Post image for Julia Dressed in White #Halloween

Julia Dressed in White #Halloween

by Maryann Pisano on October 1, 2015


Daniel and I decided to walk to the park.  Basketball practice had ended, and we both had finished our homework during the school day.  October had finally arrived, and the trees were beginning to turn orange, red and gold.  We wanted to go to the park to enjoy the last bits of crisp autumn weather before the cold winter arrived.

“My legs are killing me,” I said, sitting on the park bench.

“Yeah, coach really worked us hard today,” Daniel replied.  We watched the wind blow the trees back and forth for a few moments.  Daniel took out some peanut butter M&M’s from his backpack, and began to snack on them.

“What are we going to do for Halloween?” I asked.

“I don’t know.  Melina wants to go to the Halloween dance at school and dress up as Romeo and Juliet,” Daniel said making a face.

“Well, it’s better than going to Eric’s party.  If we get caught drinking or around alcohol, we’re off the basketball team.”

“Jacob, my man, you’re always playing it safe,” he said laughing.

I punched him in the arm, and grabbed the bag of M&M’s.  We sat silently again for several minutes until we began to hear a soft humming from behind us.  We turned around to notice a little girl in a white dress on the swings.  Her black hair was blowing in the wind, contrasting against her pale skin.  Her black, wet eyes concentrated on her feet.  Why would a girl this young be out so late by herself?  I gave Daniel a look that he returned.

“Totally,” he said.  This is how I know Daniel and I are best friends.  He can read my mind.  We got up from the bench and walked over to her.  She stopped swinging and looked up at us.

“Hello,” she said softly.

“What are you doing out so late?” I asked concerned.  “Shouldn’t you be at home?  Where do you live?”

“I’m waiting for my sister to take me trick-or-treating,” she replied.  She pointed to one of those circular, plastic, jack-o-lanterns kids use to trick-or-treat on the ground next to her.

Daniel and I exchanged glances.

“Halloween isn’t until the end of the month,” I said.  “How about we walk you home? Where do you live?”

The little girl looked down at her shoes.  She looked sad.  She grabbed her jack-o-latern and got up off the swing.

“My name’s Julia,” she said.  “I live across the street.  You can walk me home.”

Daniel and I walked in silence as Julia continued to hum her song.  We didn’t even know what to say to her.

“Here’s my house,” she said, when we finally reached a large, white home across the street from the park.  Daniel and I walked up the stairs and rang the bell.  A few minutes later, an elderly lady with wiry grey hair came to the door.

“Hi,” I said to the lady.  “Julia, who I’m assuming is your granddaughter, was at the park.  I think she’s a little confused.  She was waiting for her sister to bring her trick-or-treating.  We decided just to walk her home.”

The old woman’s eyes got wide.

“Granddaughter?” she asked amazed.  “I had a daughter named Julia who died 60 years ago!”

“What?” I asked.  “But Julia is right here!”

We turned around, but Julia wasn’t there.  We looked at the park across the street, to see an empty swing moving back and forth, and a silent hum in the air.

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