010: Why Are You Here?
There is no way to talk my way out of this. I could argue all day but until he sees something for himself there is no way to prove to him that any of this is real. Vampires have been hiding from humanity for centuries, having convinced the world that they didn’t exist; that they’re just fairy tales made up to scare the kids and give people costumes ideas for one day a year. As much as I want his trust, and as much as I want him to hold me right now, I know there is another vampire nest out there that’s been collecting new people.
“There’s another nest,” I say. “I need my gear.”
“Another nest?” He throws his hands up in exasperation. “Of course there’ another nest, and you just know this how?”
“One of the night orderlies is into the paranormal. He kept asking me questions about vampires and wanted to know if some disappearances could be connected. Turns out they are.”
Jason shakes his head, I can tell he’s not really angry, more disappointed.
“Your stuff was taken by the police and no one has seen it since,” his tone softens. He’s speaking to me now like he’s just accepting that I have no grasp on reality and indulging me is the safest route out.
“Jason, why are you here?”
He stares at me for a long time before he walks a few paces away and sits on the hood of the car.
“I’m taking care of your mom. She’s been like a mom to me since mine passed away, you know that. She’s not doing well. Since you-” he trails off, he doesn’t need to finish because I know I broke her heart. She was still recovering from the loss of one kid when she went and lost me too.
“Where’s my dad?”
“He left. A few months ago, not long after they put you away. Your mom and him were fighting all the time, they kept talking about you and Jules and how everything was just… I don’t know, fucked up, and so he just… left. Took the car and most of the money. Your mom kind of stopped doing anything. She just sat down and that was that.”
It’s my turn to pace. I run my hands through my hair and clasp my fingers behind my head as I walk back and forth. I knew everyone was hit hard by Juliette’s disappearance. Her body was never found, and Dad always held out hope while Mom wanted to be more realistic and accept that she was dead and gone. You can’t move on until you accept the loss, she would say.
“Just stop hunting, Claire,” Jason pats the hood of the car beside him. I want to go sit beside him so badly and let him hold me, but if I do that then the vampires will win and keep taking more victims. Maybe I can’t end their reign of terror in this world but I can certainly make their life in Baycrest less pleasant, and get some vengeance for my sister. Maybe I can finish off the local nest before they get too powerful again. I only got them last time because they weren’t expecting me. Right now I have the element of surprise since they think I’m still at the institute, but once the news of my escape spreads I won’t get another chance. I need to take action now.
I stop pacing and just start walking toward the kitchen door.
“Claire,” I hear his voice break. He’s on the verge of tears. “Please, just stop. Stay here.”
I don’t turn back to look at him, I don’t say goodbye because I know if I try to speak right now my voice is going to crack and I’m going to break down. I don’t stop, I just head through the kitchen and out the front door.