Last year I went to this same Halloween party as a zombie cheerleader, but I left after a half hour and a volley of frenzied, apologetic, indecisive texts. I left, thanked the host, claimed early mornings and too much work. I drove to his guesthouse above PCH, up two twisty dark roads. I parked and used the flashlight on my phone to find my way down the wooden stairs that led to the door. It had been a couple of months because I had been mad at him. I forgot about the salty air and the heat coming off his skin. He took off my cheerleader dress and when I said I’d already let my hair down from the pigtails that had been pulling the skin at my temples tight he said “why would you do that to me?” You have to climb up to get into his bed which is in a kind of recessed space halfway up the wall. There are white sheets and a white comforter. Candle light. Books and photos. Afterwards I turned my head, pressed my face into the pillow hard so I could sink in, block the light, breathe in hair gel and sweat. On the way home I studied my face in the rear view mirror. All my zombie makeup was gone. I imagined him turning over, waking to sunlight reflected bright off the ocean and flooding the small room. He surfed every day. I remember hoping he would wake up and see the imprint of my zombie face on his pillow: dark eyes, green skin, red blood.