The pair were seen together through the days from fall to spring. They had three classes together and those were the ones he wasn’t having trouble in. She spent most of her free time tutoring him on the other three. Because of her he was passing now and they laughed about it.
“Mav!” She said as she came running up to the bench they always met up at before the long walk to one of the building.
“What Kid?” He asked as he looked up to see her flushed and smiling. At seven in the morning he was never that happy. He knew this was going to be good.
“You remember that science astrological group that meets here on campus on Friday nights and also Saturday’s?” She asked as he watched her try and catch her breath.
“Yea. The stupid ones that wouldn’t let you in because of your age even though you’re a student here?” he asked back and she nodded.
“They took back that statement and I can go to the meetings and take part on the summer program which includes the event on my birthday!” She said as she jumped around a bit.
“What event on your birthday?” he asked slightly confused.
“So every year on my birthday there is a meteor shower but this year is special. There is a lunar eclipse as well. It is like a once in a lifetime event.” She said as she looked at him. “They were planning to go to one of the mountains in the area where there are no lights and do a count and direction for the meteors and also take pictures of the eclipse as well for one of the astrological magazine.”
“So they let you in and now you can go to that?” Maverick asked as he saw how excited she was.
“Yes.” She said and she smiled, “Now I just have to convince my dad to let me come.”
“And if he doesn’t?” Maverick asked.
“Try to find another adult who will take me.” She said. “This is the part I hate the most. Dad might just to spite my mother. Who would have thought they would end up getting a divorce now?”
“Well you know it happens.” Maverick said.
“Yeah I get that but I mean they both blame me in ways. It was because they can’t agree on what I should do. Like they really have a say in what I am going to do.” Dawn said as she looked at him.
“What do you mean kid?” He asked as they started walking to the building so they weren;t late for the class. Maverick knew her tiny legs needed that extra amount of time and that he matched her pace because of it.
“My mom wants me to become an accountant.” She said, “It is rather ridiculous to me that she is even pushing that. She wants me in an office like the rest of her kids. My dad doesn’t really care what I choose now. He thinks college is a waste of time and money. He isn’t even paying for it so I don’t understand where that is coming from. They keep going at each other trying to rule me and seemingly ignore the rest of the kids. My mother yelled at my father yesterday saying he should take me because she doesn’t want me anymore. I am just too much work.”
“Wow.” Maverick said as he looked at her. He didn’t know what to say. The idea that her parents had weaponized her and were ignoring the other kids in the family was beyond him. Dawn was the easiest person to get along with and though she was undeniably the smartest person in every room she never acted like it. She was nice and sweet. He often thought of her as like a younger sister though he knew deep down it was something else. He wasn’t going to touch that one with a ten foot pole though.
“I know right?” She said, “I get it that they had a lot of issues forever. Mom liked to spend the money my dad had made and she had from some inheritance but she never seemed so mad before. Dad only likes his cows. He can remember all of their names but I am not sure if he can tell you ours.”
As the two neared the building he stopped and looked at her. She had gone from extremely happy to upset in a matter of minutes when she thought of what was happening to her family. He knew they blamed her for their failings and would try to one up the other not by being nice but by being cruel to her. He could see the pain his her eyes and he wanted nothing more than to erase that pain. He bent down and hugged her.
“I’ll tell you what. If they continue and no one takes you to the meetings I will come and get you and take you myself.” He said in her ear.
“You will?” She asked as he pulled back and stood up again.
“Sure why not?” he asked her as she was now confused.
“Because it is Friday and Saturday.” She said. “You go out on those days.”
“Kid come on.” He said as he pushed her to the building. He wasn’t going to tell her he didn’t want to go out with the girls on campus anymore because that would lead to more questions from her. He would rather take her to the meetings. That should say it to anyone else and he knew he would have to come up with some answer for it. Right now he just wanted to see her smile again. That was all that really mattered. He knew she would change the world someday. He just had to find a way to be there that day as well. She had already changed his world though and the way he thought about things.