During the earliest hours of the morning, before dawn, Delmarya Fier (Deli) traveled from Sulani’s island of Lani St. Taz to Mua Pel’am. Before leaving home, she’d told her mother that she needed to survey the ocean and collect samples for her work as a marine biologist. While there was some truth to that, she left because she was upset and overwhelmed.
On the surface, Deli was upset because those she had a crush on didn’t like her back. Boy 1 went for her sister and Boy 2 often insulted her. The real issue, though, was that she felt that pretty much everything outside of her academic life was slowly spiraling out of control. There were so many little? (or were they big?) things that niggled at her that she hardly knew where to start or what to do.
Since birth, she’d been a vampire, so she’d always been different but now those differences were becoming more apparent and starting to matter in ways they never had before. For instance, she’d recently stopped aging. Her closest siblings still aged.
She also wondered if being a vampire made her unlikeable as besides family, she didn’t really have friends. So—if eventually (because it was so hard for her to make friends she figured it’d take a long time) someone fell in love with her—would her closest siblings still be around for her to introduce her spouse to them or would they be gone…
As they continued to grow and she didn’t, would she still be able to relate to them or would she, ironically, only grow more isolated because she failed to age?
Deli didn’t know. She also didn’t know what to do.
Doing nothing and continuing to ignore that she was a vampire wasn’t helping. Things around her changed even if she didn’t. Doing something was a possibility, but what if she did the wrong thing? Deli hated making mistakes and making the wrong decision about her life would be disastrous. She wasn’t even sure she knew what her options were.
Deli decided to ask for advice from an outsider, a non-family member and a non-vampire. Being born and raised in Sulani, loving it more than anything, and having a deep spiritual connection to its islands, Deli sought out the island spirits for guidance while the beach was still quiet.
The spirit offered no substantial advice. She only chastised Deli for denying her heritage.
Deli didn’t understand exactly what she’d done wrong, and she tried to explain that as a vampire, she couldn’t always attend the island’s cultural events as they often occurred during the day—too much exposure to the sun would kill her. Wasn’t it enough that she worked hard as a conservationist to protect the islands, that she was studying at university to learn even more about marine biology? Or was this also about Deli neglecting her vampire heritage as there was some truth to that, but …
Confused and feeling worse, Deli wanted to ask more, but she couldn’t as the sun was rising. She told the spirit, she had to go.
The spirit didn’t seem to understand. Deli stayed as long as she could, hoping to hear something more encouraging than their disappointment with her, but the sun quickly became too much.
When she arrived home, her father asked her to travel with him to her eldest sister, Aster’s, home. Deli went, but didn’t feel like socializing, so she snuck off and did her homework, even though doing well academically didn’t seem to be worth much to anyone but her.
Regardless, there was only so much homework that she could use as a distraction. Later, her father found her crying. Asher didn’t know what was wrong. He had ideas and he didn’t like that she was upset, but he wasn’t great (or good or maybe even decent) at consoling others.
Still, he sat down with her and suggested that she relax about her work. She was a wonderful student; she shouldn’t be so obsessed.
Deli explained that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that she had some reservations about being a vampire.
Deli explained the basics of her issues. She hesitated to go into the gritty details because she wasn’t sure how he’d react and she wasn’t sure she wanted to know how he’d react. While Aster, her eldest sister, seemingly had no problem telling their father exactly how she felt and what she wanted, Deli didn’t have the same confidence. She didn’t want to risk another person rejecting or otherwise finding fault with her.
So Asher listened, slightly confused, and didn’t have much to say. She wanted to go out in the sun? That was easy to fix, so he offered her training. After training, she’d become a stronger vampire, and she’d be able to ramble about the beach during all hours like she had as a child.
He didn’t get it. What was the actual problem? What should he do?