“Ben I-” I say as I start leaning toward him..I’m going to suck up my pride and do it. He looks at me with raised eyebrows, confused..then I guess he gets the gist and his eyes soften. He leans in just a little..and-
*Ring- Ring- Ring*…..*Ring- Ring- Ring*
That annoying noise, rings from the counter ruining the mood, again. I bite my lip and pull away. We haven’t kissed at all since that day, and I don’t know why but I want him to do it again..its been 3 days..and we’ve been awkwardly trying to figure out our feelings for one another.
“Sorry..” he says getting up before I can see his face. He picks up the phone and walks to the other room closing the door.
Who even is calling him? Why are they calling my husband. Ugh stop..what is wrong with me..since when did that word get so comfortable to me.
I hear his deep voice echo through the room..but I can’t hear his words. The weird thing is that he sounds angry..that is weird. The Thompson family rarely ever get upset, they barely ever care for that matter.
I get up despite my brain telling me not too. I don’t care, I need to know whats happening..I just need to.
The door is creaked open just a bit..and he is standing up, pulling a hand through his hair.
“I don’t care!” he yells, he looks around and whispers it this time. “I don’t care about the dumb stupid tradition, okay?”. He stands still listening to what the person on the phone says.
“I said no and thats it. Listen, you guys have taken everything away from me, my dreams, my chance to choose my marriage, my wedding..every single thing” . My breath hitches and it feels like a part of my heart shatters, even if its true, still hurts.
“You take it and make it your own. But you gave me Elle..Danielle I mean”
My breath hitches..once again as I feel my eyes tear up..I shouldn’t listen to this but I want to..I want to know.
“And I care about her so much..And that is exactly why I won’t touch her. You have taken everything from me for 20 years, now do me a favor and leave me alone.” he hangs up. And slumps on the chair pulling a hand through his hair. I want to just hug him. But then he’d know I eavesdropped on his conversation, I don’t want to push it. He just told me he liked me..he’ll probably hate me if he knew.
Ugh stop it..he looks so upset. I don’t know who that was on the phone I think his parents? if it is how dare they? No no, stop it angry Elle.. That won’t help him but I want to help him..somehow. I’m his wife after all..and he likes me..so why not just do something? Anything should make him feel better. Just go talk to him Elle…I can’t..Okay yes I can, but what if- JUST GO!
My hand hits the door..and it opens a little more. Well there is no going back now.
“Elle?” Ben calls out. I fidget with my fingers as I slide in the door.
“I- I just wanted to- to make sure you were alright..you sounded angry but-” I glance up to look at his expression. He is looking at me with those eyes..sad eyes. No…
I quickly walk over to him before I can think. I pull out my arms waiting for him. My chest pounds. What if he doesn’t want a hug? What if- His warm big arms hug me, tightly. I breathe out..in relief. He holds my head to his chest, like I’m the one who wants a hug..he’s so caring. But no..I want to hold him. I release my hands from his waist to around his neck..carefully caressing his curly hair.
“Are you okay?” I ask him. “Your supposed to be happy its our honeymoon”
“I know I’m sorry” he says pulling me closer.
“You know…you can rely on me..right?” I ask him. “I know I’m not the best person to confide in but I- I still want to help..”
“Not true, your already helping..” he says in my shoulder.
“Then why do I feel-” I start to say. He squeezes me tightly, shutting me up. He pulls away.
“Sorry..” he says..“I feel better now, thank you” he says with a little smile. His phone buzzes once more. He sighs..visibly annoyed.
I stare at the phone, anger rising even more. Who is this person who keeps disturbing him..?
“Stop glaring at my phone like that, Elle” he says patting my head. “Your gonna kill it”
“Huh? Oh I-” I stammer..“I didn’t realize my glare was that powerful..” I say. He laughs at that, then the tension builds up when his eyes linger on mine.
“I- I’m- I’m just going to- get groceries, yeah groceries..” he says moving farther away from me.
“C-can I go with you?” I ask.
“No! I mean no..I got it.” he says. “It’ll take like 5 minutes, be right back! Okay? Bye” he quickly leaves I hear the door close.
There it is again..he is pushing me again once more. Am I not reliable..? I mean sure I've had no friends..but I- well yeah, I guess I’m not reliable..he probably hates me..he’s probably regretting ever telling me he liked me, and will probably leave like the few friends I had…
No! He just said he cared for me…on the call. No..they probably forced him to say those words to me..no wonder he kept saying that they were controlling his life. He probably cares for me as a friend..thats why he avoids kissing me. Or touching me in general. It was a simple moment, I read too much into it..like I always do.
I hate myself.
*Ping! Ping~!* his phone.. he left it here. This is your chance Elle..my mind whispers. Pick up that phone, your his wife after all no secrets between us..and he lied to you anyways, just do it
I start to pick up the phone and just as I’m about to turn on the phone, I stop. Just what am I doing? Going through his phone? After everything he and I have been through..I’d stoop that low? No never..
If he has a secret to tell then I just have to trust that he will tell me at the right time. I won’t look through his phone. I’m better than that. Crazy how liking someone makes you do stupid stuff. I sigh and put the phone back.
The hotel feels cold and empty without him..without Ben. I miss him. I get up grabbing my coat from the rack. Even if he pushed me away, I’m coming anyways. I just want to see his face..besides..if I let him shop he will get a bunch of healthy stuff.
I run towards the little shop on this island. Why we chose an island in the middle of fall, to go on our honeymoon, just baffles me. I enter the store and warm air blows into my face..
“Oh welcome!” the young lady at the front desk says. I guess she is kind of lonely, or whatever but she always tries to befriend me or she just talks to me tirelessly, none stop. I literally know almost everything about her, everything.. She’s here because her parents own this store..so they sent her here since business was terrible. And she hates it. She will be leaving in a couple of weeks and will return again sometime in the spring.
She looks like the type of person to talk behind everyone’s back so I kind of want nothing to do with her.
“You are literally just in time..I saw this guy, the cutest thing ever. He’s behind aisle three but you can’t steal him I saw him first. I’m going to ask for his number when he comes for check out..he’s mine ya here! I even took a picture..so don’t even think of trying anything”
What? that picture looks just like Ben!! My husband?! I know she did not just take a picture of him!! Ben will hate this if he knows it ever happened, and I hate it too. I snap as I snatch her phone.
“Hey!! What are you doing!!?!” she screams as I delete the beautifully taken picture of Ben staring at two cans. I click *delete permanently*.
“You freaking b**^%” she yells right in my face as she snatches her phone back. “I hate you!!”
“Its not good to take pictures of people without their content.” I say crossing my arms. “Also..that’s my husband, he’s off sale..kay?” I say walking away.
“What? husband? Your lying!”
“Aisle three right?” I say with a loud voice ignoring her. She yells something else I can’t here. I now have a problem with someone else, this nature of mine gives me so much trouble. Well at least I don’t have to worry about Ben being on a random girls phone.
“Elle?” Ben’s voice calls out. I quickly turn and Ben is standing there, hands in his pockets, so cute!
“I knew I heard your voice, what are you doing here?” he says coming over to me.
“Well- five minutes passed and I wanted to come with you…” I trail off. As he stares into my eyes, he squints and reaches out his hand touching my face.
“Danielle..were you crying?” he asks but I’m sure he already knows the answer. How could he tell..? Why does he read me so easily.
“No!” I respond quickly going past him grabbing the cart.. “Lets just shop- I came to help cause I didn’t want to eat fruits all day again”
“Fruits are good and healthy, and it will help you live longer” he says as he catches up to me. I can feel his eyes on me, and I’m so afraid that he will bring up the fact that I was crying. So I keep my eyes on the food in the basket as I push it forward.
“Elle, your going to crash into the aisle..” he says redirecting the cart with his hand on mine.
“Oh sorry” I respond as I stare at his long fingers.
“I got you some strawberry pop tarts from that corner store..since thats what you like..right?”
“Really?!” I pop up gushing. “Thank youuu~” I say. He rubs his neck embarrassed. “Yeah” is all he says.
“Your always getting me things, I want to get you something too or like be of some help to you in some way…” I then say as I comb my hand through my hair, he grabs a box of oats from the shelf and adds it to the cart.
“Why do you always say that Elle? You already are,” he says. He says that but yet he still won’t tell me anything..thinking about it now. I don’t know anything about him, not his favorite candy, not his favorite sport..nothing. 5 years of getting to know each other before we got married..maybe I took them way to lightly.
“Okay I think thats everything” he says as I bite my lip with guilt. I’m a horrible partner, he deserves someone better. I know that. My insecurities are always getting in the way of everything..but I want to grow up, I want to be someone he actually deserves..I want to deserve him too. I want to love myself, and I also want to love him, hopefully he will love me the same. But I can’t do that with this ball of hatred I have for myself.
I look up at him..as he brings out his wallet. He already knows the price of it all, hes super smart. I really really like him.
“Everything okay?” he asks me as he notices my staring.
“Y-yes.” I stammer. Then I grab his hand without thinking linking my fingers with his.
“O-oh” he stammers right back awkwardly as we face each other.
“Can we talk? Like when we get home.” I say confidentially.
Instead of pushing myself in circles in my head..I want to tell him about all these feelings in my head. In my heart. I told him I liked him, but I didn’t tell him about all of these feelings. One ‘I like you’ is never enough. So I’ll confide in him, and hopefully he can confide in me.
“Yeah…” he says. I stand up on my tippy toes and press my forehead against his. “Thanks” I say as I meet his eye length for the first time. He seems surprised as I pull away. He pulls a hand through his hair once more clearing his throat. And pushes the cart with me all the way to front desk.
Its more awkward..and I’m just questioning myself on why I did that. Whyy did I doo that!!
The lady glares at me but gushes at Ben, I roll my eyes. Guess she hates me. She gushes at Ben once more, Ben raises his eyebrows at her staring.
“Hi~” she says with this disgusting voice. Now I’m the one glaring.
“Uh, hi..” Ben says..as she continues to stare at him as she checks out our stuff.
“So where are you from?” She asks in that voice. I want to yell its not her business but I bite my lip to stop myself.
“Sorry I don’t see how that has to do with anything” Ben responds. Wow I actually can believe he said that.
“Okay secretive..its fine, I’m just wanted to know, you know, wasn’t going to stalk you or anything. But whats your name?” she asks him. Ugh, I can’t do this anymore.
“Ben.” is all he says as he stares outside. Not paying her any attention.
“Oh Ben, Ben huh, Ben” she says over and over. Okay I really don’t like her.
“Can you hurry up?” I snap at her. She immediately turns her attention to me as if she forgot I was there.
“Um let me check out the man first, please be patient lady!” she snaps right back. Did she just call me ‘lady’? I’m younger than her first of all and she clearly didn’t believe me when I said Ben was my husband..Ouu..let me just chill before I do something I regret.
“You should watch out, Ben, this lady over here was totally stalking you..she claims your her husband or whatever, she’s clearly a liar. I’m just warning you because we are friends now.”
My face burns with heat. I’m embarrassed, upset all the words in the book that mean embarrassed and angry. How did I become the stalker?
“She is my wife”. Ben says taking out his wallet. “And I don’t appreciate you talking about her like that, she clearly doesn’t like you either so I’m good on the friends.” he says as the lady opens her mouth in surprise. “Here’s 20, keep the change.”
I smirk at her with a shrug. I told you..now you just embarrassed yourself for what?
Ben picks up all the bags before I can get some he puts all of them in his left hand and links our hands back together. And we leave the store..
“I can- I can get some of the bags” I say as I stare at his hands turning red.
“Nope I got it..” he says putting our entwined hands in his pockets. He’s too nice..Ugh..I like him..I like him so much. He also called me his wife..squee!! Stop it Elle you are not a teenager! Ahhh can’t help myself. I giggle a little out loud.
“What?” he asks clearing his throat already embarrassed.
“Your just adorable!” I say can’t helping it any more.
“What? Gross, stop it!” he says as I reach for his cheek. We both laugh as we walk all the way to the hotel.
“A-tew!” I sneeze. I sneezed a couple of times on our way back too. I rub my nose..Ben thinks I have a cold and I think maybe I do have a cold, I do have a low tolerance for colds. Its what I get for running after him and not wearing proper clothes. It was totally worth it though..
So he forced me to enter the bed, while he cooks. I want to help him. I want more Elle-Ben time, by the way is this love? Ugh so many questions so many feelings..how do I know when its love?
I wanted to talk to him, but this had to happen, gosh..what is wrong with my timing.
I hear his phone ring once more. “I don’t care about the tradition! IT’s not HAPPENING” he yells.
Tradition, tradition, he always slightly yells. I wonder what tradition he’s talking about and what does it have to do with me? I don’t like this, it feels like that time when my parents were just about to tell me about this whole marriage thing. I don’t want to be kept in the dark anymore, not by my parents, and not by him.
“Ben!” I yell out, great my voice is hoarse.
“Hold on Elle, I’m almost done.” he calls out, after five minutes he brings a tray of food and places it on the table. I sit up and he helps me slowly.
“I wanted to cook today” I say with a pout. He laughs and touches my hair slowly pushing it behind my shoulder. He clears his throat and pulls his hand back. I grab his hand, quickly.
“I heard you on the phone, Ben-” his expression clouds..and he looks uncomfortable “-and I want to know”
“I should’ve known I couldn’t keep it from you for too long” he says. “Elle it’s nothin-”
“I don’t want to be in the dark, if your struggling with something I want to struggle with you. Please, Ben”.
“Just promise me you won’t get mad at anyone… but me” he says. I squeeze his hand in a ‘yes.’