Walking into school and seeing all the costumes, I feel like a kid, except for all the girls in skimpy clothes. Tempe for once doesn’t stand out compared to the other costumes, even though her tight, little crayon dress does show off.
Arriana looks fabulous in her soft, flowing goddess dress and sparkling makeup. It takes a lot of me to not cover her with a jacket every time a guy looks at her. She looks great and is really happy, she has her hair curled perfectly and put on a body spray that makes her skin shimmer. She put a lot into this and it really paid off.
Zayne comes in in his robber outfit, black pants and a black turtle neck sweater. He has a black beanie over his pink hair and a cheap little mask covering his eyes, he just about drops when I come in in my cop costume, even though it’s not as “sexy” as Arriana wanted, I have to admit I look damn good in it.
I pull him close, whispering in his ears, “Don’t make me pull out my cuffs.”
He turns beet red as Arriana gags and Tempe looks hopeful. I smile at his embarrassment, to see him get so shy and reserved is cute.
Arriana spends most of the day handing out candy from in her bag to classmates, she even slips her number to one of the guys who’s been checking her out. Zayne snatches one of her lollipops and just stands next to her as the guy walks off.
“Eh, he’s ok,” he says titling his head, “His butt is shaped weird and I think he might be too tall for you. I’ll bet his smells like sandalwood, he looks like a football player, they all smell like sandalwood.”
She laughs as she smacks him in the shoulder, he smiles at her and bites the lollipop.
Tempe and Caira help fix each other’s costumes before heading to class. Tempe needs her hat straightened so she actually looks like a sharpened crayon while Caira needs help adjusting her puffy blue Smurfette tutu. I don’t get why girls feel the desire to dress revealing on Halloween but I guess it makes them happy.
The day drags on with teachers trying to be cool, Mr. Roe almost succeeds with a mad scientist like thing going on in the classroom and a day of mostly goofy science tricks and pranks. Zayne’s English teacher almost pulls of Edgar Allen Poe but breaks character because one kid in his second period class kept playing a recording of a crow on his phone.
Lunch is fun as we all dig into Arriana’s candy pile, basically making it disappear in under fifteen minutes. She frumps at us and rants about how she planned to use the candy to help flirt with the guy from earlier.
“Arriana, I think he’s in my class,” I explain with taffy in my mouth, “Meaning after this summer, he’ll probably be far away at college.”
“I can hope,” she crosses her shimmery arms and pouts at us.
“Girl, I don’t think you’ll be needing any of this stuff when he’s been looking at you like candy,” Caira gestures to Arriana’s costume and makeup.
“The only candy he’ll be touching will be from a pillow sack,” I snap.
Arriana gives me a hug, “I love you big brother, even if you are crazy.”
I hug back and tell her I will arrest anyone who touches her, earning myself a major stink eye from her and Zayne.
“The only people in those handcuffs should be you and me, just saying,” he looks me up and down and shakes his head at Arriana.
I lean in close, whispering so only he can hear, “I should handcuff you. You are a robber, after all, you stole my heart.”
He smiles and takes my hand. He holds on so tight, my palm starts sweating.
And they say guys can’t be romantic. I think I’ve gotten the hang of this relationship thing.
The mood at the table shifts when we hear kids at another table laughing, looking back we see they’re laughing at us. Zayne pulls his hand away and puts his head down.
I shoot a glare back at the table behind us and they all shut up. I then try to get Zayne to cheer up again, saying they’re jealous we have so much candy. I bribe him up with a grape Jolly Rancher, getting him to give a small half smile.
Arriana, Tempe, Caira, and I all try to keep things light and make Zayne laugh. He’s been doing so well and I don’t want a few jerks to ruin it. He stays a little reserved but engages in the conversation again until Lunch ends and we have to go our separate ways.
Tonight will help, because we’ll get to just sit there and I can hold him every time he gets scared during a movie. In an attempt to guarantee him jumping and holding onto me, I insisted we watch The Possession. Arriana insisted we balance the horror with Nightmare Before Christmas, Zayne eagerly agreed with her.
As class drags on I want to get home more and more so I can get things ready for tonight, my mom is making Halloween snacks to help set the mood.
My parents are going to an adult Halloween party at Town Hall, leaving us teenagers to do our thing. I think it’s a safe bet that tonight there won’t be any “fooling around” on behalf of the terror everyone will be feeling.
Once school ends I rush home to pull out the scary cuddle night necessities. I pull out the extra comfy pillows from the guest room, glow sticks, some really soft blankets, the softest for me and Zayne because I’m greedy like that, some stuffed animals from Arriana’s room for everyone to squeeze, and of course I pulled out the secret stash of candy bars for us to stress eat.
My mom babbles on about how nice it is that we’re all friends and getting along enough to do this, and how she’s happy Zayne’s doing better.
“I don’t know mom, we might scare him to a therapist tonight,” I smile as she gives me a side glare, “I’m kidding.”
She and dad get ready a couple hours later while Arriana and I put the snacks out. Arriana and Tempe picked up a bunch of soda at the dollar store before coming back to the house.
Tempe sits on the couch, “Who do you think will scream first, Zayne or Caira?”
We all look at each other, “I don’t know, depends on what we watch first. If you want Zayne to scream first we should watch The Possession, he hates bugs and there’s a ton in that movie.”
“Caira is terrified of clowns, for her we’d need to watch It,” Arriana contributes.
We rock-paper-scissors it and I win in a landslide, leaving Arriana to pout as she sets up the chairs. After everything is done we agree on a movie order and wait for Zayne and Caira to show up.
Caira appears first, also bring candy, specifically gummy spiders. I pull some aside to tease Zayne with. When he shows up we all settle in. Caira lays on her side on the floor while Tempe and Arriana take the two chairs and Zayne lays on my lap on the couch.
As the movies play, Zayne is the first to scream at the sight of bugs followed by Caira at the sight of a clown popping up. Arriana hides under her blanket and munches popcorn while Tempe mostly dozes off.
Zayne has moved into the crook of my arm and is gripping my shirt tightly as he hides his face in my chest. I smile as I stroke his arm, “I’ve got you.”
“Why did I agree to this? I hate you,” He mumbles into my shirt.
“I love you too.”
We all jump as Arriana screams and hides completely under her blanket at the sight of the monster in the movie jumping out. Zayne doesn’t respond much better as he climbs into my lap and bundles in the blanket.
After all the really scary movies when we move to the fun kid ones like Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus, Zayne and Arriana start getting tired from all the excitement and start hesitantly dozing off. Zayne is still clenching my shirt when he falls asleep.
Tempe and Caira both manage to stay awake until the end, quietly saying goodbye as the leave. I hear Caira complain about the clown nightmares she’ll have.
With it so quiet and calm, I really look down at Zayne sleeping on me and I reach up to pet his hair. It’s still soft as ever.
He must like how it feels because he squirms a little, snuggling into me further as I keep petting his hair. It’s comforting having him this close, this vulnerable, this relaxed again. Part of me says to slowly move and lay him on the couch but I don’t want to, I don’t want this to end.
I look down at where his head lays, straining to look at him resting on my shoulder and I see how cramped he looks in my lap. I want him comfortable, so very slowly and carefully I lay him back on the couch, fixing the pillows to cradle his head. After he’s laying down I adjust the blankets to cover all of him and wrap them tightly around him.
I step away slowly and text his mom who’s also at the party with my parents.
Zayne is asleep on my couch. Whenever you guys are done and ready you can come get him, let me know so I can wake him
Before disappearing into my room I go back over and give him a light kiss on the forehead. He doesn’t even budge.
Leaving to go change, I slip into my room then into my pj pants. Normally I don’t wear a shirt but seeing as Zayne is still in my house I feel a little self conscious. I pull out a beat up old t-shirt and slip it on as I go back to the living room.
Seeing him and Arriana completely tuckered out makes me tired too, so I take the blankets and pillows Tempe and Caira were using and lay down on the floor beside Zayne.
His hand is sitting by his face and I reach up to grab it, giving a quick squeeze before closing my eyes and drifting off the sleep.