I’m a sucker for a really good love story. So when I was reading the passage about Abraham and Ann Rutledge, my eyes were glued to the book and heart pumping with joy. He was so in love with her! Now I’ve done a bit of research and saw some controversy surrounding the actual relationship between Lincoln and Rutledge, but I believe Seth Grahame-Smith captured the innocence of first love (whether some believed in it being a romantic relationship or not, we can definitely say is was something). We read about the two swapping thoughts about books, googly-eyed in love, and stealing kisses; how can one not root for Team A&A?
Sadly, the mushy feeling of love is shaken with Ann’s fatal sickness. She was diagnosed with typhoid, the same disease that took Abe’s mother’s life… and later on his love’s. When Ann died Abraham was completely broken. His grief was so great that he even contemplated suicide. At this point I saw Grahame-Smith placing Abe as one of the undead: lifeless because of lost love. Heartbreak is numbing and while one drowns their sorrows in tears, there are evil thoughts of self harm and continuous flashbacks of memories you can’t have back. It literally is a torture game with one’s self.
When Henry tells Abraham that he can bring Ann back to life, he almost gives in. However, “she would be cursed to live forever.” The rosy-cheeked, full of life, Ann, would have to become a vampire. Only then does Abraham see how he cannot let that happen, she simply won’t be the same woman he loved.
For when I pictured her pale skin, her black eyes and hollow fangs, I felt nothing of the love we had shared. We would be united, yes—but it would be a cold finger gently twirling my hair. Not in the shade of our favorite tree, but in the darkness of our curtained
house. We would walk the years away on the banks of the Sangamon—but it would be only I who grew old.
I was tempted to the point of madness, but I could not.
Grahame-Smith’s narration of first love and great loss reflects the nature of both human and vampire. Human, because of the emotions and relationships formed, and vampire, because of the gravity of how we feel these emotions as well as what we can do for and because of our loved ones. Fangs out and madness within us is often times what we become because of these emotions.
Despite the heartbreak Abe faced, I knew he would get through it and I was not the only one. This particular source said,
“Time and time again, Ann had urged him to pursue a higher calling, to achieve distinction, and to fulfill his noble destiny.”
Abraham’s Ann also believed he had a purpose bigger than he imagined. He was greater than their love story, he had another “destiny.” Of course he became our President, but he had a duty to rid this world of the vicious vamps in our nation as well.
So let’s observe Abe take down a Cullen…
He may not be vicious, but he’s still a vampire! 😉