Trick Her, Treat Her

by K. A. Barnett © 2002

I sooo didn't want to be stuck with my sister's kid this Halloween. But here she comes with that darn kid, what could I say? Sis was called in to work the night shift, sooo guess who gets to take the kid around the neighborhood for tricker treat.

Me, that's who. Aunt Bevvie. Ugh.

Not that it's boring. Oona -- that's my niece's name -- is a very weird five year old. Last year, Oona was an electric eel for Halloween. She was dressed head to toe in a tube of stretchy cheese cloth that Sis had dyed electric blue. Oona carried a battery-powered zapper. She'd sneak up behind the other tricker treaters and zap them just to see how far in the air they'd jump. When they came back down, she was Miss Innocent. Ugh. What five year old kid wants to be an electric eel for Halloween?

Oona, that's who.

This year, Oona is Cupid. She's wearing a pink leotard and sash. Her outfit is complete with a bow and an arrow, coated, Oona says, with Cupid's Love Potion. I never did understand that kid. But here I am, schlepping from one house to the other as this kid gets her bag filled with candy. I try not to hope that her teeth rot. We just finish up at the Lander's house when Oona announces, "I want to go two streets over to Jermaine's house for tricker treat."


"Yeah. He's the boy that mows our lawn. He's 16 and he looks like Leonardo DiCaprio."

"Do tell."

"I bet he'll fall in love with you at first sight."

"Right," I say sarcastically. Here I am with my baggies, my Burkenstocks, and my bad hair. I'm just the one to lighten up Leo's love life. NOT. Besides, I already have a boyfriend.

"I think you two will make a great couple."

I sigh as we walk over two streets and Oona leads me to a red brick house on the corner. She marches up to the front door and rings the bell. There's no answer.

"Maybe Leo had something better to do than sit at home and wait for me to fall in love with," I suggest.

"No, he's in there all right," Oona insists. "You wait here. I'll go around to the back door."

"Fine, fine," I say. I plop down on the grass while Oona does her thing. Time seems to pass slowly while I wait. I look up at the night sky just in time to catch a falling star. Other tricker treaters see me laying in Leo's yard and they cross the street. Suddenly, the front door of Leo's house creaks open. Oona is standing in the stoop. "Aunt Bevvie?"

I sigh and schlep over to the porch. Standing just behind Oona is the cutest boy I have ever seen. He really could pass for Leo DiCaprio.

Oona makes the introductions. "Jermaine, this is my Aunt Bevvie." He smiles at me and I melt. "Hello there, Aunt Bevvie," he says. "Would you like to come in? I would really love it if you could."

I can hardly take my eyes off of him, but I have to figure all of this out, so I look to Oona for an explanation. Oona is busy cleaning her arrow with a rag. I say to Jermaine, "Excuse us for a minute, will you? Oona? Can I have a word with you?"

Oona grins and we walk over to the street lamp. "I guess you're going to tell me that you shot that guy with your Cupid's arrow?" She puts the cleaned bow back in her quiver.

"He's waiting for you, better hurry."

Just at that moment, Sis pulls up in her SUV to pick Oona up. "They made a mistake in my schedule", she laments. "Don't have to work tonight after all."

Oona jumps in the SUV. "Bye, Aunt Bevvie," Oona says, "thanks for the tricker treating!"

"No problem," I say. I wave and Sis drives off. Jermaine is still standing at the door, waiting for me. I don't get it, but I go inside. "Would you like to watch a little tv? You're just in time for the next Creature Feature!" He leads me into the tv room and we plop on the couch. He's got iced cold drinks and snacks waiting for us. "I didn't know what kind of snacks you like, so I just brought a variety."

"Thanks," I reply. My curiosity is working over time. "Have we met before someplace?

"Not officially, no," he laughs. "But I've been mowing your sister's yard for ages so I know who you are."

I'm flattered, but I don't know what to say. I look at the food laid out on the table. "You already had these snacks prepared?"

"Well, no. I just kinda threw them together at the last minute. Something just came over me." He flashes me a beautiful Leo smile. "I don't really know how to explain it," he says.

Hmmmm, I think. But I say, "Oh." I don't believe it for a second, but I can't help but ask. "Uh, Jermaine, by chance, you didn't get... stuck by anything tonight?" I'm afraid to look at him, but I do.

"Stuck?" he asks. "You mean like with a knife or something?"

"Yeah," I say, "or something."

I can see him thinking. Finally he says, "No. Not that I can - hey, wait a minute!"

I cringe.

"You know, I did get stuck by something tonight. Funny you should ask."

"Why is it funny?"

"'Cause I've had a crush on you for the longest time. I just realized it tonight when I saw Oona. I'm stuck on you!"

Jermaine reaches over and kisses me lightly on the cheek. I'm dying. I thank my lucky stars that he didn't say that he'd gotten stuck by Cupid's arrow.

Still, I wonder. But what can I say? I never did understand that kid.

x x x

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