Chapter 13 of Life After 30
Maya takes a deep breath and knocks on the apartment door.
It opens and it’s Dylan.
“Will’s not here.”
Dylan immediately closes the door but Maya thrusts her arm out to hold it open.
“Come on, Dylan. I know he’s there.”
“Even if he was, which he’s not, he would not want to talk to you.”
“I just want to say I’m sorry. What I did was not cool, and not part of the deal.”
“I’m telling you, save your breath because he’s really not here.”
Maya stops. “Oh. Well where is he?”
Dylan shakes his head. “Will is going to kill me if I told you.”
The afternoon sun mixed with the cool fall air hits Maya like an old memory. And just like in her old memory, there was Will, sitting at their bench looking over the lake. The two of them used to go to this park all the time when they had writers block to clear their mind. It was always a good fix. Also, this was the spot where they first said “I love you” to each other.
Maya sighs as these bittersweet memories come back to her. And as she steps closer to Will, she takes a deep breath.
Will turns around and sees her, but then turns right back around.
“Dylan shouldn’t have told you where I was.”
Maya walks around the bench and sits on the opposite edge. “I know I’m the last person you want to see.”
“If you’re not going to leave, then I am,” Will gets up.
“No, please Will. Can you hear me out?”
“Hear you out on what? Do you have another scheme to embarrass me?”
“I want to apologize. I know what I did was bad and so crazy. And I shouldn’t have asked you to pretend to be my boyfriend. That was so selfish.”
“Have you set everyone straight?”
“I’m working on it, I promise. I’m going down the list.”
Will sits back down.
“Does that mean you’ll accept my apology?”
“Just, tell me one thing. Why the hell did you propose to me?”
“The easy answer is that I was still in love with you. And I couldn’t get over that you broke up with me. And you were acting so… like you were my boyfriend again–”
“Because that was the deal–”
“I know, but I guess I just got caught up in it. And to be honest, the day you broke up with me, I thought you were going to propose instead.”
“But that’s not your fault. Maybe we are different people now. But… if I were to be even more honest, you breaking up with me made me feel like I was losing control of my life. And it didn’t help that Karolyn showed up with her fiance.”
“You’re the one who invited her.”
“It’s a formality thing between us! I didn’t expect her to come!”
“I still don’t understand you two and this whole rivalry you have with her.”
“Yeah, we’re going to have to do something about that. I got drunk at a work party and called her out in front of everyone for being a mediocre author… and other things I shouldn’t have said.”
“Yikes. That doesn’t sound good.”
“I got fired.”
“Oh. I’m sorry Maya. You know, despite my reservations about you going into publishing, I know you really liked it. And… you were really good.”
“Have you looked at other publishing houses yet?”
“Not yet… I haven’t been in the mood to.”
“Well, whoever hires you next will be lucky to have you.”
Maya smiles at Will and shrugs.
They both look out on the water and watch a few ducks swim by.
“So, has your writer’s block been cured yet?”
“Eh, I suppose. There’s only one way to find out.” Will gets up. “Do you want to walk with me to get coffee or something?”
“Um, no thanks. I think I’m going to sit here awhile longer. I forgot how nice this place is.”
“Ok, I’ll see you around. And Maya?” Will says as he gets up.
“I accept your apology.”
Will nods and walks away, leaving Maya to think about what she’s going to do next.
Come back every Friday for the next installment of Life After 30!