Blitz didn't speak to anyone at school that day. She honestly let
go of everything that told me she still hung on to a thread of
humanity. She was cold and distant and I knew that it wasn't just
Ezra and I arguing that had made her this...tense. She seemed
rigid and timid like she was over thinking everything. Everything
I felt from her was a jumble. Isolation, fear and guilt along
with other things, that were indistinguishable. Ezra and I
tumbling down the stairs grabbing at each other couldn't have
made her like this. When we scuffled and ended with the usual
bang and aw there was always a sort of comical air to her silent
I let it go. I had problems of my own.
Melanie looked me straight in the eye that morning with a
question, a question in her mind and a serious yet quizzical
glint in her eye. Of course I was no mind reader and I didn't
have a clue what she was thinking. I only ever knew how people
felt about their thoughts and I was sick to death of it.
"Could everybody please...guys, Mr Evans- Sir I'm sorry- could
you all st-stop talking?" Mr Daniels stuttered. Add this
stammering idiot along with everything else and I felt heat glow
within me. I closed my fist around the metal of the chair in
front of me and felt it protest before snapping. I swore and
squeezed it back together as best as I could. One vision come
true and another to go. Not to mention all of the ones Blitz was
probably keeping from me.
"Okay today we are not following the usual schedule and we're
going to mix things up a bit" Mr Evans said. Man this guy hated
his job. I feel you buddy.
"We'll be having talks on matters such as smoking, peer
pressure, abuse and so on. You will all behave accurately and you
will respect the people who have kindly agreed to come in and
help us out"
I felt a wave of nausea and anxiety coming from Melanie so bad I
almost vomited. She looked ghostly pale and I could almost taste
her palms dampening.
"Come along then first we're in the IT room" he called.
I waited outside the door until Melanie came out dead last. I
looked at her face which was almost as pale as my own. Her mouth
opened to form a question but I interrupted her.
"Melanie you look like a corpse. Do you want me to take you to
Reception so you can sign out?" I asked. She nodded weakly.
"You're really pale too..." she mumbled incoherently.
I hesitantly supported her cursing myself inwardly for
forgetting my gloves. I carefully made sure I only touched her
jumper, but I knew she could still subtly feel the cold of my
skin as I felt the warmth of hers.
As soon as I put my hands on her I felt her fear. Physical
contact made every single emotion I felt stronger and clearer.
Being this close to Melanie made my mind go fuzzy with feelings
that didn't belong to me, of fright and terror. But that wasn't
what alarmed me.
Of course I'd been in this situation a million times, where I've
accidentally brushed against someone and felt much more than I
ever wanted to. I couldn't ignore or block anything out when this
happened. Fear was the most common emotion. They were always
scared of us, of our abnormality and alien ness. That was to be
expected, it was what we wanted. We had always achieved just the
right amount of fear for people to be careful and wary around us
so as to make it easier. Enough so that they didn't try to get
too close and they didn't get comfortable.
Melanie's fear wasn't of me; it was of her abuser who could be
waiting for her back home.
"Will you just go straight home?" I asked slowly. She looked up
"I swear you can read my mind" she gasped as if I'd confirmed
"No I'm no mind reader" I said honestly.
I felt a wave of understanding, this time my own. That's why she
looked at me like she did. She thought I knew what she was
thinking, that I could read her mind. Wow she honestly thought
that was what had been going on and it wasn't far off.
"Oh" she replied unintelligently.
"So are you going home? Will there be someone there to look
"Um no, my mother is supposed to be at work but I have a key"
she mumbled with a cautious frown. She noticed too much, she knew
I was digging.
"She's supposed to be at work?" I quoted as a question. Was she
or wasn't she?
We reached Reception and I didn't need to convince the secretary
to let Melanie go home- the girl looked practically vampire
compared to how she usually was. Her skin that was normally a
lovely caramel tan had turned chalky in seconds. The colour had
drained from her face when Mr Evans had spoken of today's talks
on smoking, peer pressure, abuse...
She signed out and quickly tried to escape the school grounds
without me asking twenty questions. She knew I was aware
something wasn't right; she'd seen me watching her and seen the
understanding in my eyes. If only she was like everyone else and
she was too afraid to meet them.
"Melanie wait" I called to her.
"Yeah?" she choked.
"Look I really don't feel comfortable just leaving you go home
on your own. You're still faint and you could pass out on the
way. I'm taking you" I stated suddenly. I mouthed this to the
secretary and she nodded barely taking notice.
"You don't have to" she started.
"Well I am. If you pass out crossing a road and then you wake up
in hospital I'll be to blame. And trust me I'm not the sort of
person you want by your bedside, you'll kill me. I also hate the
smell of flowers, so it wouldn't really be pleasant for me
either" I fake retched. I seriously can't stand the smell of
"Okay point taken but you don't need to take me all the way" she
"Melanie, I'm your friend not your date. I'm not going to see
you to the door" I scoffed.
We walked together, putting the same foot forward at the same
time and swinging our arms in unison. Out of the corner of my eye
I saw her brow pucker slightly.
"You don't like the smell of flowers?" she said and I laughed.
"Who really does? They don't smell like perfume at all, they
smell horrible! They look pretty yeah but the stench is
"You're so strange" she smiled.
"Well you're not the exactly the average self satisfied teenager
yourself" I commented.
"What makes you say that?" she asked surprised.
"I've just noticed that you're...different," I decided, "that's
why I like you"
"Thanks I like you too" she smiled.
"You're not scared of me?" I asked seriously, way too intense
for casual conversation. She acknowledged my change in mood but
she didn't say anything. Her emotions calmed me and I decided I
liked being in her company. When she was distracted her feelings
were nice to be around, and so was she as a person. I also noted
I felt happy she liked me, which perplexed me on so many levels.
I'd never cared about whether people liked me, and I'd never
cared enough to like people. Being her friend was going to make
helping her so much easier. No one wants to see a friend hurt. I
bet she wouldn't like to see me hurt.
"Of course I'm not scared of you. I know you already know this
but most people are. They just feel like there's something
strange about you and your family. But I don't get what they
mean. Strangeness doesn't equal scariness. You all might not be
'the average self satisfied teenager' but you seem decent enough.
You in particular seem more than decent. You've known me a day
and a bit and yet you're adamant that you're seeing me home," she
smiled gratefully, "you're a good friend"
"Thank you. You're really honest you know" I nodded, "most
people would never have said that. I kind of have a history of
anger problems so saying that people run screaming when they see
me isn't exactly something people sign up for"
"From what I've seen it isn't just a history! You look set to
attack Mr Daniels every time he utters a word-"
"Stutters a word" I grumbled. She laughed freely and I felt a
giggle bubble to my lips as well.
"I just can't be angry around you!" I elbowed her playfully.
Playful wasn't exactly a word that would be used to describe me,
but here I am good-naturedly mucking about with a human girl like
we were the best of friends. We poked and prodded each other in
fits of laughter. I felt something every time her elbow came in
contact with my side, something only just introduced to me. As we
linked arms like we'd known each other for years I recognised it,
the warmth that a vampire rarely had. It was warmth from the
She felt happy and so did I.