In her hand, Maya held an envelope specially marked and sealed from the Dean’s office. She had been carrying it around her room for the past few minutes, trying to get up the courage to open it. What could he possibly want? She knew she had missed quite a few classes since the semester had started, but she had kept up with her work; she couldn’t possibly be failing. Besides, she didn’t think the Dean involved himself in such matters. It would be a summons to the student’s office she would be receiving, she thought. Holding this letter in her hand wasn’t doing her state of anxiety any good, so she decided to finally open it.
Dean Blue requests your presence
at his office
Friday 9:00 a.m.
That was it. No explanation or even a hint as to what he wanted, and she had to admit she was now a little more than intrigued. Maya had never even seen the Dean, let alone met him. His picture was on all the promotional paperwork of course, and you could find a few portraits of him around campus. Her understanding was, that he had earned five degrees at University, taught science for a brief period, before becoming the youngest Dean the university had ever appointed. Must have been one of those child prodigies, because he certainly didn’t look the age one would believe him to be, after accomplishing all that. Maya suddenly felt really excited at the prospect of meeting him; feeling certain it would be a very interesting meeting. She texted Chloe the news, but when she didn’t hear back, she hoped Chloe was busy with the store, and not that something had happened with her father.
Maya opened her closet and started perusing through her wardrobe to find the perfect outfit for meeting the Dean. What did one wear to that kind of occasion? In the back of her closet, she spied this purple, form fitting, sleeveless dress that came to her knees. She thought it looked very business like, without actually being a suit. It was perfect.
Two days had passed since Maya had seen Eddy. They had done some conversing on the phone, but she just wasn’t in the mood to see anyone. Her mental state since those two texts from Ian had left her feeling anxious and out of sorts. So she painted, expressing all those pent up emotions onto canvas. She attended only those classes she felt she had to, but left early, after finding it difficult to sit still. It was almost as if she was waiting for something bad to happen, when she didn’t know what that could be. Like she was receiving a psychic warning, or as the westerners said, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Painting was the only thing that helped to calm those emotions.
The next morning, Maya arrived at the Dean’s office promptly for nine and was shown directly in.
Too nervous to speak, Maya could only nod.
“The university council and I are putting together a pilot program, to introduce some new, short term classes, to be offered for students who attend here. Students can sign up and receive extra credit. We are pulling some of our best and brightest students from the programs to head these classes. For our art program, we unanimously chose you.”
“Me?” Maya replied in surprise.
“You are one of the most talented artists this university has ever seen. There was no question at all whom should be chosen.”
“I’m very flattered Dean Blue. I would love to hear more.”
“The programs will run about two weeks in length. You will need to follow a teacher’s guideline set out for the class. No need to plan a lesson, as the lesson will be designed for you based on your strengths as an artist. Sound good so far?”
Maya nodded “But who exactly would I be teaching?”
“Participants in your class will be mainly first year, first semester students, but those older students struggling with art techniques, will be offered a spot in the class.
“For that I couldn’t say. You would need to sit down and have some discussions with your art professors to get the details.” He paused “Now I want to be clear that this is not a paid position.
The hours you spend teaching will be given as marks toward your final grade, to replace your own classes you will be missing from your schedule.”
“Sounds exciting!” said Maya
“So would that be a yes?” asked the Dean.
“Yes, definitely!” replied Maya.
“Excellent!” said Dean Blue and he walked her to the door. “Perhaps we could discuss further details over dinner this evening?”
“Oh, ah.” Maya didn’t want to lose this teaching opportunity by saying no, to what was definitely sounding like a date, so she agreed to go.
“I will pick you up at six.” As Maya walked away, she envisioned in her mind, the other shoe dropping, just as she feared. This could be a sticky situation. Surely the dean knew she was dating Eddy. She made her way over to Eddy’s house, excited to tell him the news and prepare him that she would be having a working dinner with the dean. Something she was going to make abundantly clear to the Dean tonight at dinner. She didn’t need any more complications in her life, in the men department!
Maya stood on the front porch at Eddy’s house waiting for someone to open the door. She was not happy, when she saw who was standing in the doorway.
I was very clear…Eddy! Eddy get out here right now!”
“You’re my problem Katie. You keep sniffing around after my boyfriend. He’s mine Katie, so you had better get over yourself and move on!”
“You’ve got real issues Maya! Listen to yourself-he’s mine! You sound like a child.”
At that moment Eddy arrived on the front porch in his boxers, which didn’t make the situation look any better. Especially since Katie was also not dressed.
“Oh good-Eddy. Just in time for me to dump your ass!” Maya stated.
“Maya, you really are stupid. I’m not after Eddy, and frankly anything that happens in this household is none of your business.”
“Careful Maya. You are letting your insecurities show. I’m not sleeping with Eddy. I am however dating Jonathon who does live here. Perhaps you’re not so secure in Eddy’s infatuation with you after all?”
Maya watched Katie sachet back into the house, turn and say over her shoulder “Something to think about, hey Maya” and she closed the door.
A few seconds later, the door burst open and Eddy walked out, grabbed her hand and kept on walking. They went to the quad and sat by the fountain, watching the people walk by.
“Eddy, I feel like such an idiot.”
“I don’t know what is going on with you Maya. You haven’t been yourself for quite some time now. What’s wrong?”
Maya didn’t know how to put into words what she was feeling and what she did know, she couldn’t tell him anyway. After being silent for a while, she told him about the meeting with the Dean, and how excited she was at being chosen.
“Do you really think that is a good idea Maya? Especially since you’re not feeling like yourself.”
“I’m not giving up this opportunity! I really want to do this.”
Maya didn’t get much time to spend with Eddy, as they kept getting interrupted by fans who wanted autographs.
That combined with photographers buzzing around, they barely got to talk at all. Before long, Maya had to leave to get ready for her dinner with the Dean. Eddy had been very understanding about the whole thing, but left her with a warning to watch herself.
Dean Blue arrived to pick her up at six and drove them over to Sunset Valley to eat at the Corsican Bistro. It was a beautiful warm night considering it wasn’t quite Spring, so they decided to eat on the patio. The evening started out well, as Dean Blue added a few more details for the expectations the professors had for the program.
The program itself wasn’t to begin for another two weeks, which gave her plenty of time to meet with her professors.
Then the conversation turned to a more romantic mood with the Dean complimenting her in many different ways. She thanked him but then was at a loss for words. Either he didn’t know she was dating Eddy, or he just didn’t care. She just didn’t know which is was, but decided that honesty was best, even if it meant she lost the teaching opportunity.
“Maya. You are a beautiful woman. I know I am the Dean of the University, but-”
“Dean Blue. I am very flattered by your attentions. However I am currently dated Eddy Mullins. I’m sorry you didn’t know.”
He was quite gracious and thanked her for letting him know. From that moment on, his behaviour was most professional and he didn’t make her feel uncomfortable in any way.
When the meal ended he drove her back to University Town, but asked her to come to his office to sign some paperwork.
“Why don’t you have a seat right there,” he said pointing to the couch. “I just need to find those papers.” He rifled through the papers on his desk till he found what he was looking for, and came to sit next to her on the couch. They went over what she was about to sign and he placed the papers down on the table in front of them. Turning towards her, he began caressing her shoulder, while he once again told her how beautiful she was.
If she had been a single woman, she would have been quite flattered, as he was very charismatic, handsome man. But since she wasn’t and she had made him very aware of Eddy, she was feeling most uncomfortable with his flirting. When it looked like he was leaning in, she immediately stood up and started to head for the door.
“Hey, where are you going pretty lady?”
“Maya, please wait.” She turned towards him and he leaned in and whispered in her ear, telling her how sexy she was.
When she tried to get away from him, he leaned in and tried to steal a kiss. He would have fell right onto her if she didn’t stop him and push him back.
“Dean Blue, I think I have made it abundantly clear that I am not interested. You will step aside and let me out right now, or I will take this little incident to the school board. We shall see what happens then!”
The threat of the Dean losing his job, was enough to get him to snap out of his power trip, and let her leave. She really should be angry, but the look on his face when she threatened him was priceless and was a memory that she would never forget! She laughed about it all the way back to the dorm. She just hoped that she never had to deal with that horrid man for anything ever again! One thing she knew for sure, this was one story she was never going to share with Eddy. If he knew, she had no idea what he would do about it.
Life went on as normal for the next two weeks,
Fans and paparazzi were never far behind, which put a damper on any time they had together. So about a week after she told Eddy no woohoo, she reluctantly started allowing him to stay over in her bed. She had made it perfectly clear to Eddy-no funny business. But at least they had a little bit more quality time together, even if part of that time they were just sleeping.
The day after her meeting with the Dean, Maya had been so excited that she called Chloe to tell her all the news. Chloe, of course was ecstatic for her. Then, just because she was so happy, she texted Ian to tell him the same. He was very proud of her but not at all surprised, telling her that she was already an accomplished artist. He didn’t believe the university had anything left to teach her, that she herself couldn’t learn on her own with practice. They had been texting since then and she in turn heard all the news from home and about Jin. Eddy had asked her a few times who she was talking to, but she lied to him, told him it was Chloe, then remembered to always delete the texts. She knew that eventually she would have to tell Eddy about Ian and Jin, but considering Eddy’s background, she didn’t know how. Yet, if she was going to have Jin in her life, he would have to be told. She had mulled it over and over in her mind, trying to find a way to make herself less of a monster in his eyes, however she hadn’t quite figured it out yet. She could take the cowards way out, lie and tell Eddy that Ian was a horrible, abusive husband. But that didn’t feel right. She just couldn’t do that to Ian, because it was so far from the truth. Ian was a very loving gentle man and defiling that with lies, just wasn’t right. So she waited, hoping that inspiration would come to her, or the right time would present itself.
The Sunday before she was to begin teaching, Maya received a gift and a delivery from the local bakery, with a letter attached. She opened up the bakery box to find a birthday cake inside decorated in hues of purple and yellow. It was a beautiful cake, but she wondered who had sent it. She opened the attached letter and began to read;
Did you think I would forget? Happy Birthday! I hope you like the gift. I think they turned out really well, considering Jin was such a stinker that day! I’m sure that someday Jin will really appreciate them. I hope you will too.
The day after you left, Jin was devastated to find you gone. He was inconsolable for days and I am only now just getting him back to something resembling his normal happy self. That day, he lost his sense of security and it has taken me this long to convince him, that I am not going to leave him too. I never considered how traumatic it would be having you come back into his life one day and then be gone the next. Because of this, I feel it is time to say what needs to be said. I love you Maya, but that love can not be the cause of anguish to Jin. You left to find the life you so longed to have. Now you have it, are you happy? The life I am living with Jin, is the life that I want. If you cannot see yourself living this life with me, then we must say goodbye. I will move on and find someone who does want to live this life with me, and be a mother to Jin. He will never see you, as I will not put him through this heartache again. That is not a threat to get you to come back to me. Perhaps when Jin grows to be an adult, you can reconnect, but not until then. I know that you are conflicted with your feelings, and since I have dropped this on you, I am going to give you time to finally figure out what you want. I will give you till the end of school. In three months time, I will come back for your answer and you can give it to me then, in person. Think wisely, Maya. This is the only chance I am going to give you.
Maya dropped the letter and wiped away the tears running down her cheeks. Opening the gift, she found a collage of photos from that day at the house in Sunset Valley. They were so wonderful, that more tears streamed down her face. She was thankful that Eddy wasn’t here this morning to witness this. She locked her bedroom door and laid out all the pics on her bed. She wanted time to look at each in detail, before she had to hide them away. She didn’t think that anyone knew about her birthday but Ian. In fact, Eddy had never even asked. So she was going to eat a slice of cake, then take it downstairs and share it with the girls in her dorm. One year older-big deal. One year older and less wiser than she had been before. Sometimes she felt like she was in a bigger mess than she had been in China. There her problems were big, but at least she knew what to expect day in and day out. Here, she felt like she was juggling two lives, two desires, two needs. Problem was, she didn’t know which one was truly right for her. Three months. Three months to decide where she belonged. No matter which life she chose, she was going to lose something important to her. Well, she thought sarcastically, happy birthday to me!
CC Used In This Chapter
Maya’s Heart Necklace by tifaff7