Sneakers over heels

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Chapter 14

Twirling the straw in my juice staring at nothing I heave a sigh as I tap the table, resting the side of my cheek on my hand.

"Does this have something to do with James Howell?" The sudden question catches me off guard. My hand slips and my face almost crashes to the tabletop.

I look in front glaring at the dude who had uttered such nonsense. There's a smile in his words as his lips held a smirk.

I groan aloud and he chuckles at my unease. I'm so destroying Ava.

"Will you please stop saying his name?"

"He seems to be really interested in you?" He says as if he had seen in person James giving me his attention.

"Who cares?" I scoff rudely. I was really tired of the relationship topic and people always talking to me about boyfriends and such.

"You don't want a boyfriend?"

"Does it look like I need one?" I glare at him for asking such a stupid question when he clearly knows how I feel about relationships.

"Girlfriend?"

I bang my head on the table as Travis chuckles finding all this funny.

We go back to being silent and I once again stare at space. Travis sips on his hot latte, staring out the window. His phone beeps a few times but he ignores it.

"So what's up with you?" I ask sitting up, forgetting my worries so I can concentrate on the guy in front of me.

Travis sighs for the first time today and this makes me frown.

"What's wrong?"

"They're trying to send me back to college somehow."

Oh. So it's come to where the parents are going to force him back.

"Do you really hate it that much Tray?" I ask taking a huge slurp out of my juice.

Once while calling out his name I'd burped right after starting with "Tray". I'd been so embarrassed but he just shook it off and said calling him Tray was fine.

Imagine we have visitors over and while distributing drink cups I go 'Tray' and one of them hands me the drink tray instead while the actual person responds as well. I control myself from laughing at the idea.

"It's not hate Judith. I just feel so pressured. When in college my parents always want me to be the best. Top scores. Ace all exams and papers. Teachers favorite. I can't be me at all Judith. I always behave like a machine when I'm in college."

To me studying became a hobby after a couple of years. I loved being class topper and with that came being teachers favorite. I didn't know someone out there hated all that. I couldn't give a reply to Travis since I was the opposite of him.

"I can't enjoy being in med school what with Mom and Dad calling me every day for an update. It's worse than being in the military!" Travis snapped, glaring at his drink with so much hatred.

I couldn't possibly see Mr. And Mrs. Heatherfield as someone strict. They have always been kind to me. It's their ambition that's making them lose sight of their son. How Ava manages to keep them under control is beyond me.

I really am grateful dad supports me with whatever it is that I achieve.

"What if you talk it out with them?"

"I've tried Judith." He sighs slumping his shoulders. I feel sorry for the guy. "They just cut me off and start lecturing. I hate being in the same space as them now."

I once told him to call me whenever he faced mental turmoil, but to be honest I had zero ideas in comforting a heartbroken guy.

When Dad's upset I hug him. It's not like I can just walk up to the guy and hug him.

He'd surely report me as a pervert and I'll be counting bars in a jail cell.

"You know what's so different between you and Ava?" I ask and Travis looks at me with a perked brow. He doesn't give me a reply and waits for one.

"Ava never backs down from a forced conversation. No matter who it is or what the conversation is about, Ava never lets the other party get a word out unless they hear her out. That's why she's living carefree while you're getting all the burden."

Travis takes in every word and a sort of understanding flashes in his eyes. How he had lived until now without realizing that is out of this world.

"I know one of their children at least should follow in their footsteps but make them understand that you will follow them if you're given the freedom of choice and space."

Wow. I sound like some wise old scholar who's lived her life and is now giving advice.

Ava would laugh in my face if she ever heard me talking like this.

A hand crept up to mine and a soft touch makes me jump. Travis had his hand on mine which was resting on the table. I would have slapped it off and yelled at him with every word in my dictionary but the grateful look he was giving me made me shut up.

Unlike how I had imagined the feel of a guy's hand on mine, it wasn't like that at all. Or perhaps I feel fine is because it's Travis?

His hand remains on mine for a second longer as his gaze meets mine.

"Thank you, Judy. For lending me an ear every time something shitty happens in my life."

That one time when James had called me Judy it irked me wanting to smash something in annoyance. But Travis calling me Judy for the first time right now, made me feel content.

What's wrong with me?

"Well didn't I tell you I'll be there to annoy you so you can relieve your stress and worries?" I say with a shrug and then I grin at him to which he grins back. He always smiles or smirks. Rarely grins. Actually I've never seen him grin so wide and it catches me totally off guard.

"Um, I better get going. Dad's out today. Got a gym to look after." I get to my feet, finishing my drink but then stop when Travis grabs hold of my hand with a firm grip.

"I really mean it, Judith. You need to take a break."

I scoff at him for belittling my stamina.

"I'm fine. Stop being such a worrisome guy." I take my hand out of his grip and with a wave walk towards the door.

A sudden nauseous wave hits me making me unsteady. The back of my head starts throbbing and I've got a strong urge to puke.

"Judith!?" Travis's concerned call makes me wanna turn around buy then I lose my footing.

The last thing I see is Travis frantically moving towards me with his hands outstretched before the side of my head bangs on something and I blackout.


Trying to open my eyes was the biggest effort I'd taken in life. Struggling I finally crack them open and the nauseous feeling strikes back.

"Judith! Are you okay?" Travis's voice enters my hearing but I can't make out where he is.

"Is she alright?" He asks someone.

"She's just anemic. And her body seems to be lacking rest. A high schooler shouldn't come to the hospital looking so worn-out. You should take better care of yourself, Miss. Drakeyer."

Before I could sum up enough effort to diss the doctor for talking to me in such a manner, Travis does me the favor.

"She has too much responsibilities doctor. Managing the home, staying top in her class and regular practice for the basketball games. She's very strong-willed and determined. She just got careless this time in taking proper rest."

I could only stare at Travis. Why would he do something as yell back at a doctor for me?

Something inside of me moved but I'm not sure what exactly.

The doctor doesn't seem offended. He actually chuckles and places a hand on Travis's shoulder.

"I understand. Well, you take good care of your girlfriend and shoulder half her burden. Have a nice day now." And he leaves with Travis nodding behind him.

My mouth drops open gawking at the imbecile.

How the fuck did he attain a doctor's license when he's literally so stupid?

"Why didn't you correct him that we're not boyfriend/girlfriend?"

Travis ignores me and sits on a stool beside the bed watching me close.

It makes me uncomfortable. I've never gotten uncomfortable before anyone's gaze but he somehow made me wanna crawl under the sheets.

He shakes his head at me like an adult would do at a child with disappointment.

"I've called Ava. She was beyond terrified and yelled at me for hurting you." He rolled his eyes at his over-exaggerated sister. "She'll be here soon. Let's hope she doesn't kill someone on the road with her insane driving."

I chuckle at that. Ava would surely be cussing at people on the road if they weren't driving faster.

"I didn't call your Dad. I know how hard you try to not worry him and I didn't want to give him the news that you're in the hospital."

I didn't know what to say. How could a single guy understand me so well? How could a person be so considerate?

I wanted to cry and hug him but I kept myself in check.

Instead, I crawled up my hand and gently touches his. I wouldn't be dead caught in making advances to touch a guy unless I was to punch him in the face, but I had to make Travis know how grateful I am towards him.

He never judged me like the others. He never made fun of me when he knew I played basketball. He respected my wishes and most of all, he was beside me when I'd been a reckless girl passing out.

I was more than grateful to him. He was not how I'd thought him to be the first time we met. I always thought he was a bratty dude who was a whiny bitch coming home saying homesick and bunking college. But no. I was wrong. Travis is by far the best I've met after Ava.

Travis squeezes my hand back and gives me a soft smile.

There it is again. That unknown feeling inside me.

This time I knew what it was.

The thumping of my heart.

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