A New Leaf

Chapter 15 of Life After 30

A few days after fully moving into her mom’s house, Maya created a strict routine for herself, as to prevent her from getting lazy and unproductive. 

She woke up at 6 every morning to workout, shower and eat breakfast. 

Then by 8:30 she would head to her laptop and be on the job search until she submitted applications to at least 3 companies. 

At that point, it would usually be time for lunch. She’d eat and spend some time checking her email, then read either a career self-help book or a novel. 

After that she would either take the rest of the day to look for more jobs. Or she would spend some time on a story idea that started to form in her mind. She was still just playing around with it. But some days the words just flowed out of her like water. It reminded of her post-college days and it felt really good. She wasn’t sure where this story was going to take her but she allowed herself to just write and get it out of her. 

On the first day of her routine, she also sent an email to Karolyn, asking to meet up somewhere so that they could talk. It had been a week already with no response. Maya was getting nervous and considering sending another email or maybe a text this time.  

But a couple days later finally came with a response. Karolyn suggested they meet at Cafe Blue, a bougie coffee place uptown. Maya struggled to not roll her eyes, even just at the email. She replied back, saying she’ll be there at 11. 

Maya got there right on time and found a table sort of in the back so they could have some privacy. 

Fifteen minutes later, Karolyn shows up, all designered up as usual. Maya waves her over to her table and Karolyn walks over and sits down. 

“So sorry I’m late. Had to do a little cake testing and I just couldn’t decide between coconut vanilla or lemon blueberry. They were both to die for. So we got both!”

“Mm! Sounds delicious,” said Maya, really trying to sound interested. She knew that Karolyn got there late on purpose to keep Maya waiting and also wanted to wave the wedding in her face. But her goal that day, and for the future, was to put the jealousy behind her and to stop seeing Karolyn as a competitor. 

“Well,” Maya began, “First, I want to thank you for coming. I know I said a lot of things to you and about you that wasn’t nice at all. And I want to apologize for that. Especially what I said at the company party. That was really low and I’m sorry I embarrassed you in front of all those people.”

“But,” continued Maya, “I think we have a lot of underlying issues between us. Or at least I do with you. I’m jealous of you, Karolyn. You have always gotten everything I wanted, before I could get them myself. And you made it look so easy, where as I felt like I always had to work so hard to get what I want. And I let the jealousy get out of hand and I hurt a lot of people because of it, including you. 

Karolyn looks down at her Rolex watch and spins it around her wrist. 

“I didn’t know you were jealous of me.”
“You didn’t? I thought it was obvious to you and that’s why you would wave things in my face. Like your engagement ring.”

“I waved it in your face because I was jealous of you. You’re the one who had the great long term relationship. Mine would barely last a year. Until I met Ronnie. I couldn’t believe I finally met the real deal, especially after he proposed. I finally felt like I had one up on you.”

“Did I tell you Will broke up with me before my birthday. He did me a favor by pretending to be my boyfriend that night to save me from questions all night. But I ended up screwing that one up too.”

“Oh my god, no wonder he looked pissed when you proposed.”

“Yeah.”

“Well, I’m sorry to hear that you guys broke up. You really were great together.”

“We were. But now it’s time to move on. And I’ll say… I’m happy for you Karolyn. Really.”

“Thanks… But I also have another confession.”

“What’s that?”

“I was also jealous of your writing. I always thought you were better than me. That’s why what you said at the company party really hit me. I’ve always been insecure about my writing.”

“I only said that because I was jealous you got a book deal at all. You really are a great writer, Karolyn, with or without your dad’s money.”

Karolyn laughs shakily, “Thanks. You know, I’m sure you’ll find a new and better job. You seem to flourish wherever you go.”

“Thanks. I’ve got some applications out so I’m crossing my fingers. And I am writing something new, so who knows where that can go.”

“That’s great! I’m glad you’re writing again. The world needs to hear your voice.”

Maya and Karolyn look at each other, feeling like a huge load was taken off both of their shoulders. 

“So,” Maya says hesitantly, “Does that mean we’re friends now? No more being jealous of each other?”

“Yes, we’re legit friends now. But… only if you tell me where you got your shoes! They’re too cute!”

***

A couple hours later, after getting lunch and showing Karolyn the store where Maya got her shoes, Maya arrives back at her mom’s house. She finds Kim in the den, pedaling on the stationary bike and watching the Real Housewives. 

Maya collapses on the couch. 

“You won’t believe who I went to lunch with today.”

“Who?”

Maya told Kim all about the conversation with Karolyn and their new found understanding. 

“Oh honey, that sounds great! I’m glad you guys are friends now.”

“You know what, me too. Wow, I never thought I’d say that.”

“Well, sounds like you’re turning over a new leaf. And it’s rubbing off on your dad. He called me to tell me he has two interviews next week.”

“OMG that’s great! I’ll have to call him later for the details.”

“What about you? Do you have anything?”

“Not yet… but I’m not too worried. Something will come up. And I’m working on a story. Maybe this will be my chance to get something of my own published.”

“That would be exciting!”

“I never thought I would be starting my 30s jobless, single, and living with my mom. But… I’m learning to be okay with it. And I’m looking forward to where I’m gonna go from here. Anything can happen.”

“That’s the spirit, Maya.”

The End.

Thank you so much for reading Life After 30! Hope you enjoyed reading it as much I enjoyed writing it.

❤ monica

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