Someday Soon Chapter 9
It was a few weeks later, and Josh was enjoying his last days of break before he started his summer courses at NYU. Josh had gotten a job as an resident advisor for the summer and the following school year so he wouldn't be heading back to Philadelphia at all.
Josh had texted his brother asking if it was alright if he came over and did some of his laundry. Normally Josh would just show up without any warning or hesitation, but with Shawn and Maya still staying at the Matthews apartment, Josh didn't want to add to the chaos at an inopportune time. Cory had quickly texted back, giving him the go ahead to head on over in the afternoon, as no one was meant to be home. Riley, Maya, Auggie, and Cory would all still be at school, Topanga would still be at the firm working, and Shawn had a meeting with an insurance company about the life protection policy Katys parents had taken out on her years prior.
Josh let himself into his brother's apartment with his key, and began to lug his dirty laundry towards the back room where the washer and dryer was housed. Josh pushed open the laundry room door with a grunt but was met with a slight resistance. He shoved against the door again and finally made his way into the room.
When he made it inside he saw the reason he had been struggling to get the door open. Maya was sitting cross legged on the laundry room floor, a massive suitcase open in front of her and a mountain of clothes spilling all around the space around her. Josh was taken aback at the sight of her, and it seemed to take a moment before Maya noticed him standing there. She stopped folding one of the shirts in her lap and looked up at him.
" Hi." She said throwing him a faint smile.
" Hey" Josh said, hauling his laundry bag on top the top of the washing machine.
"How are you?" Josh asked, and then reconsidering what he just said, tried to retract it.
" Sorry, that's a dumb question." He said, trying to step around her suitcase.
"No, it's not. It's actually a pretty fair question, seeing as the last time we were in the same room i was crawling out of bed in what i assumed to be an accidental drug induced hungover state."
Josh cracked a smile.
"So to answer your question. I am slightly less emotionally fragile. I mean it's almost 2 pm and i haven't cried yet today. " This could have been a serious statement but there a a certain mysterious glint in Maya's eye and a hint of a smile on her face.
" I am seeing a therapist three times a week, twice by myself and once with Shawn. It's slightly less convenient than just dumping all my issues on you as someone actually has to pay for it and they don't make groupons for these things."
"That's good." Josh said, watching her carefully.
" It's not good, but it's something." Maya said simply.
" Whats all this then?" Josh asked, gesturing to Maya's suitcase and the piles of clothes all around them.
" You're not running away are you?" Josh asked, trying to pretend that he wasn't being serious.
Maya laughed a shook her head.
" No. At least not for forever. But i am leaving the summer." Josh's stomach dropped a little at the sound of her words.
" Where are you going?" Josh asked, almost incredulously as he took a seat across from Maya with the suitcase between them.
" France actually. As crazy as that sounds." Maya said as if she almost didn't believe it herself.
"France?" Josh asked in a tone of disbelief.
' Yeah. My art teacher submitted me for a spot in this summer program in Paris for high school students months ago, and she just found out that they're giving me one of the scholarship spots. I didn't even know she had put my name forward. " Maya said, a tone of excitement growing in her voice.
" Wow. That's insane." Josh said, following Maya's lead and attempting to fold some of the clothes that were on the floor around them.
" Yeah. It really is." Maya answered, watching in amusement as Josh struggled to fold one of her sweaters neatly.
" When do you leave?" Josh asked.
" On friday, and i come home at the end of August." She stated answering his next question before he could even ask it.
" That soon? What about school?" Josh asked. Classes at NYU had been over for a while now but high school was still in session.
" Well there's only about a week left, and all my teachers are pity passing me already. I mean i only go to every other class on a good day and even then i just sit in the back corner staring at a wall and refusing to make eye contact with anyone." The could be seriousness of Maya's statements were once again disbursed by the fact that Maya was sort of smiling and there was a hint of joking in her tone.
" Well i'm sure you'll have an amazing time." Josh said, smiling at her and still attempting to fold the same sweater evenly.
" I hope so." Maya said, a faint smile on her face as she carefully laid a folded shirt in the suitcase in front of her.
" I'll miss you tho.' Josh said, looking into her eyes for more than a few seconds for a first time since Maya had woken up in his dorm room. Maya smiled at him, connecting with his gaze before breaking off the look and reaching out to grab the shirt in his hands from him.
" You're just upset there isn't going to be anyone around to help you fold your laundry anymore." Maya joked. Josh broke into a smile
" Yeah, well maybe that's part of the reason."
Shawn had flown with Maya to Paris to get her settled in at her program before heading off on a job writing about the champagne region of France. He would never admit it to anyone but the moment he had climbed into the cab after leaving Maya in her dorm for the summer he had sobbed in the back seat of the car. The last few months had been so hard and emotional for both of them, and although he knew that spending the summer away would be good for Maya and her grieving process, he was anxious about being apart from her for such a long period of time.
Shawn knew what it was like to lose a parent. He had been walked out on, and he had watched his father die. He knew what Maya was feeling, but he never wanted her to feel like she had no one the way he had. No matter what happened to them in the future he would always think of her as his daughter, and all he really wanted for her was to be a good dad.
It a few weeks into July, and nearly 3 am. Josh was sitting up in his dorm room, working on paper to pass the time before he had to make his second set of rounds for his job as an RA. He rubbed his eyes and glanced at his watch, longing for when it was finally time for him to turn in for the night.
At that moment a small ping sounded from his laptop and Josh looked up to see a video call request coming through on his screen. Maya's name was displayed on the screen in front of him. Without thinking he pressed the accept button and waited while the video connected. Maya appeared on the screen in front of him.
"Hey." she said a genuine smile on her face.
" Hey" Josh said in return, suddenly feeling a lot less tired.
" Sorry to just call out of the blue, I saw that you were online. What are you doing up? Isn't it like 2 am in New York?" She asked, brushing her long blonde hair out of her face.
" 3 actually." Josh corrected.
" But i have round on my floor in a minute here so i'm still up." Maya nodded and shot him another smile.
" How france?" He asked as the next plausible question.
" Good." Maya said, smiling softly down at her keyboard.
" my programs great, but i've been eating so much bread i think i've gained about seventeen pounds. " Josh smirked at her. Maya had eaten so little and so infrequently after Katys death that she had dropped mass amounts of weight. She still looked as thin and sunken as ever but he hoped that being away from the city with put some more light back into her.
They continued to talk light heartedly, and Maya was laughing more than she had in weeks. They got so wrapped up in their conversation that Josh nearly missed his rounds.