This is not a spin-off from the best-selling book. Rather, it’s my own original version using the phrase, Coffee, Tea or Me? as prompt for this surprisingly different story.
I enter her room after a brief knock. It is pitch dark inside, with only the light of the full moon coming from the open window illuminating my wife’s profile.
As always, she is sitting on the bed, in shadows, waiting for me. . . every night, for the past year.
“What is it. . . this time?” she whispers, weakly.
“Coffee. Brewed and black.”
She nods. “The green tea last night was delicious.”
“I can make you one again, if you want.”
“No, coffee’s just fine. May I have some?”
I approach her, the tray containing the coffee mug in my hands.
She turns her face away, as if stung.
“Don’t come near me! Can you. . . can you just leave it. . . on the bedside table?”
“Love, you’re too weak. You can’t even lift your hand.”
“I. . . I don’t want you to see me like this.”
“You’re still beautiful, love. You’re always beautiful to me.”
“You’re just saying that because I’m dying.”
“DON’T SAY THAT!” My words come out harshly than I intended them to, and she cringes at my tone.
Immediately, I apologize profusely, not wanting to add to her pain.
“I’m sorry I yelled at you. I’m sorry, love,” as I come near her, my arm outstretched, wanting to hold her.
Oh, what I would give to gather her in my arms again, to feel once again her warmth, to smell her sweet breath, to hear her beating heart against mine. . . things I haven’t been able to do in the past year.
But she turns farther away from me.
“Please, love, just leave me. I have accepted my fate. You should, too.”
“No! I won’t, and I can’t accept it. You shouldn’t too. If you’d only agree to the cure, you’d live.”
“I can’t do that.” She shakes her head slowly.
“Why? For heaven’s sake, WHY? Don’t you love me? Don’t you want us to be together?”
“Of course I do! I love you, Ricky! God knows how much I love you! You’re the only man I have ever loved!”
“Then, please. . . please. . . live! For me. For us! Because if you die, I’ll kill myself, Myles.”
“I’ll kill myself,” I repeat with conviction, as I realized this was what I wanted–and planned–to do ever since she refused the cure. “I really will kill myself.”
“Don’t! Don’t waste your life because of me.”
“But you are my life, Myles. Without you, I am not alive.”
She looks at me with haunted eyes, and slowly, one by one, the tears fall down her cheeks.
Seeing the walls she had built up are now crashing down, I plead with her, eagerly, urgently.
“Love. . . you can’t survive with just a few drops of animal blood laced in the drinks I prepare every night. You need human blood, or you’ll die. Please, take my blood. . . and live. I don’t care if I become a turned, blood-thirsty vampire like you.”
I grasp her hand. . . her cold, white hand, and put it on my chest.
“All I care for is being with you. . . for all eternity. Don’t you want that?”
“Oh, Richard, I do. I do!”
“Then. . . what are you waiting for? Coffee, tea. . . or me?”
She smiles tremulously and I see joy flash in her eyes.
Then she opens her mouth wide, and I catch a glimpse of her fangs. . .
. . . before she bites me.