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Travis did chance a glance her way when she had asked where he had been living. Last he had heard she had been in Seattle. [b "I took up living in Salt Lake City. It seemed as good a place as any. What about you? Where did you end up going?"] If she was going to make the effort, he figured that he could as well. Besides he really had missed talking with her even if it were just small talk.
A slight laugh did slip from the man as he shook his head. He remembered how often her momma used to change her mind. Once he had asked Cori about it and she had told him that was just how the woman was. Which he believed because his own momma was famous for her changes of mind as well. [b "The porch it is. And I could stay around to help with them. Wouldn't be fair to make you carry them in."] His words were out before he had even processed what it was he was saying.
As soon as she set her box down on the porch, Travis set his own beside it. Brown eyes found their way to the young woman. Or more like skimmed over her beforw locking with her eyes. And once more a smile came to his lips. [b "It's been real good to see you again too, Cori. It's been far too long."]
Codi smiled softly and nodded up to him. [b “Thanks for bringing this over. Momma really appreciates it. I guess she’s back in the kitchen baking again.”] she said. Her mother loved to cook and bake. She owned the local diner, it was doing really well. She said she had a lot of regular customers. She followed Travis out to his Jeep. [b “So where are you living now?”] she questioned, trying to make small talk.
She held her arms out and blushed when she realized he had given her the lightest box. He was always a sweet gentleman. [b “Just put em on the porch, if you don’t mind. I’ll carry them in whenever she makes up her mind, lord knows she’ll change it a hundred times. No need in you waiting on her.”] she said.
She bent down and placed the box on the porch. [b “It was really nice to see you, Travis. It’s been a long time.”]
It was her words of his mother and father near taking her in that made the man flashback to their high school days. She had been at his house nearly all the time. And to his mother it had been like Cori was family. Just thinking about it had the smallest of smiles tugging at the corner of his lips. If he were honest, Travis still caught himself wishing that at least that had not changed or ended. For truly those had been the best days of his life. But again it was not something he could or would admit to Cori. After all, the terms that they had ended on had been some pretty awkward ones.
Slowly he shook his head as her soft words brought him back to the present. [b "You didn't keep me...So there is nothing for you to be sorry for. It's been nice seeing you and your momma again."] Travis said as he was able to make himself smile. And after he spoke, Travis gave Cori the lightest of the three boxes and took the other two. [b "Any idea where your momma wants these?"] The man asked as he came back to her side.
Cori could see that Travis was indeed feeling awkward at this point. It was almost just as bad for her. After they had first broken up, and she moved to Seattle, she had stopped herself from calling him so many times. Shed often fantasized about what she would say to him if she ever did get the courage to call him. It had been almost three years since all that happened, since she last thought about calling him.
[b “Ah. It wasn’t bad. I wasn’t mad. She was still in full on grieving mood. She just wanted familiar faces around probably.. I would’ve came even if she hadn’t of asked, just to pay my respects.. Your momma and daddy really took me in, Travis. I couldn’t ever repay them..”]
She smirked once her mother ran off again. She’d been putting up with this all her life, she was used to it now. [b “I’m sorry for keeping you. I’m sure you’d just like to get home and spend time with your momma.”] she said softly.
It had been too long since he had heard her laugh, no matter how small it had been. It had always been something that made him smile and even was like music to his ears. Of course given the circumstances he could not tell her that. They honestly had left off on some pretty bad and awkward terms. It was actually a wonder to him that the two of them had managed two sentences.
Again a small smile could be seen playing over his lips. [b "Doesn't sound a far cry from what momma would do. But have to admit it's good seein' ya."] Travis finally decided on saying. Awkward he knew, but what else could he really say. Both he and she had literally been trapped in standing together and attempting to talk while her mother took her sweet time in getting the pie.
When the woman came back, Travis gave a warm smile. [b "Thank you, ma'am."] He said and then blinked when she hurried off again. What was with her and leaving them alone? Actually he knew, but it was still odd. But quickly he regained his senses and looked to Cori, taking the box of deserts from her. [b "Yeah...come on."] He whispered and led her to the jeep to put the cobbler and pie in it and so they could get the boxes.
Cori felt her heart flicker slightly, as she seen Travis’ small smile. That was one of the things that she fell in love with, all those years ago. She stood there awkwardly.
When they first broke up, both of their mommas.’s, Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Chamberlin, let it be vastly known that they didn’t agree with Travis’ and her own decision. That was all her own mother talked about for weeks, so much that she started counting down until she felt for Seattle.
She glanced up at Travis as she heard him speak. [b “Momma called me last night, said that Mrs. Chamberlin asked that I come... demanded actually.”] she said, with a small laugh. [b “I’m doing well, Travis. I’m really glad you are as well..”]
Mrs. Taylor took her own sweet time getting that darn old apple pie. She grabbed the blueberry cobbler as well. She sighed. [i “Best not let them suffer any longer.”] she said to herself. She walked out the front door and smiled. [i “Blueberry Cobbler, and your favorite pie.”] she said to Travis. [i “Cori. You take these to his Jeep, and help him bring those boxes in the house.”] She all but threw the deserts to Cori and ran back inside.
Cori flared at her mother slightly. [b “Yes ma’am.”] she said as she took the boxes. She turned back to face Travis. [b “Shall we?”]
Silently, Travis was cursing both his mother and Cori's. Since he and Cori had had their fight years ago both of their mothers had tried small attempts here and there to get him and the young woman talking again. At first the attempts had been easy to spot and to avoid, but this one he had walked into. Quite literally as he had been asked to make this run right when he had gotten in.
But he was pulled from his thoughts when Mrs. Taylor began to speak. [b "You know how momma is, Mrs. Taylor. Once she has something needin' to be done she wants to get it done as soon as she can."] The man said, offering a faint smile. And he was about to turn back to the jeep to get the boxes but had been told that the older Taylor woman had a pie she wanted to get and to wait right where he stood. After he got the pie, Travis would unload the boxes for them.
Slowly his attention came back to Cori and he offered a small smile of his own. [b "Yeah, it has been a long time, Cori.. And I'm doin' as well as I can aside from hearing about dad...And how have you been?"] He asked slowly, awkwardly rubbing his wrist. He found himself hoping that her momma came back soon to save them both.
Cori was busy chatting away with her momma, when she heard the sound of beating gravel. She turned around and seen that a newer Jeep was driving up toward her house. [b “Momma, who is that?”] she asked. Once the Jeep was closer to her childhood home, she gasped. [b “Why on earth is Travis Chamberlin pulling up in our driveway, Momma?”] She was sure that her Mother had planned this someway, or somehow.
Her mind was telling her heart to calm down, and it wasn’t working. She hadn’t seen him since they’d gotten into that fight about how was going with whom where. That’s the day that they ended their story. They both had things that they wanted to conquer in their life.
Hearing her Mother’s voice, she snapped out of her thought. [i “Why, Thank you for bringing this Travis. I told your momma that I wasn’t in any hurry to get these back, with everything she has going on. Bless her heart.”] she turned to look between Cori and Travis. [i “Let me grab that pie I made. One moment Travis.”] Her mother disappeared into the house.
Cori silently cursed her momma for leaving her alone. She glanced up at Travis, and smiled weakly. [b “It sure has been a long time, Travis.. How are you?”] she asked [b “I was really sorry to hear about your daddy..”]
The drive to the Taylor's from his own was not a long one at all. Maybe ten minutes at the very most. But hell did he wish it was longer. Travis had not seen the Taylors since his and Cori's story had ended the way that it had. And he was more than sure that even though it was years later they still would not be very pleased with how things had gone. It honestly hadn't been that he stopped loving her but more the fact that they each had their own dreams they wanted and needed to follow. Or that was what he kept telling himself.
As he drove up the long drive, Travis' dark eyes locked onto the rental car that was parked and the two women hugging. Cori's mother he recognized well enough, but the young woman stood with her took him a moment longer. However, when he realized that it was indeed Cori herself Travi found his heart leaping into his throat and his hands tightened on the steering wheel. And interally he was freaking out because he had not expected to see her until his father's funeral.
Closing his eyes, the young man counted to ten in order to calm his racing heart and to regather his train of thought. When he was sure he had, he got out of the jeep and slowly made his way over to the Taylor women. [b "Howdy...sorry to stop by unannounced but my ma asked me to bring some boxes over."] He said, quietly. But it was all he said, falling into silence as his brown eyes went back and forth between both Cori and her mother.
Cori Taylor had just passed the White Peak town sign. She was smiling slightly. It had been along time since she had drove past it. It was a ten minute drive now, back to her parents. According to them, Mrs. Chamberlin has requested that she come to Mr. Chamberlins funeral, there was no way that she could say no. Especially after everything that happened with herself and Travis. She practically lived at the Chamberlins during high school.
She thought back about their story as she drove. She couldn’t believe that it had been almost eight years since she’d seen Travis. Their story hadn’t finished like she wanted it too, but there wasn’t anything she could do that would change it. She pulled into her long driveway, and grinned when she seen her mother run onto the porch. She was probably peeking out the window waiting on her. [b “Hi Momma.”] she said as she hopped out of her Chevy rental. She expected her Father to be right behind her Momma. [b “Where’s Daddy?”]
[i “Oh my baby girl has finally come home! I wish it was under better circumstances, darlin’. You’re daddy just went into town. Something about needing a part for that darn tractor.”]
[b “How are y’all doing?”] she asked as she walked over and wrapped her arms around the older woman.
The man had just gotten home and was trying to slip into his old childhood home. Almost had he made it to the stairs, but then a cough from behind him caught his ears. And quickly did he turn around and see his mother, Laura. A smile came to his lips as he left the suitcase on the bottom step and went to hug the woman. Everything about her seemed the same. From the pale blue dress and apron she wore to the bun she always kept her hair in. The only changes that he could see was that she had aged, had some worry lines, and silver was starting to thread through dark brown locks. But overall, she was still the mother that he had left eight years ago.
[i "Travis James! It has been eight years since you have been home. And you try and sneak in! What is the matter with you, boy?"] The woman asked as she hugged him and gave him an affectionate slap on the arm. He really should have known better.
[b "I know.. and I'm sorry ma'am."] The young man said as he pulled back and matching brown eyes were looking him over. Again it was to be expected.
[i "Travis, I've been meaning to take somethings over to Cori's parents but with the funeral and everything I've been so busy. Can you take them? It's the boxes over there."] His mother said as she pointed to three boxes.
Travis had the urge to ask what was in the boxes and why he had to take them. He had not been home in eight years. And just turning up at the parents' home of his ex sounded like a bad idea to him. But he respected his mother and would do what she had asked. [b "Yes ma'am."] Travis found himself saying and soon he was loading the boxes into his jeep and driving off to Cori's old home. And as he did, the man's mind seemed to be racing a mile a minute.
It had been three years since she had set foot in White Peak, Montana. She’d flown up three years ago, to suprise her parents for their twenty eighth wedding anniversary. She hadn’t been back since. She’d moved up to Seattle a year after she graduated High School. She was a a first grade teacher. She’d fell in love with teaching, moved to a big city, and she hadn’t looked back.
She’d gotten the call about a close family friend, if you will, two days ago. Her mother told her the funeral would be on the eighteenth. She was on a plane, going back home. She had a rental car waiting on her.. It had been almost eight years since she had seen Travis... but there was no way she was going to skip that funeral. The Chamberlins has done so much to help her family over the years.
She often found herself wondering what if. What if they hadn’t went two different directions after graduation? What if she had just given up and went with him? What if they were still together? What if she wasn’t so stubborn?
She knew that Travis was going to be at the Funeral, and she was slightly nervous. But she wasn’t going for solely him, she was going to pay her respects to a great family, and remember a great man.
Brown eyes were locked upon the white page with his mother's neat scrawl upon it. Travis had read over the letter twice, but still the words upon the page were not sinking in. It was too much a shock to be getting the news that his father had died. And even more of one that he had not even gotten a chance to tell the man good-bye. Or to even thank him for showing him what love was or teaching him all the things he had over the years. How could it have happened? Or why did it have to be now when he was finishing his Master's in Law?
He had to shake himself out of his thoughts as his roommate blew a low whistle. [i "Trav, are you arlight man? You've been sitting still as a statue for the last five minutes and staring at that letter. "] Frank said as he motioned to the letter that was still clasped tightly in Travis' hand.
A sigh slipped from the man and he shook his head. [b "It's a letter from my mother. Something's happened and so I have to go home."] But that was the only explanation he offered the other man as he got up and began towards his room. As soon as he reached his room, he began throwing his stuff into his suitcase and quickly had it filled and zipped. The man soon walked past Frank and gave a faint smile. [b "Try to behave for once and don't let me come back to a trashed place. See ya, man."] With those as his last words, Travis was out the door, got in his jeep and began on his drive back to the small town it had all began.
In his mind, he was wondering if Cori would be back as well. Wondering what all had changed. And most of all, Travis found himself wondering if she remembered their story as he had. But all of that was his way to try and not think about his father's passing or the funeral.
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