Though students streamed out the front doors of Oakdale High School, sophomore Emma Van Brandt paused on the wide stone steps to pull her glittery pink phone from her bag. When three students walked into her, she deigned to step to the railing. Her eyes sparkled with excitement when she realized that she had a text from Charles Wessex.
Her joy turned to puzzlement as she read the words that he’d texted her.
i think u should no i’m not like other guys.
i don’t drink human blood, and i don’t burst into
flames outside, but i’m a vampire. If that means
ur not interested NEmore i understand, but u had
Emma leaned heavily against the cool stone of the railing and watched the other kids rush past like a school of salmon on their way to their mating grounds. Dammit, she thought, trying not to cry. If Charlie wasn’t interested, why couldn’t he have just blown her off like a normal guy? “I think of you as a sister” was cutting, but at least it was less insulting than pretending to be an escaped mental patient. Which, she decided, he might very well be. She knew so little about his life before he showed up in her history class three weeks ago.
“You okay, Emma?” A voice said, making Emma jump a foot. She looked up to see her friend Reilly staring at her with concern.
“I’m fine. I’m just indulging in a little self-pity. How come it seems like I’ll never find a great guy like Grace has?” When their parents died last year in a terrible car accident, Emma’s older sister took on responsibility for her. The twenty-three year old nursing student didn’t let her obligations ruin her social life, so her boyfriend was a semi-permanent fixture in the Von Brandt house.
Reilly looked confused. “I thought you didn’t like Harold. You said he’s really hairy.”
“Well, he is a little hairy. But I think he’s just Italian.”
“That’s kind of racist, Emma.”
“You also said he howls in his sleep when he spends the night.” Reilly pointed out.
“Yeah, about that… When I said ‘sleep’ I didn’t mean he and Grace were literally sleeping.” Emma replied.
“But other than that he’s a nice enough guy.” Emma added.
“Wait, who are we really talking about?” Reilly wanted to know. “We must be talking about a not-nice guy if you’re looking for someone to measure up to hairy Harold. Which guy are we mad at?”
Emma stared off in the distance and refused to name Charles as the culprit.