Chapter 8: Contact
I woke from the dream drenched in sweat and breathing heavily, like I had just been running. “That dream was too real,” I said aloud to myself. Glancing at the clock I saw that it was 7 and decided to just go ahead and get out of bed. Just like in my dream, it was snowing outside, the first of the season. “I’m so tired,” I groaned. “Why couldn’t I have had that dream at 8 or 9 instead?” I trudged downstairs to pour myself a bowl of cereal for breakfast.
After breakfast I returned to my room to take a shower and get dressed. I had, after all, promised Gigi that I would help her clean. Before that though, I wanted to check out the house on Oak Street, see if my weird dream was justified or not. I really hoped that it wasn’t. But what can I say? I’m a curious person.
“I’m going over to Gigi’s mom,” I called out to her.
“It’s a little early for that isn’t it? It’s only 9 O’ clock dear.” She responded.
“I know, she just texted me a few minutes ago saying that she was starting soon. So I’ll see you later.” Pulling a fleece jacket over my head I was out the door and on my way.
The house still looked dead when I parked on the side of the street, no one was in sight. “This place is creepy when it’s empty,” I said to myself. I got out of the car and walked up to the front porch, the door was still unlocked like it had been a few months ago. I let myself in and was assaulted by dust, lots of it. Everything was coated in a thick layer of dust so that was a good sign. When he was here he kept the place relatively clean, you know, for a teenage boy.
Tiptoeing through the living room I stopped at the bottom of the stairs like I had in my dream. I paused for a moment before climbing the stairs quietly, no creaky stairs in real life apparently. Strangely the upstairs looked exactly as it had in my dream. There were three bedrooms on the left side of the hallway and then one bedroom and a bathroom on the right. The room I had gone into in my dream was the last door on the left, I checked all of the rooms and bathroom first, however. All were empty. I took a deep breath before stepping into the last room.
As in my dream it was painted a deep burgundy color with dark hardwood floors that matched the rest of the house. The bed in the corner of the room was made up neatly with no sign of life in here either. “Worried for nothing,” I breathed. I was about to leave when something resting on the bed caught my eye. I walked over to it carefully and picked it up. It was an envelope with only Luminita written on the front. “This must be for me,” Well, duh, of course it was, it had my “name” on it.
I sat down on the edge of the bed opening the envelope with shaky fingers. The candle that was in my dream was nowhere to be found in this room so it was hard to read his elegant handwriting in the dim, snowy light.
If you are reading this, then that means that you have found yourself upstairs in my room. Which also means that you have returned to the house that frightened you so. However, depending on when in time you are reading this you may or may not know that I have left the house and returned home to Romania. With how things were left after the dance I thought it would be best to give you some space and…contemplate. Truly I never meant to hurt you or scare you, I simply got ahead of myself. I should have tried to understand where you were coming from instead of being so headstrong with my task.
My whole goal was to meet you and inform you of your heritage. Teach you about our species and your family, about you. You are so much more than a plain human girl, so much more than I expected. You are stubborn and fiery…and beautiful. Just as your mother was, you are strong as a vampire princess should be. This all started out as an order from my parents, to come to America and find you, but it ended up becoming more. I know I said the marriage was only a political move for our families, but I started to…feel for you Elisabeth. So for this reason I have removed myself from Avery Virginia to let you live your life the way you want to. But if you ever wish to speak with me or see me again, all you have to do is find me.
Yours with my all,
By the time I reached the end of Daniel’s letter I found myself silently crying, tears rolling down my cheeks. He had really left without even saying goodbye. I knew he had left, obviously he had, no one had seen him since October. I guess a small part of me had hoped that maybe, maybe he was coming back. But he wasn’t, he was home in Romania. Probably making out with some other vampire girls that were actually in his league and making them swoon with a kiss on the hand, or more. No. I shouldn’t think like that. He’s better off this way anyway, he can be with those girls that know for sure vampires are real because they are one. He’ll be with his kind, not some silly, plain American girl from the wrong side of the James River.
Clutching his letter to my chest I stood from the bed and headed back downstairs. For a sense of finality I even checked the still empty fridge. My dream had lied to me, he wasn’t back, he was gone.
Before leaving the house altogether for Gigi’s I walked over to the couch where we had seen the picture of me and my Mom last time. It was still sitting there so I picked it up and brought it with me. Well, I was going to leave, but instead I plopped down on the sofa and continued to cry for a little while longer, re-reading his letter over and over again.
“What’s wrong with me?” I groaned. “I thought I was over him after what happened at the dance. Why do I feel like this? It’s not like we even knew each other that well.” I groaned again and covered my face with my hands. Man I felt stupid. I needed to figure out what was wrong with me. I never even gave him a chance to explain himself; never gave him the chance to prove that maybe I am a vampire. I didn’t really think I was, but still, maybe he would have stayed then.
I sighed trying to pull myself together, I had been here long enough anyway and needed to get over to Gigi’s. It was 10 at this point so she was probably wondering where I was. I shot Gigi a quick text saying I was on my way, I stared at the Oak Street house for a few seconds, thinking to myself that I’d probably be back there again. It had really grown on me, I didn’t want to leave it behind, maybe I’d go back every once in a while just to clean it and make it look nicer. That house felt a part of me somehow now, a lot had happened within its old walls.
Gigi had already started the cleanup process with Kevin by the time I got there. There was still a lot to do though, teenagers know how to make a good mess.
“It’s about time you got here!” Gigi exclaimed. “We only started a half hour ago but there’s so much of it to clean,” she groaned. “Why did I do this to myself?”
“You said you wanted to throw a party at least once in high school babe.” Kevin laughed. I laughed with Kevin and began to help, this was going to take a couple of hours.
It did take us a while; we weren’t finished until a little after noon. The three of us had lunch together then Kevin headed home since he had stayed the night after the party. Gigi and I were downstairs watching TV when her Mom came home that afternoon. “I’ll be right back,” She said leaving to greet her.
“Sure thing,” I pulled the photo out my jacket pocket and sighed down at it. My mother didn’t necessarily look like a vampire, but then again, Daniel hadn’t either. The only thing that would make someone think that she was, were her teeth. They weren’t super sharp, but they were definitely sharper than mine and Gigi’s. Other than that though, she looked normal, she looked human; albeit an exceptionally beautiful human.
“When did you get that?” Gigi asked. I spooked and let out a little yelp while she laughed at me. “Did I scare you?” she giggled.
“I didn’t even hear you come down the stairs,” I hissed, still reeling.
“Sorry,” Gigi laughed some more. “But seriously, when did you get that picture?” She asked much more serious.
“I, uh, I went back to Dan—“ I caught myself, “Riker’s house this morning.” Gigi looked at me hard without saying anything. “What? I had a dream about it last night so I just wanted to check it out for myself.” I said softly.
“A dream? What about?” She asked. I took a deep breath and explained my dream to Gigi. “So, he’s back? Is that how you got the photo?” She asked still confused.
“No, he’s not back. I got the picture when I went there this morning, the door was still unlocked like it had been last time so I just went inside. When I saw the picture on the coffee table I figured that I would bring it with me, maybe show it to my parents.” I said. “She’s also just so pretty, I kind of like to look at her and imagine me looking like that too.” I said softly.
“Oh, Elisabeth,” Gigi sat down next to me and put her arm around my shoulders. “You’re already pretty like she was. That’s why Todd has the hots for you,” Gigi nudged me playfully. I simply rolled my eyes at her. “But seriously, don’t worry about it. She was beautiful, and you are too.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” I sighed. I pulled the letter out of my pocket as well and showed it to her. “I also found this in the house. We had never gone upstairs in the past so I went up there this morning and found this on his bed.” I handed the letter to her and she immediately began reading, her eyes growing wide when she got to the end.
“Wow,” She said. “So he actually did like you.” Gigi thought for a moment. “Why didn’t he tell you this before he left? He never even said goodbye to you.”
“I guess he figured he had done enough after the dance; he didn’t want to cause any more harm.” I said.
“But, it’s a good thing he’s gone home right? This letter pretty much proves that he won’t come back again. You can finish out your senior year without to worry about, so that’s good.” Gigi said with an encouraging smile.
“Yes, no, I honestly don’t know. I thought I was fine with him gone, but when I read that letter this morning I found myself crying. Like, I knew he was gone, we haven’t seen him in months, but I guess I just thought that maybe he would come back.” I sighed. “He wasn’t really that bad when he wasn’t going on about vampires, that’s why I said yes when he asked me to the dance. He hadn’t talked about it in so long I thought he had let it go. And after I realized he had left, I kind of missed him.” Tears prickled at the corners of my eyes. “What’s wrong with me Gigi?”
Gigi’s eyes softened and she pulled me up against her. “Nothing is wrong with you, you just liked him, that’s all.” She said. “And even though he was weird, he was a hot weird, I’m pretty sure every girl in our school had a crush on him.” Gigi smiled at me. “You know, maybe he will come back someday, he did say all you had to do was find him.”
“So all I have to do is go to Romania and ask where the vampires live?” I gave a spiteful laugh. Gigi rolled her eyes. “Yeah, yeah, I know what you meant. He must have a Facebook or something, or I could probably just type his last name into the computer and find him.” I mumbled. “It doesn’t matter anyway,” I said. “I have Todd now; he’s made me way happier than Daniel did. Todd actually understands me.” Gigi nodded in agreement. “Anyway, sorry for all of this heavy talk.” I apologized.
“Oh please, it’s not that bad.” Gigi rolled her eyes at me and smiled. We sat quietly for a few moments as everything soaked in.
“Oh yeah!” I exclaimed having thought of something. “Kevin stayed the night last night right?” I asked and she nodded. “So? Did anything happen?” I waggled my eyebrows. Gigi’s eyes widened and a bright blush spread across her cheeks, obviously something had. “Oh my God, Gigi!” I squealed and clapped her on the shoulder. “Tell me everything, was it good?”
“Well, I guess, I mean, yeah, it was good,” She stuttered. “It was kind of awkward at first but once you get, you know, into it, it’s not so bad.” Her blush grew darker and she got a derpy smile on her face. “It was pretty great actually. It was uncomfortable at first but in the end, God, it felt so good.”
“OK, OK, spare me the gory details,” I laughed. “I’m happy for you, I can tell that he’s totally crazy for you. Should we start our movie back up?” I asked. Gigi nodded with that satisfied, derpy smile still on her face; I pushed the play button on the remote and we resumed our movie.
We didn’t talk about Daniel at all for the rest of the time I was there. We just watched TV until about 4 O’ clock, then I headed home for the night. There was a text from Todd waiting for me when I got inside to my bedroom.
Hey, so I was thinking that maybe we could go on a date tomorrow..? If you want to of course.
I could picture him perfectly in my head stuttering in that nervous yet adorable way he has. Todd really was adorable, and a good kisser too. How could I be upset over Daniel when I had him?
Of course! Did you have something in mind?
He responded in a matter of seconds, he must have already typed it out. That dork.
I thought we could get dinner and then see a movie. You had mentioned that you wanted to see the new Will Ferrell movie a couple days ago so…
That sounds great. :)
Great! I’ll pick you up at 4 tomorrow.
Okay, I’m looking forward to it.
See? No need to think about Daniel when Todd was already planning out our first date. I sighed with a goofy smile on my face and collapsed back onto my bed. Todd really was great, he was there to pick up the pieces after Gigi and I had fought and Daniel left. He was a great guy.
So why was I still thinking about Daniel and the letter that was burning a hole in my pocket? Groaning I rolled onto my stomach and grabbed my laptop off of the floor. I booted it up then made my way to Google. Should I really do this? I thought to myself.
Yes. Daniel’s voice rang out in my head. I typed “Florescu family Romania” into the search bar then read what the results had to say.
“Let’s see…” Most of the results brought up some small village in the Carpathians near a beautiful lake. “The Florescu’s are a prominent family in old Transylvania. Known for being tied to vampires in the past they control most of the land in the Carpathians, however, they compete with the Vieru family for power.” I read aloud to myself. “Known for being tied to vampires…” I repeated. I switched over to Images and was flooded with photos of beautiful people and a grand castle. Most of the pictures were in Bucharest with them dressed up and out and about. There was Daniel… He was so handsome in his designer suit with that girl on his arm. He looked so happy, and that picture was only from last month.
I don’t know why I was surprised, of course he had another girl, how hard could it be for him to get another one? With his looks and outgoing personality, I was no match for the girls in the pictures. I clicked back over to the web search and typed in “Vieru”, I was curious to see what would come for them. That’s what Daniel had said my last name was and it was also mentioned in the article I had just browsed.
“The Vieru family owns Benkosky Castle high in the Carpathian Mountains that overlooks a mountain lake. Benkosky Castle is popular with tourists and is open for tours every Saturday.” My family gives tours? That sounds weird. “However the Vieru family is very powerful in that area, though the Vieru’s took a hard blow in the summer of 1998 when the Florescu family burned the Vieru’s summer estate to the ground with the main Vieru family inside. There are no known survivors of this event.”
This last sentence stopped me dead in my tracks. The Florescu’s killed my parents? They tried to kill me too? Why would they do this? I slammed my laptop shut and buried my face into my pillow. How could they do this?! I wasn’t even a year old! Tears fell down my cheeks for the third time that day, but these tears were out of anger instead of sadness. The Florescu’s had killed my parents yet they expected me to marry their son? What kind of game was this?
A political one. Daniel’s voice said in my head.
“Get out of my head!” I demanded. Daniel had sounded so sweet in his letter, but who’s to say that that wasn’t a game either? He could have been playing me, saying how pretty and fiery I was just to get a ruse out of me. Make me want to find him so I can walk right into whatever trap they have set up for me. Well guess what Florescu’s, too damn bad. I might be smarter than you all think I am.
After dinner I spent the rest of my evening planning my date with Todd tomorrow. I had to figure out what to wear after all, normally I didn’t care, but I wanted to look super cute for our first date. I was pretty excited for it.
Elisabest: Hey guess what!
Elisabest: Todd and I are going on our first date tomorrow! :D
Gigi1340: Really? That’s great! What are you guys doing?
Elisabest: We’re going to get dinner and then see the new Will Ferrell movie. I’m pretty excited.
Gigi1340: This is great. We should totally go on a double date some time!
Elisabest: Totally! Oh, so when I came home I looked up the Florescu’s on the internet.
Gigi1340: Yeah? And?
Elisabest: This website talked a lot about both his family and mine. www.vampiresofromania.com. The website talks about how his family burned down my family’s summer home, killing everyone. Except me, but they don’t know that.
Gigi1340: Damn, this is some heavy stuff. But if they didn’t know that you had survived, then how did they find you?
Elisabest: That’s…a good question actually. I have no idea.
Gigi1340: Well then that’s a little creepy, you should look into that.
Elisabest: Yeah but how? Daniel isn’t here to answer my questions, and after reading that website I sure as hell don’t trust him anymore.
Gigi1340: You know what? I’ll contact him. I’ll find him on Facebook or whatever and do a little investigating then I’ll get back to you. Weirdo can’t do anything with me after all, I’ll punch him.
Elisabest: Oh Gigi, thanks. Some answers would be great.
Gigi1340: You got it boss, I’m on it.
Elisabest: Thanks. :) Hey I’ll text you tomorrow, it’s time for this girl to be getting to bed.
Gigi1340: Okay, good night.
*Elisabest is offline*