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Out on Halloween Night
Julia had been my best friend for as long as I could remember, and probably even before that. She was my polar opposite but I loved her for it. She was tall and almost obnoxiously skinny, a pin straight platinum blonde, but also a bit socially retarded. When we would go to parties she would be sitting on the couch watching everyone around her have fun. But she would always go out anyway; breaking curfew and sneaking out had been the most noticeable thing that my friendship ended up rubbing off on her. I had talked her into a million things that got us in trouble, but I always took the blame—it was usually my fault anyway. My favorite plan that I had hatched with her was sneaking out on Halloween last week. It was our best yet, and I enjoyed every second of it!
At promptly six o’clock, right after sunset I slid coolly into my neighbors black Honda pilot. His name was Kevin and he was usually our preferred mode of transportation. Being that we were fifteen and he was seventeen we had to break GDL to bring us anywhere and everywhere we all decided to go. He never seemed to mind much though; him and Julia had the same features and usually claimed to be siblings. As I fastened my safety belt, the sequins on my black halter top crinkled lightly.
“Hey, am I late?” I said hurriedly glancing for a clock.
“Nope, right on time. Ready to go?” he revved the engine and I nodded as we pealed out of my development and toward High Meadow Lane—Julia’s mini mansion. After a few minutes of fiddling with the radio I settled on a catchy pop song, which was played constantly. Kevin glanced at me and smiled.
“How can you stand to listen to this crap?”
“Shut up, I know you secretly love this song” he laughed at this and quickly changed the station on the radio to some ska metal band.
“Now this is what real music sounds like” he shouted over the blaring guitar solo
“No, this is what a cat being strangled sounds like” I stuck my tongue out at him and laughed.
“So, what’s the plan anyway?”
“There’s a party on eagle crest—At Laurens house.”
He nodded. But kept his eyes on Julia’s nearing driveway.
“I don’t think she’s grounded but we should park here anyway, she can walk and meet us.
My phone vibrated in my pocket, it was Julia calling, probably wondering where we were. I opened the phone to a bright picture of both of us sitting on a see-saw in the park (Kevin took the picture). I pressed the send key and lifted the phone to my ear.
“Where are you guys?”
“In the driveway, walk up and meet us.”
“Alright I will be out in a sec.”
Shutting my phone I smiled to myself, pleased with my small battle won; the first of the night.
* * * *
A good five minutes passed before I heard a door slam and knew Julia must be on her way. No matter how “good girl” she acted in front of her parents, she loved nothing more than a good door slamming as she left. Smiling to herself she hopped happily into the back seat. In the dark of the car I couldn’t fully make out her features but she still looked gorgeous. Her hair was skinny and sitting perfectly on her shoulders. The light freckles over her nose seemed to of disappeared but her bright white smile and shining pools of aqua colored eyes glistened. Kevin stared at her for a minute, as if he wasn’t completely sure if she was the same girl he had seen at school only hours earlier. She looked older, more mature. Her makeup was dark around her eyes and her top lower then he had ever seen on her. She admittedly looked gorgeous.
“Kevin, turn off this crap!” without waiting for a response she leaned between Kevin and myself and spun the silver dial on the dashboard, turning the channel back to another pop song. Leaning back satisfied she exhaled deeply and settled into the seat closing her eyes and letting her head rest against the leather seats. Suddenly her eyes sprung open and she focused on me now, She always made a point of making sure she looked up to my standards before we left.
“I almost forgot, how do I look?”
“You look amazing! And I’m not just saying that.”
“Are you sure… I mean is this shirt to low? Am I wearing to much makeup? What if I fall over in these heels?” She looked a little panicked, but I knew she would get over it. Earlier in the week when I had gone over her house and picked out her makeup and clothes I showed her how to walk in the heels I lent her. Judging by her clothes she looked basically like I had most of the weekends we spent since the beginning of Summer.
“Your going to be great, don’t worry about it. Stick close to me if you get nervous. I sneaked a pair of flats for you, just in case” I smiled sincerely at her and handed her a bag with her favorite flats.
“You really are the greatest, not even kidding.” She smiled and then shifted her positioning up against Kevin. He tried to act like he didn’t notice the fact she was basically sitting on him and kept his eyes on the road.
“So Kev, how’s life? We haven’t talked in a while” she giggled and purposely leaned in a little closer.
“Pretty good, were almost at the party. So we should defiantly hang out.”
“Sure, sounds great.”
As we pulled onto the gravel driveway people cleared the way and we parked in the middle of what seemed to be the front yard. A girl with mussed brown hair and over dramatic eyeliner leaned against the car and looked into the windows. It was Lauren Clisen, my neighbor.
“Who do we have here” she said squinting as if we were to far away for recognition.
“It’s us Lauren, Kevin, Julia, and Amber.”
“Oh right! Good you’re finally here! Come on, Come on, there’s someone that wants to meet you!”
“Okay, I’ll meet you inside.”
“You better” she backed away from the car and I checked my reflection in my compact before sliding out of the car.
The night air was cold against my bare legs and my hair blew lightly across my face. I scanned my surroundings for a familiarity. The first thing I came across was Billy Goble, a guy I had spent a week with over the summer at some dumpy beach house. Desperate to not be recognized I tried to slip into the garage but my path was blocked by a short pre-puberty freshman searching for his pants. With a nervous smile he looked past me and ran toward something, which I was hoping was his pants. I darted behind him and found myself in the center of a cat fight. Jill Anderson, head cheerleader was struggling to hold some scene girl Missy from ripping her perfect hair out.
“What the—what’s going on?” I shouted to no one in particular
“Jill kissed Missy’s boyfriend, and now I’ve got five bucks that says Missy is going to kicks Jill’s ass”
“Of course…. So how’s the party? I think I might ditch it…”
He laughed lightly “You just got here, Its kinda lame though. Do you want to go for a walk or something?”
I smiled and looked into his green eyes, they were much more then green though. “Sure, I just got to tell Julia.”
“Great, meet me at the mailbox in five minutes” He smiled and revealed two perfect rows of pearly whites. I turned and left the garage, by the time I got to the tree Julia was leaning against I was still thinking about the color of his eyes. Kevin, who I hadn’t even noticed standing there earlier bumped my shoulder with his and I snapped out of it.
Julia was standing in front of me now, one arm hanging over a branch over her head and the other holding her heels. Kevin was next to her and I could tell by their expressions I had interrupted something. She looked at me, through me and asked me what was wrong. It was clear she wanted me gone.
“Oh..um..nothing, I just wanted to let you know I was going for a walk but I will probably be back in a little bit.”
“Okay, well have fun. Um.. we were just going to go check out the house…” she said more to Kevin then to me.
“Alright see you later then.”
They ran off and Kevin boldly slipped his arm around Julia’s waist. She leaned into him. I was happy for them, but now it was time for me to go have some fun of my own. It had probably been more then five minutes and I was just making my way to the mailbox. Green eyed guy was no where to be found. I casually glanced all around me, but still he was no where to be found. Maybe he left because I was late, or maybe he never showed up at all… Just then though, someone tapped me on the shoulder.
“You’re late” The voice said
“Fashionably late” I said coolly, it was him green eyed guy.
“Well then, let’s go.”
We started down the sidewalk and I couldn’t help but shiver from the breeze. I could feel him looking at me, but I didn’t really mind. Little kids in costumes sprinted by us and I remembered it was Halloween, the single greatest day of the year.
“Do you want my jacket? You seem cold.” He said sweetly, handing me his tarnished leather jacket.
“Thanks,” I slipped it over and inhaled, I could smell his cologne all around me. “You know I don’t even know your name.”
“Its Ryan, and I still don’t know who you are…”
“Amber, and it’s a pleasure to meet you” He laughed and so did I
“Oh but the pleasure is mine! He took a few quick steps ahead of me and offered his hand mock gentlemanly. I took his hand, it was warm and steady. He pulled me in a little closer and tilted his head back.
“Wow the stars are brilliant, you could never see this many in the city”
“You’re from New York?”
“Los Angeles actually, just moved here a few weeks ago.”
“I’m so sorry; I would hate to move to the middle of Jersey after living somewhere so cool.”
“Its not all bad,” I still had my head back but I could feel his eyes watching me. “I mean there are never girls like you in LA”
“Girls like me huh?”
“You know, girls that don’t need limo and there daddy’s credit card for a good time.”
“How do you know I’m not like that, you don’t even know me,” I laughed but he didn’t, instead his eyes narrowed onto me and we stopped walking altogether.
“I would really like to though, I have this great place by the lake. Want to go check it out?”
“I should really be getting back” It was already about eleven, an hour until Julia’s curfew.
“We’re almost there, it won’t take long. I promise.” I nodded and we kept walking. This was all too real for me, happening so quickly and being so real. Once we reached the playground on the edge of the lake he guided me to a lone set of swings. He motioned for me to sit down and then walked behind me. He was close; I could feel his breath making steam in the cold October air.
“Lean back, its better when you do”
I did and it really was, gently he pushed the swing and I started getting close to the thousands of stars over me. Ryan was right too, they really were brilliant.
“It really is stunning isn’t it,” I gazed out over the sky,
“It truly is,” he said still looking at me “lean back a little further”
Again I did and now I could see him standing over me, smiling and humming some sweet tune. I asked him what song it was and he told it was just something he wrote. We went on to talk about music and what we did over the summer, everything. Family, friends, what we wanted to do and who we wanted to be. Hours must have passed and by now we were sitting on the metal carousal still talking. My phone buzzed in my pocket and I realized I forgot about Kevin and Julia. Sure enough it was Kevin when I answered the phone.
“Where are you!? Its past 2 am and we cant find you anywhere!”
“Its past 2?! Oh god, I’m so sorry. Is Julia there?—“
“No, I drove her home. But I have been waiting for you. This party is lame and I heard there is a bonfire off of Winay, lets go there.”
“Umm, sure. Yeah that sounds great. I will be back soon…”
“Back? Back from where?”
“My walk ended up being a little bit longer then I planned that all. See you soon” I snapped my phone shut and couldn’t help but laugh.
“So party’s over?”
“Yeah, I got to go.”
“Was that your boyfriend or something”
“No,” I said a little more quickly then I needed to “no, he’s just a friend, and my neighbor.”
“Oh alright, well we better get going then”
He stood up and then pulled me up. Silently we started back to the party. We had basically spilled our guts to each other about five minutes ago and now we were walking back, right to where we started. We talked a little and I told him that this didn’t mean we needed to talk anymore.
“Its okay if you want to act like this never happened. It’s no big deal.”
“Why would I want to do that? I got the spend the night with a beautiful and really interesting girl,”
“I had a lot of fun too, I wish we could do this again.”
“Well, we can. What’s your number?”
“I pulled a old receipt for some gum I had bought at a corner store out of my pocket and a mini sharpie and wrote down my number, handing it to him. I slid his jacket off and handed it to him,I could still feel his smell all around me. One more time I looked into his eyes and saw they were more emerald and shining blue then just green. Pleased with my final victory we parted ways and I was happy. Even if I never saw this boy again, it was worth it.