"Do we really need to do this?" Maya complained for what felt like the millionth time.
"Yes we do." Sasha retored, pushing through the racks of clothes in search of something specific.
" We've been at this for hours. It's just halloween. Can't you paint some whiskers on your face and call it a day?" Maya prompted, absentmindedly pushing through the dozens of musky dresses and out of date skirts. They'd been in a thrift store near campus for almost an hour and Maya was getting restless.
Sasha rolled her eyes at her roommate.
"You don't get it. Halloween where I'm from is just such a non event. Kids trick or treat until the 9th grade and after that it's all watching bad scary movies in your friends basements or going to halloween dances so lame that it makes the basement look appealing. This is my first year in the city and we're invited to all these parties and I don't want to wear the same minnie mouse costume i've had since I was 15."
"The fact that you still fit in your costume from when you were 15 hurts me." Maya joked before continuing on.
"But if you want a costume shouldn't we I don't know go to a costume store?"
Sasha let out a huff.
" No, because I don't want to spend 75 dollars to wear the exact same thing as every other girl."
"You are putting way too much thought into this." Maya commented.
" Maybe you're not putting enough thought into this. I mean do you even have a costume?"
"No but I thought i'd be something really scary, like a sullen teenage girl with an attitude problem."
" Honey it's halloween the whole point is to be something you're not already." Sasha teased
"Oh shut up." Maya shot back at her.
"I honestly don't know what i'm going to do for halloween. I mean Riley and I always used to go as the same thing but I don't think it'll have quite the same effect if i'm here and she's in Pennsylvania."
"Why don't you and your hot boyfriend do a couples costume." Sasha suggested.
"He has a name." Maya pointed out.
" I know I know i'm just bad with names. I am however good with faces and he, he has a good face."
"Oh trust me I know." Maya smirked across the rack at her friend.
"And I don't hate him, or myself, enough to make us do a couples costume. Plus we're not going to be with each other the whole night so It wouldn't make that much sense to go wandering around as a light socket without a plug."
"Hottie has halloween plans that don't involve you?"
"His name is Josh. It isn't hard name to remember." Sasha just laughed.
" he's starting out at a party with some friends from his program while I hang out with your sorry ass at whatever god forsaken gathering you've selected for us and then we're going to meet up and go to his friends party uptown. "
"Wow what's it like to be so popular." Sasha teased.
"Hmm yeah guess you'll never know." Sasha swatted her across the aisle.
"What's farm boy doing for halloween? Building a corn maze or castrating a cow?" Sasha rolled her eyes.
" Honestly I wouldn't put it past him, but I'm not actually sure. It's been a little while since we've talked." Maya paused.
"Trouble in river city?" Sasha let out a sigh.
" I don't even know anymore. What I do know is that we need to find costumes and quick."
In the end Maya mostly built her costume from clothing she already owned. It had all been built around a pair of rose tinted thin round sunglasses that she'd found on a rack by the cash register at one of the thrift shops they had looked through. She cut the sleeves of an old tied shirt that she usually slept in and pulled out an old brown suede fringed vest she used to wear in the 10th grade. It was a poor excuse for a hippie costume but Maya wasn't too upset about it.
Sasha had also gone with a decades theme after finding a pair of white gogo boots in a half off bin. They were a size too big but Sash had been determined to make them work, putting on two pairs of socks to bulk up her feet.
They were going put on in one of the campus bars that was putting on an all ages halloween event. They were too young to get into any real bar but this was close enough. The Grey was strict about not serving minors directly but they turned a blind eye to older students buying for younger classmates.
The Grey was a madhouse by the time that Maya, Sasha, and one of their other floormates Cassidy arrived around 10:00. The room was packed mostly with people that Maya recognized from her dorm hall or from her classes. The bright colours from everyone's costumes clashed harshly against one another. The bass thumped so loudly though the room that Maya could feel it in her chest.
It had been almost an hour and a half when Sasha disappeared into the crowd in search of scoring them another round of drinks. Cass had wandered away from them and Maya had thought she had spotted her hanging around one of the boys from the floor above them.
Maya had broken away from her group and was leaning against the wall, taking a moment to check her phone. She was supposed to be meeting Josh outside in about half an hour which meant he was probably already on his way.
Maya was just shoot off a text when the guy who had pointed out her NYU shirt in the cafeteria approached her. She thought his name might be had seen this guy around a lot the past few weeks. She'd see him in the hallways or when she went down to the dinning hall and quite often he'd make comments or jokes at her and many of the other girls in their building. His comments were lame and his attempts at flirty juvenile but overall Maya thought he was pretty harmless. He gave off a strong frat guy vibe and Maya never did anything to encourage his advances.
"Miaaa" Jared slurred, raising an eyebrow at her in a way she was sure he thought was sexy.
"Actually it's Maya" she corrected, still looking down at her phone.
" I like your costume." He continued, reaching out to toy with the fringe on her vest. Maya swatted his hand away.
"Thanks." She replied shortly, moving to the side to get around him.
"Hey where you going?" He asked, moving to the side in step with her. Maya's patience was growing thin. Jared wasn't the kind of person she wanted to talk to when he was sober, let alone when he was drunk.
"I was thinking that you would stay here and I would go literally anywhere else" Maya snapped back. She wasn't in the mood to be polite. It was crowded, loud, and hot in there and it was messing with her head.
"C'mon. We're just talking here. Just having fun." he slurred. The next series of things happened in such a blur that Maya was barely able to understand what had happened.
Maya's back hit the wall as Jared stepped forward, his drink sloshed all over her shoes as his hips bumped against hers and his hand came down over her chest.
Maya acted without thinking, shoving Jared backward and bringing her fist back and slamming it into his jaw.
The pain was instant, flaring from her knuckles up into her fingers and back down towards her wrist. Maya leaned back against the wall and clutched her hand to her. She looked up and saw Sasha standing there, two drinks in hand with her mouth hanging open.
Jared who had staggered back looked dazed.
" What the fuck?" He began but Sasha pounced on him
"Oh go be skeezey somewhere else perv." She spat at him, shooing him away from them. She turned on Maya looking absolutely stunned but also excited.
"Did that really just happen?" She asked, eager for the answer. Maya was still examining her hand.
"I mean did you really just punch a guy dressed as a budget pirate right in his dumb face?"
"Apparently" Maya muttered.
"This is the most exciting thing to ever happen to me." Sasha gushed.
"Glad you're entertained!" Maya snapped.
"I'm sorry i'm drunk. I'm not trying to be an asshole." Sasha apologized.
"Let me see." she encouraged. Maya gingerly held out her hand for Sasha to examine.
"I know this doesn't give me much authority but my dad's a doctor and i'm pretty sure that that's broken."
Maya's hand was swelling up quick.
"So what now?"
" Now I think I take you to the nearest hospital." Sasha stated, handing Maya on of the drinks she was holding.
"Down that. It'll help with the pain." Sasha encouraged, throwing her head back and finishing her own glass.
Josh picked up on the first ring.
"Hey" maya began carefully.
" you know how we were going to meet on campus and then go up to Kates?"
"How would you feel about meeting me at the hospital instead?" she asked.
"What? " Josh's voice sounded alarmed.
"Everything's fine." Maya assured him. Looking down at her crippled hand in her lap which was wrapped in a bag of ice and an old rag she'd got from behind the bar at Greys.
" I just think I broke my hand."
"Yeah on some guys face!" Sasha laughed, leaning over from the other side of the car to speak into the phone.
" What?" Josh asked again, the alarm returning to his voice.
"Where are you?"
"I'm in cab. Sasha is with me. We're on the way to Presbyterian." Maya explained.
"I'll meet you there." He promised. Maya quickly backtracked.
"I really just called to let you know what's going on. You can go to Kate's. It's not going to be any fun sitting in the ER all night."
"I'll meet you there." He promised again. Maya smiled.
"Did no one ever teach you how to throw a punch? You've got to keep your thumb outside your fist." Maya rolled her eyes.
She had called Shawn once they made it to the hospital and she began to fill out the form. He was in South Carolina on assignment but she'd needed his help with some of the health insurance information and she knew he would be angry if she didn't call him right away.
"No dad. No one ever taught me to throw a punch. That would have been your department." Maya answered sarcastically.
"Well we'll work on that when I get back. Try not to slug anyone in the meantime."
"I'll work on it. " Maya promised.
"Go back to sleep. I'll call you tomorrow." Maya promised.
Maya was seated in the waiting room with Josh on one side and Sasha on the other.
"So you just straight up punched a guy?" Josh asked.
" He deserved it." Sasha answered for her.
"He's a first rate asshole." She continued. Sasha's phone was buzzing almost constantly and Maya could tell she was trying hard not to check it.
"Sash you can go if you want. There's no use us all wasting our night in the hospital." Maya encouraged.
"Are you sure?" Sasha asked, trying not to look too eager.
"Go. You brought me here you've done your job."
"Thank you." Sasha said gratefully, getting to her feet, saying goodbye and hurrying out of the ward.
" I'll say it one more time, you can go too. It's not too late to make it to Kates." Maya encouraged. Josh just shot her a look.
"Come on. We've got these nice plastic chairs, cable tv, and that nice man over there with the oozing wound."
Maya leaned her head against Josh's shoulder.
"Whatever you say Boing."
" I haven't heard that one in a while." Johs commented.
"I'm bringing it back."
It was almost 4 am by the time Maya made it out of the hospital. Maya had had a round of x rays and found that her hand was broken in two places as well as her thumb. She'd been given a soft cast and an appointment to return to the hospital to see a specialist to see if she'd need surgery.
"I'm exhausted." Maya signed as she and Josh walked down the hospital hallways towards the exit.
" getting in bar brawls does that." Josh joked.
"He started it." Maya defend.
" The dorms are sure to be a mess. I don't know how much sleep you'd get there. Do you want me to bring you back to your dad's place or do you want to stay over at mine?" Maya sighed.
"I just want to go to bed. Yours is as good as any." Josh wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
"Alright then. Let's go home."