Its been almost 4 years since Martin changed my life for me. The way that sounds when I say it, makes it sound kinda weird. Perhaps I should say saved my life.
In that time, I've learnt French, and Spanish. I plan on getting around all the European languages at some point. I've done a lot of travelling too. Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Rome......I've seen the sights as it were. When you meet other Vampires, its strange, because you just 'know' that they are like you. Its like some sort of sixth sense, or radar. You walk into a room, or a restaurant, and within a few minutes, you can tell who they are. Martin equates it to how a gay person can spot another gay person kinda thing.
Anyway, one of the perks of being a Vampire, aside from not ageing, is the fact that you suddenly become privileged in regards getting things such as loans, or having debts written off. I did have a rather large set of debts hanging over me, that were the result of my misspent youth. I had a telephone call from the bank, asking if I would like to go in and discuss the matter. I told them that I knew my credit rating was shot, and that there was nothing that could be done. When your bank manager tells you to pop in, as "now you're part of the 'family', I am sure that we can do something about that..." you just know you will walk out feeling a damn sight better off. Its definitely a case of "WHO, not WHAT you know" now. Turns out that to qualify for a loan of any amount, all that is required, is the promise to ensure you pay it off or help other 'family' members if they need the help too. I bet you didn't know that just like millionaires having a black credit card, that there is a special card for Vampires? it allows you access to your own bank account, but that account never ever seems to empty....A lot of places, restaurants and the like, that are run by Vampires, give you discounts on the costs of the meal. It really is a case of one big happy family.
I handed my notice in at my crappy job, and have decided to become a writer. What better subject that an average persons journeys through Europe and/or America? I've already done a bit of travelling, like I said. some of the things I've seen and experienced already, are beyond bizarre. In Madrid, I was introduced to one of the oldest Vampires. She claims to be over a thousand years old, yet looks hardly a day over 40. You can tell just how worldly wise she is though, by her demeanour. The way she carries herself is the way I imagine the Queen would.
Cassandra, or Cass, as she calls herself these days, was quite taken with me apparently. She hadn't spoken to a Welshman for decades, not since a good friend of hers by the name of Dylan Thomas passed away in the early 50's...when I told her that I was born not far from his birthplace of Swansea, she talked to me for hours, asking about places that she had gone to back then. I couldn't help but admire her. She is someone that had seen so much, yet didn't make any big thing of it. I left Madrid with the express instruction to pay her a visit the next time I am in town.
One of the things i asked her, seeing as there was a fair bit that Martin couldn't clue me up on, was the subject of family and friends, and loved ones.
The advice she gave, was harsh, but honest. I suppose that when you are looking at any amount of years to live, then you don't see the need to lie, or keep the truth from a person.
I was told to only tell my family about what I had become, but that I should accept the fact that as far as I should be concerned, then they are no longer my family any more. She told me to expect to be disowned, ridiculed, called a liar, insane or worse. The truth would become apparent to them, in the years to come, when suddenly everyone appears older than I do.....her advice was that it's better to make a clean break now, and tell them to try and remember me as I was, and that I would pop in from time to time, but that in doing so, it could cause them untold pain.
Friends, she advised, will come and go. The true friends I make now, will be of my own kind, the ones I will be bumping into down the years.
Lovers she revealed, were an even more difficult issue. She had taken hundreds over the years, both human and Vampire. How can you tell a person that you know will grow old and die, when you do not age, that you will love them for all time? She told me that if I ever figure out how to do that, then to let her know, as it is something she had never figured out. Instead, better to find myself a lady Vampire, and settle down together. Well, maybe not settle down, but you now what I mean.
So that's what I've done.
Telling my family was possibly the worst thing I ever want to experience. Cass was right on the money. I suppose that when I go back home, in maybe 10 or 15 years, and won't have aged a day, then I will be believed. Until then, I will send cards on birthdays and at Christmas. I will miss watching my niece and nephew grow up, but I suppose that for now, if anyone asks them what happened to their uncle, then telling them I went nuts and had some sort of mental breakdown like my sister thinks, will suffice.
Friends were an easier matter. A win on the lottery to explain the sudden need to not work, and the desire to travel, and I was sent on my way with pats on the back and smiles and the well wishes of all.
And then I met Megan.
Martin had been taking me to clubs and parties that are mainly frequented by our own kind, in the hope that I would meet someone. For some reason I expected parties to have been like the ones in movies, blood dripping from taps etc. Instead, they were just like regular night clubs. A bit of an anti climax that. I did the club circuit hard for a few months. I would go to the gym in the days, or go swimming, or take language lessons in college. Evenings would be spent pretending to like listening to dance music........after few months, I realised I was trying to be someone I am not, so thanked Martin for his time, and decided that maybe I should let fate play its hand and see what turned up.
After moving away from South Wales, I settled in Cornwall. I don't know why, it just looked nice when I googled the areas. Within a few days of moving, I had already met the elders in the area, and did the 'meet and greet' kind of thing. Arranged with the milkman for a daily delivery of the red stuff. Local newspaper once a week to keep up with the news. Found the best takeaway, the nearest cinema, had cable television installed. Such an exciting life we lead......
Who would've thought, that you could meet the love of your life, in a swimming pool?
I decided to go to the local baths every other day, in the effort to lose weight. Just because I wont age, doesn't mean I should look out of shape.
As usual, when entering a new place, a good look around to see if there is anyone that stands out as one of 'us' showed that the lifeguard was, and a couple of the swimmers too. Silent nods exchanged, and I dived in to do my laps of the pool. I had been in there for almost an hour, when I swum into someone swimming the other way. Mumbled apologies were exchanged, and like ships in the night, or, people in the pool, we passed by. Until the next lap, when I hit them again. And again on the next lap too. I decided to give myself a break, and do some underwater swimming to try and increase my cardio, and it was then for the first time I saw just who I had been colliding with.
She took my breath away. Long red hair, slim body, curvaceous. and fuck me, she was a Vampire too, how the hell had I missed that? I hadn't realised, but I was staring at her like her head was on fire. She had though, because she swum passed and said hello.
And that's how it started.