Her Secrets & Mine - Chapter Thirty One

“Oh Robert, take a picture! Girls stand together!” Mama hadn’t expected me to dress up, she had expected me to say instead that thirteen was too old to trick-or-treat, but she was of course thrilled when I announced that I would be going. Anna was dressed as a princess, she had big plans to attend a Halloween party after we humored Mama and followed our tradition of going from house to house. Mama grinned proudly and handed us our Halloween buckets, just as Father snapped a picture. It was the first Halloween since my faith in Father had been shattered by catching him with Maria, and my costume choice reflected it. “Look at them! How cute are they? My beautiful princess and grim reaper!”

We headed out in to the crisp October air, hoping that we would get lots and lots of candy. Penny had offered to drive us and came dressed as a zombie. “Cool outfit!” I gave Penny two thumbs up.

“Not as cool as your Mama’s outfit!” Penny remarked, glancing over at the 40’s housewife sitting in the passenger seat. Mama waved her feather duster in the air and smiled. She looked like she was straight off of a page of Good Housekeeping.

“Maria’s outfit was the best.” I commented, glancing back at the house that was now a tiny blur of light in the distance.

“Maria’s outfit?” Anna questioned.

“Yeah wasn’t she that character from the Spanish soap opera she watches every afternoon? The slutty one?” I jabbed.

“Addy!” Mama warned, but Anna and I giggled. We used to sneak into the hall and watch the melodramatic love stories, even though we couldn’t understand a single word they said. Anna may not have known about Maria and Father, but she laughed anyway-- probably because Maria was the exact opposite of the tiny big bosomed women in French maid costumes with big thick lashes and bright red lips.

“I like Maria.” Penny announced.

“Me too.” Anna agreed.

“Me too.” Mama seemed genuine about it.

I stayed silent. I didn’t like Maria at all anymore.


“I’m too old for this!” I froze at the first house. I had simply wanted to make a statement with my costume, I didn’t want to trick-or-treat after all.

“What?” Mama was disappointed, even she wasn’t too old to trick-or-treat. Why was I?

“She’s thirteen, Julianne! You and Anna go, I’ll stay in the car with her.” Penny understood me.

“Thanks,” I whispered as I watched Mama and Anna scurry up the sidewalk and onto the porch that was covered in jack-o-lanterns.

“Anytime, Addy.” Penny whispered back. “Maybe we can swipe some candy!”

We both laughed, and I took off my hood. By the tenth house, their buckets were too full for them to notice that we were eating candy every time they got out. Rich people gave out full-sized candy bars, and I was definitely going to have a stomach ache!

“I’m ready to go to my party now.” Anna had taken as much as she could take.

“Okay, we’ll head that way.” Mama turned around in her seat and feather dusted Anna’s face.

“I’ll get a ride home.” Anna was testing her limits.

“Nope, not happening. We’ll be out front at eleven.”

“Twelve?” Anna was only twelve years old but already thought she deserved a midnight curfew.

“Eleven thirty.” Mama compromised, she was in a good mood.

Anna climbed out of the car at a house that was buzzing with preteens. You could see the silhouette of witches dancing in the window, could hear the music thumping, and could tell by the kids that ran out to greet her that they had been waiting for Anna to arrive. “You sure you don’t want to come too?”

“No, I’ll hang out with Mama and Penny.” I felt myself lean against the car door, intimidated by the thought of going into a party and being all alone. Most of the parties that I had attended ended up that way, me not fitting in and longing to go home but stuck until Anna was ready to leave. I wasn’t up for that.

Anna ran inside and I saw Mama give Penny a look. “Well, we’ll just have to make sure that Addy has fun too!”

“Want to egg Gracie Hampton’s house?” An evil grin crept across Penny’s makeup covered zombie like face.

“More like mansion!” Mama laughed. “Let’s do it!”

I realized that Mama and Penny were more immature than me, but giggled with Mama in the car while Penny ran into the Piggly Wiggly for six dozen eggs.