-Halloween (belonging somewhere after ch. 6 or in ch. 7)-

I woke up a couple weeks later with this horrible noise ringing in my ears, and after a couple of confused seconds as my brain tried to comprehend what was making the noise, I realized it was my alarmclock, and quickly turned it off and got up, surprised that for once I had actually needed the dang thing.

It was weird, perhaps it was the mattress, perhaps it was the unfamiliarity that was the room, even after being in it for a month, but for odd reasons I had been getting up long before it would go off.

Course, I also did the same thing all last year, so maybe it was just that I needed it at home cause it allowed me to stay away from my parents that much longer.

Then again, I hadn't ever had a reason to get up before, not before Connie, so who knew, really. At least I couldn't blame it on the fact that my roommate and I weren't getting along anymore.

I sighed and quickly got dressed, and looked over at the screen-saver on Sam's computer and was stopped dead in my tracks.

Today was Halloween, which is, coincidentally, my least favorite holiday.

Granted, it was the one day that those who didn't know me, or at least knew of my having scales, stopped gaping at me, but it was also the day that everyone assumed that I had just pulled an all nighter trying to pull off the best costume (and most believable) that anyone had ever seen.

Once I had even gotten best costume of the night at some party my brother had been forced to take me to (our parents didn't want me at home because they were hosting some big to-do thing). I had accepted it without a word, blushing and secretly wanting to scowl at everyone at the room, but the odd thing was, no one seemed bitter about me getting it, even though I knew there was at least few people who knew better, and really all I had done was comb my somewhat manageable hair, and put on a nice-ish shirt and pants, taking about five minutes in total.

Course, no one else really knew that, but had any asked me how long I had spent on it, I would have said. Granted, I doubt any of them would have believed me, but that was the main reason why I hated Halloween, it seemed to re-emphasize the fact that I was just a mild curiosity in a costume, one that I couldn't get out of, and one that I would never get rid of.

I suppose others in my place would have been thankful for Halloween, the one day that people could ignore me as just another person in costume (however well done it seemed.), but I was not other people, never had been, and never would be.

I shook my head, trying to clear it, and the idea that it was Halloween, as I got my backpack ready for the day, trying to get rid of my bad mood before Connie could see it and pry the source from me.

And as I knew would happen, packing didn't help, so without anything further to try and distract me from the day, I left the room in order to meet Connie for breakfast.

Neither of us had a class all that early on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which was nice, cause we got to sit and talk a bit longer than we usually did, course, it's not like we didn't normally get there an hour or so before class anyway.

That thought managed to cheer me up a bit, cause I knew Connie wouldn't ever see me as anything different just because of the day or anything else. I smiled to myself as I walked down the stairs and out past the front desk worker, maybe today wouldn't be so bad after all.

I got to the cafeteria and noticed that they had decorated the place in honor of the day, something that didn't surprise me any, seeing as they did so for all the major (and not so major) holidays, and walked up to get my card swiped.

Unfortunately for me, I had never seen the guy before, and of course, like most everyone else I had ever known, he had to open his mouth.

"Dude, cool costume!" He told me, taking my card from my hand and swiping it.

I nodded noncommitally, and quickly took my card back from him and walked past, probably leaving him more than slightly confused and a bit stunned, but at that moment I didn't really care, I just wanted this day over and done with as soon as possible.

I shook my head to try and clear it once more, without success, as I looked at the different boards by the different food lines to see what I wanted to eat.

French toast, mostly edible, but I wasn't in the mood for something that chalk full of sugar just yet.

Eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, also edible, if you liked those sorts of things, and especially if you could deal with the fact that the bacon could be literally snapped in half and the hashbrowns looked like they got them straight from McDonalds.

So that left cereal, always the safe alternative, no matter what time of day, and so I made my way over, grabbed myself a bowl of Cheerios and a bowl of Raisin Bran, got my milk in, and got myself a cup of apple juice and sat down.

I had just finished the Raisin Bran when Connie sat down across from me, and not in any better of a mood than I had been when I sat down.

It took me all of five seconds to realize that she was dressed complete in the stereotypical witch's black gown and pointed hat.

She smiled and laughed at the bewildered look on my face. "I get extra credit on a test if I dress up today."

I nodded and quickly went back to my food, wondering exactly what I should say or not say about the whole thing.

"What's wrong?" She asked in concern and confusion, as I knew she would.

I sighed and looked up at her, figuring that nothing but the truth would work on her. "I really hate Halloween."

She blinked and looked at me in confusion. "Why?"

I didn't say anything for a minute. "Because everyone always thinks the exact opposite of me when they see me, well, at least those who don't know me do, and I can't say that that's a small amount of people, either."

She nodded as it slowly started to sink in for her. "So you're saying that people assume you're in costume when you aren't?"

I nodded. "Basically."

She nodded and grimaced sympathetically. "I'm sorry."

"Thanks."

"I can take the costume off, if you want."

I shook my head. "Don't worry about it, it's not like I hate the holiday because of what it is, I don't like it because of what people assume. It's not like I've had a traumatic experience that makes me despise it in it's every shape and form or anything."

She smiled. "If you ask me, your life is full of traumatic events."

I shrugged. "Maybe, but even still, I don't have any problem with people dressing up and doing all that, I would just rather forget about the whole thing."

She nodded. "I guess that means you don't want to come to this Halloween party with me, then?"

I smiled. "Sorry."

"I guess I"ll have to find someone else to go with." She gave me a half smile. "You sure you don't want to come? I'll make sure no one says anything stupid."

I chuckled. "I'm sure, besides, I have plenty of homework to do, anyway."

She laughed. "Matt, you're as bad of a liar as always. You should stick to the truth, it's what you're good at." She smiled.

I smiled back. "You caught me, but even still, don't worry about me, I'm just going to hang in my room most the day and pretend it doesn't exist."

"Do you want company?"

I smiled, not surprised that she had asked. "You could come by if you want, but I'm probably not going to be much fun."

She chuckled. "Says who?"

I shrugged. "Me." I smiled.

She shook her head. "You're never boring."

I didn't say anything as a group of girls from her wing walked towards us and stood at the end of our table, looking at Connie, so I buried my head a bit in my food and let them talk.

"So you're coming tonight, right?" I heard one of them ask.

She sighed. "I don't know, I don't think so."

"Why not?!" One asked her in surprise and almost indignation.

"Cause I'm probably just going to spend it with Matt, here."

"Oh, come on, he can come, too!"

"I'd rather not." I admitted, still not looking up.

"It'll be fun, you should come." She insisted.

"That's okay, we'll pass." Connie said then. "Maybe some other time, eh?"

The girl sighed. "You don't know what you'll be missing out on, there's going to be all sorts of games and stuff, and it's not like we see you much as it is, what with you always hanging out with-"

Connie laughed. "That's not true, you see me all the time!"

"But you don't hang out with us!" She protested.

I looked up at Connie, ignoring the other female for the time being. "Why don't you go, I got a new crime novel from the library yesterday that I'll just curl up with, and-"

The girl laughed a bit too shrilly. "You're going to spend today reading by yourself? I don't think so!" She insisted.

I sighed, and looked over at her. She was about five foot one, was thin as a rail, but her demeanor really didn't speak of it. She was obviously trying to make up for her height not only in her personality, but in her horribly flashy dress. Her purse was pink and fuzzy, which matched the color of her shirt, and her coat was bright purple. The only thing normal about this girl was her far too tight jeans.

I sighed, instantly not liking her. "If you don't mind, I don't think you're in much of a position to tell me how I am or am not going to spend my night, thank you." I told her forcefully, trying to keep my anger as much in check as possible. Halloween seemed to get the worst out of me, and always did, which was just one better reason to try and ignore it for as long as possible.

I mostly pulled off hiding it, but she obviously got the hint. "Right, well then, I'll leave you two to your meal, then." She said with a nod, and left.

Connie was looking at me peculiarly now. "I've never seen you that mad before." Okay, so maybe I wasn't as good at hiding my temper as I thought.

I sighed. "I just really hate this holiday, is all."

She nodded. "What time do you want me to come over?"

I shrugged, knowing that when she spoke like that, I wasn't going to persuade her not to come over at all. "Want to eat dinner somewhere?"

She nodded. "Not in the cafeteria, if you don't mind, or else we'll get more people trying to get us to various parties, or-"

I nodded. "Okay then, do you want to go to a restaurant, or-?"

She shrugged. "Takeout? I'll come over at like four or five and we can order a pizza or something."

I nodded. "That works." And smiled.

She smiled back. "Your mood has improved significantly."

I chuckled. "I've noticed you seem to have that effect on me."

She went slightly pink, and cleared her throat. "Right."

I smiled. "You know, I don't think today's going to be as bad as I feared."