“I need to talk to you about some things. Come quick,” the soft whisper came over the phone this morning.
“What’s up?” I wasted my words as usual.
When seniors call it could be anything. Someone could be dead, or a water pipe could have burst, or another male, Vampire or a regular guy, could have flirted with Eleora. I never knew what Tellias wanted, and he would never tell me until I arrived. Or he and Eleora might just be lonely.
When my sixteen year old daughter Clara and I arrived Tellias was waiting on the front porch. It was already almost 90 degrees outside. Hot weather is bad enough, but for those as old as Tellias and Eleora is can be absolutely miserable. He wore a Hawiian shirt that looked like it was from the 1950’s with red plaid Bermuda shorts, and yellow flip flops. He’d pulled his long blonde hair back into a braid tied with a purple bandana. Eleora came running out in a yellow halter style sun dress from the 1980’s with her reddish brown curls flying behind her. She grabbed me in a hug and practically lifted me off of the ground. She and Tellias started to sing a happy song in a language I didn’t know, and kiss Clara and me on our cheeks, and took our hands to lead us inside.
Eleora and Tellias look to be all of nineteen or twenty but they’re much older. They’re older than anyone I know. They’re senior citizens, and I love them dearly.
I asked them if they’d eaten lately. They had. I asked if they were feeling alright. They were, despite the heat.
After tall glasses of iced ginger blood with sprigs of mint, Tellias finally told me what he needed.
“I need help with my new car,” he said, taking me by the hand and leading me to the door. We talked as we walked out to the barn.
“But Tellias,” I said, “you know more about cars than I ever could.”
“My darling child, you forget that I was born in BC, and that doesn’t mean…”
“I know, British Columbia.” That is an old joke. Tellias was born sometime in the first century BC and lived through the heydays of the Roman Empire, until he met Eleora in what is now England, but I’m not exactly sure of an exact date or place of his birth. I know it wasn’t Canada.
“I can’t figure out how to get my car to work with my phone. I need you to help me sync it up so to speak.”
“Did you read the instructions?”
“Well, no, but I knew you have the same kind of automobile as I do. I know yours is a 2012 but it is the same basic principle.”
“Nobody at the dealer showed you?”
“I didn’t ask. By the time the damn thing was paid for and all the paperwork was done Eleora had nearly drained the poor young salesman of blood, along with half of the service staff… you know how it is.”
This is typical of our conversations. Like a good young Vampire of only 156 I didn’t flinch or argue the point. I asked him for his keys. He gave me a puzzled look.
“Juliette, just a moment dear, I’m not sure where I left them.”
We spent an hour looking for the keys. He eventually found them in his front pants pocket.
In the cool barn I synced his phone to the system. Tellias could now play his eclectic mix of music and podcasts, and of course make hands-free phone calls. Even as a Vampire I savored the new car smell. Then I realized something else.
“Tellias,” I said, “you didn’t tell me you have bought a hybrid.”
He smiled with his usual boyish charm, “I figured if I’m going to be here another 2,000 years I might as well try to keep the place clean.”
Next to the new car was a 1931 L-29 Convertible Coupé that looked brand new, along with a stunning 1936 Auburn 654 Cabriolet, a well used 1958 Ford truck, and the red 1964 Mustang Convertible. Eleora’s little white Miata was parked in front of the house. She’d left the top off and a family of possums had moved into the back seat (but that is a blog post for another day.)
We spent the next half hour talking about mostly nothing as the neighbor’s cat meowed and wound herself around our legs. We walked back to the house feeling the heat like only Vampires can feel the heat.
Once inside the questions and banter started.
“When are your parents coming to see us?” Eleora asked.
“They never see us anymore,” said Tellias.
“Never,” said Eleora.
“We used to see them all the time,” said Tellias.
“We’d do anything for them,” said Eleora.
“Anything,” said Tellias. “Now they don’t need us.”
“We’re just old,” said Eleora.
“We’re obsolete, like a couple of old cars,” said Tellias.
“A couple of old junkers,” said Eleora.
“Like so much trash to be forgotten,” said Tellias.
“Forgotten by everyone,” said Eleora.
“Do you know where I put my keys?” asked Tellias as he checked his empty pockets.
“I love the both of you more than you can ever imagine,” I said.
They both hugged me. Clara joined in. They said they knew we loved them. I can’t answer to the actions of others and what they do, or who they do it with.
Clara and I stayed another hour then we drove home in silence, just listening to the radio.
Summer is here. Check on those who are frail or alone. Make sure they are cool. Make sure they have food. Make sure they have hugs and a little conversation. Make sure they don’t feel obsolete.
The weekend is here. We’ll go out and partake in what Vampires partake in, but even we want to know that someone cares. We want to know that we’re not forgotten like old headstones in an abandoned graveyard. Warm blooded regular people need that too. So don’t forget. It is easy to put someone who isn’t shiny and new from your mind. You’re busy. But don’t forget. Don’t forget.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman