NEW ORLEANS—Acknowledging years of marital dissatisfaction and a noticeable increase in her vampire husband's weight, 43-year-old Sara Pastor told reporters Thursday that she often seeks solace by losing herself in the escapist fantasy of the Twilight novels.
The New Orleans resident said it's been ages since her husband, 834-year-old Andrei Pastor, bought her flowers, took her dancing, or appeared at her second-story window and charmed her into allowing him inside. According to Sara, she purchased the first book in Stephenie Meyer's young-adult vampire romance series 14 months ago, while waiting for her husband to pick her up from the airport, and has taken refuge in the novels ever since.
"Edward is so romantic," said Pastor, referring to Edward Cullen, Twilight's vampire hero. "He loves [17-year-old protagonist] Bella so much that he runs away from her to protect her. My husband, on the other hand, hasn't posed any kind of danger to me in years."
"Sometimes I wish I could just open up the pages and jump right into Bella's skin," Sara continued. "I know it's silly, but what's wrong with wanting a little romance and adventure from your undead husband?"
Sara and Andrei met in 1988, when, as college students, they both volunteered to organize a campus blood drive. Sara reportedly found Andrei's nocturnal lifestyle exotic and thrilling, and two years later, they were married in a nighttime ceremony guests described as a "storybook wedding."
At first Sara was content with her role as homemaker, cleaning the vast Gothic manse the couple shared and cooking meals that met the strict sanguinary requirements of Andrei's diet. But according to friends, things started to change a few years ago.
Sara's dream husband began spending more and more time secluded in darkened alcoves with his cape drawn over his face. Before long, Andrei—once a stealthy hunter who easily stalked young and healthy prey—started feeding excessively on any slow-moving person who happened to wander by the house, and soon ballooned to almost twice his normal weight.
"When we were first married, Andrei was so dark and mysterious," Pastor said wistfully. "These days, pretty much all he does is sit around swilling blood and watching ESPN."
Added Pastor, "Edward would never do that to Bella."
Now, sources close to the couple report, whenever Andrei leaves the house to feast on the vital fluids of a bedridden shut-in, Sara retreats to the fictional world of Forks, WA, often reading and rereading the same erotic passages from her dog-eared copy of Breaking Dawn.
"Arizona, Italy, Brazil—Edward Cullen travels everywhere for his love," said Pastor, sounding increasingly flustered. "Anytime I want to visit my family in Houston or go on a vacation, Andrei gives me the same old line: 'Sorry, but I can't risk being caught out in the sunlight.' Well, that sure didn't stop him back in 1895 when he came over here from Eastern Europe."
According to Sara, by last year she felt so cooped up that she took a job at a local Olive Garden "just to get out of the house." She woke each morning at 10 a.m. and came home at dusk, her clothes still smelling of garlic.
It wasn't long before the two started sleeping in separate coffins.
"Every time I get to the part where Edward reveals himself to Bella in the sunlight, I start to cry," Pastor said. "Edward is so beautiful, his skin begins to sparkle in the sun. The closest Andrei ever comes to sparkling is when sweat beads up on his chunky thighs after he's climbed a flight of stairs."
Though sources confirm Andrei won't entertain the idea of a divorce, it's uncertain how long the marriage can last under these conditions.
"If Sara wants to live in her little fantasy world all the time, that's her choice," Andrei Pastor, Vicomte of Bazargic, said when reached for comment. "She might think life is just one big fairy tale, but it's not."
Added the vampire, "I've been around 800 years, and I think I know a thing or two about the real world."