He was watching them again.
He found his nose pressed against the cold glass window, his eyes locked on the room beyond, unconsciously counting the rising and falling breaths of each dark lump snuggled warmly in the bed, and he had no memory of how he had gotten there. They were bigger. They always seemed bigger each time he huddled against the side of the house, watching them sleep. He wondered how many years it had been, then found it absurd that he would even still care.
He used to also watch through the window on the other side of the house, gazing at the sleeping woman with some unknown regret pounding at his frozen heart. Used to, that is, until a man appeared next to her in bed, and he realized that his former position was no longer empty. After that, he lost all desire to venture beneath that particular window, and the pain that seared him never flared up again.
Now he spent his time with the small ones, peering at them through the blackness. Sometimes he would stay there all night, unable to tear himself away until the threat of dawn forced him into hiding. Those two sleeping mounds, buried under blankets, contained the last living fragment of him. When he saw them, he felt calm.
The littlest one woke up one night. Her head had lifted from the pillow and she looked toward him, riveting him in place despite his desire to flee. She didn’t seem afraid as she slowly slid out of bed and tiptoed up to the window. He could see her face clearly, and her long blonde hair that flowed down her back over her lacy nightgown. Her familiar blue eyes met his, as she put her hand against the glass, and he felt compelled to press his own hand against the other side. Then she whispered a single word,
Something shot through his insides when he heard her speak, and he found himself floating as a silver mist, terrified that the wind would scatter him across the surrounding forest. It was some time before he found the strength to will himself back to solidity. He learned something crucial about his nature that night, and it gave him the resolve to stay away.
He didn’t know how much time passed before he went back, but the longing had become to much for him to deny. There was a third shape now, much smaller than the others, nestled between them with a tiny fist held up into the air. He knew what it was, and was surprised that he didn’t care. Perhaps he was now too far removed from his humanity to experience that emotion again.
This would be the last time that he would gaze at his children. They had moved forward with the life that he could never share, and it was time for him to let go. He was a vampire now, and didn’t belong in the world of the living. The final threads that kept him chained to the place were broken, and soon he would forget that they had ever existed.