My aunt grinned as she finished applying my dark, red lipstick and thick, black mascara. These were the finishing touches along with large hoop hearings, rope necklaces and shiny, arm bracelets that accessorized my striped orange, brown and black midriff blouse worn saucily off one shoulder above my swirling skirt.
I was only 12. What I saw looking back at me in the mirror was a wild gypsy girl, a dramatic, mysterious me seeing my adventurous self for the first time. No longer a ghost or a witch, this year’s costume and make-up revealed a sensuous, exciting version of myself I had felt but never seen.
This was much more than playing dress-up in my aunt’s high heel shoes when I visited her during the summer. I saw myself blooming, still a child but in woman’s make-up and jewelry, a preview of what I was becoming.
The future me in the reflection was daring, the heroine of a bold, passionate life. She looked back at me, pleased with herself to allow me a glance at a life I imagined from books I read and movie stars I admired.
This Halloween I discovered I could be more than an awkward, gangly girl. I caught a glimpse of the woman who was waiting for me to be her. I didn’t know her yet, but I liked her.
Copyright © Erana Leiken, 2009 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED