I didn't pay much attention to the taxi ride home. The driver tried to start a conversation a few times but quickly gave up when he found me unresponsive.
I paused with my key in the door to my room and rested my head against the frame. My life had taken a drastic turn away from where I thought it would be. I sighed, turned the key and entered my room.
I kicked off my shoes and flopped onto my bed staring at the ceiling lost in my thoughts. I, Scarlet Hale, had just encountered, no scratch that, had just been ATTACKED by a vampire. A real honest to god vampire. You just couldn't write this stuff.
I grudgingly got off the bed, changed into my PJs and crawled under the covers. I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours but sleep alluded me. Why did crap stuff just keep on happening to me?
My mum died in child birth, meaning my dad had to battle through the loss of his wife whilst raising me. He was a fantastic dad. I loved him so much and it still hurt everyday to miss him. He died in a car crash the year before I came to uni. I was in the car too but the doctors were able to save me. All I have to show for it is a large scar across my stomach. Every time I see it, it's a painful reminder of the father I've lost. Subsequently it's also the reason I flip out if anyone calls me by the shortened version of my name.
I battled through my A-Levels and got into uni and things were looking up as my boyfriend of two years, Mark, got into the same one too...only for him to leave me half way through freshers year for some leggy blonde Volleyball player called Natalya. Oh, and did I mention that in the cruelest twist of fate they now live in the same halls of residence as me. Joy.
And now I've been attacked by a vampire. Double joy. See? Seriously crap stuff.
I guess sleep came sooner or later as the next thing I knew my phone was buzzing shrilly next to my ear. It was a text from Meg telling me what a great night she'd had with James (presumably the rugby player) and that she would be round later. I sent a quick reply and looked at the time. 4pm. Shit, I'd slept right through the day. My mind must really have needed the time to heal.
I didn't have any lectures today, thank god, but I needed to do something just to get out of my own head. After a moment or two of thought I decided to head to the nets.
I wasn't lying when I told the vampire I was a tomboy. Being raised by a single dad meant I had an, in all honesty, unhealthy interest in sports. Cricket was my biggest passion though and I was lucky enough to play for the uni.
Two hours, and several smashed balls later I was lugging my kit back to my room with my mind considerably lighter than before. I surprised myself even by beginning to hum a cheerful tune. I turned down an alley between two halls and stopped dead in my tracks. You've got to be kidding me.
There, with a new blonde girl whimpering underneath him was my vampire. Anger flooded through me. How many girls was he going to mutilate, on MY campus! Instinct took over just as it had done the previous night. In an almost identical fashion I pulled a cricket ball this time from my bag and hurled it with all my strength at the dark figure I loathed so much. The ball not having the same weight as the ashtray, didn't cause him to stumble as before but he did at least remove his teeth from the girls throat.
"Leave now, and remember nothing," he said while staring intensely into her eyes. She nodded and wandered off down the alley in a slightly bemused fashion.
The vampire kept his head down for a moment or two before slowly turning to face me.
"You again!" His eyes flashed red and he launched at me, lifting me off my feet and pinning me to the cold, wet wall once again.
"Why is it that you can't let me eat in peace?" He virtually spat at me as he spoke. "Are you so desperate to be my meal that you'll deny any other young lady the chance?"
"Screw you, I just don't like to see anyone, or anything, taking advantage of people that can't defend themselves."
"And what exactly makes you better than them? What hidden assets do you possess that make you think that you can defend yourself? I could snap you like a twig if I wanted to."
He growled the last sentence at me with such a ominous glare that I almost buckled, but instead I lifted my head higher to reply.
"I'm not afraid of you."
"Oh, you should be babe."
His fingers traced the vein in my neck and he was just about to bite when a shocked voice interrupted him.
It was Meg, standing at the mouth of the alley, obviously on her way to mine as she had promised earlier. The vampires eyes flashed red again and for the first time I did actually feel afraid. But not for me, for Meg. She wasn't as strong as me. To my surprise though, the vampire set me back on my feet before bending down to retrieve my cricket bag and the offending ball, tossing the latter back to me with a little too much force for the friendly gesture he was trying to mimic. He winked at me before adding a final remark.
"Until next time babe."
He was gone. Not as fast as the night before when he had no interest in concealing his true nature, but still too quickly for a human. Meg however failed to notice.
"What the hell was going on? He was the creep from the club right? Do you know him?"
Meg's barrage of questions gave me time to catch my breath before I had to speak.
"Yes it was him, and I have no idea who is. I just bumped into him on my way back from the nets and he just got a bit over friendly. Again."
"Whoa, serious issues with personal space! What a serious creep! Maybe you shouldn't be walking around campus on your own, I mean who knows what could have happened if I hadn't turned up."
You don't know the half of it, I thought. "Don't worry about it Meg, the important thing is you did turn up." Desperate to change the subject I added, "anyway, enough about that, tell me about James!"
With that she blushed momentarily before regaling me with her scandalous stories from the previous night. We got back to my room and she continued. I made all the right noises in the all the right places to convey my enthusiasm as her story continued but my heart wasn't in it. I couldn't tear my thoughts away from the vampire and the haunting feeling that I'd gotten in way over my head with a world that I would rather not know existed.