Vampires with disastrous private lives…
(A letter to Elle from Paul and Elle’s response.)
I don’t have much time so I’ll get straight to the point. What happened to Grace? Tell me she didn’t die.
* * *
I received a letter from Grace. Toro sent it on her behalf. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I just found out myself.
Her letter reads:
“Dear Favorite Dork,
Look I know we haven’t talked in a long time. It’s just, I feel bad inside. I feel weighed down in a way that I can’t explain. There is this tug I feel at my heartstrings and it took a long while to figure out what was bothering me. I mean it all was bothering me but I couldn’t quite whittle it down to a focal point causing the pain to radiate everywhere else.
After a lot of thought I found it. I felt like if I can give 5 minutes of encouragement to a total stranger and it mean the world to them, then how is it that I can pour my heart and soul (I say this figuratively like a human would) into someone and they say that their life is better without me? In mean, what does that mean? Why is 5 minutes to a stranger worth more than everything I have given to someone? I couldn’t figure it out.
And too, if anyone should NOT want to part with me, shouldn’t it be the person I’ve built up? Follow me here. A total stranger I mean nothing to, other than some nice lady who took 5 minutes to be kind is nice. And you would want to be nice to that person right? But, someone who gave you everything they have, you would think that the recipient would never ever want to hurt that person or find themselves in a situation where they’d have to live without them. And if they had to live without that person, shouldn’t it be involuntarily and forcibly so, not a voluntary decision to abandon ship?
“You’re so great, you mean so much, now get 90% out of my life.” That’s what bothers me. If the most significant deposit of love into a single person gets me that response… Then how much good did I ever really do with all of those 5 minutes per stranger as a children’s counselor?
I’m gonna die and I won’t know for sure that any difference I ever made was worth anything because of how Troy made me feel. And he doesn’t know. Not about any of what I am about to tell you.
I regret hurting you Paul.
I looked you in the eye and told you I didn’t think we could be friends anymore because you hurt Troy over Aria. You looked at me feeling betrayed and asked me how I could be so cutthroat and just cut you like that because you had invited me into your life and into the pseudo family you had with the monks, into your home. The hurt I saw in your eyes still haunts me.
You had some really good points. Like your relationship with him was different and separate from mine and I shouldn’t choose sides. Like, why babysit his feelings and allow myself to be put in the middle. I tried to empathize because I knew I had hurt you. But, I was better friends with him at the time and if his best friend (you) hurt him then he had to catch fire from his next best friend (me) about it. It was a question of loyalty.
Then after I passed the test and spent a great deal of time filling in for you I got cut. And as much as I felt a sense of guilt about you and wanted to apologize for hurting you over someone who is worth it because I love him, but not worth it because he didn’t do any better than you did… I still couldn’t apologize.
I got, well him more than me, unbelievably drunk where he made me swear that if he died prematurely that I would give you hell because being hurt by you meant so much to him. How could I apologize to you then? No matter how hurt I might be right now, how?
I shouldn’t have made you feel like your love as my friend was any less important. You hadn’t actually done anything bad to me. But, again. If the situation had been reversed I know you would have cut him off immediately for hurting me so in a way I did not feel so bad. I mean you two are brothers and would have patched things up in a decade or so, but out of loyalty you would have stuck up for me.
So in return I am going to let you in on the Sanctum’s grand little secret. Before I tell you, Paul I need you to know… Don’t look for me. I’ll be dead. So, don’t try. I am hoping that Toro will come through for me at this last hour and make sure that this letter finds its way into your hands before the guards dismember me and feed my remains to the Orions.
I was caught consorting with an immortal. All I did was hug him. How was I supposed to know he was a spy for them and put a bug on me? He was a sobbing teenager who basically flung himself at me during a supposed intervention about using uppers. As a result of that bug, the next debriefing about you followed by an entire conversation about that girl you like got transmitted straight to Neimus, the immortal leader. And now, because I didn’t know yet am responsible for the leak I have a kill order hanging over my head. I’ll be dead by tomorrow.
Oh well, I’m 800 years old. What’s there left to see? At least Dr. Jones is going to give me enough drugs to where I won’t feel a thing. In secret of course.
So here’s what you need to know…
But, when he means he’s coming after you, you better believe he’s bringing in help. Word has it that Cairo will be summoned specifically to hunt you down. He’s a cannibalistic vampire and he’s friends with blood demons. I know you roll with monks and all but watch your back.
You were always a good friend to me. I’m sorry I can’t say the same about myself. I hope this makes up for things at least a little bit.
Again Paul… I’m really sorry to hear about Grace. She always thought very highly of you. Grace was rooting for you as am I.