Unexpected Ties

One More Day

Sunlight filtered in from the window, brushing Maya's face and burning her eyelids. She groaned and rolled over so that her head faced the wall. It's morning, she thought bitterly.

Another day. Yay...

Why couldn't it still be nighttime? No sunlight, no school, no need to wake up. Just darkness, laziness, and sleep. Oh, glorious sleep. Maya sank back into her covers at the thought, burying her face into her pillow, who seemed to be her new best friend.

She let out a contented sigh. Ahh, yeah, sleep, she thought as she began to drift off, going back to sleep. Forget school and sleep for the rest of the day. That sounds like a great plan-!

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

Apparently, the alarm clock had other plans. Its sharp trill rang in her ears, and she shot out of bed, her hands clamped over her ears.

Okay, okay, I'm awake! she yelped in pain, glaring at the clock. "Happy now?" she muttered.

The only response was the steady, annoying beeping, which she soon put an end to, ripping the plug out of the wall. It was all she could do not to crush the stupid thing under her foot. In fact, the only thing that kept her from doing so was her calender.

January 15th. One more day.

Two weeks had passed since the big reveal to Lucas- they both knew about their... unexpected connection to each other. Yet they had been avoiding each other as much as possible, hardly ever playing their little 'game.' Maya could barely remember the last time she'd called him 'Ranger Rick,' 'Hopalong,' or 'Sundance,' or any of her other old nicknames for him.

Meanwhile, she had learned that Daniel was staying in a hotel rather than with the Friar's, which at least made Maya feel better. Lucas wasn't showing up to school with a new mark or bruise each day like he had been before- the thought of the marks on the cowboy's face had made Maya sick. He didn't deserve this- nobody did. She wouldn't wish it on her worst enemy.

And in less than 24 hours, she would be putting herself and her best friend at risk for the same treatment. The thought made her stomach drop. She would throw up if she had anything in her stomach to throw up.

But why was she stressing out so much? She was Maya, Maya Hart. She shouldn't have been so nervous about it, but somehow she was. She could barely eat- in fact, the only full meals she ate these days were at the Matthews, because she did not want them knowing her business. She barely picked at her lunch at school.

Riley, Lucas, and Farkle seemed to be the only ones who noticed. Oh, Farkle, the poor guy. Maya hated not telling him everything that was going on. It had been somewhat of an unspoken agreement between the three of them- they couldn't tell Farkle.

Maya didn't like it.

He deserved to know. But then again, maybe it was for the best. Yeah, Maya told herself. We're protecting him. He.. he doesn't need to know it. He's innocent- I already dragged Riley into this, I can't hurt Farkle, too.

Maya quickly got dressed and walked into the bathroom to fix her hair. She frowned as she caught sight of herself in the mirror.

Her reflection stared back at her. Dark circles surrounded her tired eyes, her golden hair a tangled mess. Her clothes, which she could have swore had fit her perfectly before, hung loosely on her small frame.

With a sigh, she brushed her hair and let it fall down in natural golden waves. She applied makeup around her eyes, but as hard as she tried, she couldn't conceal the fact that she wasn't getting enough sleep. Nobody would notice. Well, at least nobody who hadn't noticed already.

"Just one more day, Maya," she said to herself, her voice barely over a whisper. "You can make it through one more day, can't you?"

She couldn't even answer herself.


To Be Continued...

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