own home and the hospital. Fortunately, we were only a few streets away or God knows how many people’s homes would have been destroyed. Also, it was fortunate that no one was injured or died.

At first, my parents jokingly named me Pandemonia because they thought it was just a strange coincidence but then later as events like that continued to occur wherever I happened to be they became frightened and gave me up for adoption when I was three years old.

My whole life has been like this, and once people figure it out they ship me off to be someone else’s problem. And now it’s starting again. You seem really nice, Eric but you deserve to know what you’re getting into befriending me. You’d be smart to just run while you can.”

Eric widened his eyes in surprise but was quick to counter her. “Pan, you’re not responsible for freak events simply because you’re present at the time they happen. I’m sure you would have been completely content to just take a seat in class but Mr. Evans asked you to open the window. He was the trigger of that whole event, not you. If you hadn’t come into the classroom he most likely would have opened the window himself or asked another student to do it because he had just mentioned how hot it was in the room just before you walked in. And a tornado is an act of God and you weren’t even born yet when that happened. I’m sure if you look at all of these freak occurrences from a different view you will see that you were merely present to witness them, not the cause of them.

But even if you are for some reason the cause, I don’t care. I like excitement and chaos. So, if you’re trying to scare me off. You’re wasting your time.”

Eric took Pandemonia’s hand and added, “We’ll weather the storms together.”

Pandemonia smiled a real smile for the first time in her life and she didn’t pull her hand away from Eric’s but went down the stairs by his side, for the first time in her life not hating herself.

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