Savior: Chapter 2
By DJ Jone
Waking up the next morning offered a little relief. Saturday meant no school, which meant no bullshit from my classmates. My family moved to this part of Chicago halfway through my sixth grade year. I wasn’t exactly met with open arms. By sixth grade, the hierarchy is pretty much already established for the rest of the school years. Outsiders upset the balance. I quickly learned this was a tight-knit bunch, and newbies have a hard time fitting in. I’ve always been fairly shy, but I really did try to make friends. No one would have me. I resigned to becoming a loner, which equals loser, which equals wearing a target. When no one has your back, what’s going to stop someone from giving you Hell? I’ve taken my share the last two years. Constant ridicule and occasional physical violence. It’s pretty fucked up, because I never did anything to deserve it.
It’s the same shit I hear at home from my dad. Getting picked on for not playing sports. For being skinny. For reading books. For wearing my hair long. I get called pretty boy. Girly boy. Fag boy. The list goes on. I put on a good poker face, but it never stops hurting. At home and at school.
Maybe that’s why I was so enamored with the boy in front of my house. He followed me. He looked me in the eye. He saw me. The real me. Nobody ever sees the real me, because nobody bothers to look. Maybe l really am that pathetic. I’m becoming infatuated with a complete stranger. A murderer. Only because he didn’t beat me up or insult me. I hate my life.
I forced myself out of bed, took a shower, and went downstairs for a quick bowl of cereal. I had about fifteen minutes to get dressed and jog about six blocks. There is a Saturday tradition I dared not be late for, even though today I would prefer to just stay home. I wasn’t completely honest earlier. There is one friend. Kim. She is a Korean friend of mine. My only friend.
Kim was adopted by a white family, and has had her own struggles fitting in. She’s brilliant, and funny, and I couldn’t ask for a better friend. She challenges me and makes me think. I know she values our friendship as much as I do. We’re kind of like two kindred spirits who were lucky enough to find each other. Although, I don’t really know what she gets from me.
I rarely see her at school, but we always spend Saturdays together. We hop a morning train downtown, and bum around Millennium Park, Michigan Ave, Navy Pier, and all the other exciting places to see in Chicago. It’s fun to just spend all day together, with nowhere to be, and nothing to do.
“Soooo…rough night? You look a little disheveled,” Kim commented, as we took our seat on the L.
“Yup. That’s what I said. Look it up.”
“O-Kay…actually, yeah. I was up kind of late last night. I’m pretty tired right now.”
“Up late? So who’s the lucky girl?”
“Hmmphhff!” Yeah right.”
“Ok. So what had young Tyler up so late? Inquiring minds want to know.”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
“Oh? Try me.”
“I was staring out my window, looking for a vampire boy who followed me home last night.”
“Haha! You were right. I don’t believe you.”
“You’ve gone completely nuts on me now. Hello? Earth to Tyler. What would make you think a vampire boy followed you home?”
“Because one did. I saw him. He was a vampire. He had super pale skin, and his eyes glowed.”
“I’m sure it was just a trick of light…and you’re overactive imagination. However, it is creepy someone followed you home. Are you sure he followed you?”
“Yes I’m sure. I saw him way over by the library and then in front of my house. He followed me, no doubt.”
“Weird. I wonder what he wanted.”
“I know. That’s the part that bugs me. I don’t know what he wanted, but I don’t think he wanted to drain my blood.”
“Oh my god! Stop already with the vampire crap!”
“But that’s what he IS! I didn’t…I…didn’t tell you everything yet.”
“What? What is it?”
I scanned the train to make sure nobody was listening in on our conversation, before I responded in a hushed tone. “When I saw him by the library, I saw him murder somebody.”
“Shhhh shhhh. Keep it down.”
“Tyler, do you realize how stupid you sound right now? I mean haha good one. You almost had me there. Acting so serious. But honestly, you can st…”
“Kim. I’m not kidding. I am dead serious. You have to believe me.”
I stared directly into her eyes. Unflinching. I needed her to believe me. Nobody else ever would.
“You are serious aren’t you, Tyler?”
“One hundred percent.”
“Oh my god. What do you think it was?”
“I told you. A vampire.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. Find him.”
“Hold on there, Van Helsing. You’re going to find him. How?”
“I drew a picture of him. I know what he looks like.”
“You drew a picture…so now you can just go out and find him? You do realize Chicago is a really big place, right?”
“Duh. I didn’t say I was going to like find him in one night. It won’t be easy, but I will find him. I swear I will.”