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Short Story: Meeting Girls
By Tyler Withrow
I put on my favorite shirt, a light blue button-down, creased and slightly faded from the wear and tear it had gone through over the many times I had worn it. I hadn’t met the right girl yet, nor did I expect to meet one that was perfect for me any time soon. I rolled up my sleeves, attempting to avoid looking like I was trying too hard. I always hear that ‘soul mates’ are awfully hard to find, and I wasn’t planning on settling for second best. I stepped out of the door, feeling like I looked good, ready to meet girls. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have trouble meeting girls, I just haven’t gotten what I wanted from any of the relationships I’ve had yet. I bring them home after the second or third date, and they leave the next morning and never come back, as if they had forgotten me completely. I’m not the pickiest guy, all I want from them is commitment. I can never seem to get it for some reason.
As I stepped into the street, raindrops began to fall from the sky, scattering the ground around me in droplets of darkness. I started walking faster, hoping to get to someplace where I could get out of the rain before I got completely soaked. The streetlights came on, illuminating the raindrops falling underneath them in a yellow-orange cone. I ran through the drops of starlight, ignoring the car that endeavored to splash water on me as well. I ducked inside the first public building that I saw, a small bar three blocks from the club I had planned on going to. There was no reason to keep going when the rain was this heavy. Soaked to the skin, I slicked my shoulder-length black hair back, trying to make the best of my dishevelment. I looked up, checking through the bar patrons, listing them off and cataloguing them in my head, face and personality type. It’s a personal talent, something I picked up from growing up with an unusual family. Primarily standard fare graced the small bar, middle-class businessmen, one or two drunks, and a few lonely girls. I looked at the scattered individuals, unimpressed by what I had discerned from them. I turned towards the bar to take a seat myself, when I saw the very last thing I had expected to see in the world, let alone a small bar that I had never intended to enter in the first place. Sitting by herself in the corner of the room was a girl with the longest, silkiest black hair I had ever seen, bright green eyes, and porcelain-white skin, so much so that she could have reflected light off of her.
Our eyes literally met from across the room. I had never experienced something near what I did when I saw her. My face started getting hot, and my heart sped up. I felt uncomfortable-perhaps for the first time in my life. All of my confidence was suddenly sapped, and the last thing I wanted to do was approach her, the source of everything that was suddenly new and different about my life. Despite all of this, I had to talk to her. This was a girl I had to meet, no matter how I felt about it. I took a step towards her, scattering water droplets on the floor. My soaking wet clothes felt as if they weighed hundreds of pounds, dragging me towards the floor. I took another step, hoping I would just melt through the floor, disappear into nothing. Anything would be better than this torture, the fear of the unknown. I pressed on, into the breach.
In reality it took me about thirty seconds to cross the room and flop down into the seat next to her, although it felt like the same number of years. When I was finally able to sit, relief hit, almost without warning. The approach was finished, and conversation was my personal strong point. Talking to someone about nothing had been the easiest thing in the world for me since I was in seventh grade. The instant I opened my mouth, however, my confidence broke. I barely managed to squeak out,
“Hi,” she replied, grinning at the drenched, awkward man standing in front of her.
I looked up from my feet and into her eyes. With a jarring crash, my thoughts returned to earth as I saw exactly what I was dealing with. I laughed quietly to myself, surprised but amused at the situation I had walked into. I knew not only what she was, but what she was capable of. She wasn’t just a regular girl, she was a succubus, a creature that drains life from any man she can drag close enough to her. I sat down next to her, slipping into polite conversation, my confidence restored, as if nothing had happened. At this point, I had only to tread carefully.
Four hours later, we were alone in her apartment. It really was inevitable, now that I think of it. As she leaned in to kiss me, I caught a glimpse of regret flickering across the corner of her eye. Almost as soon as I caught a glimpse of it, though, it disappeared, a snake crawling into a tunnel before I even had a chance to blink. I knew she knew what she was doing. All the better that I was here to stop her. Our lips touched, and I kissed her back. After a few seconds, she pulled back, confused.
“Why aren’t you asleep? Nobody’s ever kissed me back before…” She trailed off, pulling away from me. I grinned, looking carefully into her eyes.
“Think carefully. It will come to you eventually.” After a few moments her bewilderment had only increased.
“Who are you? What are you? Nobody can…” She looked down, chewing on one of her fingernails absently. “But then…you could be like me.” I nodded ever so slightly, saying nothing, not wanting to disrupt her train of thought. She didn’t pick up on it, lost in her own thoughts. I couldn’t fathom quite what was happening in her eyes. They flickered, jumped from place to place. Did she not know the extent to which her kind was able to hurt people? But how could she not? Every one I’ve ever met knew exactly what she was doing, and even enjoyed it. As doubts began to dance through my head, I heard my master’s voice echoing through my mind. Deep as the ocean, with a slight southern drawl to it.
“There’s no point in leaving any monster alive. They’re heartless. They feel no remorse for what they do, and most every one of them enjoys killing people. That’s why they’re called monsters, boy.”
“Please forgive me,” she said, the words flying out of her mouth. I jumped in my seat, fumbling with the stake in my pocket, just out of her line of sight. “I don’t know very much about my…our kind. My parents abandoned me at a young age, so I never learned about my way of life.” I looked at her questioningly. “Our way of life,” she corrected herself immediately. My heart skipped a beat, and my next sentence caught in my throat. I looked down, confused, and turned to the side slightly, checking the cross under my shirt that was protecting me from her aura. It seemed to be still functional, no cracks or chips. Was what I had felt just real? She couldn’t possibly be manipulating me while I was wearing the cross.
“Anyways, I’m sorry. I’ve been alone for a while now. I didn’t think there was anyone else out there that was like me…” She blushed and looked down, tears welling up in her eyes. In that moment, ten years of hunting experience flew out the window, along with all of my preconceptions. I had heard of ‘real’ love, but I had never expected it would hit me so quickly, let alone on the first day I met the girl. I guess that’s what love really is. At this point, I felt like I knew that she was telling the truth. In all honesty, there was no way I could kill her now. As the tears started running down her face, I threw my arms around her, all caution to the wind. Through the tears, and muffled by my shoulder, I heard, “You don’t talk much, do you?” A giggle followed.
“I guess you could say I think a lot more than I talk,” I said. I paused, and held her tighter. “You don’t have to be alone anymore.” She laughed out loud, one of the happiest sounds I’ve ever heard.
“Thank you…so much.”
It was the last place in the world I had expected to meet the right girl.
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