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 treatment.
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
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 feebly.
“I swear you can read my mind” she gasped as if I’d confirmed something.
“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 after you?”
“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 flowers.
“Okay point taken but you don’t need to take me all the way” she tried nervously.
“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 nauseating”
“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 inside.
She felt happy and so did I.
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