Episode 4: Nora’s Rumour
I rode Angela’s bus home. Even after skipping sixth period, she was still pissed about the Trumps, and like always, the conversation was along the lines of “I should have kicked her ass” or “if she does that again, I’m going to stomp her.” Of course, both of us knew that was just big talk. You couldn’t just go up and punch Amanda without fighting the rest of them too. And even if you did manage to take them all on and beat them, your glory wouldn’t last long. In fact, they would do their best to turn it into humiliation. That’s what they did to me earlier in the year when I had a run-in with Chrissy. So I told her on the ride home it was best to leave it alone. Angela may have talked big but she understood.
“Well anyway, thanks for catching me. You’re always there for me.”
I smiled. “You’d do the same thing for me.”
“You never did tell me the anime.”
“Your drawing. What anime the guy was from.”
“Oh that,“ I laughed. “You just don’t let it go, do you?”
“It’s a new one.”
“Okay, so what’s it called?”
I knew I couldn’t keep this up for long. I had no choice. “It’s called, I have a hot new neighbor.”
Her eyes grew wide as saucers. “No shit? You’re kidding me.”
“I just caught a glimpse of him last night. I made up most of the picture because I couldn’t see him very clearly.”
Her eyes got even wider. “Were you peeking in his window, perv?”
“No, he was on the back porch staring up into the sky.”
“Well hell, I’ll come over and keep him grounded if you won’t.”
I laughed, shaking my head. “I bet you would.”
“You going to talk to him?”
“I don’t know,“ I said. “We’ll see.”
“We’ll see? What’s wrong with you? Everybody at school already thinks you’re gay. Get the hook up and prove them wrong.”
Leave it to Angela to downplay her Trumps incident by referring to mine. It was the first party of the school year. Earlier that week I had called Chrissy Trump a skanky bitch after she tripped me up in the cafeteria. A girl at the party that I didn’t even know came up to me to say she thought that was the coolest thing ever and she wanted to talk to me outside. I didn’t think anything of it and went outside with her. Next thing I knew she had shoved me into the pool and dived in after me. As I came up out of the water she threw her arms around my neck and kissed me. It all happened so fast and I was gasping for breath so it was easy for her to take advantage. Before I could get away, The Trumps had appeared with their cell phone cameras going in rapid mode. I shoved the girl away from me but it was too late. Next day it was all over Facebook, Instagram, and twitter; me all wet and wild-eyed with some girl shoving her tongue down my throat.
“You just had to bring that up, didn’t you?” I said to Angela as we got off at her bus stop. “You know that was a set up.”
“Yes I know. But the fact remains everyone thinks you don’t like boys. And you have never had a steady boyfriend, unless you count Charlie Simkins back in the seventh grade.”
“You want to get slugged, don’t you? None of that was my fault.”
“Okay, so prove everyone wrong. Hit on your hot neighbor.”
I knew this was her way of daring me, but knowing Angela, I also knew this was a way for her to position herself if I failed. I wasn’t about to tell her I thought he was a vampire. She’d probably try to bite him back. I sighed. “Look, I’ll introduce myself and we’ll see what happens.”
“What do you mean, see what happens? “
“It means, I’m not going to throw myself at him like some lovesick fool I know.”
“I’m not lovesick, just desperate. Which is what you should be. Tomorrow I’ll be expecting to hear his name. I bet it’s something sexy like Ryan or Tatum. Or better yet Gray. Omg.”
With that she nearly danced up her sidewalk to the front door. “Don’t count on it,” I muttered, wondering what in the hell I’d gotten myself into.
The walk home from Angela’s was about two miles. It usually took about an hour, but this time I went a little slower. I needed to unwind and think things through. To rise to Angela’s challenge would mean it would have to be tonight. If I drug my feet she’d give me hell when I didn’t give her his name next time I saw her. I berated myself for even trying to please her. If I went over to meet this guy it needed to be on my terms not hers. And again, she didn’t suspect what I did. She wouldn’t be the one who would have to kill the bloodsucker. Damn it, why was life so complicated? Why couldn’t I just meet a guy I liked and not have to kill him? I was jumping ahead of myself I knew. Chances are he wouldn’t be friendly, or perhaps he didn’t like girls, or just flat out didn’t like me. By the time I got home, I had already convinced myself my whole life was a disaster and always would be.
The sun was just starting to set as I threw my book bag on the front porch. There was still plenty of light out and if I was going to wait for the boy next door to come outside I might be waiting awhile. I could go inside my house and read my latest Manga acquisition, or perhaps watch some Netflix, or just sit on the porch and wait for the undead. Or I could be bold and go over right now and knock on the door. If he was a vampire, he wouldn’t answer, unless he had one of them human caretakers to protect his resting place in the daylight hours. In that case, I would just have some slobbering Renfield to fend off. If that happened, I could just holler for mom. She was probably sunbathing in the backyard with a vodka in her hand anyway.
I looked over to the house next door. I didn’t detect any movement in the yard or behind its drawn curtains. “Oh to hell with it,“ I mumbled, and headed across the lawn.
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.