"They aren't?" Matt asked, standing behind us.
"Yes, just like soccer snobs," I teased.
"Well, I thought Alexander really bit you. Can I see your flesh wounds?" he added.
"Isn't that a personal question?" I kidded. "Besides, Alexander only pretended to bite me-- just like Vladimir does to Jenny. He gave an award-winning performance," I said proudly. "I think he actually liked acting in front of all those people."
"Well, the blood looked real, too," he said.
"My brother's nerd-mate, Henry, has all these special effects. That's where I got these vampire teeth," I said, and flashed them.
"Why are you still wearing them?" he asked. "I can't get them off. I think Henry charges extra for glue remover."
Just then two of Dullsville High's junior varsity cheerleaders stopped at our lockers.
"Like, can you tell me where I can get those costumes you wore last night?" one asked.
"You looked like Marilyn Monroe," the other cheerleader said to me. "And you looked like Elvira," she said to Becky. "I want a costume like Elvira."
Costume? I wondered. Hadn't they ever noticed I'd always dressed like that? I considered telling her about Hot Gothics in Hipsterville, or inviting her to come over to my house to borrow from my closet. But the thought of preppy cheerleaders dressing goth just because they thought it was "in" turned my stomach. I'd been an outcast for so long, I might have a hard time being an incast.
"You were awesome last night," her friend complimented. "Where did you get that blood?"
I was thinking of telling her about Henry, but decided to keep him my secret.
"It was real," I said.
"Ooh, gross!" they both exclaimed, and scurried away.
I had to admit, I liked the attention the drive-in performance brought me. Even if I knew it was going to last only as long as a ditzy cheerleader's attention span.
The bell rang.
"The drive-in's going to have another costume night," Matt added. "And people are already talking about acting out the movie." "Maybe Alexander and I should get a cut of the admissions. Where's my agent when I need her?"
"Who was that creepy white-haired kid who came over to you by the movie screen?" Becky asked.
"I guess someone wanting to play one of the vampire gang," I replied, and slammed my locker shut. "But I thought he sucked," I added. "He wasn't convincing as an evil vampire at all."
Chapter 20 Dancing in the Dark
There was a new girl in Dullsville--me. After all, I'd spent sixteen years living a monotonous existence. Now Dullsville wasn't so dull anymore. A few blocks away from me on Benson Hill lived the love of my life--Alexander Sterling. My boyfriend. My Gothic Mate. My vampire.
I was reunited with Alexander, and his nemesis was out of our lives. I had to wonder what would be normal for us. I was dating a vampire. I would have to keep a secret I'd never be able to share with Becky, my parents, or anyone. To keep him in my life, I needed a padlock on my black lips.
Alexander and I would always have to meet after sundown. I would never be able to eat breakfast or lunch with him. We'd have to avoid sitting near mirrors at fancy restaurants and make sure garlic wasn't being minced anywhere in the vicinity.
And most important, I wondered whether I would have to become a vampire for us to have a future. That evening, I met Alexander at the Mansion door, a backpack slung on his shoulder and an umbrella in his hand.
"Let's go," he said proudly, taking my hand.
"Where are you taking me tonight? A tomb?"
"You were awesome that night. Everyone at school thought you totally rocked! For a moment, I thought you were really going to bite me."
"For a moment, I really wanted to," he said with a wink.
"It must be hard for you, resisting your impulses."
"You have impulses, too, that you resist, don't you?" he asked playfully, tickling me. "Why should I be any different?"
After a few blocks we stopped in front of Dullsville's country club.
"You're kidding. My dad belongs here."
"Well, he has good taste."
"I never thought so."
Bushes standing eight feet high lined the property of the golf course, surrounded by a low chain-link fence.
We quickly climbed over the metal blockade and walked onto Dullsville's golf course. Of all the places I've snuck into before, this was not on my list.
"If I get caught sneaking in here," I joked, "this could really ruin my reputation." At night, the course seemed mysteriously spooky and gorgeous.
We walked across the tee, down the fairway, and onto the green, avoiding the sand traps and bunkers just like golf balls.
Alexander and I sat on the green of the third hole, which overlooked a small lake with a lit fountain. A few weeping willows, which offset the lake, in the darkness looked like they were crying black lace instead of leaves. The course was eerily quiet. The only sounds we could hear were crickets and the gentle splashing of the waterfall.
"I like to be surrounded by beautiful scenery--but you overshadow even that."
I gave him a quick kiss.
"I also like to dance in unusual places." He opened his backpack and pulled out a portable CD player. He switched it on, and Marilyn Manson began to wail.
"Can I have this dance?" he asked, offering his hand.
At first we slow danced on the green to one of the morbidly sluggish tunes. We must have looked like quite a sight--two goths dancing in the dark on a golf course.
As the songs picked up pace, we danced around each other and the flagpole until we were exhausted.
We ran to the lake and cupped our hands in the water. The light from the fountain caught my reflection in the water. What should have been Alexander's reflection was only ripples of water from where he dipped his hands. I looked up at him. He smiled back joyfully, not even aware of his missing image. I felt a pang of loneliness for him, wondering what it must be like to live a life of empty reflections.
Breathless, we plopped down on the green and looked up at the stars. The sky was clear except for some clouds in the distance. Lying on the open golf course without hovering trees and glaring streetlights, we could see what seemed like a million stars twinkling just for us.
Alexander sat up and pulled out two drinks from his backpack.
"Gummi worms, spiders, or lizards?" he asked, reaching back inside.