Chapter 1. Petals
Emptiness filled this soulless vesicle of mine as the blood running black and thick as tar, struggled to pass through my veins. Petals from the crimson red rose devoured within me peels flawlessly from my skin. Pale hands stripping what’s left of my protective veil, exposing...exposing...me. What’s left to hide from the man who stares into my soul with those green eyes. A man that digs into my heart with those pale hands, rejuvenating the beat that was once produced. I could feel his life force within me, repairing the damages, creating a new me. Fangs piercing my neck with locked positioned released venom, flowing through my veins, feelings of explosions all over me.
Pain, Pleasure, Love, Devotion....Eternity.
At last, one petal left flowed effortlessly through the air, landing so softly on the floor, he whispered to me..
“Paradise, Wake up!!!” Feminine whining begged as if this was an everyday routine of waking up the beast. As if someone awoke another with advice to wake the hard sleeping sister. Why would he whisper words like that in such a way and yet he was supposed to be here sleeping with me. I shall not awake as long as I am with him, I will never wake up. “Paradise, Wakkee UUUPP!!!!!” Whining so desperately for me to awake but why would he want this? To take me away from something so magical, now he was really killing my mood. Everything was going great but for some reason he wanted me to wake up. Trying my best to surrender back to the slumbers of my dear love only to be brought back to reality by a cup of ice cold water...
“AHHHHHHHHHHHH”, I screamed. I sat up to see the villain who thought it was necessary to use ice water as a form of combat to awaken this beast from the most beautiful thing.
“I told you to wake up, Paradise, but you decided to ignore me...SOOOOO”. Angeline crossed both of her arms as she tried to hide the smile behind the intentions of peaceful waking. However, peaceful was far from the tactics she used.
“So you decided to pour a bucket of cold water on my bed, all because I decided that I wanted to continue my wonderful dreaming, which in fact I thought was not a dream,” I stated as I pushed myself off of my wet bed and started the process of dissecting layers of covers and sheets onto the floor. “I’m going to take a shower now, however, after that episode, I really don’t need one.” Instead of responding like I thought she would, Angie just stood there, and slit her eyes as if she knew something I didn’t.
“What is it? You’ve been standing like that for a while now”. I placed my arms on my hip and smiled. Stopping to think I stared back at her with humor as if she did know something that I did not. What if I was talking in my sleep and announced the imagination I tend to formulate for myself. Taking in a deep breathe I reassured myself that I had already embarrassed myself enough and nothing else could possibly come up at this particular moment.
“Heeeellloooo, have you been listening to me ?” Angie stated as she jumped up and down while waving her hands in front of me. A face of defeat reflecting that of a mother whose child said the famous word “dada” instead of “mama”. I stared back with more humor. “When I finally stop looking at you and start speaking, you go bye-bye and zone out.” Of course, she would emphasize “zoning out” with her hands.
“Sorry Ang. I thought that I said something in my sleep, which caused you to look at me like that. Maybe I’m overthinking things, you know how I get.” I finally walked into the bathroom and stepped into the shower. I didn’t bother to shut the door, because I knew she was going to follow right behind me. “Paradise, are you having those dreams again?, I thought we talked about this already, vampires are not real. Maybe you should stop reading those books of yours, I think they are starting to get into your head.” She shook her head at me like a disappointed friend telling another to leave that guy alone and the message was not received in the urgency it was sent.
I grabbed the shampoo and attentively listened to everything she was saying. In a sense or two with more thinking, she was completely right. I mean all my life I’ve been obsessed with the supernatural world and romance. One time I even had it in my mind that I was the mate of a vampire and that he was watching over me until the time was right, but you know what; I need to understand that things like that just don’t exist and grow up. Or maybe I need to get out more and stop fantasizing.
I stepped out the shower and grabbed the nearest towel and walked back into my room with Angie right on my heels. When she had a point to prove or message to send she would ride you until you responded with some kind of understanding that what she was saying was right. Confirmation needed indeed.
“Say something, Paradis...” She stopped mid-sentence as I turned around and looked at her, “You’re right Angie, I need to grow up. We are in college and I need to let that little fantasy of mine go, I will not stop reading books, however, but all the other stuff I will let go.” Agreeing with her was shocking at its finest being that she stared flabbergasted for a couple of seconds before regaining herself back into this reality. It would shock me too, I mean I’ve been stuck on something like this forever and I’m finally giving it up. After her little conversation in her head, she finally decided to speak up, while I started applying conditioner to my hair.
“You know, I’m very proud of you Paradise, I know how you feel about things like this.“, She hugged me and headed for the door. I figured she was going to get ready for her morning class so I remained silent with love. I finished rubbing the last handful of conditioner on my curls and grabbed my bags and headed for the door.
“Bye Angie !, See you later on today, Have a great day. Love you lots.“, I gently shut the door and headed towards my first class, Latin. Since I had decided to go pre-med and study all the way up to Spanish five in high school, I thought I should take Latin. It’s not an entirely a dead language, and it is still used, mostly in the medical field, so of course, that would be the smart thing for me to do. The class is very small but that was no surprise, the beauty of true language was decomposing in front of our eyes. Even though it’s difficult for me, for some reason, I still loved it.
“Good morning, Mr. Jackson! How’d you sleep last night ?,” I said as I walked towards his desk. He’s older than most of the teachers here but his heart was the purest of them all. He was my favorite teacher and a great teacher at that. Everything he discussed and provided to the class was so authentic. The language itself was not so hard when he taught it, his love for the language truly reflected through his students.
“Well, Paradise, I slept as much as the night sky allowed me too. I had an old friend visit me today and he has decided to make an appearance in my class. He is great at Latin, I’d like to say he’s been around as long as the language itself has.” Mr. Jackson chuckled to himself and gestured for me to take my rightful place in the front of the classroom. I found myself getting lost in my thoughts throughout class these days, so lost that I did not notice class was coming to an end and this mysterious “old friend” still had not shown up.
“Ahm, excuse me, but what is your name dear?, ” I looked up ready to meet the eyes of the old man I was just trash talking because he showed up late. Yet, my eyes did not come in contact with a man with wrinkles but a man with the appearance of a God-like face with structures so sharp it could cut the hard bread forgotten at the back of the cabinet. I guess I gave my thoughts away, by the way, my face sat because his smirk stretched a mile across his face. Even though you couldn’t see the color red on my brown skin, I was sure that if you’d touched me you’d burn.
I cleared my throat back and extended my hand. “My name is Paradise,” I said while collecting myself. The man nodded and turned around to talk to Mr. Jackson. Just a handshake but no introduction of his own to me. Was that not a reflection of true rude behavior, he knew my name and yet, I did not know his. After spending a five-second battle with myself I finally got the courage to ask his name, which is what I am sure he was waiting for.
His smiled extended an extra mile while receiving my question of curiosity and interests. “My name is Emrick.” In response to his response, he gave an actioned wave goodbye to Mr.Jackson and a quick smile to me and made his disappearance.
The last ten minutes of class happened in a blur. For some reason, Mr.Jackson paid extra attention to my every move and even decided to walk me to my next class. “I knew you were special from the moment you walked into my classroom, maybe dreams do come true Paradise, but remember with all good things come bad. You will run into Emrick again, do not run away from him, embrace what you truly feel. Listen and learn from your dreams, some may try to cause harm to you and others will try to warn you.” With that, he slipped me a piece of paper and headed back towards his class but not without making sure I was seated.
The rest of the day went by in a blur. I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I did not realize that I was in front of the coffee shop where Angie and I were supposed to meet.
“There you are woman ! Where have you been ?,” I looked up to see a worried Angie heading my way. What is she talking about? I’m always on time. I glanced at my watch and saw that I was forty-five minutes late. Confusion drenching my face like sweat running down the forehead of a busy man late for an 8 o’clock meeting.
“Sorry, Angie, I...I didn’t realize I was this late, you know I normally get here on time. It won’t happen again, well I hope not.” She nodded and turned around, walking to our favorite table by the window. The air was thick or maybe it was breathing in imagined particles suffocating me with thoughts of everything that happened today.
“So, what’s up ?” Before I could mutter anything, she lifted her hand and said, “Please, don’t sugar coat anything, I am your best friend tell me.” She was right, I shouldn’t sugar coat anything, So I actually did what she told me to do. After telling her everything she remained silent. She started shaking her head and laughing as she stared at me with disbelief. “Girl, that’s nothing. You know that man is old and that’s probably his grandson. Who so happens to look like a God and shows a little interest in you. Don’t go thinking that every man who shows interest is something they’re not Paradise, we’ve talked about this, remember..?“, She gently touched my hand “Remember?” I nodded. “Besides, what did the paper say ?“, I took it out of my pocket. I forgot all about it. I unwrapped the paper and in big italicized letters the word immortal appeared.
Angie looked at me with a certain spark in her eyes. A spark of fear with hints of other emotions I couldn’t put into words, but why? I barely had time to even comment on it before the words disappeared in the midst of her laughing. “Girl, that is nothing. Stupid paper and invisible ink.” She took it from my hands and ripped it and headed for the door, without saying a word I followed. That night neither of us talked to each other. Angie ate and went up to her room and I did the same as well. I couldn’t sleep though, so, I decided to pull out my book and read.