Amy Reed can still remember everything about Jelena Dragovic; her black eyes, her long red hair, the fragile stance she held. She can't remember anything as clearly as she can Jelena.
If only things had been different, if Amy hadn't fallen for the same creature her father had so many years ago.
It happened Amy was exactly sixteen-years-old, sent off to a boarding school in England. At this stage in her life, Amy had begun to see things. Not just the ghost woman Irena from her childhood, much more. Sometimes she saw other ghosts, too, or objects moving by themselves. She swears that she had once seen little people in her mother's garden!
Amy was no fool, though. She knew that if she told anyone else about these things, she would get into real trouble. And it wasn't like she could tell Irena; the woman had disappeared from her life a long time ago.
Irena told her many things; who and what she was, what it was like to be a ghost. It had fascinated Amy so much, and she was very sad when Irena left. She never talked to other children her age, or confided in her parents about her problems. Amy thinks she was shipped off to England so her parents wouldn't have to deal with such a distant girl, which made her feel even worse.
When she arrived at her new school, Amy had accidentally bumped into a willowy girl with long, fiery-red hair, and the blackest eyes she had ever seen. Amy attempted to apologize, but the girl ran off in embarrassment.
Afterwords, Amy found her dorm room. She was surprised to learn that her roommate was in fact the girl from earlier. She was sitting in her bed, reading a book.
“Oh,” Said Amy. “It's you! I'm so sorry for what happened earlier.”
The redheaded girl just nodded, not taking her eyes off her book. Amy sat on her own bed and set her suitcase down. “What book are you reading?”
The other girl finally looked up with those dark eyes. “Carmilla by Sheridan le Fanu.” Her accent was strange, possibly East European, though it was hard to tell.
“I've never heard of it before,” Amy admitted. “What is it about?”
“Well,” The girl said. “It's about this girl who meets another girl, who is a vampire.”
“Really?” Responded Amy. “Is it good?”
The girl gave the slightest smile. “Yes. Very good.”
“May I borrow it? Oh, and what is your name? I'm Amy Reed!”
“Amy,” Repeated the girl, which sent shivers down Amy's back. “My name is Jelena Dragovic.”
It wasn't long before Amy and Jelena became close. They learned about each other quickly as well.
Jelena was born in Serbia, and her father died before she was born. She and her family had left for America when Jelena was eight-years-old. The family was rather reclusive, and Jelena had trouble making friends. In a way, with both girls' track record with friends, it was a miracle that they fit together so well and fast.
Many times, Amy thought about telling Jelena about what she had seen. Amy, however, always decided that it would risk their friendship.
One day, Amy had finally finished Carmilla, and was going to give it back to Jelena when they had returned to the dorm. But when Amy arrived after classes were finished, Jelena was nowhere to be seen. 'How odd,' Thought Amy.
Amy waited for ten minutes, which turned into an hour, then two hours. Amy was about to leave to go look for her, when Jelena finally entered their room. Amy gasped; Jelena's uniform was torn, and there were blots of red all over it.
“I-it's alright,” Said Jelena, though she was clearly shaken. “I just fell.”
“Amy, I'm sorry, but I need you to leave for awhile,” She announced. “I need to be alone.”
The next day, there was news that three other students were found brutally murdered not far off campus.
Amy had become suspicious of Jelena. She remembered back to Irena, what she said about the 'Cat People': Those descended from witches who transform into wild cats. It terrified Amy when she first heard it, even more when she learned that Irena was one when she was alive! Amy desperately wished to see Irena again, to help her with Jelena.
She decided that she would confront Jelena about all of this.
When Jelena returned to her room after class, she had found Amy sitting on her bed, with a concerned look on her face.
“Jelena,” Amy began. “Please be honest with me.”
“I am honest, Amy,” The other girl replied.
“No you're not. Tell me this: Are you a... Cat Person?”
Jelena held her breath for a moment, then turned to leave the room. “Jelena! Are you?”
Jelena didn't turn back. “I... I'm so sorry, Amy. I wish it didn't have to be like this.”
“You killed those girls, didn't you?”
“I didn't mean to,” Jelena answered shakily. “They laughed at me, and attacked me. I couldn't control myself when I...”
Amy got up and wrapped her arms around Jelena. “Oh my dear Jelena. Why...”
Suddenly, Jelena pushed Amy away, and quickly ran out of the room. “Jelena?”
When Amy left her room, the entire school was in chaos.
A tiger had been seen in the hall, and all students were to be evacuated.
Amy knew what was going to happen. Jelena would either be killed or captured. She had to find to her soon, before it was too late.
She ran throughout the school, ignoring any authority figures who questioned what she was doing.
Amy reached the library when she heard it: A growl. She turned around to see a large tigress staring at her with its black eyes. Amy took a deep breath, and spoke. “Jelena, can you hear me?”
The tigress started to pace around her. Amy was starting to regret this decision, but she continued. “I want you to know that I understand what's happening. All I want is to help you. Can you please come back, Jelena?”
The creature stopped for a moment, as if to think about Amy's words. But when it started to move towards her, the door of the library opened to reveal men holding guns, ready to fire.
Amy's eyes went wide. “No, don't-”
Everything became a blur in Amy's mind. Shots were fired. The tigress fell to the ground. It faded. A young girl with red hair appeared in its place. Panic. Amy walks to the dead Jelena. Places her hand on the other girl's bloodied hair.
The day after Jelena's death, Amy had written a letter to her parents asking to come home. A week later, she got her response. She would be leaving the next day.
It wasn't like she had anyone to say goodbye to. Her only friend was gone now. It seemed that all her friends would leave her one way or another. As she sat in her dorm on her last day, Amy felt the hollowness in her heart. She was in love, and it hurt like a knife.
When she was getting ready to leave her room, Amy saw something outside the window. She ignored it at first, but when she was about to exit the school's gates, she became speechless; A beautiful woman in a white dress was standing on the lawn, a soft white glow covering her.
“Irena,” Amy said breathlessly. The older woman only smiled. Another figure appeared, with red hair and black eyes, wearing a similar dress. “Jelena.”
The girl with red hair walked towards Amy, put her arms around her, and kissed her softly. “Goodbye, my love.”
Tears were running down Amy's face now as both ghosts faded out.
Amy told her parents about what Jelena was, but never mentioned what their relationship really was. She knew she still had things to work out with her parents, and they probably weren't ready for their daughter being in love with another girl.
She continued seeing things, and she never stopped. She wishes for the day that she would see her love again, just once.