I never knew my parents. They had died when I was very young and I had been sent to live with my Aunt Kathleen. I smiled faintly, a wry sort of smile, and brushed my blond curls away from my face. The wind blew gently and I closed my eyes, feeling the breeze filter through my hair and caress my cheek.
I found myself at the cemetery, standing before my mother and father's graves. They laid side by side, their names etched into their head stones; Jasmine and Bradley Sarriano, my mother and father. I sighed and thought about my Aunt Kathleen. A derisive snort escaped my lips before I could squelch it and I looked around guiltily, hoping I hadn't disturbed anyone around me. With that, I returned my thoughts to Aunt Kathleen.
She had raised me from the age of two. She was realty the only parent I had ever known. She was my mother and my father, my mentor and friend. Funny how things change. Of course, she had always been super strict about certain things—like most parents are—that I hadn't understood at the time. Now, however it made perfect sense, I mused. I understood her rules completely now. I understood her fear.
"Make sure you're back before it gets dark out." Aunt Kathleen reminded me as I walked down the porch steps.
"Can't I stay out just a little later?" I asked, knowing it was futile to even ask, but it was sort of our little game that we played, something we did just for the sake of doing it. Aunt Kathleen never changed her mind and her answer was always the same; always the exact same nine words.
"I don't think so Phoebe. Before dark young lady." She said sternly, standing hands on hips on the front porch, watching me walk backwards down the driveway. She always teased me, saying it was a wonder I never tripped over my own two feet on the gravel. I wasn't a completely hopeless klutz, but I had my moments like everyone. I always said I would never fall because it wasn't part of the tradition. She always laughed at that.
I sighed, but smiled and waved. "Alright Aunt Kathleen, I'll be home before dark." I promised on a sigh, the same way I always did.
I blinked and shook my head, clearing away the memory. I didn't want to get too sentimental over that woman. I had my motives of course, but I was here for a reason and reminiscing about my life was not particularly high on the list of things to do over my parents' graves. "Well mom," I said to her grave. "I bet you never saw this one coming." I turned to dads next with a sad little smile. "Not what you expected is it?" Of course, neither one of them answered and I blew out a sigh. It wouldn't really have surprised me if they had.
I had been through a lot lately and everything had changed. Somehow it just felt right to spend this time with my parents even if they weren't really here, even if they weren't really in the caskets in the ground. I didn't believe they were there. Of course their bodies were down there, but their spirits, their essence, wasn't.
There was no way my parents—the wonderful people who had created moi—were put in a hole—stuck in a box and then put in a hole—and stayed there. I laughed suddenly, throwing my head back, my blond curls tumbling down my back. I knew that I certainly wouldn't stay put and I imagined that I was a lot like my parents. I knew I was disturbing others and tried to quiet myself down. It wouldn't do me any good to look like a deranged sociopath. Who else laughed in a cemetery?
I sobered as quickly as my laughter had come and lowered my eyes, feeling an odd mixture of things. Sadness, anger, grief, hatred, and love. I was so muddled up right now and I just wanted to live.
I bade my parents my final goodbye, setting a bouquet of red roses between their graves and turned, walking from the cemetery, moving respectfully around the other visitors. I saw the car and smiled. I hadn't actually expected him to wait for me. I climbed into the passenger seat and glanced at him, giving him a wan smile.
"Did you find what you were looking for?" he asked.
I shook my head. "No," I answered easily, feeling safe and secure by his side. "I didn't expect I would."
He smiled and leaned over, brushing his fingers along my jaw. As far as personal space was concerned, he was getting better at not invading it so much, but he couldn't help it sometimes and I smiled. "You will," he said, not dropping his hand. After a moment he started the car and pulled away from the cemetery.
I never knew my parents. They had died when I was very young and I had been sent to live with my Aunt Kathleen. I was told that they died in a car crash together, but I knew better now. My parent's hadn't died in a car crash—how many actually did?—but instead they had been murdered.
My father was a vampire and he was hunted for what he was. Most vampires are. Hunters have gotten better since then and they don't condemn someone for something they had no control over, but that doesn't mean they have stopped hunting them completely. He met my mother, fell in love with her, courted her and well, nine months later here I came. And because of her affiliation with my father, my mother's own people turned on her.
Yes, my mother was a Hunter. Contrary to what people might thing, Hunters are completely human. They aren't anything but humans with a grudge against vampires and stakes to wave around.
Anyway, my mother ran so that she could stay with my father and they managed to live happily for a grand total of two years before all hell broke loose. Unfortunately, the Hunters caught up with them and my father was killed hiding me from the Hunters and then my mother died trying to save him and keep me hidden.
I was found sometime later and whisked away to my Aunt Kathleen's. I never even suspected the truth at that point. I never even imagined that there could be such a creature as vampires. Was I ever that naïve?
I was the offspring of a vampire and a human, so what was I?
My parents died in a car crash? Not even close.