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The dinner at Cori's house had been bittersweet if he was honest. The sweet part had been it almost felt like old times. Like he was among family. But the bitter part of it was the reminder that he and Cori were no longer together. Travis had been about to try and go after dinner, but her father would not hear of it. He claimed it had been too long and had all but dragged him to the sitting room and the two men talked for half an hour. Only was he able to get away by saying he had not been with his momma and he bet she was worried since he had been gone so long.
The next few days had passed like magic. Or it was more like a blurr. Travis spent most days at his momma and daddy's house as he helped his mother with the arrangements. He was also given the task to help her in packing up his daddy's things. All of it was still sinking in for Travis and he was finally coming to realize that his father was gone and was not coming back.
On the day of the funeral, the young man was up early. Much earlier than he had been in many years. Honestly he had not gotten much sleep the night before. So when his alarm went off he was up and getting dressed. He had gotten into a black slack and a white button up shirt. He actually attempted to keep his hair neat and even wore his old black cowboy hat and boots. When he was dressed, Travis met his momma downstairs and they went to the funeral home. The day was going to be long and hard.
It was probably nine o'clock when the first person had walked in. And to Travis' surprise that person happened to be Cori. A small smile came to his lips as he walked over to her. [b "I think my momma is around here somewhere. She'll be happy to see you nade it."] He said
And as the old saying goes "speak of the devil and thee sahll appear" his mother came out from the main room. A sad smile was upon the woman's lips. [i "Cori, it's so good to see you. Do you mind helping Travis get the rest of the chairs set up? And also hand programs out?"] The woman was purposely trying to have them around the other just as much as Cori's mother had the few nights before. Seemed their mothers were not over their old tricks and schemes.
The dinner with Travis was awkward, but that was no different than what she had expected. To say her Father was surprised to see Travis sitting at his kitchen table, was an understatement. She thought he was going to cry. Cori ended up helping her Mother with the dishes, while her Father all but pulled Travis into the living room to catch up. Travis ended up staying and talking about thirty minutes after dinner was over, but then he finally excused himself, as his mother was probably worried and wondering where he was.
The day of Mr. Chamberlins funeral was here, and she was dreading it. They had to be at the funeral home by noon. So she was up and getting ready. She hadn’t cried yet, and she didn’t plan on it. She wanted to be strong for Mrs. Chamberlin... and Travis. As well as her parents, she couldn’t forget them. Who was she kidding though, this day was going to be horrible for their entire town.
She picked a simple black dress, and black high heels. She curled her long blonde hair. She headed downstairs for the first time that day. [b “Goodmorning, Momma, Daddy.”] she said [b “Im going to head on over to the funeral home, see if Mrs. Chamberlin needs me to do anything..”] She huffed both of her parents before heading out and hopping in her rental car. [b “It’s going to be a rough day..”] she said to herself. The drive to the funeral home wasn’t long at all, only five minutes. She was soon there, and heading inside.
Her outfit: [pic https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7d/81/74/7d81748105d4aca8358dd1726e5e8ba5.jpg]
Travis let out a small laugh and nodded. [b "They are difficult to learn. But you're smart I know you would do just fine. Well if you had wanted to do it. Sometimes I do and then days I find it a headache."] The man said as the two of them were stood in her childhood living room.
As she spoke of the children, her smile lit up the room. It felt like it always used to and he had missed it. [b "Well at least you still see 'em. And I bet you are a great teacher. Almost wish you had been our teacher at that age. Remember Mrs. Lemon?"] Travis asked and cringed.
She then asked if he remembered all their crazy talked of leaving and never looking back. Of course he did. Thought about them often too if he were honest. [b "Yeah..we had been crazy and full of many ideas. Funny how life turns out..though I guess we took the paths we had been meant to.. Doesn't mean that I don't miss those days."]
Cori nodded as she listened closely to him. [b “I bet it was rough trying to learn all of the laws and everything. I couldn’t even begin to imagine.” She said. They were standing in the middle of her living room, well childhood living room. [b “Do you enjoy?”] she questioned.
She smiled when he asked about her students. [b “Oh of course I miss them. I go visit them a lot. Like I said, it felt like I have ten three and four year olds at times. But I love them all.”] she said.
She laughed when he mentioned their small town. [b “Oh lord. Do you remember when we talked about leaving this small town and never looking back? I often find myself missing it. Crazy how life turns out, isn’t it?”]
Travis had not expected to tell Cori that he had his diubts about practicing law. But as so mush had that evening, it too had slipped from his lips. And she had asked him about what he meant. What could he tell her? That he regretted it because it had put a wedge between them? No that would be a terrible thing to say. [b "Just there are so many laws and some walk a fine line. You have to pay extra close attention to the detail and it can be a little misleading sometimes."] Not exactly a lie, but he had definitely not told her the truth either.
[b "When your students move on and are out of your class..do you miss them? And do you remember them?"] The man found himself asking. He truly did have an interest in her work. And more than that he wanted the attention on her and not him. Always had he enjoyes listening to Cori and all she had to say.
Slowly he nodded when she giggled to his words about his momma and pa. And again it was like music to his ears. [b "I suppose you're right. But...It wouldn't have been too awkward. After all...small town and everyone knows everyone."] Travis said as he did let his eyes wander. The house did not look much different than he remembered.
Cori nodded slightly as she listened to him. [b "That's exciting."] she said. She bet he was an amazing lawyer. He was so compassionate about helping people. [b "Why don't you know if it was the right choice now?"]
Mrs. Taylor stuck her head out of the kitchen when she heard her daughter say that Travis was staying for dinner. She had to remember to call Mrs. Chamberlin later. Maybe this was their new beginning. [i "Okay, dear. It'll be ready in about fifteen minutes!"] she said.
She giggled when she heard Travis say the say about his parents. [b "When you see people so much, for so long. I guess it just becomes your normal. Daddy always said he hoped you would come visit... Or at least run into you. He just didn't want to make it awkward on us both, I guess."]
[b "I chose to go into law. It just seemed like a good idea and had been something that interested me. Though now I don't know if I chose the right major."] He said with a small smile. It wasn't that law didn't interest him, but had been the reason that they had gone their own way. Neither one nor the other had wanted to yield or to give up on their dream.
But he kept those thoughts to himself. When she began to speak about her father and what the man would think, Travis couldn't help the heat rising in his cheeks. Her father always had liked him and he had always considered the man like a second father. [b "Kind of funny that you say that. Everytime I spoke to momma and pop they would always be asking if I heard from you. You know they thought the world of you and thought of you as the daughter they never had."] He said as he followed the young woman inside.
Cori smiled and nodded. [b “I love all my students. It’s like I have ten children, ages of four and five.”] she said. She had always loved children, she always knew she wanted to work with him. [b “What about you? You said you were in Salt Lake City? What did you decide for a major?”] she questioned.
She watched him contemplate on what to do about her offer. She was surprised that she’d had came out and asked. But he loved her mommas fried chicken, and they were old friends right? Old friends could have dinner together?
[b “Daddy’s gonna be so happy that you’re here. Momma said he’ll be back in a minute. Everytime he called me, he always asked if I had heard from you.. He calls you the son he never had..”] she said as she held the front door open for him. [b Momma. Travis is staying for dinner!”]
As he heard her answer, Travis smiled. As long as he remebered that had been what she had wanted to become and he had to admit he was proud of her for following her dream. [b "I bet you're a mighty fine teacher. Glad to hear you stuck with it."] He said, his smile still on his lips. And he meant every word that he had said.
Her asking if he wanted to stay as she did had admittedly taken him by surprise. He jad only come by because his momma had sent him with the boxes. But he had always loved Mrs. Taylor's fried chicken. Why did the fates have to be so cruel? Slowly he nodded to her question.
[b "You know I could never turn down your momma's fried chicken. It's been too long since have had it."]
She smiled when she heard his question. [b “I moved up to Seattle as free college. I’m a first grade teacher.”] she said softly. She’d went to Seattle on a weekend trip with her girlfriends as a present to themselves for graduating college, and she fell in love with it.
She glanced up at him when she heard him laugh. She hadn’t heard that in such a long time. He had a smile that could light up their entire town, and a laugh that went right along with it. She blushed when she heard his offer to stay. [b “It’s no trouble. Really..”] she said. [b “Unless... you’re hungry? I smell mommas famous fried chicken.”] She was anxious to see what his response would be.
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.
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