Welcome to my weekly series – Vampire & Single.
Last week Sasha met the mysterious silver-haired Henry, who stepped out of the shadows in the car park, as she contemplated ending her life. He offered to help her.
Brace yourselves here is part 5:
7.36 a.m. Henry and I enter a cafe. He points towards the little table, before going to the counter to order our coffee. I go sit down and wait for him.
After placing two cups of black coffee on the red plastic table, Henry takes the seat opposite me.
He immediately turns his attention to the world outside the cafe window. His restless fingers find a silver spoon to play with, turning it over again and again.
“Henry – are you ok?”
He turns to me. For a moment we are silent. I find myself focusing on the tiny flecks of gold embedded within his emerald-green eyes.
“We won’t be seeing each other again Sasha,” he says, quietly.
Nausea washes over me. “What do you mean?”
He leans back and runs his hand through his silver quiffed hair. “I have helped you but I can’t live this life for you. It is important for you to find your own path.”
I can hear my thudding heart. “But I can still contact you if…” My voice fades as he shakes his head. He turns back to look out of the window.
Hot stinging tears well up in my eyes. “Please don’t….I need your help.”
He leans across the table. “You have to walk your own path. Once we leave this cafe you will not..” he falters, “hear from me again.”
My shoulders start to sink. The weight of misery from my old vampire life bears down on me.
I can feel my face and neck getting hotter. Clenching my fists in my lap I say through gritted teeth, “you can’t do this to me – its cruel!”
Henry stares at me.
With a shaky voice I continue. “You can’t help me and then just walk away. I need more than new clothes and shoes.”
Tiny beads of sweat gather on his forehead as he chews his thumb. “If you must know I am not supposed to be helping you.”
My hands grip the table. “What?”
His eyes hold my gaze. “My vampire order warned me about you.”
I stay silent. He fidgets in his seat. “You make them nervous.”
“So why did you help me?”
He takes a deep breath. “I am a Vampire of the Light’ he whispers, pointing to his silvery hair. “We help and guide others.”
“But your order instructed you not to guide me?”
He locks his captivating green eyes onto mine. “You were a risk I chose to take.”
Words fail me as I am consumed by a weird fluttering sensation.
My brain kicks back into action by replaying the memory of the white light pouring out of my chest in the rock club’s toilets. “Light comes out of me…so I must be one of you.”
Henry nods his head. “You certainly have a guiding light. We’ve never seen one quite so strong as yours, which makes my order a little uneasy, but there’s something else which worries them.”
My eyes widen. “I am just an ordinary twenty three year old girl who got bitten by a vampire on a disastrous second date.”
He glances over his shoulder and turns back to me. “I need to explain. Centuries ago the first ever vampires were linked to darkness. They abused their gift and did whatever they could to dominate and gain power.”
I watch him loosen his tie and lean closer. “They drank human blood and killed thousands of innocent souls. It was a dark time. A splinter group formed consisting of a group of vampires who were against destroying the human race and wanted to help humans. They swore an oath not to drink human blood and decided to let their inner light guide them to a better place.”
He pauses and wipes his brow. “Today the Vampires of the Dark Order rule our world. They do whatever they can to eradicate us and there is a rumour they are trying to infiltrate the Light Order.”
I shake my head with despair. “You have to believe me, there is nothing else going on. I am Sasha Green.”
Henry places a cold hand on my shoulder, awakening the fluttering feeling inside of me. “I believe you but my order tell me there is darkness in your life.”
Fightig back an army of tears I try to remain composed. “How is there darkness in my life?” I ask. “You have seen me struggle Henry, I rarely venture out of my flat and you have seen how I can’t bring myself to devour people.”
We both go quiet. Out of the cafe window I can see tired looking commuters hurrying to work. I used to be one of them, struggling with a hangover, clutching a latte and checking my phone for updates on the next night out. Life was so uncomplicated back then. I was just Sasha Green and not some evil vampire. A lump balloons at the back of my throat.
Something tells me Henry is staring at me. I turn back and he flicks his attention to gently stroking his cup. I am mesmerised by the way he is caressing it with his long, slender fingers. Without thinking I lift my head. “Can I ask you something?”
He stops playing with the cup.
“Do vampires fall in love with each other?”
He shakes his head. “Vampires are not allowed to fall in love with each other.”
“Really?” I ask, feeling my heart sink.
“Love makes us lose control of ourselves. It can lead to us abusing our gift,” he says, quietly.
A tear starts to make its way down my cheek. “So all I have to look forward to is spending eternity sitting inside my flat sucking on steaks and thinking up ways I can kill myself?”
“You have to find your own path, I promise it will get easier.”
He rises quickly from the table and gestures for us to leave.
We stand on the pavement outside the cafe. Henry turns to me. “Well….I guess this is goodbye!”
I reach out to touch his arm, making him flinch. “Please stay in contact with me.”
In my head I hear a voice whisper, ‘Don’t make this harder for me Sasha.’
He steps closer to me. His icy breath electrifies my cheek. “Be strong. You can do this!”
“I can’t go back to my old life,” I whisper, through blurry eyes. “You know how lonely I was.”
He nods. “I have been watching you for awhile.”
I stare at him. “For how long?”
He shakes his head. “I have broken too many rules already.”
I watch him turn on his heel and stride away.
My hair is piled up in a greasy knot on top of my head and my new clothes are hung up in my wardrobe, gathering dust.
When I returned to my flat I was shocked at what Henry’s people had done to it. Everything gleamed, glistened and reeked of fresh flowers. It was like stepping inside a different home.
When my landlord came round the next day to inspect it he nearly had a heart attack. I am not sure what he was expecting to see.
In the fridge Henry’s people kindly left me a three-month supply of good quality animal blood pouches. They were all neatly stacked on shelves and in drawers. There was a note saying ‘go easy and make them last!‘
Two weeks have passed since Henry walked away from me. He has not left my thoughts. I’ve emailed him hundreds of times begging him to stay in touch and have lived inside the vampire online chatroom, waiting for him to return. There has been no contact.
I have even spent hours wandering the streets of London trying to find the clothes boutique where Marie worked. Every time I try to retrace my steps a thick fog coats my mind. It’s like this new world doesn’t want me to find it again.
My sadness has led to binge eating my blood stash. I now have half left. Each pouch is like a beautiful drug, making me feel warm and fuzzy.
As far as work know I am sick. I haven’t been in for a few weeks. Helen has informed me by email that I need to get a doctor’s note. The thought of explaining my symptoms to a doctor terrifies me. I am a vampire with mental issues.
My days and nights are spent lying in my bed crying over my laptop. When I get bored I fly around my flat in a fit of vampiric rage and then return to my bed to binge watch Netflix.
I am sat watching the online chatroom. My phone bleeps, it’s a text from Emily.
‘I have a secret!’ it reads.
I exhale loudly and ignore it. Emily is probably going to tell me how wonderful her life is and I will end up hating her.
‘Can I come over tonight?’ she texts back.
I shake my head. She is the last person I want to see right now.
‘Come on misery guts!‘ she texts, making me snarl and hurl the vampire books by my bed against the wall.
How dare she call me misery guts? I am going through my own personal hell here.
I know that she won’t give up. Emily is persistent. She won’t leave me alone.
‘Sasha ANSWER me!’ texts Emily. You see this is what she’s like.
‘Ok’ I text back.
I rise to go stand in front of the mirror. My reflection makes me gag. There is a thick layer of grease on my hair, my skin is chalk white, there are smears of crimson blood over my cheeks and my pyjamas are in tatters. I don’t think I have ever looked as grotesque as I do now.
My eyes wander over the empty blood pouches scattered all over the carpet and my blood stained bed covers. I am going to have to tidy up.
3.56 p.m. I feel a bit better after a shower, fresh clothes and a tidy of my flat.
I have even stripped my bed and washed my sheets. Sometimes I surprise myself with my domestic skills. My kitchen is spotless and my living room looks welcoming again.
Emily’s secret has been playing on my mind. Has she found the man of her dreams? If she is coming round to gloat about how perfect her human life is I may end up doing something I regret.
8.09 p.m. There is a knock at my door, followed by a squeal of laugher and uncontrollable giggling.
I open the door. Emily, her ex boyfriend – Viktor the Russian doctor and Boris, the guy who turned me into a vampire, stare back at me.
Standing in my doorway, I look in horror at all three of them.
“Sasha I thought you’d want to see Boris again!” exclaims Emily, grinning at Boris and then turning back to wink at me.
Anger starts to course through my veins. My eyes are burning. I can’t believe he is here.
Emily glares at me. “You could at least say thanks Sasha!”
I notice her twinkling blue eyes have lost their sparkle. They are darker now.
Emily sweeps away a runaway strand of blonde hair from her face and turns to look at Boris. “I did warn you. She has not been the same since you left.”
Boris remains silent and I stifle a growl.
“We are going to leave you now!” gushes Emily, pressing her tiny body against Viktor’s giant frame.
She reaches up and peppers his muscular neck with kisses. “You and Boris are not the only ones who have some catching up to do.”
Viktor watches me as Emily kisses him. A shiver runs down my spine and the fluorescent lights in the hallway start to flicker.
“Why don’t we stay and talk to the beautiful Sasha?” he growls, before wetting his lips with a monster red tongue.
Emily shakes her head and turns his face towards her. “Remember what we had planned?” she whispers.
In the wavering light Viktor grins at me and leads Emily away. Nausea rises up through my throat as I watch his thick arm drape over her shoulders.
Boris is still looking at me. He hasn’t moved.
“Can I talk to you?” he asks, calmly.
I ignore him. “Emily!” I cry out down the corridor. She looks back. Viktor whispers in her ear. I can hear her giggle, like an infatuated school girl.
“Sasha,” urges Boris.
“Go away,” I say, drowning under a wave of anxiety for my friend. There is something about Viktor which I don’t like. Emily’s first date with Viktor, ended up back at her flat. The next day she talked about the things he did to her. She laughed them off saying Russian men were known for being passionate. Listening to Viktor’s actions made me feel uncomfortable and protectively put my arms around her. She shrugged me off and urged me to organise a second date with Boris.
I have often wondered whether Viktor is a vampire like Boris. Emily would have told me if he was, she doesn’t keep secrets.
Boris fidgets beside me. “I have come back to talk to you…..please hear me out Sasha.”
I snap my head towards him. “You have done enough damage!”
He raises his hands in surrender. “Look I’m sorry…”
The thought of showing Boris just how much I hate him makes my heart beat faster. I push open my door and walk into my living room. My body trembles with rage.
A red filter slides over my eyes and I can feel my fangs against the wall of my mouth. Something terrible is building inside me. He ruined my life and he is going to pay. The door closes behind him.
In a flash I leap into the air, snarling and growling. I circle him from above as he stands with his thick mop of black hair lowered.
“I am sorry for what I did to you Sasha,” he says, quietly.
I snatch a tall red vase from the top shelf of my bookcase and hurl it at him, “Not good enough!”
It explodes at his feet. He remains frozen to the spot.
With a growl I drop and run at him.
“You destroyed my life!” I scream, pushing him against the wall. My picture frames rattle and crash to the floor. I stare at my hands in surprise. My newfound strength never fails to amaze me.
Boris lifts his head. “I was desperate. You must know what it is like to get those….awful…urges!” he croaks.
“I hate being a vampire!” I hiss, grabbing a flower pot and throwing at him. He ducks and watches it smash into tiny pieces on my varnished floor.
With pleading eyes and hands held up in defence he says, “I hate it too!”
Grabbing him by the shoulders I launch him against the bookcase. He is caught under a shower of heavy, dust clad books. “You turned me into a monster,” I snarl.
He staggers out from under a pile of books as tears of frustration and anger start to stream down my face. Walking purposefully towards me he throws his arms around my shoulders. I struggle but he holds me tight, pressing my head against him.
“I am so sorry for what I did to you Sasha” he whispers, gently rocking us both.
“Where have you been? Why did you vanish?” I whisper, lifting my head for a second and seeing a flash of blue and silver at my living room window.
“I had to get away. You were my first….bite. I felt so guilty,” Boris whispers, nuzzling into my hair.
I glance at the window again. My eyes must have been deceiving me. Henry is gone. I bury my face into Boris’s shoulder and cry until his denim jacket is damp.
“I have come back to look after you, my precious Sasha,” he says, stroking my hair, as a dark shadow sweeps across my living room floor.
There will be more from Sasha next week!