I have lived for a very long time. Immortality is not always forever, but for me it has lasted for many centuries.
During this time I have acquainted myself with the kind of loneliness that a mortal could never understand. I have seen years pass by in the way that others measure days… hours… I am alone, not only as a person, but as an entire society. The world I came from is long gone. Every world I have ever known is gone.
Then I found a ray of sunlight. The year was 1982 and I was haunting the gritty streets of Manhattan. It was summer, and the city was alive with the smell of people melting under the heat.
She was a sweet young thing. I occasionally dabble with the emotions of mortals for my own amusement. Nothing serious… I enjoy the company, the feeling of being wanted, being desired. I am one of the lucky few of my kind with enough control to enjoy this.
She was… disarming. I am not usually so drawn to a mortal woman, but she was so full of life. She was as elegant as a Roman princess, as witty as a Greek sophist, and a laugh that set me on fire.
As the night wore on I found myself wondering if I were experiencing blood lust for her. However no, this was a new feeling, something totally unexpected. Something I had only ever seen hints of over the centuries.
I don’t know if everyone has a soul mate. It took me many mortal lifetimes to find mine. But I know they exist.
I also know that what I was feeling was love. I know it because the next night, I told her what I was. I had never done that before, spoken the truth to a human. If it had been lust or infatuation I would have seen her a few more times and then disappeared into the night. But I told this one.
She didn’t believe me of course. But I had proof. It didn’t take long before she was running, screaming.
I followed her. I followed her always. I waited in the shadows watching her, even as she married, even as she started a family. I’d like to think that a part of her knew I was there, that maybe a part of her was fond of her pale shadow.
The greatest sign of my love is that I never turned her. Even at the end, as she lay there prone, helpless, passing beyond. I knew she would not want this. By then I knew her well. I understood her soul. She would have rather died.
And so she did, and I was left alone again, to wander the world in eternal, immortal loneliness.