Chapter 44- Cops, Pilots and Dinosaurs

I first fell in love with America when I learned that, one day a year, you dress up as ghouls and beg strangers for candy.

“Now it all makes sense why my parents moved here!!!”

Then I discovered Halloween as an adult. Where you dress up as sexy nurse, sexy maid or sexy skunk; drink liquor and make-out with strangers.

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“Jello Shots are sooooo much better than Mars Bars!!!” I’d say instead.

I didn’t do anything the previous years, so I was extra excited to see how Shanghai does Halloween.

Continuing from the previous chapter, Johan and I got into a cab and headed to our first party.

I decided to be courteous since it wasn’t his fault that I mistook this for a date. But come on, his text messages were extremely misleading.

Luckily, it wasn’t too hard since there’s rarely a lull in our conversations. We talked the whole cab ride, discussing everything from Disney movies to past relationships.

“Sorry! I just think Belle had Stockholm syndrome!”

“I dated my bestfriend’s cousin. But I asked for his permission first!”

“I think it was a mutual breakup, but my friend Feegs said I broke his heart.”

“No! I would not take marketing lessons from Kim Kardashian!”

We continued jib-jabbing all the way to the party, including a partial detour where we got lost for half an hour. But eventually we found it and I was stunned into silence once I saw how elaborate the place was.

The house was four-story high, with at least six bathrooms. The bathtubs were filled with beer and champagne. As all bathtubs should.

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“The owner must be in the Chinese Mafia. Look at all this! Look at the way he’s dressed!” I said as I sucked on my fifth jello shot.

“I think that’s his costume…” Johan laughed.

I chatted and exchanged Wechat with a bunch of people. Who I never saw again. I did meet another Canadian girl, and made plans to go to Tock’s for Montreal Smoked Meat. We never did.

We left around 10pm for Jasper’s party.

“I’m leaving Shanghai in a week, now do a shot with me!” Jasper greeted everyone with tequila.

“Woot! Kathy is here!” Ronnie ran over and immediately handed me a beer.

More friends surrounded me and I soon lost Johan in the sea of people. ‘He’s a big boy, he’ll be fine’. I didn’t give him a second thought as I left to greet more familiar faces.

After a bajilion pictures, and equal amount of shots, cops, convicts and nurses started dancing in a giant circle. Even Joseph joined in the festivities after a can of light beer. Ronnie and I sandwiched him between us, swinging his police handcuff in the air.

When we took a break to sit down, Joseph asked “So what’s the deal with you and Dinosaur?”

“Who?” I asked confused.

“The guy that you brought.” He pointed to the “dinosaur” sitting by himself on the balcony.

I totally forgot about Johan!

“Oh yeah, I did bring him.” I started to feel guilty. “Is it terrible that I ignored him the whole night?”

“Nah…Are you dating him?” He asked seriously.

“Nope! Just friends!” I answered, now less guilty remembering the date.

Joseph nodded, smiling “Let’s drink some more!” He shouted and left to get more beer.

I continued staring at Johan, unsure whether to keep him company.

“Hey! Having Fun?” I asked in my cheery voice, when I finally joined him.

“Yeah, it’s a great party!” He answered cheerfully back.

“You’re not having fun are you…” I felt guilty again for ignoring him.

“I just can’t handle big crowds for a long period of time.” He admitted.

“Oh sorry, you really didn’t need to stay!”

“No no, I don’t mind. I came to spend time with you.” He smiled and indicated for me to sit down next to him.

“Oh…” I said, now back to guilt “Sorry for leaving you alone the whole night.”

“No worries. I met some cool people.” He said genuinely. “Plus we’re spending time now.”

“Can I ask you a question?” I blurted out before I had a chance to think “Was tonight supposed to be a date?”

“Well…yeah!” He chuckled.

“Well, I was really confused!” I continued, riding the wave of boldness from the alcohol “You kept changing the plans! We ended up just sitting in your living room!”

“I’m sorry.” He apologized sincerely “It was a pretty crappy date. Wasn’t it?”

“It wasn’t too fun watching you paint a cardboard guitar…” I calmed down once he agreed with me.

“That really was my fault.” He owned up to it “Can I make it up to you? Let’s go on a real date next week?”

“Maybe…” I smiled while pretending to be coy. “I’ll check my availability.”

“Ok great, please get back to me.” He smiled and moved closer until our faces were an inch apart “Because I really like you.”

Then he kissed me.

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