I was going out on a girl’s night with my best girlfriends. It’s a Friday night and we wanted a break from school with the weekend homework and the teenaged drama that went on every day, whether it’s about Annie dumping Charlie for some other boy, or fights in the hallways about someone insulting someone else and getting a suspension. I always tried to avoid the drama that happened around me.
My friends would sometimes have their own things going on in life and tried to get me involved. I would only listen and “agree” with what they said. I am a person of my own and I try to stay neutral. Out of the bunch that I associate with, I am the most mature one for my age group. I am quiet, even around friends. I only talk when spoken to. You can say that I am shy at first but over time I am a totally different person.
Angel, one of my friends, had asked me the other day,” Hey, why don’t you have a boyfriend yet?” Why would I want a boyfriend? No, I don’t have a problem with boys. I do like boys. I just haven’t found the right one yet.
There are no attractive boys at my school. To me, they are nothing but superficial jerks that only date girls who looked like supermodels. I was the girl who was average height, had pale skin, long dark hair, dark-colored eyes, and wore dark clothing to school. I looked like a vampire. Many thought of me as a Goth girl or an Emo person but that was not true.
One thing that was true about the gothic thing was that I liked dark and horror art. Blood, death, skulls, demons, vampires, pentagrams, and anything in the grotesque category was what interested me. In my backpack, inside some of my notebooks, I had doodles of my own. Some were ‘Alice in Wonderland’ inspired, and others were inspired by the Victorian era style or steampunk with the clock gears and such. Purple and blue highlighters and some random pencils are what else you could find in my front bag pouch. Those were basically what you could find in my school bag or on my school notebooks. I’m not hiding any secrets.
Well, I am hiding a secret this very moment.
Before you jump to conclusions about what it could be, first let me tell you how it all started.
A few weeks ago, we had a new student transfer to our school. His name was Hunter Andrei. My history teacher had told him to sit down. There was an empty seat next to me. So I figured that he was going to sit beside me.
I looked up when he was walking down the aisle of two rows of desks on each side. I saw him and my stomach tingled with butterflies. He was tall, compared to me, had pale features and dark brown spiked hair, wearing clothes that looked like what I would have in my closet (black band t-shirts, blue jeans, and converse shoes are usually what I wear), and eyes that were a bright ice blue. At the moment they were scanning the room and stopped on me. I was so lost in his eyes for a second that when he finally sat down I realized I was staring at him. I turned my head quickly back to the paper on my desk, blush of embarrassment coming hotly to my skin.
After we took notes, we were to watch a movie. But it was a movie I had seen before. So I found a scrap piece of paper and then started to doodle. I was in the back of the classroom so no one would have to mind me and my dark world. My hand moved the pencil over the lined paper, drawing lines and curves and swirls. I sketched out a dead tree with its branches looking like bony fingers reaching to the gray sky. The sky was dark and dreary above that dead tree. My drawing piece looked like a part of a barren wasteland.
The lights came back on sometime later and I was blind for a few seconds. I hissed, and so did some people as to camouflage my hissing, and I blinked to get my vision back. “Hey,” a voice called. I wondered who was saying that. I turned to where the voice was coming from. It was coming from beside me. It was Hunter. He wanted to talk to me?
“Nice drawing.” He said to me. I looked down to see what I had drawn because for a split second I forgot what I had doodled. But how could he see it when he wasn’t in the distance where he could look over my shoulder to see what I had?
“Thanks.” I replied back. I was happy to get some feedback on my art, if you could call that feedback. The lunch bell rang and I quickly gathered my stuff into my backpack to go out. I dropped my purple highlighter and was about to bend down and grab it until my fingers brushed a pale hand. I looked up to see Hunter bent down the same way as I was, reaching for my dropped highlighter. He grabbed it and handed it to me with a smile.
“Here. This is yours, isn’t it?” he asked, holding the utensil out to me to grab it. I was looking into his eyes and when his voice interrupted, I blushed pink as I reached for my highlighter. “Yeah. Thanks.”
“I do not know where the lunch room is. Would you show me where it is?” he asked. There was something about the way that he talked that made me wonder where he came from. Was he from this century or the 17th century? In the back of my head I could feel the eyes of many girls burn me with their stares. Oh, great! Now I have enemies. “Um, sure. Follow me.” He smiled at me again and it made me feel nervous.
As I showed Hunter the way to the lunch room, he invited me to sit down with him. I hadn’t planned on him inviting me to sit with him. I usually sat down with my friends but I didn’t mind a change for a day didn’t mind. After all, this was a break in the usual routine. I got me a tray and filled my tray with a sandwich, a small bag of chips, an apple, and used some change to get myself a soda from the soda machine. That carbonated soda gave me the energy I needed for the day. Hunter did the same thing as me, and we found a single table with two chairs. Taking our seats, I sat my backpack on the ground beside my chair.
I opened my tiny bag of chips that was nacho flavored and ate one. Hunter picked up his apple and took a bite out of it. The silence was kind of awkward and I tried to think of something to talk about to break the silence between us. Even though there were chattering around us, I felt out-of-place, and plus I wanted to get to know him and why he picked me.
“Hunter, that’s your name, right? I want to know-”
“Why I’m being friends with you?”
I stared in amazement. It’s like he read my mind. “Yeah.” I waited for a reply.
He put down his apple and then said,” I live next door to you. That’s why I know you, Willow.” He knew my name.
“But I don’t remember seeing you around the neighborhood.” I would have known about him coming around. “Where do you live?”
“Do you know that abandoned house beside yours?” I shook my head for him to continue. “I live there.” Why would he live in that nasty run down place?
“Do... you have parents?” I asked without thinking.
“No. I live alone.”
“Then how old are you?” I asked him.
“I am about to turn 18 in a month.” Just the right age for living alone, huh? I was already 18 and a senior in high school. I noticed that next month was October. I started asking little questions, hoping they weren’t personal.
“When’s your birthday?”
“October 30th.” He replied. Meanwhile I was thinking ‘Who was this guy?’
The lunch period was over. We both dumped our trash in the trash bins and put our trays on a table for the lunch-ladies to wash them for the next lunch hour. Hunter didn’t have another class with me so he told me to meet him after school, outside the front door. I told him that I would meet him later and went on to my next class, Calculus. Ugh! How I hated that class. I always thought that Algebra was a pain, with the letters thrown in with the numbers. I only hoped that it would go by quickly.
Before I knew it, it was already 3:00 P.M. The bells rang for another day gone by. I made a quick stop by my locker to put away all my books. There was nothing to do for homework today. Thank God! I needed a break from all the studying I did to keep my grades up to give me a good grade point average overall so I can go to a good college. Closing my tall locker door I made my way outside. And there he was, leaning on a rail. “Hey.” I called to him as I stepped down the steps. He handed me a piece of paper. I unfolded it and it looked like a number. A cell phone number maybe? “Call me or even text me.” He said to me with a smile.
That night I gave him a call. All night it seemed like we talked about nothing but us and our life. He sounded like he wanted to say something though. But he never said anything to me so I just ignored it.
“What made you want to live in that house? Was it because it was pretty cheap to buy?” ‘Hey, was he rich? Did he come from a rich family?’ So many questions flew in my mind, bumping and flying around.
“I bought it so I wouldn’t bring attention to myself.” I began to wonder what kind of life he’s lived... I’m not going to barge in though. I’m not a nosy person, or I tried not to be.
“Oh, okay then.” I asked if he had any siblings. He said that he had a brother that was a bit older than him. There was that hesitation in his voice again. What did he have to hide?
When I looked at the clock it was 2 in the morning. And it was a school night. I told him that we could talk more at school. There was silence on the other end like he still wanted to talk privately. He agreed and disconnected the call. I had to get some sleep if I was going to ever concentrate tomorrow at school. Later the next day, in history class, Hunter slipped me a note. I read it and it said:
I don’t know if you’ll believe me but I am a vampire.
How would you react to that?
I didn’t know what to reply back to him. He did have the dark seductive looks of one but he looked like every other boy. I folded the paper and handed it back to him after I wrote underneath his message ‘You don’t look like one. Can you show me?’ He handed it back to me after he wrote back a reply. It read:
I will show you at lunch.
I nodded at him and then waited for the lunch bell to ring. I usually am a fast worker and a fast writer but I was being slow on purpose so that time could pass faster. My eyes kept looking back and forth between the board that the teacher was writing on and Hunter. I wasn’t paying attention when the lunch bell rang. It made my heart jump. I breathed in deeply and gathered my material and put it in my backpack. Hurrying to get a seat with Hunter, I grabbed what I first came across, not paying attention to what I was grabbing.
Luckily there was no one around Hunter so I took a seat beside him. In a hushed tone I asked,” So, are you really a vampire?” He smiled big that I could see his canine teeth. They looked sharp. But that wasn’t proof enough. “Do you have any kind of power?” He pointed to a boy who was carrying a tray. Hunter focused his attention on him and told him to trip. The boy did indeed trip, spilling the contents of his tray.
I had to stop myself from chuckling. It was Brandon, a boy who used to tease me when we were in elementary school. It felt good having some sort of pay back. ‘That’s what you get for tripping me back then.’
“Okay, I’m convinced.” I said to Hunter. “No one must ever know about this. Or even about me being a vampire.” He told me. I agreed to keep it a secret.
Back to the present, I am wearing a midnight blue, short-sleeved silk shirt with blue jeans and black boots with the zipper on the sides. I am going out with my girlfriends to go see a scary movie. They let me choose and they are going to regret ever wanting me to make the decisions. I looked out my bedroom window and saw what looked like candle light from one of the windows of the abandoned house. Hunter was there. I wondered what he was doing tonight.
A door bell ringing made me come out of my trance. My friends were here, and I ran down the stairs to the front door. I was different from the group. They were wearing bright and frilly colors while I wore plain dark clothing that didn’t seem too dressy. While we were walking by Hunter’s house, I couldn’t help but feel like eyes were watching me. I guess me finding out he was a vampire kind of freaked me out since I wasn’t yet used to having a vampire as a neighbor.
“Will, you okay?” I heard one of my friends say. I woke up from my trance that I seem to have when I think about Hunter. “Huh? Oh, yeah, I’m fine.” I said. I smiled at them. Behind my smile, I held a secret that they would never know about me. I was friends with a vampire. All I tell them about him was that he was in my history class and we talk sometimes.
I promised that I would keep this secret with me. But what if someone found out? Not every secret stays hidden forever.
How long could this secret be kept safe? I just hope that it can stay between me and Hunter.