Chapter 3: Oak Street
Gigi and I made our way down the tree lined street of Oak Street slowly. It’s not like it was that creepy, but knowing that we were going to old Man Riker’s house made it seem creepy. Gigi gave me the honor of walking up the house’s front porch steps first. 713 Oak Street was an old Victorian style house, the kind that looked haunted. It had an iron fence going around the perimeter of the yard and a cracked brick path leading up to the porch. The wooden porch looked like it was beginning to rot out, better not stay on it for too long.
I took a deep breath and pounded on the door. I heard some shuffling behind the door for a few moments; Gigi and I looked at each other skeptically. A minute later the door swung open and Daniel was standing in the doorway with a small smile on his lips. “Ladies,” He said smoothly, “please come in.” He stood off to the side a little bit and gestured for us to come in.
The house was exponentially less creepy looking on the inside than it was on the outside. It actually looked like Daniel had started to renovate it, it was starting to look more like the mansion it was supposed to. The walls were freshly repainted and the wood flooring had all been cleaned and re-stained. The living room was painted a warm brown color with oak floors, of course. Across from the window sat a large comfy looking bronze colored couch and off to the side was a baby grand piano.
“Wow,” Gigi breathed.
“This is a lot less old looking than I thought it would be.” I said in awe. Daniel led us over to the couch while he took a seat in another chair nearby. “Did you renovate this place?” I asked while I took everything in.
“While it is renovated, I did not do this. I sent some people ahead of me and they did it for me. At least they did this floor, the upstairs is still rather dilapidated.” He said.
“You sent people ahead of you?” Gigi asked. Daniel nodded. “But nobody saw this going on.”
“They…mainly worked at night so as not to raise suspicion.” Gigi and I gave each other a look but made no more comments. It grew very awkward after that, none of us said anything to the others. “Um, would either of you care for a drink?” He asked breaking the silence.
“Sure,” I said after a pause. “I’ll just have some water.” I said. Gigi nodded in agreement. Daniel stood and walked over towards the kitchen leaving Gigi and I behind. He wasn’t wearing his usual pea coat leaving his torso to look more defined. This guy just kept getting hotter and hotter. Gigi got up and wandered over to the piano, she sat down and rested her hands on the keys. She looked over at me and waggled her eye brows. Oh brother, I knew what was coming next. Gigi pressed on the keys as hard as she could belting out the most obnoxious version of chopsticks ever.
Daniel rushed back into the room with two glasses of water in tow. I don’t think he liked her playing very much. “What are you doing?” He asked exasperated. Gigi smirked as she continued playing the chopsticks loop over and over again. Daniel sighed and walked over to me handing me my glass of water. “Why are you friends with her?” He asked me with a glower. I couldn’t help but chuckle at him.
“What? You don’t like her beautiful piano playing?” I asked with a grin. Daniel rolled his eyes.
“There are many beautiful things in this world, but her playing is not one of them.”
“Hey! Don’t diss my mad piano skills.” Gigi said. She had switched over to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star now. With a final flourish, she ran her hand down the piano keys then stood from the bench and gave a bow. “I happen to enjoy my piano playing thank you very much.” Gigi stuck her tongue out at him and came to sit next to me once more. Daniel gave a heavy sigh and handed Gigi her glass of water.
“American women are so strange,” He muttered to himself.
“We could say the same thing about you,” I said. “You’re pretty strange for a boy from Europe.”
“There…may be a reason for that though, which is why I wanted you to come over.” Daniel said slowly. “But I would have rather you had come alone, Elisabeth.”
“I feel better with Gigi here, and whatever you want to tell me she can hear too.” I said stubbornly. Daniel sighed once more. “If she can’t stay then I’m leaving.” I added.
“Fine,” He said curtly. “As you know I am from Romania, the Carpathian region to be exact. But being from Romania is not what makes me special.” Daniel paused for a brief moment. “I am a vampire,” He said bluntly. Holy shit, what? Gigi and I both looked at each other wide eyed.
“Are you crazy?” She asked before I could even get my brain to work again. Vampires were only fairytales, not real. This couldn’t be real. My Dad had mentioned the word vampire the other night but I mean, c’mon, who would really believe that? This wasn’t Twilight.
“I assure you that it is true,” Daniel said. Daniel stood and began walking towards us. “Please, I can prove it to you,” I cut him off by jumping off the sofa.
“Gigi, we’re leaving,” I said quickly. I grabbed her wrist and stormed towards the door.
“Elisabeth, please,” Daniel said.
“No, this is crazy. You’re crazy.” I said. “Just, stay away from me,” I opened the door and slammed it behind us.
“Should we talk about what just happened back there?” Gigi asked softly. We were walking quickly down the street back towards my house. I shook my head stiffly and trudged on. “I knew he was weird, but I didn’t think he was crazy too.” She murmured. We said nothing the rest of the way back to my house, luckily Gigi was staying the night so she didn’t have to rush home or anything. We ran up to my room and I shut the door behind us.
For some reason I couldn’t help but to burst into tears, I think it was more from anger than anything else. Gigi came over and put her arm around my shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” I said between tears. “I just don’t understand what he wants from me. How does he even know me?” I buried my face in my hands. Gigi hugged me from the side.
“I don’t know, but we’ll find out. We’ll also find out what’s…wrong with him.” She said. “But for now you’re okay.”
The rest of the weekend went by without any incidents, then Monday came around. Daniel was still hanging around us at lunch but I had begged one of the guys in our History class to switch seats with me. He was a nerdy fellow so all I had to do was flirt with him a little bit. So at least I didn’t have to sit next to Daniel anymore. Although I probably didn’t have to because Daniel didn’t talk to me much anymore. At lunch, he sat silently sipping from his thermos so Gigi and I did most of the talking. Gigi told me he had been stopping by to watch marching band practice once a week though, who would have thought he’d be such a band nerd.
Maybe he had given up whatever he came here to do.