She left me. She left ME.
My love Gillian has gone.
I do not understand. She explained but it all sounded like another language that I did not understand.
She said, “When we first met in 1651, yes I will be the first to admit it was love at first sight. You were so kind. I needed someone and you were there for me always. You helped me so much. Then a short sixty years later you vanished without a trace, until Randolpho and I found you in 2014 locked against your will in a snow covered crypt in a long forgotten graveyard, where you’d been for three hundred years. You were dazed and confused by the world you’d suddenly come into. I helped you navigate this strange new world and all of the new technology. I helped you adjust to your new status, not as the Vampire King, but as Vlad, the man I love. But honestly Vlad, it has been exhausting. I love you with all of my cold Vampire heart but I need a break. I will always love you. ALWAYS. I’m going away, I don’t know how long, or exactly where, or what I’ll be doing, but I just need to get away.”
“Gillian, is there someone else?”
She threw up her hands, “When would I have had time for someone else? No, you are the only Vampire I love. Yet, I feel like a caretaker to someone who can’t take care of himself. You can take care of yourself, but, please Vlad, I can’t do this right now.”
A tear rolled down her pretty cheek. First salt water then it turned to blood. I wiped the tear away and put my arms around her. “I love you Gillian,” I said. “Always.”
Then she kissed me with such passion that I thought she had changed her mind and would stay with me. Alas that was not to be. She walked out the door without another word. I tried to take her hand and pull her back but she was too quick. Then she was gone into the night.
She left no forwarding number. She left no forwarding address. She took nothing of mine except my heart.
In all my 679 years, no woman has ever left me like this before. I feel numb. I feel as if I have been crushed by a heavy rock, then lit on fire, then thrown into the ocean and eaten by a shark, then locked in a dark crypt with my heart torn out and left at my feet.
As I stood alone looking at my closed front door my cats came up to me and rubbed against my legs. They then both, in unison, gave out a mournful cry, as only cats can do. They sounded like small Demons but they were only my cats, sad that the brightest ray of moonlight in our world had left us.
My friend Randolpho came over to do what he called intervention. He brought our friend Constantine along with him. Randolpho was wearing, as usual, a ridiculous hat. Constantine, whom we call Connie, was dressed in a beautifully cut gray summer suit. Even I, with my ignorance of the modern world know a well cut and expensive suit when I see it. Connie has always been the best dressed Vampire I have ever met. Randolpho has always worn ridiculous hats.
“What do you mean by intervention?” I asked. “What are you going to do? Maybe give me shock treatment, or tell me Gillian was never good for me, or force me to listen to hours of mind numbing inspirational talks?”
“Dear Vlad, you’ve been watching too much reality TV,” said Connie. “We’re here to help sooth your Vampire soul with the most modern way to get over a bad break-up.”
“I do not think anything can help,” I said. “I have never felt so bad in my entire existence.”
Randolpho shook his head at me like a disapproving parent, “What about when you and your wife broke up?”
“That was centuries ago. My most prevalent emotion in that situation was anger. This is not the same,” I said.
“We can help,” said Randolpho.
“Nothing can help,” I said.
“We have a playlist,” said Connie.
“A playlist? I do not understand,” I said.
“When your heart is broken,” said Randolpho, “you need to listen to sad songs. That will help you get it out of your system. You won’t feel so alone, or at least you can better relate to your pain.”
“I still do not understand,” I said.
Then Connie pulled out a tablet, not a slate kind of tablet or the kind that ancient Babylonians used, but an electronic tablet that is connected to the Internet.
“Here is your first song,” he said and played this.
“This did not make me feel better,” I said.
“You could grow your hair out and wear it like the lead singer did in the video. Here look,” said Randolpho.
“I do not think so,” I said.
“Oh come on Vlad, with those golden locks,” said Randolpho. Then he laughed. He has such a funny laugh that even I had to smile.
Then they played a third song.
“I might as well set myself on fire. This song is about a man who deserves to be left alone,” I said.
“I think this is your song,” said Connie, and he played yet another song.
“Yes, you will survive,” said Connie.
“But can you roller skate Vlad?” asked Randolpho.
“Of course I can roller skate,” I said. “Please no more songs. I am done with songs. Songs are no cure for what my heart needs at this time.”
“One more,” said my friends in unison.
“You may have well ripped my heart out forcing me to listen to that one,” I said. At that point my head was light and I had to lay down on the couch. The two cats jumped up with me.
“Just one more…” my friends said.
“You said that about the last one.”
“Stop,” I cried out almost feeling tears in my eyes.
I suddenly realize that I cannot order them to stop. I am no longer the King of Vampires. When I was locked in a crypt for three hundred years and presumed finally dead Vampires went out on their own. They adjusted and adapted. I feel as if I, what do they say, laid the ground work for them. Maybe that was not such a good thing. Vampires are now collectors of break-up songs.
“You need to forget about me and speak of something else,” I said.
“Connie is seeing a Werewolf,” said Randolpho.
“Why would you get in an entanglement with a Werewolf?” I asked.
Connie ran his hands through his hair. “I wouldn’t call it an entanglement. We’re close friends with extremely good benefits.”
“There could be extreme complications for a Vampire seeing a Werewolf,” I said.
“Not really,” said Connie. “We’re adults. We enjoy each other’s company. We know what we were getting into.”
“I hope you are happy my friend. That is all you can hope for,” I said.
“Thank you Vlad,” said Connie.
Back in my reign as King of Vampires there was an unspoken rule for Vampires to stay away from the company of Werewolves. As Gillian used to say, “Get with it Vlad. Times change.”
Yes, times do change. I do not have to like it. Randolpho and Constantine said I have to accept it. I would like to say I do not understand, but I understand this all too well.
My friend Constetine the well dressed Vampire stopped by my house this morning. I was still sleepless and heartbroken, yet glad for the company. This morning he was wearing not his usual suit but blue jeans and a white button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. I understand women love this look. I should not be thinking about women and what they find attractive.
He carried in one hand a holder with two cups of coffee. In the other hand he had a box with a handle that was covered with a pink towel.
“I thought you could use some coffee this morning,” he said.
“What is in the box?” I asked.
“First I must ask you Vlad how you are doing. I’ve been worried about you.”
“You are a good friend. I am better. It would be a lie to say I am doing, what is the term, fine. I am not fine. One day I will be fine, I hope.”
“You will be fine my friend.”
“Good. I know you will be. As for the box here. Well, now that the pandemic is more or less over, and we are free to roam, I went out for a bite to eat last night. I ran into a couple of my regular donors, a couple of delightful warm blooded young women I haven’t seen in months. One is type O and the other is A+.”
“Determining blood types is one things about the modern world that amazes me. We used to know there were different flavors, but never imagine the medical community would be naming them.”
“For their benefit not ours. Anyway, I had a delightful evening. We all got exactly what we wanted and needed. In the morning as I walked down the street to my car I passed an estate sale. There was a rack of marvelous silk ties from the 1950’s I had to have. Then I noticed this box on the front porch.” Connie took off the pink towel and in the box was a large orange and white tabby stripe cat.
He continued his story. “I asked the sellers why the cat was in a carrier on the porch. They said that the owner had passed away leaving the cat. Nobody wanted the poor kitty. He was going to be taken to a shelter. I looked into his eyes and saw sadness and fear. The poor thing reminded me of you. I asked to hold him. The cat, who is named Oliver, immediately started to purr and put his paws on my shoulder, and then he nuzzled his face into my neck. Vlad, I couldn’t leave him. It was meant to be. So meet my cat Oliver. He is ten years old and an absolute delight.”
“You will enjoy living with a cat.”
“Cats make everything better Vlad. Your cats love you so much. They’ll help you get through this mess with Gillian.”
My two cats then ran into the room and skidded on the rug, making it slide across the hardwood floor.
It is always good to have cats and Vampire friends.
Yes, I do believe, as the woman Gloria sang, I will survive.