Diary of Secrets

Calum thought soccer was everything.....until he read Sam's diary.


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15. Halloween

It’s Sam. Her orange tulip is entwined around the hair band she wears. If that doesn’t spell it out by itself, the dolphin which ‘Ashley’ made the diary owner, is sitting on her dresser. I recognize it from the rusted metal of it’s belly and the dark blue glass which reaches up toward it. All those little things, finally connecting to the bigger picture. The text message I sent her, her scare in the hospital; now this. It’s all lead me to Sam.

She’s sitting in front of her mirror that’s connected to her dresser. It’s covered in pictures the five of us have taken over the years. She’s applying the last of her face paint, creating the flowers around her eyes. Her costume is a pairing with mine, I’m a skeleton so she made herself a Calaveras. Her face is covered in white paint with black lines curved around her eyes and nose. She now adds the burgundy color which will be the flower petals around her eyes. Creating little dots around her cheek bones to further add to her designs.

I’m in a full on body suit, while she sits in a long burgundy dress that expands at the bottom. The kind you’d associate with a woman from the 20th century. Her normally long black hair is done up in a bun, while the tulip rests on the left side of it. Sam in every definition of the word, is stunning. She’s always gone all out for Halloween though, I just hope she isn’t making this her last hurrah.

How did I miss all of these things? Why didn’t I listen to Ash? How can she hide all of those inner thoughts so well? She seems just like always, but inside she’s screaming trying to find new ways to cause harm to herself. Why Sam? What aren’t we doing right to help you out of this?

Once she’s finished we head downstairs and she grabs a sweater, while I shrug into the one I’ve been carrying.

“Bye mom!” She screams to the lone parent passed out on the sofa. When we step into the car, she sighs strapping herself into the seatbelt.

“Where‘s your dad, still working?” I ask as I start the engine.

“Nope.” She answers, dragging on the word emphasizing on the ‘p’. As I pull away from the curb, I ask

“So where is he?” Cautiously. Her eyes stay glued to road when she says

“Old Chevy, later tonight.” With a monotone voice. Nodding in agreement, I turn the corner heading toward the party I hope will lift Sam’s spirits.


************************************

When we arrive Michael is hovering in front of the liquor table. Instantly Sam looks to me, and without saying a word I know her thoughts. Nodding, I watch as she hands me her jacket and walks over to him leading him to the dance floor instead. The stumbling he does on the walk there, implies he’s already had quite a few.

After hanging our jackets, I look around for a familiar face. There’s a lot of unfamiliar ones though. I’m sure a lot of them I’ve seen in the halls, or I could have classes with quite a few; but none are who I want to see. Finally spotting Ash and Meghan by the candy table in the back, I grab a beer and head their way.

Everywhere you look there’s fall colors. Between the orange, black and red banners strung up on mantels, banisters and the ceiling; they’re hard to miss. Various creatures plague the walls, strung up with tape and there are some hiding in the corners of the room. The only thing keeping them up, if they aren’t supported by pegs, being the wall itself. Whoever’s party this is, they really go all out.

Once I reach them I catch Ash’s costume. Stifling back the giggle I just developed, he shyly lowers his gaze before the smile creeps on his face.

“I need a drink, you too?” He asks, setting my still full beer on the table next to us. As we walk back to the beer table, he says

“Go ahead. Laugh.” I then let out the giggle I’d been suppressing.

“I knew I looked ridiculous.” He says with a frustrated sigh.

“Why did you agree to this?” I ask in between chuckles. Groaning he answers

“She agreed to backyard entry if I went along with it.” He admits proudly.


With widened eyes I stare at his pink leotard and nod.

“You‘d just better hope it‘s more than a one time thing. I‘m not sure if you‘ve noticed, but a lot of pictures are being taken at this party. Even when the costumes off, you aren‘t going to be able to forget you wore it.” I say while looking around at the flashing lights from various cell phones. He sighs in defeat while I grab another beer answering

“Yeah, but I guarantee you it‘ll still be worth it the first time.” With a wink. Laughing at him once again, I swallow it down with a swig of foam.


“Where‘s Luke?” I ask, still looking for him.

“Not here.” Ash answers while finishing the beer in his hand.

“Obviously.” I retort, he giggles sounding like a high school girl.

“Is he not coming?” I ask, while he opens another beer.

“He always comes to this every year. The house changes, but the people don‘t.” I say, thinking aloud. He sighs answering

“He might show later, but he says he‘s just not feeling like a party tonight. Wants to meet up with us when we start the scavenger hunt.” He says in between swigs of his drink.


“You might want to hold off on drinking so fast. You‘re going to want to remember your encounter later. Guarantee she‘s hoping you get so drunk she can talk her way out of it.” He looks at the rest of his beer. As though it’s suddenly sprouted wings.

“Good call mate.” He replies, setting the unfinished beer next to the punch bowl, and grabbing a bottled water instead.


Looking around, I see Michael and Sam are still dancing to Monster Mash. But with him being so hammered already, Sam is doing all the footwork. Her eyes meet mine for a minute, I smile at her and she returns it before Mikey laughs loudly next to her ear. Rolling her eyes, she pushes him away slightly before turning to face him again.

I think back to when I read the October 1st entry. I told myself that Robin loved the owner of the diary, even if he didn’t want to admit it. Do I really love Sam? I’ve known I love her as a friend, but is it honestly possible I love her as more? All these years we’ve been friends, I never once looked at her as that. People have tried to set us up, but I always had someone else or Sam found a replacement. Maybe there could be something more between us. I just don’t think it should be now since she’s so broken. Maybe I could start something when her mental frame is slightly fixed.

Smiling, I look up at Meghan and Ash. They’re kissing next to the candy table, which is coated in candy corn covering the entire table; surrounding the bowls filled with bite sized candies and gummied creatures. I steal a snickers, shoving the entire tiny bar into my mouth. As I bite down on the chocolate, the salted nuts and caramel explode on my taste buds. I want to spit it out, beer and chocolate aren’t a good combination.

I’m soon bumped into, before I can open my mouth the person apologizes.

“Sorry Hood. Figured I‘d get Mickey here some sugar. I see you‘ve helped yourself to the snickers, are they any good with your Corona?” Sam asks with a smirk. I have to stifle back laughter, as Michael is hung up on the wall the table’s against. Sam is opening tiny bars and shoving them into his mouth, before he can complain he’s chewing down on them. Then as he opens his now clear mouth, she shoves more in.

“Candy‘s great, right Mickey?” Sam asks while chewing a gummy worm.


Her and I are giggling as he’s trying to talk with his mouthful. The candy seems to bring him out of whatever he was in, because soon he’s unwrapping his own candy bars. Smiling, Sam grabs hold of my hand. I tighten the grip around her hold, feeling the sour substance still left over from her candy. As if aware of her dilemma, she awkwardly laughs and lets go of my hand.

“Sorry.” She apologizes, going to wipe her hand on her dress. I grab it before she can, saying

“Don‘t. It‘ll keep our hands stuck together. I don‘t know about you, but out of our choices tonight if I had to be stuck to someone; I‘d rather it be you.” I answer with a smile. She giggles replying

“Calum. Shut up.” With a laugh.

************************************

A couple hours later we’re standing outside Luke’s house.

“So. This is you and Luke‘s set of questions. If you‘ve paid attention all year, you should be good.” Sam says with a smirk. Rolling my eyes, I run my fingertips over the index cards. I’m tempted to sneak a peek at the clues underneath the blank card. But I hold my ground, knowing the game hasn’t started yet. Sam hands Ash and Meghan theirs explaining

“I won‘t be joining you this year, I have to sober Mickey up. But we‘ll all meet up at the Waffle House Express at midnight. Same as always, okay?” Sam asks, dragging Mikey to his car. We nod and once Luke steps out in his ghost busters get up, the game begins.


“So what‘s the first one?” I ask, getting excited as I enter the main road with Ash just behind us. Luke throws the blank card to the car floor, before reading the clue of the first card.

“Ha. She drew fangs at the top. ‘Who got bit first on the last sleepover we had in Hangman’s Woods and where did it happen?’” He says looking up at the road. I sigh thinking about the sleepover we had last summer, while turning at the next light heading to our new location.


Ash, Mikey and I had all heard the stories that surrounded Hangman’s Woods. So many people took their own life there. They claimed their spirits could still be seen at night. So to test it out, we all camped out by the jagged rock, not too far by the creek.

Sam was the first one to think of the idea. Slowly, we all took off and instead of sleeping we lurked around the trees, searching for any kind of ghost. It was completely stupid, but we had so much fun. Luke and Ash were so easy to scare, especially since Ash lost his glasses. Eventually Michael had gotten so sick of the whole thing he sat down by the creek. That was the worst thing he could’ve done. We didn’t know it then, but a snapping turtle had made that his home, and once Michael sat down; he invaded his privacy.There went Michael’s favorite pajamas.

The entire night, we all ran and aggravated this grumpy turtle. Seeing how close we could get before it’d reach out with it’s snout to bite us. Sam and Ash were the only ones who didn’t get bit. That turtle was the only thing that kept that night from being a bummer. We should see if he still lives there.

“Wasn‘t it Ash?” Luke asks, lost in thought at the clue. We’re trekking through brush and dead leaves while looking for the rock we camped next to.

“No. It was Michael.” I correct, stepping over a log that’s coated in moss. We’re getting closer at least.

“No, I‘m pretty sure it was Ash. Remember? He didn‘t have his glasses at that point.” I laugh, but explain

“It was Michael, he got his ass bit. He never let us live it down that we were the cause of his favorite pajamas getting ruined.” With a giggle. Luke joins in, tripping over the same log I just stepped over.

“Right! God he was so pissed!” He says in between laughs. I smile, heading up toward a rock that looks familiar.


“So, it was by the rock up ahead then?” He asks with frequent huffs. I smile at his lack of stamina, we should really get him out more. He spends too much time in front of books, but a frequent game of soccer could fix that.

“No, it was by the creek up ahead.” I answer, passing the rock. He groans but when we collect the hat from the 1800‘s, we now have the first clue that hints for the theme.


The entire night continues on like that. We get brought down memory lane, whether it’s as simple as where’d Luke get his first kiss?; the tree house in Amanda Kneelings background. Or as complicated as where’d we run to when barber Hank chased us out of his shop? That was hard, we ran all over that night, alleys, stores even backyards. But we stopped at the ice cream store first, hiding in the dressings aisles.

We had gotten quite a few clues so far, a 1800’s hat, pipe, school book, and our last clue being a carved pumpkin. I’m pretty sure I know the theme, but just to be sure I ask for Luke’s opinion.

“What do you think the theme is this year?” He looks over all the clues, as though they’ll spell it out for him.

“I‘m not sure, but if I had to guess based on what day it is and the stuff Sam gets into; I‘d say maybe……The Legend of Ichabod Crane?” He questions uncertainly. I smile, as he confirms my suspicions.


When we arrive at the Waffle House Express, Michael is sober and scarfing down a plate of waffles. Which judging by the amount of empty plates next to him, isn’t his first. Sam is drinking a light brown substance in a coffee cup, while making small talk with Meghan. Everyone seems pretty cozy, so when Luke and I join the table we expected to have lost.


“It‘s about time you assholes show up.” Michael snides, shoving another bite of waffle in his mouth.

“We‘ve been waiting for you guys to figure out who won.” Sam says with a smile.

“So naturally we‘ve been sitting here for fifteen minutes, waiting for you when there are much better things to do with our time.” Meghan adds in with irritation.


Luke and I exchange a glance before apologizing, but know that Meghan is the only one who had a real problem with us being late.

“So boys, what were your themes?” Sam asks with a smile. Now that I sit next to her, I can smell the pumpkin from her glass.

“We think ours was The Legend of Ichabod Crane.” I say with a smile, setting our items on the table.

“While Meghan and I think ours was the story of Halloween.” Ash says with a smile, handing over his items. There’s a noose, a black cat and a mask to name a few.


Sam’s wide smile could be seen as creepy with all her face paint, but I find it adorable.

“You guys are the greatest.” She says while grabbing items from her bag. Ash and I are handed a small package, once we’ve opened them with our partners we’re all smiles.

“You got us tickets to see the lunar eclipse in November?” I ask in amazement. Sam smiles saying

“Don‘t forget to notice it‘ll be in a private setting, so we‘re not bumping elbows with every Tom, Dick and Harry that wants to see it too.” With a giggle. I hug her tight, knowing this is one of the best things she could’ve given us.


“Yay. A moon. Cool. Ash, baby can we go? As much as I‘d love to stay here and chit chat with your friends, I‘d like to get to doing something else. If you catch my meaning.” Meghan says with wide eyes boring into Ash. He nods, thanking Sam for her gift and giving her a hug and kiss on the temple before leaving with Meghan. I make my way over to sit with Luke since his side of the booth is wide open now that they’re gone.

Michael is still beaming over how he’ll get to see the Lunar eclipse a week before his birthday. The night is spent talking about the clues, the memories brought up and what’s to come in November. Sam amazes me. Maybe she has gotten better. I hope her diary entries confirm this happy exterior she’s portraying.

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