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"If it's meant to be ...."
A Long Time Coming
Ben and I met in April when I was 16 years old in a very unique way. He and I had mutual friend, Mandy, who asked me to come with her to see him in the hospital after he had been hit by a car. At that time I was very shy, and quite a bit overweight. When I first laid eyes on him, I thought he was the best looking male I had ever seen. O.k. I was young, and he was laid out in a hospital bed, but something, I have no idea what, caught me instantly. Mandy called his after we got back to my place and even though looking back neither of us are sure how it happened, Ben and I had agreed to be a couple by the end of that phone call.
I am still amazed at how fast he gained his feet after that, He had had an ACL replacement surgery followed by complications that lead to compression of his calf muscles and even more surgery, yet a month after he was released from the hospital, he showed up at my door, on crutches.
That was the first day he and I were able to spend pretty much alone, and we talked for hours. I was shy and had never had a date before, let alone a boyfriend, and I could tell he was a little shy too. He was 4 years older than me and a little worried about my parents. He obviously wanted to hold me hand, but was hesitant to take it, and instead fiddled with anything he could get his hands on. Eventually, I decided to make the first move and simply grabbed his hand. That first touch was like grabbing a live wire, I donít think either of us could have let go, even if we had wanted to.
From that time on, he and I were almost inseparable, He walked to my house, on crutches, everyday and we did everything together, from just watching TV to going to his therapy appointments. His recovery was amazing even to his doctors, and he always said it was because of his determination to see me.
I remember the first time we kissed, weeks after we started seeing each other. Again it was an unusual happening. We were playing cards with Mandy and our other friend Ralph when the fact that all we had done was hold hands came up. Mandy being herself had to make a joke of our hesitation and dared me to kiss Ben right there, and being one never to fail a dare, grabbed Ben and laid one on him right there in my dining room. Again it was the most electric thing I ever felt. Knowing how amazing that kiss was, I donít know why we didnít kiss sooner.
I decided to surprise him one day and came to his parents house, where he was staying, not knowing his mom would react the way she did. She didnít approve of him being involved with a minor and after I left, gave him a choice between living in her house and seeing me. He chose me, and though I didnít know at the time, began sleeping on the streets at night. As soon as I found out, I spoke to my parents, who thankfully liked him very much, and begged them to let him move in with us, using the extra bedroom, until he was back to being able to work and get his own place. They agreed and after I let him know that I knew he had no place to live, he moved in.
In December, on his 21st birthday I mixed things up again, and with my parentís blessing, asked him to marry me. He said yes, and we began planning a wedding for my 18th birthday. I turned 17 one month later.
At first everything was great, but as the months passed, Ben began to pull away, and in April, our relationship fell apart, the wedding was canceled, and he left. I lived my life, and instead of starting a marriage on my 18th birthday, I stared a full time job, met Michael, had a brief fling, and in December of 1997 I had a beautiful baby boy and tried my hand at being a single mom.
In February of 1998, I was standing outside work on a break and Ben just happened to walk by. We talked and later that night, he came by my house. We fell right back into old feelings and were a couple again that first night. Things were different though, I wasnít the carefree teen I had been, but a mom, and he knew that in order for us to have a long term relationship, he would have to be a dad. He wasnít ready for that yet though, and we ended up splitting again, I was understanding, and we remained friends, with benefits.
In December 1998, that changed, another woman he had been seeing confronted him and made his choose, and he chose her. My heart was shattered that night, and I went home in tears. I barely ate and was almost robotic in my actions for weeks. In February, My doctor gave me the news that I was pregnant again. While Ben and I had not been a couple, He had been the only person I had been involved with. I went to Ben to tell him, and he denied that he was the father. Just when I thought my heart couldnít break anymore, it did. I did the only thing I could think of, I left town, and tried to re-build my life. I had a miscarriage in June 1999, and moved on with my life as well as I could. I married in September of 2001, had a daughter in September 2002 and didnít talk to Ben again until September 6th, 2006. I say didnít talk to Ben, because I did see him, even if he didnít know. I found out that he was a cook at a local restaurant. Over the years, he was still in the back of my mind, and often made appearances in my dreams, and so once in awhile I would stop in, have dinner, or just a drink, and watch him work, wondering how things might have been.
My marriage was a nightmare, with me asking for a divorce one year and 4 months after I said I do, and catching my so called husband chasing a new skirt every few months. I had just told him that I had had enough and I wanted him to move out when I heard that Benís father had passed away unexpectedly. I knew Ben and his Dad had a close relationship, and decided to go offer my respects to him. My sister, Nickie, called him first and asked him if he would want to talk to me, and he said he would, so she and I went over to his home. Seeing and talking to him again after all those years was like running full steam into a brick wall. After all the heartache, I still loved him. Ben and I ended up talking though the night, and I told him about the daughter we lost. He told me the night I came to him he knew he made a mistake and ended up at Ralphís house, crying, and unsure of how to fix things with me, but he never got the chance, because I disappeared. He told me that over all the years, I had been there for him too, crossing his mind, and haunting his dreams too, and that he always, and still did love me. He kissed me that night, and it was as electric as the very first time.
In October 2006 he presented me with a ring and asked me to marry him, and I accepted with no hesitations. My sister, who had seen us go though all of those ups and downs over the years, cried when he proposed. My divorce was final in March 2007, and on June 23, 2007, Ben and I had a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony, with my son as ring bearer and my daughter as flower girl. When we kissed as husband and wife, I felt the same electricity I felt the very first time I touched him, and electricity I never did feel with any other man in my life.
My kids adore him, heís a great dad, and if possible, I love him more now than ever. My personal quote has everything to do with Ben and my relationship. ďIf itís meant to be, but it wants to go anyway, let it go. When the time is right, it will come back to you.Ē
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