Starbucks, Smarties, and Soldiers

Submitted into Contest #65 in response to: Write about someone taking a child trick-or-treating for the very first time.... view prompt

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Friendship Happy

“Ready yet?” My best friend, Naomi, shouted from the doorway, clipping Gizmo, my pure white american eskimo dog, to his leash.

“Almost!” I replied. I turned back to Kendall, my ten month old daughter, and adjusted her costume.

“Perfect,” I cooed, and bopped her nose. Kendall giggled.

“I’ve got an antsy customer waiting!” Naomi yelled playfully. “Where’s my coffee?”

“Right here!” I walked out of the bathroom and into the hallway. It was Kendall’s first Halloween, and my first time taking a child trick-or-treating, other than my two year younger sister, Colleen.

I had been planning for and creating our costumes for months. I was so excited. Since the only thing that had gotten me through the first few months of all-nighters was coffee, I had gone with a Starbucks theme. Originally, I had planned the costumes for me, Kendall, and my husband, Jesse, who was a Sergeant in the army. But Jesse had been on tour for the past four months, so I had called my best friend, Naomi, to come any stay with us, substituting her in for Jesse.

Naomi was a barista, I was a pink drink (my personal favorite), and Kendall was a frappuccino. And of course, I couldn’t forget Gizmo, so he was a packet of sugar.

“You guys look so cute!” Colleen, who was on an early fall break, squealed from the couch. She was going to stay home and pass out candy for us.

“Thanks, C!” I said, and grabbed Kendall’s trick-or-treat bag, a classic orange plastic pumpkin.

“Hey, you guys want a picture?” Colleen asked, flopping off of the couch.

“Sure!” I smiled, and tossed her my phone.

We all stepped outside, and Colleen rushed past us to the sidewalk. Naomi, Kendall, and I posed in front of the front door.

“Say cheese!” Colleen cried. Naomi and I looked at each other and smiled, and Colleen stuck out her tongue to get Kendall to grin.

“Alright, Amanda, we better get going.” Naomi told me, opening the door for Colleen.

“Ok,” I stepped down on the front walk.

“Can you hold her for a sec?” I begged her, and she lifted her out of my arms. I tugged at the neckline of my pink lemonade colored dress and fixed the Starbucks logo pinned to the front. The straw headband in my hair slipped down, and I pushed it back up. I knelt down to yank Gizmo’s wrap back into place on his slick fur. I ruffled his head and stood up. 

Naomi handed Kendall, who was chewing on the pumpkin handle, back over to me. I puffed out a large breath of air and started to walk.

“Are you sure you’re okay with Jesse not being here?” Naomi asked imploringly, touching my arm lightly.

“Yeah,” I sighed and forced a small smile. “I’ll be fine.”

We were silent for a few moments.

“Alright, Kendall,” I said, bouncing her in my arms. “When we get to a house, you have to ring the bell and say trick-or-treat,”

We approached our first house, my elderly neighbor, Mrs. Wilkens.

“Ring the doorbell, Kendall,’ Naomi encouraged her, and showed her the button, tapping it with her index finger.

Kendall pressed the button and chortled when she heard the bell. Mrs. Wilkens opened the door, bucket of candy in hand, and exclaimed,

“Hello, Amanda. Kendall. Who’s this fine young lady?” she acknowledged Naomi.

“This is my best friend, Naomi. Jesse couldn’t make it this year.” I answered.

“Oh, that’s a shame. You all look so cute!” she tickled Kendall’s belly. “Here you are,”

She put a large handful in Kendall’s bucket.

“Have a nice night!”

“Thank you!” I replied, and waved as we turned around and started for the next house.

“Can I hold her?” Naomi asked.

“Sure,” I replied, and handed her over.

The Harris’s had an inflatable Casper the Friendly Ghost sitting in their front yard, and Kendall tried to grab it as we walked by.

Kendall rang the bell again and the Harris’s teenage son, Will, answered the door.

“Hey, Will!” I said. “Where are your parents?”

“They’re taking Dianna around. I’m on candy duty.” he responded, reaching for the candy bin and dropping a few pieces in Kendall’s bucket.

“There you go,”

“Thank you, Will! Have a good Halloween!”

“You too!” he returned, popping a mini candy bar into his mouth and closing the door.

It was warm for late October in North Carolina. Naomi gave Kendall to me for a moment so that she could roll up the sleeves of her black t-shirt. Kendall looked down at her bucket and noticed all of the colorful candy sitting in it. She shrieked and snatched a Mars bar, shaking it in her tiny fist.

Naomi and I laughed. More trick-or-treaters were out now. It was prime time. The sun was starting to set and cast everything in an orange glow. Mummies, witches, Avengers, and werewolves ran and skipped past us, focusing only on the next house.

I sighed and Naomi put his hand on my shoulder.

“That’ll be Kendall someday,” I whimpered, tearing up a bit. “Going ahead and going around with her friends.”

Naomi put her arm around my shoulder. She squeezed me in a one-arm hug and patted my back


She put a hand on Kendall’s shoulder. Kendall looked up at Naomi with shining eyes.

“This is the best Halloween ever.”

“Ever?” I repeated, raising my eyebrows.

“I’ve got an awesome best friend, an adorable goddaughter. We’re all having fun and we’re not drunk. It’s the best.” She smiled.

I turned and hugged her.

“Aaaand I’m also happy if you’re happy.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

She jabbed her thumb behind us. Jesse stepped out of a cab parked down the street.

I gasped and exclaimed,

“Oh my god!”

I sprinted down to him, still holding Kendall, and jumped into his arms. Our lips collided and I ran my fingers through his hair. We broke apart and stared at each other.

“Oh my god!” I repeated, stunned. “You’re here!”

“Yeah,” he said, squeezing me in a massive hug. “I’m home until after Thanksgiving.”

“Really?” I replied, tears dripping down my cheeks.

“Really. Now, how’s my Kendall?”

“She’s right here,” I held her up and Jesse took her into his arms, spinning her around.

“Hi baby!” He planted a kiss on her forehead. “You didn’t say or go anywhere while I was gone, did you?”

“Nope,” I answered for her. “Still crawling and babbling. I guess she was waiting for you to get home.”

Jesse lowered Kendall out of the air and wrapped his free arm around me.

“Love you,” he whispered.

“Love you.” I responded.

“Love you,” Kendall copied.

October 26, 2020 19:04

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1 comment

Karen Kitchel
17:50 Oct 31, 2020

Fun to read on Halloween and picture each person, just how they looked and felt. Also thanks for your nice comments on my Fire Dancing.


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