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The last days in the city where he had chosen to go to college passed like clockwork. Soon he and Cori were on the road, a seven hour drive to be exact to get back to their small town in Montana. It would be easy for her because she would sleep through most of it, which he didn't mind. Travis actually preferred to drive since one he knew that way, and two it was his truck.
The drive had just begun amd they were an hour and a half in when the truck jolted and all but died. The young woman at his side jolted awake with the now stalled engine and he sighed. [b "Seems the truck decided to breakdown... there's a small town near here that we can have it towed to. I'm sorry darlin'. Didn't mean to wake you or to scare you."] He said as his hand moved into hers to squeeze it and to hopefully calm her down a bit.
This meant that they would be late getting home. But on the bright side it meant a little more alone time, right?
The dinner with her parents and Travis family was gruesome to say the least. Their Momma’s were both at it again as to why they just wouldn’t give their love a second chance, and Cousin John kept snickering every single time. She and Travis sat apart, which was just almost torture.
The end of their trip had arrived and they were on their way back to their small town in Montana, it was about a seven hour drive back home. In all honestly, it wouldn’t be bad for her, because she knew she’d be asleep on no time at all, which she was. About an hour and a half in she was out like a light.
She was jolted awake as she felt the car slightly jolt and then it seemed to slow down. She looked over at Travis. Her eyes were wide and her heart was pounding. [b “What happened?”]
"Or so you're the girl Travis wrote about. The one he could never forget and would love to have anotjer chance with. How he was a damned fool to let the best thing in his life go." Frank said. Yeah he had read some of Travis' journal but had been both boredom AND wanting to understand his roommate.
Travid gave Frank a look. But hell...it had all been true and Cori deserved to know too. [b "He's an ass. But he did become one of my best friends here. Had my back more times than I cars to even admit. And yeah I do have an idea. We had planned in the semi, darlin'."] He whispered as the two of them headed back and soon had their mommas asking where had they been.
Travis held up his hands and nodded. [b "It was Frank. He wanted to say good-bye."] Trav explained. And soon their mothers seemed mostly appeased.
[b "I can drive for lunch since I know the roads best."] Travis volunteered.
Cori smiled soflty. [b "Travis is the only thing that I've ever wanted... I was stupid back in high school, but I'm damn lucky that he wanted to give this another go."] she explained, keeping it as short as she possibly could.
After they said their goodbyes, she looked up at Travis. [b "He seemed really nice."] she said. [b "Do you know where he's wanting to practice? Maybe y'all could semi keep in touch."] she said.
She looked up when she heard their Momma's and she couldn't help but laugh. [b "We ran into one of Travis' roommates, and just talked for a little bit. I guess we lost track of time."] she simply said. [b "We're sorry."]
[b "Remember I can always find you in a crowd."] Travis said with a laugh. And she did know it too. But then his smile brightened when she had said she would never let him go again. Truth was, he would be damned to let her go this time. He had learned what life has been without her and didn't want to live it like that anymore or again.
"What do you mean lucky with this one? Most of what he did was study he was so boring, beautiful." Frank said. He was clearly giving Travis shit though. They really had become great friends over the last few years. "Nice meeting you too. Hope we'll all meet again someday."
Travis only shook his head. [b "Tell Tessa I said hey and to make sure you behave."] The man said, giving the other some grief too. Tessa was Frank's girlfriend. And his hand was in Cori's until they had to let go and she brushed her hand against his. [b "They are probably counting down. They always do.. "] He said with a smirk. [b "I know darkin'. I feel the same way."]
And soon, their mommas were coming up to then, asking what had taken them so long.
[b “It’s okay! Don’t worry about it babe. I just wasn’t expecting to find you so quickly is all.] she explained. Her heart felt like it was long to burst when he said forever and always. [b “I’m glad you agree. Cause I’m not letting you go this time.”] she said softly.
She couldn’t help but chuckle when Frank said someone beautiful being with him. [b “Well I think I lucked out with this one.”] she simply said [b “It’s really nice to meet you too!”] She couldn’t help but smirk when Travis warned her on how Frank was a talker.
[b “If I know them, they’re probably counting down from five minutes before they come looking for us.”] she reached down and brushed her hand against Travis’. [b “I’m so glad our families are here, but I’m excited for it to just be us again.”]
Oh he knew that he had scared her and she was about to start running her mouth. But when she relaxed, he smiled and chuckled more, shaking his head. [b "Sorry for scaring you. But it was the best way to get your attention without calling out."] He muttered and soon had his arms around her as she pulled him close and into a hug. [b "From here on out. Always and forever, baby."] He whispered and smiled brighter when she said how proud of him she was.
"Well honey with someone so beautiful being with him it's bound to be noticed. And it's a pleasure to meet you, Cori. I was Trav's roommate until recently. My name's Frank Cross." He said as he took the out stretched hand and shook it with a smile.
[b "Cafeful baby.. Frank is a sweet talker."] Travis said as he kissed her head. And he nodded to her about their mothers. [b "If we don't start back they will come and find us."] He whispered and smiled to Frank and congratulated him as well before they headed back.
Cori jumped when she felt someone touch her shoulder, she was gearing up to start running her mouth, but she physically relaxed when she heard Travis’ voice. [b “Hi!”] she squealed. She grinned as she pulled him closer to her, pulling him into a hug. [b “Now for forever, right?”] she asked [b “Honey, I am so proud of you!”]
She turned around when she heard another voice, speaking to Travis. She couldn’t help but laugh when the man asked why they matched, and who she was. [b “Okay. I didn’t think that everyone would be this observant!”] she said. [b “But, I’m Cori Lane, Travis’ girlfriend.”] she said, extending her hand out. [b “Really nice to meet you...”] She didn’t know his name.
She looked back at Travis for a moment. [b “Mommas drilled me again. And before I forgot, we’re to meet them where we took pictures in a little bit.”]
Travis had been near the first called with his last name being under the "C's" . And he was admittedly SO happy this was all said and dine. It meant the beginning of the rest of his life and being with Cori. But they also had to tell their families as she said. He was so tired of having to keep up the front. But it was only a few more hours.
After the ceremony, Trav's hand touched the young woman's shoulder in the crowd. He had seen her right away and didn't want her lost. [b "So finally graduated. And finally get to be with you."] He said with a chuckle.
"Hey Trav. Oh who is this and why do the two of you match?" Came the voice of his roommmate, Frank. He had wanted to congratulate his friend. But also had seen Cori and Travis so wanted to meet the young woman and see who she was.
[b "Wanna tell him, darlin'?"] He asked Cori. He would leave it up to her.
Cori glanced over at her momma and shook her head. [b “No Ma’am. I just know how you and Travis’s momma have been pushing up together, and I just wanted to make sure you knew that we are simply friends.”] she explained.
She screamed and clapped when Travis walked across the stage. She was taking pictures, and she had told Travis’ cousin, John, who was also the ily one that knew about their relationship, to record it. Her heart was bursting. She was so proud of him!
She was so tired of having to act different around Travis, while they were in front of their families. They just had a few more hours and then it would just be them again. They just had to make it through dinner. [b “I’m gonna go find Travis... No sense in y’all getting lost in that crowd! Let’s meet where we took pictures earlier!”] she said, once the ceremony was over, she ducked into the crowd, searching for Travis.
Mrs.Chamberlin and Cori's mother were both looking at the yoing woman as she spoke. She seemed a little nervous and like she was emphasizing that she and Travis were just friends and things had gone back to how they used to be. Why would she be so adament there?
"Cori is there something that you want to tell is?" Her own momma asked. She figired she might as well ask as it was her daughter. And both women's curiosity only got worse when the young woman seemed to fall silent and "bite her tongue". It was known she was only ever like that when she was trying to keep something.
Soon the Dean of Law was on stage. He was saying how proud they all were of these "young men and women" they all were. How they had all worked hard for where they were now. And soon, the graduates were stood and name by name they were called to walk.
Cori smiled softly as she heard Mrs. Chamberlins voice. [b “He’s watching down on both of you.”] she said soflty. [b “This week has been fun. It was kind of like high school, hanging out and all that. As friends! Like we were before we started dating, before everything go so complicated.”] she sad truthfully. [b “I think I forgot how much j enjoyed his company. As friends.”] she repeated. She didn’t want them to get the wrong idea just yet. She couldn’t face them on her own.
She held her tongue after that, she didn’t want to say anything else. There was no way she was going to blurt out that she and Travis were in a relationship again. Not by herself.
She looked up when the Dean Of Law walked on the stage and started speaking. She was so excited.
Travis was in his mind reliving the bad times of the year. All the hard times, but particularly his dad's passing. His father had been his best friend besides Cori and his momma. And he missed the laughs and the advice given to him. Only was it Cors voice to call him from those thoughts. To call him back to reality and to the present. [b "I know they have for years. So they definitely will be in higher spirits."] He said with a small smile.
Her next words hit hard. Harder than she knew but they helped. [b "I know you are darlin'. Just I'm still not ready. When I am you'll be the first to know... And I know he is..always wanted me to get here..and now I am."] He whispered as he gave her a quick hug before she left him.
Mrs.Chamberlin's hand gave Cori's a small squeeze. "I..could be better. But I am so, so proud of Travis. I just wish his daddy could have been here and to see this. I know he is smiling down and watching though." The woman said, eyes sparkling with tears. Her free had came up to wipe the stray few away. "What about you sweetie? How have you been doing?" She was changing it to Cori on purpose
Cori’s heart hurt as she could see that Travis was remembering all the bass times of this year, possibly even reliving. [b “It will make her and everyone happy. You know our Mommas have been trying to get us back together for years”] she said softly [b “You know I’m here for whenever you want to talk, Travis... You really haven’t spoken about him since the funeral... I know he’s looking down at you smiling.. He would be so proud proud of you... And yes. Anything YOU want.”]
She was so excited to see Travis walk across the stage, but she was so nervous about being nestled in between her momma and Mrs Chamberlin. [b “I think Travis is upset that his Dad isn’t here... I really didn’t know what to tell him, Momma.”] she whispered. She reached over and took Mrs. Chamberlins hand in her own. [b “How are you?”]
Cori was right. Their families would be pretty hurt and upset if they found out from someone other than them or on their own. They were already slipping up at it was. [b "We'll tell them when we get back. You're right we've tried to keep them in the dark long enough. Especially my momma.."] He said quietly, almost sadly.
[b "I love you too. And any desserts we want?"] He asked her with a smile as her arms were around him in a hug and she had kissed his cheek. The man really did with that he could hold her longer but he did have to get going. Cori was more aware than he was and had given him the gentle push. [b "I love you...and good luck with our mommas."] Travis muttered before she left him and he went into the line.
Mrs.Chamberlin had purposely saved the spot between her and Cori's mother. She wanted to see if she could get more out of the girl. Just their words of the matching and how close they seemed didn't add up.
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