Baby Project part 5
Maya and Lucas had thought that Maya was the only one who could calm the baby. Maya had kept the baby on Tuesday night and everything went swimmingly. She had no incidents with the doll and both her and Lucas showed up on time to school on Wednesday morning.seperately, of course.
Lucas had a home baseball game that Wednesday after school, so Maya tagged along with Riley, Farkle, and Zay and they cheered on their friend. Colton remained placid, even when Maya was screaming for Lucas to run faster and slide, because what kind of varsity baseball player are you if you don’t at least try to knock the second baseman down, even if you are clearly out? When Lucas scored the winning run, along with getting two RBIs, Maya went wild, earning amused looks from her friends, and disgusted ones from strangers. Apparently, screaming “That’s right Huckleberry, you fucking killed them! Take a victory lap!” is considered inappropriate at a high school sporting event.
When Lucas had rejoined his friends, Maya asked if any of them wanted to head out for pizza since she didn’t feel like cooking that night and her mom wouldn’t be home due to working a late shift.
“Sorry,” Farkle apologized. “Riley and I have to study for our AP chem test tomorrow. It’s gonna be brutal and even I don’t feel confident.”
“How about you, Zay?”
“No way,” he laughed holding his hands in the air. “I’m not third wheeling today. Besides, I was going to take Sarah to the movies tonight.”
“On a Wednesday?” Lucas asked, skeptically.
Zay nodded with his signature smirk. “It’s cheap ticket night.”
Riley rolled her eyes, but smiled all the same. “You and Lucas have fun, okay Peaches? We will see you tomorrow.” She began to walk off with Farkle, but turned around again. “And please, show up on time again.”
“No promises,” the blonde grinned devilishly. “Alright Lucas, looks like it’s just you and me.”
“And the baby,” he pointed out amusedly. “Do you think he’ll enjoy pizza?”
Maya scoffed at him and hit the back of his head. “You’re such a dork.”
Lucas laughed and turned to Zay. “Guess we’ll see you tomorrow, too.”
Zay nodded and then shook his head at the two of them. “You two are the weirdest couple ever.”
“We’re not a couple,” the two responded in unison.
“Yeah, yeah.” Zay waved them off and walked away in the opposite direction of Lucas’s truck.
The two looked at each other for a second before Maya broke away fighting a blush. It didn’t matter how many times they corrected people on their relationship, no one ever seemed to listen. The dilemma had been occurring since Lucas first moved to New York in middle school, and they had been correcting the misconception ever since. Even after all of these years, Maya felt something rush through her blood every time someone called him her boyfriend, but she would never admit it to herself, much less anyone else.
“Hey,” Lucas broke her out of her thoughts. “Let’s go to that hole in the wall by your house. I need something greasy and delicious after the past few days.”
Maya nodded in agreement and the two started off towards his old pickup.
The drive to Maya’s apartment was filled with some serious karaoke battling and lots of road rage on both of their behalves. Parking in New York was nearly impossible and Maya still questioned why Lucas even bothered having a car. He had always told her that it was so that he could get up and leave whenever he wanted to if the city ever got too crowded for him, but Maya thought it was only because it reminded him of Texas. Although Lucas didn’t talk about it often, Maya could always tell that he missed Texas more than he let on. It was in the subtle comments about the lack of stars in the sky or the prolonged disapproving stares at the horse drawn carriages around Christmas time. She knew that he had gotten accustomed to New York life, but it still wasn’t his home.
“Why are you so spacey today?” He asked turning the radio down. “This is one of your favorite songs and you haven’t broken my ear drum yet.”
She chuckled softly to herself and shook her head. “I’m fine, just too in my head.”
A deep sigh escaped her lips as she played with the baby’s onesie. “Why don’t you talk about home much anymore?”
She looked over after a beat of silence to see a slight frown on his face. “This is my home now. Not much point talking about the past.”
“You never told me the full story of why you left.” She shifted in her seat so that her body was directly facing his. “Why not?”
His jaw tightened the slightest bit and his hands gripped the wheel just a tiny bit harder, but she noticed. She always noticed. “I think we should move on to another subject.”
“I don’t.” She was stubborn. They had been friends since they were twelve and he didn’t think that he could discuss his past with her. “Give me the watered down version if you want. I just need to know something.”
“Drop it Maya.”
“I bet Zay would tell me.”
He stopped at a red light and looked over at her with an unreadable expression on his face. “I’ll tell you someday. I promise.”
And that was enough to shut her up.
After some much needed pizza therapy and a few episodes of Friends, Lucas left Maya’s apartment for dinner with his mother. Maya was left alone once again in her old, creaky apartment with nothing but a baby doll to keep her company. She must have fallen asleep on the couch at some point because all of a sudden a screaming cry jolted her awake. It took her a minute to comprehend what was making the noise, but when she did it only made her more agitated. Sluggishly, she made her way to the kitchen where the baby was sitting on the counter. She attempted to cuddle the doll and rock it back and forth in her arms. After a few minutes with no luck, she checked the diaper, but it was clean. Growing more impatient with every high pitched squeal from the child, Maya searched her bag for the baby’s bottle.
“Come on, Colton,” she murmured to the doll whilst searching frantically. She rummaged further into the depths of her bag in desperate need for the damned baby to just shut up already. The doll was resting against the counter, staying upright with the support of her knee. Maya’s ringtone suddenly rang throughout the apartment, startling her and causing her to jump. When she did, her knee jerked and the baby was sent crashing to the ground. She stood staring at it in shock for a moment when the crying seized.
But then the full blown screaming started. Maya was worried that her neighbors would think she was torturing a small child from the noises that the doll was making. She rushed to pick up the doll and give it the bottle that she had finally located and her phone continued to go off whilst she tried to stop the baby’s temper tantrum. After a few moments she couldn’t take it anymore, so she ran over to the couch and answered her phone frantically.
“What?” She spat into the phone, not bothering to look at the ID.
“That doesn’t sound like you’re doing a great job at being a mother to our child.” Lucas’s voice was teasing and playful, but everything was overwhelming Maya at the moment and she was pissed.
“Fuck you, Lucas. What do you want?”
“Easy there,” his voice more serious now. “Why is he crying so loudly? He didn’t even make that much noise Monday night.”
“He isn’t crying he’s screaming.” Maya tried desperately to shove the bottle in the baby’s mouth whilst rocking him back and forth with the phone pressed against her ear. “He started crying and then I couldn’t find the bottle and then you called and he fell and now he is screaming.”
“What?” Lucas nearly yelled. “He fell? How the hell did you let him fall, Maya? You heard what Mrs. Richardson said! Roughhousing gets us points off of our grade. You’re going to make us fail this stupid ass project!”
The small blonde felt anger burning her ears at his accusation. “Excuse me, but you are no father of the year either! You let him cry basically all night that night! Mrs. Richardson also said that every minute the baby cried would be points off of our grade. Besides, the only reason I dropped him was because you called and my phone scared me.”
“Well it’s a good thing I did call since you are practically abusing our child.”
That was the last straw. “Fuck you! I am not fucking abusing our child, alright? It was an accident and I am trying to get him to calm down, but nothing is working.”
“Look who lost her magic touch.” Lucas resumed his playful tone from before and only managed to make Maya more upset. “I will be back over in five minutes, ten at the most.”
“Whatever.” She hung up her phone and flopped down on the couch, covering her ears with a pillow to drown out the mechanical baby screams.
She knew it was dumb, but this project was really stressing her out. Whether it be Lucas or the fact that it counted for three quarters of her semester grade she wasn’t sure, but it was definitely exhausting her more than she predicted. Her door swung open about seven minutes later, but she didn’t even flinch.
“I told you to lock the door after me, why do you never listen to anything I say?” Lucas had to raise his voice to be heard over the baby, but he sounded more than annoyed, almost on the verge of angry.
Maya picked her head up slightly and looked at his concerned but firm face. This must have been what it felt like to be reprimanded by a father. She rolled her eyes and flopped her head back into the couch.
“Have you tried burping him? Did you rock him at all? Is his diaper dirty?”
“For god sake Lucas, I tried everything!” Maya snapped. “Do you think I’m an idiot?” He didn’t respond and kept rocking the doll, bouncing it up and down awkwardly. “You do. You think I’m an idiot, don’t you?”
“No! You think that you’re above me because you have to give me your notes. You think I’m going to make you fail home ec! If you think you’re so much smarter than I am then how come you aren’t in honors and AP classes like Riley and Farkle?” She knew she was striking a chord with him because his jaw was getting visibly tighter and his ears were turning red. She knew his tells and she knew just how to push his buttons. “You were always getting good grades when we were younger, you could have done it. So why didn’t you, Lucas? Why didn’t you go off and take smart people classes?”
“Because I wanted to be in your classes, dumbass!” He finally shouted, breaking his calm and careful demeanor. “I didn’t want to be in high honors classes if you weren’t there! There would be no point.” Lucas was always very careful with his words, but he was letting his guard down to her. “I didn’t want to be in some class with stuck up smart kids and an asshole teacher. I wanted to be in your classes so that we could joke around and hang out like we always have.”
She looked at him with a blank expression on her face. Why was he telling her this? Sure, she was taunting him, but he always resisted her attempts at making him crack. He was unbreakable. She of all people knew that.
His brain seemed to finally catch up to his mouth because he looked away and started pacing the floor of her apartment with the baby. “I don’t think you’re an idiot, Maya. I know how smart you really are. You don’t need my notes because as much as you pretend not to, you pay attention in class. You listen to the lectures and you take everything in. You don’t need notes to know what they’re talking about. I know you don’t think anyone notices, but I’ve watched you and I notice. I know how you sometimes put the right answer on a test but then go back and make them wrong answers. I don’t know why you do it, but I know you do. I would never think you were an idiot, Maya.
“Not all of us can be perfect,” she mumbled to herself, but she knew he heard. “I don’t know why you think we need to be in the same classes to be friends. Riley and Farkle aren’t in our classes and they are still our best friends too. Zay is only in a few of ours, but we are still close with him.”
He rolled his eyes at her. “Is it so wrong of me to want to be around you all the time, Maya? I can’t help it, okay! It’s like you’re the sun and I’m constantly orbiting around you.” He shook his head and laughed to himself solemnly. “No matter how hard I try, I can’t help but come back to you.”
Maya looked at him again, this time really looking at him. The look in his eyes held so many emotions and she couldn’t decipher half of them. The ones that she could read, however, included pain, admiration, and desperation. He was pleading for her to say something. “The baby stopped.”
She nodded towards the baby in his arms. “The baby stopped crying. He stopped when you yelled at me.”
Lucas glanced down and noticed that she was right. “Why does he do that?”
“I don’t know,” she shook her head. “He seems to like it when we are fighting.”
He chuckled softly and nodded. “Yeah, I guess he does.”
Maya looked at him and then looked away quickly, seeing those indecipherable emotions again. “Why were you calling me in the first place?”
As things usually go, Katy walked through the front door right as Lucas was about to tell Maya the real reason he called. “Hey babygirl, I’m- oh. Hi there, Lucas. How’s your mama doing?”
“She’s good Mrs. Hart. She actually told me to ask you if you would come over for tea soon. She said you two had a lot of catching up to do.”
“That’s right,” Maya’s mother made her way to the kitchen and began cleaning the dishes that Maya had been supposed to do. “We don’t see each other nearly as much as the two of you do.”
Maya rolled her eyes and grabbed Lucas’s hand, pulling him towards her bedroom. “We have to work on our project mom,” Maya called behind her. She shut the door behind her and sat on her bed, patting the spot next to her for Lucas to join.
“That was kinda rude,” he pointed out indifferently. She didn’t respond and just looked at him expectantly, waiting to hear and explanation. “I was calling to tell you we are going on a trip this weekend.”
“A trip?” Maya could feel her eyebrows furrowing and reached up to smooth them out. “What kind of trip.”
Lucas smirked slightly at her small habit. “A road trip. Nothing major, just Friday and Saturday. We will be home Sunday and ready to go to school and finish this dumb baby project Monday morning.”
“Who says I want to go on a trip with you?” She was slightly pissed at what he had said to her. Maybe more than slightly.
“I do. Besides, you don’t really have an option. I will kidnap you if necessary.” He put the baby in the makeshift crib and then launched himself on top of Maya. “I’m sorry you thought I thought you were dumb.”
When she didn’t respond for a moment, he nuzzled his head into her neck and pulled himself tighter against her. She laughed at his hairs tickling her and threw her arms around his shoulders.
“If I’m you’re sun, then you’re my moon.”