Chapter 5

At first, I thought he was joking. I laughed again. ‘No, seriously.’ Then I looked at his face. Ben was looking at me as if I were the joke.

‘I’m a vampire,’ Ben just said. No laugh came, no smile, not even a flinch.

I leant even further back against the door. ‘You’re having me on,’ I said, but this time I wasn’t laughing or smiling. ‘There’s no such things as vampires. We’ve been doing them in class and they’re a myth.’

This time he did laugh. ‘Myth? There’s nothing mythical about us.’ Ben’s laugh seemed evil and slightly creepy.

I turned to face the door. The door to the bathroom opened. ‘Tally? You still in here?’ It was Jenny, come to check on me.

‘She can’t know you’re here,’ I said to Ben as I turned round.

‘Ya think?!’ he whispered.

‘I’m okay Jen,’ I called out. ‘I just need a bit more time to myself.’

‘Oh, okay,’ she replied, though she didn’t seem convinced.

Ben opened his mouth to speak but my hand shot over his mouth to stop him.

‘Well, if you’re sure,’ Jen then said before leaving.

Ben removed my hand from his mouth but kept hold of it. ‘How’d you know that?’

‘She always does it. I live with her,’ I said, looking at our hands. ‘Excuse me.’

‘Oh.’ He let go quickly.

‘But if you really are a vampire, as you claim to be. Why are you following me? Why am I so special?’ I was really confused.  

Ben leant past me to open the door. For a moment I thought he was going to put his arms around me and don’t get me wrong, I would have liked it but he didn’t. ‘You will become like us.’ he whispered into my ear. ‘Remember to call me.’ Very quickly, I felt his hand slip into my pocket. He gave me a peck on the cheek before walking out of the cubicle.

I stood still for a moment, then realised that we were in the girls bathroom. I shot out the cubicle and caught him before he reached the door. ‘You can’t go out the way, at least not now. There’s about 20 people in that waiting room, half of them being my family.’ I grabbed his hand and pulled him over to the window. ‘Out you go.’ I pointed.

He raised one eyebrow at me. ‘You have got to be kidding me,’ he said.

I just shook my head and then smiled at him. ‘I’m really not.’ I already felt like I could joke around with him, even though I was believing the impossible. In fact, was I believing it? But surely, vampires and things didn’t exist. I mean, they can’t. It was physically impossible that anyone could become a vampire, let alone live a life like one. The closest anyone has ever been to being a vampire is dressing up for Halloween.

‘I am not climbing out a window.’

‘Fine,’ I waltzed over to the door and opened it. ‘Out you go then.’

Again, he raised one eyebrow.

I sighed and took a deep breath. I was determined to keep calm, even though he was doing my head in. ‘If you won’t climb through a window or go through the door, then how the hell did you get in here?!’

He smiled again. I loved his smile. It was so calming. It made me want to smile. I didn’t really feel like smiling but I couldn’t help it. ‘Please, just go. You know this is bad timing, I don’t need any more things to worry about.’ I put my head in my hands. ‘Don’t do this to me,’ I whispered. Before I knew it, I was crying again.

I felt an arm around me. ’It’ll be okay,’ Ben said quietly. He was stroking my hair. The only thing I did was bury my head in his coat and cry. I don’t know what came over me but in his arms I felt safe. I so wanted to stay there but I knew I had to get back to the others.

Ben suddenly lifted my head. ‘It will be okay,’ he said again. He smiled, yet again. I hate it when he smiles but I love it at the same time.

‘Promise?’ I managed to squeak.

‘Promise.’ He kissed the top my head before saying, ‘You better go back to your family now. They’ll want you back.’

‘But how will you get out?’

‘I’ll find a way,’ he smiled and winked.

I smiled back but only slightly. I turned and took a deep breathe before going back into the waiting room. I saw my family in the corner and walked over to them smiling. ‘Heard anything?’ I asked as I approached.

Phil just shook his head. He was looking like I felt. I felt ill, angry, upset, happy, and calm all at the same time. This was not the greatest feeling in the world, I can tell you that much. I really hoped that Mum was going to be alright. She was all that I had left of my Dad. This may seem weird but I could feel his presence in the waiting room, as if he were waiting too.

I went and sat next to Terri. She had brought her PSP with her. I didn’t have the chance to pick anything up. As a matter of fact, I hadn’t eaten since lunch. The thought of this made me hungry. ’I’m off to grab a sandwich,’ I said after a while. ’Anyone wanna come?’

‘Yeah, I will.’ Terri got up, giving her PSP to Demetrius. ‘Don’t break it, like you did last time.’

‘I didn’t,’ he argued. ‘It broke by itself,’ he called after us.

Terri laughed but then turned to me. ‘Are you sure you’re okay, Tally? You seem a bit distant at the moment.’

I sighed. ‘Yeah, I’m just worried about Mum.’ Then I added in my head. ‘And Kyle, and Ben.’

‘Good,’ replied Terri. ‘When Jen came back from the rest room, she said that she heard you talking to someone. I think she’s just paranoid. Jen is really worried. She was nearly crying after you went.’

By this time, we had reached the hospital canteen. ‘The only person she should be worrying about it Mum. Don’t worry about me. I’m fine. Grab me a cheese toasty, please. I need to sit down.’

I found a spare table in the far corner of the room. Immediately I placed my head in my hands. Why did everything have to come at once? And why now? Why not when I finish school in July? Why not when I’m 25? Why now? I’m only 16 and I have my whole life ahead of me. I then noticed Terri looking round for me. I waved and she came over.

‘Here you go.’ Terri placed the plate on the table.

I smiled and thanked her. ‘I don’t think we’ll be going to school tomorrow.’

Terri laughed a little. ‘At least there’s an up side to this whole thing.’

‘Yeah.’ I started to eat then. I trusted Terri. In fact, I trusted all my siblings, but I couldn’t talk to them about this. Any of it.

I finished my toasty in silence. Terri kept looking round at people. She was taking this very well. She is definitely the tom-boy of the family. It showed with her hair and the clothes she wore. She had short mousy brown hair, the same colour as mine and Mum’s. And no matter when the weather, she always wore jeans or shorts. There was hardly anything girly about Terri.

My phone started to vibrate in my pocket. I looked at it, hoping it wasn’t Kyle. And it wasn’t. It was Phil. ‘There is some news about your mum. Come quick.’ it said.

‘Terri, we gotta go.’ I almost ran all the way to the waiting room, with Terri behind me.

When we got there, a nurse was sitting next to Phil. He didn’t look at all happy. ’What’s happened?’ Terri asked.  

Phil nodded at the nurse and she nodded back. ‘I’m so sorry but you’re mother is no longer with us.’

That was all I needed to hear. I stormed out the hospital, tears flooding down my cheeks.

Not now.

The End

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