Running Late

“Mya, don’t forget we have dinner plans tonight.” Mya’s mother, Judy, reminded her as the older woman sat across from her daughter. 

Mya hummed in response. 

“I won’t forget mom,” Mya said, not bothering to look up from her computer. 

Mya tapped away at her keys, making a few notes to herself as she looked over headshots of up-and-coming models. 

Judy let out an exaggerated sigh, causing Mya to look up from her screen for the first time since her mother first walked into her office over thirty minutes ago. 

“Something wrong?” Mya asked.

“It’s very important that you’re not late.” Her mother said with emphasis.

Mya fought the urge to roll her eyes.

“I won’t be,” she promised.

Judy gave a sharp nod before collecting her purse from the seat beside her and rising.

“I love you, sweet pea.” She said, making her way to the door.

“Love you too, mom,” Mya said back, not bothering to look up from her screen.

When the door finally clicked shut, Mya sighed, sinking back into her chair. After a long day of work, the last thing she wanted to do was go out. Ryan had a habit of picking stuffy, upscale restaurants with classical music and mouse-sized portions. At home, she had a bottle of chardonnay calling her name. It was Friday, for crying out loud.

Shaking her head, Mya sat up and continued working. 

Hours later, a knock came at Mya’s door, causing her to look up and spot her assistant, Dylan, standing in the doorway.

“Mya, it’s after ten,” Dylan said.

“Shit!” She said, falling back in her chair.

Grabbing her phone, she saw the hundreds of missed calls from her parents and Ryan. Great, she’d never hear the end of this.

“You seem frantic. Is something wrong?” Dylan asked, watching his boss hurry around the room.

Mya shot up from her chair and quickly logged off her computer. Then grabbing files of headshots she still needed to look at, Mya filled her bag.

“I missed dinner.” She said in a hurry.

Dylan went sheet white.

“My, I’m so sorry I forgot.” He said, unlocking his iPad.

“No, I didn’t put it in the calendar. I thought I would’ve remembered.” She said, pulling her bag onto her shoulder.

Dylan followed her as she made her way out of the office. Then, after waiting for him to pack up his things, the two made their way to their cars. After saying their goodbyes, they hopped in and they were off. 

As soon as Mya pulled onto the road, her phone began ringing.

“Mya Alexis Taylor!” Mya’s father, Walter, said into the phone.

Wonderful. Getting an earful from her mother was one thing but from her father? Everything was about his pride and his ego.

“Dad, please. I got into a flow and lost track of time.” She said.

“You lost track of time? We called you several times! Do you know how long your mother, Ryan, and I have been waiting? I had to send the server away three times tonight, three times Mya! I’m embarrassed, you’ve embarrassed me.” Walter said.

Mya rolled her eyes. Of course, he was embarrassed because everything was always about him and Judy. Mya’s career, where she went to school, and who she dated, all somehow reflected on Walter and Judy. They never asked Mya what she wanted for her own life. Nope, they simply told her. And when she finally did something that she liked, like fashion editing, Walter took every chance he could to shame her for it. After all, how was she going to be a devoted wife, waiting on her husband, hand and foot, or bare his children if she was busy making her own money? 

“Dad, please, I lost track of time. Can we just reschedule or have dessert at my and Ryan’s place?” She asked.

There was some mumbling in the background before her father spoke again. 

“Fine, we’ll meet you at the house.” He said, sounding a lot calmer now.

After saying their goodbyes, Mya hung up the phone and sighed.

Mya walked into the house to find Ryan and her parents seated in the living room talking. Slipping out of her coat, she hung it up before grabbing her iPad and the work she’d brought home with her and making her way to the stairs.

“You’re not going to greet your family?” Walter said.

Mya stepped onto the first step and froze. This was going to be a long night. Forcing a smile, she backtracked to the living room.

“I’m sorry dad. I’m just so exhausted. I didn’t even see you and mom sitting there.” She said.

Walter scoffed.

“Exhausted? From what? All you do is tell people what to do all day.” Walter said with a laugh.

It was no secret that Walter, Judy, and Ryan didn’t respect Mya’s work. To them all Mya did was ‘doodle all day’. Despite her various achievements and only making just a few bucks less than Ryan, her family still managed to belittle her. 

Too tired to fight with her father, Mya excused herself and made her way upstairs. After showering and changing into something more comfortable, Mya decided against heading back downstairs and went to bed instead. 

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