The Boy from Romania

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Chapter 6: Missing

That next Monday Daniel was nowhere to be found in school and Gigi was still ignoring me. So I ended up going to the library for lunch because if I was going to sit alone, I was doing it where no one would see me be alone.

I curled up in a bean bag chair in the corner of the mystery section and pulled out my lunch for the day. PB&J sandwich with chips and a root beer, how very exciting. I took a bite of my sandwich, glancing around the book shelves as I chewed. I had never really read many mystery novels but some of these looked pretty interesting. More interesting than Nancy Drew at least.

And so the library became my lunch spot of choice for the next week. Gigi muttered not a word to me the whole time, in person or on IM even though I had tried to apologize multiple times. She and Kevin were a thing now; on Friday while leaving the cafeteria for the library I saw her sitting over at his table with him, laughing with their band friends. Daniel also did not return to school at all this week, maybe this time he really had given up, gone back to Romania or whatever. It was probably for the best anyway, because there was no way in hell I was going to be a part of an arranged marriage no matter how much I wanted to rip his shirt off.

Although, Daniel had somehow managed to wheedle his way into not only my head but my heart as well. Even though we hadn’t talked very much there was something about him that gave my stomach the flips and made my heart beat a little faster. And now not seeing him almost made me feel like a part of me was…missing. Like maybe I would feel a little bit better if he was there with me in the library drinking from his thermos. No, stop. Don’t think about that. But I still did anyway. Usually I thought about how we almost kissed and what that could have been like.

“Elisabeth?” Came a soft voice from the end of the mystery aisle. I was snapped out of my thoughts and looked up to where the voice came from. A pair of green eyes stared into my mine with a mop of tousled brown hair; Todd. “What are you doing eating in the library?” He asked. Todd took a few tentative steps towards where I sat and stopped about halfway down the aisle.

“Oh, um, well, Gigi and I got into a fight so instead of sitting alone in the cafeteria I’m, uh, sitting alone in the library.” I said quietly. Now that I said it out loud it sounded kind of dumb. “What, uh, what are you doing here?” I asked him.

“I was studying for a physics test I have next period, I was on my way to history when I glanced over and saw you sitting here eating.” Todd stood awkwardly for a few moments. “Would you like some company?”

“Uh,” I started. “Sure, I’m not very exciting though,” I gave a small laugh. Todd smiled down at me and closed the distance between him and me. He dropped his books to the floor then sat at an angle towards me, leaning up against another shelf of books. “Are you prepared for your test?” I asked after a moment. Todd and I never really talked much, he was a nice kid though.

“I think so, but it’s the exam for the chapter we just finished so better safe than sorry.” Todd said with a shrug.

“Do you have Mr. Fritz for physics?” I asked with a smirk.

“Yes, why?” Todd asked suspiciously. I broke out into a fit of giggles and he gave me a strange look. “What?”

“Gigi and I gave him quite a scare on the first day of school. We hid in his room behind the door avoiding Daniel.” I said with a smile. “He wasn’t very happy with us,” I added. Todd rolled his eyes at me but smiled as well.

“Mr. Fritz can be a little uptight.” Todd added. “Speaking of Daniel, do you know where he is?” I figured this question would come up sooner or later, but when it finally did I wasn’t totally prepared for it.

“I’m not really sure, I haven’t heard from him since the dance.” I said. Todd frowned.

“I was under the impression that you guys were dating,” He said with a furrowed brow. I threw up my hands in front of my face and waved them in an x shape.

“Nope, we’re definitely not together, we’re hardly even friends.” I said. Todd was obviously surprised by this information.

“When I saw you guys at the dance together I just assumed, I’m sorry Elisabeth.” Todd said. “Anyway, we should get going to class,” Todd scrambled to his feet and picked up his books, then held his hand out to me to help me up. I grasped his hand and got to my feet as well, smiling at him before we left for history class together.

The week after that Todd started hanging out with me in the library every day during lunch as Gigi still was not speaking to me. This was the longest we had ever gone without talking to each other and I was starting to get worried. I kind of thought that if she noticed Daniel gone she would come back and we could talk things out, apparently not. But really, it was nice to be with Todd. He was really smart and had a geeky sense of humor, so even without Gigi, I was good. It was good.

Daniel still hadn’t returned which led me to believe that he really had gone home to Romania, but I couldn’t dwell on that too much, not with Todd around. He really put me at ease.

“Okay, here’s a good one,” Todd started. “What do you call someone who doesn’t like to study in public?” He asked with a big grin. We were telling each other bad jokes.

“I don’t know, what?” I asked with my own smile.

“A private tooter!” Todd and I broke into a fit of laughter loud enough to require the librarian to shush us. “Sorry Ms. B,” Todd whispered trying to contain the rest of his laughter. Todd let out a sigh of content as I took a bite of my tuna sandwich. “Do you think you and Gigi will patch things up?” He asked softly.

“I’m sure we will, she just needs time to calm down, she’s a feisty one.” I said. “Don’t worry about it, Todd, we’ve had our fair share of fights but we’ve always stayed friends.” I assured him. I reached over and covered his hand with my own, “It will be okay,” I said. Todd gave a slight smile and nodded then removed his hand from under mine. We finished our lunches in silence and then made our way back to history class. I had started to sit next to Todd as well back in my original seat. We were becoming pretty good friends.

“So who’s the boy?” Mom asked coyly as we sat around the dinner table. “You’ve been rather chipper lately and I’d be willing to bet it’s because of a boy,” Mom gave a wide smile while Dad rolled his eyes. Was this really happening again? “Is it that boy you took to homecoming? Oh he was so cute!” She said excitedly. “Give your old mom the details,”

“How about you don’t give us the details so I can sleep peacefully at night,” Dad grunted. “We don’t need to know about all of…that,” He frowned a speared a green bean on his fork.

“Well it’s not the boy I went to the dance with, that was actually Daniel by the way. And I think Daniel has returned home to Romania.” I said. Dad’s eyes got real wide.

“Why didn’t you tell us that that was Daniel? I had a lot of questions for him you know,” Dad said dropping his bean. “The boys and I were going to spook him,” He said with a smirk

“I didn’t tell you because it was unimportant, we were just going as friends, and anyway, I think he’s gone home to Romania, he hasn’t been in school since the dance. I think he’s given up whatever it was he wanted to accomplish.” I said. I never told them about that night after the dance, they would have totally freaked. I was still kind of freaking out from it. Plus, with him gone, it didn’t matter.

“Well anyway,” Mom started. “who’s the boy then?” She waggled her eyebrows.

“Ugh, fine,” I threw my hands up in defeat. “His name is Todd; we sit next to each other in history class. But we’re just friends, I don’t think either of us feel that way about the other.” I said giving my mom a hard look. She looked a little disappointed but neither of them said anything else after that. After dinner I went upstairs to finish up my homework for the evening; I also had a project for Photography class that was due at the beginning of next week. I had no idea what I was going to do for that.

I started typing up a paper for my Stat class when there came a ping on IM.

*Gigi1340 is online*

Gigi1340: So you and Todd huh?

I took my time replying; finishing up my thoughts for the Stat paper.

*Elisabest is online*

Elisabest: I guess you could say that, we’re friends now.

Gigi1340: Oh, I see. What about Daniel?

Elisabest: I haven’t seen Daniel since the dance so… I’m pretty sure he went back to Romania.

Elisabest: I’m really sorry Gigi, I didn’t mean to get so angry and defensive with you. Can we please start talking again? Because I have a lot I want to tell you.

Gigi1340: Okay, yes. I’m sorry too, I just didn’t want to see you get hurt. I also have a lot I need to tell you.

Elisabest: Oh, good. Alright, you go first. :)

Gigi1340: So Kevin and I are a thing now! He asked me to be his girlfriend at the end of the dance. And let me tell you man, he is one hell of a kisser. ;)

Elisabest: *rolls eyes* That’s great! I knew you guys would end up together, no one can resist your charms. Lol.

Gigi1340: I’m so happy, all of that time crushing on him from afar when I could have been his girlfriend a long time ago. Turns out he’s just as shy as I am when it comes to that stuff.

Elisabest: Oh, Gigi. I’m glad for you. :)

Gigi1340: Thanks. Okay, now for you. What’s up with you and Todd?

I could seriously picture he waggling her eyebrows right about now. The little she-devil.

Elisabest: I told you, we’re just friends. He is really cute though in that dorky way. Lol. But my main news is about Daniel. After we had our fight he came outside to try and comfort me and long story short I ended up saying that he should just tell you that he’s not a vampire because at the time that seemed to be the biggest issue.

Gigi1340: Yeah, and?

Elisabest: So he ended up dragging me back to Riker’s place and showing me these old maps and family trees and a betrothal contract…

Gigi1340: I’m sorry, a what?

Elisabest: Yeah, so apparently when we were babies in Romania we were betrothed to marry when we were old enough to rule or whatever. He also showed me a picture of me when I was a baby. My biological mother was holding me in the photo… She looked so much like me, Gigi, it was surreal.

Gigi1340: So you and the weirdo are engaged? What is this, the 18th century?

Elisabest: I know right? It gets worse though. So I was all, “But how could they know we would love each other? Aren’t we supposed to be in love?” And Daniel was like, “It’s not about love Elisabeth, this is about bringing our clans together,” So I got angry and was about to storm out of the house again when he pulled me over to the kitchen. And, holy shit Gigi, I kid you not, the refrigerator was packed full of blood.

Gigi1340: !!!

Elisabest: Just bags of it from the Red Cross or wherever he got it from. He said that that’s what he was always drinking out of his thermos. I ran out of that house as fast as my little legs could carry me.

Gigi1340: So…does this mean what I think it does?

Elisabest: Yeah, he drank some of it in front of me. I’m surprised I didn’t start puking right then and there.

Gigi1340: You are strong. God, I wish I could have been there. I totally would have knocked him out for you.

Elisabest: Oh Gigi, I have missed you so much. But seriously, I have to get back to my homework. It’s already almost 8 and I still have to finish up Stat and German. I’ll talk to you tomorrow at school?

Gigi1340: Yep, I’ll be back at the table tomorrow. See ya!

*Elisabest is offline*

*Gigi1340 is offline*

The next day I tracked down Todd in the library and asked him if he wanted to sit with Gigi and I in the cafeteria.

“You guys finally made up?” He asked with a smile.

“Yep, so do you want to join us? Her boyfriend Kevin will probably be there too.” I said. Todd was getting a little shy and stared down at his feet. “Oh c’mon, Todd,” I said. “I’d really like it if you sat with us.” I smiled brightly at him and clasped his hand in mine. “Gigi’s super funny and I think you and her will get along really well.” Todd hesitated for another brief moment but then nodded in agreement. “Yay! Alright, let’s go,” I dragged him behind me up to the cafeteria.

“Hey guys,” Gigi greeted us as we sat down. She and Kevin sat across the table from Todd and I. Todd stared down at his lunch in awkward silence. I never realized how shy he was; I mean, he wasn’t that way around me.

“So where have you been these past couple of weeks?” Gigi asked.

“Well, uh, I started eating in the library by myself. I highly recommend the bean bag chair in the mystery section by the way. Then last week Todd started eating there with me when he saw me back there one day.” I said. Todd nodded shyly in agreement but didn’t say anything. My gosh, he always talked my ear off and now he couldn’t say anything. “Anyway, how are you guys? It’s about time the two of you started dating.” I said with a smirk.

“Honestly, we should have started dating a long time ago. I wish I hadn’t been so afraid to ask her out.” Kevin said. He smiled over at Gigi and went in for a kiss. Gross, come on guys, let’s not make out in the cafeteria. Todd and I looked at each other awkwardly as they kissed each other profusely.

“Uh, guys,” Todd said tentatively. They pulled away from each other and gave us sheepish looks.

“Sorry,” Gigi smirked. She wasn’t really sorry, I could tell.

The rest of lunch was pretty normal, Gigi and Kevin kept their tongues to themselves, although Todd still didn’t do much talking.

I took my seat next to Todd in History. “Are you okay?” I asked him. He gave me a questioning look. “You were especially quiet at lunch today,” I emphasized.

“Oh, well,” Todd stared down at his desk. “I don’t know, I feel comfortable with you, but I don’t know anything about Gigi and Kevin. Well, I know a little bit about Gigi, but only from you.” Todd said. “I’m sorry, I’m just a quiet person normally. You bring out the talking in me I suppose.” He said. Todd shot me a quick smile before our teacher launched into her lecture.

Everything was back to normal now. Gigi, Kevin, Todd and I all sat together at lunch every day. And still nothing from our weirdo friend in Romania. This was how I pictured my senior year to play out. I was doing well in all of my classes still holding up my 3.5 GPA, colleges were bound to be all over this.

Todd was turning into a really close friend. He, Gigi and I even went to see a movie together that Friday after school. I’m glad he found me in the library that day.

“That was an awesome movie!” Gigi exclaimed while air punching. We had seen a new action comedy; Gigi was into stuff like that. “There were so many explosions!” Gigi grinned at me and I rolled my eyes at her.

“You are such a dork,” I laughed. “Did you like the movie, Todd?” I asked him. Todd smiled and nodded. “Good, I’m glad you came with us,” I found myself blushing a little and quickly turned away.

“Me too,” He responded oblivious to the red in my cheeks. “I haven’t gone to the movies in a long time, so this was fun. It also reminded me how much I like popcorn.” Todd gave a small laugh.

“You know what we should do now?” Gigi asked with a mischievous smile.

“What?” Todd asked. I had a feeling I knew where this was going, and I didn’t like it. Poor unsuspecting Todd.

“We should go to Riker’s house on Oak Street!” She said.

Yep, it went there. She had been bugging me all week about it, trying to get me to go back there, just to see if Daniel had left anything behind. I think she just wanted to make sure that he was really gone.

“Gigi,” I groaned. “I really don’t want to go there.” Todd raised his eye brows at me with a questioning look. “That’s where Daniel stayed when he was here,” I elaborated.

“He stayed at the abandoned mansion?” He asked. I nodded in response. “That’s not weird at all,”

“Oh that’s not even the weirdest part,” Gigi started.

“Gigi, don’t,” I said sternly.

“Daniel is a vampire,” She said anyway. I swear, sometimes I wanted to strangle her. Todd didn’t need to know any of that stuff, even if Daniel really was gone.

“I’m sorry, what?” He asked dumbfounded. “You mean he thought that he was a vampire,”

“No, he was…an actual vampire,” I said slowly. Thanks a lot Gigi, I liked Todd, and now he was going to be scared off or freaked out and never want to talk to me again. “I, uh, I saw him drink blood once…” I said softly.

“So…this just got a lot weirder than I thought it would. Why do you want to see his house?” Todd asked Gigi. I’m kind of surprised that Todd wasn’t running away screaming like I had that day. Then again, he didn’t actually see Daniel drink blood.

“I just want to make sure the creep is gone,” She said. “I didn’t mind him at first, but I was with Elisabeth when he told us about the vampire thing. Didn’t really care for him much after that show.” Gigi said coldly. “So it’s more about closure than anything.” She added. “I need to make sure my girl over here is safe,” Gigi elbowed my side playfully.

“Ugh, fine, we can go.” Gigi squealed with triumph. “But only so you’ll stop bugging me about it.” I glared at her. “Are you going to go with us Todd? Or should I drop you off at your house?” I asked him.

“Nah, I’ll go with you guys. I’ve always kind of wanted to see the inside of Riker’s house.” He said. We all piled into my parent’s sedan and drove off toward town and Oak Street.

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