This is set at a similar time as 'Journals are for the Brokenhearted'. Taking a stap at it. Don't hate me.
The Salvatore Boarding House was never lit right, Elena thought. There was always a dim glow, a romantic swing of candle-lit chandeliers that broke the darkness. She was used to the fluorescent school lights and her brightly lit, artificially cheery home. Even her own bedroom was bright, the sheets glowing in the darkest of nights.
She sat on the large, old leather sofa in the Salvatore living room. It smelled of leather and polish and age, like the saddle of a horse she rode when she was a kid. It was one of those memories that stay with you in weird ways, and this particular memory was brought back by the smell of leather. She liked it. Her parents were in that memory.
Elena's phone buzzed and she slid it out of the pocket of her skinny jeans. It was Stefan.
'Out hunting. Won't be back 'til late. Damon will be home in a few hours, he can make you dinner. Love you.'
She smiled to herself. It was strange how much Stefan trusted Damon nowadays, after Damon had helped rehabilitate him. And it was equally strange how willing Damon was to be at Elena's beck and call – making her dinner, looking after her when she became afraid of the dark. The dark never used to scare her, but now she knew about all the little things that went bump in the night.
With a sigh, Elena tucked her phone back into her pocket. A few hours. That was a long time to wait around for someone as unreliable as Damon. She swung herself up off of the sofa and wandered around the room. The bookshelves were amazing. Stefan had told her that a lot of these were first and second editions, dating back over a century and a half from when they were turned. And even further, he told her, because of their father's old books he brought over from Italy.
With delicate, slim fingers, Elena traced the spines of the books on the shelf beside the fireplace. Being a writer had always been her dream, her passion. But what would she right about now? Love and pain and all those things writers went on about. And vampires. And darkness.
She was so absorbed in her own thoughts that she almost missed the name in flaked golden print on the spine of a slim book. Salvatore.
Collected Poems, it said. She frowned and took it delicately out of the shelf. Someone in the Salvatore family had been a writer, possibly an uncle or a grandfather. The book certainly looked old enough to be all the way back from Italy. With cautious hands, she opened it to the first page. The dedication was there in fading print.
To my darling Katherine
Elena frowned even deeper, her brows almost meeting in the centre of her forehead. Katherine. That would mean it was written by either Damon or Stefan, and she knew for a fact that Stefan was a writer. There was no inkling in her mind that Damon would ever do anything creative or artistic, other than possibly tracing patterns in blood on the necks of his compelled female victims.
The 'darling Katherine' threw her. Stefan knew that his love for Katherine wasn't true, and had known that for a long time. This book, she figured must have been published before he had figured it out.
The first poem was entitled 'Raven'. She read it slowly.
You are not like the wind,
So imperfect in direction.
You are not like the sea,
So tempestuous in action.
Thou art more like the Raven.
Blacken'd by the whips and scorns of life
Which bring others to their knees.
Instead you, O Glorious Bird of Night,
Rise up and fly above us.
Harbinger of doom – cast off that façade.
You are a portent of love and life,
Of second life and third.
You are an omen of rebirth, of rising
Like a mythic Phoenix from burnt ashes.
Thou art my heart, which pumps viciously
Though my body remains still.
Come again, sweet Raven,
For I need to see your eyes again.
Poetry. Elena could appreciate it, even enjoy it, but she could never understand it. Metres and stanzas and rhyming patterns. It had never been her forte, and no matter how many times she read the poem, all she took from it was longing, and love and a mistake. A raven could never be a portent of love. Stefan had been so mislead by this. She was sure of it.
She turned to a poem further on. This poem was written without metres, without rhyme. It was entitled 'And I Awoke To Nothing'.
I dreamt again.
It was one of those seamless dreams that feels like reality until the last moment.
It had been so long since the last that
When I awoke, I thought reality to be faux
And the dream to be real.
All day I wandered in a dream.
Sunlight was too bright, shadows too dark.
Faces everywhere, none of them familiar.
All I know is dead, all I knew is dead.
Past is gone, but dreams remain.
Sweet, infrequent, disturbing dreams.
I see her face.
And my face.
And his face.
And all their faces screaming.
And she never chooses me
So in this RealDream I awoke to DreamLife
And from this DreamLife with its bright lights and dark shadows
I awoke into dream, awoke into nothing.
I plan to never dream again.
Elena heard someone clear their throat, and she snapped the book shut.
"Looking for something, Elena?" Damon's voice was soft, his eyebrow raised every so slightly. He was doing the eye thing again. The eye thing she hated.
"Um, no, I'm fine. You're early," she mumbled out, trying to fit the book of poems into a slot that was too small to accommodate it.
"I got bored. These Founders Council meetings are very repetitive. We must find the vampires, blah di blah. They weren't even here when the town was founded," he scoffed, "I was."
Elena tried to choke out a small laugh, but her hand was shaking, struggling to get the book back into the shelf.
She heard Damon sigh and felt his hand on hers, sliding the book back into its place with ease. She let out a shaky breath.
"So, you've found the infamous poetry," he commented, making his way back to the sofa and sitting down on it purposefully.
"I had no idea Stefan was so poetic," Elena said dryly. Damon did the eye thing again, before reaching over to the side table and pouring himself a drink.
"I take it you're referring to the dedication," he mused with a smile on his face. "That book was published shortly after we were turned, although a lot of it was written beforehand."
"The way he talks about her," Elena hugged herself, feeling goosebumps on her arms, "He's so misguided."
Damon took a short sip of his whiskey and raised an eyebrow. He was reclining on the sofa comfortably, but his posture suddenly changed.
Elena sighed deeply. "She's a raven. A harbinger of death and destruction. And he even acknowledges it, but refuses to believe it or something. I know it was a long time ago, but even when he accepted her as a raven, as a terrible dream, he pushes this ideal onto her. Katherine wasn't kind."
"Katherine's a bitch," Damon agreed, taking a deep sip and flicking his eyes away from Elena. "Not like you. That's why Stefan likes you, Elena. Because you're nothing like her."
Elena allowed a smile to cross her lips. She sat down on the sofa beside him and propped her feet up on his lap.
"He wrote poetry about her," she said, as if still in disbelief.
"Not a poetry fan, are we?" Damon laughed.
"Well, not really. Do you think he writes poetry about me? I don't think I could handle it," she smiled again, clearly joking.
"He most certainly does," Damon said earnestly. "Sonnets etcetera."
"Don't you think you're Sonnet-Worthy?" Damon looked into her eyes, and she searched his face for a second. But Damon broke the spell by knocking her feet off his lap.
"Can you run into the kitchen and decide what you want for dinner? I'll make you anything and everything," he promised. Elena smiled and happily went over to the hallway. As soon as she left the room, Damon leapt up to the bookcase and pulled out the book of poetry.
He stared at the spine of the book, making sure that the golden cursive D of his initial was completely scraped off. When he was sure it was indecipherable, he flicked to the back of the book where a loose page resided. He took it out, and stared at it.
Elena was written on the top in smooth cursive handwriting. Decisively, he ripped it in two and threw it into the nearby fireplace, and watched as the large capital E of her name curled and turned black as the paper burned.