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She tried calling his name.
Honestly, if Eleanor had known she was going to talk to a wall for the rest of her Sunday afternoon, she would've just stayed in bed. Watch some Netflix, play bingo with her grandparents, or even work another shift in Anchor's.
But when Travis called earlier, she hoped it would be different.
It started like a dream: the couple walked hand-in-hand, to a cute restaurant by the District where it was adorned with beautiful vines and bushes. He reserved a table for two out in the open, knowing she loved being outdoors and feeling the sunlight soak her skin. For that little effort of attention, she kissed him right then and there.
And so the day had begun. They talked, laughed, and embraced — the trivial things that made Eleanor's whole body pool with warmth. It felt so much like when they were younger. When they idled by their lockers, skipped class, stole kisses in the dark. Where they would then get in trouble.
Only to come back to each other in the end.
Then he picked up his phone and suddenly she was on mute.
“Trav.” Eleanor clicked her fingers in front of his face. “Trav.”
He looked up abruptly. “Hey, I'll call you back.” After exchanging a few other words, he finally pocketed his phone, giving her a sheepish smile. “Sorry, babe.”
“I thought we were on a date,” she huffed.
“We are.” He laced their fingers together on the table. “It was just some friends on my ass. Hey, I shouldn't have picked up the phone, okay? I'm sorry. I'm a dick.”
“No, you're not,” she smiled, ruffling his hair.
He grabbed that hand and brought it to his lips, kissing her knuckles and looking at her affectionately. “Yes, I am.”
She giggled. “When am I going to meet your friends, anyway? It won't be long until I'm at Warwick.”
While her boyfriend was going to be in his second year (he started late in comparison to his classmates), Eleanor was coming in as a freshman this summer. It wasn't as dramatic as it looked — they had been together for quite a while now, and she was used to the three-year gap between them.
That was why a lot of her friends she'd made in school came from Travis's circle. It was intimidating at first, constantly being surrounded by people older than you, but she quickly found that they got along just fine.
The only bad part was having to watch them leave one by one during graduation. She was left alone, and she made her own friends eventually, but she missed being in her comfort zone.
“You'll meet them soon enough,” he said. “Trust me, they're dying to meet you, too. But I want to keep you all to myself for a little bit.”
“Just a little bit?” she teased.
His eyes glazed as he looked her over. “Definitely more than that.”
His phone rang again, the loud ringtone cutting the air between them like a razor blade. Travis had listened; he acted like he didn't notice. But despite his nonchalance, Eleanor knew the truth.
“Answer it,” she sighed.
He looked up. “What?”
She mustered up a genuine smile. “It's fine, you can pick it up.”
Trav gave her an apologetic look for a moment before grabbing the phone.
The whole time, she looked down at her plate, picking at her food. It seemed like a longer phone call than usual — or maybe it was just her feeling impatient.
Stop it, she scolded herself. She should be grateful that she was here, with Travis; it was such a nice day, and he had handpicked this restaurant and this spot specifically for her, and it'd been so long since they were like this. She shouldn't be so selfish.
Then at some point, his face changed.
“What?” he let out, straightening up. “You have to be fucking kidding me — yeah, yeah, okay. I know where it is. Alright. See you soon.”
She frowned as he ended the call. “Is everything alright?”
“It's nothing,” he stated, running a hand through his hair. “There's just something I have to deal with. My friends are — they're fucking idiots. But I have to go now, baby. I'm sorry.”
“Maybe I can come with — ”
“No.” His answer was firm. "It's not a big deal, and it's just college stuff. You'll be too bored anyway.”
She pouted. “Alright. But you'll still help me tomorrow?”
“I promised I would.”
“Hey.” Travis stood up and went around the table, crouching down in front of her and clasping her hands towards his chest. “Today was amazing. You're amazing. I'll text you later, okay?”
Eleanor nodded, her hair falling on either side of her face.
“I love you,” he added, planting a soft kiss on her neck.