Andy stood in the dark on his back patio looking at the night sky. He sang softly to himself, barely audible.
L’amour est un oiseau rebelle
Que nul ne peut apprivoiser,
Et c’est bien in vain qu’on l’appelle
S’il lui convient de refuser.
Rien n’y fait, menace ou prière.
L’un parle bien, l’autre se tait.
Et c’est l’autre que je préfère.
Il n’a rien dit mais il me plait.
Turning around he found his brother Max standing by the French doors that lead to the patio. Andy in his jeans and white dress shirt was in stark contrast to Max’s all black, mostly leather ensemble.
Max smiled. “I’m still in awe of the beauty of your voice baby brother.”
Andy gave Max a bro hug. “Thanks. You worked tonight?”
“I’m keeping the world safe for Vampires everywhere.”
“And you’re greatly appreciated by all of us.”
Max was a hunter of Vampire Hunters. Andy was an opera singer. Both were Vampires. And they were brothers, with the same chestnut brown hair and hazel eyes that could go pitch black on demand.
“Tonight,” Max began, “I was off from work and looking for a bite to eat, and I ended up in an alleyway with an incredibly angry woman.”
“Were you going to…”
“No. I’d passed some sort of event, I think it was a rally of some sort. People were mingling outside and it looked like fun. Then one of them called me a faggot when I walked by.”
“What an asshole.”
“It doesn’t matter. At least it didn’t then. You know I’ve never cared what they think. I’m not one of them.”
“You’re the most standoffish Vampire I know.”
“Like I said I’m not one of them. But tonight was different. She got to me.”
Andy smiled. “She? Love?”
“No. Of course not. I turned the corner into an alley, and there stood a woman, alone. Someone yelled, “You’re a cunt Lila. You know that? Would you rather hang with a bunch of fucking rug munchers and queers?” She didn’t respond to him.
She looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Have you ever known what it is like to be different? To be hated? Do you know what it is like to feel hated for not hating?”
Not a single warm blooded human has ever asked me that. “Why were you there?” I asked her. I wanted to know what would have convinced her to be at such an event.
“A couple of coworkers asked me along. One of them has a friend I kind of liked. I thought it would be interesting. I had no idea how interesting. It was like going back to 1930’s Germany. The guy, that asshole who yelled at me was dating the girl I liked. I didn’t know.” She looked at me in an odd way. “Why were you there?”
“I wasn’t there.” I told her. “I just got off from work. I was just passing by, on my way to get a bite to eat. There’s a wine bar a few blocks from here. Please join me. We can talk.” As we left the alley there were more jeers. I turned to the men and gave them the most awful visions. One fell on the ground clutching his stomach. Andy, you would have been proud of me.”
“So tell me about her,” said Andy. “What did you talk about? Did you talk?”
“We talked for about three hours. She asked me if I was gay.”
“Did you tell her your preferences?”
“That I am attracted to both, but mainly women? Yes. She didn’t blink and eye.”
“We talked. Then we walked for a while. I drove her home. Then I kissed her cheek. She didn’t even mention that my lips were cold or my eyes had gone almost black in color. It wasn’t romantic, but I’m going to watch after her. She might not know it, but she’ll never be alone, or unsafe.”
“What about dinner? Was it her?”
“No, some guy in the bathroom of the bar. It was fast and easy.”
Andy didn’t ask the reason for the rally and Max didn’t mention it.
About an hour later, on the drive home, Max watched the sunrise through the rain. He tried not to think too much about the night. He could have killed the men who called him names and yelled at Lila, but he didn’t. There was a lot he could have done, but instead he decided to perform the rare act of listening. Just listening.
After dropping his clothes on a chair he texted a Vampire woman he was trying not to fall in love with and asked her to come over. Then he climbed into bed and closed his eyes to the new day.
Note: I wrote this after listening to my teenager talk about what is going on in the news and the bigotry and hate and sheer ignorance we hear coming out of so many public mouths. This is a quickly written sort story, and not great literature (or even a great story) but I hope you understand the meaning behind it. Haters are going to hate but wouldn’t it be nice if they didn’t hate and didn’t spread that hate to others. It is something we all must think about if we value our freedoms and the future of our children (who are usually smarter than we are.) ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman.