“Do you think there’s ever been a Friday the 13th and a Halloween on the same,” Mitch asked as he took a sip from his cup.
Everyone in the house looked at him and began to laugh.
“Bro, Friday the 13th… Halloween is on the 31st of October… every year,” Todd said laughing.
Mitch sat back in his seat and hid his face.
It had been a while since everyone had been together. It was the first time anyone had seen Maddy in a few weeks.
“Have you talked to Luke any,” Dillon asked as she and Maddy played Connect 4.
“Not really. I’m not really interested in talking to him right now,” Maddy responded. “Even though I’m pretty sure he’s going to be at Josiah’s party tonight.”
“Well, how have you been? We haven’t seen you in a minute,” said Dillon.
“I’ve been okay.”
“Oh, well I’m just excited to see your cousin Josiah. He throws the best Halloween parties. Not to mention he’s fine as hell!”
Maddy began to laugh.
“ I can not take you seeing my cousin attractive… he’s my cousin,” she said.
Dillon could feel the tension in Maddy’s voice, but she didn’t know why. She knew something was bothering her, but she didn’t know what.
Maddy was still conflicted because she wanted to tell her friends what she was going through, but she couldn’t. She had been keeping her distance to protect them. She didn’t realize that it was actually putting a strain on things.
“Okay, the joints are rolled and the liquor has been secured,” said Mitch.
Maddy grabbed her coat and headed to her car.
“Are we taking two cars or one,” she asked? “I don’t mind everyone hopping into my car.”
Everyone looked at one another and silently decided to hop into Maddy’s car.
Everyone had dressed up. Maddy was dressed like a nun, Dillon dressed up as a dead cheerleader, and Todd was a doctor. Mitch and Ash decided to go as the Wonder Twins.
“I put a spell on you, and now you’re mine,” played through Maddy’s speakers as she sped down the highway.
“I wonder if that stuff is real, ya know? Magic,” Dillon said.
Maddy looked at her with a grin.
“I’m sure there are many possibilities,” she said.
Dillon turned her head and looked up at the moon. She then turned the radio all the way up and made her way up through Maddy’s moon roof.
“Dillon! Get down,” Maddy exclaimed! “We have drugs and illegal alcohol in here!”
“Live a little,” Dillon said. “That’s the most excited I’ve heard you all night.”
Maddy couldn’t find the words to say. She just closed the moon roof and kept driving. Everyone in the backseat looked at one another in silence.
They’d finally made it to Josiah’s party.
His dad had rented out a warehouse downtown so that Josiah could invite all of the Memphis teens he knew. He charged $5 to get in, and then he would always donate the money to the school and other local businesses. This was the party that everyone wanted to be at. It had started as an invite-only thing their freshman year, but once Josiah saw how badly people wanted to attend, he convinced his dad to make it an even bigger event.
Josiah was number 2 in the city after Luke in football, so everyone knew who he was. It also helped that he and Luke were best friends and were always seen with one another.
“Hey Uncle John,” she said.
“How’re your grandparents?”
“They’re great,” Maddy replied.
“That’s good, well make your way in. You know you and your friends don’t have to pay.”
“Thank you,” she responded.
Her uncle gave her a hug, and Maddy wrangled all of her friends up and they made their way into the party.
The music was loud it smelled like everyone in the party had just finished running a marathon. Sweaty bodies bumped up against one another, and the floor was sticky with whatever people had snuck into the party. There were tombstones and cobwebs everywhere. There was a smoke machine, and they had even paid actors to pretend to be zombies and ax murderers. It was the best they had ever done. It looked like a real movie set.
There were so many people that Maddy felt relieved because her chances of running into Luke were very slim now. She also knew though, that they always seemed to find one another regardless.
“I’m gonna go get some punch so that we can spike it,” Dillon said.
Maddy nodded her head and began to dance with the rest of her friends. Josiah was on the stage screaming into the microphone about how amazing his life and party were.
Dillon returned with their drinks.
“That boy,” she said.
Maddy rolled her eyes and laughed.
“Sorry,” Dillon said laughing.
“Look Dill, I’m going through a lot right now. I’m sorry if I seem a little distant.”
Dillon shrugged and said, “The nights young and so are we. Let’s dance and figure it all out tomorrow.”
The girls began to dance their lives away with their cups in the air and not a care in the world.
Word must have gotten around that they’d made it because somehow here Luke came. He had found his way to Maddy as he always did. He was dressed as Wilt Chamberlain.
“Hey, I’ve been calling you,” he said to Maddy.
“Yeah, I haven’t been in the mood lately.”
Maddy took a sip from her cup.
“You mind sharing,” Luke asked?
“What,” Maddy yelled. “I can’t hear you!”
The music was still blaring through the speakers.
Luke yelled, “Do you mind sharing what’s in your cup?!”
He lifted his cup up, and Maddy discreetly gave him a splash of what she’d been drinking.
“This tastes really good,” he said.
“Yeah,” Maddy said as she kept dancing.
“Well Okay,” Luke yelled. “I guess I’ll see you around then?”
“Sure,” Maddy responded.
“Tell Josiah I said hi,” Dillon yelled as Luke walked away.
Luke smiled and gave her a thumbs up.
“Girl what are you doing,” Dillon asked Maddy? “Last month that was literally the guy of your dreams, and now you’re playing?”
Maddy shrugged and ignored Dillon.
Dillon was annoyed, but she didn’t want to ruin her night, so she just snuck off and danced with strangers.
“Alright everyone, it’s time to announce the best costume,” said Josiah.
Everyone had taken a picture at the photo booth, and the photo booth automatically submitted the pictures to Instagram with the hashtag, “JosiahsHalloween2k20.” The costumes with the most likes every year would win the contest.
A drumroll began, and the winner was announced.
“The winner of this year’s costume contest is… Mitch and Ashley, The Wonder Twins,” Josiah said.
A big picture of the two of them flashed across the screen, and everyone began to applaud and scream.
Mitch and Ash drunkenly made their way to the stage to get their gift cards.
“Do we give an acceptance speech,” Ash asked?
“No, just take the cards and go,” Josiah said laughing.
The crowd was still screaming, which boosted Mitch’s adrenaline. He looked at Ash and jumped into the crowd. Josiah signaled to the DJ to start the music back up, and the crowd carried Mitch across the entire room. Ash was too afraid, so she made her way back to Maddy and Todd.
The party ended shortly after, and Maddy was relieved that she hadn’t made contact with Leslie. She’d seen her posting on Instagram, but somehow the two didn’t cross paths while at the party.
As everyone was walking back to Maddy’s car, Maddy began to feel dizzy and cold. The dizziness didn’t last long, but the chill she felt in her spine did. She looked to her left to see Luke talking with Leslie. His back was to her, but she recognized his costume. Leslie looked her in her face and immediately stuck her tongue down Luke’s throat. Luke pushed her away and turned to find Maddy staring in disbelief.
He ran over to console her, but she ran to her car where her friends had already been and sped off the parking lot.
Luke, upset wen to find Leslie again. She was standing next to his car applying her lipstick.
“Look, why would you do that,” he exclaimed?! “We’re over! We’re done! Maddy is who I want now, and you know that. That’s why you kissed me!”
Leslie flipped the hood of her Little Red Riding Hood costume, and before walking away said, “If I can’t have, nobody can.”
The sound of her heels walking through gravel grew fainter as she made her way back inside to find her friends.
Luke banged the top of his car and immediately tried calling Maddy to explain what had just happened.
His call went straight to voicemail.