She opened her mouth, and closed it. “I – um – actually – no.”
“Then I suggest that you start there. Because the one other factor that overruled all other emotions that I may have felt or developed for Topanga was the absolute fact that she had chosen Cory first. And I refused to be anyone’s second choice.” He held her gaze for a long moment before standing up. “I need to head out.”
“What about the others?” She said, standing up too.
“This is a stopover, technically. I need to go home and grab some fresh clothes. My next assignment is in Philly, so I was just going to rent a car and drive from here. I’ll see them next time though.” He said easily, leaning down and kissing the top of her head in a fatherly gesture before tugging once again affectionately on a curl. “Think about what I said. And Maya – change isn’t always a bad thing. You and Riley will always be you and Riley. Believe in that. But don’t be afraid to be your own person too. It’s okay to be -just Maya- while they’re being Riley and Lucas.”
She nodded slowly, her cornflower blue eyes dark and pensive.
“It was good to see you, kiddo. I’m glad you called me. You know you can do that anytime, right? Call or text. I may not be able to be here physically all the time, but I’m still right here whenever you need me.”
He was gratified by the smile that lit up her whole face. “Thanks, Shawn.”