Around 1:30 in the morning, Maya got a call from her friend Penny. A hot party was happening in Willow Creek, and she didn’t want to go by herself. Maya had nothing else going on, and she was still quite awake so she agreed to go with her. The party was at The Chapel, a building that had been around for ages but was still quite a hotspot.
When Maya arrived, Penny ordered some food and snagged a table before they got turned up. To Maya’s surprise, there were some familiar but unexpected faces around.
“Aunt Janessa? What are you doing here?”
The old woman smiled back at her. Maya always thought she had the most amazing smile.
“Child, I’m old, not dead!”
Maya laughed. “And I love that about you!”
“Come on,” Janessa said. “Let’s show ’em how it’s done. Pruetts are dancers! Well…except your dad. We still don’t know where he came from.”
Maya laughed even louder and got up to join her aunt. “He’s gotten better though!”
“Good! It would be a shame for the heir of this family to be a poor dancer!”
Her aunt looked stunned like she said something wrong. That wasn’t a word Maya was familiar with and wondered what she meant.
Janessa flashed her beautiful smile again and attempted to correct her mistake. “I meant…it was a poor joke.” She laughed nervously. “Your dad and grandma were the funny ones.”
They were interrupted by her other aunt, Juliette. Maya thought it was so funny how they were so old but still loved to stay out late and dance. She hoped to be just like them at their age.
“Heeeeey, the kid’s here,” Juliette shouted. “We must be in the right place.”
“Hey, Aunt Juliette.”
Juliette hadn’t visited as much ever since Mark got married and brought children into the house. She missed her zany aunt. Dancing with her aunts while thinking about Janessa’s joke, and her mentioning her grandmother, made her realize something. Jonathan never talked about their grandparents or even his life before they were born. Was there a reason? Surely he wouldn’t hide anything from them. She was certain of it. But, that look on her aunt’s face was unforgettable.
Janessa needed a rest and sat at Penny’s table for a minute, so Maya took the torch and lit up the dance floor. She did one of her spin moves and noticed someone else unexpected when turned around.
At first, she panicked and wanted to run away. But, that would have been silly. She didn’t do anything wrong. Why should she hide? If he wanted to say something her, that was his business. She came to party and have a good time with her friend and now family. Nothing was going to stand in her way. She didn’t need him–not anymore. Her life was progressing just fine without him. And, there was someone else…maybe. After running into Vik again, she decided to stop moping about Akira, Juliana and Carlee. Why hang on to a situation filled with drama when she potentially had a drama free situation to jump into? Sometimes she didn’t like how fast she got attached she got to the men in her life, but hopefully the one she was in the process of getting attached to was worth it.
Still, she wasn’t blind, and she still found Akira to be extraordinarily pleasing to the eye. Gazing upon him was still allowed while she was still single.
He still carried a flame for her too. She could tell by the strong gazes she felt from time to time. It was tempting to be disappointed with him for not saying hello, but she couldn’t have it both ways. Still, she wondered why he didn’t. Juliana must have told him everything. Good for him for trying to do the right thing.