As Travis stood in front of me, I could feel the heat rising to my face as my cheeks flush.
What did he just ask me?
"Do you like me Judith?" He had asked and waits for my reply holding his breath.
Was this some sort of a tricky question or was he being funny?
"Well duh I like you or I wouldn't be hanging out with you." I reply and the breath he had been holding was let out as he takes in a deep sigh.
"No not that like. You know the other one." He tries to make me understand something I'm not getting.
"There's a variety of likes?" I ask honestly confused and he groans. What's the deal?
He appears out of nowhere so suddenly and when I say him I'm sick he asks me if I like him?
Am I the one in the wrong or is he finding all this funny?
Travis starts walking back and forth in a deep thought. I continue dribbling the ball to ease my mind and beating heart.
"Have you ever come across a person in love?" Travis asks stopping in front of me. I drop the ball in surprise and he apologizes as he runs to retrieve it.
"Well it's not like I've many options. I mean I only know Ava who's ever been in love?" I say and Travis was almost close to hitting himself with the ball.
"She practically falls in love with every darn person!" He exclaims rolling his eyes at his sister's guy fetish. "Tell me about some one who's in their right mind."
Did Travis just diss his own blood sister?
Nah, she deserves that since she really is an insane woman who falls in love with almost every cute guy she comes across.
I shake my head finally after deeply pondering over any other person who had been in love.
Well there's James, but he's just got a crush. So I can't rule him in. And I will never mention his name in front of Travis ever again since that always manages to darken the guy's mood.
"Have you ever thought as to why your heart feels in such a way when you're with me?" Travis questions and I notice the tip of his ears starting to go red.
What's he feeling shy for now?
"Isn't it because I'm straining myself by spending too much time with you?" I reply and Travis deadpans. He literally gives me a blank face.
"Look I don't know. Okay?" I cry out throwing my hands in the air exasperated with this situation. I'm supposed to be ignoring him. So why am I here talking to him about something so complicated?
I'm even enjoying his company!
Travis sighs as he sits down on the bench. He's got the ball in his hands and he twirls it as he stares at it intently.
"Tray?" I call out to him and he doesn't give a reply.
"Look I can't afford to neglect my goals Travis. My dream. I have to practice even harder. The games are getting tough and I can't seem to concentrate with my mind constantly thinking about you." I pause when Travis suddenly looses grip of the ball. "I don't know why my chest clenches so tight when around you. Why I wait for your calls and texts. Why I even stare at you and avert my eyes when you look my way .."
Oh for fuck sake what am I even jabbering!?
"I like you."
"What?" I pause my nonsense ranting as I stare at Travis speechless. He gets off the bench and comes to stand in front of me once more.
"I like you Judith. Alot." He repeats with a strong emphasis. His deep green eyes staring into my soul making my insides twist. Can a person's gaze have such an impact?
"I know you-"
"Will you be my girlfriend?" He asks earnestly and my heart stops.
"Travis?" Why am I breathless?
"I like you more than just a friend Judith. I have for a while now. That was why I wanted to go out on dates with you. Why I don't want to leave this place. I want to spend more time with you. Go out on more dates with you. I want to call you my girlfriend and not my sister's best friend." Now it was Travis who was ranting, his ears and even his face flushing red.
I've never seen Travis sound so desperate. So different.
What's going on?
"But Tray, you're-" I wasn't even sure what I'm supposed to say. Why can I not turn him down like I did James?
"Your a college student Travis. I'm just a girl in high school. I'm not even in your league. You'll be embarrassed having me as your girlfriend." I try to reason with him but he just shakes his head and smile lovingly at me.
"You don't like someone based on height, color or weight. It comes from the heart Judith. I like you because I want to like you. Not for the outside world to make a judgement. This is the only thing I've decided on my own Judy. Please, don't turn me down."
Don't sound so desperate Travis. I could never turn you down when you're like this.
"But why me?" I had to ask. I need to know why it's me.
Travis just shrugs. "I don't know. I really don't know why I like you. But I just know it has to be you. I like you a lot Judith. To a point where I can't stop thinking about you." Travis holds my hand as he stares down at me with affectionate eyes.
I'm at a loss for words. No guy had ever confessed this way to me. Okay, I admit I've never really given any guy a chance to confess me but I don't think anyone would ever like plain old me as much as Travis does.
"Are you afraid Judith?" He asks and I give a firm head shake. I've never been afraid even when faced with a strong opponent. "But I am Judith." He says and I stare at him in surprise. "Ava used to always say, there's fear where there is love. I used to belittle and tease her but I guess you have to experience it to know the truth." He chuckles but there's a tremor in his laugh. He's nervous. Travis was nervous being with me.
How could one person be this romantic? Be so amazing?
"Try. That's all I'm asking. Try being my girlfriend."
I know one day he will all of us behind and go back to med school. I know I'll just be another girl in his life whom he spent days with. Just the thought was aching my heart.
But I was willing to take the risks of a heartache. Somehow, somewhere inside of me the fear Travis had spoken of started to light up. The fear of losing him.
"Alright." I finally say and Travis let's go of my hands and let's the breath out he'd been holding. He blinks at first trying to come out of the daze he was in. He then grins wide as he throws his arms around me, crushing me in a warm hug. I snuggle close feeling embarrassed at what I was doing.
Travis rests his chin on my head as he squeezed me more closer. "Thank you. Thank you so much Judith."
Why was he even thanking me? Do people thank for being a couple?
I push back slightly and he looks down at me slightly confused as to why I was pushing away.
"So um, do we have to make a vow or something?" I ask and he stares at me baffled at my question.
What? What did I ask to deserve such an expression?
"You mean like I Travis Heatherfield take you Judith Drakeyer as my girlfriend?" He asks his voice cracking towards the end as he tries to suppress his laugh.
I shrug. That could work?
Travis couldn't bear it in anymore and breaks out laughing.
What the fuck?
How dare he laugh so openly in my face?
"Oh cmon I'm new to this- oh for the love of, stop laughing you ass!" I pick up the ball and throw it at him which he dodges just barely.
"I'm sorry. Sorry-" He tries to contain his laughter. "Seriously Judith. Sometimes you're just too cute."
Oh. I wasn't expecting that.
Insane, crazy or anything in that area. But cute? That's a first.
My fury dies out at once like a bucket of cold water had been thrown at the fire that was lighting up.
"There's no vow's silly. You just accept being a couple. And that's it." He explains ruffling my hair and then he pulls me close.
Well that could work. Vow's could get embarrassing.
"C'mon. I'll drive you home." Travis says with a smile and I give him a nod. Throwing the ball back into the cart and wheeling it off, I run out the gym locking the doors behind me, and I join Travis who was waiting for me by his car.
The drive home was quite awkward if I must say. We don't talk much like the old days. I didn't mind the silence though. It gave me time to ponder over the events of the day.
As Travis pulls over at my house, I unbuckle my seat belt. Before I get off, he touches my hand. I turn his way and find him smiling at me. The same smile he has been giving me on the past dates.
"Thank you for accepting to being my girlfriend." He says once more and I shake my head at him. After saying goodnight I leave and skip to my house.
Dad wasn't home yet. I was hoping to go over to the gym but right now I had a much important work that needs to be done.
I run up the stairs and into my room. Throwing up bag aside I grab my phone and open the window letting in the cold night air. I sit on the window sill and dial in my best friend's number.
Two rings and she picks up.
"I'm so sorry! I tried to keep him from coming over but he's just do stubborn!" Ava cut me as she starts ranting something I wasn't able to comprehend.
"What are you talking about?" I ask and she takes in a deep breath.
"Travis. Did he come over to the gym?" She asks, her voice like a whisper.
"Yeah he did. You could have been more specific than just asking me to be on guard." I nah as I roll my eyes. She just apologizes.
Sighing I smile at the phone, at my girl who was most certainly locked up in her room feeling miserable for not having helped me.
"Ava," I start.
"Travis asked me to be his girlfriend." I whisper.
"Mmhmm." She goes. Silence. More silence. And then the world explodes. ""WHAT!?"
"Ava stop yelling!" I could hear her mom screaming at her from somewhere. She just ignores as she keep telling at me.
"What the fuck Judy? What is happening here? You were ignoring him and he was furious when he left home to meet you. What in the world happened to make him ask you such a thing?" My friend was literally going to wake the entire neighborhood. I'm pretty sure Travis who must have reached home could hear her conversation with me. The thought made me blush somehow.
"Explain. Now! I need to know every bit of the juicy detail." She demands and I sigh in disbelief at my friend's words. She wasn't asking me why I was dating her brother but details on what happened.
I truly love her.
And so I begin with the practice and coach Harlot's anger to where Travis came barging in.
Once I explain to Ava what had happened I manage to get my overly excited best friend to cut the line. I get off the window sill and shut the window cutting out the cool night air seeping into my room. Dropping my phone on my study table I plop myself on the bed and squeal aloud on my pillow so dad who had returned home, wouldn't hear my scream and come rushing upstairs.
What in the world happened today?