He didn't notice me at first. They never do. That's one of the things about being plain—you often get ignored. By the way, it's not true that if you turn into a vampire, you automatically become beautiful. I’m just as dull and unbeautiful as I was alive. The only difference now is that my hair refuses to hold color for any length of time, so I’m constantly re-dying it.
Today, however, that plainness was working in my favor. I was practically standing right next to him. Yet he was so oblivious to my presence, I could have punched him in the nose and he wouldn’t have been the wiser. I didn't want to punch him, though. I wanted to kill him. But not here. Not now.
I watched as he stooped over to put his briefcase in his car, all 6’4 of him. He was a foot taller than me and quite handsome. He had dark brown hair, a chiseled jaw, and lovely blue eyes. They weren’t really blue. He had an unfathomable obsession with colored contacts and his eyes changed hue more often than Paris Hilton changed handbags.
He slammed the door to his BMW a little too hard and peeled away from the curb in alarming fashion. A bit irritating, really. I wanted him dead, just not like that. Regardless, he’d officially had the last spat he would ever have with his mistress. Oops, sorry. I meant secretary. It was the typical forbidden lovers’ quarrel:
“When are you going to tell your wife about us?”
“Don't hound me! I can’t handle this right now!”
“But you said you loved me! Don't you love me?”
“I’m not dealing with this!”
Cue slamming of door and sobbing of delusional administrative assistant.
I looked at my watch as he pulled around the corner. Five o’clock. It’d take him an hour to get home, assuming he sped the entire way and didn't hit any traffic. I could be there in 20 minutes if I took my own car. I can drive a little fast sometimes. That would leave 40 minutes of pointless waiting. I hate waiting. So walking it was.
Walking isn’t so bad, as long as you have nice, comfortable shoes. They do not even have to be sneakers. I have this totally awesome pair of platform boots that are surprisingly wonderful for walking. Now, when I say walking, I’m not talking about the walking you're familiar with, assuming you're mortal. And I’m assuming you are mortal because I know very few immortals who enjoy curling up with a book. They're usually too busy murdering or plotting revenge on the good guys to read anything more complex than traffic signs.
Vampire walking is vastly different from mortal walking. With mortal walking, you put one foot about a foot in front of the other (and now you know why it's called a foot!), always keeping one sole in contact with the ground. With vampires, you never have both feet touching pavement or dirt or what-have-you. That is, unless you're trying to act like a mortal. Then you do as mortals do. When you are not trying to be mortal, though, you place one foot on the ground and sort of launch yourself into the air. You do not get very high, maybe a few feet at most, but the distance you travel before the other foot touches the ground is quite substantial. I’m talking at least 10 feet.
I know. You're thinking, “That's not walking; that's running.” Not to vampires. Running is much faster and you travel at least three times further with each step. And running tires you out a bit. You can’t sustain a consistent speed for very long if you are running. Maybe a few hours at most. But if you're walking, you can continue for days on end. Well, discounting that whole sunlight issue, but we’ll discuss that later.
So anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, I was walking, so I didn't have to wait so long for my target to get home. I hate waiting. On the plus side, the trip gave me time to review what I knew about this guy. On a normal day, he got home and sat in the car for a few minutes while he checked for lipstick smears, perfume stench, and other telltale signs of his blatant infidelity. Then he'd walk into the house carrying whatever gift he’d bought to assuage his guilty conscience. Sometimes it was flowers, sometimes chocolates. This time, it was a pearl necklace worth more than the car I owned when I was alive.
Usually when he got inside, his son would immediately run to greet him. It's not the boy’s fault. He was only four, still too young to realize what a bastard his father was. The man’s daughter, however, couldn’t care less about her doting daddy. She lovingly referred to him as Mr. Doucheburn. Get it? His last name is Washburn? Well, I thought it was funny. Back to the plot. His beautiful, blonde, too-young-for-him wife was typically in the kitchen making supper. It rarely tasted any good, and it almost always was burned or undercooked, but she’s hot and is a tiger in the sack, so he wasn't ready to let her go just yet.
When he walked in the door that fateful evening, he wasn’t greeted by his loving son, bitter daughter, or cookie-cutter wife. You see, whilst she looked like the token blonde bimbo usually snagged by guys who feel like they have something to prove, Becky was actually shrewdly calculating and sharp as a tack. Before she married Mr. Doucheburn, she held a 4.0 at Yale and was planning to join a well-known law firm in New York City. She was also a very smart shopper, allowing her to sock away three-quarters of the monthly allowance her husband gave her into stocks and other high-yield savings options. She and her kids never failed to look the part of upper middle-class in sale items and elegantly disguised, well-made knock-offs. Only Becky's step-daughter and her investment profiler knew her secret. Well, and me. But I don't count because, for all intents and purposes, I don't exist. Except in movies.
Anyway, Mr. Cheating Dirtbag (his real name is Bob, by the way) came home to a houseful of nothing that evening. Becky decided to be “spontaneous” and took the kids to dinner at their favorite restaurant, after giving me specific instructions to not mess up her spotless house. She didn't want to have to lie to the maid about why the perfectly off-white carpet suddenly had a massive, spreading stain in the middle of it.
I was waiting in the shadows when he pulled into the garage. True to form, Bob went about his evening scumbag ritual, then stepped out of the car. He had found a nice set of mauve lips on his collar, so he went to the toolchest-turned-armoire and changed. I let him change and get as far as the door before I showed myself.