So far in the book, Peter has yet to mention Elise, and I hope he doesn’t. Jack said he was very young when he wrote it, so he probably hadn’t even met her yet.
He explained how he turned, what he could remember of it. Apparently, the transformation was something hard to articulate.
“My mind was an excited fog. It felt like I was waking up and falling asleep at the same time. My body was shifting and dying. There were times where I could literally feel my organs sliding about, as if my gut had been cut open and filled with eels.
“I couldn’t decipher dreams from reality, and I recall singing ‘Ava Maria’ repeatedly so I could hear my own voice. The sound of it meant that I was still there, that there was still some part of me on this earth.”
Imagine, Peter writhing in a bed as his body died. His beautiful face contorting and twisting with pain, and through it all, he’s singing. I’m sure that he had an amazing voice, but it seemed strange to think he would sing.
I often tried to figure out why Peter had turned Jack. They were opposites in nearly every way, and Peter was always running off on his own. He didn’t seem to have the inclination for companionship, not like Jack did. It didn’t make sense that he would turn someone knowing the attachment that would create with him.
In the book, Peter says almost nothing of his mortal life. Only going as far as to say that he was riding a horse that bucked him. The horse took off, and he was left dying on the side of the road. A stranger came upon him, and seeing the shape Peter was in, decided that turning him was the only way to save his life.
After that, Peter describes an intense feeling of loyalty and affection for the vampire.
“It wasn’t like anything I had ever felt before. In my previous life, I had a father, a brother, friends. But no other bond had ever felt this strong. I could sense everything that he felt, as if I was feeling it for myself. When he went too far away from me, there would be an awful panic inside, as if I wouldn’t be able to survive without him.
“There was nothing carnal about it, however. It was as if I was an extension of him. Being away from him would be as painful as being severed from my own limbs.
“Fortunately, he treated me with respect and dignity, like an equal or a brother. Many other fledgling vampyres did not acquire such a happy fate.”
That explained a bit more about what was going on with Milo and Jack, but it didn’t make me feel any better about it. I knew eventually that it would fade, as it had with Peter and Ezra, but even in the book, Peter did nothing to illuminate a time frame.
He moved onto the first time he saw a young man turn into a vampire. He described a disturbing scene that I wasn’t excited to repeat for myself.
I lay in bed, reading the book and listening to Elliott Smith. As the sun set on the third day, I still hadn’t heard from either Milo or Jack. I made it halfway through Peter’s book, and I was trying to read slowly.
Night settled on my room, making it too dark for me to read, and I stared at my phone, willing it to ring.
Milo needed time to get the hang of being a vampire, and his new jealous streak made it more dangerous for me to hang around Jack, but this was ridiculous. They both promised to talk to me soon, and it had been three days.
One entire day was spent consoling my mother when she learned that Milo left without really saying goodbye. After crying a lot, she started drinking even more, and ended up yelling profanities at me and throwing things.
On top of everything, school was less than two weeks away. Once summer vacation drew to a close, I’d have to deal with curfews and school that’d keep me away from Jack and Milo even more.
I was going to spend the rest of my life cooped up inside this apartment by myself, and they didn’t even have the decency to call and give me one last blowout before deserting me for the rest of time.
In some form of misplaced pride, I’d been waiting for one of them to call or text me. But I was tired of waiting. I couldn’t stand the thought of spending another night suffocating in my tiny room.
Hi. What are you doing? I text messaged Jack.
Not much. What about you? Jack responded. It took him three minutes to answer, which was an unusually long time for him, especially since it was after ten o’clock at night. Even he never slept in this late.
Even less. I haven’t done anything in three days. I tried to lay on the guilt.
You haven’t talked to Jane? Jack was suggesting that I hang out with Jane.
Wow. Things were worse than I thought. After Peter, Jane was Jack’s least favorite person in the whole world. And he was encouraging me to hang out with her? Wow.
Not so much. But I guess I could. Great idea. I replied.
Right now, Jane was probably getting drunk or giving oral sex or something. If it were earlier, we might be able to do something more reasonable, like shop. But with only two weeks until school, I knew that for her, every night would be a blur of alcohol and debauchery.
I’m just pretty busy lately. Sorry. Jack texted.
No. I totally get it. It’s great. I’ll just do something else. That’s what I said, but I knew that I was going to spend the night in bed crying myself to sleep.
No. Wait. Are you ready? Jack text messaged back, but it was too little too late.
Never mind. I’m good. I responded.
Just be ready and outside in like fifteen minutes, okay?
I didn’t reply to that. I couldn’t even decide if I wanted to get ready and go outside to meet him. I honestly didn’t want a pity hang out, even if I really did miss him. It was stupid how much I missed him. But I was bored and lonely and couldn’t stand it.
Almost grudgingly, I got up and pulled on a pair of jeans. I wore a white tank top and pulled my hair back in a ponytail. I quickly applied some eyeliner and mascara, and then ducked out the door, unsure if I was making the right decision or not.
When the black Jetta pulled up, I got my answer. It was absolutely the wrong decision.
Mae had come to pick me up.
I considered turning around and going back inside. What would I achieve by hanging out with her? I’d feel stupid and pathetic all night, and I was just prolonging the inevitable. When a guy sends his sister to hang out with you instead of him, I think that’s the beginning of the end.
“Hello, love,” Mae said when she had rolled down the car window. She leaned across the passenger seat towards me, looking sheepish. “Sorry, Alice. I know it’s not quite what you hoped for, but Jack thought you needed to get out of the house.”
“You know what? I’m actually fine.” I chewed my lip. “He’s um… he’s mistaken. I’m sure you have better things to do then baby-sit me, so I’ll just go back in.”