A thunderous crack paralyzed the night with fear.
The wind was howling so loud it shook the windows and made the curtains move just enough to remind Becca that the panes needed to be re-sealed. Tilting her head, she looked around the room at the young women sitting in her living room. She knew most of them from previous Junk in My Trunk jewelry parties.
But she didn’t remember meeting Katie.
Katie was pale. Paler than Becca thought a girl should be, and her eyes looked a bit red. Her punk rock appearance didn’t do much for her either, Becca mused. She was hopeful that some of the gaudier jewelry would brighten Katie’s personality while fattening her own purse.
“And those shoes!” Becca said under her breath, now on a royal binge-bash in her mind.
“Those shoes went out of style years ago!” Becca now whispered to Marsha, who was sitting next to her. Marsha looked at Katie’s shoes, then back at Becca. “Shhhhh!”
A few hours later, complete with several minutes of darkness courtesy of the violent storm, everyone spent everything they had, thanked Becca and headed out the door. Except for Katie. Katie stayed slumped in her chair, eyeing Becca thoughtfully.
“What?” Becca said, cleaning up the paper plates and cups. “Didn’t you like the jewelry you bought after you bought it? I don’t do refunds. Besides, that silver cross is perfect for you and your tacky outfit!”
Katie sat up in her chair, looking paler than she had when she appeared at the door. “I shouldn’t have bought a cross. I can’t wear it.”
Unbidden, shivers ran up Becca’s spine. “Well, that’s true. The gold one would be better for your complexion. You’re extremely pale, you know. And those shoes…” Becca started on her rant again, belittling Katie and making her slump farther down into her chair.
When Becca finally took a breath, Katie stood up and stared at her for a moment. Her scowl stretched into a smile and revealed two very long, sharp fangs. As she pulled Becca close and sunk her teeth into her neck, she whispered, “You don’t have to suck. But I do.”
Before joining the ranks of the undead, Becca was another kind of vampire.
An energy vampire.
She sucked the life out of her friends, her family and her coworkers.
Have you ever done any of the following?
You state your opinion like it’s a fact
• “Those shoes are butt ugly. Get another pair or don’t go out with me.”
• “Don’t wear that dress when it adds 10 pounds to your frame.”
You complain endlessly about your problems
• “My boss is an idiot. How does he expect me to finish another project when I haven’t even completed the first one?
• “My weekend? Don’t ask. I had to deal with an ant problem, a spider problem AND an ex-husband problem. Yeah, I went to a great concert, but everything else just sucked!”
You are the life of the pity party
• “I’d ask my boss for a raise, but I know he’d tell me no.”
• “I’m not bad looking, but my first dates never turn into second ones.”
You are stubborn to the point of ridiculousness
• “All three references you showed me are wrong. I know how to spell!”
• “I know you think that you’re right, but I’ve done the research, and I know my thoughts on the subject are a lot more learned than your thoughts. Why don’t you just come over to my way of thinking instead of continuing down the wrong path?”
Now take a good, hard look at yourself.
If you find yourself moaning about the little things in life to those around you, chances are you’re an energy vampire. Unlike Becca, however, you can stop sucking before it’s too late. Here’s how:
State your opinion in a kinder way
• “I know you love those shoes, but I think the black pair would look even more amazing on you.”
• “That dress is a perfect choice. How about this cute scarf to go with it?”
Focus on life's positives
• “My boss gave me another project to work on even though I haven’t finished the first one. He must think I’m doing a great job to have so much confidence in me.”
• “My weekend? I had some issues at home, but I went to an amazing concert!”
You are the life of the party
• “I’m going to rewrite my job description and add all my new responsibilities. Then I’ll approach my boss with confidence about that raise.”
• “Since my first dates never turn into second ones, I need to find men more compatible with my personality.”
Admit your stubbornness
• “I am stubborn, but I can also admit when I’m wrong. Let’s talk through this and come up with a solution on which we can both agree.”
• “You and I will never agree on who was the best on-screen vampire of all time. I think it’s Bela Lugosi; you think it’s Gary Oldman. Rather than sit here and beat this topic to a pulp, let’s just agree to disagree.”
Becca awoke with a start. The sun was shining through her bedroom window, dust particles dancing in the beams of light. She fumbled for her cell phone that was sitting on the nightstand. Quickly punching in her code, she called her best friend, Tiffany.
“Tiff!” She shouted, “Tiff! I thought I was bitten by a vampire last night at my Junk in My Trunk party! OMG, it was horrible! This strange girl named Katie was there, and was a vampire. And she sucked the life right out of me! Tiff, it totally freaked me out! What does it mean?” Becca took a breath, waiting for Tiffany to say something, anything.
“Becca,” Tiffany whispered, “your Junk in My Trunk party isn’t until tonight.”
When you’re stressed, it’s easy to let your mind get out of control. Becca was stressed about the party, but her nightmare also made her realize that perhaps she wasn’t as good of a friend as she could be. She was so busy sucking the life out of others that she didn’t realize she was turning into an energy vampire.
Knowing her party wasn’t until tonight gave Becca hope. As she sprung out of bed, she vowed to support her friends, listen to their opinions without inserting her own and reverse her energy draining ways. Becca promised to stop sucking and start living.
And if Becca can turn herself around, anyone can!