Heidi Krutz stared curiously across the classroom at B., who was writing her essay with the fury and tenacity of God on the 6th day, knowing that once all the cattle was finally named, it would be time for a nap.
Normally, during a test, if she looked up to read the room from the back where she sat, she would see a field of brown and golden heads bent like tree branches over their papers. Good kids. It was only the first week of school, so nobody was quite lost yet.
She was always hoping to see someone restless, like her. Someone who would rather look out the window, or up at the clock. Someone she could make eye contact with. “You don’t understand this either?” Then she wouldn’t feel so alone.
And today she wasn’t alone. All 27 students in Mrs. Knight’s english literature class watched B. scrawl, their mouths agape. Abandoned pencils slowly rolled off desks toward the floor in a sweeping, metaphorical gesture. Even Mrs. K. herself set her pen down and watched B. go. It was hard not to look. Her pencil squeaked loudly across the desk. Her dark braids flapped against her ears. The clock ticked slowly. She wrote. They watched. And eventually she began to weep.
In May of last year, B. disappeared. One afternoon she just ducked out of lunch, which you’re not allowed to do until your senior year, and never came back. It sent the her family, the school, and her whole town into a state of panic.
Heidi, who had never been as smart or driven as her best friend B., was ruined by this news, and had to miss the rest of the school year due to panic and anxiety. Rumors swirled like ice cream. She had been acting weird for months. Showing up to school as if she hadn’t slept all night. Or slept in weeks, for that matter. Some people said that she had been recruited on the Internet by a cult, and had moved upstate to join their commune. Some thought that she had decided to run away to NYC to pursue her music professionally, because she couldn’t wait until she turned 18. But most people assumed she had been kidnapped and murdered.
She was only gone for a month, but it felt like eternity. And when she did come back, she wasn’t alone.
You see, B. had met someone on the Internet. His name was Gregor, and he was a 10,000 year old vampire.
Everyone said it would never work. And from the looks of it, as she cried into her test paper, while Mrs. Knight patted her fearfully on the back, it hadn’t.