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Vivien, 17, Almost Human, New York City
Call me irresponsible. Tell me what I’m doing is beyond dangerous. Send every vampire in the country to my apartment; it’s not going to work. I’m not leaving the city, I’m not leaving my job, I’m not leaving Jackson.
Have they even considered the fact that I didn’t choose this life? I was born a leech. I’ve lived all of my 17 years wishing to lead a life without yearning for blood every second of the day. And so here I am, a hybrid teenage vampire that lives in Manhattan, works at Starbucks, and has a human boyfriend. Not exactly typical.
A year ago I was on a remote island off of Alaska, living with the largest vampire colony in the northern hemisphere. And, it was…boring.
Life was tedious, too consistent. I had graduated from specializing school, with sub-par grades, and had no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
I was curious about the human world. I frequently read about their culture, and against my parents wishes, considered leaving the island.
I asked permission to visit North America, I was denied. Too dangerous. A vampire as young as me, living among humans? Or course not. Vampires 250 years old couldn’t resist the temptation.
Not that it matters, but I’ve never actually tasted pure human blood. Back on the island, we diluted human blood with a animal blood, and were given small quantities, and since I’m hybrid, (born part human) I can also eat solid food. My mother was born of a human and a vampire. A disgrace, in her opinion, and partly why she is so opposed to Jackson and I.
Either way, I escaped the island with a little plotting and a little help, and landed in Canada. I journeyed down to America, and settled in New York City. I think I picked the city, of all places, just to anger the vampire society even more.
I was fascinated, intrigued, and horrified. I had never seen more people in on place. So much activity, the lights, the signs, the blood…I was thirsty.
I still am. Every day, my throat aches and I have to stifle my body’s pleas.
I have unnatural control over myself. I specialize in social powers, including persuasion, a knack for languages, a low control on other people’s feelings, and the ability to draw humans towards me subconsciously. My mother, who has the same powers, can also read minds, an appealing prospect that I’m still waiting to take part in.
All vampires specialize in something. The elemental vampires control nature, the supernatural vampires can see the future, move objects, and create illusions. The hunters are experts at tracking, have excellent physical strength and enhanced senses.
Anyways…the first few months in the city…The first thing I did was rename myself. My birth name, in my native language, is unpronounceable in English. I named myself Vivien, after my human grandmother.
I had stolen a great bit of American currency from my parent’s safe, and had enough to rent an apartment. I immersed myself in human culture, quickly becoming addicted to music, caffeine, and bright lights.
What was I doing on that island when I could have been here all along?
It look less than a week for my father and the best trackers to find me. I was hysterical when they tried to take me back. I even used the strongest bit of persuasion I’d ever managed, to convince my father to let me stay. He finally relented. The deal is if I try anything at all, I’m coming back to the island immediately. He’ll also have the supernatural specials watching me, meaning the vampires that can see the future are keeping tabs on me.
And there I was, free, alone, in the city. As much as I tried to convince myself that I could be a human, it was difficult for me. I rarely tasted blood, having to go up into remote towns to hunt, and at desperate points, literally stealing donated blood from a nearby hospital. Another difficulty: sunlight. I can stand the sun better than most vampires can (another hybrid advantage) but I had to wear hats and coats on most days. It physically burned to expose skin to the sun. It was difficult, in the warmer months, with everyone in short shorts and sunglasses, and then me wearing jeans, long sleeves, and a beret. I drew much attention to myself that way.
I met Jackson after a few weeks in the city. He worked at Starbucks with me, and we instantly clicked. He’s honest, insightful, smart, funny and charming. He’s a couple years older than me, and is currently studying at NYU. He doesn’t know what I am.
I’ve been living here for nearly 6 months now, and I’m settling down to this life. I’ve had rough spots, like a month ago, when I witnessed a bloody car accident, and my fangs came out involuntarily. I was so close to biting the victim. I was forced to run multiple blocks away until I regained my senses. I was given quite a scare just a few days ago, when Jackson noticed that I shuddered when my mouth brushed by his neck.
My name is Vivien. I’m almost human. I’m seventeen. I live in New York City.
I’m making it through, day by day. I am not a monster. I can do this.