Remembrances of School, Life and Love
We recently had a party at the farm owned by the Elders. All four of my brothers were there, along with Cody our new Vampire, Matthew an old Vampire who is trying to become more modern for the sake of his son, along with a rare visit from my niece and nephew, my kids, plus several other friends and their teens. It was one of those wonderful early fall evenings when the weather is just starting to change and the cool Delta breezes take away the last of the daytime heat.
I’d been tasked at helping Cody transition to the world of Vampires when he was changed into one of us, unknowingly about two years ago (he knows now and is a find young Vampire). Since then the 32 year old and I had become close friends and he’d settled quiet well into our lives.
He stood with my great great great grandmamma Lola on the steps of the cottage she lives in next to the much larger Victorian farm house the elders and my brother Val lived in. Cody’s arms were around Lola, as if he never wanted to let her go. He kissed her and ran his hand over her long curls. They were so sweet together. Lola might have been born the same year as Geoffrey Chaucer, sometime around 1365, but she looks about 25 or 26. The age difference between Lola and Cody is an issue with some members of my family. Or maybe it is just the fact that she hasn’t hitched herself to some older and more traditional Vampire. They fail to remember that Lola has never been one to hold to tradition.
My brother Max snarled under his breath and looked across the lawn at them in disgust. “I can’t believe she attached herself to him.”
“Just shut up and give it a rest. They’re happy. Be happy for them.” I wanted to call my eldest brother an asshole but refrained. But he knew I was thinking it. Do you ever just want to smack someone but don’t because… well just because you’re the better person for it and you know the person you want to smack can beat the hell out of you. Anyway…
Since it is fall, the talk turned to school. High School for the younger members of the party. College and law school for my brother Aaron’s kids.
The kids always marvel that any of us know how to read and write at all considering we went to school back in the days before Wikipedia, electricity and smart phones. They are astounded that we even had colleges to attend. Oh the innocence and ignorance of youth.
Matthew and his son Josh are new to the group. Josh is a typical teen, engrossed in friends and music. Matthew is an old fashioned Vampire (we called them Shadow Creepers) who lived as if it was another century (past not future) but he wanted a better life for his son, as a Modern Vampire. He reached out to us about a year ago and moved to our area. Josh has thrived. Matthew is still a bit uneasy but is trying to embrace this new world he has found himself in.
A while back Matthew mentioned that we live like Regular Humans more than we live like Vampires. I told him that we all live in the same world so maybe Regular Humans live more like us.
That said, someone asked Matthew what school was like for him back at the end of the 18th Century.
He thought for a moment, a little apprehensive about telling his story. Then he began, in his almost seductive expressive voice (which he is totally unaware of.)
Matthew began. “My mother was the second wife of my wealthy father. His first wife had died after giving him six healthy sons and a daughter. My mother, Anna, was a pretty toy and brood mare for his business empire. She bore him another seven children before succumbing to illness. I was the fifth of Anna’s children, the 10th son of my father. I hardly knew my mother and was raised by tutors and nursemaids.
I remember once going into my father’s library and upon finding him there I attempted to strike up a conversation. He looks at me with a puzzled smile and said “Matthew, isn’t it? You’re Matthew. Can you read young man?” I nodded my head and he told me to find a book and leave him to his business.
The following month my father remarried another pretty young fertile women. Upon the return from their honeymoon he sent all of Anna’s sons off to boarding school. I was only eight years old. My father’s third wife gave him six more children giving his a total of nineteen offspring. Fifteen sons and four daughters.
In boarding school our masters taught us mathematics, music, religion and business so that we’d be prosperous and upstanding businessmen and citizens when we grew into men. They treated us well but there were little or no emotional ties beyond what we made with our dorm mates. I was often lonely but accepted my lot in life. I knew nothing else. I was just another commodity to my father. I had no mother. My brothers were indifferent to me.
Shortly after my 14th birthday I looked out the window over the fields near the school and saw a figure of a girl standing in the moonlight. We looked at each other for what seemed like forever, and then she waved and vanished. She returned every night for a month, then one evening I awoke and there she was sitting on the edge of my bed, a black cloak around her shoulders, her honey gold hair in curls around her face. She was so pale yet so lovely, a young girl of my own age. Her name was Sabina and she already knew mine was Matthew.
Sabina took my hand and we went outside. It was odd to me that nobody noticed our departure. For several months she would visit and soon I grew to love her. And one day I kissed her and…”
He faltered. “She told me that she loved me. That night I left my school and old life forever. Through her blood and her love I became a Vampire and was accepted into her world, a world I came to willingly, where my new family remembered my name. We were together for over 200 years until…until our son was just four years old and she was taken from us. Thirteen years ago last month. It seems like the time with her was but a moment but the few years without her has been forever.”
Matthew’s son Josh put his arms around his father’s neck and gave him a hug. Matthew closed his eyes for a brief moment, then gave a slight uncertain smile.
Later I thanked Matthew for his story and welcomed him again to the world of Modern Vampires.
Being “different” can bring a difficult set of challenges to parenting. On the other hand it can enhance life for your child because you’ve seen the world through unique eyes yet you can understand what others expect of you. And if you do it right you can bring your child the best of all possible worlds.
Have a good weekend everyone,
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman