Someday Soon Chapter 25
( Quite a few of you guessed what was coming in this chapter! So here it is.)
Josh felt his heart drop in his chest at Maya's words.
" You want to find your dad~?" He asked, not entirely sure if he had heard her right.
" Well not find him per say. I know where he is. I just need to go see him." Maya said, looking down at her folded hands in her lap.
" When was the last time you saw him?" Josh asked. He knew that Maya didn't have a relationship with her biological father. He knew that her dad had left when she was little, but he wasn't sure how much interaction they had had since then, if any.
" God it must have been three or four years ago now. He came back to the city. But we only talked for like ten minutes, and before that i hadn't seen him since i was five. Your brother gave us this stupid assignment to forgive someone who had wronged us, and somehow i picked him. I tried to forgive him, but i just couldn't." Maya explained simply with a slight shrug of her shoulders.
" Is that why you want to find him now? To forgive him?" Josh asked seriously. Maya cracked a smile.
" No. Not quite." Maya said, pushing her hair out of her face.
" So what is it then?" Josh pressed, hoping he wasn't pushing her boundaries.
" I need him to terminate his parental rights." Maya said without a beat. Josh's jaw went slack.
" Or i guess i don't know if i need him to, but i want him to." Maya said, trying to clarify her thoughts.
"Wow. That's big." Josh said, still unsure of how to approach the situation. Maya nodded.
" I don't want to be a dick, and you don't have to tell me anymore, but why now?" Josh asked. Maya let out a breath.
" I've been thinking about him a lot lately. Kind of ever since my mom actually." Maya began looking down her hands and picking at the skin around her fingers. It was a nervous tick of hers.
" You know, I don't even think he knows that she's dead. I can't think of a single person who would have told him." Maya confessed. Josh shifted closer to her on the bed, wanting to comfort her but not quite knowing how.
" I never told anyone this, not even Riely, but right after my mom died when i was still in the hospital a social worker came to talk to me. They wanted to call my dad" Maya said putting a certain pronunciation on the word dad as if it tasted wrong in her mouth when she said it in that context.
" Because he is listed in my file as my father. On paper, he is my next of kin. They wanted to put me in his custody. I said that wasn't an option, and then they wanted to send me to my grandparents. There was talk of me moving to Delaware. It was like Shawn was an afterthought. It seemed like nobody but me and him thought that us staying together was the right thing. To everyone else he was just some guy who was married to my mom for less than two years." Maya said her frustration building in her chest.
"On our trip Shawn asked if he could adopt me. He asked. Like there was a chance i was going to say no. Like he isn't the only father that i've actually known."
"Shawns adopting you?" Josh asked, although it wasn't really a surprise. Shawn was already Maya's father, why not make it legal. Maya nodded in answer.
" and you need your dad to terminate his rights for that to happen?" Josh asked still confused. Maya sighed.
" I don't really know. I mean i'm 18 now you remember how fun my birthday was-" Maya added. Maya's 18th birthday had passed while she and Josh had still been sick on the Matthews couch. They had stayed in their vegetative sick state all day. It wasn't the most thrilling of birthdays but the company had been good.
" So me being adopted is really more of a symbolic thing then for legal guardianship, but either way i want Kermit to terminate his rights. I don't want his name on my files. I don't want him listed as my father, because he's not. Shawn is." Josh reached over to rest his hand on Maya's knee. Maya looked over at him a shot him a half smile.
" I'm sorry to drag you into all my shit again. I just can't do this alone. Shawn doesn't know that i'm going to talk to Kermit. I would ask Riley, but she's too invested in this. She knows him, she's met him. Her heart is so big that she can see the good in everyone. She wouldn't want me to just throw him away. Even though he did it first." Maya said with a shrug of her shoulders. Josh gave her knee a gentle squeeze.
" I'm right here. For whatever you need." Maya smiled sadly at him.
" I knew you would be."
It was the next weekend when Josh and Maya got on a train at grand central to get to Philadelphia. Once they were there they would be taking a cab to Josh's parents house and borrowing one of the families cars to make it the rest of their journey. Alan and Amy were at the cape for a weekend getaway, so borrowing the car was no hassle.
Maya had done some digging online and found that her biological father was now living in New Jersey, about an hours drive from Josh's family home.
They had caught the train to Philly around 11 that morning and they estimated that they wouldn't be back to the city until late that night. Shawn was out of town that weekend, working on a piece in Boston, so Maya hadn't had to make up an excuse to being out all day to him.
She had told Riley that she was studying for Hudson's college readiness test, something that did not in fact exist. Maya had needed an excuse Riley would take seriously, and they were in nearly the exact same classes at school, so Maya had had to make something up.
They rode side by side on the train, sharing the same pair of headphones. It wasn't until they were in the car on the way to jersey that Josh even tried to broach the subject of what they were on this trip for.
They had passed the state line into Jersey when Josh glanced over to the passenger seat where Maya was sitting and noticed that her hands were shaking in her lap.
" Nervous?" Josh asked, trying to keep his eyes on the road. Maya let out a shaky laugh.
" Is it that obvious?" Maya asked, trying to calm herself.
" Do you know what you want to say to him?" Josh asked, glancing over at her. Maya sighed.
" The scenario has played out several different ways in my mind. Sometimes it involves me falling into his arms in tears saying 'all i ever wanted to do was love you, why did you leave me?' and then asking him to come to my high school graduation, and other times i basically just tell him to take a long walk off a short pier."
Josh snorted in laughter as Maya glanced over at him with a grin. Although her words were serious Maya was trying to keep herself calm and being light and breezy about the whole ordeal seemed to be the best way to cope.
The hour drive into the small town in Jersey flew by and Maya's stomach had been tying itself into knots. Her anxiety was mounting as they grew closer and closer to their final destination. There was only so much information that Maya had been able to gather about her father without contacting him so Maya didn't exactly know where he lived. She had discovered however where he worked.
So there Josh and Maya were, sitting in the car in the parking lot of a warehouse shipping centre. Maya had read on linkdin that Kermit was managing a sector within the building, so the two were camped out in the parking lot waiting for him to appear. Maya had been nervous that she wouldn't recognize her father if he came out of the building in a group of people.
However, when 3pm rolled around and a single man exited the building Maya was sure even from a distance that he was her father. His hair was shorter now, and he looked more clean cut. He climbed into a tan minivan and started up the engine. Josh and Maya followed at a slight distance as Kermit drove down the road of the quiet town. Maya hadn't wanted to confront him at work, so they had had to be slightly stalker like and follow Kermit to his home. However he did not turn into a residential neighbourhood, but rather into the parking lot of a school.
It seemed that class was just getting out for the day as when they pulled into the lot childrens were milling around and climbing into cars. Maya was watching from the car window as three blonde haired children bobbed towards Kermit in his tanned van. The children were spread in age from what looked to be five to twelve.
Maya's heart sank as she realized that those tiny bonde humans must be her half brothers and sisters. Maya was silent as Josh followed the van away from the school and towards a neighbourhood. The van pulled into the driveway of a beige split level house, complete with white mail box and fenced in backyard. Josh parked across the street as Kermit and his kids piled out of the van and into the house. Maya slumped in the passenger seat.
" Of course they just had to have a white picket fence." Maya muttered.
" They probably have a golden retriever too. The perfect all american family." Maya took a deep breath.
" Do you think they look like me?" Maya asked, looking over at Josh.
" the kids?" Josh asked just to make sure. Maya nodded.
" I always thought i looked like my mom. But i don't think anyone would doubt that were siblings. I look like I could fit into their family photo." Maya let out another breath and looked up wistfully at the house in front of her. She began rininger her hands in anxiety. They sat in silence for several minutes as Maya tried to decide what she wanted to do.
" I don't know if i can go in." Maya said quietly, looking straightforward. Josh looked over at her.
" Did you change your mind?" Josh asked, referring to the legal documents maya had in a sealed manila envelope on her lap. Maya shook her head.
"No. I want him to sign. I need him to sign. I just feel like right now if i look at him i'm going to fall into a million pieces all over again." Maya took another breath,
" Is it just a massive cop out if i just shove this through the mailbox?" Maya asked in a joking way although she was entirely serious.
" Do you want me to do it?" Josh offered. Maya gave him a skeptical look. Josh asked again. Maya looked down at the envelope in her hands. Maya looked up at him and their eyes caught for a moment. Josh held her gaze, until maya extended her hand and placed the thick envelope in Josh's hands.
" I'll be right back." Josh said reassuringly as he undid his seatbelt and opened the car door. Maya slumped low in her seat but peak up to watch Josh dash across the road and up the walkway to the house. Maya had expected Josh to just leave the envelope on the doorstep, but she watched in surprise when she saw Josh ring the house's doorbell. As she saw the door open Maya slumped even farther down into her seat so she couldn't see what was going on outside the car. She couldn't imagine Josh coming face to face with her father.
Seemingly seconds later Josh was back into the car and driving away from the street. Maya let out a breath but stayed slumped in her seat.
" Thank you" She muttered to him. She couldn't imagine what it would be like when the signed papers arrived back at her apartment in the days to come. In those moments she could be completely free of her biological father.
She hadn't been able to face him. Yet there was a nagging feeling in her chest knowing she had said her last words to him already, and she didn't even remember what they were.
They arrived back in the city well past 9 o'clock that night. They emerged from the train station and headed towards the subway station. In theory Josh's stop would arrive first, but Maya knew that because of the hour Josh would ride the extra stops and make sure she got home safe, even if she hadn't asked him to.
But that wasn't enough. Maya had felt off ever since they had driven away from her father's house. As they walked down the street towards the subway station Maya kept hold of Josh's arm and came to a stop. Josh turned to look at her, a question on his face.
"Look you can say no, you've done more than enough for me today, but Shawn's still out of town, and i really don't alone tonight. Do you think i could crash out at your place?" Josh gave her a soft look.
" Of course." He said gently, pulling her forward towards the subway station, but not letting go of her hand.