My New Philosophical Father

Chapter 6 of Life After 30

Maya still couldn’t believe how that conversation went. She was sure Will would say hell no; he was always so practical. 

But whatever it was, she was glad that he agreed. 

She just knew that he still cared about her and would at least consider her request. But she hoped that he would care for her enough to change his mind and propose. 

It was reaching, but anything could happen, right? 

Her party was only a few days away, which is landing on her actual birthday. 

At the moment, she was visiting her dad, Ben, at her parent’s house to receive her birthday wishes. 

Kim had already moved out and the house was looking bare. This was starting to become an all too familiar feeling for Maya. 

He was making her favorite birthday dinner, chicken mole enchiladas with spanish rice. The house was full of the familiar smell of chocolate and chipotle. It brought Maya back to her childhood: comforting and with two parents. 

“So… how’ve you been, dad?”

“I hope you’re not worried about me, Em. I’m doing fine.”

“I’m not…”

He gives her a knowing look.

“Okay, I am! I’m worried about both of you, of course! 30 years of marriage, gone! How can I not be worried?”

“30 years of divorce in the making, actually. We became different people too soon and didn’t know how to accommodate the change. Getting married at 26 was too young. It would have been better to wait– not that we’re not grateful for having you or anything. But just looking in hindsight.”

“It’s just hard for me to wrap my head around because you guys had always been my relationship inspiration. I thought Will and I would be the next you and mom. But now, not even that’s going to happen.”

“Oh honey, I’m sorry to hear you two broke up. I did really like Will. And I’m glad we were able to show you what love can look like. But if this break up was going to happen at all, better now than later. Things get complicated after a marriage, especially when there’s kids involved.”

“I just feel like I had my life together, or just about coming together. Everything was working out just as I planned. Now I feel like it’s falling apart.”

“Your life isn’t falling apart, it’s barely beginning. You’re so young and have a lot of life ahead for you. Not everything has to be so linear. Things are going to happen out of your control and the real test is going to be how you react to it.”

“Ugh, Dad, has this divorced made you more philosophical or something?”

“Possibly. Hmm another benefit to divorce. Clearer thinking.”

Maya rolls her eyes. “Anyway, how’s the job hunting been? Any luck?”

“Oh I’ve got a few things working, some connections I’ve gotten in touch with. Something will come up,” he said, shrugging and not meeting her gaze. 

“If you need help, I can ask some friends–” 

“No, you don’t have to do that. Besides,” he says, opening the oven and pulling out a casserole dish of enchiladas, bubbling with cheese and sauce, “the enchiladas are ready!”

“Oh my god, those look so good. This is always the best birthday gift. Thanks Dad.”

Ben served up the enchiladas and rice and they dug into the comforting meal. But Maya made a mental note about her Dad avoiding the work question.

***

Maya and Lindsay sift through dresses on a rack. Maya pulls out a red sparkly one. 

“I think this says, ‘I just signed a number one book-seller, bitches!’ What do you think?”
“I think you need to try it on. It looks like it’ll be amazing on you.”

Maya takes the dress off the rack and puts it under her arm. 

“So, how’s Carl? Is he able to come to this thing?”

“He’s doing well. And yeah, he’ll be here. We’re just having a hard time right now with all the baby stuff.”

“The conceiving is still being a challenge.”

“It is, but I wouldn’t mind as much if my mom wasn’t nagging on me to have kids since Carl and I got engaged. Now she’s saying I waited too long and should have tried earlier. But I like to do things at my own pace, you know?”

“After I get married, I’d like to wait a year before I start having kids. I think a year is a good time frame. That’s what most of my friends from college did.”

“Sure. Until you start trying and all these obstacles get in the way. But such is life, I guess.”

Maya just nods. 

“So… any hints from Will at all?”

“Um, you know, he’s been super low key lately so it’s really hard to tell.”

“I really think that he’ll pop the question at your party. Everyone will be there, it’ll be the perfect time.” 

“I know, I’m crossing my fingers. If he doesn’t, I just may have to myself!” Maya laughs hesitantly. 

“You being you, I wouldn’t be surprised,” Lindsay laughs along, not noticing. “Oh! I don’t know if you heard, but word is going around that Karolyn and her current boo broke up!”

Maya perks up, “You’re kidding!” 

“That’s what I got from Michael. She was in the office a week ago for a meeting on her next book and she didn’t seem like herself.”

“Aw, well not everything works out all the time. She was bound to have a set back at some point… and I think this one–”

Maya plus out a dazzling halter dress from the rack.

“–is perfect for you!”

“This was in my vision! OMG this is the one!”

“Let’s go try it on!”

Maya and Lindsay head on over to the dressing rooms, Maya with a new pep in her step.

Come back every Friday for the next installment of Life After 30!

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