November 7, 2012 § 3 Comments
With actually knowing now that Regina was coming back, I started getting more and more energy to actually do stuff. I still couldn’t believe how much just the mere thought could affect me in every way. Not good, not good at all I remember I thought to myself. Nobody should have that much influence over others, should they?
So I did what any self-respecting person would do when expecting a vampire walking in their house at any point in the middle of the night.
I started wide opening the windows before going to sleep of course. It was summer after all, I didn’t need any ulterior reasons, did I?
But I had forgotten. I had forgotten that Regina no longer used windows, so on the third day of the week, and the fifth day of the month, on a late Wednesday, not far from my 18th birthday actually, Regina casually drove on the same road she was driving off a year before, parked the car on the alley leading to the backyard of the house, got out of the car and said hello.
All this happened while me, my whole family, plus a number of close relatives were in the garden, having a family get-together over a barbecue, some chat and all the other usual things people do in these kinds of setups. It was around 17:00 and the sun was still mighty high on the summer sky, although it had acquired by now that distinct September orange color that we all know and love.
To help you get a better mental picture of this, imagine you and your family having a backyard barbecue with kids running around and people chatting all over the place, not too big, about 10 people, when a stranger just casually drives up your alley, steps out of the car and says hello like he’s been a part of the family all along.
Of course, a my family knew perfectly well who she was, except my brother which knew her as in seen her before, but didn’t actually believe or know too much about it. I had tried to keep him at bay since all this started, although he’s my bigger brother.
In any case, it was clear why Regina had managed to fit in that easily in many situation. Totally uninhibited, she acted just like she was part of the family, and as a result, after small introductions, she became part of it rather fast. We’re friendly that way, the people living in these parts (well, more or less).
She didn’t say much (to me) past the initial “Hello” but as soon as things started getting comfortable I was pulled aside (rather forcibly), taken inside the house, where we could speak freely.
Instead of providing the dialogue line by line, I’ll summarize it because I find it easier to express.
As soon as we gained enough distance between the rest of the people and ourselves, she grabbed me by a shoulder, guiding me gently towards the house, while noting how much I had grown in the past year, and how I had grown into more or less what she was expecting. I wasn’t a late bloomer, but I wasn’t developed that much the year we left behind. However, by now, I was really, really close to my 18th birthday, a matter of weeks really, and it was obvious now that I think about it, the difference in size, aspect and pretty much everything else, between 17-year-old me and 18-year-old me.
She analyzed me several times, from top 3to bottom, not admiring, but more like analyzing, taking notes and just generally calculating whatever she was calculating in her head all the time, because that look on her eyes, the one that we have when we think about something really, really hard, that look never went away for her. She always looked like she was thinking about the answer to the ultimate question about the universe, life and everything else, which, as we all know, is 42.
She told me basically a really detailed history of the past year, something with which I wasn’t accustomed to, because she was usually much, much more secretive and less-detailed, and yet here she was “spilling the beans” without me even asking. Either something was amiss, either something changed radically, in her mind, about me. Whatever it was, although glad I was receiving much more information and was less required to put things together by myself, I wasn’t exactly sure this was a good thing. Time would tell.
I, instead, didn’t have that much to say. I didn’t provide a history of anything, just mentioned things here and there, and to be honest, again, something was amiss, because she seemed more than interested in listening basically to nothing.
In other words: She was willing to waste time on doing nothing productive (I thought at the time), something which didn’t usually happen. All talks, actions or decisions, eventually, lead somewhere. Maybe this one did too and I just didn’t see it at the time.
I’m going to cut this post short, because I’ve been asked not to leave you hanging, and I can’t do that if I don’t stop here before diving in deeper and actually getting to a more solid conclusion, which will happen in the next post.
For the next couple of posts, I’ll keep them coming more often, but shorter, because the nature of what’s going to be told is much, much better explained by separating the story into individual days, and as such, individual posts.
I’m just going to end this post with a few remarks.
We talked well into the night, by which point I realized that my already prepared question for Regina regarding her stay was not necessary anymore, because she was already making herself comfortable in and around the whole house. We talked about the initial subject which basically started the whole year off thing, which was what had happened in Turkey the year before, and we also talked about her whereabouts when Viktoria came in storming asking for the necklace and a bit of blood.
I’ll detail each of those subjects in the story, instead of explaining them, which I’m sure you’d prefer.
The day ended with Regina falling asleep before I did, which was a very comfortable and pleasant thought. Seeing her sleep in my bed with a small candle light lighting the room and barely touching her face was more than enough to put me in a “Christmas mood” in the middle of the summer. That feeling of warmth, familiarity and safety.
I laid in front of her and just before closing my eyes, she opened hers, smiled, and went back to sleep. I did too.
I’ll always remember that smile. It was the only one I got of that kind in all of the years with her.
November 2, 2012 § 5 Comments
Because of a few e-mails I recently received, I’ve now been put into a dilemma.
The dilemma is that after the last part of the story – quite a considerable time had passed after the actual vampire story picks up. To put it in other words, after Regina left that day, there has been… almost next to nothing happening in my life.
So what’s the dilemma again? Yeah, some readers are telling me “I don’t believe you and you’re full of bullshit because there’s no way you acted how you acted without any emotional response, and there’s nothing about you personally or about your life in the story or in your diary, who writes a diary without writing their own feelings reflecting on their life?”
Well, I do, but my diary and my story does – and can contain that, no problems, but that just makes it that much longer. I initially refrained from posting too much emotional content or personal opinions because, as you can see in comments past, there’s a number of readers requesting exactly the opposite: “Quit the sissy girl emotional drama and just get on with what actually happened.”
What am I supposed to do?
I have a story to tell, and I can be objective or subjective, and I don’t know how to make peace with both sides.
As such, I think splitting this post in two separate parts is the best way to go. First part is a summary that includes little to no reference to any vampire story, it’s just me. The second part is where the story that you’re interested in actually picks up again. You can choose to read all of it, or skip to the THIS IS THE BOLD LINE that you can’t possibly miss if you scroll down.
So here it goes:
It was now the summer of 2007, almost a year had passed since I told Regina to leave forever that day, and almost a year had passed since I was regretting that very same decision, because as soon as she was gone, I started regretting it. I’m not a man of regrets, but that was a bad decision for me to make, one that I couldn’t, and still can’t believe to this day, that I actually made. But that’s not the point.
The point is that for almost a year I was left alone, to return to my life, to recoup if you want, after the things I’ve been through last time I was with her. I actually thought, at the time (before telling her to leave) that I needed the time to recoup, that I needed to be alone, that I needed to get back to my life to return to normal. However, as days passed, I realized that there’s no way for me to return to ‘normal’ and then it got even worse, with me starting to think that ‘normal’ was actually their world, and that all this… modern day-to-day living was a lie, a facade, a veil over our eyes to keep us going, eating, breathing, living… like livestock.
As days went by, instead of turning more ‘normal’ I turned more and more… bitter and angry. I turned paranoid, I stopped trusting in anyone and anything that moved, and by the years end I was almost a completely different person. What I once was at the beginning of high school was no more, I was now just a figment of that person.
Instead of smart I considered myself stupid, I considered myself a coward, evil, paranoid, introvert and all that. I was, by all definitions, into a really awful depression.
I wanted nothing to do with the outside world. I started to considered it petty, insignificant and false. That night in Turkey changed me more than I thought it would be possible, and only now, years later, I realize that I only realized what I had become and how I changed only when I stepped back.
To make it more clear: While I was with Regina I wasn’t aware I was changing, not so much, but as soon as I was given time-off, and allowed to step back, and be alone for enough time, to be able to really take a look at myself and around me, only then I correctly managed to assess how much I had changed. To think about it, I guess it was rather intentional on Regina’s part. But then again, as I was saying in my second-to-last post (special vampires require special tools) it was all part of the grand scheme of things. I didn’t know then… I didn’t care.
So yes, one year had passed and there I was, one year older, and one year closer to what you, the reader, might imagine that the typical vampire might look like. You see, it is a paradox. I started becoming one, psychologically, only after I was removed from their midst. Stockholm syndrome to extreme one would say. I stopped being able to keep myself in check. Up to that point in my life I always felt strongly that people should be their own psychologists as much as they can, because they do have the power to do so, but after that point, I truly understood the need for “outside help”. For me, it got to the point that it was either getting locked up in a mad-house, or going back in their world, because I just couldn’t function as a normal human being. I couldn’t and more importantly I REFUSED TO. I was just a kid and I had enough trouble adjusting to me growing up as it was, not even mentioning having this thing hovering over my shoulders.
I won’t go into much detail about Viktor or Sophia, for their sake. We’ve kept in touch, and they truly helped me immensely during that time. We remained and still remain friends. They really managed to get me through it all the way. Now don’t go thinking I was the kind of… suicidal depressed type, no, I wouldn’t do that, not then, not now, not ever. No matter how bad it gets, there’s nothing worse than death, and I really believe in that. Well, excluding torture and all that.
I just turned into a… shadow of what I was. I turned bad, sarcastic, egoist, mean, locked inside myself, depressed and angry all the time.
The whole year went by like that, and not once did it occur to me that I was like that because I was terribly, terribly missing something. I was in a damned withdrawal and I couldn’t realize it. And what a withdrawal it was!
A withdrawal from what? From everything! From life itself. I needed the adventure, the adrenaline, the fear, the mystery and the amazement and once I tasted all that, I couldn’t go back.
There are people who paint or sing or climb mountains or write books or just really love doing whatever they do. Those that climb mountains really need the adrenaline every now and then, and taking that away from them would be just as well as a death sentence, because they don’t feel complete anymore.
It’s just like those animals kept in a cage all their lives, ducks that never saw water in their life or such. They continue living… but they are just… zombies.
Trust me, it’s one thing to feel incomplete and not know why – because you haven’t discovered it – and it’s a whole different type of pie feeling incomplete and actually knowing what you’re missing.
A duck that never swam will be a sad duck, but will be a much happier duck than a duck that swam for most of its life and then got locked up.
Do you understand where I’m trying to get to?
I was in withdrawal and I was suffering and that exact thing made me realize quite a few things:
1) I wasn’t that well-intended and smart as I thought I was. I realized I was perfectly capable of hurting anyone (notice how I used “anyone” and not “someone”), in any form, just for the sake of it. I know it’s bad, but I accepted it for some weird reason. I still do. I guess you grow used to it.
2) I realized that the very exact thing that I missed, actually turned me into WHAT I missed. In other words, being kept at a distance for a whole year, I turned more into them, rather than returning to normal, and I did so because I guess, sub-consciously, I wanted it.
3) I realized that I might actually be happier having a life like Regina, rather than what I considered before ‘normal’ and ‘moral’ – basically, human.
4) I realized (after 3) that the balance between “I want to live a normal life” and “I want to be one of them” was by the summer of 2007 about equal. Which meant total chaos for me, because I couldn’t believe I actually got to that point, and I also couldn’t believe that I was faced with the mother of all dilemmas. To live and let live, or to ‘die’ and… well… not let live – speaking of others. There was no ‘middle-way’. Not in the long-run at least. It was proven to be countless times that you’re not spared from taking a life, at some point, even as a human living between them – one could only imagine the amount of lives you would take over the centuries, as one of them.
So here I was. Me, Sophia and Viktor, lying on the green, warm grass in front of Blanche’s so-called crypt. This whole area is very, very peaceful, and it’s the most beautiful thing one can see in a summer afternoon. Huge, tall pine trees and oaks are all around the cemetery, and the orange light is just shinning between their leaves touching you gently and warming you just to the point of being not too warm and not too cold. Just perfect. I still feel that there’s nothing more peaceful and pleasant than a summer afternoon under a tree, in a cemetery.
Anyway, there we were, remembering old times, school, friends, jokes. It was Blanche’s birthday, and although we all knew she wasn’t dead, we missed her, and wondered where she was… and how she was doing… we all hoped that we’ll get to be together again someday, just like we used to be. I mean let’s be serious, is there anyone in this world who wouldn’t want to go back in time to be with their loved ones once again, be it friends or family?
THIS IS THE BOLD LINE
“Don’t you think this is a little dramatic?” – A voice from a tree above and behind us said.
All of us froze. It was Blanche’s voice. IT HAD to be. Creepy times, shivers down our spines, especially after a very un-eventful year in which the most excited we got was when Sophia caught her finger in the door.
We turned around and poof, Blanche was standing before us, hands on her hips, majestically taller, more beautiful than ever, deep red curly hair, smiling from all heart, tears in her eyes, but keeping her stance.
All three of us needed about 10 seconds to actually react, and when we did react, we did so violently. We ran towards her and just tackled her down hugging the life out of her. Dino from the Flintstones had NOTHING on us. Yes, we were that good friends.
We got up and she just hugged all of us one by one really tight, mentioned how we changed and all, but to be honest, she was pretty much the elephant in the room. Speaking of change, she was the most changed from all of us. Nothing about her reminded us of the old Blanche, except her… being… her character.
She was much more… grown up, physically. She matured. She was more muscular, her face was pure joy, shining, perfectly smooth and white. She was gorgeous, dressed casually in blue jeans, a black tank-top and some suede boots. Nothing out of the ordinary. To be honest, it would be hard for anyone that once knew her to recognize her now.
“Blanche! What are you doing here?!” I exclaimed. I was happy that I was seeing her, but I knew very well that she was in for a heap of trouble for coming here. She was strictly forbidden to do so. And she was for as long she was under Viktoria’s control – because she was still in her care by what I remember. As long as Viktoria was responsible for her, she wasn’t really allowed to “take matters and consequences into her own hands”.
“I’m sorry… I just… I couldn’t stay away…” She responded and then added “Plus, you shouldn’t be here. I might just ask you the same question.”
“I’m meeting my parents here. I just have to see them. They won’t live forever, and I don’t want to regret letting them die without seeing them as much as possible… because you know I’ll have a long time to regret that.” Sophia smiled and hugged her again.
Viktor was already hinting me at how… “good” (read hot) Blanche turned out to be, in a not-so-subtle way. Which was by all means true. We were all growing up and changing, but Blanche out-paced us by a decade.
“But Blanche….” I started saying.
“Don’t worry, she’s off to someplace really far away. I’m sure we won’t be seeing her.” She was talking about Viktoria, which calmed me down a bit, and seeing as there was absolutely no sign of any “funny business” going on in the town for the past year, we felt pretty safe and secluded there to share a moment. We were well aware that this was a one-time deal, at least for now, and it wasn’t a vacation. We cherished it even more.
“There they are now!”
Blanche’s parents appeared from the path coming from below the hill and when they saw her they just stared running up the path until they got up without a breath and just hugged Blanche for what seemed like an hour.
“Oh honey you’ve grown so much.” Her mother was saying while taking her face with both of her hands and just looking at her intensely and hugging her again, and again, and again.
Her father wasn’t that far behind with the hugging also. It was both heart-warming and heart-breaking. Knowing that was a happy moment, but because of sad reasons.
Then her father made a rather good observation.
“Isn’t this a little… dramatic? I mean we could have just met at home…” He said.
“But in the cemetery, at your ‘grave’, on your birthday, really?” He continued.
“You would be surprised how many people go home to see their parents on their birthday…” Blanche responded.
“I can’t come home, you know that, and I don’t like spending my birthday alone, you know that too.”
They hugged her again.
We all stood there and just enjoyed the moment which lasted for several hours, and in all that time, plus every other time I went by Blanche’s house, I couldn’t help but have the feeling that somewhere really deep, deep down inside, Blanche’s parents were blaming me for taking their daughter away from them. I couldn’t really say anything, because by any definition, it was true. I mean what parent doesn’t want a normal life for his child?
But then again, they didn’t really show it either, because they themselves weren’t really sure that I was to blame or to thank for… They understood perfectly well what Blanche was and in some weird, twisted form – they actually rejoiced. Rejoiced that their daughter would get to walk this earth for over 100.000 sunrises. I mean their dilemma basically boiled down to what I was previously feeling. To be or not to be. That is the question.
But as all good things, this one had to end too, and by nightfall they were already saying their goodbyes, but with joy and hope in all of our eyes. During the talks, Blanche laid out plans how she was planning to spend every last second they have on this earth with them, and promised them that as soon as she gets to be on her own, without Viktoria, and settles for a life, she’s going tot take them away in some other country where nobody would ever know who they are and why they are there.
And to tell you now, it took more than it should have, but it finally happened this past summer. And good for them.
We also said our goodbyes, perfectly aware that we weren’t leaving together out of that cemetery, and that we won’t end our conversation with “See you tomorrow.”
We spent a good part of the evening just doing that, saying goodbye, and we finally parted ways.
And that was it.
For three or four hours.
By 1 AM I was sound asleep, when ahhh all that too familiar sound started reverberating in the room and around me. The ticking of fingernails on my window. One, two, three. Stop.
One, two, three. Stop.
I woke up, I heard it, and my heart fell to the floor. It took all my will to turn my head and look at the window, because I was in that position in which a kid is when he wakes up in the morning without being sure if Santa came that past night. He’s both really excited to go to the Christmas tree, but fears in the same time that no presents might be there.
That was me. I was well aware that only one person in the world does that – at least just one did that too me – and as much as I wanted that to happen, I was afraid.
I turned my head and there she was.
I opened the window and looked to my right and my left.
“Where’s Regina?!” I asked.
“How should I know?!” Blanche replied and hopped in.
“Aren’t you supposed to wait for me to ask you in?” I said.
“Aww crap. I forgot. Can I come in?” She replied.
“Uhmm… sure?” I answered.
“Good.” She said, smiled and sat down on the bed.
I didn’t really care she was still in town, I was glad to see her again.
“So tell me… how is it?” I asked.
We were now on the point in discussing… that elephant in the room. The fact that she was a vampire and not that normal happy teenage girl we knew before. She needed to talk with someone about it, and seeing as we didn’t do it back in the cemetery, with her parents being there, she wanted someone to talk with that could understand her. At least that’s what I initially thought was the reason for her coming there that night.
And we did talk about it, a bit. Small chat really.
She told me that Viktoria really took an interest in training her the best she could, and started considering her more and more like family, because as we both knew, she was the same blood with Viktoria and Regina. That was it. Only three of them of the pure blood that Regina was.
Viktoria and Blanche were, by their definition, sisters. By my definition… anything but.
She told me how Viktoria taught her every little single thing about every little single insignificant fact, and she also told me (quite excitedly) about a whole bunch of perks – but downsides also – that she had.
She talked about how she’s basically forced by Viktoria too much, too fast.
Blanche understood her position and who she was all too well, and she knew she had to live-up to what she was, and there was no “average” for her. Being Regina’s blood meant you had to be an example of… perfection. She had years ahead of her to learn, but Viktoria – and Regina too – both took a very special interest in keeping her 100% engaged all the time. Sometimes as a pet, sometimes as an equal.
Blanche also told me that there was a single thing she couldn’t do. Hunt.
She couldn’t kill, she didn’t want to, and was forced to feed by her own means as a result. She wasn’t given any help with feeding – that is one thing that every vampire has to learn for himself, and she had a hard time adjusting.
I put out some candles in the room and we just both moved from the bed to the window sill just admiring the night sky…
We just stood there in silence for a few minutes and then Blanche suddenly said:
“She’s coming for you, you know…”
I just… I was both terrified and happy at hearing that, but I kept my excitement to me and just looked at Blanche and said…
“Yeah… I know…” In a disappointed kind of way.
Blanche put her hand to my heart.
“I can feel it you know, better than you can… I can hear it…” She said.
I knew that, but I didn’t realize it when I was trying to hide my excitement. After a year spent among humans, ‘faking it’, it’s hard to realize and change all of a sudden. It was harder to ‘fake it’ near a vampire.
“You want it. I can hear it. Your heart doesn’t lie.” Blanche said.
“I didn’t say I don’t.” I replied.
“No, but why are you trying to hide it? Do you really think denying what you feel would just make it go away?” Blanche continued.
“Well look at you how much of an emotional, romantic psychologist you became all of a sudden!” I blurted out and turned around.
“All I’m saying is, that… there’s no point in regretting something that doesn’t need to be that way, that you can change. Look at me. I came to be with my parents because that’s where I wanted to be on my birthday. I know I shouldn’t have, but I wanted it, and I’m not denying myself that.” Blanche said and then added:
“Anyway, regardless of what you feel. She’s coming for you.”
“What do you mean she’s coming for me?” I was asking because it sounded… bad.
“I don’t really know what I mean, all I know is that she’s not staying away for much longer.” Blanche responded.
“When?” I asked.
“In an hour, a day, or a week, don’t know exactly, but really soon. So decide what you want, and either stay or leave. And if you leave, make sure you leave for good.” Blanche answered, and with that she hugged and kissed me goodbye, and off she was into the night… I wondered if I would ever see her again.
September 13, 2012 § 8 Comments
Like I’ve been telling my readers (the ones who contact me) I was planning to go home in Sighisoara, back where it all started. Not for good, just for summer.
I used to consider it too dangerous to go back, which might just be true. However, something happened (which will be in the story as soon as I get with it to the current year) but all in all it has proven to be a fruitful journey.
I’m very, very tempted to give away free spoilers here, but I’m going to refrain myself. I’m just going to say that the whole point of this was, among others, the fact that I haven’t been there in years, the fact that I haven’t talked with anyone back home in years, the fact that I didn’t know anything new about Viktor, Blanche or Sophia.
That was until I got an e-mail from Sophia asking me to come home as soon as possible. Which I did.
Next up, story part number 30, from where I left off, which is more precisely the winter of 2006. We’re closing in here, just six more years to go.