If you would have asked me a year ago if I believed in vampires, I probably would have looked at you funny. Now, it seems that what I thought was impossible is not so out of the ordinary. I moved to this small town what seems like just yesterday, but when so much happens in a year, it would seem to go quite faster. I was always used to being normal. I never really stuck out much at my old town and I liked it that way. I was a drop of water in an Olympic size swimming pool. I had friends, but you could count them on one hand. Once I moved here, everyone knew who I was, or should I say they knew the family I belonged to. The people in Lake Solstice, Maine seem pretty normal or as normal as people can be. Driving down the streets, people stopped to watch the limo but it was almost as if they knew where it was going. I had enough on my plate already, so I didn’t give it another thought.
My name is Sebastian Crowe. I am seventeen years old and it wasn’t my decision to move here for senior year of high school. My parents and brother died in a car accident three months ago and I was forced to move in with my Aunt. She is my Dads sister and was given custody of me in his will. I had never even met her before the day of the funerals. She walked in the room and it was as if everyone stopped breathing. I have never seen anyone that beautiful in my life. She was tall and slender and had skin as smooth as marble with dark brown hair that seemed to float on her shoulders. Her eyes were blue as ice and sparkled in the light of the room. My parents were what you would think of as good looking people and I could see the similarities in my dad and her, but she was something else.
Even when she was walking toward me, it was hard to believe she was my aunt. She was about fifteen years younger looking than she should for her age. My Dad never talked about her much so I wasn’t even sure what her age was. He just always told me how unique a person she was. She sent us Christmas presents and birthday presents every year. That’s all we really knew of her. He said that they were really close a long time ago but they chose different paths. He wanted to settle down with a family and she liked her freedom. She spoke very few words to me at the funeral and that was ok because I wasn’t in the mood to talk much that day either. It was short introductions with pain behind them both and we parted ways for the time being.
When I pulled up in front of the gates to the house, it took me a minute to think if I was in the right place. I always knew she had money from the gifts we got every year, but this astounded me. The driveway had the old style gates in front with bent arrowheads at the top. It was black cast iron and moaned when it opened. The driveway was long and had precise brickwork that made swirling designs all the way up to the house that curled around a huge angelic fountain. The house itself was a three story Victorian that looked like a mansion. It had gargoyles on the corners and pillars that extended the length of the porch. The vines that climbed the side made the house appear to have its own personal tattoo. All the windows were big with arched tops and stained glass, each with a different design. It was in every sense of the word beautiful. I got out of the limo and walked up the stairs where I was greeted by my Aunt.
“Hello Sebastian, to formally introduce myself, I am your Aunt Anastasia. You may call me Anne. Welcome to the Crowe house, it has been in our family for generations. Your dad even lived here before he met your mother and decided to start his own life. I believe you will find that it is very accommodating to all your needs.”
“Thank you. May I please go to my room to unpack; it has been a long flight and drive.” I know that it sounded cold for a first true meeting, but I was tired and didn’t want to sit out here and chat much. I just wanted to be alone for now seeing all the events that have taken place. She escorted me into the house, which was even more beautiful inside than the outside. The floors were white and gray marble and it had the dual winding staircases in the entryway. There were big chandeliers hanging from every ceiling in every room and smaller lights lit up the hallways. Each was lined with what looked like expensive paintings and the windows had huge velvet drapes that lightly scraped the floor at the bottoms. When we came to the fourth room on the second floor, she led me into what I guessed would be my room. In the center of the room, was a large bed with pillars on all four corners and an ornate headboard with angel carvings. The bed sheets were silk under a velvet color coverlet.
“I will leave you to unpack, but dinner will be served in an hour so I will expect you at the table by then.” As she turned to leave she added, “I am sorry for your loss. I loved my brother very much and I know he loved you and your family. I don’t expect it to be easy for you. We will talk more at a later time.” The way she said it sounded somewhat cold, but I didn’t exactly know where her mind was. I know how I felt and I have been cold with others about the very same topic. She left the room and me to get my things settled in. This house was definitely something you would read in an old book. It was very mysterious. I was curious to know what we were having for dinner. I would have asked my aunt but she seemed a little distant. So I let it go for now. There was a sense of pain hanging in the air here. My aunt and I were both mourning the loss of my dad but I had lost more than that. I needed to stop thinking about it right now. It never led me to a good place when I conjured up those emotions again. I decided to put my bags down and start to unpack.
I began to think about all the little things I noticed since I have been here. How the house for being so big, was really quiet. My Aunt obviously had people that worked for her cause I saw them walking around. They didn’t say anything to me and I was unaware of how much they knew. I also wondered how many people lived here and if I had other relatives that I never knew. I pondered over my thoughts as I put away all my clothes and placed some family pictures on top of the dressers and nightstand. I wish they were here to see this house and these rooms. They would love all the intricate detail even though my dad had apparently once lived here. It made me wonder if my mom had ever seen this house. Maybe my brother and I were the only ones that were clueless to its existence.
I looked at the clock to realize that there wasn’t that much time left until dinner was being served so I ran out of my room and went down the long staircase. When I walked into the dining room, it was of course immaculate like the rest of the house. The huge vintage table took up the whole center of the room and was set with decorative plates and real silverware. There was a glowing chandelier hanging from the ceiling only a foot from the table. My aunt sat at the head of the table and there were some people sitting with her that I didn’t know. She saw me walk in and signaled to me to sit next to her.
“You may sit down to my left.” I took my place beside her. “Your house is really beautiful and my room is bigger than I ever had imagined.”
“I am glad you like it. It was your fathers. I knew it would suit you well” I wasn’t prepared to find out that I would be sleeping in my father’s old room. “I would like you to meet some people that will be new to you although you are not new to them.”
“To the left of you is your Aunt Cynthia Crowe and beside her your Uncle Victor Crowe. To my right are your cousins Emily and her brother Lucas. As you will notice they are the son and daughter of your other aunt and uncle.”
When I looked at my…cousins, they looked normal but their parents were like my Aunt Anne looking young and ageless. I was however in an odd way, glad to see that I may have a family once again. They could never replace my real family but it was better than being alone.
“It’s nice to meet you all and thank you for accepting me into your home.” My uncle Victor greeted me and told me that he was pleased for us to finally meet. We exchanged hellos and stories of how we were all related while we ate dinner. It wasn’t an unusual meal, pasta and marinara sauce, which I like a lot so it felt a little like home.
My uncle Victor is my dad’s brother, which I never knew he had a brother. My uncle said that they had a falling out and had not spoken in twenty years, which would explain me not knowing of him. He seemed nice enough and from the conversation, he was definitely sorry for him and my dad not speaking. It was a lot for me to take in all in one day so I was tired at the end of dinner. I finished my plate and asked my aunt what I should do with my dishes. She told me not to worry about them that the servants would clean them up. That I could get used to especially since dishes were the chore I hated most.
When I was getting up to excuse myself, Aunt Anne got up with me and said she wanted to give me the grand tour before I turned in for the night. We walked out of the formal dining room and through the kitchen .Aunt Anne was pointing where things were as we went. The whole house was beautiful and I don’t think there was a room that wasn’t perfect. The kitchen was my favorite, not only because I like food, but because it looked like something you would see in a restaurant. The counter tops and refrigerator were stainless steel that looked like you could walk in it. There was an eight-burner stove and a huge wood cutting board next to it. The floor was marble, of course, as were the majority of the main rooms in the house so it wasn’t surprising.
As we walked to the upper levels, my aunt said something that I wasn’t expecting. “Are you curious about anything you saw today?” As I thought about the question, I was of course curious about obviously many things. However, I was not sure how to answer. I did the only thing I could think of. “Like what?” I said. Yeah it was a punk move on my part. What should I have said? Why do you people look so young? How do you afford all of this? Why are my cousins different looking than their parents? That would be too much and too rude on my part. She answered for me by repeating all the questions I asked in my head. “Are you not curious of all these things even a little bit?”
“I am very curious about that stuff but I didn’t want to be rude and break in on your privacy so I didn’t say anything.”
“It is quite alright and I will answer by telling you that there is a lot about your father and our family that you do not know. I will explain it all to you in good time but for now it is getting late and you start school tomorrow.”
As she said it, I realized we were back at the door to my room and I couldn’t even remember how we got here. Her saying I start school tomorrow hasn’t set in either because I definitely wasn’t looking forward to being the new guy two days in a row. “When you go to school tomorrow many people will look at you differently because of the family you belong to. Pay no attention to them and remember that some people can’t handle others that fall in a different social status.” Her words came out in a kind of an arrogant way. I said okay and prepared myself for what was for sure going to be another long day.
“Good night” she said and I returned by saying the same. I went into my room and got a shower in the bathroom that was attached. This place was really amazing. I wondered if all the bedrooms had bathrooms attached to them. I got out of the shower through on a pair of my basketball shorts and jumped in bed. I closed my eyes and tried not to think of the day I was gonna have tomorrow.