Mornings were not free of Jackie’s Halloween cheer, as I found out over these past few days. The moment my face crossed the border from my doorway to the hallway, I could sense the shift in the air as cinnamon hit my nostrils.
Sneaking to the bathroom, I softly clicked the door closed before stepping into the shower.
Post-shower, I was certain the roommate had somehow managed to find a way to scent the apartment’s water system. My skin smelled of pumpkin spice, no matter how hard I scrubbed. Grumbling, I stepped out of the shower, my skin red from the assault.
It wasn’t that I absolutely hated Halloween. There were some perks. Like candy and dressing up.
But to what extent? I liked Halloween for the one day of the year it was. Yes, the one day.
Glad it was finally colder weather, I slid into a nice maroon colored sweater with a giant grey tabby cat and black bow on the front as I quickly dried my hair with a towel, attacking all the water droplets I could find.
Maybe my nose was permanently damaged? Was that a thing that was possible? I could have sworn that I smelled pumpkin spice in my sleep.
“Eve! Good morning! I made waaaafffleees!”
“Waaaafffleeees?” I repeated in a mumble as I entered the room.
“Little bundles of goodness, stacked and topped with generous amounts of whipped cream,” Jackie said, sticking her pinky into her mouth as she plopped down at the breakfast nook where our only dining table sat surrounded by the minimal seating we had (four chairs, which were now decorated with orange and black garlands).
“You really don’t need to cook for me,” I started, even as I looked longingly at the waffles on the table. I went to the fridge and pulled it open. “I don’t ask you to live here and pay rent to make all my meals.”
Or install enough decorations that our apartment could be mistaken for the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland.
“Don’t be ridiculous. You come here and eat some of these maple pecan waffles. There’s even some pumpkin spice coffee here that I just brewed! Come on,” she said, waving an arm at the chair across from her. She smiled wide, opening her mouth as she sang out, “I know you waaant to!”
Slowly, I closed the fridge and made my way to the seat. “This smells great. I mean, everything pumpkin is kind of starting to blend together now, but it’s great nonetheless.”
Jackie laughed, clapping her hands giddily. “I love Fall!”
My eyebrows raised before I could stop them, but she had already turned away, adding a huge swirl of whipped cream onto her stack of waffles and syrup.
Once I had served myself, she picked up her first bite of waffle on her fork and held it in the air like some weird sticky nutty flag. “Cheers to our first breakfast as roommies!”
I stabbed a piece of my waffle and mimicked her position. “Cheers to another day.” A dollop of whipped cream fell into my lap as I took the first bite.
I didn’t notice until after I had biked all the way to campus and to my class and sat down and saw the faint stain on the thigh of my jeans.
Maybe pumpkin, maple, and Fall everything wasn’t so bad after all.
Perhaps. I could get used to this.