The first person I told I was a vampire was my mom. I was seven and had just watched one of those old black and white Dracula movies on TV. I got one of my mom's black skirts from her closet and tied it around my neck like a cape.
"I am a vampire!" I declared proudly.
"Very scary, dear," she said then added, "Is that my skirt?"
It was almost ten years before I told someone else. That time it was Tommy Davis. We were making out in his car when we were supposed to be watching our high school's football game. I bit his lip until it bled, then I licked it clean.
"I am a vampire," I told him.
I thought I was being sexy and mysterious. He said I was being weird. He told everyone I was a freak. People laughed at me in the hallways at school for a year.
In my 20s, I told a therapist. I figured someone paid to listen would have to understand.
"I am a vampire," I confessed.
He told me I was drawn to the vampire myth because of a misplaced belief that I needed to suck the energy out of others in order to be successful myself. I asked him if he wanted me to suck him. I said I'd like to suck him. The way he shifted in his seat I think he considered it for a moment, but then he told me to go. He said he'd give me a referral for someone else, but he said he couldn't help me anymore.
None of those people believed me when I told them I am a vampire. But you did. You did! Of course you didn't have much of a choice once I opened that vein in your neck and began to suck your blood.
"I am a vampire," I said.
You were too weak to talk at that point, but I could see in your eyes that you believed me. Even though I used a knife instead of fangs I could see you believed I was real. I thank you for that.
You were the first to believe me, but you will not be the last. Not now that I know how to make people understand. Not now that I am finally alive.
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