It’s October 31st and my house is just as plain as it is every other day of the year. The paint is peeling slightly from the walls, not that anyone ever comes round to notice, but I see it. I see that crack in the kitchen window too, and the hole in the wall from my last mistake, who also goes by the name of Joe. I can’t afford to patch up all the things that need doing, some days I can’t afford to eat, but at least I have a home.
The door bell goes, or at least it would if it hadn’t broken a year ago. Actually it is the knock on the door that alerts me to a visitor. I look at the clock, 8pm, no one visits me during the day, let alone in the evening. Unlatching the door, I tentatively open it, it’s not exactly a good neighbourhood so you can’t be too careful, but I don’t see a gang of youths demanding “trick or beating,” instead I see Alan. I can only make out some of his features in the dusk light, but I know it’s him, that big ol’ nose of his gives him away! But more importantly he is holding in front of him a carved pumpin, candlelight shining out from it’s ghoulish face.
“Blessed Samhain,” whispers the non-religious man who I had a “non-date” coffee with earlier this week while I stand, stunned into silence.
A few seconds pass in silence as the gravity of his gesture sinks in. A man who I have spent maybe 3 hours in total talking to has turned up on my doorstep, armed with an, albeit roughly, carved pumpkin wishing me a blessed Samhain when he could be at the Hallowe’en party his friends had arranged. In 6 years with Joe not once did he even attempt to celebrate with me, he wasn’t even interested in hearing about my hobbies let alone my religion.
Evidently feeling somewhat worried by the silence, Alan tries again; “I read that it goes on your doorstep, lighting the way I think…” he pauses again, I see his brow furrow, his face giving away his panic that he has got it wrong as he places the pumpkin on my step. He stands back up, poised to speak again, but instead I get a grip of myself and throw my arms around him, planting my lips on his and passionately kissing him. As our lips and tongues explore each other on my doorstep I repeat just one work; “Thank you.”
That night was it for me. That was all it took. 27 years, 3 children and a new house later he’s still here, no holes in the walls, no smashed windows, no broken bones. It was foolish of me to fall so fast over that simple gesture, but I don’t care. Even now he brings me a pumpkin, every October, only now we carve it as a family and he sets aside his lack of belief for one night and celebrates.
If I have learnt one thing from the failed loves of my past and the man who has completed me it is this: In love, the pumpkin matters.
This post was inspired by the Writing Workshop (which I have been absent from for a few weeks because I suck!). The prompt was “Big Screen” (a film quote), the quote I chose “The Pumpkin Matters” is from The Women (2008).