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Reductio Ad Edwardum
It was the week before APs. For Vivian, it meant half-hearted studying. She’d read that you were supposed to start preparing about a month before the exam, give or take, depending on the person and the subject. What a joke. In her estimation she was classified as an overachiever for starting when she had, barely a week before the exams. At the very least, she wasn’t anywhere near claiming the title of biggest procrastinator.
In an attempt to relax she decided to take a walk to the park in her neighborhood, taking the semi-hilly sidewalk, passing by trees, trees, bright green grass that had to be perfectly maintained or it would ruin the scenery (which was a sin), and more trees. This kind of surrounding was the usual in her rich bubble of a golden community. If you had a speck of mold on the side of your house or a shrub out of place, They would hunt you down and mail you a notification that promised trouble if you didn’t fix the problem straight away.
Viv reached the park in about ten minutes. The weather was pleasant enough considering summer was on its way. She entered the park and worked her way toward the playground and swings where she would sit and contemplate something like the meaning of life.
She was only about a dozen yards away from the swings when she saw him.
There was one thing she noticed right away about him: he looked suspiciously like Edward. Not Robert Pattinson, the greasy-haired, funky-looking actor, but Edward Cullen. The supposedly drop-dead-gorgeous character. The one from the novel that she had read exactly once because it had been a birthday present from her aunt and her Team Edward aunt and her Team Jacob kid sister had Teamed up (for once) and forced her to.
Viv followed her first instinct: she began running in a frenzy.
Running as far away from the Edward lookalike as possible. To top it off she began to yell hysterically. (She didn’t do the whole high-pitched shriek thing.)
Hearing footsteps behind her, she turned to look without slackening her speed. The Edward-clone was coming after her. She freaked and began to run faster, yelling even louder.
“What’s wrong?” her pursuer hollered after her. “Are you running from a creeper?”
“YES!” she shouted back. “YOU!!!”
This caught the guy by surprise. “Wha?—OW!”
Viv grinded to a halt when she heard the thud and the yelped exclamation from behind her. She looked back at the Edward-clone to find him sprawled on the ground. When he pushed himself up off the concrete, she saw that his forearm was bloodied.
Against her better judgment she jogged over to him with deliberate speed.
“Hey, are you okay?”
The guy gave her a what-do-you-think expression, but answered, “I haven’t broken my arm, if that’s what you mean. It’s just a scrape.”
“That looks worse than ‘just a scrape,’” Viv remarked.
He shrugged. “Trust me, I’ve had worse. It comes with being a klutz.”
This came as a surprise. “I’m sorry.”
“No need to be,” he replied. He frowned. “Anyway, how am I creeper? I didn’t do or say anything.”
“You look like Edward.”
The moment after Viv said it she realized how ridiculous she sounded. And how wrong she was.
Up close he looked nothing like the description of Edward. Aside from the blonde hair and pale skin, anyway. He was a gangly teen with wide blue eyes that made him seem as if he were perpetually worried about something. No unnatural golden eyes or perfect Adonis-and-Greek-marble-statue-like figure. Not even close.
“Oh. Great.” His resigned reaction was not what she had expected. He fingered his blonde locks sullenly. “And my mom was just telling me to dye my hair black to avoid this kind of thing. Maybe she was right after all.”
Viv was slightly bewildered, but she reached out to pat his uninjured arm a bit awkwardly in a sympathetic gesture. “Yeah. It must suck. Not just anyone has the misfortune to be mistaken for an overprotective sparkly stalker.”
“No kidding. He gives us all a bad name,” the boy grumbled.
It took her a moment to realize what was wrong with that statement.
“Wait. You’re a vampire?!” she half-shrieked.
“Yes,” he sighed. “Are you going to run away screaming again?”
She blinked. “Er, no. I kind of figured that if you were going to hurt me, you would have done it already.”
“That’s more than most people think of when this normally happens,” he told her, seeming almost impressed.
“I pride myself on using my brain more than a few times per week,” she confessed. “Also, you seem like a decent person. You’re not like any vampire I can think of. Of course, I’ve never met any before today.”
Non-Edward had nothing to say to this.
Viv looked from his face, to his bloody arm, back to his face again. “So. No super-fast healing powers?”
“No sparkling in the sunlight or spontaneous combustion?”
“Obviously not,” he snorted. “I do burn easily, though.” He indicated his pasty complexion. Viv got the distinct feeling he was used to this kind of interrogation.
“Good.” She moved to the next item on her mental list. “What about garlic?”
He beamed like a small child, awakening in Viv a curious mothering instinct. “I love that stuff. Spaghetti and garlic bread is food for the gods.”
“Well, I don’t shrink away from those like in those old school movies. Occasionally I sneeze at them, but it’s not the crosses, it’s the people wearing them. There are some rather evangelical Christians who are…let’s just say I’m allergic to bullshit.” He flushed slightly at his own audacity.
Viv guffawed. “Oh, me too,” she assured him heartily.
“Glad you agree.” He smiled shyly.
After an awkward silence, he asked, “So…what’s your name?”
“Vivian. Viv for short. Yours?”
He opened his mouth to reply, but she interrupted. “Please tell me it’s not Edward—heaven forbid—or Jean-Baptiste or something ridiculously old-fashioned.”
He shook his head. “It’s Timothy. My friends call me Timmy.”
Viv couldn’t help but laugh at this. “What kind of vampire name is that?”
Timmy tried to muster an offended expression. “It’s mine. I’d rather be Timmy than Jean-Baptiste. What kind of moron would name their kid that?”
“Uh, French people?”
“Hmm, good point.”
She smirked. “Well, since you have no epic special powers, Timmy the Vampire, don’t you need to take care of that arm?” She pointed at the gaping wound.
“Yeah, just maybe. How far do you live from this park?”
“A street down,” Timmy said, pointing in the direction behind him.
“Closer than my house,” Viv noted. “Well, let’s go.” She turned and began walking in that direction. Timmy followed suit.
“And you accuse me of being a creeper.”
“Dude, who wouldn’t want to see a vampire’s house?”
“This is suburban America, not olden-times Europe,” he pointed out. “No Gothic mansions or fancy architecture.”
“Still,” she insisted.
Seeing her determination, Timmy relented. “Fine. Just don’t judge me for it,” he said in earnest.
She nodded. “I’ll try.”
“Also, don’t stay too long. I have to study for AP French and I can’t afford any distractions.”
“AP French,” Viv repeated, grinning. “Good luck with that, Monsieur Jean-Baptiste.”
Somehow, Viv had met a vampire, and he wasn’t anything like what she would have expected. Plus, she had a feeling it was going to be a fun getting to know Timmy, the non-arrogant, not-a-stalker, less-than-fairytale-gorgeous vampire who was NOT Edward.
The End (Sort of)