Mia: “So, this is the house. It’s not much, but there are two spare rooms so you can take your pick. The fridge is stocked as well so feel free to help yourself. The only thing I ask is please try to keep it clean and remember to water the flowers in the shed once a day.”
“Hey, don’t sweat it Mayor! You can count on me!” Ryan grinned.
“I know, Ryan. Just one more thing.. No parties.”
Ryan’s face dropped. “For real?”
“I’m trusting you here, Ryan. And just think, if you do a good job, I can give you a recommendation and maybe even a regular job.”
“Awesome! What job? I can mix a mean juice!”
Mia laughed. “I was more thinking a gardening job at the park.”
“Oh yeah, that’s cool too.”
“So, I’ll see you tomorrow morning?” Mia smiled.
“For sure. I’ll be here at 11 sharp.”
Mia looked at him. “Ryan.. you mean 8?”
“Right! Later Gater!”
Mia waved as Ryan left, closing the door behind him. ‘What a funny kid’, she thought to herself.
The following morning, Mia arrived in Granite Falls. She picked up some hiking clothes on her way. She was really looking forward to this trip.
Katrina wasn’t far behind her.
Next was Alex.
Then came Summer. All three of them looked so different to what Mia remembered.
Mia was so excited to finally see her friends again. She was glad to have people in her life that would make this trip for her at the last minute. “It’s so good to see you guys!” she smiled.
“Happy Birthday, Mia!” Summer wrapped her arms around her friend.
“About time you got here.” Alex laughed. “I was worried you wouldn’t get off work on time.”
Summer gave her wife a kiss. “I told you I’d be here.”
Mia was happy that Alex and Summer were happy again. She was worried after their rocky honeymoon.
Katrina found a horseshoe game out the back of the cabin. “I blame you for this, Mia.” She laughed. “Ever since you included one of these in your park, I’ve been hooked.”
Mia’s eyes lit up. “I didn’t realise you had seen the park.”
“Are you kidding? You built it. Of course I had to check it out.”
Mia felt over the moon. She had the best friends anyone could have.
The four of them gathered by the fireplace and Alex told them all about Sulani and the Conservation group she was involved in. They talked for what felt like hours before Mia went to change into her birthday dress.
The girls baked Mia a cake while she was getting ready. She tried to think of what to wish for. She decided the only thing missing now was someone to share her life with, so she closed her eyes and took a deep breath…
…and blew out her candles.
Mia felt better than she ever had. Like the world was full of even more possibilities than before. Then fear struck her. She wanted kids. But first she wanted to be married. She was running out of time. She was an adult now and she didn’t even have a boyfriend.
Mia tried her best to keep her spirits up in front of her friends, but after they went to bed, she snuck off to a secluded spot to think.
Her solitude didn’t last long, though. Mia was soon joined by a handsome stranger. ‘Who could this be?’ She thought to herself.