“How did you get Travis to come trick-or-treating with us?” Maggie hissed at Rita.
Rita sighed as she untangled her hair from the kerchief tied at her throat. “We’re friends okay,” she reiterated. “He doesn’t want to get stuck taking his little sister out alone so I said we’d go with them.”
“But will he be dressing up? I don’t want him to know that we’re in eighth grade and still trick-or-treating.” She pushed the witch’s hat further back on her head and began playing with her hair.
“Lani didn’t freak out like this when I told her,” Rita teased lightly.
“Shut up. You know it’s just a little crush. I’ll get over it,” Maggie said forcefully—as much to herself as to a quietly amused Rita.
“Rita!” her mother called. “Lani’s here!”
“You look great!” Rita and Maggie chirped as Lani appeared in her cheerleader get-up.
“You’ll be happy you have that sweatshirt when we head out. It’s supposed to be freezing tonight,” Rita added as she frowned at her half-ass attempt at a cowgirl. The boots weren’t quite right but she had put off figuring something out sooner so she was stuck with the contents of her closet—and jeans were just so damn comfortable. Flannel shirt, checked kerchief, and the cowboy hat her mom had been trying to get her dad to throw out for ages and she had a workable costume.
“You look adorable,” Lani told her, tweaking one of Rita’s braids. “Did Travis say what he was going to be?”
“No, but Zoe told me all about her princess costume. She’s excited to be going out with the big kids tonight,” Rita smiled with amusement.
Maggie rolled her eyes not realizing Lani and Rita could see her in the mirror. They exchanged raised eyebrows of their own. Whenever Maggie had a crush on someone, she became incredibly possessive and defensive regarding any mention of him.
There had been times growing up when the three friends’ interests had centered on the same boy and after the first time they made the mistake of sharing that information with Maggie, Lani and Rita knew their friendship with her would never survive if they shared that kind of secret with her again—so they confided only in each other on that score. Lani had liked Travis briefly but now she had moved on to Ron and though Rita hadn’t said anything, Lani sensed that she too had a bit of a crush on Travis—of course, instead of being dramatic about it or simply liking him because everyone else did, Rita had been friends with Travis for a while.
“So, what do you think about my costume?” Maggie asked, posing provocatively.
She’d gone for one of the store-bought witch costumes. It sagged in unflattering places and it would have helped if there were more of it.
“Are you sure you don’t want to borrow an extra layer to wear underneath?” Rita offered.
Maggie shook her head. “I’ll be fine.”