Both girls slept fitfully that night. Cory and Topanga exchanged a look at the two rumbled, grumpily quiet girls that stomped into the kitchen for breakfast, but mercifully didn’t ask questions. That look was the one of parents the world over, asking without words whether they should poke the sleeping teenagers or let teenage drama lie.
“New Year’s Day. National holiday. I’m on vacation. I am not imparting any lessons today. It will keep until we go back to school on Monday.” Cory hissed to his wife.
Topanga rolled her eyes but nodded agreement, and kept the silence – and peace – for the moment. She had a couple of other ideas in mind, but that meant a few phone calls first.
Maya escaped soon after breakfast, giving off the excuse that there was no one home with her grandma, and Riley disappeared back into her room immediately after. Unbeknownst to her, Maya did indeed go home briefly, but only long enough to shower and change her clothes before picking up her phone.
“What’s up, kiddo?”
Maya’s heart leapt at the familiar greeting and rumble of Shawn’s voice, tinny and static though it was over the phone.
“Shawn? Where are you?”
“Stuck in traffic, but on my way to pop in and surprise everyone before I have to really leave.” He replied distractedly. She could hear car horns and the sounds of faint cursing and yelling in the background.
“You’ve got awesome timing then, because I have a bit of a problem that needs your…unique perspective.”
On the other end, Shawn’s focus sharpened at the pensive tone in the girl’s voice. He and Maya had had a quite a few conversations that had covered a plethora of topics. Recently though, she had been very interested in his adventures as a teen, especially those that involved Cory and Topanga (which admittedly, were most of them). He had enjoyed sharing them with her, figuring that she could both learn from his mishaps and enjoy the possibility of future material to tease Cory with.
“I’ll be in the neighborhood in twenty minutes.” He said. “Do I need to pick up bail money? Cuz I still haven’t recovered from our shopping spree.”
She laughed, the sound light and carefree and making him smile in response.
“No, no bail money. No schemes. I just…need you to listen.”
“Anytime I can.” he replied warmly. “Go grab us a table at Topanga’s.”
“Thanks, Shawn.” She said quietly, and hung up.
No fool, Shawn had immediately called Topanga to get the inside scoop.
“Forewarned is forearmed, especially when it comes to teenage girls. I may not be a dad, but I’m not stupid,” he scoffed when she had teased him. “And I’ve got about ten minutes until I actually see her, so spill.”
Topanga sighed, growing serious. “The short version? It’s you, me, and Cory all over again. The best friend and the potential boyfriend, and how to balance the three. And the confused teenage feelings between the best friend and the boyfriend before they figure out where they fit in her life.” She paused. “I’m glad Maya called you, actually; she beat me to the punch. I was about to divide and conquer – send you to Maya, while I have a little talk with Lucas. I have a feeling that we could provide some unique clarity to the situation. Which would be fantastic – I’m choking on all the teen angst right now. Were we really this dramatic in junior high and high school?”