Though the thought still continues to haunt me to this very day, it takes me a great deal of effort to remember exactly why I ever thought it right to become fully acquainted with such a monstrosity as he had been. Only very recently, though not in good nature, did I even think to hark back to our time spent together. Before I begin, I urge you to show mercy on my foolish actions, which will become clear to you in time –for I am in no literal sense the true monster of this account, and, with all due respect, I must ask you to remember why it is that I must seek assistance from one such as you. My time spent in reminiscence, I assure you, was not at all in vain, though I presume that that is your decision to conclude. Even so, no length a sentence in purgatory could ever deride my past of its ill-omened traits.

    For my absent soul prevents such blasphemy it is impossible for me to recollect upon the truths that led to me meeting the boy –how can any real title ever have been placed upon him?– but I can tell you that, at the time, he was nothing to me but the most beautiful existence, a fallen angel in the flesh. He had the radiance of a fallen angel too, might I add, with all of the pitiable sadness of one forbidden from heaven, having seen the face of the almighty and knowing that you will never again be blessed by His presence. I could do nothing to help the sympathy that I felt towards this stunning boy with hair of the darkest black; I have since learned that the naïve spirit that possessed me as a teenager was perhaps more dangerous than even idiocy. Conceivably, allowing the spirit to possess me in the first place was an act of idiocy, but was it even within my power to harness? Nevertheless, I can’t make any attempt in pretending that I was not in the slightest way fascinated by this boy. He was exquisitely beautiful, may I repeat, an angel!

    In stature he was remarkably tall, somewhat pallid, and, dare I say, majestic in his crown of raven hair. I cannot express to you sufficiently the sense of ease that came to me with his placid nature –life by this boy’s side was seemingly effortless. A battalion of Hell’s most oppressive forces would have seemed like harmless mist under his protection. Then again I suppose, under specific circumstances, such a feeling as this is nonetheless meaningless, considering the place I stand now. At any rate, many long years have elapsed since such weightlessness first seized me, and there is no changing the fact that it soon felt natural to me, a sixth sense. I must digress; I can even take it as far to say that, as selfish as it may sound, a life without the feeling of ultimate protection seemed ultimately meaningless! In those precious early days of our acquaintance, which I now know to have been not days but years, and far more than a mere acquaintance, I paid little heed to the words of people I knew; needless to say that I was becoming increasingly oblivious to anything other than him. I was in every way intoxicated by this stranger’s splendour –because, though we considered ourselves together, he really was little more than a stranger to me; all I knew of him was his name.

    I often wonder what it is that the two of us had. Passionate devotion? A sense of powerful affection that bled from the depths of our hearts? Surely not! The idea of a silent romance is preposterous! But, perhaps, was it something more than even romance? As the days of evasiveness passed, the enchantment of his magnificence eventually began to deteriorate. Longing for undemanding conversation, I finally confronted him. Though I remember very little of that particular year, no amount of time will ever be enough to erode the reminiscence of this day. Each minute detail is as potent in my mind as though it were only yesterday. As agitated as I was by the little regard he seemed to pay our love, I was spellbound by his unnaturally appealing nature –everything about him seemed fluently perfect!– and I noted his unwillingness to reveal himself merely as overwhelming shyness. However, the reason to why he suddenly regarded me that night would forever be an unsolved mystery to me. The moment he saw me the light in his countenance brightened. He took my face in his hands and, for the first time since the day we met, I was able to appreciate him in the finest of detail. Never in my life had I seen such a stunning pair of eyes. How could human eyes possibly be so green? I will even go as far as to say that they possessed the exact hue of emeralds, with just the same enchanting shine.

    Not only was I stricken by his eyes, but every inch of his oddly angular face seemed to exude perfection. Up close, the skin of his flawless face was not quite as pallid as I had first thought -in actual fact it was a warm sort of white that adequately balanced the raven-wing-black of his hair- and the shadows cast by his attractively high cheekbones seemed to enhance the sharp angles of his jaw. Even the boy’s teeth, as peculiar as it may sound, seemed to strike me with brilliance, though I had very little time to appreciate them before his lips had found mine. Despite how things have changed, and I assure you that under casual circumstances I would not be saying a word of this to anyone, I am still enthralled by the passion of which he kissed; I must say, though I don’t like to admit it, it was not the kind of passion that ended with no praiseworthy consequence. In the boy’s embrace, his lips warm against my own, I didn’t just feel safe. I felt impressive! It felt as though I was in complete control of myself, and of him. Most significantly, however, I felt as though the only detail that mattered in the word was him.

    Anyhow, there is one particular topic on which my views never seem to settle. I would in vain attempt to portray it to you as an instance of great malady on his part alone, of which no amount of resistance could maintain, but, though I remember this to be the case, my heart tells me otherwise. Much to my despair, I began to notice changes in the boy, though many were so subtle that it is quite frankly a mystery to me how I even noticed. The white of his skin, once rich and wholesome, became gradually paler by the day, tightening to near translucency around the somewhat sharper planes of his face. I can vividly remember peering into those mesmerizing eyes of his, expecting their usual luminosity but instead being confronted by flat, dying blackness. Now old enough to fend for myself, it must have been a matter of days before I released his frail hand, the final sign of his agonizing death.

    And not once in those final few days did I realise the truth behind his terminal sickness.

    With every hour came a new sense of affliction – not for myself but for my beloved. Indeed, the obvious solution would have been to hail a physician, but he insisted that any “outside involvement” would lead to the “unnecessary loss of life”, evidently concerned that his disease would contaminate others if they became exposed. Why he never thought about my well-being never even struck me as curious; he wouldn’t even allow me out of his grasp! Perhaps to him the idea of isolation in his final hours was so awful, or he was so intensely in love with me that his only lasting desire was to be by my side. At any rate, I was forced to observe every flicker of desolate anguish in his dying face, a torture more profound than that of the depths of Hell. Not, of course, that I noticed exactly how much time really was passing, considering how little I perceived the difference between consciousness and unconsciousness; any sleep that befell me was full of the tormenting images of reality. Diverted by the suffering of the boy, I soon grew faintly ill myself, starved of food and my throat as raw and dry as bark, but no amount of my own sickness could avert my awareness from him.

    However gradually his life was slipping away, why should I strain what is already a painfully sparse memory and shun the particulars that, of course, deliver my true motive for rising before you? Why should I minutely detail every moment of our latter days when, as always, it is in a person’s final moments in which they are truly themselves? You know as well as I that this story ends with a graphically emaciated corpse, so let me tell you not of his dying days, but of the days where he was gone.

    How formidable the irony of life never ceases to be, no matter how unseen it may be at first glance. The final day seemed to approach relentlessly quickly, days at a time stolen by my personal lack of realization. The arduous chill in the air was shockingly unpleasant on my skin, a sensation that seemed to have been absent for as long as I could recall. Only now did I realize that I had been asleep, for a lack of temperature could never be possible in reality. As for the biting cold that chilled the air now . . . well, I could only put it down to the absence of a warm spirit –I couldn’t bring myself to believe it to be anything else, though religion and spiritual encounters were something that I only ever saw sense in at that moment alone. Crushed by grief, I knew without a shred of doubt that I would be forever haunted by the sight of his lifeless corpse, so naturally it came with great astonishment when that prospect never occurred once. Where was the body?

    A great numbing rushed through me then, forcing upon me an indiscernible burden that acquired every cell in my body. Unable to take control of my mind, I found myself on my feet, virtually gliding into the adjacent room. I was aware of a sinister existence before me, but, before I could comprehend, I found myself blinded –not by darkness but by images. Though I had not seen them in many months, I immediately recognised the faces of everyone I had ever loved. There was, however, something wrong. They all seemed . . . ill, their expressions vacant and dying, just as the boy’s had been. Though their mouths remained shut, I heard screams for help, all painfully desperate as they rung through my ears like the tolling of funeral bells. How fitting, considering they were all as good as dead.

    Opening my eyes in a frantic attempt to be freed from the images, I found myself on my knees, crushed and brought to tears, staring down at a pair of thick leather boots.

    Somehow, however impossible it might have been, the boots belonged to the ghost of a dead boy. Or was he dead? He seemed solid enough to me, and the heavy sighs of his breaths were undeniably living. Most noteworthy of all was the healthy glow that emitted from him; it was impossible to tell that he had been even close to demise.

    If his renaissance hadn’t frightened me then his expression certainly had. As loving as he had seemed to me before, none of that affection appeared to be present now. The smile that broke out on his face was callous and his laugh indifferent, as if the sight of me broken at his feet was faintly amusing. Without moving his lips, the deep toll of his voice mocked me from inside my head. Any attempt I had made to repel his voice was unattainable; it attacked me from the inside, forcing me to listen.

    The atrocity hit me like a blow to the stomach, but, as much as I felt like collapsing under the agony, I was fixed solid in my stoop. The concept of which I had been told was ridiculous enough, but how could I ignore such a sincere tenor? And besides, it had been my love that had caused his revitalization.

    “Thank you, Adrianna, for allowing me to redeem myself. Your strength is incredibly profound.” At the time his words had made little sense, but I am now able to understand the horrific reality. However outlandish it may appear, the boy wasn’t dying, he was drained, since only humans can die and this boy was far from human. Soulless, immortal and incapable of ageing, he was nothing but a monster designed for human heartbreak. A creature of demonic essence redeemed of its faculty by the one who took it in the first place – an eye for an eye.

    You can tell me as many times as you please that to provide a force of evil with the power it needs to execute malevolence is an unspeakable sin, but trust me, this is when the irony is at its most potent, because though it may well have been my hand in which the blade was held, was it under my influence that the deed was completed? As a matter of fact, it was demonic manipulation that drove that knife into my bleeding heart; my heart was ceased by the one supposed to die.

    So, Death, as I stand imprisoned in your unyielding clutch, I ask of you one request. Your grip on me may be unremitting, but it is for the sake of the irony of an unwilling sin that I ask you, urge you, to allow me one final demand before I am crushed in your clasp. Though it is not within your eminent greatness to take his life, let me see you show no mercy. Tear wrath upon the boy and everything his frozen heart truly loves; make him beg for the possibility of his own imminent decease. Bring me vengeance upon the perfidious Elias Skarsgard.

(June, 2013)