This fictional writing contains graphic depiction and language that may not be suitable for younger readers. Discretion is advised.
Nine minutes passed from the time Ben hung up the phone until he knocked on my door. He was sweaty with his hair slightly greased back, reminding me of a younger and much blonder Johnny Depp. His plain white t-shirt was gently tucked into his faded jeans, but only in the front to form what the younger generation now refers to as a “tuckle”.
He did knock, but he didn’t wait for me to answer the door before he walked in. “Nat,” he called, desperately, “Are you okay?”
I emerged from the bathroom with my hair in my hand, brushing my former messy bun down across my shoulder. When he said ten minutes, I assumed it would be more like thirty and I hadn’t yet put pants on. There I was, still in my wrinkled Guns and Roses tee, bikini cut panties, and socks. He turned his head and covered his eyes when he saw me. “Ah, Nat, I’m so sorry,” he said, “I thought you were hurt.”
I sat down on the bed indian style as I continued to brush my hair. “It’s okay. It’s not like you haven’t seen it before.”
My eyes were puffy and bloodshot from the cry-fest I just had prior to him entering. I had managed to remove all of my makeup and slapped on some moisturizer hoping it would help to fade the redness around my eyes and nose.
Ben sat down on the bed beside me and wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me closer to him. He examined the room, eyeing a few pieces of broken glass from an old ashtray I had taken from my father’s house after he died. He stood up and began to pick up the pieces of glass, putting each tiny shard in one hand before transferring them to the waste basket beside the bed. I laid back on my pillow as he did this, waiting impatiently for him to come lay down beside me.
I touched the lamp on the nightstand to tap it awake and asked Ben to turn off the overhead light. He did so, then made his way to the other side of the bed and stretched out beside me, propped up on one arm and facing me.
“There’s really not much I can say right now that will make you feel better. I can’t stand a thief,” he said.
“I know,” I told him, “It just helps with you being here.” I scooted my body closer to him and laid my head against his chest. He wrapped his arms around me again and kissed my forehead gently.
When we were teenagers, I would sneak in to Ben’s bedroom many nights so we could stay up late and play Mario Kart on Super Nintendo. I always chose Princess and him Mario, and each time he’d slow down his cart to let me win, even though we both knew Princess was the slowest of them all. “Stop letting me win!” I’d yell at him.
He’d laugh as he replied, “I’m not! I swear!”
Then one night, one of our many nights sneaking in a game or two, we paused the game so I could tell him about a girl, Lexi, who had made fun of me in class for blood coming through my pants in what I later determined was every teenage girl’s nightmare that just happened to happen to me. We laid on the bed, exactly as we did now, and I cried into his chest while telling him how embarrassed I was, that the entire school would forever remember me as Natalie Miller, the girl who got her period in class. He placed his hand on my chin and pulled it up from his chest so that he could look me right in the eye. “No one is going to remember you like that,” he said, then he placed his lips on mine.
I thought of our first kiss as we lay together in the bed, my head once again in his chest. I wasn’t crying, but inside I was torn apart. I was upset about the bracelet, the one thing I held dear, and he knew it. Just like when we were kids, he touched my chin and pulled my lips against his. He said nothing, but in this moment he didn’t have to. The passion and comfort in his kiss told me all I needed to know- he was there. He would make everything better.
My hand moved from his chest to behind his head, holding him close as we continued to kiss. Both of our legs shifted closer to each other, entwining our bodies as he moved his hand along the bottom of my shirt. He pulled my shirt up slightly past my waist, then rolled over on top of me, continuously kissing my lips and causing my heart to beat faster.
His touch, so gentle yet so powerful, felt like the touch you long to feel when reading a sappy romance novel. Making love to Ben was like the words from that novel leaping off the page and forming into existence right in front of your eyes. It wasn’t just sex with Ben, it was love, mad love, and it reared its loyal head just as it had a few months prior.
We ignored his vibrating cell phone as we continued our comfort sex. He paid no attention to the vibrations as he looked straight into my eyes, with each push drawing him closer into my gaze. He received seven calls during this period, all of which he ignored, and finally a different vibration signaling a voicemail when he was finished.
He rolled back over to the side of the bed and adjusted his clothes, re-buckling his belt but leaving his shirt off. He pulled me over on to him, kissed me hard on my lips and sighed, “God, Nat, I fucking love you. I really do.”
I knew he did. And soon enough, I would ask him to prove it.