|The Blood Bather|
Belinda and Edward sat huddled together in the dark recesses of the Rare Book Library, illuminated by weak sconces made to mimic the effect of candlelight in order to protect the delicate pages of the old books. The room they were in was sealed off from the general library by a series of heavy oak doors, and coupled with the thick carpet created a silent womb, or tomb, depending how maudlin one was feeling. The books that Belinda and Edward had open on the long library tables could only be visited at night under the supervision of the librarian in order to keep their exposure to ambient light down to a minimum. To confound matters, most were handwritten in difficult to read script and spelling that was reminiscent of a 4th grader.
Belinda and Edward were snuggled side by side in a pair of very comfortable chairs, Edward curled around Belinda like he always somehow found a way to be. Belinda giggled as he moved a strand of strawberry blond hair behind her ear.
"You are a love addict, Eddy. Did you know that?"
This gave Edward pause for a moment. "It's true." he nodded sagely. "I am exhibiting signs of serious addiction for you and it's probably unhealthy. We are always together. I feel like I need to protect from everything, anything, the dumbest things. And I've forced you to become dependent on me because I do everything for you. It's almost like I'm a vampire and you are my blood source."
Belinda giggled again, but responded. "What should we do about it?"
"We should break up. Or immediately get married."
"You are right, Eddy. Those two equally dramatic events are the only natural responses that well-educated, emotionally balanced people can come up with. And by "break up", you mean where you leave me for weak reasons and I collapse utterly, have a bonafide nervous breakdown and never leave my bed for three months. And by get married, you mean we should have a small but tasteful ceremony against our parents’ wishes that interferes with our educations and future earning potential causing us to eventually resent each other and ultimately break up, where the above-mentioned collapse happens anyway. A third option, acknowledging that we are in too deep and taking a break from each other while still remaining friends, is just too..."
"Boring?" asked Edward.
"Yes, I was going to say boring, but also ... banal", she mused. "I mean, what would we talk about to others, if not each other and how we feel about each other. By slowing down the pace of our romantic fervour we would lose status in the eyes of our peers who kinda expect us to be over-the-top. There really is nowhere else for us to go at this point. Our love has trapped us in a pre-manufactured story that only leads to tragic oblivion."
"Unless one of us is very wealthy, or has a superpower, or both! Then we could move into a ruin of a Scottish castle and become happy heroin addicts that never get out of bed all day in a swoon of love and drugs," Edward was beginning to take notes. "We could even get our own reality show".
"It's a good thing I am outrageously wealthy," said Belinda.
"And it's a good thing that we've both decided to wait until marriage to have any physical contact," said Edward. "Or we really would be in too deep."
They were both silent for a moment.
Looking into her eyes, longingly, Edward said: I really love you Belinda.
Belinda giggled again: I know you do, Eddy. I love you too.
Because Belinda and Eddy knew, unlike many of their peers, that "I love you" is always a question.