As a kid you loved October. The leaves changed to your favorite color, your house became infused with the scent of pumpkin spice, and for one night you could stay out as long as you wanted getting candy from strangers all the while dressed up as your favorite character that year.
October was the best, until you got to college.
Now, October was plagued with charcoal stained hands from rewriting notes, the scent of printer ink lingering in the air, and heavy bags under your eyes from all nighters spent studying for midterms.
College had taken your most beloved month and thoroughly fucked it up.
It had been a long day and an even longer week. You had just finished your third midterm of the week and you wanted nothing more than to come home to your apartment and sleep for a week next to your boyfriend. Unfortunately, you had two more midterms to study for and an essay that needed to be written.
Your apartment was eerily quiet when you stepped inside. Usually, Michael was stretched out on the sofa, television remote in one hand and a drink in the other but today he was no where to be found. Kicking your shoes off at the door, you made your down the hallway towards your shared bedroom. The door to the room was nearly shut — a sight you weren’t used to seeing since you cat, Pumpkin, tended to make a home out of the room while you were out.
“Michael?” you called, pushing the door open with your foot. You set you bag down at the door, the sound startling Michael who punched his head out from the bathroom.
“I didn’t here you get home,” he said. He pulled you towards his chest, placing a chaste on your forehead.
“How come you smell like pumpkins?”
“It’s part of the surprise. Close your eyes,” Michael said, grabbing your hand before tugging you towards the bathroom. You stumbled after him, your foot colliding with the Pumpkin who hissed at you but didn’t move. Michael situated you where he wanted you before he let go of your hand. “Okay, open your eyes!”
Your eyes fluttered open a moment of tranquility passing before your jaw dropped. Michael had transformed your small bathroom into the perfect October escape. Candles lined the bathtub, their light embers emitting of the familiar scent of pumpkin and cinnamon. Michael’s laptop was perched on the tiled edge with Halloween Town already buffered and ready to watch on Netflix. There was even a small bowl of your favorite candies in bite sized form, just like the ones you used to get as a kid. And of course, the piece of resistance was the pumpkin shaped bath bomb teetering on the edge of the tub begging for you to turn the warm water into a calming shade of orange.
“I know how much you love October and everything pumpkin related and you haven’t had time to relax and enjoy everything so I thought I’d help,” Michael said, his fingers ruffling his hair in a fit of nerves. Michael was always nervous when it came to surprised, he knew how much you hated them. “I was going to attempt to make a pumpkin pie too but I decided that would just lead to a mess you had to clean. And this surprise is meant for you to relax.”
You smiled, head shaking in disbelief at how you managed to be in a relationship with the perfect boy in front of you. “I love you,” you said, peppering his face in kisses. When you were finished, you shimmied out of your pants, tossing them and your shirt to the floor — it didn’t take long for Pumpkin to relocate to the make-shift bead. You dipped the tips of your fingers into the water before dropping in the bath bomb letting the water change to the orange color you adored.
“Are you going to join me?” you asked, ridding yourself of the last bits of clothing. You didn’t wait for him to respond before lowering yourself into the water, the tension in your muscles instantly fading away. “Well, are you?”