Someday Soon chapter 15
" You know we're breaking about about six school rules right now?" Josh said, sitting on his desk chair and looking at the dog perched on his dorm room bed. NYU had a strict no pets policy in their dorms, and as an RA Josh was the last person who should be sneaking an animal into their room.
" I'm supposed to be enforcing the laws not breaking them. You're going to get me fired or kicked out ."
Maya, who was sitting on Josh's dorm room floor, surrounded in wrapping paper scoffed at him.
" Oh you're going to Columbia next year anyway. Worst comes to worse you'll just have to crash out on your brothers couch for a new month's." Maya joked, taking the side of a pair of scissors and curling a large length of ribbon.
" Besides, I had to bring him. Shawns working all day, and Hudson hates being home alone." Maya stated, reaching up to scratch behind the small dog's ears. Maya had toiled over what to name the dog before she had finally settled on Hudson. She thought naming the dog such was a way of sort of manifesting an acceptance to the university, and if she didn't get in...well she'd just tell people he was named after the river.
Maya had snuck Hudson into Josh's dorm building by zipping him into her puffy winter jacket. It was early december and everyone was bulked up against the cold, so the extra lump in her down jacket went unquestioned by anyone who saw her. It was a saturday afternoon and Maya was dropping by Josh's place at his request to help him wrap his christmas gifts. After the disastrous wrapping job Maya had had to correct the year before Josh thought it would be better to cut out the middleman and just ask Maya to help him from the start.
So there Maya was on Josh's rooms floor, surrounded by colourful christmas themed wrapping paper, double sized tape, and what seemed like more than enough ribbons to wrap every single christmas and hanukkah gifts in all of New York state.
Maya took her time to wrap each present as precisely possible, making every corner sharp and even. When it came to wrapping presents Maya had all the precision of a sharp shooter. Maya had an affinity for folding paper, and when their class had studied Japan in the sixth grade Maya had made origami for hours on end, never growing bored of creating the different objects out of just a flat piece of paper.
While Maya worked on wrapping the gifts for Josh, the two of them chatted idly about the holidays.
Everyone, including Shawn and Maya were headed to Philadelphia for the christmas holiday, to spend christmas at Josh's parents house.
" I don't understand how we're all going to fit under one roof." Maya mused as she placed a piece of tape neatly on the underside of a folded paper flap. It was a valid point. They were a large group, how were they all going to fit into the Matthew's childhood home?
There was Alan and Amy of course. Then their four children, Eric, Cory, Morgan, and Josh. Add in Corys wife and kids, Morgans fiancee, and Shawn and Maya they were up to twelve people. Amy had insisted that no one should get a hotel room, stating that it would be too depressing for anyone to wake up in a hotel on christmas away from their family. She had insisted that they could all fit into the Matthews house, no matter if it was a tight squeeze.
" Oh whats a dozen people plus a dog." Josh joked. Maya looked up from the gifts and smirked at him.
" How much do you want to bet that half the house will be begging for Mr. Feeney's guest room by boxing day?"
After Maya had finished the wrapping of the presents and she and Josh had sat around talking for awhile it was finally time for her to head back to her apartment. Maya put her coat back on and lifted Hudson inside of the lining before zipping it. Josh stood in his open door while Maya walked down the hallway, the two still talking until she was out of site.
Josh's friend, Randall, who lived across the hall had just so happened to be leaving his dorm room as Maya was existing Joshs.
Randall stood in his doorway until Maya was safely gone, before turning to Josh.
" Was that the same girl i saw doing the walk of shame out of your place last year?" Randall asked, smirking at Josh knowingly. Josh rolled his eye's at his friend.
" A: That was not a walk of shame. Nothing happened, she just crashed out in my room, and b: shut up." Josh said defensively, moving back into his room and shutting the door in Randall's laughing face.
There was a record amount of snowfall in Philadelphia that year, making the hour and a half train ride up to Philly from New York far more enjoyable. Everyone, apart from Eric, traveled down from the city together on the 23rd. Maya and Riley sat together across from Josh and Auggie. Hudson was sleeping peacefully on Maya's lap, snoring softly. Across the aisle Shawn and Cory were sitting together chatting across from Topanga who was reading a case file. Topanga was only permitted to work until they reached their destination. After that she was expected to put her work aside and enjoy the holiday with the whole family.
Once they reached Philly, they met up with Alan, Amy, and Morgan. Everyone said hello and exchanged hugs before piling into Morgan's car, and the Matthews SUV. Once they arrived at the house, they could no longer put off figuring out the logistics of where everyone would be sleeping for the next few days. There were three bedrooms upstairs including Alan and Amy's, a bedroom in the basement, as well as a rec room., Shawn, Eric ,Josh, and Augie would be going back to their roots and all be sharing the room that Eric and Cory shared growing up and that had been Josh's room after all his siblings had moved out. Morgan and her fiance were staying in her old room. Cory and Topanga were staying in the basement bedroom, and Maya and Riley were crashing on the pull out couch in the Rec room.
Christmas eve was a busy day for all. Between decorating the sugar cookies that Amy had cooked the day before, building snowmen and snow forts with the mass amounts of snow that had been falling over the past few days, no one had much time to breathe between festivities. There was a large prime rib dinner followed by several desserts. They all watched old christmas cartoons before they all faded off to bed. Before finally headed up or down the stairs to their prospective rooms, they each in turn hung up a stockings on the mantle. The twelve different pouches were all crowded together on hooks, waiting to be filled. Amy had volunteered to be in charge of the stockings that year, so she had to wait for everyone to go to bed before she could play "santa' and fill up the stockings.
It was just past two am when Josh woke up. Despite the early hour he was suddenly very awake. He had an odd pit in his stomach, as if he could tell that something was off. After laying in bed for a moment he decided to get up. He climbed out of his bed as quietly as possible, careful not to wake up Eric, Shawn, or Auggie who were all sleeping around him.
Josh began to sneak down the stairs with the intention of getting a glass of water. Josh stopped halfway when he noticed that the living room below him wasn't empty. The blue glow of the tv was illuminating Maya's figure on the couch. Her back was too him, and an old black and white movie played on the screen.
" Hey" Josh said quietly as he continued to move down the stairs. Maya turned her head to look at him and Josh was slightly shocked to see the glaze of almost tears over her eyes.
"Hey" Maya said her voice a little hoarse. Josh moved around the couch to sit with her. Hudson was sleeping on Maya's lap as Josh sat down. He knew that something had been up with her that day. She had been participating in all the activities throughout the day, laughing and smiling, but Josh could see her reservation and the sadness in her eyes.
" Couldn't sleep?" He asked, watching the screen in front of them. Maya shook her head, running her fingers through her hair. They were silent for a moment before Maya spoke again.
" I used to watch this movie with my mom every christmas." She said quietly, still looking forward, and still not looking at him, Josh moved closer and wrapped his arm around the back of the couch behind her.
"Maya-" he began but she started to speak once again.
" I've had a lot of firsts without her already. The first day going into a new grade without her there. The first thanksgiving she's missed, i got through that, but for a really long time Christmas was always just the two of us, and now she's gone. Everything's just a little bit harder today." Maya said shrugging slightly. Josh moved his arm down off the couch and around Maya. He rubbed her shoulder comfortingly, and she looked over and gave him a small sad smile.
" i know it's not the same thing, but would you mind if i watched with you?" Josh asked referring to the movie on the screen. Maya shot him another smile
" I'd like that." Maya said, leaning into Josh's side and resting her head on his shoulder.
Neither Josh nor Maya were sure when they fell asleep, but both woke up and jumped apart when Alan came thundering down the stairs.
" Merry Christmas!" Alan announced to them, walking down the stairs and heading towards the kitchen.
"You two are up early. Did you just get down here?" Alan asked through the cut out from the kitchen to the living room as he started a pot of coffee.
"Yeah." Josh called through to his dad, as he and Maya looked at each other with smirks.
" Something like that."