A Cold October Night

Again, I felt the soft words stick and move behind my eyes but I could never quite see or recognize. A silent moon glared at me through it’s close-shaved halo. The stone bridge was slippery and she had to hold onto my elbow as we crossed.

“What does cool have to do with it?”

“I don’t know. It just does.” I said, “and if you’d only open your eyes, you would see.”

“My eyes are open.” she replied, staring saucer-eyed like a zombie; a beautiful black-haired, blue-eyed zombie. “Intimidation is not cool. I wish you would have told me this earlier.” We stopped on the other side. She let go of my elbow with a little squeeze.

“How do I tell you, the strongest woman I have ever met, that you intimidate me?” She just shrugged her shoulders. The moon shimmered in small circles on the surface of the water. I stared at it for awhile, until it’s brightness blotted out all other details. I knew that if I got the courage to look up into her face, her eyes would be gleaming just like the water-moon.

“Are you cold? You didn’t bring a jacket.” I still couldn’t look up at her.

“If I were, I’d tell you. And I don’t own a jacket.” She shivered a little. “You know, you really scared me back there.” She said, peeking over her left shoulder.

“What? That whole thing about arms floating down the river? I don’t think anything scary is going to float down that river.” She was holding my arm again. “The only thing you have to be scared about,” I looked to my left, then around her to my right, “are the Hill people. and they only come out when there’s a ring around the… Oh.” I looked up slowly and cautiously.

“Stop it.” She said, with a smile.

“Alright. I’m cold now. Can I have your jacket?” She ducked down, using my body as a wall against the strengthening wind.

“Of course. Keep it. You need it more than I do.” We started walking again. The wind was strong and bitter and we still had a long walk ahead of us, but I’d never felt warmer.

“Hey,” she said, “I’m hungry. Want to go to Taco Bell?” I turned to see her looking all sly.

“How do you do that?”

“What?”

“How can you read my mind so quickly? We’ve only really known each other for a few hours.” I really wanted to know. It was a question that had been poking at me like a broken rib all evening.

“I’ve known you since the beginning of time. Didn’t you know that? Haven’t you realized? ” She said, as if I were the dumb and blind one she had to lead.

“Yeah. I guess I have.”

She placed her golden lips on my blushing cheek and said, “Good. Now let’s go get us some burrito supremes.”

– Halloween was never a very important date for me. Sure, I loved stealing candy from my brother and sister for months afterward, but it was just a sweeter version of any other ordinary day. Now it is one of my favorites. Although this true story actually took place at the beginning of May, 1993, it’s a cold October night here in Japan. Happy birthday, Sara. I hope that someday you get to read this. For everyone else, Happy Halloween.

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