" I don't want to do this." Maya huffed, pushing the computer away from herself and reaching for her cup of coffee. Both Josh and Riley gave her a look.
" You have to." Josh stated, moving the computer back in front of her and scooting around the table so they were sitting side by side.
"We'll help you."
It was a few days after Riley and Josh's talk . Josh and Riley had corralled Maya into meeting them at Topangas in order to get something done that Maya had been avoiding for weeks. Her class registration. Maya knew that she was an avoider. She had been avoiding the reminder emails from Hudson university for almost two weeks now, wanting to put off having to think about what was coming in september. But time was running out, and if Maya didn't register soon she would end up exclusively in 8am a classes on subjects she didn't need. Shawn, Josh, and Riley had all made several attempts to get Maya to sit down and select her courses but none had had any luck. After Josh and RIley had had their initial discussion about Josh and Maya's relationship their talk had turned to a plan of how to co finally get Maya to commit to a course load.
Once they put their heads together the solution seemed to be rather easy. It was easy for Maya to slip out or change the subject when it was just one person bringing up the issue but if they worked together to pin her down things were sure to work in their favour.
Josh had asked Maya to meet him at Topangas for coffee. Maya's suspicions weren't raised. That had seemed completely reasonable to her, something they did all the time. When Maya walked in to see Josh and Riley sitting at a table together she paused for the briefest of moments. Josh and Riley didn't exactly hang out a lot. But this was Riley's mother's shop. Why shouldn't she be there? Maybe Riley and Josh had just bumped into each other. Maya walked over to greet them. She sat down and was immediately greeted with a large cup of coffee and a slice of cake. That's when she should have known that something was up. They were being too nice to her. It wasn't until Riley had whipped her laptop out and pushed it in front of Maya with the Hudson University login page already . Maya elt all the blood drain from her face. She tried to excuse herself quickly to go to the washroom but Josh placed his hand down on her wrist as she began to get up and gave her a look that made her retake her seat.
" We've also made you an appointment with a course counselor to make sure you're getting all your required credits." Riley stated. Maya let out a huff.
She wanted to pretend to be annoyed, Riley and Josh shouldn't have to baby her, and while in this moment she resented it she knew that it was something she needed. Maya had the bad habit of being a bit of an avoider, often preferring to duck and cover rather than stand tall and take whatever bullet was coming for her. She hadn't always been this way. There had been a time when she was nearly fearless, or at least a time when she had presented herself that way. But time had damaged her armor. She hide away from most things that she found new or scary, things that might hurt. She needed someone to push her. Earlier in her life that person would have been her mother. Katy had always pushed Maya forward into the bigger and better, hoping her daughter would find the success Katy herself had struggled to discover. Now Maya needed someone to step into those shoes, to push her out into the world and not let her hide in a corner where she felt safe and protected.
The issue being that choosing classes seemed one step closer to choosing a career, and that notion was more terrifying to Maya then almost anything else. She had no clear vision in her mind of what her future would be like. She like many other incoming university freshmen she was majoring in had a passion for art and had thought she might have in interest in teaching, but she wasn't really sure. She would be taking general studies classes, trying to find the right path for her. But what if there was no right path? At least not at university. Would she toil away for a new months, trying to find herself, wasting thousands of dollars in the process?
So sitting in front of the computer she didn't see lists of different time slots of psychology classes or lab options, all she saw was one blazing question Who are you supposed to be?.
She let Josh and Riley dictate the majority of the decisions. She nodded along and they talked about all the class possibilities and agreed with what they thought was best. This, she thought, was easiest. To just go along and ride out the waves coming towards her.
" Sorry to spring that on you." Josh apologized later. Riley had headed back up to her apartment after the coffee shop ambush, while Josh and Maya had taken to the street walking back up towards the subway stop that would take them out towards Hudson where Josh had thought they should take a walk and enjoy the warm weather.
"It's fine." Maya reassured, squeezing Josh's hand as they walked up the street, navigating through the throngs of people.
" had to be done at some point or another." Maya conceded, although she hate to give him the satisfaction of being right.
"It's normal to be nervous about this stuff. God i remember being so stressed before my first week at NYU that hair started to fall out in clumps." Maya couldn't help but laugh at that idea.
" That's hard to picture." Maya said playfully, reaching up to brush a few strands of stray hairs from Josh's forehead.
"It wasn't my best look." Josh admitted. Only a slightly more serious note he added
" It does get easier. All of it. With a little time." Maya glanced up at him and although he was facing forward, watching where they were going and guiding her through the street Maya could see the look of genuine concern and encouragement on her face. Through all of this at least she knew that he was really on her team.
They wandered around for a while walking the streets and eventually reaching the edge of the Hudson U campus. They walked around the perimetre, Maya not quite ready to wander her way inside yet and continued their way. Maya lost track of time as they walked, talking all the while but not about anything important. It was nice to just be with him.
Maya didn't know how long it was until she finally remembered to take out her phone and glance down at the time.
"Shit". She muttered under her breath, coming to a stop. Josh felt the tug on his arm and stopped to glance back at her.
"I'm supposed to be meeting my dad. I'm going to be late." Maya glanced up at him. For a moment a sting of awkwardness hung in the air. Maya had joked about her or Josh telling Shawn about them but she hadn't meant it, at least not really. It was something that made them both a bit nervous. Maya loved Shawn and she knew he only wanted the best for her, but he could be a little overprotective at times. And Josh. Well Josh still remembered a chat that he and Shawn had with him the last thanksgiving. The phrase " I grew up in a trailer park. I know how to kick somebody's ass" still rang fresh in his ears.
" I'll talk to you later?" She hadn't meant it to come out as such a question but there was still an insecure part of her that was sure that any moment Josh was going to come to his senses and decide she wasn't worth his time. Being friends with her was one thing, but dating her? Maybe he would give it up as a bad cause.
Josh just shook his head at her, a goofy smile on her face. He leaned down and kissed her, not a particularly long kiss but enough to make Maya's heart skip a few beats.
" I'll call you tonight." He promised. Maya smiled, leaning up on her tiptoes to give Josh another quick peck, before turning on her heel and heading in the opposite direction down the street.
A big thanks again to everyone reading! Big things to come :)