Lately, just lately a lot has been going on. My mind has been on other things so my usually frequent blogging hasn’t been, well, frequent.
It was a wet gray morning but I had to go downtown to take care of a few things. On a whim I stopped by the most exclusive cemetery, in the most exclusive and character filled part of town.
You know what I was doing. I was looking for the grave of my Ghost. Yes, THAT Ghost. The one who flips me off, and drives me nuts, and talks non-stop, and insults me every single chance he gets. I was looking for Nigel, or that is, his grave.
A few Ghosts showed their shadows but as soon as they realized I’m a Vampire they vanished back into their damp worm ridden graves. As a rule I hate ghosts. There is nothing romantic or redeeming about them. They’re like the rats of the paranormal world as far as I’m concerned. But there are exceptions, annoying as they are, there are exceptions.
A lone man stood between two graves then set white lilies and orchards on each. I wondered if these were graves of children or maybe women in his past. I walked closer to discover a name and a date I recognized. It was Nigel. Not the Ghost but the hole in the ground where his body is.
The man turned towards me. It surprised me how handsome he was with sky blue eyes and blonde hair touched by the sun (or a damned good colorist.) He gave me a soft smile, but it could have made the rain go away if he’d wanted it to. Yes, he was one of those kind of guys. Even in middle age the look of youth was still in his face. It was in his body too.
“Are you here for Nigel?” I asked him the question in a gentle tone.
“Both of them,” he said. “Nigel and Derrick. Did you know Nigel or are you a fan?”
“I know him. I mean knew him.” I said that knowing he’d be wondering how someone my age (I look to be in my early 30’s on a bad day) could have known Nigel. “I’m, um, older than I look. We were friends, but I don’t know any of his other friends. How do you know him?”
“He was a friend of my brother. More than a friend. Nigel lived with my family through high school. It was that or foster care or a group home. My parents became his legal guardians.”
“I knew he hated his mom but I didn’t know…I didn’t know that. He was lucky to have had you.”
“We were fortunate to have Nigel. And Derrick too. Derrick was a close friend too. They died five days apart. What a tragedy. Only 26 and 27 years old.”
I said nothing. I couldn’t imagine Nigel, my Ghost Nigel, laying in a box, in his signature black suit, under the wet ground. I didn’t feel his presence. He wasn’t there.
“I’m Sam,” my handsome newfound friend said holding out his hand.
“Juliette. Good to meet you Sam.”
“Your hands are so cold.”
I smiled. They always say that. “I’ll warm up. I have to meet my husband in a few hours, but maybe we could get coffee and you can tell me about growing up with Nigel.”
He agreed. Of course he agreed. I’m persuasive. I have to be.
We ducked inside of a mausoleum to get out of a downpour. And yes, of course I took advantage of the situation. Sam never knew that when I feigned being upset and hugged him that I would be putting my teeth into his neck. He only remembered that he was tired but was feeling hopeful and better. I noticed his hair smelled good, like warm sugar cookies and rosemary.
Over coffee and scones we discovered we have friends in common. No wonder Sam seemed familiar. I usually remember people but like I said, I’ve been out of sorts and distracted lately. We also discovered that Nigel was loved by a diverse group of people. I didn’t mention that I’d met Nigel 25 years after his death. It didn’t matter. Sam didn’t live in the shadowy world of Vampires and Ghosts. He would have thought I was crazy anyway. We all know there is no such thing as Vampires and Ghosts (wink wink nod nod.)
When I arrived home later I found Nigel sitting in my reading chair. He looked somewhat regal in a white shirt, black vest, skinny ties lose at the neck and his black hair spiky around his face. “What the Hell were you doing with Sammy?”
I shrugged. “Nothing. I found your grave. He just happened to be there.”
“You sucked his blood.”
“I needed to. He never knew.”
“Oh Nigel, he’ll have sweet dreams for the next six months. I did him a favor.”
Nigel stood and took a step towards me. I felt a rush of icy air around my head. “You’re a ghoul.”
“And you’re dead Nigel. And I’m the only friend you have who still has a body. I’m the only one you can go to but… but people still care about you and I would never do anything to hurt any of them. I would never hurt them.”
“You invaded my privacy,” said the man who was standing in front of me inside of my home. Excuse me, Ghost who was in my home.
I threw my hands up. “I give up Nigel. Just sit there and steam or whatever you do. I have things I need to do.”
“Do you care?”
“Of course I do. Do you?”
“Yes,” he said quietly then vanished in a wisp of lavender gray smoke.
It is odd and sometimes wonderful, sometimes sad, and sometimes random how people come in and out of our lives. Call it ships that pass in the night. Call it a small world. On some levels we’re all connected, everyone to someone else. I guess that means that none of us are really ever alone.
I went out on my deck under the clearing sky with the taste of Sam still on my lips. Sam had the one thing that Nigel would never have – life as a middle-aged man. I only hope that Nigel will know that he has people who will always love him as if her were still alive. We should all be so lucky.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman