The freezing february air bite at the skins on Maya's face as she hurried down the street from the subway station towards Josh's apartment building. She cussed under her breathe as her call to Rileys phone went to voicemail.
"Riley, it's me. Again. Call me back please. This is your last chance. If you dont at least text me by tonight I'm going to be on the first train to philly tomorrow morning. Call me."
Maya had been trying to get a hold of Riley for the past three days. She had received nothing but radio silence. Maya couldn't remember the last time she had gone this long without talking to her best friend. Hell, she couldn't remember the last time that they had gone more than twelve hours without send multiple texts and a series of snapchats.
Maya had tried every means possible to get Rileys attention. She'd called, she'd texted, she'd sent snapchats, and facebook messages. She'd sent an instagram dm for godsake, and nothing. She felt like a desperate middle schooler.
She wove her way through the people around her as she maneuvered her way to the box of the apartment door and pressed the buzzer for Josh's apartment. She hoped she hadn't beaten Josh home. They both had late classes on Wednesdays and on more than one occasion Maya had had to wait around on the doorstep waiting for Josh to make his way home from uptown. But it was always worth it. Neither of them had any classes or responsibility until after noon on Thursdays, and the long lazy mornings more than out weighed fifteen minutes standing in the cold.
Thankfully the long buzz sounded, signally the unlocking of the door. Maya grabbed the handle and pulled, taking the stairs two at a time in a rush to make it up to Josh's door even a few seconds sooner. Her teeth were chattering from walking the few blocks in the below freezing temperatures and her hat, mittens, coat and scarf weren't enough to keep the cold from permeating her defenses.
Josh opened the door before she had the chance to knock.
"Hi" Maya breathed, going up on her toes to give Josh a quick kiss and then letting him hold her into his arms.
"Good god, you are freezing." Josh declared, pulling her in a little tighter. Maya could feel the heat from his chest stinging against his cheek, and she knew Josh must feel like he was holding an ice cube.
The temperatures over the past few days had plummeted, making going outside miserable. Josh's pre war building was drafty to say the least, but Maya could hear the hum of the portable heater plugged in by the couch and couldn't wait to curl up by it.
Josh unwrapped his arms from around Maya, took her hand, and pulled her into the apartment closing the door behind them.
" I've got the kettle on, if you want to pick the tea." Josh offered, as Maya pulled off her coat, and hat, throwing them on top of her purse that she'd left on the floor by the door.
"Thank you." Maya muttered, walking up behind Josh and wrapping her arms around his middle, pressing her cheek against his back, letting his head radiate against her. Josh placed his warm hands onto of her cold ones.
" How was your day?" He asked, twisting around to face her and wrapping his arms around her in return. Maya sighed, leaning her head back in exasperation.
" So she still hasn't called you?" Josh guessed, gaging the situation. Maya pulled her head back up to look Josh in the eyes.
" Not even a text. She's avoiding me." Maya concluded with a huff.
" If she hasn't responded by tonight I'm going down there. I'll skip my afternoon class and camp out outside her dorm if I have to" Maya declared.
" do you want me to go with you?"Josh offered, rubbing circles on her back. Maya gave him a half smile.
" I wish, but Riley doesn't know that you know, and I'd like to keep it that way for now." Maya presses her cheek into josh's chest and squeezed her eyes closed.
" I still can't believe this is happening." Maya muttered, her head spinning. A thousand situations were swirling around in her head, and none of them were particularly good.
Was Riley avoiding her because she hadn't taken another test like she'd promised that she would? Or was it because she had taken another test and it had also been positive? Maya had to believe that if Riley had taken another test and it was negative, she would have told Maya by now.
Before Josh could say anything the kettle on the stove began to whistle. Maya untangled herself from Josh.
"You get that. I'm going to go get changed." Maya moved into Josh's small bedroom, pulling open the top left drawer of the dresser and rummaging through its contents. There hadn't been some big ceremony of Josh giving Maya her own drawer, but it still felt like somewhat of a big deal. Space was so scant in New York city, and carving out even a little bit of storage for her stuff made Maya feel somewhat special.
"Which tea?" Josh called from the kitchen.
"Um" Maya began as she hopped on one foot, trying to get the leg of her jeans off.
"Mint!" she finally decided, crumpling her jeans up and pulling a t shirt over her head. She emerged back into the living area, dressed in one of Josh's old t shirts and a pair of his nyu sweatpants that she had long ago made her own.
Josh had poured two large mugs of tea and placed them on the counter. Josh was rummaging in the cupboard, finally unearthing a banged up box of cookies.
"Thank you" Maya gushed, taking the hot mug into her still numb fingers. Josh smiled at her, leaning back against the counter, watching as she brought the cup to her lips.
"What?" Maya blushed, noticing that Josh was watching her.
" Nothing." Josh responded. His smile morphing into a smirk.
"You look good." He continued, still not taking his eyes off of her. Maya who was mid way through pulling her hair, which was just on the edge of being too dirty to get away with, up into a ponytail, rolled her eyes.
" Yeah I look so stunning in your hand me downs." Maya teased, pulling at the hem of Josh's John Adams Athletics shirt. Josh stepped towards her, placing his hands on her hips.
"First of all, they aren't hand me downs. You flat out stole these. Second,you do look great. You look a hell of a lot better in these clothes than I ever did.
Maya rolled her eyes again, but her cheeks flushed pink, and she leaned up to meet Josh's lips when he moved towards her. After a moment, Josh pulled away from her.
" Come on. Lets sit." Josh offered, pulling Maya towards the couch and the comfort of the space heater.
Josh and Maya spent the rest of the day and into the night curled up under one of Amy's heavy quilts. They did their best not to get up off of the couch until it was absolutely necessary. They had had to rock paper scissor over who would get up to put up more water for tea, or get up to answer the door for the delivery guy.
The cold weather had provided the perfect excuse to hide away in the apartment and do nothing at all.
It reminded Maya slightly of the time that the massive storm shut down the city, forcing Maya to spend the night at Josh's house well before they were ever together. They had made a fort in the living room and Maya had woken up in Josh's arms.
Eventually Josh and Maya migrated from their place on the couch into the bedroom. The bed was freezing as Maya and Josh climbed in. Josh pulled Maya closer to him and she was grateful for the warmth.
It didn't take long for the two to drift off, and Maya was long asleep when her phone finally buzzed with a text from Riley.