Someday Soon Chapter 29
The final day of March was spent in anxiety as everyone waited on pins and needles to find out if both Farkle and Riley got into the schools of their choice. The group was gathered in the living room of the Matthews apartment, where the wifi was deemed best, and watched as Riley and Farkle constantly refreshed their emails and the college login portal pages.
Everyone could feel the anxiety mounting in the room as the release time inched closer and closer. Maya remembered her own fear and stress when waiting for her letter from Hudson, and could only imagine that Riley and Farkle were feeling at least double amount of pressure. Hudson wasn't easy to get into, but it was no ivy league. Riley and Farkle were facing schools with acceptance rates as small as 6 percent.
Zay was already accepted to a school in Alabama, and Lucas was heading back to Texas to attend University of Texas at Austin. The two boys were sitting on the Matthews couch, playing with Auggie's xbox and trying to keep themselves preoccupied while Riley and Farkle constantly refreshed their laptop screens.
" They're up." Farkles said his voice mingling with anxiety and excitement. Maya watched as all the blood drained from Riley's face. Maya walked around and placed her hands on Riley's shoulders. Zay and Lucas looked away from the television screen but stayed on the couch.
Farkle began to type in his password for the Princeton log in site, while Riley began to enter her username for the UPenn admin site. Riley's hands were shaking as she typed and Maya felt her shoulders tense under her hands. Maya gave her shoulder a tight squeeze of encouragement, biting the side of her lip in anticipation. Maya leaned down so she could better see the screen and Riley waited for her results to load.
Thousands of kids were logging onto the site at the exact same time so the connection was painfully slow, dragging out the high intensity moment in a way that was nearly unbearable.
Finally the results were up.
Riley and Farkle let out a massive sigh of relief at the same time. Maya yelped in excitement when she realized that both of her friends had received acceptances.
" I got in!" Riley squealed in excitement, standing up from the bench at the same time that farkle stood up from his chair, a massive smile spreading across his face.
Maya, Riley, and Farkle piled together in a hug, Riley laughing in relief and excitement.
"Thank god you both got in because i didn't know if i could be happy for one of you and emotionally supportive for the other." Maya said, only half joking. Maya was relieved that both her friends had gotten into their choice schools. It was great for them personally, as they had both worked so hard over the years, but Maya was happy for selfish reasons as well. Maya was staying in New York, and while both Farkle and Riley were going out of state to New Jersey and Pennsylvania they would both be just a little over an hour away. They could see each other on weekends and holidays. Things would be different, but in a way their friendship wouldn't really have to change all that much. They would all be close by, if one of them needed something.
Zay and Lucas had risen from the couch now and moved into the kitchen to offer their congratulations to Farkle and Riley.
"I've got to go call my dad!" Farkle said in sheer excitement, pulling his phone out of his pocket and heading to the hallway to call his father. Riley was ahead of the game and already had her phone out calling her parents. Maya's face hurt from smiling, her heart so full of joy for her friends. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed something not quite right. After offering his congratulations to Riley and Farkle Lucas had gone silent. His face was sullen as he watched Riley make her call. Maya narrowed her eyes at him, looking between his downturned expression and Riley's overjoyed face. This couldn't be good.
Later that night the whole group of friends, Riley and Farkles parents, and Shawn were headed to a celebratory dinner uptown and a chic restaurant that they had some how managed to get a reservation to despite their large number.
They were filing into the restaurant, checking their coats, when Maya decided that she had had enough. Lucas had been doing a very bad job of hiding his bad mood the whole day. Riley was still very excited but Maya could tell that the way Lucas was acting was starting to get to her. Maya knew what this was about. She was sure Lucas would never admit it, but Maya knew that he had been hoping that Riley wouldn't get into UPenn. Lucas had been hoping that Riley would follow him to Texas, rather than staying on the east coast.
The group was approaching their table when Maya grabbed Lucas by his upper arms and began to drag him towards the back of the restaurant.
" I need to talk to you for a second." Maya said as way of explanation. They made it to the back hallway where the bathrooms were located before Maya turned on him.
" Do you have a problem?" Maya said in an accusatory manner. Lucas gave her a confused look, so she went on.
" You need to pipe it down with your sour face and your bad attitude. I know you're disappointed that the two of you aren't going to move to texas and ride cows into the sunset, but your girlfriend just got into one of the most prestigious schools in the country. So i need you to at least pretend to be happy for her okay?" Maya demanded. Lucas looked as if he was about to respond but Maya didn't give him the chance.
" So right now we are going to back to that table and you are going to smile and be pleasant, because if i see you continue to mope around i will physically beat you. I know i may look small, but i have a lot of repressed anger and rage due to my endless daddy issues. I can and will hurt you." Maya said. Then she composed herself, shot him a sweet smile and walked back into the restaurant.
Maya approached the table smiling pleasantly. Shawn shot her a confused look, and Maya gestured with her head between Lucas and Riley. Shawn nodded, having grasped what Maya was dealing. Maya took her seat, and opened her menu.
" So what's everyone having?" Maya asked with a bright smile as if nothing was wrong at all.
Maya woke early on the anniversary. It was a brisk april morning and rain was pouring down in sheets outside her window. Maya slipped out of her bed and walked over to her window, her heart heavy in her chest.
" now it rains." She muttered. Exactly one year prior it had been a beautiful sunny day. The sun had flooded through the window of her mother's hospital room as her heart stopped and Maya's whole world crumbled at her feet. It had been one year since Katy's death. Maya felt like he had been decades since she had last seen her mother, but she could also hear her voice in her head like it was yesterday. One year since the day.
Maya walked out of her bedroom and into the living room of the apartment. Shawn was sitting at the breakfast bar. He looked up at her and it was clear that neither of them was sure what the right thing to say to the other was. They sat in silence, the only sound the clatter of their spoons against their cereal bowls.
Neither of them had talked about it, but it seemed to be understood what they were doing that day. Without speaking they had gotten dressed and made their way down to the lobby of the building and out onto the street. They began to walk. Their destination clear to only themselves.
They stood in front of Katys headstone looking down at it in silence. They had both been to this spot several times over the past year, both alone and together. Maya placed down the gas station flowers they had picked up along the way. They weren't anything special, but they were the kind of simple thing that had always been able to make Katy smile. They stood there in silence a while longer. As they looked down at the marble stone, Maya felt Shawn squeeze her hand. The rain was still falling down on their heads but neither of them cared. The only thing they had to do today was to watch that single spot on the ground.