Chapter 2: Winds of Tomorrow, nostalgia returns
| Maya sighed as she sipped on her coffee, snow falling outside the window of her favorite cafe. Since the time she moved here 6 years ago, she had gone from unsure of where she was to being completely comfortable. She knew every inch of Sheriffwood, know most if not all of its patrons, and even made a few long lasting friendships. However, not all of her decisions have been good ones. She shook her head and pushed the thoughts away, not wanting to ruin her already fragile mood with something that could be handled later. Julio, the barista in charge of the cafe, walked over and set down another cup next to her.
"What are you thinking now?" He said, gazing out into the snow with her.
"A lot actually. Kind of shocking I've been here 6 years. I mean, I've travelled all over when I was younger with my father but I never thought I would return to Ohio in like forever." Julio smiled as she took another sip. He was one of her best friends, always looking out for her and making sure she didn't get into trouble. They had met when she first sat down all those years ago and wasn't sure what to order. She was an odd one, having such childlike wonder for a twenty-eight-year-old, who still dyed her hair strange colors and had an interesting fashion sense that still was able to put together nicely.
"How's that scumb- I mean, boyfriend of yours?" He corrected himself. The guy she had decided to get with a couple years back was in his opinion a royal asshole, but he knew that it meant a lot to Maya to be nice. Jared felt like he was God's gift to women and liked to smack Maya around if she didn't do exactly as he asked. Julio could still see the bruise healing over her left eye where her bangs didn't cover so well. She sighed and shook her head.
"He's the same as he's always been. Nothing much to report other than he got a little drunk and pissed off the other night over the fact I had the volume on the tv too loud."
Julio's fists clenched, his knuckles turning white as he grit his teeth. Maya's expression turned a little downcast as she felt it was her fault he was getting so worked up. Julio inhaled deeply and shook his head as if to dispell his anger.
'I still don't know what you see in him Boots. Honestly you could do so much better."
"But can I really? I mean, you know me and what I've been through. He's honestly the only man that has stepped up to be with me in a very long time. He may be a little misunderstood but-"
"Misunderstood?! Boots, he uses you as a punching bag and you let it slide. That isn't love!" Julio had not realized he had raised his voice until the silence within the cafe had settled. Maya didn't look at him for a moment, her red cheeks tear streaked. Feeling like a jackass he patted her on the back and left, picking up dirty dishes on his way back to the counter. Maya knew he was right though. Even though it hurt as badly as the bruises on her body, she knew she was just making excuses out of fear.
Julio returned not too much later with a coffee cake and another cup as an apology, the chocolate suace done in a fancy design. Maya smiled up at him, showing him that he was forgiven even before he had gone the extra mile. She couldn't have asked for a better friend. He was tall, with olive tan skin and beautiful green eyes. His hair was long, dark, and dreaded, pulled back and held together with a rubber band. She sensed no feelings other than their platonic friendship which was comfortable for her. She prided herself on being a loyal lover, regardless if her boyfriend didn't deserve to have her around.
"Thanks. You didn't have to." She said, taking a small bite on her fork and placing it on her tongue. The cake immediately melted, the sweet flavour tingling as it hit her taste buds. For a moment, her pain vanished as well as her frustration.
"I figured you could use something good to balance the bad. You still amaze me with how much you put yourself through."
"I know, but for now its what it is and who knows, maybe something will change."
"You're hoping he'll change"
"Well, its a thought." Maya said, saighing heavily.
"Good luck with that Boots." Julio said as the door swung open. Jared stormed down the isle until he stood before her table. Maya blanched, her expression immediately turning into a mix of embarassment and terror.
"We're gonig home. NOW!" Jared wasn't a man who liked to be ignored. Standing at a good six-two with shaggy blond hair, brown eyes, a decent but less than desired build and the annoying personality of a chihuahua with a inferiority complex. Julio tried to stand between them but Jared just glared at him. He looked back to Maya. "Home. Now." Maya stood up and without looking at anyone, grabbed her bag and dashed out the door. Jared glared back at Julio as he walked of, readjusting his hoodie.