12 – No.

Be-doop.

Her phone. Maya never set alarms for her days off. She always enjoyed waking up naturally whenever she could, to get the rest that her body required. Also she was lazy. Well, maybe not lazy but she was up all night. With no reason to wake up in the morning she could find no reason to necessarily go to sleep. Just one more episode, she kept telling herself barely even able to keep her eyes open.

Be-doop.

“Wwwwhhyyyy?” She groaned from beneath her pile of blankets. There was some shuffling somewhere beneath it all and then a lonely hand shot out blindly searching for the phone then retreating once more to the safety of her fortress once it was finally found.

“You up yet?” The text read. It was Abby.

Brunch! Maya shot up in her bed tossing the covers aside and quickly pulling herself together. She had completely forgotten that she had agreed to go out with them. It was probably the reason she just kept watching TV all night. Anything to keep her mind occupied and off of Kyle.

“I’m so sorry. I slept in. I—“ She started as she ran into the living room. But the room was unusually empty.

“Alice?” She called looking into her roommate’s room next to hers. Empty.

“Abby?” She looked down the hall to see Abby’s door open, also empty.

She checked her phone again. She had only read the first message when she woke up but the second one was still sitting there marked as unread.

“We’re not waiting around. Meet us at Elle’s.”

Elle’s was a café only two blocks from their apartment. She could make that in no time. She was just about to throw on whatever clothes she found first in her closet to head out and meet them when she caught sight of herself in the mirror on the wall between the two girl’s rooms and remembered Kyle. Oh no. This will definitely not do. Maya was never one to dress up unless the occasion called for it. She also didn’t want Kyle to affect the way she thought and acted but those desires quickly faded when she saw the mess of her hair taking up a good portion of the mirror in front of her. Alright, let’s make this quick.

Maya could see the patio of Elle’s from down the block but she didn’t see any of her friends. They would usually take up residence in the far corner outside the restaurant, free from the indoor noise yet still far enough away from the street. Sitting outside was also a perfect excuse for Maya to wear her sunglasses and avoid eye contact without looking too rude during their conversations. Maybe they’re waiting for me inside. But I did take my time. They wouldn’t wait that long would they? It wasn’t a long walk down the block but Maya’s brain worked in overtime all the time so any amount of time, no matter how short, gave her enough time to turn a perfectly ordinary situation into a worrisome mess in her head. As Maya walked inside she still saw no signs of her friends. But she did see Kyle. He was sitting in the waiting area fiddling with his phone so he didn’t see Maya walk in which gave her the perfect excuse to turn around and head back outside.

“Where are you at?” She added to their group text.

Be-doop. Immediately.

“We got caught up. Grab a table with Kyle, we’ll be there soon.”

Caught up? We live right around the corner. Maya was suspicious of just about everybody but she wasn’t used to feeling that way about her roommates. Her friends. She took a deep breath and turned around and headed back inside preparing herself to face her fears.

This time Kyle looked up when she entered. And he smiled. I can’t do this. She told herself yet willed her body to move forward.

“Let’s get a table.” She told Kyle, her sunglasses still on. She could face him but she still wasn’t prepared to make eye contact so she just looked past him. This just might work.

“Okay…” Kyle was unsure of what to think. He hadn’t known her for very long but he did know that Maya wasn’t usually this forward.

The waitress recognized Maya right away. She came here often. Sometimes with her roommates but also by herself but always sitting in the same area. The same table if at all possible though that wasn’t really that important to her. She was just a creature of habit. “Patio?”

“Yes please.” She could look the waitress in the eyes. That was never a problem. Even though she didn’t really know her she felt like she wasn’t just another stranger. The why is it so different with Kyle? She knew why but she still wasn’t ready to admit or even accept it.

Maya took her usual seat, back to the glass, facing the street. Kyle sat across from her an odd nervous look on his face. He wasn’t sure what to say next which was an unusual feeling for him. He had never lacked words before. But lucky for him it didn’t look like he was going to have to make the first move. She was looking right at him. Maybe she’s gonna say something. Kyle thought. But no. It wasn’t even him she was looking at. Past his head, standing on the corner across the street she saw them.

Be-doop. Her phone.

She knew who it was before she even looked at it.

“Sorry, we’re not gonna make it. Have fun. ;)”

And with that one text Maya was gone. Her phone in one hand and bag in the other, she took off through the gate the separated the patio from the sidewalk leaving Kyle behind. Those two was all she could think as a blind rage began to brew within her. She was having trouble processing these emotions. Anger definitely. She had never felt anger like this before. Frustration, yes, and annoyance, definitely but not an anger like this and never towards her two closest friends. Whenever she felt the tiniest bit angry she would normally just get quiet and wait for it to fade away. But this was different. This was a loud, fiery anger. AN anger that burned to her very core. She could not believe that her friends, the people she trusts most in this world, would try to deceive her in such a way. But she didn’t even have time to process these things, to think things through. Her friends were right there across the street. They weren’t saying anything when she was walking towards her or if they were Maya could not hear them. She couldn’t hear anything. She was too focused on what had just happened and what they had tried to do to her that that she wasn’t paying any attention to her surroundings. She didn’t see the bus coning at her as she ran across the intersection. The driver didn’t see her angrily storming across the street. It wasn’t even moving that fast but it still knocked her off her feet as the driver slammed on the brakes.

“Oh my god, Maya!” One of her friends cried out. She couldn’t tell who.

Her vision went fuzzy and a dull hum was ringing in her ears. She sat up putting her head in her hands trying to collect herself. No. Not now.

The ringing had stopped and the fog in her head had started to clear by the time Alice and Abby made it to her, kneeling next to her checking for wounds.

No.

“Maya, don’t move.” Abby said.

No.

“No,” she was finally able to say aloud. I can’t deal with tis right now. Not this too. She noticed a crowd of people starting to gather made up of passersbys, restaurant goers, and bus passengers. And I definitely can’t do this here. So in typical Maya fashion she stood up, grabbed her dropped bag…

“Maya, no.” Alice said.

And ran.

“Maya!”

NEXT CHAPTER

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