The Secret

Chapter 3

At the sound of the final bell, I rushed out of the classroom, heading for my locker on the next floor. When I got there, Carmine was waiting for me. As I shoved the books I needed for that night, Carmine leaned against Beckey’s locker. Yeah, we had lockers side by side. Aren’t we lucky!
“Walk with me?” he asked as I closed my locker. He sounded a little more serious than he had since I had met him the other day, so I followed him. The ton of his voice made me more than a little nervous, but I followed him nevertheless.
“I need to talk to you.” He stated plainly as we walked across the school grounds. Now, in most situations, this is a bad thing. Though it’s generally between a couple. I never thought twice about it…
“Becca, have you ever wondered about your family’s past? Like who your ancestors where? Where they were from?” Carmine asked her as we walked.
“Other than for a history project in grade five, not really. Why?”
“Because sometimes, looking back, you can unearth long forgotten secrets of those who came before you. Like a forgotten king.”
“I guess it might have crossed my mind a time of two, but I never really thought hard about it. I just go with the flow, you know? What ever happens was meant to happen, no matter how hard you try to change it. And that no matter how hard you try, you can’t change history.”
“Well…then you won’t mind me saying this. Your family history is very well known where I’m from. You might say the Hutt’s are like royalty.” He flashed a smile in my direction, and I could have sworn I saw fangs. I froze. I could feel the color draining from my face. I didn’t say anything, so Carmine continued his story.
“Your ancestors on your mother’s side where vampires. The gene eventually left the family, but it is said that every 8 generations, the curse returns to the oldest child. It’s the same for every family with this history.”
This must be a joke. It couldn’t be real…”W-what are you talking about?” I stuttered. “V-vampires aren’t real. They’re just make-believe. Stories made to scare little children…You’re lying!” My head felt like it was about to explode. I raised my fist, ready to hit him square in the jaw, but he flashed me another smile, revealing those glorious white fangs of his. I lowered my fist, slightly ashamed.
“If you said it’s every 8 generations…” I tried counting it on my fingers “wouldn’t that be…m-me?” I wasn’t scared so much any more…more nervous than anything.
“Have you ever wondered why it’s almost impossible for you to sleep at night? Why your canines are slightly longer and sharper than those of most people?” he turned around, took my hands tightly in his and looked deeply into my eyes. In the most sincere voice anyone could ever have, he said: “Bear, darling…you’re a vampire.”
I blacked out, fell into his arms. I could feel someone picking me up, carrying me…
Now I thought about it, it makes sense. My teeth really are longer and pointier than most people’s, and I adore the night. It never occurred to me to look back in a family tree, but when I got home, I went to work. Carmine wasn’t lying. But now that I know my true identity, I can’t get it off my mind. It’s taking up every nook and cranny of my brain. I couldn’t fall asleep last night. I just spent the night staring at the ceiling, trying to figure it all out.
At school the next day, I confronted Carmine in the halls. “How do you know so much about me and my family? Hm? Have you been stalking me??” I lashed out to his face.
“I told you already!” his usually cool, calm, relaxed voice was on the verge of yelling. “ Your family was royalty where I come from. If you haven’t already realised, I’m not from your world. I’m from the underworld. You’re ancestors were the princess’ and princes of vampires. Your family history is studied by every creature in the entire underworld!”
“Well, what can I do about it? I didn’t want this to happen! I didn’t even know vampires existed until yesterday!” I wasn’t angry anymore. I was terrified. I collapsed against a row of lockers, the edges of my vision becoming blurry.
There was an awkward silence, neither of us daring to make eye-contact. “I can’t tell you much more, but there’s someone I want to introduce you to. Friday, meet me at the Bean Bank at 6:15 pm.” And with that, he left. As he walked away, my mouth fell open a bit. The past few days have been a whirlwind of emotions. I slid down to sit on the floor, hitting my head against the lockers as I did so. I let my tears flow freely, not caring who saw me.

Friday. The day I was supposed to meet up with Carmine at the Bean Bank. I went straight home after school, passing the hours staring up at the ceiling, trying to clear my mind.
When time came, I set off on my way to the coffee shop. I didn’t want to be late, because he seemed urgent when he told me to wait here for him, but I couldn’t help but walk slowly, taking in everything I passed. Since that fateful day, I’ve been seeing things in a whole new light.
On my arrival, I found Carmine at a small table in a room at the back. I walked over to him, trying not to seem too anxious. “Hey Miner…what’s going on?” My voice was defying my need to be calm. Arg!
“You’ll see…Come on, follow me.” And off he went again, avoiding eye contact. I did as I was told and followed him into the back alley.
“Jump on my back.” He commanded, rather calmly in my opinion.
Before I knew what was happening, the ground seemed to open up beneath us. I screamed as the wind rushed past us. We were running, if you could even call it that. It felt more like flying. The scenery whizzed past as we gained speed. Before you could say “cotton fluff”, we were in a different city, far from Sydney. It was the dreariest, yet the most beautiful place I had ever seen in my life.
The buildings looked just like the ones you see in books of the Victorian era, but the air was thick and damp. It seemed darker than it should be.
I jumped – well, more like slid – off Carmine’s back. He wrapped his arms around my waist as I landed with a small thud. I must have looked a little confused, because he smiled and said “This, my dear, is the underworld. Come on, I need you to meet someone.”
He let go of me and started walking in the other direction. I followed, looking like a lost puppy. After about fifteen minutes of walking, we stopped at a beautiful old building. Once again, it was Carmine who spoke first.
“I want you to meet my twin sister. I think she might be able to help you.” Twin sister? Since when does Carmine Duchesne have a twin sister…?
Once we were in his house, he lead me up two flights of stairs to a green door decorated with little pink stars. He knocked and I heard a voice say “Come in!” Why does that voice sound so familiar? I can’t possibly have met its owner…