Nora seems to realise that Eric and I need some space and she gladly gives it to us. Eric and I walk to the cemetery and I stop by Gran’s Grave, touching the headstone lightly, wishing for her to be back in the house I was going back to so she could hold me as I cried and mourned for the death of my first love. Yet I was going back to the house to be alone. I had never, in a million years imagined my life to be like this but here we are.
After some silence, the practical and pragmatic Eric returns, he tells me he can give me money to leave and start a new life. I shake my head sadly, “Bill” is a part of me, like he is and “Bill” could find me any time he wanted to, just like Eric can. He accepts this and I think in a way he is glad that I am sticking around, instead of running away.
I was not surprised that Eric mentioned staking “Bill” to save him and I admit that I never expected to be doing that. When I first met Eric and before he had lost his memory, I never thought I would try and kill Bill to save him, yet since the time we shared when he had amnesia, things have changed. Every time I look into Eric’s eyes, that side of him is still there, the one that loved me and said he didn’t want to fight but was happy to live with me in the house and be happy. Every now and then I see it, and even now I see him still. As he looks at me, his eyes soften, I see the love flicker in them as clear as the stars in the sky. I feel my heart soften as the staking is mentioned and it is as though we said all we needed to say in that short exchange, we both know why I did it. We both know that I could not imagine a world without him in it, that I didn’t want to lose him, just as he does not want to lose me. We said these things without needing to say them, it was written in our glances and in our hearts. I know I can’t read vampire minds and yet, I can read and understand Eric sometimes. He has saved my life as many times as I have saved his, he is part of me and always will be. I can see that now and I accept that.
We reach the house and in the spirit of our walk, I find myself confiding in him about how I never thought my life would be like this at all, how I have changed. I know it is a cliche that your life never turns out how you expect it to but I doubt many have had to deal with as many harsh truths and realities as I have, or as many twists and turns come to think of it. I know I have become more defensive, more ruthless and less likely to flinch at the sign of a fight. I know that I am more guarded with my heart, having had it broken and yet, strangely here I am with a man who would maybe still want me if I was to turn around to him and say I wanted to be his and only his.
I stand up on the steps and Eric remains on the ground, that way he is able to look me in they eye and he says he still sees me as that girl in the white dress who walked into his bar and I will always be that way to him. My heart melted and it was all I could do not to burst into tears there and then. I wanted and wished so much to be her again. Back at that time I did not know then what I know now, I was not hardened or cynical and I had not nearly been killed countless times or killed anyone to save myself or those I had loved. I had not known any man nor belonged to any man. I had not known love nor heartbreak either, so many things I had not known. Maybe ignorance was bliss, maybe I would have been happier had I not known these things. Yet I had to remember that that girl in the white dress had gone to that bar to try and save Jason, who had been framed for murder. Back then, Gran was also still alive and happy. My life might not have been perfect but it was my life and I was happy.
I wished that I could be happy again but now I had no idea what I could do to be happy, Could Eric make me happy? Would he? I no longer knew the answer to that question, I had lost a lot of certainty that that girl had in spades. I looked at Eric and it was as though he was as uncertain as I was, he was not used to feeling things or dealing with emotions until that Girl had walked into his bar either. Part of me just wanted to be held by him, to tell him that it was going to be alright, that we would deal with this like everything else we had dealt with before, yet I don’t think he wanted to hear that.
Eric reached into his pocket and got the key to the house, letting us into the house. I remembered my hostess duties that Gran had taught me though I had no true blood to give him due to the factories being bombed. Eric nodded in understanding and asked for a pen and paper. I duly obliged and then watched in horror as he pierced his skin with the nib before writing something on the paper. He told me he was giving me my house back, would send me the deeds.
I never expected this, not when he had gone to so much trouble to get the house so he could own me, well that was what he thought of at the time. Then again when he bought the house, we had not gotten as close as we eventually became, we had not shared what we shared nor did we live together, though that was for a brief time. We had shared so much since then, we had laughed, cried and had made love in every room of this house. Even as I stood watching him, I could still see visions of us together, entangled in our love making. We were happy then and I was safe and had felt loved then. Maybe he did it because he now loved me?
Practical Eric though was probably doing it to protect me the best way he could. if I owned the house then no vampire could enter without being invited in by me. That included my monstrous neighbour. I am sure that that was in the back of Eric’s mind as he signed the paper and I took it from him. He went to leave but I was not finished, He told me to stay away from Bill and I promised him that I would. I told him about my wish to be that Girl again and to have my life back. I felt tears spring to my eyes as I spoke this wish to him and he seemed to understand.
To be that Girl again, no vampires could be welcome in my house, I think deep down he knew that as I rescinded his invitation. I watched him move out of the door and the door close. I looked at him from behind the screen, the sadness beginning to overwhelm me but I was not gonna let him see me cry.
We said good night to each other and I turned and walked into the house,
Only then did I allow myself a few tears to fall…