Girl Meets Sleepover, Part 1
Maya finds out Farkle has been hiding something.
OTP: Riarkle, Honorary Mentions of Zayadora and Lucaya
BrOTP: Larkle, Markle
I’m working on my desk as Maya walks in. I smile at her and she smiles at me, and I say, “Nice of you to drop by.” b equals to 476 which equals to 2 multiplied by a.
She smiles. “My apartment was lonely.” Divide by two, a equals to 238.
I laugh. “That must be rare. Why didn’t you go to Riley’s?” Next question.
She stared at her fingers. “I needed to talk to you.”
I swivel my chair around face her. “Everything okay?” I furrow my eyebrows, because something must obviously be wrong if Maya was here, in my room, instead of Riley’s.
“I know you like her.”
I raise my eyebrows. “You’re going to have to be more specific. Brenda? Sarah? Who?”
“I know you like Riley.” My smile freezes on my face. Abort, abort, mission abort. Run. No. Don’t run. Say something, genius.
“Of course I like Riley. I like you. I like Brenda. I like Sarah.”
She finally looks up. “You know that’s not what I’m talking about.”
I grin. “What are you talking about then, Maya Penelope?”
My façade falls apart. “Stop what?” I ask, exasperated.
“Stop pretending everything is okay.”
“Everything is okay, Maya. Smackle is with Zay, Lucas is with you, we’re all happy.”
I notice how her ploy changes. Her body shifts, her hand is on her hip, her head tilts. “Are you jealous, that Smackle is with Zay?”
I roll my eyes. “No. I told him to ask her out. Smackle deserves someone who can treat her better than I did.”
“Yeah, why do you suppose that is, Farkle? Why couldn’t you treat her right?”
I know that she knows the answer to this, and she knows that my answer hurts. It hurts. “Because. Because I couldn’t love someone who couldn’t make me love myself.”
“Why couldn’t she make you love yourself?”
“Stop it.” I rage. “Stop asking me questions that you and I both know the answer to.” My voice is coarse, and fury is like hot molten lava, flowing over the cracks in my voice.
“I want to hear it from you.”
“I couldn’t handle it that someone was better than me. I’m a loser. I will not dictate the world, Farklenation is dead and I will probably also never own Minkus International. Are you done? Are you done, Maya?” I burst.
A sombre expression plants itself onto her face like a parasite. “You need someone who erases squeaky the mouse.”
I have nothing to counter that. “Did it hurt?” She tries one more time.
I look at her, silently asking her to explain her question. “Did it hurt every time Riley was with Lucas? Did it hurt, looking at her? Because I know whenever Lucas and Riley were together I almost couldn’t stand it. I hated looking at him, at them, and it took all of my self-control to not rip them apart.”
I don’t answer. Squeaky the mouse has taped my lips shut. “I know you stepped back,” says Maya.
And then, I do find it in me to lie, lie one more time. “Look, Maya. I’m really sorry you had to go through all of that for the longest time, and I’m really happy that you’re with whom you want to be, alright. But, I’m not you. I didn’t step back for anyone. I didn’t.”
“I didn’t know scientists lie that well.”
“I’m not lying.”
“What proof do you have? I needs me my proof.”
“Fine. Let’s play this your way. I see the way you look at her. You saved her life twice, when all I did was stand there and ask her to lift her head. You figured out what she was going through the moment she entered dark Rileytown. You knew her feelings within minutes. You see through her. No one will love her the way you do, and I see that.”
“I do love her, Maya. She’s my best friend. As are you. And I love you too, Maya.” Yes, good job. You love them both equally. Play that angle.
“And I love you, Farkle. That’s why I am here. I need you to wake up and realize it’s always been Riley. You said it yourself. Riley will find love again.”
Love. What is that? A hormone released by the brain triggered by the senses, right? Every emotion is a hormone released by a part of your brain that gets influenced by something you felt. Nothing more.
“Look, even if I loved her in that way, which I don’t, we will never happen. Do you get that? Because Riley deserves so much more! Riley deserves someone who can love himself, who understands love, the universe, she needs a knight in shining armor. She needs someone who can treat her like a princess. I can’t do that. I can’t do that, I will never be able to do that, I will never get a chance to do that. Do you get that, Maya? All I am is Farkle Minkus, best friend of Riley Matthews. My story doesn’t go beyond that. And I learnt that a long time ago. And I coped with that. I coped with that fact, alright.”
She sits on the bed. She takes a deep breath. And she blinks back tears. She sighs. I stand, there, a frozen useless goose.
“What?” I ask her.
“Number 1, you do love her in that way. Number 2, Riley will never settle for anyone less than you. Number 3, and there is no one more than you, Farkle. Number 4, she needs someone who treats her like a human being with feelings, needs and wants. Which you do. Have always been doing. Number 5, your story goes so much more beyond best friend. You guys go to college, you get Minkus International and Farklenation, you guys get to raise eleven marvelous kids and you guys will own the first mansion on Mars.”
My voice, when it finally comes out, is tired, and probably does not belong to me. “Maya, stop playing cupid.”
“Fine. Then I’ll play Farkle. If you don’t tell her by the end of the week, this horn will blow.” She turns to leave, and it takes me an eternity to react. To react to my world falling apart.
“Maya, wait. You can’t.”
She turns around, and I realize that she’s quivering, shaking, cracking, maybe. “I can. You know why? Because I can’t watch you suffer anymore. I can’t watch your sad smiles when you look at her, because I know how it hurts. And I can’t watch you suffer without knowing why you are suffering. I can help, and I will. Remember. This horn blows at the end of the week.”
And she gains the leverage of the last word, and walks out of the door, leaving me with an ultimatum.
And a wrecked head.
I do my best to not look at Riley throughout the week. It isn’t easy, because we are Chemistry partners, and we had an assignment. I recall my most memorable assignment with Riley back in eighth grade, the one with the dirt marble. I remember looking at her through that clear water, thinking, she is my partner. Thinking, this feels right. Thinking, but never saying.
I’m a boy who thinks a lot. I don’t talk. Especially not about my feelings.
Riley waves a hand around my face, trying to get my attention. “Salts, maybe?” I smile at her, and I begin to examine the sample given to us, and I begin to note down my observations. She does the same, and we hand in our class assignments by the end of the lesson, to our Chemistry teacher, knowing fully well that was another A.
At lunch, we get our chicken pot pies and return to our table. Maya, with her packed lunch of a turkey sub, comes with Lucas, who is eating barbecue chicken and mashed potatoes, fresh from Zay’s mom. Zay and Isadora arrive at the table too, and I smile at her, and she faintly grins back. We are digging into our meals when Maya clears out her throat.
“Okay, guys, you know what’s happening this weekend?”
Riley looks up at Maya and smiles wide, and she says, “For my sweet sixteen?”
Lucas nods. Maya continues, “We are going to have a Sleepover Sunday.”
Zay shakes his head no. “What?” Lucas asks.
“Potatoes will never agree to having Lucas in his daughter’s room.” Zay had gotten into a habit of calling Mr. Matthews “Potatoes”, ever since he heard the love story of Cory and his Mashed Potatoes.
Maya smirks. “Hey, Mr. Matthews?” She calls. Mr. Matthews strides towards the table, and asks Maya what’s up. She presents a slip to Mr. Matthews, and says, “Will you please a sign this permission slip for me?”
He mumbles, “Sure,” and quickly scribbles his name on it, and then asks, “What’s it for?”
“So that we can have a sleepover for Riley’s birthday this weekend.”
He chuckles. “Maya, you don’t need my permission for tha-”
“Lucas is going to be there.”
“No. Nada. Zilch. Absolutely not. YOU PLAYED ME!”
Maya laughs in her 1950s Cheese Souffle, “What can I do, you’re such a Charleh!”
Mr. Matthews tries again. “No Lucas in the Matthews household, ever!”
Riley says, “Seriously? We’re not even dating anymore!”
It takes a moment for it to register in his face, and a while for it to register in my head that she’s actually fine. That she’s fine with Lucas and Maya going out together, that she probably gave Maya permission, like I gave Zay. I realize, she actually doesn’t like him.
As Mr. Matthews beams, “Oh, Yeah!” and walks away, a happy balloon starts inflating in my chest.
I drag Maya out of her Art Club meeting later during school. I just barge in, and drag her out. She protests, but the moment I glare at her, she surrenders to me.
She faces her back to the wall and asks me what’s going on.
“Do you think this is a game?”
She furrows her eyebrows and stands up straight. “What?”
“This sleepover? Is it really for her birthday?”
“Farkle…it’s her sixteenth birthday. It’s supposed to be special. We’ve never had a sleepover with all six of us before.”
“I wonder how else you’re going to make it special.”
“Farkle, if you do the right thing, you won’t even need to be scared by the end of the week.”
“And if I don’t?”
“Then if I’m going to pull a Farkle, I need me my audience.”
And then a wild idea plays itself in my head, circa New Years 2016, when I gave away something that was not mine. Us, on the rooftop, playing a game, talking, maybe, and then, suddenly, she says it. The looks on their faces, their looks, their how-could-you expressions, their solemn exits, and finally, her distraught reaction.
“Is this revenge for what I did two years ago?”
She shrugs. “Maybe. But I’m doing it to help you too. You know the truth is the best thing, then don’t hide it.”
“Maya, Riley was sure of her feelings. She was stepping back on purpose. I don’t know if this is true.”
“You’ve known since first grade, Farkle. If not first grade, then you’ve known it ever since you looked at her through that beaker. But you and your dumb-dumb heart, they denied everything. You’re too much sense. We might not be in middle school, Farkle, but Harper’s lesson is all the more important today, now. The stakes are higher.”
“Please, I’m begging you not to do this.”
“I need to go back to Art Club. I’ll see you Sunday, Farkle.”
And she disappears into the doorway, leaving me in the hallway, alone, one more time.
I go home and lie down on my bed, deciding to give myself a break. I listen to my music, ranging from Swedish House Mafia, to Fall Out Boy. The screaming and beats almost drown out the lovely Ping! Of my computer.
You have received a message from Friarinthehole.
I opened the window.
Friarinthehole: hey, is everyth gud?
Fmink: why wont it b?
Friarinthehole: idk, was everyth ok during lunch?
Friarinthehole: it’s just that
Friarinthehole: when maya talked abt the sleepover
Friarinthehole: u looked visibly disturbed
Fmink: just worried about homework
Friarinthehole: ???? i dont believe u
Fmink: srsly. i was
Friarinthehole: ??? Shes ur bff since forever
Friarinthehole: hardly think u wud be worried abt hw when shes turning 16
Friarinthehole: besides, its on sun, you have all of sat and fri
Fmink: why r u pushing this?
Friarinthehole: sorry for being concerned!!11 abt my best friends mental state!!11
Fmink: i think you confused me with joan d arc
Friarinthehole: srsly, is everyth ok? i mean it’s not just today. u seem in turmoi ever since the start of week
Fmink: wth? i was just worried abt my education? sorry but not everyone is scholar athlete
Friarinthehole: what? ur the one who’s getting job offers from nasa
Fmink: okok lmao. look, all is gud. Chill a bit, ok. U know if smth happened ull know…ill tell u
Friarinthehole: I know
Fmink: look, I need to finish homework
Fmink: ill see u tmr
Friarinthehole: yeah ok bye
Friarinthehole has logged off.
I swivel my chair around and walk over to my bed and I collapse again, and I look at my motionless bedroom door, patiently waiting for it to open and for the Sandman to whisk me away to a beach where I can take a true vacation away from my life.
But the door is stubbornly shut.
A/N: Please give me feedback, and if you like to read more Riarkle fanfiction, please check out Girl Meets M T W T F S S ! Thank you!