Mavery Aston sighed weakly as the door pushed open. It had always been a New Years' Resolution, and yet, she hadn't finished it yet. Today though, she was going to skip the party and complete her book.
Her husband, Adryan leant against the wall, staring at Mavery with raised eyebrows. "Aren't you pushing yourself too much, dear?"
Mavery glared at Adryan. "No, no! I'm not! My goal was to publish a book. It was my resolution ten months ago! We're almost finished with a year, and I'm not done yet!" she yelled, hysterically, her face, flushed, and scarlet-red with anger.
She pressed her pen firmly onto the paper and scratched off a sentence. Maddening, she crumpled up the paper and tossed it in the wastepaper basket, missing it by inches. On the verge of tears, Mavery sunk into her bed, her hands clenching her fiery red hair.
Adryan, tip-toed out of the room. "Honey, maybe you should use a laptop or a typewriter," he added.
Mavery sat up, frowning, and pushed the tortoise-shell glasses further up her nose. "Yeah, maybe I should," she mumbled.
Hastily, she flattened the squashed paper, and studied it for a moment, then pulled up the laptop, and started typing right away. The sound of clacking keys could be heard throughout the house, and anyone who knew Mavery well knew not to disturb her when she was in one of her "hysterical, stressed out moods"
Around eleven fifty-eight, her phone chimed. Mavery tried to backspace a spelling error and pick up her phone at the same time
"Hey, Mave. Where are you?" Lydia's voice was flushed, her tone filled with excitement.
Mavery rolled her eyes, twisting her lips into a grim smile. "I'm skipping it," she answered grumpily.
"What? Why?" Lydia was clearly stunned.
"I need to work on my New Year Resolution."
"You mean for next year? There's still two more months Mave!"
"I meant last year," Mavery emphasized.
"B-but, it's October!" she stammered, shocked.
"I know." Mavery returned, defiantly.
There was no answer. Then finally, "Okay, I guess I'll see you tomorrow at the coffee shop then," Lydia mumbled.
Mavery could make out distant giggling and laughter, the clinking of glasses and faint music. She swallowed and tried not to remember all the fun she would miss. She inhaled and then replied, "I'm not going to be there tomorrow."
"I told you, Lydia. I'm working on my book!"
"Mavery, why can't you have some fun sometimes? It's just some coffee. Besides, I bet your book is almost done. You don't have to deprive yourself." Lydia lectured.
Mavery forced a smile. "Sorry, but my decision stands," she responded with gritted teeth as she declined the call, and returned to the laptop, biting her lips.
"Hey, Mave. You still game for coffee?"
Mavery clenched her hands and promised silently she wouldn't punch the phone. The offer sounded tempting, but she still had two more chapters, plus proofreading to do. She bit her lip and echoed into the phone, "Fine, but just one cup. Promise?"
Ten minutes later, the two of them were seated at the table, draped in warm scarves and woolly sweaters. They sipped coffee silently, Mavery punching some letters furiously away at her phone.
"What are you doing, Mave? I didn't ask for coffee just to have you doing your story over here." Lydia groaned.
Mavery put her phone down reluctantly.
"Why are you so obsessed with this resolution anyways?" Lydia asked curiously, gingerly wiping her coffee dribbled chin.
Mavery stared absent-mindedly at her car. "I don't know. Listen, I'll be right back."
Lydia stared at her as she walked towards the car, and brought out a notepad. Mavery beamed at her friend and clutched it up. "Any ideas for my story?"
Lydia gaped. She slammed her napkin down. "Mavery, I don't even know why I asked you to get coffee with me. I should have asked Mia instead. You don't seem interested in me, or the coffee. You just want your story, that's all." she glared angrily.
Mavery sat on her chair, stunned. "But, but - "
"Do you even care about me? As your friend, I mean? 'Cos you don't seem interested in me. You know what? I think we'll be better off without knowing each other. So guess what? I'm leaving." Lydia stormed off.
Mavery returned awkward "everything's fine" smiles to gaping customers and gulped. Now what?
She raised slowly and paid for her coffee before heading to her car miserably. Mave leaned in her car seat, her eyes closed. She punched a few numbers into her phone and put it to her ears, praying silently.
A beep sounded at the end.
"Hi! I'm not picking up right now, so please leave a message while you can." Lydia's voice echoed into her ears.
Mavery pressed a button and exhaled silently. "Hi, Lydia. I'm terribly sorry, and I realize I made a mistake. Please forgive me. It was just a silly fight."
She pulled onto her driveway, slouching into her room, and starting on her book miserably, nibbling on a gingerbread cookie.
As she typed away, two chapters remaining, became one, and then none.
At around late evening, as sunset dawned onto her room, birds chirped, and fast food stalls packed up for the day. Her door pushed open gently and Adryan's face entered the room, concerned.
Mavery's face was drooped onto her keyboard. She must have fallen asleep.
"Mavery. Mave, wake up."
She didn't move. Adryan glanced at her laptop and his eyes widened. "She finished her book," he muttered, surprised.
"Hey, Mave. Congrats on your book." he smiled, patting her shoulder.
"Mave?" he asked, a little louder. "Mave, wake up!"
Mavery didn't rise.
He pulled her face over the laptop to get a closer look. Dark spots circled her eyes, and she was a pale-white. Her lips were crusted dry and her cheeks had drained in colour.
"Somebody call 911!" he yelled, his face paled in colour.