Chapter 9 of Life After 30
With some concealer under her eyes, a nice hot shower, and downing some leftover tequila from the party, Maya was feeling herself as she arrived at the Diamond Resort. Or feeling something, for that matter.
Heading over to the ballroom where the party was happening, she ran into Lindsay.
“Hey! There you are! Glad you made it,” said Lindsay, giving her a hug. She was wearing the gown they found together. An off the shoulder, dark green velvet top with a tulle skirt.
“Wouldn’t have missed it. This was all because of me anyway.”
Lindsay and Maya walk in to the vast room and were instantly greeted with a glass of champagne. There were tables full of all kinds of food, a giant chocolate fountain, and an open bar. There was a DJ playing music to try to get people out on to the dance floor. There was a photo booth with goofy props and a huge light up sign that said BIG BOOK HOUSE at the front of the stage.
“Wow, Rebecca sure went all out,” Maya said as she sipped her champagne.
“This is incredible,” awed Lindsay.
“This is what happens when we get a big name client,” comes Rebecca’s voice from the right. She’s holding her own glass of champagne and wearing a red cap sleeved dress that went to her knees. “And you made this happen, Maya.”
“I’ll do anything for a party,” Maya laughs.
“And here’s the guest of honor now,” Rebecca walks over to Tess, who had just entered. She was wearing an elegant gold jumpsuit, silky, but structured and cinched at her waist. She also has a champagne glass in hand.
“Is this a book publishing party or a celebrity after party?” as Tess gives them all a hug.
“We go big at Big Book House,” Rebecca raises her glass and they all cheers.
Maya gulps down her champagne. Lindsay eyes her but doesn’t say anything.
“Oh, I almost forgot. Maya, would you mind saying a few words later? Just to make the official announcement about Tess?”
“I would love to!”
“Perfect! Well, enjoy yourselves ladies. Tess, this will be a great change for you to meet the other authors at Big Book. They’re such a great group and I think you’ll fit right in.” Rebecca leads Tess away.
Maya heads toward the open bar.
Lindsay follows her.
“So… how are you… from last night?”
Maya shrugs, “Oh, you know, embarrassed beyond belief, but I think I’ll live.”
“Everyone was shocked. We couldn’t believe he would dump you during your party, and with you two being together for so long. Who knew he would be such a douche bag!”
Even though Maya was going to along with the story that Will broke up with her at her party rather than before for just a little longer, (at least until the end of the night) it was still hard for her friend to talk about Will that way.
“I wouldn’t call him a douche bag exactly–”
“That’s fine if you don’t want to, but I will.”
“What I want is another drink,” Maya says as they reach the bar.
“Can I ask how many you’ve had before you got here?”
“Oh, you know, just one while I was getting ready– I’ll have a tequila soda, please.”
“Okay then, are you going to order a drink?”
“I’ll have what she’s having.”
“Except you have what I want already”
“A husband! I’m 30 and have to start all over again! What kind of cosmic joke is this?”
“Hey, better to happen now than 10 years from now and you’re dealing with a kid”
“But this was the Plan. Will was supposed to be it. We’re so perfect for each other.”
Maya and Linsday get their drinks from the bartender and they cheers.
“Are you going to try to win him back?”
“I think it’s hopeless now. He was pretty defiant last night.”
“Might not be worth it anyway. If he didn’t want to marry you last night, he might not ever.”
“Wow, thanks for the pep talk, Lindsay.”
“Oh, you know what I mean! You can find someone so much better!”
“Maya! I’m so surprised to see you here!” comes Karolynn’s voice from behind.
Both Maya and Lindsay roll their eyes together before turning around and putting on a big fake smile for Karolynn.
“Karolynn! Two nights in a row, aren’t we lucky,” exclaims Lindsay.
Karolynn insists on a double cheek kiss for the both of them.
“If I was just dumped by my boyfriend of 8 years, I would be crying my eyes out into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s right now. Good for you for getting out so soon!”
Maya takes a sip of her tequila soda. A long sip.
“Well, you know Karolynn, at least this girl’s got a career going for her. Success isn’t all about when you get engaged.”
“Oh, I completely agree! We women have to focus on other things besides getting married. And finding the career path that works for us is one of the most rewarding feelings. I’m so happy for you that you found something you succeed at.”
“Thank you! And you know, we wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for me. I signed Tess McHan. The next J.K. Rowling.”
“That’s what I’ve heard. So great… for an editor’s assistant.”
Maya’s blood is boiling at this point, the sarcasm becoming harder to disguise and control with every remark.
Karolynn smirks, knowing what she’s doing to Maya.
And for the icing on the cake, Karolynn lifts up her left hand, palm faced toward her, making her large engagement ring glisten in Maya’s face. She’s also wearing a slim watch, the face of it on the underside of her wrist, in that superior-than-thou way, that she glances at. But that’s not the real reason why she lifted her arm up.
“Well, I should be meeting Ronnie pretty soon. He had to come directly from work. I’ll see you ladies later.”
As Karolynn glides away, Maya lets out air through her teeth.
“It took everything I had in me not to slap her.”
“I’m surprised you didn’t. I would have.”
“I’m about ready for another tequila soda.”
Come back every Friday for the next installment of Life After 30!