She was supposed to go with me. I had my life all planned out for me. Play football in college. Go to the NFL. Marry my high school sweetheart and live happily ever after.
I broke both our hearts that day when I told her I was leaving. I was young. I made the right decision for me, but the wrong decision for us. Football was supposed to be everything for me, it wasn't. And I’ve never forgotten her. Her smell, her smile.
And now I’m going back.
After 5 years.
I hope I can explain that after all this time.
I still want her to be my forever girl.
Comeback by Kane Brown.
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Cori simply glared at Kane when he started rattling on about trust funds and college funds. Not that she wasn't thankful for college, but what was Kane thinking? [b "I've done right by her for seven years! I haven't taken any handouts since Maci was a year old! Its been me. I support her. I don't need your handouts Kane."] she spat. She was furious. She looked up at Danny and simply rolled her eyes. They were both childish.
[b "Don't touch me."] she muttered softly. She turned around and walked to her truck. She couldn't believe that that had just actually happened. She had made it her life mission to keep Kane from finding out about Maci, and she failed.
She wanted nothing more than to go get Maci and just go home. She needed time to let her mind ease and take in what had just happened. She wanted to be with Maci, but she needed time. [b "Danny.. Would you go get Maci and take her home? I need a little bit.. I'd really appreciate it. I... I need to go visit Momma and Daddy."] she said softly.
“Then it’s no. But like I said. Maci won’t do without. I’ll have her college fund and her trust fund set up tomorrow and I know your going to hate it but I will give you a debit card for anything she needs. School, doctors, clothes, food. Anything she needs it’s taken care of. I want to be in her life but only if she wants me to be. I’m not pushing my way back in like Danny thinks I am.” Kane said looking to Cori, his eyes soft.
“I love you cori and I always have an di always will, every moment of my life. Every song I sing is for you. I’ve never found anyone else and I don’t think I ever will. I was an idiot for leaving. I need you more than you need me and I see that now. I’m sorry.” Kane said hugging her tight. “My number is still the same, text me or call me so I can set that up for her and if she needs anything tell me. And Danny I’m sorry you were the one who had to be there when I should have. I should have known. I’m sorry to you too. If there’s anything any of you need or that I can do. Consider it done.” He said kissing Cori one last time.
Danny all but glared at Kane. He was trying to make amends? They wouldn't be in this situation if it wasn't for him though. They didn't need him here. Saint was better off without Kane Brown back here. They were better off without him. [b "You're here to fix things? Kane there is nothing to fix! My girls are better off without you! Who do you think picked Cori up when you left, me! Who got up with here when Maci wanted a bottle. ME! Who stayed up when she wouldn't sleep at night when Cori was exhausted and had class the next morning. Me. We did it without you. We don't need you here. Do us all a favor and get the hell out."]
Cori's body shook when Danny's voice raised. She pushed against his chest and glared at him. [b "I can handle this! Stop."] she said. She looked up at Kane. [b "Maci has survived seven years without you. I think she'll be okay... Kane... She's mine."] she mumbled. She sighed, defeated. [b "I'll ask her. But I'm not pushing her into anything. If she says no, then its no."]
Kane looked up at her brother, "Really? I'm trying to make amends... actually be a father to Maci... I didn't know about her. I'm not trying to break anyone's heart and I'm here to stay. I know I messed up and made some mistakes but that doesn't mean I deserve to be shut out like this. That little girl is half me. Don't you want her to know where she came from? Why shes the only biracial kid in this town? I bet she gets picked on like I did. You don't know how to deal with that do you? I do. I can be as much of a father as you will let me be."
He wasn't screaming just talking but he was looking at Cori now. "Ask her if she wants to see me... please. Thats all I'm asking... if she wants to see me good.. if she doesn't I'll go back to Nashville and never bother you again... but I'll make sure she has a college fund and a trust fund... she won't do without." Kane was serious. "I didn't know or I wouldn't have left. I would have stayed and forgot about this music stuff." He said sighing.
Cori tried to calm her breathing down after she heard realized Kane got into the car beside her. [b “I can’t do this.”] she mumbled as she fumbled with getting the truck door open. [b “Oh my gosh. I need a beer.”] she said. She looked up when she realized Kane was standing behind her. [b “Please don’t crowd me, Kane!”] she squealed. [b “I’ve raised that sweet baby girl for seven years by my self. You didn’t answer the damn phone!”]
She looked up at Kane and just shook her head. [b “If you think I’m just gonna let you waltz back into my life. And come into Maci’s like that, you’re sadly wrong buddy. Kane. I’m not gonna let you break her heart like you broke mine... You’ll just up and leave again... I- I can’t do this right now.”] she said.
She looked when she felt someone walk up behind her. It was her brother Danny. [i “So the rumors are true. Why’d you come back to town, Kane? Haven’t your hurt my sister enough for one lifetime?”] He placed his hand on Cori’s shoulder.
[b “Danny it’s fine. Kane was just leaving.”]
Kane followed her and got into her car beside her. "We have a daughter.." He said out loud not really believing it. "Shes beautiful... and smart... even though she is a little sassy... gets that from you though." He looked over at Cori..."I was messed up then. More so than I am now. I could explain it and make excuses but I won't. I should have called but Cori, I'm here now... and Maci... shes amazing... let me be her father.... she needs a father and you and I both know that. I grew up without one... my momma was a single parent and it was hell. Are you and Maci alright? Do ya'll need anything? Anything I mean it, consider it done."
Kane was trying to make up for missing all of Maci's life so far... "At least let me try to be a dad.... on your terms of course... Cori shes... shes all I ever wanted in a daughter... hell I never thought I'd have kids... I've never loved anyone like I love you.. and Maci... shes ours... half you and half me... I'm not going anywhere Cori, I mean it." Kane was in town to stay.
[b “Maci, Baby. Go on with Miss Laura now. I’ll come get you in a little bit.”] she said. She bite her lip as Kane bent down to Maci’s eye level. [b “Kane. Leave her be!”] she said. She couldn’t believe this was happening. How had she let the time get away from her. She should’ve had Ann outside waiting on Laura, telling them not to come in the diner.
[b “Maci. Go with Miss Laura now.”] she said. She watched as Laura all but pulled Maci out of the diner. She felt like she was going to faint. [b “Ann... I- I’m not feeling so hot... Is it okay if I head out early?”] she begged. Of course the woman said yes.
She grabbed her keys as she loooked up at Kane. [b “We are not having this conversation here. I’m not going to scream st you again in public.”] she said a sshe walked out of the diner. [b “I found out I was pregnant a few weeks after you left... I called you. Left you that message, begging you to call me back. I swore that if you didn’t have the respect for me to call me, and figure out what was so damn important, then we’ll I wasn’t gonna contact you again..”]
"Momma?" Kane questioned and then turned his eyes on the little girl the voice had came from... she had called Cori momma... she had his eyes... holy shit... Kane took a deep breath and Laura nodded, "Yes come with me and you can go on the swings." Maci was a smart little girl. She looked at Kane and said, 'Your that country singer my momma listens to sometimes... your good... not my cup of tea but your good." Kane chuckled, "Well thank you sweetheart... I'm Kane..." Maci reached out her hand, "Maci..." Kane knelt down to her level... "Maci... how old are you?" He asked softly and she spoke, "I'm this many." She said holding up seven fingers.
Kane looked to Cori quickly and then smiled at Maci who Miss Laura was pulling back towards the door. When they were out of the diner Kane turned to Cori... "When were you going to tell me? Shes my daughter too isn't she? I mean I shouldn't even have to ask, shes seven and she has my eyes... my skintone... and my hair... Cori... please... say something.. I... I need to know."
Cori smiled softly and nodded. [b “I went and seen her a few times after you left.. Then life got in the way, and it just got really hard.”] she said [b “It sounds bad. I didn’t have the time... But I should’ve made the time.”]
She nodded when he said he didn’t realize he had sat in their old booth. [b “You first walked in, I didn’t realize it was you. So I automatically got mad, well because someone was in our booth... then I realized it was you, and it kind of made my heart hurt...”] She said [b “I missed you too Kane... Then I got used to being without you.”]
[b “Hey Momma!”] Maci called as she ran inside with Laura and her children. [b “Look what I made at school today!”] She held up a drawing with a flower.
Cori’s heart stopped beating when she heard Maci’s voice. She cringed but stood up. [b “Hey Sweet Pea. That’s so pretty!”] she said as she bent down and hugged the little girl. [b “How about you go head on back to Miss Laura’s house. I’ll pick you up.”] she said. She glanced up at Laura, her eyes begging.
"Momma was one of a kind... you... you visited? She never told me... just kept begging me to come home and I was too stupid to listen.. but I'm home now for who knows how long. Markus cleared my schedule and said I need to get back to my roots before I end up dead." Kane said taking a drink of his coffee. "Markus is my manager, you'd like him.. no nonsense, no bullshit kind of guy."
Kane thanked Ann and turned his attention back to Cori, he sighed and took a bite of his scrambled eggs after he covered them in ketchup.. "Not a fancy person I guess...simple breakfast... simple things... you know I'm still the same person. I just dress a little better and drive a truck that doesn't break down every other day like my old one... its still in Momma's garage by the way." With every word his accent was slipping out a little bit more... he had tried to hide it but being home with her was bringing the country boy out again. "I... well... you know I didn't realize I sat in our booth until you sat down... it was a reflex.. Its been so long and I miss you. I don't deserve another chance, I know... I messed up too badly."
Cori looked over at Ann after she walked into the kitchen and she simply shook her head. [b "No. He's fine. I can handle it. The poor thing still probably cant cook to save his life. He's just hungry. It'll be okay, Ann. I was just really surprised to see him... Th- That was our booth."] she mumbled.
She grabbed the coffee pot, a clean up and his sugar and crème before she headed back over to the table. The diner was slow, so she slid into the seat on the other side. [b "I'm really surprised to see that you still order the simplest breakfast. You don't like omelets or any of that fancy stuff now?"]
She looked when Ann brought over Kanes platter. [b "Thanks Ann.. I'll be back in a few minutes to start on the dishes."] she said. She looked back at Kane. [b "I- I know I was too busy yelling at you yesterday. But I don't have anymore fight left in me, Kane. I'm really sorry about your momma.. I wish I could've been there.."] she said. [b "She was the sweetest little thing.. I feel bad... I stopped visiting after awhile..."]
"I can wait... and its just talking.. its not throwing anything into the wind Cori.." Kane muttered sighing, he should have never left and he knew that now. Once Cori was back behind the counter, Ann asked her, "are you alright? Should we ask him to leave?" Joe looked at Ann, "I'm not on his side but he was surprised to see her... I don't think he came here looking for anything but a plate of hot food. But by God I forgot how much Maci looks like him."
The order was simple and Joe had made it a million times for Kane over the years. He would order the same thing all of the time and afterwards he would order a piece of banana creme pie... little did he know that was his daughter's favorite as well and she got a piece every now and then.
Kane sat at the table scrolling through his new iphone that he had gotten that morning. She had told him to upgrade and he did but he kept the old phone as well... same number too... he wouldn't let go of that. Kane sat there waiting on his food and tried to ignore the stares that he was getting... it was like he was a zoo animal.
Cori nodded as she scribbled down the order that she already knew. [b "I'll get that put in for you."] she said as she took the menu. She couldn't believe Kane had the nerve to come in here. She had picked up shifts here and there back in High School when Miss Laura's Momma needed extra help. [b "I'll get your coffee real quick."] She mumbled.
She could feel Joe and Ann, Laura's momma, staring at her back. She was wondering if they would try to intervene. Part of her hoped they would, but then the other wanted it to be left alone. He wasn't worth it.
She heard Kane speak to her, and she just stared at him for a few moments. [b "Four."] she said. [b "I don't know, Kane. I can't just throw my responsibilities to shit because you came back to town. That's an hour and half from now. You'll be finished eating then anyway, you basically inhale it."] She said. She remembered that Kane would eat anything in sight when they were younger. [b "I- I have to get back to the kitchen..."] she said softly.
Kane looked up at the girl hearing Cori's voice... "I..I.." He stuttered for a moment before handing the menu back to her, he ordered the same thing at this diner every time he came. Even though it had been years he knew what he wanted, "2 eggs scrambled, bacon, hash browns, and a coffee with 3 creamers and 2 sugars." He muttered looking to her. He knew that she knew his order backwards and forwards... he hadn't changed any... maybe just grown up a little.
He sighed and looked to her, "Cori... when does your shift end... can we talk?" He asked seriously. "I mean really talk, no more screaming." He was trying to make peace. He noticed eyes on them... the cook and another woman behind the counter. Apparently he wasn't popular here. The country radio station played in the background but was barely noticeable over the clinking of plates and the other people dining that were talking. Kane had a couple hundred dollars in his pocket and he intended on leaving it as a tip for Cori... he knew she struggled but he didn't know how much.
Cori sat her in her truck and sobbed for a few minutes. She heard Kane come on through the speakers. He wrote a song for her? He dedicated a song to her, at his concert, in their home town?
She somehow managed to pull herself together enough to drive. She needed Maci. Maci would make her okay. Maci Rae made everything better. She showed up on Miss Laura's doorstep, sobbing. The woman wanted her to stay the night, but she declined. She just wanted to get her sleepy little girl home and in bed. [b I'll see you tomorrow, mid shift."] she said as she walked outside to buckle the child up.
Maci ended up sleeping with her that night. Which she normally didn't. Maci loved her bed, and her room. Cori had made sure that the little girl had never gone without. They woke up the next morning, and Maci was so excited for school. She was so smart. She loved to learn. She was one of the top students in her class, which made Cori so proud.
After Cori got to the diner for her shift, it was pretty busy. But it slowed down. She made some good tips. She heard the doorbell ring when someone walked in. [b "Have a seat darlin', I'll be with you shortly!"] she called from the back. She grabbed a menu after she finished wiping down the counter and then headed over for the booth. [b "My names Cori, I'll be takin' care of ya today. What can I--"] She froze when she realized it was Kane. [b "What can I get you?"]
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