As I stare at my phone, screen displaying this new number, all I can think is how much of a bad idea it would be to answer. Against my better judgement, I flip it open and brace myself…
“Hello?” I answered in the best way I could being half awake.
“Hey tall, dark, and sexy,” was the sensually-toned reply. I don’t think my judgement has ever been so wrong.
“Hey Nicole. New Number?"
“Yeah. New Phone too. It’s a DROID. It was a gift from my mom. Do you know why it was gifted?”
“Uhhh… birthday?” was my half-assed guess.
“Yeah. Do you know when it was?” she asked, her tone souring subtly.
“Today?” my next half-assed guess.
“No.” her tone souring further.
“Yesterday?” another guess of the half-assed nature.
“Yeah, you fucking prick!” she blared through the ear-piece, “Why the hell didn’t you remember? I remembered yours!” Any hint of the sweet, semi-erotic voiced Nicole that started this was quickly sacked, and replaced by a very angry, on the verge of tears Nicole.
“Look! I’m sorry! I’ve been really busy lately, and it slipped my mind! I’m sorry!” If my heart were still beating, it would be doing blast-beats. Now, I think my judgement was horribly right.
“Bullsh*t! I’ve talked to the guys! They said you’ve been spending less time with them and more time with those goddamn drinking buddies of yours! Busy, my goddamn ass!"
Sh*t. Either I’ve been caught being lazy, or I’m violating Masquerade. How the hell do I survive this?
“They’re not exactly my drinking buddies! I owe them a little favor, and I this is what I’m doing to repay them!”
“Stop shouting at me!” was her audibly closer-to-tears reply, “and what sort of f*cking favor do you owe them? Did you not pay them back for the pot you didn’t sell or some sh*t like that?!"
I pause in confusion. Does she actually think I’m a dealer? Is that how she explains to herself why I act the way I do?
“Hey, I don’t fucking deal drugs!” I grate back at her. I then try to calm down and give her at least one calm line of words for my defense. “It is something that they made me swear not to talk about, though. I don’t know if it’s illegal or if it’s just bad for their image or some shit like that, but they don’t want me telling anyone, okay?”
Not buying it, she screams back, “What-the-f*ck-ever! You just don’t goddamn care anymore! The guys are sick of your shit and so am I!”
It’s at this point that she breaks down completely. I have no idea what has gotten into her, but I can see that she is clearly quite pissed at me, along with the guys. Apparently, my work with the Coeterie, and the excuse that I’ve used to cover it, has not gone over well with any of them. While calming her down, I was trying to piece together a way to better balance this. I guess I need to give the band a little more attention, or else lose them, and by extension my primary means of feeding. That most certainly wouldn’t be good. Not to mention with us being so close to being signed, I need to keep my hands on the wheel of it. As brutal as it is, I certainly don’t want my discography to end with BloodRape, right?
She did calm down, eventually. Don’t know how long it took, but it didn’t come quickly.
“Please understand me. I can’t back out of this. I owe these guys, and it wouldn’t sit well with me to back out on them. I love you, but this is a personal obligation that I can’t back out of. I couldn’t live with myself if I did.”
There was a painfully long pause, until she hoarsely says, “Just don’t forget about us. Please. They’re your band. I’m your girlfriend. Shouldn’t you make time for us too?”
I pause too. Not because I needed to, but because I knew the effect of timing could be crucial. Then I said, “Yeah. I should. So I will.”
“I promise. And I will buy you something nice, for your birthday. Sound nice at all?”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll be fine.”
“Nope. Buying you something. End of story.”
I was exhausted. But I was feeling a little empty. Not emotionally empty, but hungry I guess. Which gave me an idea…
“Hey babe?” I ask as sweetly as I can sound.
“Yeah?” was her reply, similarly sweet.
“You working today?” I ask , trying to keep the sugary tone, and getting the feeling I wasn‘t saying it right.
“No? Why?” She asks back, even though she might already know what I’m asking.
Perfect, I remember thinking.
“You wanna stay the day with me?”
“Yeah,” her tone audibly brightening.
“Cool. See you when you get here!” I say, a little bit too dorkily for my own taste.
“’Kay, Love you,” she says warmly.
“Love you too,” I reply.
I then laid in bed, staring at the ceiling for about an hour. I wondered why I put up with her. Then I remembered it was because she was sexy and delicious, along with an undeniable charm that she has definitely ensnared me in. And I was even more surprised that I was (and still am) OK with it.
Eh. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe crazy doesn’t apply to vampires…