Birthday Desperation

Chapter 7 of Life After 30

Today is day. 

Maya woke up on her 30th birthday with determination. 

She had to put together her finishing touches for her party before her guests came. 

Cake was picked up, the Spotify playlist completed, her birthday outfit was tailored and pressed. She fixed up a few of the rose gold streamers she strung up in the kitchen. 

Everything was ready and perfect. 

The first knock on her door. 

It was Will. 

“Hey!” says Maya as she opens the door. 

“Hi. Happy birthday,” says Will. They awkwardly hug each other. Will gives her a box. 

“I got this for you, just as a peace offering. But also so you can show everyone in case they ask you what I got you for your birthday.”

“Oh, that’s a good idea. Good thinking.”

Maya opens the box and inside is ___.

“Wow, Will. Thank you so much. This is incredible.” Maya’s heart flutters in her chest. Maybe this is a sign of things to come tonight?

“Of course. Wow, this place looks really good,” says Will as he walks in and looks around. “Do you need help with anything? I came early so I can act the part in case someone comes in.”

Maya looks around, “Umm, I wanted to put a couple of balloons up there, but it’s too high.”

“I’m on it.”

Will grabs some balloons and starts to blow them up. 

Maya puts the ___ on the coffee table. Any minute now, people will be showing up. 

And they did. 

Within an hour, everyone who RSVP’d was there.

The Spotify playlist was bumping out hits, the alcohol was flowing and the guests were mingling and having themselves a great time.  

Maya couldn’t help but feel so good about the party she put together. 

And Will was acting just like he would if they were still together. 

Putting his hand on her waist, kissing her on the cheek just in case someone happened to look. 

Maya had to give him credit. But she was still hoping it meant something more. 

Lindsay finds Maya and takes her aside.

“Maya, this party is lit! You did such a great job!”

“Thank you!”

“And happy birthday, of course.” They hug. 

At that moment, Karolyn Keats appears. 

“Happy birthday, Maya!”

Karolyn of course had to try to upstage Maya in her outfit. Maya stops her initial reaction to roll her eyes to the back of her head. She puts on a big smile and goes to greet Karolyn with a hug.

“Thank you so much, Karolyn! Love your outfit, by the way.”

“Oh this thing? I just had to find something to go with this ring,” she says as she waves the back of her left hand.

Maya’s eyes go wide. “Is that…”

“I got engaged! Can you believe it?! Ronnie proposed and I said yes!”

“Shit, yeah that’s how engages go,” says Maya, shocked. 

“What she means is, congratulations, Karolyn. That’s amazing,” interjects Lindsay. Both Maya and Lindsay glance at each other as Karolyn admires her own ring. 

How did she get a ring when she just had a break up??

“I know it seems so soon, but things always move so fast with Ronnie and I. Some couples are like that. Seems like you and Will are more on the slow track, right Maya?”

“You could say that, yes,” gulps Maya. 

“Nothing wrong with that, though,” Lindsay says.

“Of course not,” says Karolyn, in a way that is still mocking. 

“Excuse me, for a moment, if you would, Karolyn?”

Before she could respond, Maya walks out away and heads to the bathroom. 

Shit, shit shit. 

What am I going to do? I can’t believe this bitch is showing me up at my birthday party! She knew that would get to me!

But I have to do something! Even Lindsay is expecting a proposal tonight. 

Heck, a ring should be on my finger by now. This is my last chance to see if I can get one. 

Maya looks at herself in the mirror. 

For Maya, there’s only one thing to do. She only hopes that the signs she saw earlier were right. 

Maya opens the door to the bathroom and Lindsay is standing right outside. 

“Hey, are you okay? You shouldn’t listen to Karolyn–”

“It’s okay. I’m okay. It’s just speech time right now.”

Before Lindsay could ask anymore, Maya walks right past her with determination. 

She picks up the speaker remote on the way and starts to lower the volume of the music as she makes her way to the center of the room. She picks up a glass of champagne from a tray.

“Hey everyone, can I have your attention for a few minutes?”

The room quieted down.

“Thanks. I just wanted to say thank you all for coming out to celebrate my birthday with me. I sure feel like I’m thirty, flirty and thriving!”

There were chuckles and some claps, a few whoops. 

“But there’s a couple people I want to call out specifically tonight. Who are always there for me. First, Lindsay. You’ve been such a great friend. And co-worker. I can’t even begin to thank you for all your help, especially through my first year at Big Book. Thank you for being by my side.”

Maya holds her glass up to Lindsay, who she spots again in the crowd. 

Lindsay smiles and holds up her own glass. 

“The second person I want to thank is Will.”

Maya locks her eyes on Will in the crowd. He seems a little surprised at first, but then back to the boyfriend composure. 

“Will and I have been together since, well, forever.”

More chuckles throughout the crowd. 

“I couldn’t be happier with our relationship and how we’ve grown together. And I look forward to continuing to grow with you.”

Will’s brow furrows, but Maya keeps on, now addressing the crowd more than Will. 

“Will, you really are everything that I have ever wanted in a relationship. And I know this might be unconventional, but Elizabeth Warren did it too.”

Maya takes a deep breath. 

“William, will you marry me?”

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

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