Maura is a girl who's into Death. Dressed as a Goth, with black nails, black eye shadow, with green contact lenses. Her hair was raven black, and her pale feature hides her Asian-American quality.
She lit a cigarette that was dangling from her ruby red lips, with no care of her surroundings. And her surrounding was at a small party in a modest house, in the quiet suburb of a middle-American city.
The gathering was inside the living room, with just a dozen of people, mingling and conversing with light beer in hand and chips and snack littering the tabletop. Maura had stepped outside to the front porch to grab some "fresh" air.
She left the trails of laughter from inside, shunning their bright attitude and choosing to dwell instead in her dark emotions. Her mind wanders into her personal space, hating the happiness surrounding her.
It was their Spring Break from school, and the party was held for those Seniors who did not want to spend their week in Cancun, wilding out into debaucheries. The couple of people inside were considered Outcasts, due to their unpopular social status.
But above all from the geeks and smart people inside, Maura felt she was more outcast from them. She was the only one from them that does not look forward to the Life ahead. She don't care about College, she don't really care about joining a Sorority or a club to be accepted. She'd rather be the loner, for whatever Life she maintained in her existence.
From the distant, another girl stepped forth from the shadows skipping with cheerfulness. She approached the porch, and slowed. The girl made a disgusted face.
"Eww," she commented, "Smoking is disgusting! That's so gross. You shouldn't be doing that."
Maura answered with a puff of smoke exhaled from her black lung. The girl coughed and fans the smoke from her face.
"Freak," she muttered, clearly for Maura to hear as she entered the door and return to the party at hand.
A few minutes pass, as Maura smoked her cigarette and staring at the stars. The door opened again and a young man stepped out with a cigarette plopped into his mouth.
He noticed the dark girl sitting on the railing of the porch, smoking.
"Hey, you got a light?" he asked.
She flicked on her Zippo lighter and extended to the young man. He bent over, without taking the lighter from her and lighted the cigarette from his mouth. His eyes squinted from the fume.
He blew smoke from his mouth and quickly inhaled it back in, taking the cigarette off from his mouth.
"Thanks," he said. He was holding a plastic cup with beer, and took a swig after his thanks.
"How's it going?" he asked, with a teasing smile.
Maura gave him a shrug, as she examined him secretly. He was skinny and almost frail, with thick glasses over his dark eyes. His hair was light blonde that almost appeared bluish gray under the porch light.
She placed his facial feature as Eastern European, and his accent was almost German. He too was as pale as a ghost.
She realized that he was also examining her, with his dark eyes leering at her clothes and makeup. She turned away from him, and faced the woods instead. She could hear him exhaling the black smoke.
"We all may die someday, but there is a new adventure ahead of us," the young man said, trying to make conversation. He gave a soft chuckle.
Again, Maura paid him no comment.
"My name's Roman, by the way," he said, facing her.
She looked over at him, and gave him a slight acknowledgment.
His eyes teased her with playfulness. "And what's your name?" he asked.
She did not answer right away. Her eyes dart away from him almost with annoyance.
Roman gave a mocked shrug and said, "All right there, Lady Darkness."
She eyed him with a squint of her almond-shaped eyes. "We're in the same class, Ramón. And you don't even know my name?" she said with a hint of anger.
"It's Roman! And yes I have seen you around, but you're always by yourself," he said, interestingly.
She blew smoke from her cigarette and once again eyed him probingly. In her mind, she sees him as a geek. But his voice was commanding, and almost manly. It did not fit the skinny boy in front of her.
"See, you don't notice me either," Roman said, with a smile. "We both are invisible to the whole world, aren't we? Outcast and differentiated by our own peers. Even those who are inside."
"It's Maura," she answered, finally.
"Màrra?" he said, adding an accented vowel within her name. He smiled to himself and nodded. "That's beautiful, your name."
She turned away, irritated by his attention to her. She's a nobody. She doesn't want to even talk to the handsome young man who's giving her all his attention with his burning eyes and crooked smile. And furthermore, she doesn't like to hear that she's beautiful or her name is beautiful.
Such human emotions, she shun from her own heart.
"So Màrra," he asked, leaning over the railing, "What do you like to do, by yourself all the time? What's your interest?"
"Gazing into the Darkness, imagining the beings inside that will someday cover the world with its existence," she recited.
Roman's brows shot up and he nodded, with the cigarette in his mouth holding back a surprised choke. "Hmm, yeah."
"I like going to the Morgue to examine the dead bodies there," she continued.
Roman continued to nod, and smoking his cigarette. "Okay…" he mumbled.
"I'm interested in the Dead," she continued, "Do you know how a week-old corpse looks like when left out in the open for that long?"
"Dried up like a sun-dried tomato, I suppose," Roman answered, unsurely.
"No, not dried, just bloated and the flesh are easily loose," she replied.
Roman shrugged with an unease smile. "I like my people Alive. They're always filled with Life!"
She wanted to disgust him so he could leave her alone. She tried to push hard with her graphic description. But apparently, he's becoming interested. And his attempt to impress her caused her to be interested in him.
"Do you think Vampires exist?" he asked her.
Maura gave a shrug. "I don't know," she lighted another cigarette and added after a puff of smoke, "…nor do I care."
"Then why do you dress like that?" he asked, "All black and with a shitty mood."
"Doesn't mean I'm into that Vampire shit," she replied. "I dress the way I feel and if my mood is perceived as shitty, then…" she gave another shrug.
"I think it's cool," he nodded, and then added, "I think you're cool, and beautiful."
His words made her speechless for a moment. But she merely shrugs it off. When she did not comment, Roman turned away, shyly and cleared his throat.
"Are you thirsty?" he asked.
"No," she answered.
"Do you vont to drink my blud?" he said, making a silly face along with his silly accent.
A smile threatens to break her scowl, but she overcame the tickle. He was being silly and he almost cracked her visage.
He laughed a nervous laugh. "Sorry, that was an 'orrible joke," he said.
Her red lips pressed firmly tight between each other. Her eyes darted away from him, to prevent herself from breaking into laughter. She stared off into the distant.
From the corner of her eyes, she could still see his form. He gave a mock shrug and stared off into the same direction.
"Sorry, I tried but I can't seam to break her," he said to no one in particular, "Maybe you guys should have a try at her?"
Maura's eyes darted around, looking. "Who are you talking to?" she asked.
Roman nodded to the woods.
"Them," he replied, "The Darkness. I'm sure they won't mind you giving them the cold shoulder. I'm sure you've already established a relationship with them already, right?"
She stared at him like he's an idiot. His eyes laughed at her and his smile pressed tightly, mocking her forced scowl. He then laughed a hearty laugh.
"You're such a weirdo," she muttered at him.
"You should see your face," he chuckled, "You almost believed it yourself!"
She flicked her cigarette and scowled at him. This time, her face revealed brood. She was angry now at him for making fun of her. She doesn't like being laughed at.
"I'm leaving," she said, "I'd say it was nice meeting you, but I'd be lying." She stormed away from him, heading toward her car at the side of the street.
His smile faded and he watched her go.
Maura took a minute inside her car to collect herself. She felt harden and she wanted to cry. She doesn't know why, but she felt ashamed of herself. Her mind still captures the image of the young man with the sandy hair. His eyes still laughed at her. She grew heated just the thought of having him still in her head.
She cursed herself and told herself that that was the reason why she doesn't like talking to people. They don't understand her. They would only make fun of her and laugh at her. There was only one place that she knows that she can go to escape from this bright world and be at ease with herself.
She started the car, but someone tapped at her glass window. The sudden knock had caused her to jump with surprise.
Roman's face peered through the glass. He smiled at her. She gave a sigh of displeasure. She rolled down her window and gave him an annoyed look.
"Hey," he said when the window was all the way down. "I'm sorry for laughing at you. I didn't mean to offend you."
"Enjoy the rest of the party, weirdo," she said.
He mocked a hurt feeling. "Why are you calling me names, now?"
"You called me Lady Darkness," she pointed out, "So I'm calling you Weirdo."
"Fair enough," he replied.
"Now step away from my car, lest you want me to run over your foot," she said.
"Hey wait," he said, looking a little embarrassed.
"You mind giving me a ride back to my place?" he asked, shyly.
Her face darken again. "You're pushing yourself too hard, alright," she pointed, "I'm NOT interested in you, and you're wasting your fucking time with me."
"You're wasting my fucking time," she quickly corrected.
He held his hands up in surrender. "Okay," he said, "Sorry again. Don't want to offend you. Thought you might need some company. I'm always good at that."
"You're not just a weirdo," she said, "You're also a major geekazoid."
She unlocked her car and added roughly, "Get in!"
He chuckled softly, but she could clearly hear it inside the car. She thought to herself that she must be out of her mind to let this boy into her personal space. He rounded the front of the car to the passenger side and quickly slid in with ease.
He let out a sigh of relief, "Thanks. I really appreciate it."
She kept her comment to herself and put the car into gear. She shot out of the neighborhood like a bat out of hell, still a little annoyed.
"Wow, look at that," he caressed the black dashboard, "I loved what you have done to this vehicle."
The dashboard was not leather, but wood and looked like it was painted using a color that absorbs light instead of reflecting a shine. Her interior of the car was fitted with her mood and her dark persona. Along with the black; plastic sidings for the frames of the dashboard were painted red.
"What's that, nail polish?" he asked, pointing at the frames.
"Yes. Nail polish," she answered reluctantly. "Took me weeks to finish it, and I went through 80 bottles of nail polish to get that bright Red."
"That's creative," he replied. "Now why did you go through all that for?"
Because I got nothing else to do. She wanted to say what it was on her mind, but she suddenly stopped herself.
"Where do you live?" she asked, instead.
He laid back on the black leather seat and stared upon the road. "Just keep on going where you're going." He smiled at her.
"Great…" she muttered.
They drove on for couple of minutes down Interstate 6. She welcomed the silence, but is keenly aware of the young man's presence next to her. She felt stiff, but not uncomfortable.
Then he spoke up, "Take the exit to Yorkshire."
She followed his direction. Twisting and turning throughout the deserted roads into another small suburb.
"Make a right on the next crossway," he pointed.
When they came upon the turn, the road leads right into a Cemetery. Maura slowed and then stopped her car right before the gateway. She gave Roman a look of disbelief.
"This is where you live?" she asked.
He smiled. "No, I live across from that. This is just a shortcut…"
"Weirdo…" she said under her breath.
"Just go through it," he urged.
She looked up at the Gate and read the name of the Cemetery.
Grace Cemetery. Established 1903.
The car slowly inched forward, only because the roads were horribly unseen in the shadows of the huge trees surrounding the cemetery. They soon was bombarded with gravestones reaching over from their spot and leaning eerily close to the road as if the stones were reaching for the car.
"This reminds me of that old legend," Roman commented. "You see, a guy had picked up a girl at a party and she asked him to take her home. He brought her to the road where she told him to stop, and got out. He noticed she left her jacket in his car, so he grabs it and followed her.
"It was a foggy night, so he was unaware of his surroundings, and he was just chasing her shadows in the fog. It was not until he noticed that he had just entered a cemetery and he stood before a gravestone, which had the name of the girl he was with on it."
"She was a ghost," he added, giving her a playful look.
"I've heard that story before," she merely said, "An old legend."
He smiled at her, and allowed an eerie silence to pass.
"What?" she asked, when he continued to stare at her.
"That wasn't creepy enough for you?" he asked.
She rolled her eyes. "I'm hardly impressed by ghost stories…"
They reached the end of the cemetery, leading toward another gateway. A single road exits from the site, leading toward a dark house. It was the only house on the road, and the pathways loops around the old house.
"You really lived here?" she asked, not at all impressed.
She stopped the car next to the driveway, a few yards from the front porch. The house seamed abandoned, but not in rubles or broken down. It was just a simple, ordinary house that was still in good shape. But the aura of the building emits an emotion that Maura was all too familiar with.
The house looks Lonely.
"Thanks for the ride," Roman said, with a shy smile. He looked around himself and added, "I didn't forget anything in your car, did I? No jacket? Or whatever…?"
She left no comment, and he chuckled to himself.
"You're full of shit," she said, instead. "You don't live here, and you're just trying to mock me. I'm not taking you back, so get the hell out of my car and walk yourself back to wherever your real home is."
He made no move to leave, but sat there silently with a sad smile.
Maura sat back in her seat and stared out the window, avoiding to look at him.
"Yeah, I'm sorry," Roman said, quietly. "I thought you'd be impressed to check out a cemetery."
"I've been to too many already," she replied. "You can get out, now."
"I want to show you something else," he said with a voice that was almost a coarse whisper. She noticed that his eyes widen and excitement flickers in his iris.
Oh great. She can't get rid of this weirdo.
"No," she said, "No more games. You're tiring me out, I'm done playing. Get out of my car now. You're a freak!"
"Oh come on, Màrra," Roman pleaded, "Just one more story."
This guy is persistent. Maura couldn't believe what she had gotten herself into. For all she know, he could be some psycho. She imagined herself a victim of an axe-murderer and tomorrow's news will be about a naïve girl who followed a psycho into a cemetery and he later chopped her into pieces and offered her soul to the devils.
"Let's go," she answered.
The two of them exited the car. Maura felt the cold enveloping her skin. Although it was Spring, the night were still cool, and a night like this in a cemetery would really raise goosebumps on one's flesh.
Roman rounded the corner and joined her on the road leading back into the cemetery.
"You're cold?" Roman asked her, noticing her shivering.
"No," she replied, "I just felt someone walking over my grave."
He chuckled, "You would know…"
He lead her toward the direction of the cemetery. She already had an idea of what he wanted to show her.
"You're going to show me a gravestone, right?" she asked. "That's very romantic, and original." She rolled her eyes as she was being sarcastic, and wanted him to know that.
"If you want," he merely shrugged, and adding a charming smile, "I'm glad you're enjoying yourself, here."
"You're such a dork," she muttered at him.
"Done any sacrifices, yet?" he suddenly asked.
"I'm not into that," she answered, "You think I'm a witch?"
"So you're NOT a vampire," he pointed, "Check. Not a witch, check. Let's go down the list."
He jabbed her with a finger. She cried out in anguish.
"You stupid fuck!" she exclaimed.
"Not a ghost," he said, "Check!"
She shoved him with anger, causing him to almost collide with a gravestone. He chuckled at her reaction.
"Now I'm angry!" she said.
"Hmm, maybe demonic," he said.
"Murderous," she revealed, "I've always wanted to know how it feels like to kill someone."
Something in her eyes flicker. Anger and anticipation. Roman could see that her soul was telling the truth, about wanting to kill.
arrange that," he said, his eyes reflecting something
(to be continued)