There is something about giving out handfuls of cavity-causing, high-in-sugar blobs of candy to unsuspecting children with angelic smiles that automatically makes one feel like the devil on Halloween without having to dress up as one. On that cheerful note, here’s a heartbreaking story —
It all began on Halloween 2003. During the usual trick or treat merriment, a bunch of kids came by — a dragon, a cowboy, a fairy and a bright green M&M. The hero of the story is the last kid in this bunch, a most remarkable seven-year old named Kyle. Here was a kid who clearly hated the concept of dressing up as anything other than himself and was making this displeasure most apparent with a scowl on his face akin to that of the mob-boss’s sidekick in a Hindi film. Now I’m pretty sure Kyle doesn’t watch Hindi films, but he’s got a good backup career if he ever needs one. But I digress.
While the other kids happily took candy by the bagfuls, Mr Green M&M sulked in the corner until his mom (the chaperone) shoved him to the front. The conversation went something like this —
Me: Hello, what’s your name?
He: *mumble mumble*
His mom (background): Tell the lady your name!
Me: Hello Kyle, what are you dressed up as? (Yes it was apparent, but I asked anyway)
He: Can’t you tell! *scowl*
Me: *chuckle* Okay, here’s your candy!
He: I don’t want any!
Me: Okay? You sure?
He: Yeah.. I don’t want any!
Me: Okie. Have fun trick or treating!
(exit M&M, fairy, cowboy, dragon and M&M’s mom)
Ten minutes later the doorbell rang. It’s my favorite kid in the world, again.
He: I changed my mind. I think I’ll take the candy..
Me: Sure! *dump a bunch of candy into his bag*
He: Thanks.. *gives me a moderately long ‘what’s-up-with-this-girl’ look*
He: You’re cute!
(Kyle scampers off)
Yes, rather interesting. Three days later, I run into Kyle on the street. He on his bike, me walking to my car.
(Kyle slows down his bike on seeing me)
Me: *cheerily* Hi Kyle! How are ya!
He: Am cool..
Me: Having fun with your friends? (Yes, I’m not very creative in my conversations with seven-year olds)
He: Yeah.. *walks away a little and turns around again*
He: Hey, I think you’re cute. I’d ask you out, but you’re too old for me.
Me: *an expression on my face that is impossible to describe in words — a mix of shock, amusement and horror, mostly*
Me: Yeah? *putting on the best disappointed expression I could possibly muster* Don’t worry about it, I understand..
So that was that. Dumped even before I got asked out. Quite a heartbreaking episode. The emotional scars will surely remain. Anyhoo, so as you can imagine, with Kyle still living in the neighborhood, I was looking forward to Halloween this year. Surely enough he showed up last night, all of eight years old and dressed as a vampire no less. (a costume choice far more suited to his personality than the cute green M&M from last year, if you ask me).
Me: Hello Kyle! Happy Halloween!
Me: Nice costume!
He: It’s cool eh?
He: You’re cool too!
Me: Huh? Thanks! (*chuckle from last year returns*)
He: I wanted to ask you out, but I asked my mom and she said you’re too old for me.
It took all the strength in the world not to fall over and roll with laughter. Apparently Kyle went home and told mom — ‘maa, maine ladki pasand kar li hai‘ but she disapproved! *SOB* Two Halloweens, two heartbreaks, same guy! There is no justice in this world, I tell ya!