• Story 11: Keep the Secret
    “Why 3 months?” Jiro asked Maddie.
    “That’s just how long it takes. Well actually it takes 3 months from the time we first meet, so actually it’ll be in about 2 months.”
    “This is all a bit overwhelming.”
    “Ok then that’s enough for today. We can come back here whenever you want and I can tell you stories about my family’s adventures.”
    “Why does it have to be in here?”
    “We can’t tell Kataro or Mimiko yet. If we told them and our hearts don’t form then I’ll have to leave.”
    “But Zelman knows the secret. Why can’t we tell my brother?”
    “Zelman can keep a secret better than Kataro can. And anyway my sister didn’t have a choice but to tell him. She started to fall for him you know.” Jiro froze in shock. He definitely wasn’t expecting this.
    “She…she… she what?”
    “My sister thought that Zelman might be the one. He’s the vampire from that story I told you. Well that version was altered, but it’s basically the same.”
    “What?! You’re sister was the Renee in that story you told me.”
    “Yup. Zelman was the vampire that wanted to marry her and when Demitri…”
    “Wait. Who’s Demitri?”
    “He’s the musician. Well when he tried to steal her heart Zelman got mad, but he couldn’t stop their hearts from forming.”
    “So Zelman was the vampire in that story, but you said the vampire was still asleep.”
    “I said it was believed that he was. Actually he was asleep for about 50 years. Eventually, Renee did go and wake him up. She wanted to give him a proper goodbye.”
    “Wow I had no idea.”
    “Ok that’s enough for one day. Come on let’s go upstairs.”
    “Wait.” Jiro had to ask one more question before they went back upstairs. “Why did you tell me this now? Why not wait until our hearts are formed.”
    “You love me right?”
    “Yes I do.”
    “Then don’t you feel better knowing the reason that I want to wait before we get serious?” Jiro thought about what she said for a minute. He thought about how lost he felt when she stormed off. He thought about how he longed to find her. He thought about his relief at finding out who she was.
    “Yes I do feel better about it. You’re right.” Maddie didn’t say anything. She just smiled down at him, and stared at him with her deep blue eyes. Jiro couldn’t help but feel warm looking into those eyes. He couldn’t help but feel at home looking in those eyes. For the first time in a long time Jiro was in love.
    Jiro did as Maddie asked and didn’t tell Kataro or Mimiko. Whenever either of them brought up what happened between Jiro and Maddie in the basement, all Jiro said was, “It’s really personal. I can’t tell you.” Kataro started to feel bad that his brother was keeping secrets from him. Mimiko was starting to think that they had done more than just talk, but she didn’t mention it because she knew it wasn’t her business. Maddie had her own way of avoiding telling Kataro and Mimiko. Whenever it sounded like they might ask about what happened she suddenly realized that she had something to do. She kept herself very busy. Eventually, Jiro caught on to her plan and joined in. They were working so hard that they took naps every night (Maddie was starting to get on a vampire’s schedule). Then, when Kataro fell asleep, they would sneak off to the room in the basement with the huge painting on the wall. They would sometimes stay in there for hours. Maddie would tell Jiro stories about all the adventures she had with her family, and in return Jiro would tell Maddie all of his stories. They had so much fun in that little room. It was the one place in the house that they didn’t have to keep secrets. They loved spending that time together, but eventually they would get too tired to stay any longer. They would go back upstairs and dream about the adventures that the other had told them about. They were content with the arrangement for awhile, but eventually they had to end it.
    Story 12: Moving In
    “It’s really done?” Jiro asked Maddie about the guest house. It was breakfast time and Maddie was making Jiro and Kataro some eggs and bacon.
    “Yup the designers told me that you guys could move in whenever you wanted to.” Jiro and Maddie were smiling, but they both felt a little sad because they could no longer have their special time in the room every day. Maddie gave Jiro and Kataro their breakfast and started to eat hers.
    “Yay! We finally get to see our house.” Kataro was beaming at the thought of seeing his own room. Kataro took a bite of the eggs and his face seemed to light up even more.
    After breakfast Maddie handed Jiro a key. Kataro was so excited that he jumped up out of his seat so high that he hit his head on the cabinets. After Maddie kissed his bump, Jiro and Kataro headed for the guest house. The outside was exactly the same, but Jiro knew that Maddie would have spared no expense on the inside. Sure enough as soon as Jiro opened the door the room caught them both by surprise. The living room was beautiful. There was a dark leather couch against one wall and against the other was a huge plasma screen TV. Most people would have loved this, but Jiro wasn’t too excited. The thing that caught Jiro’s eye was the giant mural on the adjacent wall. It was a giant cityscape that actually lit up. Jiro couldn’t believe it. While Jiro was admiring the living room, Kataro had already gone to his room.
    “Hey Brother come see my room!” Jiro walked into Kataro’s room and had a double take, because he thought that he had walked outside by mistake. The walls of the room were painted like trees so that you felt like you were really in a forest. The furniture blended in with the walls and floor so well that you’d never know that they were there. The ceiling was blue and with the light it almost looked like the actual sky outside during the daytime. “And check this out brother!” Kataro went to the light switch on the wall and tuned off the big one. Then he flipped the other switch and the ceiling lit up again, but it was much different. There were smaller lights covering the ceiling. They all looked like they were little stars. The room was amazing. “Come on Brother lets go to your room,” Kataro urged Jiro. Jiro walked on behind him and was shocked again as he walked into his room. Everything was Black and red like Jiro asked, but the entire thing looked like it should be a painting in a museum. There were black and red circle designs everywhere that made the entire room look like an abstract painting. It looked amazing. Then Jiro noticed a bookshelf and he became curious. He went over to it and read some of the titles. There were all of Shakespeare’s works. All of them were second edition books, plus there were some other titles that Jiro recognized. There were so many classics and so many of his favorites that he didn’t know what to do.
    “So how do you like your house Guys?” Maddie’s voice took Jiro by surprise. It seemed to be coming from this weird box.
    “It’s amazing Maddie. I can’t believe that you would do all this for us.”
    “I’m glad that you like it.” Kataro pressed this button whenever he spoke into the box. It was all very confusing for Jiro. “Ok so you guys get settled and then I’ll need your help packing up some paintings ok?”
    “All right. Got it Maddie.” Kataro hopped away from the box and went to his room.
    “Oh and Jiro just a reminder, we’ve got about a week left. See ya.” The box went silent.