Zell insisted on a funeral.
Normally, the Count would never hold a funeral for a mere human, but he was in an extraordinarily good mood after the death of this particular one.
With that annoying human slain, Zell and the Count were free. Free to be together.
Well, Zell was not exactly “free,” thought the Count, chuckling to himself, since he now kept the gate to his estate locked at all times. To be more precise, Zell was finally free of that pesky mortal distraction. It would take some time, but Zell would eventually come back around to his senses and love his master again.
Luckily, they were vampires, and vampires had all the time in the world.
At the end of the funeral, in a brief moment when the Count was looking away, Zell whispered something into Caleb’s ear, and he nodded.
Caleb knocked on the door of the Kim residence, where Benji’s parents lived.
Benji’s parents stepped out to greet the stranger, who broke the news to them.
The days passed.
When my eyes opened, all I saw was purple.
My bones were aching; I felt like I had been hit by a truck.
A shadow stirred in the corner of the room, and I blearily recognized my ex-roommate.
“Zell,” I rasped. My throat hurt. “I just had the nicest dream… we were going to get married…”
“That sounds like a lovely fantasy,” Zell said softly.
I slowly pulled myself up in bed, my whole body sore and burning. “Zell,” I said, my head pounding, “I still need to go fight the Count, don’t I-“
“You already did,” he interjected gently.
I had to pause to think. “Well, we’re here together, so we won, right?”
Zell didn’t answer.
I shivered. My neck hurt and my stomach felt like it was on fire and churning, as if it wanted to eat itself from the inside out.
“Zell, I think I’m gonna-“
“The bathroom’s through there,” he said, as if he could read my mind. “I’m so sorry, Benji-“
I leaned over the toilet and vomited. “Ah!” I shouted.
“What happened?” said Zell through the door.
“I just bit my tongue, is all-“
“Benji-” Zell’s voice was cracking. “I’m so sorry, it was the only thing I could do, but I promise I’ll help you through every step-“
I hoisted myself up and pulled my way to the sink, and that’s when I noticed something odd.
“Zell,” I said, my voice rising, shrill and panicked. “Where’s my reflection?“
“I’m so sorry, Benji,” Zell was crying. “It was the only way I could save you. You died, Benji. You died and I hid you here while you were turning. Everyone, even the Count, thinks you’re dead-“
“Zell!” I sat next to him, horrified. “How could you!? You were supposed to escape, Zell, while I distracted the Count! That was your only chance to leave this place, I died so you could get out of here-“
“I couldn’t leave you there, Benji-” he sobbed.
“And now we’re both trapped all over again,” I said helplessly. The weight of our reality was sinking in. “You should’ve let me die, Zell.”
Zell wept quietly.
“Do you realize what you’ve done, Zell?” I said. “Instead of saving yourself, you’ve doomed us both to suffer for eternity.”
He looked up at me between wracking sobs and said, trembling, “But what matters is that we’re together, right?”