When Aliyah falls in love with the new student, she starts to fall ill but everytime he tries to explain why, something distracts him. Finally Aliyah is so sick she is transferred to a hospital with everyone working to impossibly save her life. WIll her new found love save her or keep his true identity safe?
I knew I was dying. I also knew it wasn’t my fault, then again, maybe it was. The very last thing I knew was how I was to be cured, and how that person would never do it, not that I blamed him. I just wasn’t worth it. I had decided that on my own terms.
It was any normal school day, except I had a headache. I sat in my desk waiting for class to begin by massaging my temple. My best friend Reine threw me a concerned glance and I forced myself to smile. Finally the teacher entered.
“Class, pull out your textbooks and turn to page 167.”
Pages and papers ruffled as the class pulled out there books and binders.
“Please read from page 167 to 169 and answer the questions-“The teacher was cut off by a rap at the door. I silently groaned as the sound made the drum in my head beat harder.
“Class, put your books down and pay attention up front, I’d like to introduce your new classmate Remus.” Great, I thought to myself, another headache.
I heard the teacher instruct the new student to a desk but I didn’t pay much attention. My head was throbbing too much. That was, I didn’t care until the desk next to me scraped against the floor. I reluctantly turned my head to the side to see what the noise was.
“Are you Okay?” Some boy was sitting next to me in the usually vacant desk, must’ve been the new kid.
“No, I have a horrible headache, I can’t concentrate” Tears began to well in my eyes. The pain was unbearable now.
“It will be better soon” he said and turned to face the teacher.
I rolled my eyes. Like that was even possible. But as my attention was shifted, the throbbing in my head stopped. I was momentarily stunned at this abrupt change. What had caused it? I turned my head to look at the strange boy next to me. He didn’t look up from his text.
The bell rang and I gathered my books together and shoved them in my bag. It was lunch and I didn’t want the seat next to the garbage can.
I raced out from the class and collided with something hard and cold.
“Gaah!” I yelled as I fell backwards.
“Accidents and pain seem to enjoy your company.” I looked up to see that boy smiling down at me and laughing.
“It really isn’t all that funny. I fall down a lot.” I sniffed.
“Do you need some help up?” he asked chivalrously. His offer seemed kind enough but his eyes showed reluctance.
“No thanks, I’ll get up just fine on my own.” I snapped. I thought my rudeness would deflate him but he looked relieved.
“I’m Remus.” He said
“I’m Aliyah” I replied.
“Aliyah, what a beautiful name” He murmured to himself, just barely audible. I blushed from embarrassment. I really did like my name. Most people wanted to change theirs but I loved mine.
I finally noticed how empty the hall was.
“Oh no!” I cried
“What’s wrong?” Remus asked.
“I’m going to be late for lunch, now I’ll get the garbage seat” I groaned as I scrambled to stand up.
“The garbage seat?” Remus cocked an eyebrow, not understanding. Of course he didn’t.
“I don’t have time to explain!” I said a little sharper then necessary as I raced down the stairs to the lunch room, leaving Remus confused and alone.
I entered the lunchroom to see Reine arguing with one of the girls who sat at the table, Bianca, Miss I’m All That.
“She’s MY friend I saved her a seat and SHE will sit there” I heard Reine sharply tell Bianca.
“Well Miss Aliyah isn’t here, therefore she isn’t sitting here.” She snapped annoyed.
“Actually Bianca I’m right here” I said overly politely. I sneakily slipped into the seat Bianca wanted forcing her to sit by the garbage can.
Reine slapped me a high five under the table.
“What took you so long” she hissed in my ear.
“I got caught up talking to that new kid, what’s his name…Remus?” I answered coolly.
“Well that’s no surprise” Bianca said curtly, annoyed.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I snapped at her.
“He hardly looked at the rest of the class when Ms. Carter introduced him. His eyes were totally fixed on the back seat.” She tried acting cool, but I saw right through it, jealousy at it’s finest.
“Really? You don’t say” I was very much as surprised as I sounded. I truly hadn’t noticed.
Reine giggled beside me. “Did you see how much of a hunk he was?” she whispered. I gave her a blank stare. Sometimes, she was truly pathetic.
But as lunch progressed I began to remember certain things, like how his voice sounded musical and soft, or how his bronze hair was cut off sharply at the chin, or how angular and sharp his features were. Maybe Reine, for once, had a point to her giggling. He was gorgeous.
But then I began to remember other things, like how he spoke to me and my headache disappeared or how hard and cold he was. I grew confused.
As I looked around the lunch room I saw Remus staring at me with wide, concerned eyes. I blinked twice to make sure I wasn’t imagining anything. Remus was sitting by himself at a lonely table in the back. I longed to go sit with him but I could feel Bianca’s cold, hard stare. Then the bell rang and he fluidly rose and left for class.
Shocked out of my dream world, I scrambled all my books together and rushed to class.
The day finally ended and I could escape this torture they called school, but I felt disappointed, empty. I didn’t want to leave, and that was wrong.
I climbed on the bus feeling disappointed, drained. I sat down in my seat just as the bus started to pull away from the curb.
“Can I sit down?” I glanced up to see Remus smiling down at me.
“Umm, yeah sure go ahead.” I shifted over to the window giving him room to sit. We bumped along the rode but for the whole ride, Remus remained as far on the edge as possible. At first I thought he was crowded, so I slid farther over, but he didn’t move. I pretended not to notice.
When the bus came to a stop, Remus gracefully rose allowing me to pass. I stepped off the bus and began to walk home. I soon became aware someone was following me.
“Remus?!” I gasped when I whirled around to face my follower. “Are…Are you following me?” I was absolutely shocked, and slightly disgusted.
“No, I-I live around here” he stammered. I wasn’t too sure about his statement. It seemed too…tense, but I swallowed his excuse. I really didn’t want to know the truth.
After about a block he turned off and soon I was walking alone. I began to grow uneasy, uncomfortable. I started glancing over my shoulder, my pace picked up, and before I knew it, I was running to my house. I quickly grabbed the key from under the eaves, and tried to insert it into the lock. It took me several tries before my shaking hands could finally insert the key and turn it. When I finally did I rushed through the door and bolted all the locks. I slowed my heart rate and grabbed a bowl of snacks and headed to the television set to catch some of my favorite programs. That didn’t relax me. I got up, locked the windows and pulled all the shades. Slowly, and eventually, calm settled over me and I fell asleep on the couch.
“Aliyah? Aliyah! Aliyah would you please wake up!” My sister shouted in my ear, aggravated and annoyed.
“Huh, what…what happened?” I asked groggy from the sleep.
“You feel asleep” My sister was annoyed with me.
“Are you going out?” I asked my sister was dressed up in an evening dress and adjusting pearl earrings, her long copper hair was pulled into a neat bun. Curled strands framed her face.
“Does it look okay?” she asked blushing “I’m going out with Kenneth tonight.”
I loved it when my sister smiled. She didn’t smile often anymore. I guess it was because she had to look after me and couldn’t go out and live her life. I truly appreciated her for that.
“You look great Layla” I commented her. The doorbell rang.
“Oh! That must be Kenneth, Aliyah are you sure I-“
“Just go Layla” I urged her to the door. She took a deep breath and answered the door with a flawless smile.
“Hello Kenn-“ Layla stopped. “And you are?” She asked a bit more harshly. I nearly dropped my plate of food when I saw who was standing in the doorway.
“Um…Hello, I’m Remus and I’m here to return Aliyah’s binder. She left on the bus this afternoon.”
“Aliyah, some guy is here, wants to speak to you and there’s Kenneth and his car. I’m Audi” She gave me a cold hard stare warning me that there was to be no funny business, then she ran out the door to meet her boyfriend,
“Remus?” I said surprised. I seemed to be saying that a lot today. He thrusted the binder into my hands,
“Here you go” he said curtly.
“Why didn’t you just give it to me after I got off the bus?” I asked him suspiciously.
“I found it lying on the street” his story changed. I gave him a long confused stare and as the seconds ticked by he seemed to grow uncomfortable. He avoided my gaze and finally backed off the step.
“I guess I should leave now” he sighed, whether from disappointment or relief I couldn’t tell. I simply nodded and shut the door.
I was absolutely certain I had placed my binder on my bed when I had come home. I went upstairs to put it there anyways and sure enough, was a binder indent on my covers. Confused now more then ever I shut the door to my room and went to tidy the kitchen.
I flipped through the channels looking for something worthwhile to watch. I had cleaned all I could of the house and done a load of laundry. There was nothing left to do. I looked at the clock and decided it was time to sleep. I clicked the T.V off and dragged myself slowly upstairs to my room.
For a while I couldn’t fall asleep. I simply lay on my bed staring up at my ceiling. As I gazed up at the ceiling, I found pictures of different things in the pattern, like a little child looks for shapes in a cloud. I found a balloon, a cat and a dragon. When the ceiling shifted to form a man I focused my attention else where.
I rolled over and closed my eyes but that pulled up pictures I didn’t want to see. Remus for example. Then I grabbed my CD player and tried to memorize all the words on the soundtrack. On the fifth rotation, I finally fell asleep.
When I woke up it was nearly seven. The batteries on my CD player were dead and my sheets were a mess.
I lay still for a moment just listening to everything around me. I hear the birds waking up outside. I heard my sister finishing up her shower and I wondered how the date had gone. I also heard the air conditioning going, other then that the world was quiet. I gave a big yawn and stretched out my legs. Then I swung my legs over the side of the bed and sat up and looked around my room. After about a minute I started to get ready.
I pulled my shirt over my head and heard a knock at the door.
“Aliyah, are you up yet?” Layla called from the other side
“Yeah” I called back. Then I heard her walk over to her room and get ready.
When I was dressed I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth, then went downstairs and grabbed some breakfast. I debated on whether I had time to eat a bowl of cereal and decided against it and settled for some toast.
As I put my plate away I heard a honk from outside.
“Aliyah the bus is here GO!” screamed my sister from the top of the stairs. I hurriedly put my shoes on grabbed my bag and flew out the door just making it in time.
“Maybe you should’ve woken up a little earlier eh Aliyah?” the bus driver grinned at me.
“Tomorrow” I smiled. I was probably going to be late again.
When I reached school I was attacked by Reine.
“Aliyah! Aliyah guess what there is no way you’ll guess so I’ll just tell you. So anyway….”
“Reine!” I stopped her “Calm down”
“Okay,” she said “Breathing”
“Now what’s up?” I asked.
“Craig, Craig Butler, you know him right?” She asked bubbling over with excitement. How did I not know Craig Butler? I knew everything about the guy. Reine had liked him since grade nine.
“Of course I know Craig, Reine what about him?” I was getting impatient now.
“Oh my god Aliyah! He asked me out!” She was screaming.
“Wow” I said .I blinked and stared. How did that happen?
“Yes wow, even more then wow it’s amazing it’s a miracle it’s…” she gave a happy sigh. “We are going out for dinner tonight.”
“Reine I’m so happy for you but we are going to be late for class!” I said as I whirled her around to face the empty halls.
“Oh….OH…let’s go!” and we ran off to homeroom.
In homeroom I impatiently drummed my fingers against the desk, eager to go to social. When the bell rang for us to go to our first class I bolted from the room. I ran to social and skidded to a stop in the doorway. He was there, sitting in his desk at the back.
“Good morning.” I said and smiled as I sat down. He nodded silently and didn’t look up. “How was your evening?” my voice edged with panic. Why wouldn’t he look up? Why wouldn’t he speak?
Finally he looked up. His eyes looked hollow, his face grim. “Don’t let Reine go on her date Aliyah. Don’t let her go.” He whispered and turned his attention to the teacher. He didn’t look at me for the rest of the class. After class he ran from the room and for the rest of the day he wasn’t anywhere to be found.
By, lunch he had stilled not returned. Worried and concerned, I opened my locker to get my lunch and a note was taped to the inside of the door.
Trust Me, Please
He wanted me to trust him. Would I? Yes, I think I would.
All day I tried to figure out how I was supposed to tell my best friend not to go out on the date she has been waiting for since ninth grade, two years. I was the one to tell her no. What did this guy think I was, some sort of superhero? Yeah right.
The final bell rang and Reine walked to her locker, a bounce in her step. She looked like a blown up balloon, filled with happiness.
“Reine, I need to talk to you.” I couldn’t meet her eyes.
“Yeah sure Aliyah, what’s up?” she smiled at me.
“Don’t go tonight Reine. Don’t go, stay home, go out with your girlfriends. Just please, don’t go out on your date.” I said, looking at the floor the whole time.
The balloon deflated. “Why” she asked, her voice cold and hard, hiding the hurt.
“I-I’m not entirely sure, but, you need to trust me Reine please.” How familiar those words sounded.
“So, let me get this straight, I’m supposed to not go out on my date, because you told me to and you don’t know why you told me to?” She was angry now
“Reine, just please! Trust me!” Trust him I wanted to scream.
“Yeah, Ok Aliyah, I trusted you to be a real friend, this is really screwed up.” She walked down the hall with her bags headed off to catch her bus. I stared at my feet and let the tears run down my cheeks. Way to go Remus, I wanted to shout, thanks for a whole lot for nothing. I stormed out of the school and caught the yellow bus before it pulled away.
I furiously walked home tears in my eyes the whole way. I kept my head down, fists clenched.
“Aliyah stop.” A calm but stern gentle voice commanded me. I didn’t have to look up to see who it was. I looked up anyways.
“You did this! You screwed everything up, I trusted you like you told me to and look! It got me nowhere. I can’t believe you could do something like this!” Tears started to spill over.
“Aliyah listen, it will be better soon” He turned on his heel and walked away. Better soon? Yeah, right.
When I got home I made a bowl of popcorn and threw kernels at the television, then my cell rang.
I picked it up and answered. “Aliyah Here.”
“Aliyah I…then he…and it was….oh my god…and” Reine was on the other line, uncontrollably sobbing.
“Reine, breathe, deep breath, calm” I said in a slow steady voice. Underneath though, I was truly panicking, Reine was upset, hysterically upset.
“Now Reine, tell me as much as you can, about why you are upset, Don’t strain yourself” I said in the same calm, steady voice.
“I went to the washroom” she said between deep heavy breaths. “I came back, I was quiet, and he didn’t see me. He was too busy Aliyah….too busy…” she started to cry again,
“Yes, Reine, too busy what?”
“SLIPPING LIQUID ECSTASY INTO MY DRINK!” she screamed into the phone. I nearly dropped the cellular. Craig, Craig butler, tried to slip date rape drug into my best friends drink. What the hell was he thinking?
“Aliyah, I’m so sorry, I never should’ve gotten angry at you, Never, I should’ve trusted you, I am so sorry” Reine began to cry again, quietly. Just as Remus had said, better, but in a bad way I guess. How did Remus know about Reine?
“Reine do you need me to come over?” I asked my whimpering friend
“No” she sniffed “its okay Aliyah, I’m ok” then she hung up.
That night, when I went to sleep, I dreamed. I dreamed it was black. I was suffocating, sweating, shivering. I couldn’t breathe. Remus was there. He was wiping my sweaty face, apologizing, saying how sorry he was for inflicting this on me. Saying how sorry he was that he couldn’t fix it. Then I woke up. My sheets were twisted, my forehead damp, the window wide open, blowing cold night air into my room.
I got up and shut my window then glanced at the digital clock on my dresser. The face was flashing a red one in the morning at me. I snuggled up under the sheets and fell back asleep.
When I woke up it was almost noon. I gave a big yawn and rolled out of bed. My hair long black hair was in a haystack and my pajamas all twisted around my slender body. I sat down to eat my bowl of cereal when the doorbell rang.
“Would you like to spend the day with me?” Ask Remus fully dressed and smiling in my doorway. I smiled back at him and nodded vigorously. He was still grinning. I looked down at my pajamas and bare feet and blushed.
“Uh, come wait inside here okay?” he smiled and stepped inside, the door shutting behind him.
My bare feet flew up the stairs and ran to my bedroom. I sifted through the clothes in my closet tossing rejects aside onto my bed. I finally decided on a pair of jeans, and a blue and white t-shirt. Next I combed my brush through my tangled hair. After about five minutes I was presentable.
“Okay, I’m ready let’s go.” I said as I bounded down the stairs. Remus smiled and opened the door for me.
“Nice car.” I commented as I slid into the passenger seat.
“Thank you” he replied.
“So where are we going?” I asked.
“Just out for a drive” he said. ‘And maybe for dinner later?’ he smiled. I smiled back at him.
“So,” he said. “Tell me about yourself.”
“What is there to tell?” I asked.
He thought for a moment. “Why not tell me about you parents?” he said
I looked out the window for a moment. “They died four years ago, in a car accident.” I said quietly.
“I’m sorry” he whispered.
“Its okay” I replied, “I live with my sister now, Layla, she’s 21.”
“The girl who answered the door?” He asked.
“Yeah that was her.” I said.
“You guys don’t look anything alike.” He said.
“Yeah, we get that a lot.” I replied. We sat quietly for a moment. “So what about your parents?” I asked him.
“I’m alone” he said.
“So you live with your grandma or something?” I asked
He shook his head. “No, I’m alone.”
“I don’t understand.” I said.
He sighed. “It’s complicated. Maybe one day it’ll make more sense.” He looked sad.
Remus was all alone, by himself. At least I had Layla, even if we did fight a lot.
“So tell me more.” He said.
“What else do you want to know?” I asked. Then he started to ask questions. We talked and talked for what seemed like hours. Then my stomach growled.
“What time is it?” I asked.
“Oh, you must be hungry!” Remus exclaimed. He drove a little farther then pulled out into a restaurant. Before I could undo the seatbelt, Remus was holding the car door open for me.
We walked into a dim lit room with low hanging lights. It was quiet the dinner rush was dying down. We were seated at a table in the back. A waitress took our drinks and then left us alone.
We sat in silence for awhile, neither one of us spoke. The drinks came and our orders were taken. Silence still. When our food came we ate it. Remus made a face as he swallowed his.
“Doesn’t taste good?” I asked.
“No, its-its fine, just not my kind of food.” He smiled and we went back to silence.
“How did you know?” I finally asked. It was like we had been waiting for this all night.
“Know what?” he played dumb but I could see he wasn’t going to try very hard.
“Reine, my headache.” My voice was barely a whisper as I thought back to the first day.
He was quiet for a moment. “It’s a long story.”
I shoved another noodle into my mouth and shrugged. “I’m not going anywhere.”
He sighed. ‘It’s supernatural.”
I shrugged again. “I figure as much.” I replied. “Wait, let me guess.” I said “You are a supernatural vampire that has powers to see the future and heal people with your thoughts.” I casually ate another mouthful. Remus stared at me incredulously.
“How did you know?” he leaned in and whispered.
“I read a lot. Ever heard of Twilight? Best selling vampire series.” It was really too simple. It all hadn’t made much sense in the beginning. In fact, I hadn’t believed it, but now I was so casual, so calm, it was like there was never any doubt.
“It doesn’t bother you?” has asked
“Food really tastes that gross?” I avoided the question, recalling hi face when he swallowed his meal.
“You are avoiding the question.” He saw through me.
“I…what….it’s doesn’t but….” I didn’t know how to say what I was saying. “You aren’t a fairytale you didn’t walk out of a book.” I said.
“Did I” he said.
“I don’t know. Did you?” I asked. No longer did I casually shove food into my mouth. Instead I stared at what was left.
“No, I’m very much as real as you are.” He whispered.
“Your eyes…” I said
“Your…diet” I gulped. I really hadn’t wanted to know the answer. I was violent river, calm and still on the surface but a violent current underneath, the deadly kind and it was ripping my apart.
He smiled at me. “Food, just like you.” I stared at him for a second.
“I don’t get it.”
“Something went wrong in my transformation. I don’t know whether it was incomplete or what but I don’t crave blood.” He explained. The river calmed and I felt relief wash over me.
We were quiet again. I had finished the last of my pasta and the bill had come and gone.
“I’ve never met anyone like me before. The only encounter I’ve ever had with another vampire is when I was transformed. I honestly don’t even believe if there are others like me.” Remus looked down at the table. His face down, he looked like he could cry.
“Aliyah there is something you need to know…” he said quietly.
“I’m listening.” I said. Remus said nothing then checked his watch.
“Oh, you need to get home now.” He said rising. We left the restaurant. The whole drive no one said anything.
I unlocked the door and saw my sister sitting in the arm chair reading a book by lamp light. She closed the book but still didn’t stand to face me. I shut the door quietly behind me and locked it. Then I just stood there not entirely sure on what I should do. I started to slip my boots off and she finally stood and faced me.
“Where have you been?” She asked sternly. “Do you have any idea what time it is?” Her voice was lathered with anger.
“I’m-I’m sorry I-my ride lost track of time and-“
“I don’t care what happened! Don’t ever come home so late again!” she screamed at me flinging her hands in every which way direction.
“I’m sorry Layla!” I shouted, tears streaming down my face. My jaw was clenched trying to hold in all the horrible things I wanted to shout at her.
“Ugh, It doesn’t matter, you won’t be my problem soon.” She said sitting back down in her chair.
“Wait, what do you mean not your problem?” I asked. She ignored me, typical Layla. “What do you mean not your problem?” I said my voice shaking from rage.
“Kenneth and I are getting married and we don’t have enough money to take care of you. We are sending you to a home until we save up enough to care for you again or at least loan you some to take care of yourself.” She sounded so calm and assured.
“You are getting rid of me for some guy!” I shouted crying again.
“It isn’t permanent.” She said. I couldn’t believe her. I wouldn’t believe her, she was trading me! Talk about choosing your family.
“I’ll go pack!” I snapped at her.
“The wedding is in one month.” She called after me, mindlessly twisting a strand of her copper hair around her finger as she dreamed about her happily ever after. I stormed up the stairs and went to bed, but I didn’t sleep.
Around three in the morning I heard my window open.
“Aliyah!” I heard someone whisper. I pulled the blankets over my head in fear.
“Whose there!” I whispered hoarsely.
“Remus, Aliyah, Shh calm, honey calm.” He soothed me. He was sitting on my bed and had pulled the covers from over my head and was stroking my hair.
“She’s getting rid of me Remus.” I said starting to cry again.
“Shh darling, I know, I know.” Still soothing.
“Remus.” I whimpered softly, “How did you know to get in?”
“Darling Aliyah,” He was still stroking my hair, still soothing me, “I’ve came here often and watched you sleep, I’ve sat in your room just thinking about you. I know your house like I know my own heart.”
“That’s kind of creepy Remus” I said. He laughed softly and pulled me on to his lap. He rocked me back and forth and started to sing a lullaby. It was one my mom used to sing to me. I yawned and finally fell asleep.
I woke up Sunday morning and traipsed downstairs. I grabbed a blueberry muffin and headed for the television. I didn’t even look at Layla. My eyes were red and aching from crying and my nose was still stuffed, my throat was dry and sore.
“Aliyah a package for you.” Layla said her voice emotionless and uninterested.
I sat for a moment until my curiosity became too overwhelming. I got up and examined the package. It wasn’t very big and there was no return address.
I opened it and a little note fell out, cut from newspaper
Keep The Chain and Add your Charms.
I looked at the silver box that still lay partially covered in paper. I ripped off the rest and opened it. Inside was a beautiful silver linking chain with an “A” hanging from it, just off center. I fingered the charm for a moment wondering who had sent me the package.
“What is it?” Asked my sister, breaking through my day dreaming. I woke up to reality.
“Nothing you care about, it’s something of mine now, and you don’t care about me so…” I shrugged my voice hard and cold. My sister let the subject drop.
For two weeks after that, every morning I got a package in the mail. Now my chain was filled with hearts and stars and across the front was my name. On the last day all I received was a note, and just like all the packages, there was no return address.
I will Send You a Charm as a Clue to Reveal Who I Am.
Soon I would know who my gift-giver was. Meanwhile there were only two weeks left until the wedding. My sister was busy with preparations, the dress, the decorations, the food and the invites had been sent. I was getting ready to leave. Everything of mine was packed except for two weeks of clothes and my bed. My room looked so bare. Every time I walked into it I wanted to cry.
Time was moving quickly, and there was just five days until the wedding, my giver hadn’t revealed themselves and I was beginning to think it was some big hoax. To top it all off, I had been getting aches and pains in different joints and muscles quite frequently. Remus and I had been spending more and more time together. We spent hours after school in my house until my sister came home from work, then he would sneak out the window in my bedroom.
I didn’t talk to my sister much anymore. We had grown very far apart in just one month, but one night, my sister was home unusually late. She went and sat down in her chair and didn’t even pick up her book. Instead she picked up her wedding plans and ripped them up. She rested her forehead on her hand, her shoulders slightly shaking. Her eyes and nose were red and her makeup was running down her cheeks. I came out timidly from behind the corner.
“Layla, are you okay?” I asked softly. My sister shook her head. “Did something happen?” I asked. She nodded. I walked quietly over to her and wrapped my arms around her shoulders and held her.
She grabbed one of my hands and rested her head against my shoulder crying.
“I’m so sorry Aliyah” she whispered hoarsely. “I never should’ve even thought of sending you away.”
‘It’s Okay Layla. I’m sorry I’ve been so difficult” I told her.
She shook her head “You had every right to be. I’ve been a horrible tyrant. To think, I was going to give away my caring sister for that, that piece of scum.” Her voice got hard when she mentioned him, she was trying to cover up all the pain, and you had to know Layla to know she was truly aching inside.
Finally my sister stopped crying and fell asleep in the chair. I loosened her clothes and undid her hair, letting it cascade over her shoulders. My sister was so pretty she looked like my mom, with her copper hair, green eyes and slender frame. I looked like my dad with hair and eyes as dark as night and my olive toned skin.
“To think Layla means “Night” Carl” My mom used to joke, “Aliyah is our dark little girl” then she’d laugh and hug me. I felt a tear slide down my cheek. I missed my parents. I gave a sigh, kissed my sister on the cheek and went upstairs to bed.
The next day Layla took the day off to help me unpack my things.
“Honestly Layla,” I had said for the thousandth time. “You don’t need to help me” And like the thousand times before she disagreed and said she had to make it up to me.
“Oh and Aliyah, there is another package on the counter for you. Who keeps sending you those? I hope you’re not involved in anything.” She said.
“No Layla it’s been charms for this necklace, see” I pulled it away from my neck to let her see.
“Hmm.” She said “It’s very pretty but I still don’t like it.” I rolled my eyes.
I raced downstairs and found the same type of package, and for the last time, no return address.
“Aliyah, I’m going out for a break if you don’t mind, when I come back we’ll finish up in the mean time take a break” Layla smiled and grabbed her coat.
I hardly paid attention to her as she left, my eyes fixed on the package. I ripped open the paper and fumbled to open the case. When I finally did, on a cushion was lying not one, but two gold charms. One was a pair of lips, the other, a set of fangs.
“Remus” I breathed. And speak of the devil, the vampire came in flying through the window.
“It was you, the whole time” He nodded and gently grasped my face between his hands. He softly pressed his lips against mine. He pulled away to see my reaction. Then he did it again, and again. Soon the kiss became more passionate and violent. I grabbed his hair and pressed my self closer to him, his cold hand slid down my back while the other was at the nape of neck.
“I need to tell you something” He murmured against my lips.
“Not now” I sighed and continued kissing him. Then we heard the crunch of gravel as my sister pulled into the drive way. With a final peck he ran upstairs and sneaked out the window, leaving me breathless by the counter.
I had just regained composure as Layla walked through the door.
“Ready to get started?” she asked. She obviously hadn’t taken Decaf. I shook my head, she knows what that stuff does to her system, she must still be hurting, of course she is.
“Actually Layla” I blinked hard. “Oh wow” I said, catching myself on the counter as I staggered backwards. “I feel really dizzy”
“Go lie down in my room I’ll finish up.” She said and went upstairs.
I made my way slowly to Layla’s room. I staggered towards the bed and fell down over, quickly slipping into a deep sleep.
I had slept straight through the next day. I woke up to the smell of macaroni and cheese. I rubbed my eyes and yawned
“Layla” I called.
“Yeah Aliyah?” She poked her head through the door then came in holding a tray of food. I was shocked. Layla didn’t like messes and definitely didn’t like food in her room and she was letting me eat in her bed.
“What time is it?” I asked.
“Six in the evening” She answered laying the tray over my lap.
“You didn’t wake me up for school?” I was surprised.
She laughed. “I tried but you were so tired after ten minutes I gave up.” Huh, must’ve been really tired.
“You’re giving food in your room?” I asked even more surprised as I shoveled in a mouthful.
“Anything for my baby sister” She smiled, but behind her smile was worry. She didn’t want me getting sick.
“I’m not a little kid.” I grumped but didn’t put up an argument, I was too hungry.
I stared dejectedly at the empty bowl of mac ‘n cheese. I held it up to my sister and put a pitiful look on my face.
“May I have some more please?” I did my best impression of a British accent. Layla just laughed and took my bowl into the kitchen.
After about six bowls of macaroni, I finally found enough strength to get out of bed and move around. I had a minor headache but no big deal. It probably came from sleeping so much. I wandered up into my room and found a note lying on the bed. Remus, I smiled. OF course he’d be worried, I hoped he would.
Aliyah, I NEED to talk to you,
Oh, so we were back to this. What was it, the third time?
I looked at the clock and decided I would have to fall back asleep soon. I got ready for bed and lay down on top of my covers, not quite bedtime yet. Soon, just as I had hoped, my window grated.
“Aliyah” Remus breathed. He grabbed me and kissed me again, just as passionate as the first. I grabbed on to his shirt and pulled him towards me, while he stroked every part of me with his cool hands. He pressed his lips against mine, against my cheeks, my hair my eyes. He pressed them against my neck, my arms.
“Are you feeling better?” He murmured as we sat in the dark.
“Sick, still sick.” I whispered.
“Is it the flu? A Cold perhaps?” He asked me
“Love sick.” I said pulling him towards me again. This time he resisted.
“No need to strain yourself. Rest” he breathed on me and I quickly fell asleep.
Sunlight filtered through the blinds, to my eyelids making them appear red and waking me.
“Layla!” I called from my bed
“Aliyah?” She said drowsily dragging herself up the stairs.
“Can I still make it to school?” I asked throwing the covers off and changing.
“Yeah, yeah you have plenty of time” she yawned and trudged downstairs again.
I quickly brushed my teeth and then threw what few books I had brought home into my book bag.
On my way downstairs to eat breakfast I checked the clock. Layla had been right, I had plenty of time.
While I waited outside for the bus I started to feel dizzy again. I ignored it. I had to go to school. I had to see Reine, see what Bianca was up to, and more importantly, though I wouldn’t admit it to myself, see Remus. As I had lay in bed sick and dizzy, my heart had longed for him, and at the same time wished him away, as if he had caused all of this.
“Aliyah!” Remus came running down the sidewalk. “Oh thank goodness you’re okay! I thought you were… that the sickness was… “He stopped talking silencing himself with a kiss, sweetly caressing my face. Then he abruptly pulled back and swore.
“No! No, don’t stop!” I cried, trying to pull him back to me. I wanted it more then anything.
“No! I’m going to kill you Aliyah! You are going to die.” He said and started to curse again. “Every kiss, every touch, every moment I spent near you is going to kill you.” He said through clenched teeth, not very loudly, as if he didn’t want to say the words out loud.
“I-I don’t understand.” I said.
“You are going to die because of me! And unless I die, expose myself, I can’t save you. I can’t expose myself, leave so many in danger, you have to die! There is no choice!” The dizziness overcame me as the bus came around the corner. I blacked out as my skull cracked against the sidewalk.
I woke up in my bed with Layla sponging my forehead with a damp, cool cloth. I felt something tight around my head, reaching up to tear it off.
“I don’t think so.” Layla said reaching for my hand and pulling it back down. Her skin was so cold, ice cold.
“What is that?” I said implying what was pressuring my head.
“You fell and cut your head. It was bleeding pretty badly when I found you.” Layla said.
Sickness, school, vampire…REMUS! It all came rushing back to me. I swayed a little under the stress and pressure of the memories.
“Are you okay?’ She asked, cautiously reaching a hand out to steady me.
“Yeah I’m fine just…I just need a chance to rest up a little.” Layla nodded and quietly left the room.
“Remus!” I hissed. He climbed in through the window red tears of blood ran down his cheeks. “Are you bleeding?” I asked shocked. He shook his head.
“Vampires cry tears of blood. It’s very painful.” He choked.
“So, why am I going to die?” I asked quietly. Remus sat on my bed and was quiet for a moment. Then he started to explain.
“So as you see, by spending so much time with me and not being a crazy monster yourself,” he attempted a smile but it looked painful, “You are going to get horribly ill and die.” His voice grew quiet and grave on the last sentence.
“There’s no cure?” I asked gravely.
“There is.” Remus swallowed. “But, I’d have to expose myself as a vampire. Others, if there are any, would be identified. You can tell from first glance I’m different. We would go back into the era where monsters aren’t just stories and villains in fairytales. Innocent people will die again” he said quietly. That’s how we talked now, quietly.
“What is the cure?” I asked. Honest curiosity in my voice.
“A vampire has to eject venom into three different parts of the human’s body. The sickness will prevent the victim from changing, but then the victim will have to leave the supernatural, or they will become ill again.” Blood began to spill from his eyes again. Red streamed down his pale white face. He must be in so much pain.
“Where?” I asked.
“Tongue, neck and heart.” He said.
“Yeah, that would be exposure.” I giggled. I think he smiled a little to.
Over the next few months I got sicker and sicker. It was slow and painful as Remus said. He wanted to leave, hoping it would ease the sickness, but I told him to stay, knowing the emotional pain would be worse then the physical. He obliged all too easily, weak with sorrow and love.
Layla constantly worked over me, trying to cool the fever, ease the pains. Remus watched silently from the window and my sister grew more and more worried. Panic filled her eyes. She was going to lose one more person she loved. How much pain could the heart bear? Layla stayed up all night every night working to save my life. She didn’t sleep, not that I ever saw her. Remus said she hardly slept, even when I couldn’t see.
The fever grew worse and worse, it got colder and colder all around me. I had pains in my head and side. My breathing was coming slow and hard. My chest was aching and there were sharp pains in my joints. I was sweating and according to Remus shouting in my sleep.
Soon I began to shudder so violently that my back ached. I started to lose feeling in different limbs and I was shouting and delusional.
My eyes flew open in my bed. A horrid wretched sound rang in my ears, scratchy and high pitched. It was loud and wouldn’t stop. I felt like I was burning but I was shivering violently. Layla rushed into my room, the phone pressed to her ear, franticly talking into the phone. Her eyes were wide, hair sticking up all over the place, like a haystack. She had a mauve housecoat wrapped around her slender frame and pink bunny slippers I had bought her for her birthday last year, warming her feet.
Layla hung up the phone and threw it to the rug. She swiftly picked me up in her arms and ran down the stairs. She hastily strapped me in the truck and floored the gas pedal to the hospital. Before I shut my eyes again, I saw Remus silently running behind the truck, following us to the hospital.
I woke up in a bright, white room. Tubes strapped to my face and arms. A heart monitor was beeping, and an IV was in my arm. All these wires and yet I didn’t feel any better. Of course I didn’t. I knew why, and I didn’t want to feel better. It meant Remus was ruining his life.
I sat for days withering away in the hospital. Doctors and nurses worked over me, trying to help me. It didn’t do any good.
One evening, around midnight, Remus came to visit me. He looked amazing in the moonlight filtering through the window. But down his cheeks were red streams, pale red streams. He had been crying so much that the blood had left marks. Now wonder he only visited me during the night.
“Remus” I whispered. Tears came to my eyes.
“Aliyah I can’t let you die” He leaned close to me. I pushed him away.
“You can to.” I said hoarsely. Remus shook his head. He leaned in closer, so close that his breath was making my dizzy.
“Remus no.” I shook my head weakly pushing him away I had barely any strength to keep him from me. I weak arms gave out. Then I heard soft footsteps walking up the halls. The nurses were making there midnight rounds. Remus turned his head towards the door and quickly hid in the shadows. I lay down and pretended to sleep.
I saw the door open a sliver and the nurse poke her head inside. Seeing that everything was in order she left to finish the rest of her rounds so she could go back to bed.
Being so exhausted from refusing Remus and just the whole sickness, I began to get drowsy.
“Remus, please, I’m not worth it.” I mumbled through my weariness. Remus looked at his feet.
“You are though.” He said.
“Please Remus, don’t.” And I fell asleep.
I woke late in the afternoon. I could hear Layla arguing with the nurse outside.
“She’s my sister and I don’t care if she is sleeping!” Layla stomped past the nurse. I knew she’d have fun trying to stop my sister.
“Oh Aliyah honey, you’re awake! How do you feel?” Layla asked pressing the back of her hand to my forehead.
“Tired, Sick.” I mumbled. I thought I saw a tear drop on her cheek. I closed my eyes and rested back against the pillow. I could hear Layla speaking to the nurse in hushed tones but I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying. I opened my eyes in time to see Layla shake her head and walk out.
Evening came and I saw Remus sneak into my room. A new layer of blood tears lay on his cheeks.
“I have come to say goodbye.” He said firmly. I looked at him funny, I didn’t understand. “Aliyah,” he said taking my face in both his hands, “You die tomorrow morning.” I saw him stumble on the words.
“Okay” I merely replied, pushing his hands away. How calm I could be in a time of horror.
“Aliyah” he choked and leaned in to kiss me one last time. If I’m going might as well make it a good farewell. But as his mouth reached mine I felt a sharp pain in my tongue. I knew what he was doing. I couldn’t scream I couldn’t call out and he was too strong for me to fight. He pulled his mouth away and moved towards my neck.
“Remus! No!” I gasped. I started to shriek as he pierced my neck. I could feel the venom coursing through my body. My heart sped up, my blood pressure sky rocketed. I could hear the nurses come running and my screams.
Blood trickled down from my neck as he moved towards my heart. The footsteps were louder.
“Remus! Quick, get out!” I shouted at him, and then I felt the stab in my heart. I felt him inject the venom into my heart. Then he leaped out the window just as the nurses burst through the door.
I was covered in blood, sweat and tears. There were many puncture wounds that the nurses couldn’t find the cause of but slowly, I began to get better. My fever went away my aches and pains diminished, my chills disappeared and my delusions, screams and headaches went as if there had never been any. Reine came to see me twice a week and Layla came as often as possible, which was around twice a day. Slowly color returned to my cheeks and I began to put on the weight I had lost from not being able to eat.
I was finally able to return home. I had to rest and couldn’t go to school for awhile so most days I sat in front of the T.V wrapped in blankets flipping channels. One day I flipped to the news channel and saw my favorite face on the screen.
“Apparently Monsters aren’t the things we read about in fairytales.” The reporter said. I flipped the covers off of me and abruptly sat upright. They told the whole story of me being sick and the vampire in my room. There had been a security camera in my room. That’s how ill I had been. The tape had caught everything. They didn’t reveal it all but enough to make me panic.
“If there is this one, how many more are out there, and will they harm us as well.” I’m not worth it, I’m not worth. I repeated over and over in my mind. He was exposed and the world was about to plunge head first into a monster epidemic.
“Innocent people will die” he had said.
“I’ll expose myself” he had said.
I wasn’t worth it I wasn’t worth it. I repeated over and over. I was running to the door. I threw on my shoes and ran outside.
I ran down the block to the bus stop.
“Remus!” I screamed over and over. “Where are you!” tears flowed violently down my face. I stood on the deserted sidewalk and watched the sun set. Maybe it was better if I didn’t find him. He’d be safer.
“Be safe.” I whispered as a tear ran down my cheek. The colors of the setting sun mixed in with the fast approaching night. The world was about to plunge into a darkness. It was entirely my fault. I had fallen in love with a vampire.
“Be safe” I whispered again and turned back to go home.