The Pretend Pirate
from Woman’s World Magazine by Patrice Howell
When the make-believe gypsy met the make-believe pirate, their mutual attraction was definitely for real!
You’re putting a lot of effort into that costume, Jen,” my friend Evie said. I shrugged and sewed a last sequin onto a silk scarf, then held it up. “What do you think?” “Pretty,” Evie said. “Too bad no one will see it.”
“The neighborhood kids will see it.” “But none of our friends will,” Evie protested. “come with us to Jill and Andy’s party! We’ll have fun.” “I’ll feel like a third wheel with you and Tim. And besides, Trent will be there.” Jen said. “Who cares?” said Evie. “ I just don’t want to see him and his girlfriend at a party – especially when I have no date.” said Jen. Evie sighed. “I’ve got to go finish our costumes – Tim and I are going as Groucho and Harpo. Sexy, right? She said, laughing. “If you change your min, Jen, we’re leaving at seven. Oh, and Jill mentioned some guys from Andy’s company are coming. Single guys.”
…HE SWEPT HIS PLUMED HAT FROM HIS HEAD AND BOWED”
After Evie left, I relaxed in a chair with a view of the quiet street that would soon throng with costumed kids. My neighbor JoAnna passed by pushing little Ian in his stroller. Than a man I didn’t recognize strode past. Hmmm, I thought, leaning forward to see where he was headed. Probably the house on the corner. I’d seen a moving van last week, and a child’s tricycle in the drive. I settled back and considered my conversation with Evie. The party would be fun, but my ex-boyfriend would be there with the woman he’d started seeing before we even broke up.
No, I’d have more fun right here. At 5:00 p.m., the doorbell rang and for the next two hours princesses, superheroes and vampires streamed onto my porch, yelling “trick or treat!” By 7:15, the stream had dried up. I’d just collapsed into a chair when I heard a knock. I opened the door to a little mermaid, who exclaimed, “Twick or tweat!” I clapped my hand to my mouth to keep from laughing, then noticed the tall, swash-buckling pirate on the walk.
“Oh!” I said, as the pirate swept his plumed hat from his head and bowed. When he straightened, he was smiling and the blue eye not covered by a black patch was twinkling. “Ahoy, Isabelle, I mean, Ariel,” he said. “It’s a gypsy lady!” “Twick or tweat, gypsy lady!” echoed the mermaid.
“Happy Halloween, Ariel,” I said. “Does your pirate friend need some treats?” “Oh, that’s just Daddy,” she said. “He’s a pwetend piwate.” He came onto the porch and I saw that the pretend pirate was very good-looking. “My mates call me Jack Sparrow,” he said, “but to my neighbors I’m Josh Harris.” He put out his hand. “Isabelle and I just moved in down the street.”
I took his hand. “Zofinya,” I said, with what I hoped was an exotic accent. “But tomorrow I’ll be Jennifer Owen again.” “Nice meeting you, Zofinya,” he said. “Isabelle and I thank you for the treats, but we ---” “Daddy’s going to a gwown-up Halloween party,” Isabelle interrupted. A grown-up Halloween party? I thought.
“and Gwandma’s going to help me count my candy when I get home.” Isabelle flashed a gap-toothed grin. “I’m taking half to Mommy’s house next week.” Josh’s eyes met mine. “Isabelle’s mom lives in town.” He nodded at my costume. “Pretty. Are you off to a party, too?” “I always dress up on Halloween.” I decided to take a chance, and asked, “Are you by any chance going to Jill and Andy Green’s party?”
Josh’s face brightened. “Yes, you know them?” I nodded. “I was invited, but didn’t want to miss the trick or treaters.” Josh looked up and down the empty street. “it looks like the fun has pretty much ended on Maple Drive,” he said, “but the Green’s party is just getting started.” A pause. “Would you be interested in going with me?” I smiled. “I think I would be interested.”
Isabelle looked up at her father. “Daddy, that means yes.” Josh and I laughed. “You’re right, Isabelle,” said. “The answer is definitely yes.