The End of the Night?
We had walked all the way to the end of the street and back, yet we had gotten barely any sweets at all. Many doors we knocked on for trick-or-treating had given us no answer at all. This was not our neighborhood, but in fact our grandparents neighborhood. Most of the neighbors were senior citizens and most had probably gone to bed, or weren’t home. Mia and I looked in out trick-or-treat bags…only a couple of lonely sweets stared back up at us. We had already made it down the whole dimly lit street and only ten minutes had passed by. We had no clue as to where we could go next. Especially since we were not residents of the area. Where could we go? “This night is going to be disaster!” I thought, but little did I know this night was going to turn out to be one of the most unforgettable nights of my life.
We were in the living room in front of the blazing warm fire that my grandfather had lit. Whenever we visited our grandparents house the fire always welcomed us, crackling and sparking. It always kept the living room warm and cozy. Behind the couch there sat a piano, and underneath the piano there was just enough room for two little girls to hide and play. We loved to play there! Outside the sun was sinking. Dusk had fallen upon us.
“Wow! It’s getting dark outside!” mom exclaimed. “Girls you should probably go and get changed into your costumes. You want to go trick-or-treating, right?”
“Yes!” we squealed delightedly, crawling out from behind the couch.
We ran out of the room, up the one flight of stairs and into the first bedroom on the right. We located our costumes then pulled them on over our clothes. Our witches costumes were made of black, sparkling fabric that glittered when we spun. I was so excited Halloween was finally here again!
We added the last finishing touches to our costumes, and by the time we went back down the stairs we were ready.
We walked back into the living room declaring that we were ready all while showing off our costumes to our mom, aunt and grandfather. Twirling. Spinning. We jumped excitedly around the room, dying to go out.
A couple of minutes later… we were walking down the dimly lit street with our mom and Aunt Marian. We had gone to almost all the houses, but most we had not received any answer from. The night seemed like it was coming to end even though we only had been out for around ten minutes and had gotten only a few lonely sweets.
“I guess this is the end of the night.” I sighed.
“Yeah.” Mia agreed disappointedly. We looked over at our aunt and mom standing a couple of paces behind. They looked at each other.
“I’m sure there’s somewhere else we can go trick-or-treating.” mom replied. “We’ll think of something.” We stood in the dark night for a moment our mom and aunt conversing for an idea. When I thought our night had come to an expected end the odds changed.
“I have an idea!” mom jumped. “Why don’t we go over to the nursing home?”
“That’s a great idea!” Aunt Marian replied. “It’s just around the corner so it’s not too far. I’m sure Sister Cecelia will be happy to have a couple of trick-or-treaters.”
We knew Sister Cecelia from other visits to the nursing home. Whenever we were over visiting, Mia, mom, Granddad and I liked to take walks to the nursing home and stop into the church there. We nearly always met Sister there. Sister was also close to our Grandmother who has passed away not that long ago. We knew her quite well from all the visits there.
We skipped all the way to the end of the street our mom and aunt following close behind. We cut through the secret passage (that everyone in the neighborhood already knew about) at the very end of the street. When we got to the other side we could hear the sounds of cars, honking, screeching, and beeping echoing from the main road and the sounds of other children saying the three magic words of the night; trick-or-treat. We passed the large moonlight lit field that went down hill toward the main road and the large blacktop driveway for cars to pull up and headed toward the large building that loomed overhead.
Going straight through the automatic doors, and through the lobby we headed straight toward the front desk. Me and Mia waited in a nice sitting area that consisted of a group of wooden chairs with blood red cushions, and a table that was made with the same kind of wood as the chairs. We waited. Mom and Aunt Marian went to the front desk to ask the receptionist if Sister Cecilia was here. Me and Mia chatted excitedly while mom and Aunt Marian stood waiting at the front desk. The lobby was brightly lit with LED lights overhead, and the smells of cleaning products still slightly lingered in the air. The seats were comfortable (at least that is what we thought, especially since you could bounce on them) and the lobby had a couple of magazines left out for residents and a couple of plants decorated the place.
Sister Cecilia soon walked down the hallway and greeted us warmly.
“Hi girls” Sister waved.
“Hi Sister” we called to her.
“Hello Sister. How are you?” Mom and Aunt Marian asked.
“Good. How about you?” Sister replied.
“We’re good. We just thought we would stop by to trick-or-treat as the girls want to stay out a bit longer.” mom explained.
“I see. Well it’s great you stopped by.” Sister responded. “Why don’t you follow me?”
Me and Mia looked at each other excitedly, wondering what was going to happen next.
I began to feel a bit confused as Sister lead us down the hallways that turned onto other hallways. Where was she taking us?
We walked down the hallways, the bright LED lights blinding overhead. Me and Mia counted off the tiles on the floor and made a game out of it, trying to avoid the cracks. We followed Sister (playing the game) until we came to a an ordinary, wooden door. Sister knocked, then opened the door.
We went inside.
Inside was a small room with spotless, clean white walls. The room revolved around the small bed in the middle of the room. Next to the bad was a wooden dresser and on that sat a small, but bright lamp that illuminated the room. In front of the bed sat a television on a wooden piece and in the corner sat a small seat.
“Hallo” we called. “Trick-or-treat!” The resident sat up in bed and their visitor sat in the seat. Both turned to look who had spoken.
“Hello.” they both said. “Have you come to trick-or-treat?”
“Yes.” we nodded.
“Girls, do you have a song to sing for the residents? Maybe a Halloween song?” mom asked hopefully.
I thought for a moment. I remembered back to when we had chorus class in school. We had learned some Halloween songs then. I thought hard…which song would we sing? I got it!
“Mia, follow my lead. You probably will remember this song from school.” I whispered quietly.
I started to sing. Mia followed. At the end of the song both the resident and visitor clapped. We bowed like actors after a big performance.
“Happy Halloween!!!” we shouted.
The resident and their visitor talked quietly to each other, then both got our their purses and handed us each one euro.
“Happy Halloween” they replied to us. “Get yourselves something nice.”
“Thank you.” we told them and followed Sister Cecilia to the next door. For the rest of night we sang for the residents and their guests. You see, most the residents weren’t expecting trick-or-treaters and didn’t have any candies to give us so they gave us one euro coins instead. I felt full of joy after going around to a lot of the rooms of patients because I knew we had made them happy. Every room room we left was full of laughing and joyful people.
At the end of the night we all reported back to the lobby with Sister Cecilia. A few hugs, “goodbyes” and “thank you’s” later we left the nursing home with a big bag of Jelly Babies (a type of English sweet made of different flavored jelly or gummy that we loved) and a blue box of Roses (another English type of sweet that had different fillings that were always covered in Cadbury chocolate.) We also left with all the other sweets and money we had collected while out trick-or-treating, but the thing Ieft with most was joy.
That night I realized that not only had I gotten the Halloween that I wanted, but I had also made other people’s Halloween more enjoyable. Leaving the hospital I didn’t care about how many sweets I had gotten or how many euros we had collected, what mattered is that I had put a smile on other people’s faces and I had also put a grin on my own. That night I also learned that life will turn around or surprise you when you least expect it. Life will always surprise you.