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.
“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.
“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.