“Sic itur ad astra,” wrote Virgil in the Aeneid, almost 2000 years ago. “Thus you shall go to the stars.” I doubt that he meant it literally. On the other hand, if I understood the conversation I had with Neelam the other day; that is indeed man’s destiny. I must confess that I do not entirely understand her vision of the future, as she describes it. On the one hand, she made it sound very bleak; a world where man has nothing left to achieve sounds like a death sentence for the human spirit. On the other hand, the vision that man will one day explore beyond the boundaries of this Earth, to other planets, to other stars, fills me with hope and optimism, and, it has to be said, a certain longing. I found myself staring up at the stars last night with much the same feeling as I have, sometimes, when I stand on the headland and look out to the horizon, wondering what is out there. Much as I like my life here in Jasper Cove, it is a very small world, and I have about explored every inch there is, save for the private residences and the inside of the castle. It is coming up to full moon soon. Perhaps I can complete my trading arrangements with Alec, and, who knows, maybe I can go out with him on the next trading mission. All that seamanship training I did must be good for something.
On the subject of travelling, my very occasional room-mate, Lalla, has reappeared. Of course, she had to do so while I was in the tavern, talking with Neelam, Aiobheann and that strange rabbit-like person, so not at all awkward, given that Aoibheann and I haven’t had a chance to talk since she berated me for my loose morals. She seemed to want to talk, so I excused myself and we went back to the flat. It seemed easier than trying to talk while walking, and there was less chance of being interrupted.
She has been… away. I am not quite sure where, exactly, save that it was on another island, where she has found herself some space to do her sewing in peace, apparently with hardly any interruptions from Adam. However, she misses my company.
Yes, after several weeks of being away, with nary a word in between, she suddenly reappears, telling me she misses me, is grateful for all my help and… would like us to be more than friends. I know things are different in her time, but that seemed somewhat direct. On the other hand, maybe it saves an awful lot of the dancing around the matter that sometimes dogged the courtship process in my time. I was somewhat surprised, although I had thought that something was developing before, but I also had to laugh, given the situation with Aiobheann. I told Lalla about that and acknowledged that I had thought something more was there between us, but, being a product of my times, and, for all my adventures in London and elsewhere, I am still a little old-fashioned when it comes to relationships, I would like to take things slowly, to see how things develop. Of course, that was a minor matter compared to the elephant in the room; the thing I had yet to tell her about my nature.
I had no choice but to do so, but how to approach it? I started by telling her that there was something she needed to know about me. That was possibly not the best place, as her mind immediately leaped to conclusions concerning me being a father, or having some un-mentionable disease or something like that. I tried to steer her gently in the direction of my eating habits and other oddities she may have noticed, but that didn’t seem to work either. I launched into telling the tale of how I came to be in Bremerhaven, but even that seemed… too roundabout. In the end, I asked her to come closer, and placed her fingers on my pulse points. She was puzzled at first, then seemed to cotton on and tried various other pulse points until she eventually gave up and asked where my pulse was. I told her I didn’t have one, unless I tried really hard and then dropped the vampire word into the conversation.
At first, she thought I was joking. Then came denial (she had seen me out in daylight), and a rush of questions. I tried to keep up with the flow as best I could; no, I can’t eat solid food; yes, I drink blood; no, haven’t killed anyone to do so; yes, I can see myself in mirrors; no, I am not repelled by holy symbols and I can go in churches… Eventually, it all seemed to become a bit much for her; she became agitated and then ran to the bathroom, feeling sick. I rinsed a facecloth for her and left it where she could reach it, but she would not come out, assuring me that she would be ok, but she needed time to process this. I told her that was understandable and said I would leave her to think it through and that I would see her later. Not knowing what else I could do that would be useful; I left her to it, taking myself out into the woods and spending the rest of the night outside. I do not know how this will go now. Later, I found she had left me a note saying that she was ok, and was ok with what I had told her, but, we still needed to talk. I guess that’s something positive, but I won’t know until the next time I see her.