Chp. 29: "DANCE IN THE RAIN WITH ME!!"
I peek my head out of my room, looking around the hall. “I’ll be back, Tiffany!!” Dad shouts, the sound of the front door closing echoing throughout the house.
“Okay, we’re in the clear.” I mumble, motioning for Travis to follow.
I push open the door and I step out, Travis following close behind me, adjusting the shirt I had given him the night before. He looks around the hall, his muscular frame almost taking up the whole hallway.
I forget Travis is 6′4.
At least I think he is...
I just know he’s taller than Daniel and Daniel is 6′1.
He looks around taking in the scenery that is my hallway. Completely covered in baby photos of Daniel and me when we were seven and under. Including various family photos of a few times we went to the beach.
He marvels in awe as I walk down the hall, “Woah...there’s a baby pic of you...” I stop turning around to look at him strangely.
This guy just told me he’s adopted and acting like nothing happened...
“Yeah,” I reply, looking from him to my pictures. He stares at it and a soft smile spreads across his face, “You were cute even when you were a baby...”
I blush and whip around, “Thank you...but don’t you think we should be talking about something??”
“Oh yeah!” He replies, jumping back on topic. He turns back to face me, now fidgeting with the ring on his middle finger, “Right! Sorry, I get easily distracted when I’m nervous...”
“Good to know...” I reply, nodding slowly. He walks up to me and stands next to me as we make our way to the living room. There’s an awkward pause, one that feels tense.
He changed subjects so quickly, it almost feels weird to talk about now...
“So...you’re...adopted??” I mumble, glancing over at him, breaking the tension, “And...you might’ve known my mom?”
He nods, shrugging, still fidgeting with the ring on his middle finger, “Yeah. That’s what I’ve been afraid to tell you...out of fear...of what you’ll think of me afterward. Plus, I never would’ve guessed I knew you’re...her name was Kimetha Green, right?”
“Yeah...that was her name...”
He did know my mom...
That’s weird to think about.
And he’s afraid of what I think of him??
I should be the one being afraid of what he thinks of me...
Currently, everyone’s left the house, pretty quickly I might add. Right after Travis told me about him being adopted, Dad and Daniel both shouted their goodbyes. They were out of the house before I could even think about asking Travis questions about this newfound development.
Does he know his real parents??
How long has Andrea been his legal parent??
I wonder how long this has been lingering in his mind???
He knew my mom from being in Foster Care...
“Wow...” I whisper, still in shock. We arrive in the living room, and I sit on the couch, and he sits next to me.
“Yeah...” He agrees, shrugging again, awkwardly, “It’s a lot to take in, I know...”
And awkward silence falls over us again, as I sit in my thoughts.
What does that have to do with going to school???
I remember him saying something like not going to school because he didn’t feel great, and was afraid...
“What does...that have to do...with school??” I ask, looking over and up at him. He awkwardly clears his throat, “Well, I didn’t go to school yesterday because I felt bad for holding such a big secret from you...especially since I consider you to be someone I’m close with.”
I blush at that last statement, as he continues, “I’ve been wanting to tell you for a while but been nervous. I get all weird and clammy when I’m about to tell you, and then I completely avoid it. Your opinion of me matters a lot. At least in my eyes, it does. So...naturally, it was harder for me to even fathom telling you about that part of myself...and you just...rejecting it or pitying me. I know you wouldn’t ever do that, but I couldn’t stop thinking about...what if...”
My blush deepens, as I look at my fingers.
He doesn’t seem sad about this at all...
More so...just awkward about not telling me sooner...
I mean...I see why he’d be nervous to tell me his big secret, it’s not anything I was expecting to hear.
This kind of came out of nowhere...
But I don’t want him thinking that just because it surprises me, means I am just going to completely push him away.
He worries so much about my opinion...when my opinion shouldn’t even matter...
But at least I know...
I look to his hands and reach over and grab them. I hold them tightly in mine, “Travis... I’m going to be honest with you, I am surprised by what you’ve just told me, but I don’t see you any different because of it.”
His face softens as I state more firmly, “I still see you as the guy you were yesterday, and every day before that. I get being afraid of how someone may feel after telling them something so personal about yourself. I don’t blame you for feeling nervous to tell me anything, but I do want to let you know that...you can tell me anything. Just as you told me when I told you about my mom.”
I grasp his hand tightly in mine, “So...don’t worry about it too much...”
A soft smile spreads across his face and suddenly he pulls me into his embrace. I yelp, as he holds me close, “God, hearing you say that made me happy as hell...”
I giggle, patting his back, “I’m glad you’re comfortable now...”
We sit like this for what feels like forever, and honestly, it feels nice. Holding Travis in arms and he doing the same.
Breaking the blissful peace between us, I hear a loud gurgle sound, and Travis tenses up. Unwrapping his arms from around me, Travis’s face turns a crimson red. I stare up at him, feeling a smirk play on my lips.
“Was that your stomach??” I ask, and he nods gnawing on his bottom lip. I try not to laugh since he seems so embarrassed by it.
I think it’s cute...
I begin to laugh uncontrollably, not because I think it’s funny but because I think it’s cute. He says awkwardly, frowning, “I might be hungry, okay? Stop laughing at me...”
“So, my mom was your Counselor when you were in Foster Care?”
“Yeah. I remember last night you told me she work as a counselor in Foster Care, and I thought about it for a second because I recognized her face in the photo. Then I realized who she was...it was pretty cool to think that I knew your mom from way back when...”
“That explains why you acted the way you did when you saw the picture of my mom on my nightstand. I figured you were hiding something, but I just let it go...”
I sit back in my chair, thinking, “So...you liked my mom?” He smiles softly, grabbing a piece of bacon from his plate, “Yeah...she was...to say the least...my best friend when I was in Foster Care. Let’s just say that I wasn’t particularly liked by everyone when I was there...”
His eyes soften, a sad look in them, “She was one of the few people who seemed to...care. And not just because it was her job...”
I stare at him, as he continues to play with the bacon on his plate and says, voice quiet and soft, “She was a big help with a lot of things when I was growing up...but then something happened, and she left...”
“Oh...” I mumble, feeling slightly melancholic. I slick strand of hair behind my ear, swallowing hard at the memories Mom and I made together before she passed.
And to think...
Travis made similar memories with her too...
“It’s cool that I’m sitting here with her daughter...and...not be weird or anything, but...” Travis suddenly says, his eyes meeting mine, “You’re just as beautiful, if not more...beautiful than she was.”
My heart flutters at that as a blush spread across my cheeks. He gazes deeply into my eyes, they dreamy looking as he says, “You...you’re really...pretty, Tiffany...more than that...and I’m sure I’ve told you that before...but...sometimes...it’s almost unreal...”
My blush deepens, as I find myself smiling. I look down at my plate, feeling nervous as I begin picking at my fingers.
“Th-Tha-Thank you...Travis...that’s sweet of you to say...” I reply, shyly, and he grins, a light shade of pink on his face.
“Of course, Princess...”
A comfortable silence falls over us as I look up at him. We make eye contact again, but this time I don’t pull away. We gaze into each other’s eyes, it feeling almost magical to say the least.
I like sitting here with him like this...
“So...” I clear my throat, breaking the beautiful quietness between us, “If you don’t mind me asking...how long has Andrea been your legal guardian”
“Around 8 almost 9 years...” He admits, a gentle look on his face as he tosses a piece of bacon into his mouth, “She took me in when I was ten. It was rough at first since I was just so determined to be a rebel, but I managed.”
“Hm...” I hum, chewing on my bacon, bringing my knees closer to my chest.
Dad says to not sit in the chair like this, but it’s comfortable.
“So...are you Italian?” I ask, finishing the piece of bacon in my hand. He shakes his head, “Nope. I don’t think so at least but since I was raised in an Italian household. So, I know some. I can hold a conversation pretty well, but I’m definitely not fluent in it like Andrea.”
“And...are you sure you’re okay with me asking these questions?” I ask feeling awkward and like I’m being nosy.
I don’t want to ask something, and he gets offended...
He chuckles, nudging me, “Yes, Tiffany, I’m sure. I’m not sensitive about it. I was just nervous to tell you. Stressing myself out and shit...”
He shakes his head at that thought, and I giggle as he says, “Pretty sure my hair was falling out...”
“Okay, one more question and then I’ll stop,” I state, grabbing my cup of orange juice. I sip on it, and ask, feeling a little nervous, “Do you...do you know anything about your real parents?”
He pauses, thinking, “Um...no. I don’t. However.” He then pulls the ring off his middle finger, and shows it to me, “This belongs to them. I just kept it because it’s something I have from them besides my genes.”
I stare at it, seeing the roses engraved in it.
“But other than that...I don’t have anything else. That’s all I’ve got and I’m okay with that,” He explains, shrugging, “I love the family I have now...”
I smile, noticing the smile on his face, “I’m glad...”
He looks back over at me and nods, “Same, but sometimes I start to wonder how much different my life would be if I had known my real parents. It’d probably be boring...”
“How come?” I ask, grabbing toast off my plate, raising a brow. He then flashes me a toothy grin, leaning in a little close, “Because...I probably would’ve never had met you...”
A blush spreads across my face as he stares into my eyes, not once breaking eye contact. I swallow hard, as his eyes glance down to my lips and linger there. I tense up, as he leans in a little closer.
Our faces now centimeters apart...
“Well,” I murmur, looking back down at my plate, “my life probably be boring too...if I hadn’t had met you...”
“Aw! You feel the same way!” He chirps, wiggling his eyebrows, “I knew you had a soft spot for me...”
“And I never said that...” I state, rolling my eyes. “You don’t have to say it for me to know it’s true,” Travis says, grabbing bacon off MY plate.
I gasp, as he takes it and eats it, “Pretty damn good bacon, Tiff, I like it a lot.”
“You have your own!” I pout grabbing my plate and moving. He sticks out his bottom lip, pretending to pout, “Awww! But sharing is caring!!!”
He reaches to grab my last piece of bacon off my plate, but I block him. “TRAVIS!! QUIT!!!” I laugh, trying to push him away, as he struggles to reach.
“PWEASE?!!” He chuckles, grunting, “I WON’T ASK FOR MORE!!!”
“Well, long story short, my mom cut my allowance and I needed some extra cash so...”
“Why not just get a job???” I ask, dumbfounded, we now chilling’ in the living room. Travis sits in front of me, his legs propped up on the table, and I sitting cross-legged.
“I’m pretty sure street-fighting is illegal, right? It is illegal...right??” I mumble, unsure.
We’ve been talking about random stuff for the past hour. I’m surprised Dad isn’t home yet...
Anyway, I decided to ask about street fighting, and at first he didn’t want to talk about it.
But I convinced him.
“I’m pretty sure...it’s...not...illegal,” He says, his green eyes slightly narrowed, “And I don’t like dealing with people. I’d much rather punch them than deal with their bullshit...”
I can’t argue with that...
If only I were brave enough to do such a thing...
I’d imagine every person I fought as Jennifer, Amelia, Victoria, or Pearl...
I pause, sitting in that thought for a moment.
Oh, the joy I’d feel...
“Street fighting is still dangerous, nonetheless,” I explain shaking my head, coming back to reality, “You could’ve seriously gotten hurt! Like, broken some bones or caught by police or-”
“Hey!” He interrupts, face softening, “I’m fine. Sure, it was pretty gruesome at first, but I managed.”
“You could’ve just gotten a job like I said earlier...”
“And that’d be boring don’t you think, Bella?”
“I’d much rather you be bored than you being hurt.”
He cocks his head slightly to the right, his cheeks turning a light shade of pink, “Aw! You care about me!”
“Well yes I do, ya doof! You could’ve gotten seriously hurt!” I frown, crossing my arms. “Well, I quit, just for you, so you don’t have to worry about it anymore...” He explains, nudging me.
“How come you quit for me?” I ask, confused by that statement.
“Because...you make me want to...” He stares dreamily into my eyes, a tenderness in his, “You make me want to quit...so I can be better...as a person I mean...”
A smile spreads a face, along with a blush. I lean my head against the couch, gazing into his dreamily, “I make you wanna change??”
He nods slowly, grinning and biting his bottom lip. He slightly avoids my gaze, his black wavy hair falling in his face as his cheeks turn a bright red, “Yeah...you do...and don’t start...teasing me...for saying that...”
He’s so stinking cute!!!
“And why would I tease you for that??” I ask, narrowing my eyes playfully at him. Slicking a strand of my curly hair behind my ear, I continue to stare at him, which makes seems to make him more nervous.
“Because...” He mutters, also leaning his head against the couch, “What I said...sounded cheesy and really gross and sappy and blegh!” He exclaims, shaking his head, “Gross...”
I giggle and suddenly the sound of thunder is heard. I jump, a little startled, and Travis frowns, “Great...it’s about to rain...I’m going to have to drive home in that...”
I smile excitedly, “I love the rain!” Arching a brow, a small smile plays on his lips, Travis asks, “You do?”
“Yeah! I love the way it smells and sounds, ” I explain, as the sound of soft rain hits the roof, “It’s so relaxing. Plus, it’s better when you’re standing in it...”
He looks over at me, curiously, “You play in the rain??”
“I used to when I was younger. But I’d regret it when I’d take a shower and it’d shrink. Not to mention, my mom would have to comb it out...” I state, laughing, and shrugging.
Oh, those days...
How I remember them so vividly...
Mom would comb out the naps in my hair, and I’d cry because it hurt...
I feel so old.
Travis suddenly laughs, shaking his head, “There’s no way you’d go out and play in the rain. I just don’t believe that...”
“Really?” I ask, in a challenging tone, “You don’t think I could play out in the rain??”
“Nope...” He replies, firmly, a playful grin on his face, “I know you too well...there’s no way.”
“Okay...” I say, nodding slowly. I stand up, pulling off my glasses and setting them on the coffee table. I playfully glare at him, and say sassily, “Watch me.”
I walk over to the front door and unlock it. I look back at him, as he narrows his eyes at me, “I’m calling you out on your bluff...you’re not gonna do it...”
I pull open the door, the sound of rain becoming much louder than before. I glance outside, seeing the rain was coming down in buckets. I look back at him, as I step one foot out the door, “I’m gonna do it!”
Before you know, I step out the door and onto the porch. I stare out into the rain, smelling it, and listening to it as it rolls off my roof, hitting the grass and on the concrete.
I watch as cars across the street are covered in a sheet of water droplets. They all moving so quickly.
It smells so nice...
I jump off the porch and splash into a puddle, “Oh shit, that’s cold!”
I forgot I’m wearing shorts and a tank top with no shoes.
Plus, it’s almost October...
My kinky hair becomes soaked in rainwater, and it drips down my back. I rub it out of my face and stare up into the clouds sky.
I feel like a kid again...
I jump around, dancing in the rain, laughing as I splash through puddles. I run out onto the sidewalk and continue to dance like a crazy person.
I’ve never been happier to dance in the rain...
But something about doing it this time feels different...
“I can’t believe I came out here to get you!!!”
I turn around and find Travis standing over me, droplets rolling down his face and neck. He’s soaked in water, and his jeans look heavy due to the rain.
I giggle, and shout over the rain, “You didn’t have to come out here! I was just trying to prove a point!!”
“And you did!” He replies, rubbing his black hair back, his shirt sticking to him. I look him up and down noticing the outline of muscles in his shirt. I bite my lip and just stare.
I need Jesus!!!
“My eyes are up here!” Travis says, cupping my chin and forcing me to look back up at him. I blush, as he lets go of my face, “I wasn’t purposely trying to stare!!”
Bitch, why are you lyin’???
Just admit you were staring!!
“Right~” He purrs, grinning devilishly, “If it makes you feel better, my eyes wandered off to other places too~”
His eyes flash down to my shirt, and I look down noticing my shirt is see-through, revealing my black sports bra underneath.
“TRAVIS REEL!!!” I shout, pushing him, my face as red as hot pepper. He chuckles, stumbling back a little, “You were staring at me first!!”
I roll my eyes, “Not the point!”
“It kind of is.”
I turn away, “No it’s not...”
There’s a pause as I listen to sound of water hitting the concrete, cars, grass, and more. I grin and look over my shoulder at Travis.
He smiles softly at me as rain rolls down his face and clothes, brows furrowed, “What’s with the face you’re making?”
My grin widens and I suddenly begin jumping around again. He stares at me, questionably, as I shout, splashing through puddles, “DANCE IN THE RAIN WITH ME!!”
“I didn’t come out here for that!” Travis protests, laughing, “I came out to bring you in the house! You could get sick being out here like-”
I grab his arms, interrupting him, and he yelps. I giggle as I yell over the loud rain, “Less talking, more dancing!!”
She spins me around, laughing, and I just stare. I smile, and I join her in her dancing fit. She lets go of my arms and jumps around.
Her long hair bouncing around, and her gorgeous brown skin seeming to shine as rainwater rolls down her arms and legs.
My stomach flutters as she smiles at me.
That damn beautiful smile of hers...
I lied to her...about what I remember from last night. I do remember saying I love her.
And that’s because I do.
I love you, Tiffany Green.