Appearing in the story
- Ebony Brown (Rita’s mum)
Maja sat in the classroom staring at the clock and biting her nails. She couldn’t believe she was here wasting her time. She was thinking about med school, if that was going to be a thing she needed to be home, to be studying… Not here, stuck in detention. She could not believe her father could to that to her, and she was sure he wouldn’t if she wasn’t his daughter.
She picked Sabina to be her lab partner because everyone knew Sabina was to “princess-y” to actually try and do anything and she could do the whole experiment by herself. She didn’t count on Sabina getting bored and gossiping about her twin Domynika and Jacob Gradle.
Of course her father would hear that, of course he would get angry and assign detention to both of them. That was just Maja’s luck. And yes it was her father was fault but she couldn’t help blaming herself. She did want to know what Sabina had to say about Domynika and Jacob, just hearing his name made her heart beat faster.
The two of them went to that stupid dance once and Maja had foolishly hoped it meant something but Jacob spent more time around her cousin, laughing at her dark jokes. Maja and Domynika were more than cousins, they were always close friends, and Maja was sure Domynika didn’t do this on purpose but she couldn’t help feeling really bad as all this took place. She thought Jacob liked her, but now it seamed he went out with her only to get with her friend. Why would someone do such a thing? Maja obviously didn’t understand boys really well, or so she concluded after that night.
She had been in such a terrible mood after that she even confided in her mum who didn’t tell her anything meaningful. “Sometimes it’s better to wait, I know you look at your sister with Brent and your friends and their boyfriends but you are still young, and there are a lot of boys out there. Maybe it’s better to follow your dreams first, not rush into things… Don’t repeat my mistakes.” She said with a smile which froze Maja. She couldn’t believe her mother was saying this to her. She thought she was a mistake? When her mother saw the look on her face she just laughed. Rita Prentiss did not laugh often which made the situation even more bizarre. “I forget how you kids are.” She said brightly. “You believe the worlds started with you, well believe it or not, once I was a young girl too.” She stopped and sighed. “I had a boyfriend in high school, we started dating back when me and my mum were living here with your grandfather…. I was head over heels for him, and once I graduated I wanted to move in with him, my mum was dead set against it but I payed her no mind and I moved out…” She sighed again. “It didn’t end well… If it wasn’t for your father, who knows what would have happened…. The point is I missed out on a lot, I never achieved my dreams because I wasted my time on someone that just wasn’t right…”
Maja didn’t think she understood, at least she had a boyfriend, and wasn’t in love with someone who obviously liked her friend. She sighed. Was it possible that that clock hand had barely moved?
Somehow she pushed it trough, she felt she spent half of her life in detention, walking home she imagined everyone she knew growing old while she was stuck in that dreadful limbo. She was just getting up the porch stairs when her felt her phone vibrate in her pocket.
The caller id said “Jacob Gradle” which made her freeze. She bit on her nail as she picked up. “Hello” She said her voice sounding girlish and needy to her own ears. “Hey Maja, did you get home? How crazy was that science class, your father putting you in detention?” She laughed. “Yeah, you know Mr Prentiss, he is pretty strict.” “Tell me about it! Does he know you make the best stink juice potion in the whole school?” She laughed again. “I don’t think that would be a plus.” Now it was Jake’s turn to laugh. “You are probably right. Hey I was wondering, if you don’t get into too much trouble at home over this maybe we could go out this weekend?” There it goes Maja thought, he would probably ask me to invite Domynika as well…. But he didn’t. “Maja you there?” He asked nervously. “Oh yes, sorry, sure.” “Excellent!” He replied. “Call when you’re free.” And they ended the conversation. She walked inside lost, her heart beating like crazy, her mind trying to process what just happened.
She was brought back to the real world by a fight between her sisters. Lena and Nan were always fighting, sometimes there was even physical fighting as well, slaps were not off limits with those two. Dad even threatened to send Nan to a boarding school, which figured, Lena was his favorite, there was no way he would do something to her but Maja wondered what could she do to be sent away, things might be easier, away from her dad as a teacher, away from all this distractions in the form of her sisters, Jacob and Domynika… She would probably study more, med school would not seam so crazy…
“Well, I’m gonna ask mum to do it.” Nan didn’t raise her voice but her sharp tone and evil little smile apparently cut Lena off because she just replied: “WHATEVER NAN. I HAVE A GUITAR LESSON TO GO TO.” And she hastily run up the stairs, right past Maja. “What was this about?” Maja asked Nandini who was standing on the kitchen door her arms crossed and one eyebrow up. “Her driving.” What else? Maja said to herself. Lena was taking driving lessons with their dad for months now, day and night but she just didn’t seam to improve one signle bit. Nan would often say that she would learn to drive before Lena, which wasn’t a joke, Nan never joked. And unfortunately for her twin sister, her being clumsy as she was Nan was probably right.
The next day Maja got up early to make waffles. All the girls were learning to cook, shamed by their younger sister Delores who was helping their mother around the house for as long as she could stand. She was just getting ready to put the tray in the oven when Lena came in. “You had just started with those? Damn, I’ll just have cereals.” She was uncharacteristically grumpy. Maja supposed she was still affected by the fight she had with Nan last night. She knew the troubles Lena had driving were getting to her, even without Nan’s constant comments so she let it slide.
After breakfast she spotted Lena and dad outside sharing some private joke which seamed to put her in a better mood and made her feel a slight pang of jealousy, she was still mad at dad but even when she wasn’t the two of them never had the relationship he had with Lena. It was harder pinpointing mum’s favorite but Maja was sure that wasn’t her either, maybe Della, or even Nan…
Aiming to clear her head before school she went out in the backyard, she was about to go into the garden, spending time with plants always relaxed her, but then she would get to stinky she thought, and she didn’t have much time before school… And then she saw the telescope. Domynika loved astronomy, it was something she talked about, a lot. Maybe that was what Jacob liked about her… It wouldn’t hurt to try… Maja thought.
Fifteen minutes later she was staring at something she was sure she had never seen on any of her sky maps. This would warrant investigating she thought as heard the honking of the school bus. She rushed inside since she had not even changed from her sleeping clothes.
In school she decided to concentrate on her lessons but it didn’t hurt when Jacob smiled at her and said “Hi.”It did sting a bit when Domynika did the same for him. When she came home realizing it was Friday, and the weekend was here already she was going crazy. Should I call him? Should I? When?
She couldn’t take it anymore and she ran downstairs to Lena. She found her painting but she didn’t feel comfortable talking to her outside so Lena followed her in. “I’m going crazy.” She said. When Lena just stared at her she sighed. “It’s Jacob of course! He called me out! Again!” She then proceeded to retell the whole phone call from yesterday, word for word. Lena was silent for a minute or two. “I don’t know Maja… He wouldn’t call if he wasn’t interested… ” “But what about Domynika?” “What about her? Nothing happened at the dance…” “Nothing we saw…” Maja added. “Well what did Sabina tell you?” Lena asked. “She said they are definitely not together.” “Well there you have it!” Lena replied looking pleased. “Well maybe they are keeping it a secret… Like Sabina is…” Lena sighed. “Sabina is keeping a secret from aunt Cocoa and uncle Andrew, and you know why. Domynika has no reason to.” Maja sighed. Lena was making sense but still…
She decided not to call Jacob before tomorrow which made her a little less nervous and she closed herself in the nursery with a book in order to put her mind off things. Later that night she showed her father the discovery she made with the telescope that morning and he confirmed there was something there worth investigating. “Who knows Maja, you might have discovered a new white star!” He said with a smile moving away from the telescope. Maja replied with a smile of her own, this all was very exciting. “I tell you what, Monday after school we can go and present your find to the Sunset Valley astrological department. Sounds good?” Her father added and she nodded. This was just what she needed to put worries about Jacob behind her, at least tonight…