“Nel darling? I think you should maybe come down for dinner soon. Your mother’s getting worried.” I heard my father whisper through my door, yet I ignored him. It was unusual of me not to respond
politely, but at that moment etiquette didn’t seem so important. Besides, I didn’t ask them to come to my apartment to be there for me. I still appreciated it though, even if I didn’t act like
His name was Ben. Ben Harrison. Ben Nickolaus Harrison. I wrote it down in my journal fifty seven times over and over again, until my hand shook and the ink from my pen dribbled off the page. I wasn’t anything else but his girlfriend, so they wouldn’t let me into the hospital room. I wasn’t even allowed a last glimpse before he left. All I could think was why? Why was my connection to him not as important as theirs? Why couldn’t I get just one more moment with him? Why hadn’t things been different?
Why did he die just when I realized I loved him?
There was no point going through it in my mind, but I still did it. I threw logic to the curb the second I admitted that love invaded me, and this made no excuse for me to go back to it. I cried, I screamed, I kicked around and talked to no one. It was complete pain that was only held when speaking to apologetic family, along with his own sad family.
A funeral? What funeral? His mom was sick with cancer, and his dad thought he was a failure as a man for becoming an artist. Everything Ben did was on his own, and was proud of it even as a struggling artist.
I met Ben in Biology, a class he felt was completely irrelevant while I thought it was the most important grade for my career as a marine biologist to start with. Yet he was the most intelligent when it came to science, and I felt so jealous my blood boiled like crazy. This was my one and only natural talent, and there was the floaty flittsy person staring at the clouds out the window, getting every single question right that was thrown at him. He looked cute, acted awkward, and made me nervous and angry when talking to him. That was how he first came off to me. But when I started talking to him, that was when the anger started to show.
“Listen, can we please just get this over with?” were the first words he ever gave me. It was during a lab, where he had been conveniently partnered up with me. I was always polite, always quiet, but the second he said what he said, I didn’t miss beat in replying with “I really hate you.”
He looked at me, eyebrows raised, and an odd grin formed from his mouth. “I like spunk. And you’re cute too. Man. Too bad you hate me.” He wasn’t being sarcastic, I could tell by his honest eyes. He was being sincere, and that was the odd part of it that made things awkward. I didn’t know what to say to sincere, so I just looked away. Sincere was unknown territory at school, so of course I was nervous. It wasn’t because he was staring at me with those honest eyes, though that did make me feel funny. Still, it wasn’t so much a bad feeling, as a refreshing one. I went home that day pondering about him. Why had I never seen or noticed him before? Did he ever go to my school before? Am I just not observant when it came to people? Who knew the answers to my questions, but with the years to come he would tell me everything. From his pets names to where he had his first kiss, I learned everything about him with no secrets between us. It felt right. Like there was a true balance between us that didn’t have one of us overpowering the other. He quickly told me everything, while I slowly brought it out to the open for his eyes only. It was our secret society, where we were free to be angry or silly or codependent, or even happy. This was how Ben effected me. He turned my nonchalant disposition and created something colorful, filled with life. But did I do that for him?
I guess I’ll never know now. Even with all the thinking and dreaming of him, I still couldn’t figure it out. Did I really do anything for him? Did he really ever let me do anything for him? Maybe he just thought I was a charity case. But I don’t think so. I think I was better than that in his eyes. At least, I wanted to be.
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