That Halloween Night

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I was getting late for the evening party. I was wearing a black gown that had purple flowers printed all over and a sweetheart neckline. I had worn a beautiful tiara that had orange beads and diamond studs!

I was searching for some scary mask mom had bought for me. I searched and searched but didn't like any of them... I wanted something with a peacock feather! Bizarre it was... like me, like Darren, like our love! Darren should have been there that time. He would have got me the mask I had always wanted. (Me and my dreams only he could understand!)

"Why do his memories keep haunting me all the time?" I thought. "Why wait for someone who's never going to come!"

Lost in his thoughts, I took the stairs that led to our garden. I walked into the garden and there I saw... someone strange hiding behind a tree! Fear gripped me, I couldn't utter a word. I felt like shouting for help. But then something stopped me - something within was holding me back. Had fear numbed me? Or was it something else?

I could see someone sneaking, I saw him approaching me. Dressed in a black cloak, he was wearing a mask. "Who is he? Why is he coming to me?" I thought.

"Hey, happy Halloween! Alley..." He said.

"Does he know me? Why did he wish me? I don't know him... is he a family friend disguised? He could be new neighbor I've not met before...." Gosh! I felt like hitting my head hard. I wished I could recall who the man is - a stranger? A strange acquaintance? (I was curious!)

I was scared, I was confused. I managed a "Same to you... Mr...?" with a cordial smile.

I didn't know his name. Strangely enough, he too didn't disclose it.

He put out his hand for a handshake. Gosh! I had to accept his. I did. I wanted to tell dad about him. An idea struck me. "I should tell dad to meet... yes... his guest!" I thought. That's what I could call him. So that the stranger won't mind... (If he minds, I will be dead!) and in a way I won't disrespect him. (I will suggest - respect stranger when you are helpless!) There was something very frightening about this guest. I didn't know what!

"Dad, I guess we have a guest tonight," I told dad, "I am going out with friends." Turning to him, I said, "Have a nice time. Bye, bye."

That was the best way to get away with him. I was relieved.

Or was I not? God knows how he came in front of me! He wore weird clothes. He looked like a ghost. I hated interacting with strangers and very rarely spoke to people I didn't know! "This guy is not only strange but looks like a spirit! Or is he an angel!" I thought. I was curious to know who he was. I was afraid of him and at the same time attracted to him. ("God save me!" I thought.)

He took my hands in his right hand and raised the left one to touch my face. What was he up to? I stared at him. So many questions crossed my mind. Who was he? Why was he here? What did he want from me? (I thought I would die of heart attack!)

He laughed and said, "Alley, where is my gift... my chocolate cake with strawberry topping?"

Crazy him! He was asking for gift and a cake. Why? It suddenly dawned on me, he wanted exactly what Darren used to expect from me, every Halloween - his favorite chocolate cake with strawberry toppings. What gift...

("I shouldn't entertain him any longer," I told myself.)

"Please leave me. What do you want from me?" I asked him. I tried to free myself from his clasp. He didn't budge. I could feel his heavy breathing on my face! He was strong, I couldn't free myself! ("You're dead, Alley!" I heard me say.)

He wore black clothes. I couldn't see his face, the mask had hidden it. Oh that was the same mask I wanted for Halloween! It was made of evil red feathers and had a peacock feather in the center. A blend of good and bad, a mix of ugly and beautiful, a mask that spelled weirdness. If he left me, I would ask him for the mask... (It would suit me better than him! A weird thought crossed my mind.) My eyes went to his feet. He had worn blue shoes with one white star on each. I liked his mask, I liked his shoes, I liked his jet blue eyes... they reminded me of Darren's. (Silly me!)

Suddenly he grabbed me and started taking me somewhere.

Before I could react, we both were flying... in the sky... I was gazing around. I could see his wings. Where did the wings come from? Everything was so shocking, yet quite exciting. I could see the twinkling stars, the radiant moon. I felt I could touch them. No it was reality. I was flying in the dark skies, had stars around me. I was in the clouds, on cloud 9.

Suddenly I saw him removing his mask and I saw his face.

I exclaimed... "God! Save me!" ('this would be my end' I thought.)

"Alleyyy... dear Alle!" He said, I had told you I would come one day and take you to the stars... I fulfilled your dream this Halloween!"

So he wasn't a stranger after all. That familiar way of saying 'Alleyy', those familiar blue eyes... DARREN WAS HE!! My soulmate... He had met with an accident last year and we were broken apart. Even his dead body was nowhere to be found.

Tears rolled down my eyes. My hands shivered. He continued, "I am Darren! I was always with you, in your joys and in your sorrows. I was watching over you. Trying to tell you, I would always be there. Once God asked me "what do you want?" I asked him to grant me one wish... I said I wanted to meet you just once and take you to the stars."

I was still crying. "Don't leave me," I pleaded. "Never ever leave me like you did last Halloween."

God knows from where.... I heard my mom knock the door. "Happy Halloween!" She said. "How many times have I told you not to sleep in evening. Now get ready.... and look what you have got as your Halloween gift! Someone has left you a surprise gift."

My mother was right... I was dreaming... Silly me... When I put my feet on the ground, I looked at my shoes... I was wearing the same shoes that Darren wore.... the blue ones with a white star on them!

I couldn't believe, what was going on... What was wrong with me! Then, I looked in the mirror. I saw the same mask on my head! The mask made of evil red feathers having a peacock feather in the center. Where were those blue eyes....! (Darren was not there...)

And then I remembered my mother telling me about the gift. I hurriedly unwrapped the gift and looked at what showed inside. There was a silver locket with a beautiful diamond pendant that had Darren's name written on it.

I remembered telling him last Halloween to take me through the stars, pluck one of them just for me. Darren it was. He had come! Indeed he had, to fulfill my dream... Last year, same day, he had come and gone; gone to never come back. He had met with a car accident on the Halloween night.

That beautiful pendant is with me. I wear it and feel I am with Darren always...

A true lover he was. My dreams became his. Everything I desired, he brought for me. I was so stupid! Did I never understand him? Did I never realize how much he cared? I had forgotten to ask him what he wanted. I had never done anything for him. How could I do this? How could I forget about his gift...

I want to give him his gift. How do I gift him? Where is he?

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