It’s the middle of December in Nadia. The forecast predicts a snowstorm and a severe blizzard in the next two weeks. Everyone talks about the calm before the storm. That saying holds true for me.
The snowflakes softly falling on the dull green grass, covering the naked trees, and sliding down the windows fill me with a sense of contentment.
The snow, like a fleeting memory, can disappear and reappear. Regardless of the cold, life goes on and nature remains beautiful.
With two weeks of classes left in my fall semester, I’m feeling the pressure of final projects and exams. I can tell everyone’s ready for it to be over. In my psychology class, the air is thick with anticipation for winter break, with some students fidgeting and others lost in thought.
The professor’s words seem to fall on deaf ears as the students continue to be distracted. Upon hearing the bell, everyone sighs and leaves quickly.
I take my time leaving the classroom, savoring the peace that envelops the space.
Adjusting to the new environment, socializing with other students, and understanding college life has taken time. I’ve been making progress, but I still feel a little uneasy around humans.
What the heck am I saying? I was human before. Wait, scratch that, I still am.
My thoughts go back to the past, and I wonder about my life with my family together. Life doesn’t always go as planned. Every choice we make in life sends ripples into the future, shaping our destiny. That choice shaped who I am today, and I have to accept that. A choice that was forced upon me.
Accepting the harsh truth can be a bitter pill to swallow. My family’s life was significantly impacted by one decision.
My mother’s death left a lasting pain, but my hope of finding my sister remains unshaken. I’m optimistic about the future despite my inability to undo the past. Finding my sister is my priority and I’ll do whatever it takes. I owe it to my mother to never give up, despite our uncertain relationship. She left me with a million questions and no answers.
What kept her from leaving? What did she see in him? Did she ever love me?
That person who took my mom and sister away is dead to me.
My foster parents questioned when they took me in. “Who abandons their little girl so heartlessly?”
I met their gaze and replied with a conviction that was undeniable. “One with no soul” was a phrase I used, but they failed to grasp its significance.
My flesh and blood was the scary creature, unknown to them.
As I walk back to my dorm room, my childhood memories resurfaced.
My mother would tell stories to me and my sister about how she met my father over twenty-three years ago. It reminds me of those typical romance stories where the boy gets the girl, or the girl finds her true love. However, it’s not without hardship.
Before I was born, my mother came from an average family that struggled from paycheck to paycheck. While my father came from wealth, riches, and a large, well-known family.
During their freshman year of high school, my parents unexpectedly met in the most casual way. According to my parents, most of their classmates referred to them as “high school sweethearts” because they were inseparable.
They met accidentally when he bumped into her while leaving his class, almost knocking her over. It was a chance encounter that brought them together, and his swift reflexes saved her from a painful fall. Their eyes met, and they both sensed a special connection. The books seemed forgotten on the ground as they stood there. It felt like time had stopped.
As my mom described, “It was like nothing else mattered,” she reminisced, her eyes distant with nostalgia. “It was a beautiful moment. One I will never forget.”
Over time, mom and dad fell more in love and wished to stay together forever. But sadly, both realized that meeting each other’s families would be disastrous and feared that no one would accept their relationship. With that thought in mind, they kept their love a secret, hoping that one day their families would accept them.
Despite their secret, their bond was strong enough to lead them to marriage, a home of their own, and two beautiful children.
On a cold winter night in November, my mother gave birth to me and my twin sister, Rachel. We entered a world filled with lies and secrecies. We were not like other families.
After my mother gave birth to us, she begged my father to tell their families the truth.
He agreed, and soon the whole family knew of our existence. All my father’s relatives and family have forbidden him to return to the Florea coven. Ever since, my grandfather despised my father for marrying, having children, and refusing his arranged marriage. All for a human, a mundane.
My mother’s family abandoned her once they found out she had given birth to two half-vampires and married a Moroi. I don’t blame them for abandoning her. They are just humans. I understand why they were afraid. Vampires are dangerous and they couldn’t be sure about my mother’s safety. Humans didn’t believe in vampires; it was a myth for them. But for my family, we’re living proof of their existence and potential danger.
This resulted in my father’s downfall. He was now a mere shadow of his former self. He became consumed by his own despair.
Until there was nothing left of him.
Arriving in my dorm room, I realized all my roommates were out for the weekend. Now, being by myself, I can feel a strange mixture of freedom and loneliness.
Seriously, don’t they know we’re moving out in two weeks? Oh well, it’s for the best. I’m not too keen on making friends.
All I had was my foster family, and living with them wasn’t healthy for me. So, I left by applying to college. I wanted to start fresh and make my own decisions. I aim to take full advantage of this opportunity and leave the past in the past. I’m not ready to have friends, but I’m sure I will.
After placing my backpack beside my desk, I walk over to my bed and sprawl on my back, staring at the ceiling. My thoughts cascade over each other, forcing me to recall memories I wanted to forget.
All my childhood memories are flooding back, which I’ve tried to suppress. As the painful emotions return to me, I can feel my body tensing up.
When I was thirteen, my father abused me because of his fucked-up perception of manners and discipline. It never occurred to me that there was a reason for it. He never delved into or talked much about our family history, especially our vampire side. We had to accept it for what it was. I thought I had no other option but to endure it.
By all means, I wasn’t a terrible child. My extreme timidity and weakness got on his nerves. I could not defend myself. My sister was the only one I could turn to. Rachel noticed what was happening and was furious at my father. She tried to intervene and stop him from abusing me, but my father refused to listen. Despite Rachel’s anger and frustration, she aimlessly followed my father’s orders and obeyed his rules. Soon, she accepted his abuse of me as part of our lives.
Every time my dad punished me, Rachel was there to support me. She would often give me her leftovers and put band-aids on my wounds. She always tried to make me feel better and show me I had someone who cared about me. We felt distant from our mom. Our family fell apart gradually. Mom was always busy, and dad was always strict.
I can distinctly remember being scolded by him. “You’re damn pathetic Rena! You know being fragile will get you killed.”
While on another occasion, he said. “I do this to build your strength and endurance. So, will you quit being fucking weak?”
It was one of the nicest things he said to me.
Sometimes he punished me by slapping, cutting, and depriving me of food for days. What I experienced felt like pure hell... I was even more afraid of him.
My mother never agreed to this, which led to most of their fights. He never treated my sister the same way. She was his baby girl, a saint in his eyes while I got the shit end of the stick. I still loved Rachel... and it wasn’t her fault. None of it was.
During middle school, something tragic happened that changed my world.
I remember coming home from school and before setting my backpack down, a fight broke out between my parents, although this wasn’t like their usual arguments. The fights continued for the next three days, becoming more verbal than physical each time I came home.
One day, the devil sealed my family’s fate himself. Again, I got home from school, and I gently opened the front door, listening for any screams and...
The house was bizarrely silent; so silent you could hear a pin drop.
I rushed into the dimly lit room and froze at the horrific scene before me. My mother’s body lies in a pool of dark liquid, and my father stands over her corpse, holding her mangled heart.
He grinned from ear to ear, his mouth filled with sharp teeth dripping with a tinted substance.
All I could do was stand there in shock as his icy blood orange eyes sent shivers of fear.
I couldn’t hear what he said. “Oh, sweetie, your mother and I had a misunderstanding. I handled it. If you’re curious about our discussion...”
He took a deep, sinister breath. “It was you.”
“D-Dad, you’re a monster. Why did you do that to mom? What did I do to you?” I shouted and screamed in dismay.
In the blink of an eye, he appeared in front of me and gripped tight around my neck. He smirked as his fingernails dug deeper into my skin.
“Get away from me!” I shrieked, struggling to free myself from his grasp.
“Ah, I have a suitable punishment for you. I want you to become like me.”
“No way!” I spatted with defiance. “I will never be like you!”
“You’re a goddamn Dhampir!” he declared, his voice dripping with disdain. “Your mother refused to let me complete Valprya for you and your sister. I will not let you remain in limbo; it’s time to embrace who you were - a Dhampir.” His fingernails pierced deeper until blood dripped down my neck.
“D-Dad, I know you love Mom-that’s why you chose her for all the right reasons,” I muttered with teary eyes.
He briefly paused and averted his gaze.. His grip tightened as he stepped closer. “Sometimes, love isn’t enough.” He exhaled, bring his gaze back to me. It was making sense.
“Let me get this straight. Love makes us weak and therefore there’s no love in the world. Was that how you felt about mom?” I said, gasping for air.
“I chose wrong. My entire coven turned their backs on me because I was stupidly in love with a blood bag. You and your mother are no longer necessary since I know who I am!” He chuckled as he brought his fangs into my neck.
I felt my skin pop... my vision became blurry, and coldness rushed over me.
All I heard were his last words.
“Savor your brand-new life; enjoy it, but I doubt you will last!” His sinister voice grew louder.
... Then all my senses faded as my body dropped to the floor.
“Savor your brand-new life; enjoy it but I doubt you will last!” His sinister voice grew louder.
... Then all my senses faded as my body dropped to the floor.