The morning sun filtering through my window awoke me. I’ve always been slow to wake with my head kind of swimmy for a few moments, but this morning was different. It was as if everything was new to me, even waking up. I lifted my head off the pillow and stretched. I was in my bed, still dressed in my oversized Hyde t-shirt and jeans. I tried to remember how I had gotten here, but it was all fuzzy. I must have walked home and just plopped down in my bed from exhaustion. I got up and stepped to the window to look out at Haru’s house next door. There was no sign of him, or of anyone, over there.
“Good morning,“ a voice said from behind me, and I noticed something I hadn’t before. Haru was sitting backwards in the chair at my desk, arms draped across the back and his head resting on them.
I didn’t yell or anything, but it did startle me. By reflex I covered myself, though I knew I was already fully clothed. “You scared me, Haru,“ I explained.
He smiled. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to. I was just watching you as you slept.”
“Watching me, why?”
“Because I’m yours now.” He tilted his head in a curious gesture. “Aren’t I?”
I had never imagined anyone as gorgeous as him would want to be mine, to be bonded to me in such a romantic fashion. It was a bit strange, this feeling of having him as mine. I couldn’t get my head around it.
“Do you want to be?” I found myself asking.
He got up from the chair so slow I thought time had come to a crawl, just so I could savor the moment of seeing him walking across the room to me. The top of his shirt was unbuttoned and I found my eyes admiring where his collar ended and his chest began.
“Everything I want to be,“ he said, “is right here.” His hand rose to my face and he extended his finger to touch my eyelid. There was this heated sensation that washed over me, just by having his fingertip touch my lashes. I blinked, and in the briefest of moments when my eyes were closed, his lips touched my eyelids in a tender kiss.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door. “Nora, are you up?”
Haru took a step back with an embarrassed smirk across his face. Then he opened his mouth and answered her. “Yes Mom, I’m up.” The voice that came out of his mouth was not his; it was a mimic of mine, even down to the agitated tone I usually took with my mother. At first it freaked me out, hearing my voice come out of his lovely mouth, and I put my hand up to my face to keep from giggling.
Mom couldn’t tell the difference. She thought it was me. “Okay, well I have to head out. Can you get to school okay?”
Haru opened his mouth to answer and I covered it with my own hands. “Okay mom, that’s fine,” I said. “Have a nice day.”
After I heard her descend the stairs and the front door close, I took my hands off his mouth. “Are you trying to get me in trouble? Mom would have a cow if she found a boy in my room. Were you here all night?”
He smiled. “For most of it. I had to go do something, but I came back to check on you. I just thought I’d like to watch over you. “
I blushed. It was so sweet to have a boy want to do that. And I said as much.
“It’s nice,“ he said, “to be so enamored, so captivated, that just to be away from you a little while is torture. I watched you sleeping, and when the sun came up and crossed your face I counted all your freckles in the light.”
I knew I had freckles, but they weren’t very prominent. Or at least I didn’t think so. There were some light ones across the bridge of my nose, maybe a few on my forehead.
“Fifty-two,“ he said. “You have fifty-two freckles on your face. They make you unique and beautiful. There is no one that the sun has painted more wonderful than you. I can only imagine how they must be on your shoulders.”
I turned a couple shades of red. Not because there were in fact freckles on my shoulders, but that he had thought about seeing them.
He grinned. “I’m sorry. I’m embarrassing you. I’ll try to keep such romantic thoughts to myself.”
“No, it’s okay. Please don’t.”
“Do you have romantic thoughts?” he asked.
“Right now I do,“ I confessed.
He took a few steps closer to me. “Do you really have to go to school today?”
He pursed his lips and nodded his head. “Yes, I guess you should. But tonight…would you accompany me somewhere?”
“It’s a surprise. Do you like surprises?”
“I do, if they involve you. Last night was a surprise.”
He smiled. “The most pleasant one ever.”
I turned from him so he wouldn’t see the fifty shades of pink that crossed my face. “I..I guess ..I should get ready for school.”
“That’s fine. I’ll see you tonight then.” He walked over to the door. “I’ll let myself out.” He stepped out into the hallway and then thought of something. “I know it’s an odd thing to ask, but would it be okay that while you’re at school I use your shower? Something is wrong with ours and I don’t know if the plumber will get out here today.”
“Um, yes I suppose so. I’ll leave the door unlocked.”
“Cool. Thanks, Nora.” He stepped back into the room and kissed my forehead before heading out once more.
There are three things I thought of while riding the bus to school. One was that even a kiss on the forehead from Haru was maddening enough to be sensual. Perhaps that’s why he made it quick, so as to not get so caught up in emotion that I never make it to school.
Second was, I never had liked my name much, but the way he spoke it made it sound so beautiful. There was something about the lilting tone of his voice, soft and gentle, but with resolve and authority, like I imagined angels might have once spoken to men.
And last, I couldn’t get the fantasy out of my mind of Haru in my shower, the water cascading down his bare, hairless chest, as he lathered his long blond hair with my shampoo.
These thoughts, the last one in particular, played over and over until I got off the bus and was greeted by Angela, whom I knew could see the change in me. In fact, I think she said it best with her first words. “Omg girl, you’re glowing.”
I felt like I was glowing, as if the butterflies of last night had turned into fireflies and lit me up from within. I didn’t even feel like I was the same person as the one I was a day before. Haru’s attention and delicate kisses had taken root in my soul. His smile, his touch, the way he had felt lying on top of me in the grass. We had been fully clothed, but for me it was an intimacy that made me feel naked and bare, as if he were a gentle sculptor and I was the untouched clay he was molding into something beautiful. But I couldn’t say these things to my friend. “Oh, really?” was all I could muster.
As we headed to first class, I noticed things anew. No longer did I walk with my head down or blinders on my eyes. Now I felt confident, and in silence I dared anyone to mention the Facebook rumors about my sexuality. “Oh yeah?,“ I would reply. “Well hey, I made out with a boy last night, so shut your face.” No one said anything, but that’s what I would have come back with if they did.
We went to my locker first. I half expected either another vicious note or perhaps Luhan waiting, but neither of those were there. I grabbed my first period textbook and got ready to close the door when Angela said, “Hey, here comes that girl.”
At first I thought she meant one of the Trumps, but I quickly realized she meant Chinatsu. The statuesque vampire was dressed to the nines. Short skirt. Tight designer top. Fishnet stockings. Leather boots. And in her wake trailed at least ten boys vying for her attention. She came up to me and gave me a hug, pulling my ear close to hers. “Now this is the curse of the vampire,” she whispered so low only I could hear. I wasn’t sure what she meant, until she turned around and nodded at her fan boys. I laughed. After all, most girls just wanted one or two boys to take notice, and here she had almost a dozen of them falling over themselves just to get her to make eye contact with them. She looked at one, and held his gaze for a few moments. When she turned back to me, he passed out and would have hit the tiled floor if his friends hadn’t caught him in time.
“Um, how was your date?” I asked, trying not to gawk at the whole scene.
“Oh girl, it was a bust. I went back and he was gone. Most nerd boys will wait forever, but I guess I found his limit.”
She was right. I could see Colin as the long suffering wait forever type, and with her looking as beautiful as she was I couldn’t imagine him standing her up.
“Have you seen him since?” I asked.
“No, I guess I scared him off.”
This was odd. Colin never missed school. He’d had perfect attendance since the sixth grade, maybe even sooner. “Maybe we should check on him, “ I said to Angela.
She rolled her eyes. “No way. Don’t you remember how much he has been crammed up my butt? Chi, you can have him.”
The Japanese girl smiled. “Oh, I’d take him. You American girls don’t know what you’re missing, chasing after jocks and skaters. Well, except you Nora.” She winked at me as if to say she knew about last night, and then turned on her heels to face her admirers again. “Oh my,“ she said in mock innocence, looking down at the boy who had passed out. “Does someone need CPR?”
I thought every boy in the hall would fall down.
I had to give it to Angela. She made it all the way through first period without asking the question that was burning a hole in her mind. In second period however, it became too much to bear.
“Okay, give. What happened last night?”
“What do you mean?” I teased.
“Come on Nora, you’re walking on cloud two thousand and fifteen today. Something happened, didn’t it?”
I couldn’t hold back the smile. “Yes.”
I took a deep breath before telling her. “Haru kissed me.”
“Oh my God! Really?” She seemed to bite back the urge to squeal. “How long?”
“How long what?”
“How long did you kiss? Was it a little one? Big one? Tongues? What?”
“Um…well it was a pretty long kiss.” I hesitated a moment for effect. “With tongues.”
“Oh my god… I’m getting the image in my head right now, “ she said.
“In the dark,“ I added.
She looked at me and grinned.
“On the grass.”
“What? No way. You mean, like him on top of you?”
I nodded my head.
“Slut. Did he try stuff with you?”
“What? No. He was sweet. We just lay there making out. He didn’t try any funny stuff.”
“Well, he will. He may be hot looking, but he’s still a guy. You better prepare yourself.”
I shook my head. “Your head is always in the gutter.”
“Well, you better get yours there too, and drag your body in there with it.”
“He’s not like that, Ang.”
“Okay, whatever. So what happened after making out on the grass?”
“Well, he just walked me home and spent the night.”
I thought she was going to choke. “Spent the night?!”
“Yeah,“ I said with a shy, teasing grin. I was starting to enjoy this in the same way the madman gloats over his plan to take over the world.
“In your bed???”
“Well, no. He sat in the chair and watched over me as I slept.”
“Aww man, you lucky bitch. I’m dying here. Please tell me you found out he has a brother.”
“Nope. Just him.”
She shook her head. “I hate you,“ she whispered with a joking grin on her face.
I looked at my watch and felt a little devilish. I sighed with a heavy breath.
“What?” she asked, as I knew she would.
“Well,” I said, glancing at my watch again, “right about now he’s probably taking a shower in my bathroom.”
Her eyes grew wide as saucers. “No freaking way! Tell me you have a webcam.”
“Angela!” I scolded. “Do you have to be a pervert all the time?”
“Um…here let me think….yes. Yes I do.”
We both laughed so loud the teacher had enough and sent us to the office. We would have got detention for disrupting class, but seeing there was only a week of school left, the principal let us slide. Instead she sent us to study hall for the remainder of the period, where Angela continued to ask me every question she could think of. When I told her how he had lifted me and carried me down the porch steps, I thought she was going to fall out in the floor like Chinatsu’s admirer.
The rest of the school day dragged by. Because I was dying to see Haru again, anticipating nighttime and whatever he wanted to show me, time almost slowed to a crawl. I should have known that by the end of the day Angela would have a plan of some sort, but when it came I still wasn’t prepared.
It was outside fifth period when she asked me, “Do you still have that Babymetal t-shirt I let you borrow?”
“Um, yeah. It’s in my closet.”
“I need it,” she said.
“Okay, I’ll bring it to your house tomorrow.”
“No, I need it tonight. I’m going to the club. Friday night and all. And then Saturday is…”
“Yeah, I know. I’m going to miss the show, don’t tell me.”
“So, can I get my shirt after school?”
I was reluctant but agreed. After all, I knew the reason she wanted to come over. A chance to glimpse Haru in my shower, or at least from my bedroom window. She wasn’t fooling nobody. I told myself, and her as well, chances are Haru and his shower time at the Williams House would be long over by the time we got there. I was hoping he would be long gone and sleeping in a coffin somewhere, waiting for the night like a real vampire.
I very nearly made it through a school day without trouble, but as Angela said, it was Friday. We were heading out to catch her bus, when she grabbed my arm. “Uh oh, Trump alert,“ she said.
Coming around the side of the building were the two remaining Trumps. Amanda must have still been nursing her broken nose. They came up to us so close we could smell their hooker perfume.
“Your Kung Fu girlfriend isn’t always going to be around to save you,“ Kari said.
“Even if it takes all summer,“ Chrissie added. “You are dead meat.”
“Being dead meat is better than being dead weight,“ I snapped back. Angela’s jaw dropped. She couldn’t believe I said that. Neither could I. I must have gotten instant nerve during all that kissing the night before.
“What did you say?” Kari asked, astounded.
“It must be hard for you to walk today,“ I replied. “Seeing its Amanda who usually carries both of you.”
Again, a shocker from my lips. The boldness was starting to frighten me a little, then I saw both of them clenching their fists. If they launched at me together, I was dead meat for sure. But, they didn’t attack. I guess they thought it more prudent to bide their time and wait for their fearless leader.
“You’re talking big now,“ Kari said. “We’ll see how big you are this summer. We’ll catch up to you, maybe at a party, maybe at the pool…”
“Now that’s what I can’t wait for,“ someone said from behind us. “To see you sexy ladies at the pool.”
We all looked. Luhan was standing there, running his fingers through his hair as if primping for a beauty contest. He looked at me and grinned. “Oh, and you too, Nora,“ he added. He glanced at Angela and raised an eyebrow. “You could take them all,“ he whispered with a flirty wink.
Even though I welcomed the intrusion, I didn’t want the Trumps to think I always needed someone to save me. “It’s okay, Luhan. I don’t need your help.”
He put his hand to his chest as if he were hurt or wounded. “I wasn’t coming to help,“ he said. “I was just going to watch and see how you do with those new moves Chinatsu taught you. Have at it.” He reached in his back pocket and brought out a tiny dustpan and brush. “I’ll sweep up the pieces.”
Chrissie and Kari looked at each other, not sure how to take all this. I wondered if I should go into a martial arts stance to further freak them out, but I didn’t. In a way I felt sorry for them, but not too much. They glared at me, and I knew that once Amanda was back, it was going to be on. For now though, they were backing down, saving their retaliation for another day.
“Humph,” Kari snorted, and turned on her heel and walked away. Chrissie spared me a little longer look, and then she grinned. Deep down, I think she knew it was all a ruse. I didn’t know any new fighting moves. She smirked and followed her friend. I knew I was going to regret all this, and have to duck and hide all summer vacation, unless I put some action behind my new bold mouth.
“Vampire Boys Of Summer “2017 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.