Chapter 8. Mending

So, my roommate’s a vampire.

The kind of vampire that uses mind control on people to suck their blood until they pass out. But also the kind of vampire who was trying not to do that.

So, what did I think about my roommate, the vampire?

Sure, Zell could be sweet sometimes.

Or, he could murder me in my sleep tonight.

A knock at the door jarred me out of my thoughts.

Dad? Don’t tell me you and Mom are visiting again…” I started panicking, but he told me it was just him this time.

“Thank god,” I said. “Wait, why are you here, Dad?”

“I came to tell you… I’m proud of you.

I know you and your mother aren’t on great terms, but I see who you are, Benji, and you’re turning into a fine young man.

I think living with your roommate has been really good for you.”

“Dad, I-” And I gave him the tightest hug I had ever given him in my life before I could choke on my tears. “Thanks, Dad.”

“You’re welcome. And send my regards to your roommate!”

And suddenly, I knew what to do.

“Hey, Zell?”

“…yeah, Benji?”

“Let’s go to the city tonight!”

“Wait, you want to take me out tonight?” Zell closed the book he was reading and looked at me nervously. “Benji… are you sure about this? Despite me being a, well, you know?”

I smiled. “Yeah. I’m pretty sure.”


“So, Benji, where are you taking me?”

Since it was my first time taking my roommate out to the city, it was my chance to show him that I, too, could be a fun guy.

I grinned, excited. “We are going fishing!”

I showed Zell how to set up his rod and how to cast it. He stood there for a few minutes, brow furrowed, as though he were concentrating very hard on holding the rod.

“Um, Benji?” he said softly.

“Yeah?”

“This is, like… really boring,” he grimaced. “Plus, it smells like urine and fish guts, and I’m pretty sure I saw a rat.”

“It hasn’t even been ten minutes, Zell!” I groaned, my heart sinking. So much for the outing tonight. “Whatever, I guess we can go back home-“

“Hold on, Benji,” he said gently, as if he could sense my frustration. “Look up!”

The stars were twinkling in the vast blanket of space above us.

Zell was beaming. “The night is young, it’s beautiful out, we’re young and beautiful-“

“-how about we go out to a proper event?” he said.

I think my knees were literally weak. “Damn, Zell,” I said. “How do you always know what to say to win me over? All right, where are we going?”

“The festival!” Zell gestured at the bright lights hanging around the downtown area. “Drinks, mischief, people, what’s more fun than that?”

I’ll hand it to him, the atmosphere was a lot nicer than the musty docks. We sat and chatted the whole night away, like two old friends.

Until a voice behind me cut me off. “Hi, excuse me, could I ask you a weird question? Were you at the romance festival a few weeks ago?”

“Who, me?” I stood up to face the voice. It was a young man, dressed in white. “Um, yeah I was there. Why do you ask?”

In the background, I could hear Zell whispering words of encouragement. “All right, roomie, you got this!”

“Ah, I thought I recognized you!” explained the man. “I wanted to talk to you that night, but you disappeared before I got a chance to say anything!”

“Oh!” I said. I might’ve blushed a little. “I’m sorry! Well, let me introduce myself now, my name is Benji…”

I glimpsed Zell in the corner of my eye, grinning supportively at me.

I guess I spent a while talking to the man, because when I turned around, Zell was gone.


The next morning, Zell was kind of quiet.

I raised an eyebrow at him. “Hey roomie, I know why you’re upset.”

“What?” Zell blanched. “I’m not upset-“

“You’re upset because I have more game than you,” I said.

You have more game than- ha! HAHA!” Zell dissolved into a fit of laughter. “Good one, Benji-“

“Ok, ok, no need to laugh that hard-“

“So, what happened with the guy from last night?” Zell asked, getting up after finally calming down from laughing so hard.

“Turns out he lives kinda far, so it’s probably not worth seeing him again,” I replied.

“Bummer.”

I shrugged. “Eh, it’s ok. Oh, and Zell?”

“Yeah?”

“Thanks for not murdering me in my sleep.”

7 thoughts on “Chapter 8. Mending

  1. Couldn’t Benji also murder Zell while Zell’s sleeping? He could drag his coffin out into the sun or something. It’s hard for me to picture either of them as murderers, so even though Zell does seem to attack some people and even though he is a vampire (which is scary), I wonder why Benji imagines him as a murderer. He seems sweet over all. I hope their next outgoing goes better – I was entertained by this one :), but for their sake, I hope there aren’t any activities Zell finds boring or picking up of third wheels in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My gosh, here I was 100% sure that Jun-soo was going to roll up and proclaim “your mother and I are separating.”

    Hahaha, Benji, showing your roommate you’re not a dork by taking him fishing! Hahaha! Should have done something cool, like going to the Museum of Mathematics! Or grading the Putnam Exam together! Or Mystery Hunt, or they could go to a talk on invasive whiteflies! Haha, what a rube, going fishing.

    By the way, when does this take place? Zell’s pants say the eighties were his decade, so I’m guessing after then. (Almost typed ‘when does this take pants.’)

    Also, oh dear. Boy! Tell him how you feel before he takes someone else to the Museum of Math to ride the square-wheeled bicycle on the caternary track.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And here I thought Zell was going to get the idea he could make plasma packs from fish. I think Benji’s date plan was brilliant. Most of my dates end up wandering around in a grocery store…

    I really enjoy the interaction between Benji and Zell in this story as they try to figure each other out.

    Liked by 1 person

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