"You're impossibly fast... and strong," she begins, her voice shaking slightly. "Your skin is... pale white and ice cold."
It's dim in the woods and chilly, adding an eerie feel befitting of this conversation. She hears him walking, approaching her slowly. A twig cracks, leaves crunch. She feels his eyes piercing her back.
"Your eyes change color," she continues. "And sometimes you speak like... like you're from a different time."
She hears his footsteps stop and senses him standing behind her.
"You never eat or drink anything. And you don't go out into the sunlight." She breathes in deeply, waiting, but not sure what she's waiting for. To be interrupted or a laugh, maybe. He says nothing.
"How old are you?" She asks him, quietly.
"I'm seventeen," he answers, his voice slightly hoarse, as if rusty from disuse.
She pauses, hesitant, and takes another breath. "How long have you been seventeen?"
"A while," he answers, sounding pained.
Another breath. And another. And another. Is this what hyperventilating is like, she wonders, absentmindedly, her mind spinning and feeling like her world is in circles. She can sense Edward standing behind her, still and not unlike a marble statue. He's waiting, she figures, for her reply to that.
"I know what you are."
"Say it," he tells her. "Out loud."
She doesn't answer immediately, thinking about her current theory, that he's a vampire. Everything adds up perfectly, she muses.
"Say it," he says again, insistently.
She opens her mouth, knowing that what she's going to say will sound ridiculous. But she reminds herself, again, that it all fits perfectly.
Almost... too perfectly.
Suddenly, her confidence shatters. What if she's imagining things? Edward might have a poor circulation and bad dietary habits. Or maybe he has a lot of food allergies that prevent him from eating the cafeteria food or maybe he just has a lot of snacks during class breaks. Maybe he's allergic to the sun and is just a really weird nerd who reads a lot of old books. And maybe it was the florescent lighting that made his eyes look weird.
"You're..." a vampire, she thinks, but can she really say that out loud? Given how unlikely this is and how dumb she'll fucking look when she's wrong. "...Shit."
And she realizes, belatedly, what's come out of her mouth. Horrified, she turns around, an apology already forming on her lips but she freezes when she sees Edward.
His face is crumpled up, like an old, used tissue and tears are streaming down his face. "You're right," he says, his voice breaking. "I am shit." And before she can open her mouth again to utter an explanation for her slip up, he takes off running into the woods, sobbing brokenly.
"Oof," she says, staring after him, before shrugging and making her way back to class. Because after all, she does want to get into a good college and she can't do that if she starts skipping class.