“I’ve come to terms that you were the one in the theater.” I said and he smiled a small smile and nodded. “Now for your contacts.” I said and concentrated on his eyes.
“They’re not contacts.” he said, a trace of impatience and anger in his voice, but I ignored this. I was looking at his eyes, not in them. I knew what contacts looked like on an eye. If you looked closely enough, you could see the edges of the contact just outside the iris. And I looked as closely as I could without going cross-eyed, but there was no circle around his iris and I could see all the different shades of red in his iris, proving they weren’t the colored ones.
They were a cherry red, various shades within this, and got darker closer to the iris, but then had a dark ring around the outside that matched the ring around the pupil. Altogether the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Not even the best professional colored contact makers in the universe could make them this good.
“You’re not wearing contacts.” I closed my eyes, denying what I was beginning to see.
“No.” he said somberly.
“Then you’re an albino?” I turned back to him, back to the original fight. He was not a vampire. He couldn’t be a vampire — I didn’t want him to be. There were no such things as vampires. No such things… I thought desperately.
“No.” he looked at me seriously. “I’m not.” I looked at him for a minute, and then my face scrunched up in a glare and I turned my back on him.
“Stop playing with me Connelly.” I started walking down the track. He was the rudest person I’d ever met. How, after I had forgiven him, could he still persist with this vampire nonsense? This lie!
“I’m not playing with you!” he yelled and I turned back to him. “You are so hard headed Dakota!” He glared at me angrily.
“There’s no such thing as vampires.” I stated and then he smiled. That kind of surprised me, his sudden smile in the middle of a fight, and that put me on edge.
“Really… Well, let me show you a few things.” he said.
“If you wanted to show me something, then how about you show me how you made that dark stuff, that drug, seep from your skin? How about that?” I asked, hands on my hips and walking towards him.
He looked down briefly and fiddled with his hands nervously. “Well that’s too dangerous.”
“How?” I asked, feeling like I had the upper hand in this fight since he had no proof of his crazy idea that he was a vampire. Maybe he was a vampire, a psychotic vampire.
“I was hunting in that theater when you had shown up. You’re really lucky I had enough control not to — I mean that you lived.” he corrected himself. Then he suddenly smiled, wavering my winning confidence a little. “But I can show you something else, and this isn’t dangerous at all.” he said and then suddenly he wasn’t there anymore.
My anger vanished and I took a step towards where he had stood just before and waved my hands through the air, as if he might just be invisible. Then, when I didn’t hit anything invisible and even though I thought it was stupid to do, I spun around to search the track. Ridiculous. How could someone be over here one minute and then on the complete other side in the next? I thought.
I saw him on the other end of the oval track and he waved at me. Then once more, I saw him vanish again and someone tapped me on the shoulder. My eyes were wide as I turned around and when I saw him standing in front of me, I dropped his hat.
“Don’t be scared.” he said quickly, but softly. He was standing just in front of me so he didn’t need to take a step to be close to me, but instead took half a step back, giving me some thinking space I guessed. I wished he wouldn’t have.
“I don’t understand.” was all I could say. I was in denial. Connelly was not a vampire. No such thing. “Then, if you are a vampire, why aren’t you drinking my blood?” I shot at him and waited for him to start laughing and say it was all a joke. Try and prove that. I thought and already started feeling victorious.
“You remember those vampires you looked up who don’t drink human’s blood?” he said and held his arms open as if indicating himself. I stared at him for a minute.
“Are you sure you’re not just a psychotic vampire?” I asked, half serious, half joking.
“I do not have a mental disorder.” he said and gave me a look that said I should have known that. I shrugged my shoulders, saying that it could be possible.
“Okay, let’s just say that I’m going to play along with this.” I said and smiled. “I’m just tired of fighting with you about your mental fantasies.” He gave me a look and I giggled.
“That’s okay… for now.” he said and we started walking slowly around the track. He picked up his hat, but didn’t put it back on, instead just holding it in his hand. I was thankful for that.
“So, why do you wear that hat? It just looks like you have on colored contacts.” I asked.
“Honestly, I never thought of that.” he confessed and made a little grin.
“If you don’t drink human blood, then…” I trailed off, not sure what to say.
“We live off animals. It keeps the initial thirst occupied.” he answered.
“So, you mean you still thirst for humans?” I asked.
“Yes. It’s always there.” he looked at me and then quickly away, both of us uncomfortable. We didn’t say anything for a while.
“You’re not running away.” he said.
“Why?” he seemed truly curious.
“I don’t know. I don’t think you’re bad. Just because you’re a vampire doesn’t mean you’re evil.” I peeked at him.
“You’ve still got a lot to learn.” he said, but he was smiling.
“Why don’t you ever sit close to me?” I suddenly asked. I couldn’t keep it in any longer.
“Because I couldn’t control my dangerous instincts, but I’m getting better at it. I’ve never really been closer to a human than just being in the same room with them. I mean, I’ve never really been in close contact with them.” he said. “But I’m working on it.”
Then he brushed my hand, the cold feeling stinging my skin, but I couldn’t help but want more. I was already looking down so all I had to do was look over at our hands. I brushed his back, asking for more contact between us. In my peripheral vision I saw him look down at our hands too, and then he took my hand. It felt so cold, like I was holding an ice cube and everywhere our skin touched, my skin cells froze and went numb. I looked up at him and smiled at his already smiling face.
“What about your family?” I asked, back to my questions.
“What do you mean? Are they vampires too?” he asked. I nodded.
“Yes, they’re vampires too.” he smiled.
“What are they like?” I asked curiously.