Everyone at the party associated her with Keldon and his parents. When Luna got as far as a table away, someone pulled her back to “her herd” for a picture or to play a game.
It was Keldon who pulled them away from the group. “I need to talk to Luna, alone.”
Luna’s stomach roiled. People. and by people she meant Mr. Hendricks would assume they were going off to have a romantic moment.
Once they were outside the heavy brown ballroom doors, Luna snapped. She hissed, “You lied to me.”
“Would you have talked to me if I told you the truth?”
“We’ll never know now.” Luna replayed the conversation from the past week in her head.
Had she mentioned her costume to Bob?
Her indignation blurred any recollection.
She finally found someone she could relate to—to find out it was a set up.
But she hadn’t.
Keldon found her and tricked her into liking him under false pretenses.
What else was he capable of?
The door creaked open and Brad’s head appeared in the crack. He stopped short. “Oh, hey. You kind of left in a rush. I was checking to make sure a scene from Jurassic Park wasn’t happening out here.”
“I was starting to feel a little claustrophobic.” Luna was pleased with how she told the absolute truth. I’m going to sit by the fire pit and get some fresh air.
“Well, be careful. You don’t want your tail to catch fire.”
“Will do.” Luna’s legs felt the weight of walking with a different gait for so long. Maybe going as a dinosaur to the party wasn’t a good idea.
Keldon motioned to walk with her. He froze in place when Luna held up her clawed hand and declared, “You’ve done enough already.”
His head bobbed and wobbled his defeat. Luna was on the edge of giving in. Was there a time when Keldon wasn’t cute?
Her disappointment pulled her away from allowing any room for reconciliation. What was done was done. She needed to retreat to find a plan to salvage the evening.
She heard Brad ask Keldon what happened, but didn’t catch the answer. The rustling of her costume interfered too much to understand. By the time Luna reached the fire, she wanted to cry.
Why didn’t Keldon tell her who he was?
They had so much fun together?
Why hadn’t she given him a chance to explain?
Time had passed and the air had chilled. Luna still didn’t have a way to go back to the party without drawing attention to herself and her avoidance of her boss and Keldon. Her mom told her that the worst decisions make the best stories.
Luna sighed, she’d have something to tell her grandchildren if she ever found a husband.
Luna rose from the bench to leave when a man who was a mixture of Clark Kent and Superman appeared. His dark hair was smoothed to the sides and he wore thick glasses. A large yellow pentagon with a red “s” in the middle peeked out of his partially flannel shirt.
If she wasn’t so dismayed about the strange turn of events, she would have relished how hot he looked.
She turned left so hunky superman would have the space to walk. He called out after her, “Don’t leave on my account.”
“It’s okay, I’ve been out here long enough.”
Superman tilted his head. His eyes smoldered, sending visions that were altogether inappropriate to the front of Luna’s mind. “You heading in to the party up there?”
Luna tried but didn’t have it in her to face all the people. “Nah, I think I’m going home.”
“You are the first person who liked me for who I was, not who I was.”
Luna gasped, “Keldon?”
“I liked feeling like a normal person, so I’m not sorry for what I did. But I do apologize for betraying your trust.”
“What’s with saying the same thing in two different ways?”
“Once people know I’m the station manager’s son, they see an opportunity, not someone who needs a companion. When you didn’t know who I was, you treated me like a friend. That’s all I wanted. But you got hurt because I inadvertently did to you what I didn’t want to happen to me. I’m sorry about that.”
Within minutes of their meeting, Luna told Keldon she was avoiding her boss and the impending introduction with him. In her costume, Luna took up the space of three people. After hearing Keldon’s explanation she felt as tall as an ant. “Now that I’ve had the chance to get to know you, I feel stupid for trying to avoid you.”
She hung her head. “I’m sorry to have reacted so strongly.” The weight of it almost pulled her into a fall.
“So we’re good?”
“Where’s your other costume?”
“I loaned it to Brad. He wanted to wear it to impress one of the ghosts.”
Luna’s confidence climbed into a smile. She did have fun with Keldon and knowing who he was shouldn’t have made a difference. She added some sass to her voice. “Do you have a traveling locker with costumes?”
“No, I just like Superman,” Keldon’s lips into a shy grin. “I was hoping the persona could salvage what I almost ruined.”
The instinct to hug Keldon to reassure him compelled Luna to shuffle toward him. She approached him with her t-rex hands extended.
His expression changed from shy to curious and by the time she bumped up against him, amused. “Your arms aren’t long enough for a hug. You’ll have to come out of the costume.”
But then people will know it’s me. “Exactly, Keldon replied.”
For the duration of the evening, Keldon remained by Luna’s side-the Clark Kent to the damsel he saved from being eaten by a dinosaur.
Keldon held Luna’s hand as he walked her to the car.
They were on the same team for skeei ball, they drank copious cups of punch to make up for what they couldn’t have earlier.
After promising to call her to take her out for breakfast in the morning, he kissed her goodnight.
As she relived the events of the evening, Luna couldn’t help thinking—This time she was confident. Wearing the dinosaur costume was the best idea ever.
****This is where the story ends. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. I have an idea for a series of short stories, but want to make sure it is something people want to read.