"Aimee” Jace knocked on the door for the tenth time “You can’t stay up here, you will need blood sometime soon and you know you won’t be able to cope without it for long.” I knew he was right, but I didn’t care, I was proving my point, and punishing myself at the same time, I wanted to starve myself of blood because it would punish me for wanting to hurt Tsuki, my best friend.
I breathed in short shallow breaths, watching as the blanket over my head moved up and down every time I breathed out. The thoughts of what had happened earlier still whirled around my head and I didn’t stop them, I wanted to suffer for what I had done, if I felt bad about it then it would be more punishing for me, so the more I thought about it, the worse I felt.
“Aimee, please come out, no one is angry at you” Jace’s voice sounded tired and weary. This was his fifth visit to my bedroom, and each time I had lay silently under the covers and acknowledged anything he said. He wasn’t the only one who had tried to convince me to come downstairs, when I had first run up to my room Annabell had followed me and told me that this was stupid seeing as I hadn’t actually hurt anyone except for her and she didn’t mind because it hadn’t hurt that much. I hadn’t said anything to her either, she was wrong, she felt the pain and I could see by the way she winced every time she touched one of the bites, how much it hurt her. About half an hour after that, Alexander had done the same, then Jace. After ten hours of being stuck in my room, the others had given up on me but Jace was being persistent, I could tell he wouldn’t stop until he had managed to get me out of this room.
I heard Jace sigh and walk down the stairs, I wondered if he had finally realised that I would not be leaving this room for a while, or if he would be back again in another half an hour.
Finally, I thought to myself, I thought back once again to what happened, seeing Tsuki’s petrified face again made me want to throw up, I really hated seeing her like that, even if she didn’t remember it, I would.
My throat was beginning to burn. I couldn’t understand that because it had only been around eleven hours since I had three blood bags before I went to see Tsuki. Maybe Tsuki’s blood had made me feel like I wanted blood, so that was why I was starting to need blood. I breathed slowly wincing every time the burn increased in my throat, it was agony. Only a few more days, I thought to myself closing my eyes, then I might be dead or something.
Burning, burning, burning! That was all I could think. It had been four days since my visit with Tsuki and I was in sheer agony, I needed blood but I couldn’t allow myself to have any, if I did then I would have ended my punishment. There had to be some way to make myself stop thinking about the burn in my throat. I sat up and groaned, after staring up at a piece of fabric for the past four days, it was strange to see furniture. Furniture, I growled and pounced on a yellow teddy bear which was lying on the floor, ripping it to shreds. Cotton and fluff flew everywhere but it didn’t help me, I wanted to attack things, rip things to shreds, anything, tables, teddies, even my bed, but, what I wanted to rip apart mostly was, a human. The beast I had been fighting had surfaced again, and this time I had no one to stop me, if I went outside I might be able to find a lonely human. I could already taste the blood in my mouth, it was making me drool.
“NO!” I roared, if I went out and attacked another human it would destroy me that was the reason I was punishing myself “But I want…” I whimpered to myself “No!” I said firmly sitting on the edge of the bed in a position that made me look as though I was meditating. “I really want it” I said again out loud to myself, talking to myself was not a good sign, I knew I was fighting myself and I had to win this one, I would not let the Tsuki incident happen again. “I need it” my beast said.
“NO” I roared once again the frustration in myself rising; I lifted my arm rapidly to my mouth and sunk my teeth straight into the flesh. I yelped as my arm then began to burn, that was the most stupid thing I had ever done, what had I been thinking? Now my throat and my arm hurt, plus, I was probably going to have a scar there forever. Tears leaked from my eyes, because of the pain I was in, and because I regretted everything I had done, it was a horrible feeling to be guilty, it felt as though everyone knew what I had done and would not let me rest until I had been punished or apologised for it. I had chosen punishment, but I couldn’t take it anymore, but I had to try, if I could just stay calm another day, then I would go downstairs and apologise to my family and beg for forgiveness.
There was a quiet knock on the door, I sighed “What is it Jace?” I asked through my tears.
“Its not Jace, Its Ruth” That was a surprise, Ruth didn’t like me, well as far as I knew anyway, I didn’t know why though. She was the only one who hadn’t attempted to get me downstairs.
“Yes Ruth” she said again, I heard a light thud on the floor outside the door, she must have sat down “Look, you can’t keep doing this to yourself, you need blood, I can tell. I brought you some, please drink it.”
“Why would you want to help me?” I asked Ruth, she had never liked me, so why was she suddenly being nice to me?
“Because, I know what it is like to go through this.”
“How can you?” I asked, how could she understand? Had she ever nearly killed her best friend? Most likely not! There was no way she could possibly understand my pain.
“Because, I was just like you. I was sixteen when I was turned; it was a beautiful summer day, the sky was a perfect blue, the birds were twittering happily to themselves, and I was with the love of my life. Lucas, the one who attacked you was my boyfriend at the time, but we were the happiest couple ever, I was always bragging about him to my friends and they would get so jealous of me, I used to laugh at them because of it. But that day Lucas and I were strolling by a stream, hand in hand smiling happily at each other. We had gone to have a picnic in this woods right here. We set the blanket and food out right beneath the sun in a small clearing of trees, I didn’t know that Alexander and Annabell lived so close by; we also didn’t know that they had friends who had chosen the predictable life of a Vampire, around. We happened to be out at the worst time, when they went hunting. Alexander and Annabell had told them not to hunt anywhere near their house or town in fact because she didn’t want to have to watch a family suffer the loss of someone.” Ruth began, why was she telling me this? It was interesting to hear her past but still, she had never liked me! This was too unusual, but I kept my thoughts to myself and let her continue “Lucas and I had just started to eat when we heard the whispering, I asked Lucas to take a look in the bushes because I thought someone was spying on us. Lucas kissed my hand and then left into the bushes, I heard sudden laughter and then Lucas’s screams. I jumped to my feet to run after him but I was tackled by someone, I hit the floor and heard someone speak into my ears ‘This won’t hurt as much if you relax.’ I didn’t know what to do but I knew that Lucas was hurt and I had to help him, I struggled against strong arms but they held onto me, my captor laughed and sank his teeth into my neck. I screamed and then everything went dark, there was so much pain and then I felt dreamy and strange, a few minutes later I opened my eyes to see Annabell and Alexander staring at me. They told me what I was and I thought they were crazy, but they tested me like they did you and I began to believe them. Lucas had woken up before me, but when we saw each other again there was no spark anymore. He left straight away but returned for visits often.
Anyway, when I had been a vampire for a few days I realised that my family would be worried sick about me, so I did what you did, I waited until everyone had left for work and then I ran out, it took me about five minutes to get back home. There was only my mother in; my father must have been at work, and my two brothers at school, so I ran inside. ‘Mother!’ I began yelling as I raced around the house ‘Mother it is me, I am home’ I didn’t realise at the time that it had been three weeks since anyone had seen me, I had also forgotten that I looked completely different.
My mother ran downstairs screaming ‘Ruth? Ruth is that you?’ she ran straight to me but stopped when I looked her in the face ‘You’re are not my daughter’ she said.
‘Of course I am, mother it is me Ruth I came home!’ I was getting upset that my own mother didn’t recognise me.
She began to shout ‘is this some sick joke?! My daughter died and you just want to mess with my head?’ I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, and because I was only a few days old, I was getting angry and losing control.” Ruth paused, this was horrible.
“It still can’t be worse than what I did to Tsuki.” I moaned
“Oh yes it can, you hurt your best friend, but that day haunts me more than your memories will haunt you.”
“I doubt that, what could be worse than me almost killing my best friend!”
“I’ll tell you why it is worse. That was the day I killed my mother. Alexander and Annabell knew where I was but when they reached my house my mother was already dead, her heart had stopped beating so she couldn’t go through the change.” Ruth sat silently outside the door whilst I tried to find the right words to say. She was right it was worse than what I had done.
“Ruth, I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to be harsh, I just…I just thought that what I did was so horrible that nothing could be worse, I…I” I really couldn’t find the right words, and I was really messing this up.
“Don’t worry about it, you didn’t know what I did, and I don’t blame you for anything. If you’re wondering why I told you this, its because, I tried to punish myself too, I went for days without blood and all I did was hurt more and more people, so I had to stop punishing myself. I know it is hard to think about it, but if you keep starving yourself then you really will hurt someone.” Ruth pushed the door open, I almost laughed because it was strange to see someone push away a few chairs, a table and even a bed! With their bear hands, but this wasn’t a laughing matter. Ruth sat on the bed with me and held out a cup for me to take. It was blood, I picked it up and drained the contents, the burning in my throat was gradually clearing and I felt stronger.
“Thanks” I smiled as Ruth grinned at me, I whipped my mouth because I could feel that I had a blood moustache.
“Your welcome. Are you going to come downstairs?” she asked taking the cup and placing it on the table which had slid all the way to the other side of the bedroom.
“Yeah I guess, but I have a question, why are you being nice to me? I mean since I got here all you have done is either ignore me or torment me, so why?” Ruth sighed
“I knew you would ask this. I saw you go through the same thing I had, and when we managed to pull you back I realised we had something in common. The only reason I was horrible to you was because you reminded me of what I had done. When Jace brought you back all covered in blood with tears falling from your eyes, you reminded me of what happened all those years ago. Then when you woke up you acted just as I had which made me resent you and myself even more.” It all made sense to me, and it was strange because even thought it was a strange reason, I didn’t hate Ruth, I was finally glad that she was being nice to me. I knew I had to trust her, she was right, punishing myself was not going to do any good, I had to get over it, even if the memory haunted me. Tsuki didn’t remember what I had done and for that I was happy.
“Come on then.” Ruth said standing up and removing all the clutter in front of the door, I stood up and helped her.
“Ok” I said I hesitated and then gave Ruth a hug “Thank you” I whispered. I saw her smile and we walked downstairs where Annabell and Alexander were watching TV and Jace was pacing the floor. Everyone looked up at me and smiled, they didn’t look angry at me, more relieved.
“I am really sorry.” I said keeping my head down, not knowing what else to do.
“We are just glad you are ok, are you feeling good?” Annabell asked giving me a hug.
I nodded forgetting about the burn in my throat, unfortunately I remembered the burn in my arm from where I had bitten myself and lifted my hand to rub my arm, I didn’t even realise I had done that. “You bit yourself?” Jace asked finally breaking his pace and walking up to me. I nodded again looking slightly ashamed
“I had a sort of mental moment in which I had an argument with myself about whether to leave and kill someone, it was like I was two people…only when my good side attacked my bad side, it hurt both of us. Luckily I won that battle. I am never starving myself again, it was torture.”
Jace and Ruth laughed as Annabell and Alexander nodded their heads in agreement. I smiled and was about to say something when there was a knock at the door.
“I’ll get it.” Said Jace, gliding out of the room.
“Annabell?” I asked still standing at the back of the living room “How did you know I was gone, and how did you know where I was?”
Annabell’s smile returned “We knew you were gone because Ruth had forgotten her purse, when she retrieved it she ran out yelling that you weren’t there, we didn’t know where you would go so we took the car back to your home, it was faster than running so we reckoned that you were somewhere else when everything looked fine, so we went to your school, which we knew you attended because it was closest to your home, then we saw you with your friend in the park and you were about to attack. We made a plan quickly and well you know the rest.”
I smiled “I am so glad…” I began, but Jace’s voice stopped me, it was a low rough whisper of the name I feared the most.
“Lucas.” Jace’s voice rang through my head.