Chapter 50 | Who Knew Two Different Hearts Could Collide?
𝐍 𝐎 𝐀 𝐇
Four years, 1460 academic days, 4 football seasons and 48 football games have led up to this moment. Surrounded by the rest of the senior class, all of us sit here in our graduation caps and gowns waiting to receive our diploma’s which will officially mark the end of our college experience. My eyes wander around the students who all kind of look the same wearing the same thing, but it’s easy to spot Dylan a few rows in front of me talking the person’s ear off next to him probably complaining he’s bored or hungry.
Turning my head, I notice Aiden a few rows back who sees me and nods to me as if thinking the same thing, that this is it for us. No more college football games or parties, no more living together, hell not even the same states as each other anymore. The football draft had come and went last night. Dylan had been drafted by the Chicago Bears and is preparing to head up to Chicago in the next few days in order to get settled before the practices start in order to be ready for the season, which starts in just over a month. He’s heading back home tomorrow to spend it with his family before he leaves and is actually taking Hannah with him to meet his family and spend it with her too.
Aiden has been drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and is heading out to Dallas in the next week. Alongside Sierra, who was going with him for the next month.
Well, it was a rocky draft, but I can proudly say I’ve been drafted by the New England Patriots and officially start my training next week. My family and Ava were and still are extremely proud, but I can tell they’re sad I’ll be moving away. After all, it’s not like Ava can come with me considering she still has two years of college left. The next week will be spent with both Ava and my family pretty much twenty-four-seven.
I wanted to make sure I spend as much time with them while I can, considering I’m not fully sure on when or how often I’ll be able to come back to LA. Ava was flying back to New York in a few weeks as she got an internship for a prestigious journalism company in New York for the summer, which I’m so proud of her for.
Luckily New York and New England aren’t too far away from each other meaning for the summer we will be able to see each other more than we will when she comes back to LA for college. My eyes wander from the stage to the family members in the bleachers, since the graduation is happening on the football field, my eyes land on my family, Ava, her friends, and Nick, who are all sat together. Ava catches me staring and smiles at me before mouthing ‘pay attention’ I chuckle and wink before turning back to the stage.
“Now I believe it’s time to hand out the diplomas so if all seniors would stand,” The dean says and we all stand as he starts to call out names of people in order as they walk across the stage to collect it. “Dylan Foster,” He calls and everyone starts cheering, Dylan dances onto the stage receiving his diploma before holding it up in the air making us all laugh especially when he hugs the principal and runs off stage. The line continues to move along cheers coming from families and the students. “Noah Jackson,” He says and I walk onto the stage, ignoring the cheering and honestly just trying not to trip. I get my diploma and shake his hand.
“QB! QB! QB! QB!” The team shouts, making me chuckle and I walk off stage looking up to the stands seeing my family and Ava cheering loudly. Making my way back to my seat I wait for everyone else to get theirs.
“I now present the graduating class of 2020,” The dean says and we all erupt in cheers.
“College graduates, motherfuckers,” Dylan shouts, jumping onto Aiden and I as we hug, we laugh and push him off us. “Heads up,” Dylan says, confusing me before he points and I see Ava running towards me.
“You did it,” Ava shouts running and jumping, wrapping her arms and legs around me like a koala making me laugh before she kisses me. “I’m so proud of you,” She mumbles kissing me. “I love you.”
“Love you too baby girl, thank you for being here, it means the world,” I say kissing her before I hear wolf whistles and pull away, noticing it was the team. I roll my eyes and Ava jumps down standing back on the ground again and I put my graduation cap on her head making her smile and I pull her into my side as she wraps her arms around me.
“Congratulations guys,” Nick says walking over with Liv, who goes to hug us all. “Big shoes to fill for next year, huh?” Nick asks me and I nod. The coach had asked me who would be the best person to become quarterback next year, and I suggested Nick. Of course they had try-outs last week and Nick is now the new quarterback.
“Yeah, but I’m sure you can do it,” I tell him, and he smiles at me.
“Noah-Bear!” Luna says, running over to me and I smile, picking her up and spinning her around as she giggles. “I’m dizzy,” She says, making me stop and hold her. The rest of my family comes over and congratulates me, giving me hugs.
“Haha suck it Denise! Saying her son was better because he’s a doctor,” Grandma scoffs.
“Grandma,” We all say and she rolls her eyes waving us off.
“My second baby has graduated,” Mom says, tearing up. “And now he’s moving to the other side of the country. Said I wasn’t going to cry, but I lied,” She says crying and my dad chuckles hugging her.
“Mom, you know I’ll visit,” I say, and she waves me off. “Remind me to get my nephew a little Patriots jersey, yeah?” I ask Emery as she hugs me.
“You and Liam are so sure it’s gonna be a boy,” Emery says, and I look at Liam as we nod at each other, making her roll her eyes.
“Ok picture time everybody!” Mom says. “All of you together,” She says referring to our friendship group, I wrap my arm around Ava bringing to me as she wraps her arms around me. “Ok everybody, say class of 2020,” Mom says, making me roll my eyes. “Ready.”
“Class of 2020”
“So, I’m not very good at stuff like this, and if any of the team make fun of me, I will make you run laps after this,” Coach threatens making us chuckle as he stands down in the garden, where everyone is enjoying the barbecue my parents have put on. I stand on the balcony outside of my bedroom. “But I’ve watched all the senior football players grow over the last four years, some more than others,” He says, looking at Dylan who smiles sheepishly. “You guys made the best football team this college has had in twenty years, I know I pushed you all really hard and you probably wanted to murder me at some point or another, but you powered through, you played your best no matter what and I couldn’t be more proud of the team you created.”
“We still want to murder you now!” Dylan hollers, as we all laugh.
Coach rolls his eyes. “I know the players who have been drafted will do great things and the ones who have chosen a different path to take will also, but I never want any of you to forget that bond you’ve created. I swear to god if you miserable bastards don’t come back and visit or mention me in your speeches on TV when you get famous I will hunt you all down,” Coach says, making us laugh. “Go Trojans!” Coach shouts and we all shout it back, cheering before I take a sip of my drink.
“Hey Mr college graduate,” I hear and turn seeing Ava standing at the entrance of my bedroom while I’m sitting on my balcony. “I was wondering where you disappeared to,” Ava says, walking towards me. I smile at her and pull her down onto my lap as she cuddles into me.
“Wanted some time to think, everything is kind of moving fast,” I sigh and she nods her head, looking up at me. “I’m gonna miss you,” I say, running my hand through her hair.
“I’m gonna miss you too,” Ava smiles sadly, tears forming in her eyes. I smile sadly and lean down to kiss her softly. “Promise me something,” Ava says, and I nod my head. “Promise me no matter what happens, how many times we think the distance won’t work that we won’t give up on us.”
“I got you something actually,” Ava smiles getting up before heading to my room and pulling something from under my bed. “I hid it earlier,” She giggles, coming back to sit on my lap. “Here, I thought you could put it in your new place,” She says, handing it to me and I open it seeing a digital photo frame that is playing pictures of me and Ava since we met and through our relationship.
“I love it,” I tell her, kissing her, and she smiles, kissing me deeply. “I got you something too.”
“It’s your graduation you’re not supposed to get me anything,” Ava says and I roll my eyes. Firstly, I pull out a small box giving it to her and she opens it revealing a key. “A key?”
“To my apartment. I want you to have it. That way you can come and visit whenever you want, you can come and stay for as long as you want, I want you there whenever you can be,” I say and she smiles, kissing my cheek. We hear a splash and see Dylan jumps into the pool taking Aiden with him, who is now trying to kill Dylan.
“I’m gonna miss those guys,” Ava laughs and I nod, agreeing with her. “Next year is going to be really weird without you all here. Without seeing you all the time.”
“We can get through it, only two more years at college, and we’ll be close together in the summer when you’re back in New York. I have a month before the season starts. I can come and visit a lot.”
“I have weekends off too, meaning I can drive down and see you.”
“There’s the spirit,” I tell her and she chuckles. “Who would have thought, a football player and a journalist who hated us with a passion,” I say and she chuckles, rolling her eyes.
“Who says I still don’t?” Ava smirks, and I chuckle. “I love you Noah Jackson,” Ava says, wrapping her arms around my neck.
“I love you too Avalon Miller.”
Who knew two different hearts could collide?