" LOVE OF A LIFETIME "
( TickleMeOrange's Challenge )
" The love of my life? " I would have to say, Is the man I met years ago, on a blind date. I mean, my life changed when I met Ben. I was going through so many changes in my life.
My husband died two years prior, and part of me had died with him. I hadn't dated at all, in those two years. No-one could possibly live up to him, I guess. That is, until Ben came into my life with the key to my peace of mind.
To hear Ben tell it, I was the best thing to ever happen to him. When we met, we were both looking for the same things in life. We were lonely, and Ben had lost his wife a couple years prior also.
Even though my heart wasn't looking for love, Ben came along and claimed it. It wasn't just another day, but the beginning of a lifetime.
I sat at the mirror looking at this woman, that was before me. My best friend Katrina was fixing my hair. " Do I look old to you? " I asked her sadly.
" Where did that come from? " She answered concerened. " Your beautiful! " She assured me. " Your just nervous about going on your date. Not having second thoughts are you? "As she sprayed my hair.
" NO! " I cut my eyes towards her, " This date is your idea, Katria. Just remember that."
" Oh! Regina will you relax, Ben is a wonderful man. "
I knew it was time I started seeing people again, I just wasn't sure if I could go through the dating game again.
" How do I look? " As I stood there posing.
" Absolutely stunning, Regina." Katrina laughed. " Ben will love you. You'll be fine, just act natural."
Love, and natural. Those two words just didn't seem to go with a blind date. Suddenly the door bell rang. Thats when I started getting really nervous.
Katrina runs towards the door. " Wait a minute! " I told her. " I want to get alook at him first." As I peered through the peek hole. My mouth fell open, and I nearly fell on my ass. " Katrina! He's white! " I shouted in a whisper.
" So! " She shushed me. " He's a very nice guy," as she opened the door. " Ben! " Katrina cheerfully smiled, kissing him on the cheek. " It's good to see you again. "
Katrina introduced us. He was a very nice looking man, and his smile was warm and pleasant. As he took my hand, i noticed they were quite soft. Not clammy, which was a good thing. Men with clammy hands scare me.
I was still shocked from him being a white man, not that I'm prejudice or anything. Just a little surprised, he wasn't. Putting on my jacket, Ben offered to help. As i reached for my purse, I gave Katina, who had a huge smile on her face. An unsure glance, and told her I would see her later.
Ben was a little quiet, and I could tell he was as nervous, as I was.
Finally, he curiously asked. " Have you ever dated a white man before? "
" No! " I told him, looking over at him. " Have you ever dated a black woman? "
He looked at me, and smiled. " My late wife was african american. She passed away two years ago," he sadly told me.
" I'm sorry," I told him a bit embarressed. " I lost my husband a couple of years ago also."
We found ourselves in an awkward position, I twiddled my thumbs, and Ben was tapping the steering wheel, as we pulled into the restaurant. " I hope you dont mind, I took the liberty of making reservations for Italian." He finally spoke.
I smiled, " Katrina told you my favorite food was Italian, didn't she? "
Ben got out, and opened the door for me, " She might have mentioned it, " he smiled.
Our date was going great, we laughed, and really seemed to enjoy each others company. Although we were getting a few stares, we didn't even notice. We were too busy getting into one another. I found myself really liking this white man. I didn't have to pretend with Ben. I could be myself, for a change. I could be a natural woman.
After dinner, Ben takes me to a dance club. I hadn't danced since, well I cant remember the last time I went dancing. The dance club was so romantic. The lights were soft, and dim. The music was great. We had a couple of drinks, then Ben said. " I'll be right back."
He wasn't gone but a second, as he stood in front of me, offering his hand. " May I have this dance," he smiled so sweetly. I gave him my hand, and he led me to the dance floor.
Then just as he took me into his arms, my favorite song began to play. It was " Natural Woman," by Aretha Franklin. It felt so good being in a mans arms once again, It felt good being in Ben's arms. Love has no color, only black and white if it is true love...
Ben, and I have been married for twenty seven years now. We have two wonderful children. My best friend Katrina, whom I thank with all my heart, for being my friend, and introducing me to Ben, had passed away. I miss her with all my heart.We named our daughter Katrina, in her honor.
When I look at my best friend Katrina's picture, I smile. " Your the key to my peace of mind. Without you, I would have never found the love of a lifetime....