Happily, Bethany watched him drive off into the night, ran back to her house, and slammed the door shut behind her. “Guys, let’s not mess this up, okay?” She said to the house at large.
Seeing him stand at her door had startled her. It had also told her she could avoid fate all she wanted, but it was always going to catch up with her. Singing along to the radio she packed up the candy for distributing the next day. Three baskets at the ready. She could refill in between, she hoped. She expected a big turn out the next night.
When she finally crawled into bed, she didn’t get more than a few minutes to dwell on her new found happiness. She fell asleep almost immediately.
Dreams were plentiful. Bethany’s dreams were never sedated. Nightmares were a usual occurrence for her, especially if she’d been amongst people. Although there were a few messy dreams, most were pretty good.
Bright and early she was up the next morning. Her costume hung on the closet. She decided to reconsider it though and quickly got dressed for a mad dash into town.
The children appeared to find her house. With her basket at one arm and her wand in the other, she handed out candy and splattered them with stardust.
The adults were pleasantly surprised not to find her in her witch’s outfit.
It grew later. Most of the candy was gone. The last group had been older kids on the brink of still doing the rounds. A few teenagers stopped by. Then it got quiet. With a glass of wine, Bethany slumped to the couch. Having so many people over was fun, but also tiring. It was past ten o’clock. She didn’t expect any kids anymore and considered getting out of costume. She’d promised Eric though. And to be fair, she did feel rather special in this dress.
In the silence, she heard a car pull up out front. She jumped to her feet and rushed to the door.
In the light of the porch, Bethany saw Eric approach. He wore a green T-shirt and brown trousers. On his head, he had a brown wig with unruly short hair.
“Why Shaggy, aren’t you out late?”
She leaned to the doorpost.
“Well, Fairy Godmother, I seem to be lost.”
She looked magnificent in the pale purple ball gown with purple flowers on it. She wore a tiara, and she had clearly used a blonding spell on her hair.
He walked up to her and reached out to touch a lock of it.
“Well, you know what they say, blondes do have more fun.”
He shook his head as he pushed her with her back to the doorpost. Her arms wrapped around him on their own accord.
He didn’t wait for her to beg, but sank his lips on hers, tasting the candy she’d stolen from her baskets.
Her hand grabbed his wig and threw it aside to access his curls. She loved running her hands through them. He gave her a little push further inside and kicked the door shut. It slammed harder than his kick would account for, but neither of them noticed.
“Bethany.” He had to pace her.
“It’s okay, Eric.” She promised him with a warm smile. He could see she was all there.
Giggling they were in bed later. They had contributed their wonderful energy to the house, and it seemed to radiate with them.
“So this is how you do it. Bring men up here, give them the best night of their lives and then…” He ran his hand across his throat.
She wrapped her leg around him and turned half on top of him. He had made her most amazing dreams come true. She’d not been with a man for a long time, but the memories were not even close to this. Her hair fell onto his chest and face.
“Nope. I’ve never had a man up here.” She admitted.
She shook her head, making her hair tickle him. He stroked it, needing time to think.
“I’ve not been with anyone for an incredibly long time.” She’d brought two boyfriends home to meet her grandmother, and she had passed over ten years ago.
“Sad, I know.”
“I wanted to say special.”
Still entangled they fell asleep.
“Bethany!” A shrill female voice woke them up.
Bethany tried to disentangle herself from Eric, wasn’t quick enough to prevent her sister from running up the stairs and barging in on them.
“Bethany!” She yelled before entering the bedroom. Doors were never closed in this house. So Emily was immediately faced with the two people in the bed. Her sister trying to sit up but failing, with her hair shining blondly in the sun and a man Emily had never seen before.
“What’s up?” Bethany tried to ask casually.
“I tried to call. You didn’t answer your phone. I was worried sick about you.”
Eric moved so Bethany could free herself. Since they were both naked underneath the duvet, she didn’t get up, but at least she could take her scolding sitting up.
Her phone? It was still downstairs, in the rush of things she’d not taken it upstairs. She’d also forgotten to charge it so it would probably be empty. Otherwise, she’d have heard it anyway.
The situation was ridiculous.
“Emily, this is Eric. Eric, this is my sister Emily.” Bethany said.
Emily still stood in the doorway. Eric nodded a greeting, not daring to reach out. Emily looked furious.
“Was anything wrong?” Bethany tried to stay casual and not kick Emily out. The younger woman had every right to be both angry and worried.
“It… I… You know. I’ll make coffee. I’ll wait in the kitchen.” Without waiting for an answer she turned and thundered down the stairs.
Bethany couldn’t help but laugh. Eric was happy to see she took it so well and dragged her down to the pillow with him to properly kiss her.
“Good morning, my fairy godmother.”
“That’s better than a witch.”
“It is, but isn’t a fairy godmother a witch too?”
“Indeed.” She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him back.
“I’m waiting!” Sounded from below the stairs.
“Oh dear. Want me to come with you?” Eric offered.
Bethany shook her head. “No need. Have a shower or a bath if you want. I’ll take care of it.”
“You’re a lot braver than I am.”
“She’s my sister. She’ll forgive you. Me? I’m not so sure of.”
One last kiss and Bethany got out of bed, hurriedly put on her pyjamas and made her way downstairs.
Emily sat at the kitchen table. The chair their grandmother used to sit in. Bethany accepted the coffee and sat down as well.
“Shoot.” She offered.
Emily took a deep breath as if to pump herself up.
“I was worried.”
“I’m sorry. I forgot my phone last night, and I think I didn’t charge it yesterday. I’m sorry I worried you. Ever.” Bethany deserved this, and she wasn’t going to deny it. Plenty of times she’d been worried herself.
“I’m sorry too. You appeared so off a few days ago. And with Mum, and…”
“I know.” The elder sister didn’t need the play by play. She vividly remembered finding their mother dead. She wasn’t going to do that to her sister. Ever. “Why did you call?” She didn’t want to dwell on it. Not when there was this happy, fuzzy feeling inside of her.
“You were talking about selling the house. There’s a nice apartment going on sale, not far from us.”
Bethany had said she considered moving away from here. It had been a mistake.
“I’m not going to sell the house and leave, Emily. I was… confused.”
“You didn’t seem confused when I turned up in your bedroom.” The tone was half admiration, half anger. “Why didn’t you tell me about him?”
Bethany couldn’t help but start to smile. Emily sat back and watched the lightest version of her sister she’d ever seen.
“I met him last week. It’s so new. And frankly, I’d not counted on seeing him again.”
“His car broke down, at the road. And his phone.”
Emily rolled her eyes. “One could never accuse grandma of subtlety.”
Bethany laughed. “No, indeed. We made her work for it though. She had to do it twice because I’d kicked him out of the house after kissing me.”
“Bethany.” There was pity in Emily’s voice. She like no other understood why it had scared her. So much hurt had surrounded her growing up. Bethany and their grandmother had always protected Emily from it. Emily had not realised it until a lot later. “I’m glad to see you happy. You are right. You should never move away from here. It is your home. So what changed?”
They’d not heard Eric come down the stairs. He walked in on them, wearing the ridiculous outfit, minus the wig. He put his hands on Bethany’s shoulders and kissed the top of her head, before taking the liberty of pouring a cup of coffee. “True love’s kiss.” He said calmly, holding the coffee pot.
“True love’s kiss?” Emily blinked at hearing it.
Bethany thought back of their first kiss that had forced her to rethink everything.
“True love’s kiss.” She confirmed.
“I can live with that,” Emily said as she got up. “For the record, I will be a bridesmaid, but like hell are you going to force me into a costume.”
Leaving a gasping Bethany and relaxed Eric leaning to the counter sipping his coffee, Emily walked out of the house.
“Did we just get her blessing?” Eric asked.
“I guess so.”
“Good.” He put his coffee cup down, sank on one knee and took Bethany’s hand.
“I know we’ve known each other for a short time.”
“And this is sudden.”
“But there’s no time like the present, and I don’t want to have to wait another year to ask.” He meant it. Halloween and November first were traditionally the time the spirits were closest to the living.
A hefty draft ran through the kitchen. It ran past Eric’s face, and he saw it blow up the blonde hair. It was fun but didn’t suit her.
“Bethany Parker, will you please consider to share your life with me?”
She pulled his arm to force him to get up. She stood up with him. “I’d love to.” Being this rash was not at all like her.
The wedding was amazing. They’d had a year to plan it, after all. Though it was windy, there wasn’t a spot of rain to be found when they stood under the tree on the grounds of the house on the hill.
Bethany had requested the wedding to take place there. Eric had not considered doing it anywhere else. After that first night, he had gone back to his sister’s to pack up and move in with Bethany. It had been quick. But it was the right thing to do. They’d, after all, both waited their entire lives for this.
Bethany wore a long, almost bohemian white dress with decorated lace. Emily had tried to get her into a princess gown, but she’d had to admit defeat. The guests were invited to come in costume. It hadn’t been mandatory. Emily had chosen to wear a gown that could count for both. She out-dressed the bride, but Bethany didn’t care. They got married in the morning.
After the simple ceremony, there was an abundant lunch Eric and Bethany had prepared together. Eric would be the first to consider Bethany’s cooking did appear witchcraft.
With bellies full of lunch, and bags full of candy, everyone left. After all, it was still Halloween and the children needed to reel in more candy that evening.
It was the only time Bethany was dressed as a Bride for Halloween.
More kids than ever graced the house with their presence. It seemed a lot of the darkness was lifted and even the adults weren’t as scared anymore, now Eric had moved in and appeared alive and happy.
Happily, they turned out the porch light after midnight.
Eric came back to the kitchen, to find Bethany still in her wedding dress clearing away the last things. The remaining candy was on the kitchen table.
He got up behind her and kissed the back of her neck.
“Trick or treat.” He whispered.