The party had ended for good. After Cammie and Alyssa left, I sat in the living room. My mom was right beside me, one of her arms held my shoulders for moral support. Octavia was sitting opposite us on another chair, a look of intense concentration registered on her face.
"Honey, maybe it's just a phase, you're only having it the hard way, that's all," Mom tried to soothe me.
"Mom it's definitely not a phase and you know that," I said dryly.
"Maybe we can make a readjustment to your diet," Mom suggested. I opened my mouth to protest, but this time, Octavia spoke quietly.
"I believe there is something more to that."
We turned to look at her, but she didn't look up, and her voice also
Once I got out of the Ancient Hall, I started to run out of the Ultara campus and into the wood. I didn't know where I was heading, but when I was sure, I was out of anyone's sight, I sprinted up like a cheetah. Suddenly all the trees faded into blurry walls on either side of me.The blinding sunlight no longer stung my eyes as it seemed to have less effect now, or maybe the high pressure of my emotional wrench made me reject the pain. I felt numb all over as hot air hit my face and dried away my tears. I wanted to keep running like that until I reach the edge of the universe. This world didn't belong to me.Suddenly, there were two strong arms grabbed me by the waist, pulling my body to a stop, but the gravity took its course, and we both fell to the ground, rolling ourselves over the grass and dry leaves. As the falling momentum stopp
After that day, everybody at school started giving me curious stares, as if I had inherited a wrong DNA or some rare diseases. Usually, the Ultara girls don't notice anyone other than their obsessive genius-driven world, but now their conversations seemed to be all about me and Octavia.The good thing was that every time I looked back at them, they would stumble away like a herd of freaked chickens. Maybe that was the only thing I liked about being half-human. You can act all misanthropic as you like.So I had become a public scorn who bailed on her own best friends. But the worst thing of all, they thought I did that because I wanted to be with the most beautiful and most desired girl in our school. That was absolutely not true! But even it was insulting for me, it was still impossible to shut off all those rumors.
After the little mishap that had led me to find the last diary, Octavia seemed to be strolling on a memory lane whenever she held the book. Sometimes she read to me back in the garden. Sometimes she pulled out her flute and played a sad song that could break every creature's heart. That must be how she mourns her grief."My mom taught me how to play this song," she had told me one evening and couldn't continue her words further. I put my arms around her and she rested her head on mine. I just knew how it felt to come home to only one parent for all those years. The least I could do was to be there for Octavia as she was there for me.After school, I decided to borrow a few vampire-related books from the library. Maybe I should do my independent research without my vampire guru this time.
I had never seen the Ultara Academy at night before. The forest that had always surrounded the school disappeared into the haunting darkness. It was as if the trees shifted in place and buildings appeared much taller and darker. I had to pause and absorb the whole layout of the school in detail. There were lights glowing out of every room inside the mansions. Probably the lights in the Ultara Academy had never been turned off. In the hard stone walls, those young geniuses would stay overnight to study like hundreds of years ago.I couldn't stop moving until I reached the main entrance, but as I pushed the massive iron gate, it didn't give way. Locked, I assumed. I forgot this heavy door was scheduled by an automatic open-shut system from the computer program.Now I had to find another way in. Walking to the east side of the mansion, I d
Everyone moved in fast motions. Doctors and nurses came and went about me. I sat down heavily on a waiting chair of the hospital. The bright lights above my head caused me to hunch my shoulders to keep my eyes away. I stared at the white floor with my mind chasing in a maniacal speed, replaying the scenes over and over again. Mom was already inside the emergency room with other nurses and — Alyssa.The Headmistress and Cammie were trying to contact Alyssa's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Schell. And the only person who stayed with me was Octavia. She had rushed back to the school after my call and even brought me a clean sweatshirt. I put it on to cover the blood-stain on my white blouse. I couldn't thank her enough for her thoroughness."You look tired," Octavia said, handing me a carton of milk. "Drink this. It'll make you feel better."<
"Cammie wait!" I called after my fuming best friend."I'm gonna kill her!" she muttered fiercely under her breath as she walked even faster ahead of me."No, you're not, Cam," I said, trying to calm her human nerve. Nobody in this school has ever declared war on each other before. Besides killing people isn't something you get to see every day in the Ultara Academy. But now I got the feeling that today was a special case. Cammie is a genius, all right, but whatever she'd planned to do was totally not a sign of intelligence."I'm not Buddha, Vivienne," she said in irritation, "Non-violence is not my thing and you know that!""Well, me neither, but you can't-""How could you stand it a
After the hospital visit, Octavia and I returned to the school. We went into the Garden together. Octavia got me a carton of milk before we discussed our private investigation. It was already past midday. The sun was hiding behind a huge mass of clouds above the sky, so we were able to sit around the broken fountain together and read the last diary. Octavia had found a few important entries in the book. And the rest of the story was like this:February 18thOctavia is two years old now, growing strong and happy. I am so content to see her enjoying life like any children. At the same time, I'm utterly scared. I don't know how long it will take for them to discover us. We have been living in secret yet under safe cover of normalcy. The Royal Council will never stop hunting until they find us. All I want is a normal family wit
The next morning, Cammie and Alyssa were waiting for me in front of the Ancient Hall. You might think Alyssa could take some vacation in the hospital, but she likes the place as much as she likes the needles."Viiiiivieeenne!" Alyssa screamed my name as if it was the end of our civilization. She skipped down a few staircases and spread her arms out, intending to give me a bear hug as she normally did."Noooo!" I cried, holding my hands up to stop her. Alyssa came to a sudden halt."What?" She shrugged quizzically, looking a bit hurt. But I also felt my face blushed in shame."Alyssa," Cammie came from behind her, "I think it will be easy for Vivienne if we start a no-hug rule." Cammie saved me the explanation. Alyssa's face fell as sh