15: The Visitor
I sat down on the edge of the bed and waited. When I didn’t hear her footsteps right away, I became madder than I already was. I got up and grabbed the remote to my TV. I turned it on and pulled up Netflix. Scrolling through my list, I couldn’t find anything good enough to irritate her with, so I went to the smart TV menu and pulled up YouTube. I had a playlist of Visual Kei videos I loved to watch. She hated loud rock music. Pop was fine. Country was ideal, but angry guitars she couldn’t stand. Even worse, she loathed music she couldn’t understand the words to. So I hit play and the first one came on. Incubus by Acid Black Cherry. Ah, it was perfect. I turned the volume as loud as I could. Take that, I thought. I wasn’t even sure why I was mad at her anymore, just that I was.
It didn’t take long. The song was only about half way through, and I was dancing and jumping around the room screaming at the top of my lungs, “Incubus, break me! Break everything, even this world!” It wasn’t a direct translation. I’d gotten it off the net somewhere, and it served good enough for now. A knock came at my door, quiet and reserved. I turned the music up louder and ignored it. I even kicked over my desk chair and wastebasket so she’d think I was really breaking stuff.
The knock came louder next time, and when I saw the handle trying to turn, I really got furious. I wanted so bad to slap her now. I bounded across the room, unlocked the door and threw it open. “Leave me alone!” I screamed, my open hand already arcing towards her exposed face. Except it wasn’t her.
The figure caught my wrist before it made contact. “If you wish me to leave you alone I will, though I’m hoping that isn’t the case.”
“Oh my god, Haru. I’m sorry. I thought you were…”
“It’s okay.” He let go of my wrist. “You do have a pretty nasty swing.”
I blushed a little, embarrassed.
He raised one eyebrow. “I’m talking about your slapping hand, of course.”
I blushed even more. To think he may have noticed any other swing I might possess was enough for my whole face to turn cherry red.
“You invited me over, remember? I realize you may not have meant so soon but I wanted to apologize.”
“Do you open every greeting with an apology?”
He smiled. “It seems like it, doesn’t it?”
We stood there, awkward for a minute, me in the doorway, and he still out there in the hall.
“You can wait in the living room downstairs,“ I finally said. “I’ll be down in a minute. Just let me…”
“I can’t come in your room?”
“Um, well…I’ve never had…I mean I’m not sure…”
“Thanks,“ he replied, and before I knew it, he had glided past me and into my bedroom. “Oh wow, this is so cool.” He looked around the room at all the J-Rock posters and manga pictures I had plastered on the walls. He picked up the remote and turned the TV volume down, at least enough so we could be heard. “Yasu is great,“ he said pointing to the Acid Black Cherry video. “Wish I had his clothes.”
For a fleeting moment I had a vision of myself dressing him in those clothes, but I forced it away, not sure if the image was from my own head or his.
“Did you draw all these?” He was standing at my desk and leaning towards the mirror where I had taped some hand drawn manga to its surface.
“Yes, I did,“ I replied a little warily. The picture I had drawn of him in class was among them. He noticed it. Though it wasn’t accurate, it did capture some of his features, mostly his cheeks and the shape of his nose. I had drawn it from the memory of seeing him look up at the stars, so that’s about all I could make out of his face at the time. Still, he seemed to know it was him. I thought he was going to ask me about it, put me on the spot or something, but he just smiled and turned towards me.
“Well, as I said, I came over to say I’m sorry.”
“Sorry for what?”
“Breaking down on you like that today. I’m afraid my first impression is that of a cry baby.”
Before I knew what was coming out of my mouth, I said, “I like boys who cry.”
He gave me a curious look. “Oh, are you a masochist?”
“No,“ I giggled. “I just like boys who aren’t afraid to show their feelings.”
“Hm. Well, I have lots of feelings to show.” He looked at me, making direct eye contact. His dark eyes were so beautiful. I had never seen anything so deep and expressive. There was an intensity that screamed loneliness, and in that moment I wanted nothing more than to take that from him. I backed away from him, a little frightened of my own feelings, which up until that moment I thought I had a handle on.
“If you want me to,“ he added quietly.
I must have been in a dreamy daze because I heard myself say, “If I want you to what?”
“To show my feelings more.”
“Oh.” I shook my head as if cobwebs had taken up residence inside it. “I’m sorry I was … um…daydreaming, I guess.”
“I wish I could have my own dreams. Maybe you could share me yours.”
“I..I don’t know what you mean, but…”
He laughed. “Forget it. I don’t know what I mean either. I’m just trying to..um..be your friend.”
I looked down at the floor so he wouldn’t see my smile. “I’d like that, “ I said.
He nodded. “Cool.” Then he smiled, and I froze. For just a moment I saw them. His fangs. He didn’t have a big kind of smile that made his whole mouth open, and when he laughed his lips barely parted, so I hadn’t noticed them before. But for a moment I thought I saw them at either side of his jaw, sharp to the point and glistening white. Self-consciously, he closed his mouth.
“Sorry, “ I said. “I didn’t mean to stare or anything. I’ve just never seen…”
“It’s okay.” He nervously smiled, his cheeks almost trembling, as he showed me again. “Please don’t be afraid.”
“I’m trying,“ I admitted. “This is all so weird. Like I’m dreaming.”
“You can touch them if you want.” He opened his mouth wide so that I could touch the tips with my fingers, but that idea freaked me out just a little too much.
“No, that’s okay. I know they’re real.”
He closed his mouth. He looked hurt at first, as if I didn’t trust him. I don’t if that was the case. All I know is one doesn’t just put their hand inside a vampire’s mouth. No matter how flipping hot they are. And he was that. In fact, he wasn’t just hot; he was like a living drug. Just standing close to him was intoxicating. I don’t think he realized just how beautifully intense he was. He wasn’t trying to hit on me, I don’t think, or using some kind of supernatural power to influence my emotions. No, this was me, completely enamored by this boy whom I barely knew but wanted to know much more. My thoughts flashed to what my mom had said about good girls making mistakes and that seemed to break the spell he was unconsciously weaving.
“I better check on mom,“ I said. “We had a fight.”
“I know,“ he said. “I heard her talking to my uncle in the backyard. That’s how I knew you were alone, so I came over.”
“You wanted to be alone with me?” I asked.
I thought I was going to cry. No boy had ever said that to me before. “Why?“ I asked.
“What do you mean, why?”
“Why do you want to be alone with me?”
“Be-cause I like you. You’re bright, and fun, sweet…beautiful.”
Again, another first. A couple boys had said I was pretty before, but I’d never been beautiful. “You mean that?” I asked, dreading the possibility this was another of his just kidding moments.
He smiled. “Yes, I do.”
I wanted to tell him how beautiful I thought he was, but something inside was warning me no. This was going too fast. Way too fast. The first time we spoke was last night, and here it was not even twenty four hours later and we were having a personal conversation in my bedroom that danced around being flirty. This couldn’t be real. This had to be something else. If something felt too good to be true, that meant it usually was.
He seemed to detect my uneasiness; to know I was having a war within myself, and so he did what I’d never seen a boy do…ever. He retreated to his corner with no questions asked. “Well, hey look,” he said. “I know your mom will be back soon and you’ll want to try and see what can be worked out. I hope everything goes all right. I’ll be around later if you want to talk about it. I’ll count the stars until you get there.”
He gave me a little wink that was so endearing I wanted to implore him to stop being so damn cute. But I didn’t. Instead I just winked back and watched him leave. It was easy to remember this wasn’t going to be the usual kind of friendship when his way of leaving was right out the window. Literally. I guess he just didn’t want to run into mom, because moments later, she was at my bedroom door with tears in her eyes. She didn’t say a word, and neither of us said we were sorry. Instead we just stood there looking at each other until she reached out to hug me. I let her because I knew it would make her feel better. It made me feel better, too.
To be continued…
“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.