A Real Talk
I've been dreaming of dating Maya Hart for years. Now my wish has come true. But while Maya and I have been going on more dates, it seems like we barely know each other. Well, it's more like I've been opening up about myself and Maya had just been nodding along. I love Maya: she makes me laugh, she's not afraid of anything, and I can just be myself around her. But it's hard to distinguish my relationship with her and the friendship I have with Riley.
I can't believe I'm in Maya Hart's room. It's much girlier than I imagined but it's the first time in I'm in a girl's room (besides Riley's room).
"So Doctor Who," Maya says. "Please tell me we're not gonna end up like Riley and Lucas, right?"
"What do you mean?" I ask. "I think Riley and Lucas are very nice together."
"I'm happy for them, but I just think they're rushing it in a little too fast," Maya explains. "I've been friends with Lucas for years but now he's connecting to Riley more—and they've been dating for only three months."
Is it just me or does she sound a little jealous? I've been hearing rumors around school that Maya is in love with Lucas but he never gave her more than a friendly high-five. If those rumors were true, than am I really the guy Maya wants?
"Love is just more intimate," I mutter, trying not to let the jealousy show.
Maya shrugs and starts sifting through a junk pile on her floor. If my mother saw Maya's room, she would freak. Maya picks up something shiny—it was a delicate silver picture frame with a slightly torn photo inside.
"What's that?" I ask.
"It's nothing!" Maya exclaims and she tosses the picture frame against her wall before I could look at it, shattering the glass and cracking the frame.
"Crap!" Maya yells and she races over to the mess. "Mom is going to have a heart attack!"
I ignore Maya's swearing and start helping her with the mess. She sweeps up the shards of glass and I throw away the broken frame. I pick up the photo before Maya even notices. It was of Missy and Maya at the middle school carnival four years ago, holding cotton candy and wearing goofy smiles. This was the first time I saw Missy smiling genuinely, even if it was just a photo from a long time ago.
"We used to such good friends," Maya whispers behind me.
"I remember now," I say. "You and Missy used to be best friends in middle school. What happened?"
Maya snatches the photo away and throws it across the room. "Who cares? This happened four years ago! Why would I care about Missy now?"
"Why don't you ever talk to me?" I yell out stronger than I wanted to. I cup my hand over my mouth once those words came flying out.
"I do talk to you," Maya says. "I'm talking to you right now."
"I mean, talk to me about something important," I explain. "Something like your own personal life. Something like what Riley and Lucas have. I thought you really liked me, Maya but all you do is shut me out."
"I do care about you," Maya says, her voice softening. She puts her hand on my shoulder and I feel the butterflies in my stomach.
She continues, "I don't really know what happened between me and Missy. In seventh grade, I guess she just started to get jealous of me. Everyone kinda liked me better than her, and you know Missy, she always has to be in the center of everything. Then she just kinda started being a bad friend. Always bossing me around, replacing me with other friends, talking about me behind my back; I was really annoyed by it. I mean, what did I do to deserve this? Then one day, she threatened to reveal my worst secrets out to everyone. She might have been playing around, bluffing about it, but something inside me snapped. I just started screaming at her. She fought back and called me the B-word. The next day, she started a rumor about me and all my other friends just disappeared. I don't even know what she said about me but it was powerful enough to turn everyone against me. She betrayed me and I don't even know why she would. I didn't do anything. It's just wasn't fair."
I was simply shocked at what she said. I really don't know what to do in moments of emotion. What was I supposed to do?
But somehow Maya knew what to do. She leaned in and kissed me. I didn't know what to do about this either. This was my first kiss. I just closed my eyes and let myself relax.
When she pulled back, Maya whispers in my ear, "Thank you."
I don't know what she was thanking me for but I didn't let that worry me. We didn't need to say anything more. We had our first real talk.