Vito finished strapping up his gladiator boots. That was his outfit for the night complete. He turned to Louis. “So, what do you think of couples costumes?”
Louis gave him a funny look: “Couples costumes?”
“Yeah,” Vito nodded. “You know, couples dressing up in costumes that complement each other. Like Bonnie and Clyde, or mustard and ketchup, or…”
“I get the concept,” Louis interrupted him. “I think they’re pretty lame. Don’t you?”
Vito looked away awkwardly. “Yeah, totally…”
Louis examined him for a moment. “Do you want us to wear matching costumes?”
“No, of course not… You’re right. They’re totally lame…”
“Ok then,” Louis looked amused. “I’m glad you feel that way, since I already got my costume too!”
He dove into the wardrobe.
“So, what do you think?” Louis asked when he emerged from the closet. ”Am I the most badass ninja or what?”
“I’ve gotta admit that outfit suits you,” Vito smiled. “Then again, you could pull off anything.”
He pulled Louis closer for a quick kiss.
“So, shall we head out and impress everyone with our awesomeness?” Vito asked with a grin.
“Let’s do it,” Louis humoured him.
The teen lounge was all decorated for Spooky Day. Vito and Louis weren’t the first ones in.
“Hey, those two are totally wearing couples costumes, and they’re not even a couple!” Vito sulked.
“I don’t know, you’re talking Hallie and Larobb here,” Louis shrugged. “They’re practically attached by the hip. Are you sure they’re not a couple?”
Carly watched the bonfire flames aside from the crowd. There was something magical about Spooky Day, she thought. The one day when the world is filled with magical other-wordly beings everywhere. For a split second, one could almost believe fairy tales could come true on a night like this.
Then again, Carly was reminded all too quickly that her life was no fairy tale. She tried to put on a brave smile…
“Well if it isn’t Sera, the wicked witch,” Ralph greeted his date for the night. “Fitting.”
Seraphina got annoyed. “Why necessarily wicked? Maybe I’m just a witch!”
“Hey, it was a compliment,” Ralph shrugged. “We both have a bit of evil in us… I’m a pirate, after all!”
Seraphina calmed down. “You do make a rather handsome pirate,” she purred.
The Boba Fett watching the wicked duo didn’t seem too pleased. It was probably Beavis. Or Butthead. What was the difference between them anyway, Seraphina asked herself.
But it wasn’t just Boba Fett observing them. Carly lingered. She had to admit they did seem well suited. And Sera actually had a smile on her face for a change. It seemed like the distant memory of the summer Seraphina was slowly starting to return. This was a good thing.
So why was it still so hard?
“Oh, hi Lottie!” Ralph stood up, interrupting Carly’s stream of thought.
“Hey,” she waved at both of them uncertainly. She looked at Ralph. “I like your costume.”
“Ditto,” Ralph agreed with a grin. “Looks like this Captain Hook finally found his Tinker Bell.”
Carly couldn’t help but smile. “You do realise Captain Hook almost killed Tinker Bell when he trapped her in a lantern, right?”
Ralph laughed. “I guess you’ll have to be on the lookout around me.” He winked at her.
“Ok, that’s enough!” Seraphine yelled at them from the couch.
“For your information Carly, Ralph is here with me! So stop being pathetic and hanging onto his every word! It’s embarrassing to watch!”
“I… I’ll be on my way,” Carly forced an apologetic smile, backing away. “See you guys later…”
“Hey Sera, can I talk to you for a moment in private,” Ralph gestured towards the building.
Seraphina’s lips curled into a smile. “Sure.” She stood up. “Later, loser!” She yelled in Carly’s direction.
Carly headed indoors too. She figured that at least she could make the evening a bit sweeter with a bit of chocolate. But apparently even the sweets at this party wanted to mock her.
Meanwhile, Vito, Louis, Hallie and Larobb were immersed in a game of poker, oblivious to the drama around them.
“So, couple against couple,” Louis challenged Hallie and Larobb. “Let’s see who wins!”
“We’re not a couple!” Hallie rolled her eyes. “You know that Larobb and I are just friends.”
“Best friends,” Larobb corrected her.
“Best friends,” Hallie nodded impatiently. “But just friends. Definitely not a couple.”
“Yeah, whatever…” Louis smirked. “Nice attempt at a bluff. If your poker face is that bad, we’ve got nothing to worry about…”
“Couple or not, you guys are just scared we’ll beat you,” Vito cut to the chase. “That’s why you’re full of excuses…”
“Afraid? Of you? Oh please!” Hallie threw him a determined look. “You’re on! Larobb and I will take you guys down!”
“This room looks empty,” Ralph opened the door into the dark music lounge.
“Yeah, the party’s only downstairs,” Sera nodded. “So, is this private enough for you?”
“Sure.” Ralph seemed distracted.
“I know why you wanted to talk in private,” Seraphina told him with a sly grin.
“You did promise me that kiss,” she said playfully. “Well, you can kiss me now…”
“Yeah, about that… maybe we should sit down.”
“So, what’s your problem?” He asked as soon as they slipped into the chairs.
“Huh?” Seraphina looked confused. “You mean… you actually wanted to talk?”
“Duh,” Ralph was getting impatient. “I don’t get it, Sera! Why does it give you such a kick to be so awful to your sister? Lottie’s done nothing to deserve that! The way you treat her…”
“Oh, I see how it is!” Seraphina glared at him angrily. “Lottie this, Lottie that…”
“Leave her out of this,” Ralph said calmly. “I was talking about you.”
“Oh really? It sure as plum doesn’t seem like it, you don’t seem to shut up about her!”
“Look Sera, I know you only agreed to go out with me in the first place to mess with your sister…”
“And what else is new?”
“And that you also picked me as your date for the Spooky Party only to upset her,” Ralph continued. “And at first, I thought it was kinda funny. But where does it stop Sera?”
“But I thought… I thought you liked me,” Seraphina struggled to form a coherent sentence. Her voice was trembling. “What did you say? That we’re both wicked? I thought we were on the same page…”
“Yeah. So did I.” Ralph said solemnly. “But you’re something else, Sera. I’d never set out to really hurt someone who’s done nothing wrong to me. But you, you’ll stop at nothing just to get to Lottie. You’re not even really interested me for crying out loud! And you still wanted me to kiss you, just for the sake of it!”
“Lalalalala,” Seraphina covered he ears. “I don’t even need to listen to any more of your plum! Lottie, Lottie, Lottie… well go to your stupid Lottie if you want!”
Ralph stood up. “Yeah, I think I will.” He walked out of the room, not giving her a single look.
Silence surrounded Seraphina. She hated the sound of silence. She wished he was still in the room, so she could yell over it. Not listen to the nagging voices in her head saying that it was all her own fault.
You should have told him he was wrong, the nagging voices said. That you were actually interested in him. That Carly had nothing to do with why you wanted that kiss…
“Shut up!” She yelled into the silence.
“Well, who’s laughing now?” Hallie looked at Louis with a stone cold face.
Louis shot Vito a look. Vito shook his head.
“Fine, I fold,” Louis put his cards down with a sigh.
Hallie started giggling. “I didn’t even have semi-decent cards!” she gave Larobb a victorious grin. “Now who’s got no poker face…”
“Well we knew we could beat them from the start,” Larobb joined in. The two of them leapt up to high-five each other.
“You know, I didn’t see it before, but you’re totally right,” Vito looked at the undead duo celebrating. “They might not know it yet, but they’re definitely a couple.”
“Silly them, wasting time,” Louis smiled. Then again, not all couples could be as perfect as they were…
Upstairs, Ralph made his way to Carly. He found her throwing bits of popcorn in the air, attempting to catch them in her mouth… and failing adorably.
“Hi Tinker Bell,” he sat down with her.
“Well if it isn’t Captain Hook,” she smiled.
“Nice going with the popcorn,” he grinned.
Carly looked around at the mess she’d created. She blushed, changing the topic: “So, how come you’re not with Sera?”
“Turns out love between pirates and witches is doomed,” he said. “They’re both too selfish to make it work.”
“Oh. I’m sorry to hear that?”
“You are?” Ralph tilted his head. “Why?”
“I thought that if Sera was happy again, she’d be nicer. Like back when… it doesn’t matter,” she corrected herself. She knew better than to reveal her sister’s vulnerable moments. “I guess now she’ll get even worse. Again.”
Ralph studied her face, as if he was trying to figure out what to say. “You don’t have to worry about her. You’ve got a pirate to protect you.”
“Right.” Carly seemed many miles away. “Oh well. Everyone seems to be taking off. I guess the party’s over.”
Hallie scoured the building looking for Sera. They all needed to leave together. When she finally found her, she was surprised at what she stumbled across. Seraphina was sobbing.
This wasn’t like her. “Sera?” Hallie approached her uncertainly.
“Oh. Hallie?” Seraphina tried to wipe away her tears, smudging her mascara.
“What happened?” Hallie asked.
And so Seraphina told her. About Ralph’s rejection. About the things he said to her. About how she initially agreed to go out with him to teach Carly a lesson, but ended up liking him herself…
Hallie listened. And then, when Sera was done, she gave her a funny look.
“And… that’s everything?” Hallie asked.
“Yeah.” Sera nodded tearfully. “That’s everything.”
“Sera, it’s really not that complicated.” Hallie said slowly. “If you want people to like you, stop being such a bitch!”