I jerked up from the couch breathing hard, tears spilling from my eyes and trailing down my cheeks. It had been nearly a year since I had relived the night my parents died, I thought I was over it. The candle resting on the coffee table was dull and without flame. I glanced at my cell phone that was sitting on the edge of the table. It was 7:20am. Too early to get up so I fell back on the couch and stared at the ceiling trying to give myself time to calm down after that dream/memory. I closed my eyes wanting to get at least another hour of sleep but sleep wouldn't come.
A few minutes later, my phone started ringing and grunge music filled the air. Music of that genre wasn’t so likable early in the morning. I reached onto the coffee table where the music was coming from. I slid the phone open and put it to my ear.
"Hello," I said in a sleepy voice.
"Did I wake you?" I heard Phoebe ask. I sighed.
"No." There was a pause where all I could hear on the other end of the line was Phoebe's breathing.
"Well...What are you doing?" she asked.
"Talking to you. Where are you calling from?" I murmured letting my eyes droop shut.
"Um...Upstairs," Phoebe said sheepishly. I groaned in confusion.
"Because I didn't feel like coming down stairs." Now I noticed that I could hear Phoebe's words echoed upstairs.
"Can you sleep?" I asked.
"Nope. Can you?" Phoebe replied.
"No," I said though I still felt tired.
"Good! 'Cause I'm lonely," she said in a babyish voice. That was just another way of saying ‘come upstairs‘.
"I'll be right there," I sighed. I closed my phone and got up off the couch with a groan. I stomped up the stairs and into Phoebe's room.
"Lori! Watch this!" Phoebe commanded excitedly. She was sitting cross-legged on her bed and there
was a pile of different colored marbles lying on the fluffy comforter in front of her. I was curious so I did as she said and watched her and the marbles. Phoebe became still and silent which for Phoebe is like a miracle in and of itself. She raised her hands above the pile of marbles the palms of her hands facing upward. Several of the marbles soared into the air. My eyes popped open in amazement. Phoebe grinned and twirled her finger slightly beneath the marbles; they began to rotate and revolve around each other like a mini solar system. It was all I could do to not laugh aloud at the sight.
"Oh my gods!" I shrieked gazing mesmerized at the marbles dancing gracefully in mid-air.
"I know right! It's so awesome!" Phoebe said, beaming proudly at her magical marbles.
I grinned broadly. This was so insanely cool! "So how'd you learn to do that?" I asked curiously sitting down on the bed beside her my eyes never leaving the floating objects. She let her hand fall back into her lap and looked at me. The marbles kept miraculously twirling around in the air.
"I don't know how I did it exactly. I was just really bored so I got my marbles out." She pointed towards a large plastic container about half filled with brightly colored marbles. Phoebe had been collecting marbles ever since I met her in pre-school when I was four years old. She was the same age I was and her parents decided that she was old enough to know not to put the marbles in her mouth and choke on them. She only had three marbles then and they were her most prized possession.
"I thought they would be more interesting if they were floating and voila!" She gestured dramatically towards the marbles hovering precariously in the air.
"Very cool!" I observed with evident zeal. Phoebe smiled and lifted more marbles into the air with her newly discovered witchy powers. I was truly astounded at how adept Phoebe was becoming with this new skill of hers.
Suddenly my cell phone started to buzz and the AT&T ring tone filled the air. A few of Phoebe's marbles stopped spinning but she gained focus and they started back up. I slid open my phone and glanced at the number that was calling. It wasn't one I was familiar with.
"Hello?" I asked uncertainty coloring my voice. Who is it? Phoebe mouthed silently. I shook my head and shrugged.
"Hey, it's me," came a smooth yet somehow awkward sounding voice from the other end of the line. My breathing caught in my throat and it felt as if my heart had just lodged itself in my trachea. I had to swallow hard to get it back in the right spot.
"How did you get this number?" I blurted out before I could think of anything slightly intelligent to say. Phoebe was bouncing up and down impatiently. She desperately wanted to know who was on the other end of the call. The marbles were floating higher and higher above her head, spinning faster and faster.
"You're listed," a simple reply came from the earpiece.
"Oh," I said and I mentally kicked myself. That's what I get for getting rid of my house phone and putting my cell phone number in the phone book. Phoebe's marbles hit the ceiling and clattered to the floor. I ignored the marbles and Phoebe since it practically took all my concentration to focus on the call and keep myself from having a heart attack or something. She sighed so loudly it almost sounded like a growl. I took a deep breath preparing to speak.
"If you don't mind my asking; why did you call?" I asked trying frantically to sound cool.
"I thought it would be a bit more convenient if I called instead of just showing up like I normally do." I swear I could hear the smirk in his voice.
"That didn't answer my question now did it?" I said an involuntary grin taking up residence on my lips.
"I was wondering if you might want to do something." There was a short pause. "With me that is," Zane asked uncertainly. Again somehow my heart found its way into my throat; attempting to choke me into silence.
"You mean like a...Like a date?" I felt I just had to ask this question.
"Yeah, I guess you could call it that," Zane replied in an almost openly embarrassed way. My heart was racing and my head felt light and fluffy. I felt like giggling my brains out like some girly girl; but I kept my cool.
"Um...Okay," I said in a marginally breathless voice. I've been taking risks since I first met Zane why not take a few more?
"Cool! Tonight around eight. I-I'll pick you up?" he asked nervously. It was easy to tell that he didn't do stuff like this very often but that was perfect because neither did I.
"O-okay," I stammered excitedly.
"Great! See you later," Zane said and then the line went dead. I calmly slid my phone shut then burst into fits of over-delighted squeals and giggles.
"Who was it? What's going on?" Phoebe asked. I paused in between giggles long enough to breathlessly say one word, "Zane!" Phoebe groaned loudly.
"Well what did he want?" she asked. I stopped laughing immediately and sprung up off the bed.
"Oh my god!" I yelled elatedly.
"What?" Phoebe said sounding thoroughly alarmed.
"Oh my god!” I exclaimed again. “What am I gonna wear?!" I asked urgently before darting from Phoebe's room and into my own. I tore open my massive walk-in closet and glared anxiously at every corner. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to wear. I mean should I appear sophisticated, classy, mysterious, fierce, shy, smart, sexy, girly, or funny? The guy is a vampire and I've only known him for like four days. How am I supposed to know what a teenage vampire looks for in a girl?
Phoebe came sprinting into my room and she asked, "You have a date?" I nodded, my head bobbing up and down nervously. "With Zane," Phoebe said and this time it wasn't a question. I nodded yet again my head moving even more rapidly. "So what are you gonna wear?" she asked. I groaned melodramatically and threw my hands up in the air for emphasis.
"Why do you think I'm in here, Pheebs?!" I fell to the floor in front of my gargantuan closet in a hopeless heap.
Phoebe stepped around me and vanished into the depths of my over-stocked closet. A while later Phoebe returned smiling triumphantly. "What about this?" she asked.
I glanced at the outfit Phoebe was displaying and almost fainted. She was holding an incredibly short, incredibly tight black leather dress; complete with fishnet sleeves, thigh slits, and a neckline that plunged to the waist. Phoebe had gotten me that outfit for my sixteenth birthday thinking that my wardrobe needed a little spicing up.
"No," I said immediately my eyes wide with the horror of wearing that outfit in public. Phoebe gazed at the dress.
"Why not? It's sexy," she insisted smiling in a totally perverted way. I narrowed my eyes.
"I'm fine with sexy, but I don't want an outfit that says, 'hey, I tie guys up and whip them for a living.'" Phoebe sighed and hung the dress back up. I got up off the floor and joined Phoebe in the room that was more like a clothing store than a closet. I shuffled through the many drawers and racks finally coming up with something that I would consider decent for a first date.
A pair of seriously distressed blue jeans, slashed up with tons of holes. I grabbed a studded belt that added just the right amount of classy edge to the jeans and a deep purple tank top sporting a Gothic cross slanting diagonally across the front. At first, I was against wearing that shirt until I remembered it was the silver chain that had hurt Zane, not the cross.
I ran a comb through my long red hair and pulled it into a hair band so that it was out of my face. I looked in the mirror and adjusted the silver cross at my throat. Glancing down at my fingernails, I sighed. There was black nail polish beginning to chip off my nails. I didn't feel like re-painting them so I just scratched the rest of the black polish off.
Since I was finished with picking my outfit for tonight, I exited my closet and laid the tank, jeans, and belt out on my bed. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and glanced at the time. It was only noon! By the gods, waiting for eight hours was going to be pure agony! I flopped back on my bed.
"I wonder where he's gonna take you?" Phoebe mused quietly. I sighed.
"I don't know," I paused for a second to think. "But I bet wherever it is it's gonna be awesome," I said grinning.
"How do you know going out with a vampire is a good thing?" she asked sullenly. I gave her an accusatory look.
"What do you mean?" She sighed and fiddled with a strand of her hair hanging out of place.
"I mean, what if he's planning on taking you to his lair and sucking your blood." I looked at her my eyebrows raised. "What?" she asked as if what she said was something one used in everyday conversation. I rolled my eyes at her. I was in such a good mood right now not even Phoebe's outright tendencies to speak every word that popped into her brain no matter how disturbing could get me down.