I Just Want to See My Baby

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Growing up, Lindsey and Ben were inseparable. Best friends since before they could walk, they did everything together. When both were told the other had cooties, neither ran away. They stuck together through thick and thin. And eventually, Lindsey developed a crush on Ben. Right before graduation and Ben moving off to another college. Now, a year later-and still as head over heels for Ben as ever-Lindsey can’t help but wish to see him for Christmas. The only question now is, will Lindsey get her Christmas wish come true?

Submitted: December 24, 2012

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Submitted: December 24, 2012

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Our tearful goodbye still echoed in my mind like a bell ringing through the air in the distance. It had been almost a year since that night. But I still remembered it as if it had happened yesterday. Remembering every detail so clearly, it still gripped at my heart to think back and remember what it was like to say goodbye.

Ben and I had officially graduated high school, and were off to start our new “adult” lives. I had chosen to stay in town and go to a nearby college so that I could come home on the weekends. Meanwhile, Ben had chosen a college a few states away. I was so happy for him because that meant he could pursue his dream of being a musician. And he was going to one of the best colleges in the country for music.
But then, that also meant that I wouldn’t get to see him as much. And I hated that part of the situation because I’d had a secret crush on my best friend for a couple of years. I tried to hide it the best that I could, but there were still moments when it was next to impossible to hide my true feelings. Mostly with the little things he would do; the way his eyes lit up when he smiled. Or when his nose crinkled up when he laughed. The way I felt in his arms when he hugged me. It seemed no matter what he did, I melted right there, and fell even harder.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to go the entire year without seeing him. We had the occasional Skype “date”, when his super busy schedule would allow it. We would always talk for hours then, catching up on each other’s lives. Ben would always ask me if I had a boyfriend, and I’d smile shyly and tell him no every time. Then I would hesitantly ask if he had a girlfriend yet. And he would always answer the same way, “No. I’m starting to think the girl for me just isn’t here.”

“Well, I don’t see how that’s possible. I mean, it’s a very talented music school. Tons of pretty girls. You never know…” I trailed off.

“Oh, I think I have a good idea, actually. I just don’t think she’s here.”
And we always ended our little argument on that note, and changed the subject to something else.

If I were being honest with myself though, every time I asked him if he had a girlfriend I secretly hoped he would say no. I really did want him to be happy, he was my best friend. But I also knew that I wanted to be the one to make him extra happy. He had always been an upbeat guy, and the lucky girl who would get to be his girlfriend wouldn’t know what hit her. She would have the greatest guy in the world to call her own, and she may not even know it. But I would; I’d always known how great he was. And his brief girlfriend in high school had no clue how lucky she was. I was so glad when he finally broke up with her. And I’d had him to myself ever since. I kept hoping one day he’d realize what he had right in front of him all this time. But time got away and we grew up; and now he was off at another college a few states away.

After a moment, I realized that I had been staring out the window at the falling snow for who knows how long. I sighed longingly, if only he’d been able to come home for Christmas…
Unfortunately, the plan didn’t work out. Of course, I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about the whole thing as I normally would be. The last time we’d had a Skype “date”, we went through the usual banter, eventually ending up at asking about boyfriends or girlfriends. Our responses had become so typical, I never expected him to change his answer.

“So, uh…how’s the girlfriend search going?”
He paused before answering, a shy, knowing smile slowly spreading across his face, “Well…you know how I said she wasn’t here?”
“Yeah…” I replied, waiting for an answer.
He laughed slightly, almost like he couldn’t believe what he was about to say, “I, uh…I actually think I may have found someone.”

My heart sank. I felt cold and chills spread across my body. My stomach ached now. But no matter how much pain I was in, I couldn’t let Ben see it. Judging from the huge idiot grin on his face, he was really happy. And it was my job to be happy for him. I forced a smile on my own face and attempted to put up a convincing façade.

“Wow, really? That’s so great!”

“Yeah…it is.” He paused, “I really like her.” He couldn’t seem to quit smiling. I was honestly happy that he was at least as happy as he was. But I was still disappointed because I had begun to get used to the idea that we might get together some day.
“That’s really great, Ben. I’m happy for you.” I said, attempting my best genuine smile.

He paused to study my face for a minute, “Linds…what’s wrong?”

“What do you mean? Nothing’s wrong.”

He looked at me a little more sincerely, “Linds. How long have we known each other?”

I kind of hated the fact that he could make me laugh so easily.

“Exactly. So I know when something’s wrong, and there’s something you’re not telling me right now.”

I paused as if to contemplate if I wanted to tell him what was wrong, “It’s just…classes. I have a couple of professors that I swear, they want to make my life as miserable as possible.”

“Aw, Linds, I’m sorry. I wish there was something I could do to help.”

I attempted a half smile, “It’s okay.” I paused, “But, hey, uh, why don’t you tell me more about this girlfriend of yours? I mean, if she’s with you then she’s got to be something special.”

Ben laughed at this, “Oh, she is. She’s…wonderful. The greatest.” He paused to glance at my face, “I, uh…I want you to meet her, Linds.”
What?! I went into panic. There was no way I could pull off a façade and pretend to be genuinely happy for him if she were here too. Plus I’d probably get zero alone time with Ben. And I was the best friend who hadn’t seen him for months. I still hated missing him the last time he got to come home.

But no matter how unhappy I was at the time, I still had to try to be happy for him. He looked way too happy for me to ruin that.

“Well, I’d love to meet her then.”

He smiled widely, “I can’t wait to see you when I get home. Love you, Linds” And with that, he signed off.

“I love you too, Ben. Just…not in the same way.” I whispered to myself as a single tear fall down my face.

In the few days following that conversation, I tried to get excited about at least seeing my best friend again. Even if he was bringing his new girlfriend home with him. And soon, my mind was busy enough with helping to plan my family’s annual Christmas party. I remembered that even though Ben had a new girlfriend now, he’d still be my Charades partner and we always had so much fun with that. This would be our third year in a row to win-we were that good.

My excitement was beginning to bubble over at the thought of how much fun we were going to have-girlfriend or not. That is, until I got an unexpected text from Ben saying to get online right away.

“Hey, what’s up?”

“Linds, I, uh…” He seemed to be searching for the right words.

“What is it, Ben?”

“Linds…” he sighed heavily, “I, uh…I’m not going to make it home for Christmas after all.”

“What? Why?”

“Some last minute stuff came up. I’m really sorry.”

“But Ben, that’s not fair.”

“I know.”

“I…” I was in shock; I didn’t know what to say. I was so counting on seeing him for Christmas, and now I wasn’t going to.

“Linds, I know. I miss you too. And I’m really sorry I can’t make it for Christmas. I really wish there were some way I could come home and see everyone, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.”

I couldn’t even look at him. I couldn’t believe that just like that I wasn’t going to see him. And there was no telling how long it would be until I got a chance to see him again.

“Hey, Linds, look at me. It’s going to be ok. I’ll figure out a way to come see you soon.”

“But it won’t be the same.”

“I know. But hey, will you do me a favor?”

“What?”

“Will you tell everyone at the party that I said hello?” He asked with a slight, hopeful smile.

I took a small sigh to calm myself, “Sure. Yeah, I can do that.”

He smiled a little more widely, “Good. Well…I can’t really talk anymore. But I didn’t want to tell you that through a text.”

“Yeah, I know.” I replied, trying to hide my true emotions.

We said our goodbyes and signed off. But I still couldn’t believe that my best friend wasn’t coming home for Christmas. On the upside, I wouldn’t have to pretend to like his new girlfriend.

In the next couple of days, we had our Christmas party. The house was packed with familiar faces, and new faces from just down the street. I talked to some of the girls my own age, and wandered through the house saying hello to everyone. But every time I rounded the next corner, I couldn’t help but hope I would see Ben standing there, waiting for me to discover him. I went through the whole night like that.

At one point, I just knew I’d heard his voice from behind me; I whipped around to see if he had made it after all, and accidentally knocked over the tray of snacks my grandpa had been walking by with. Every eye in the room was on me then. I looked up toward where the voice had come from and saw Levi, Ben’s older brother by two years. Looking at them, you’d think they were twins. I learned a long time ago how to tell them apart though. It helped that they kept their hair very different now.

Ben, being the musician that he is, seemed to be going through that phase where he wanted to try slightly longer hair. Not long enough to pass for a short girl’s cut, but plenty long enough that I had to fight the urge to run my fingers through his hair at whim. His dark brown hair just barely came to the top of his light gray eyes. The same eyes that, in the right setting, made me feel like he was reading into my hidden thoughts. One time, I swore he was able to read my mind and know that I liked him. I remember him smirking as if he knew something he shouldn’t, but he never said a word.

Levi, on the other hand, liked his hair shorter. Just long enough for the girl always at his side to run her fingers through his hair. I had always thought of Ben as the bad boy of sorts in his family. But looking at Levi now, I could tell that position was filled. Wearing a leather jacket with studs all over it, and black jeans with biker boots, he looked like someone you wouldn’t want to come across in a dark alley.

Of course, with how long our families had known each other, my family had long ago accepted Levi’s…quirkiness. We were all a bit scared of him at first, but he’s really quite harmless.

I looked around the room to realize everyone was still watching me. And without warning, Levi came over and helped me up, “Hey, you ok there, Linds?”

“Yeah, I’m fine, thanks.” I replied. I may have a huge crush on my best friend, but for a long time now, Levi had been like the older brother I never had. I smiled at him, and he smiled back, then I retreated to the kitchen where I was hoping I could be alone for a little bit.

I went out the kitchen door and onto the deck in the back yard. We were just far enough out of town that you can actually see stars at night. I loved coming outside on a clear night and wasting hours with Ben. Of course, seeing as I had a crush on him, it was never truly wasted.

After what felt like only a few minutes, mom poked her head out the door with a jacket in hand. She came over to me and draped it over my shoulders, “Lindsey, everyone’s about left now, honey. I think it’s safe for you to come back in now.” She said with a wink.

I smiled and went back inside. Mom was right; the house was nearly empty now. The only ones left now were the Madison’s. As I walked up to the small group, I heard Ben’s dad once again thanking dad for welcoming everyone into our home.

“Oh, it’s really no problem, Stan. We enjoy it.” Dad replied, firmly shaking Mr. Madison’s hand.

I glanced over, and Mrs. Madison and Ben’s sister were talking to mom about recipes for all the treats served.

Mom gave a hearty laugh which made me smile right away, “I’ll be sure to get those to you just as soon as I can!” She replied, while pulling Mrs. Madison into a big hug.

Then I heard a voice behind me once again, “Well, kiddo, I’m sorry Ben couldn’t make it tonight, I know you were really looking forward to seeing him again.”

“First of all, Levi, you’re only two years older than me, so you can’t exactly call me a kid. But, yeah…I did want to see him. I miss the guy.”

“I know you do.” He paused while nodding his head to the rest of both families, “We all know you do.”

I looked hard at Levi, could he possibly know what was really going on? I glanced at the rest of the family; did they know how I felt about Ben?

I looked back at Levi, one thing was for certain, I’d never really been able to figure him out. But something about his face said he knew.

Before I could give it much more thought, I was pulled into one of Levi’s hugs, “It’ll be ok, kid. Trust me on that.”

I tried to squirm out of the hug so I could study his face again, but he only held me tighter.

“Well, kids, it’s time to go!” I heard Mrs. Madison call cheerfully. Before I knew what happened, Levi had let go of me and ducked out the door before I could see his face. The guy was good, I had to give him that. As he walked down the street, he looked back at me with a smirk and winked. This was typical Levi style when it came to me. But something felt different about it that time, almost like he was trying to tell me something, without telling me anything. I shook my head and laughed, the boy had always been a bit of a puzzle anyway.

I looked around and was a little surprised at how many paper plates and plastic cups were lying around. Most of the crowd that had been here were my parent’s friends, and were considerate enough to throw their trash away-even a stranger they just met. Then I remembered-there had been a whole new crowd tonight of teenagers with no care about where they left their trash. But what did they care? They didn’t have to stick around to help clean up.

I saw how tired my parents were as they began with the cleanup, “Hey, I’ll get it.” I told them.

They looked at each other, “Are you sure?” Mom asked hesitantly.

“Yes, I’m sure. You both look exhausted. Go get some sleep, I’ll clean up here.”

“Ok…if you’re sure.” Dad said, already starting up the flight of stairs.

“Yes, I’m sure. Now, go. Shoo, shoo.” I replied, making a shoo-ing motion so they could get some rest. I looked around the living room. It was kind of ridiculous how much trash managed to not make it into the trash can. I quickly gathered up all of the paper plates and plastic cups left over, threw them in the trash, and placed the trash bag out the door. Then I went through the house, turning off lights and cleaning up after the party as I went.

As I came to one threshold, I paused to look up. There it was, the famous mistletoe. Part of me was a bit irritated at it for being the symbol of the unexpected, yet completely expected kiss around Christmas time. And then the other part of me could only lean against the threshold, stare at it, and sigh like the typical girl I was. Sure, I wasn’t too happy about missing out on my own kisses because the guy I loved was three states away, but typical girly me still swooned at the idea of getting a kiss from him under the mistletoe.

I shook my head, knowing it wouldn’t come true this year. And I continued to go through the house, picking up what trash was left.

I passed by the windows next to the front door; they had sheer curtains covering them, so I could still see the snow slowly falling down to meet the frozen street. My gaze caught the front steps, and I lightly hugged myself, wishing yet again that he could be here. But I knew it wouldn’t happen.

Just wishful thinking, Linds. I told myself.

I tore my own gaze away from the door, and caught sight of the beautiful Christmas tree we had. I walked over to it, not quite noticing it fully until now. Twinkling lights all over it, and glass ornaments hung balanced everywhere. I looked down at the bottom of tree at all of the presents waiting to be opened in the next few days. I lightly kicked at one of them; for once, I didn’t care much about the gifts. All I wanted was to see my Ben.

I walked over to the recliner a few steps away and slumped into the seat. I found the remote to the stereo and turned on whatever CD was in there. It was late enough for my parents to have gone to bed, so that meant past 10 o’clock. But I wasn’t in much of a mood to simply go to bed. I turned up the volume slightly to hear what song was playing. As soon as I heard the piano intro, I smiled. I was quite familiar with this song, and soon, the smooth vocals of Michael Buble’ started singing “All I Want for Christmas is You”.

I sighed happily; there was something about his voice that could always make me feel a little bit better. But then I frowned slightly as I caught the lyrics for the first time. I knew the lyrics by heart, but there was something different about it this time. I felt like I could relate to it this year.

As I thought more and more about just how much I missed Ben, my heart began to ache at the thought of not seeing him again for a long while. He’d said he would come visit me soon, but I also know the chances of that actually happening with his school schedule-which was very little of any chance.

The more I really listened to the lyrics and what it meant, the more I felt like I was living the song. Tears were building up at the climax of the song, ready to release any second. I jumped and nearly fell out of my seat when I hear a light knock on the front door. I stared at it like it was crazy.

Who would be coming here this late? I wondered as I slowly got up and headed toward the door. I paused to glance out the window, and simply smiled and rolled my eyes when I saw Levi standing outside.

I opened the door, grinning already, “Levi, I-” I stopped short. All of the right words were caught in my throat. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

I tried to convince at least one word to come out, and finally, it did, “…Ben?”

He grinned wider than I had ever seen him. He lightly grabbed my arms and steered me inside, where he closed the door behind him and pulled me into the tightest, longest hug he’d ever given me. “Oh, Linds, I missed you so much.”

I laughed slightly, “I missed you too.” Now I was the one who couldn’t stop smiling.

Suddenly, Ben pulled away, “Oh, wait, hold on…” he said, while searching through his bag for something. “Ah, right. Here it is.” He said to himself as he straightened up, and with a wide smile, placed a red bow on his head. “Ta-da!”

I laughed, “What is that?”

He pointed at the bow with a look on his face that told me I should get this one right pretty easily.

I stared at him with a blank expression.

He sighed as if the game was such a drag, “I’m your present.” He said while pointing at the bow with a cheesy smile.

“Oh!” I replied, laughing. I remembered then that he had said something about a girlfriend coming with him. I leaned around him to look at the door, but there was no one there.

He twisted around to see what I was looking at, “What?”

I glanced at his face, and caught a glimpse of his eyes. They were nearly dancing from such pure joy. I couldn’t help but smile. I tried hiding it by looking away, but Ben was too quick for that trick.

I heard the amusement in his voice, “What?”

As much as I wanted to hide my own smile, I knew it weren’t possible. I looked back at his face, “It’s just…your eyes.”

“What about my eyes?”

“You just look so…happy. I mean, your eyes are practically dancing right now.”

He smiled while blushing slightly. He looked down then back at me. The look on his face made my heart flip for a second. Why did he have to be so cute?

“You know, Lindsey, I never told you, but I went through a really rough time for a little bit. But, seeing you every day made everything better. You're the reason my eyes light up like they do. Lindsey...I've been in love with you for a while now. And I don't mean the best friend love. I mean,” He paused to grab my hands and look into my eyes a little more sincerely, “I am in love with you.”

I felt my jaw drop, and I tried to close it because I had a feeling that wasn’t sending the right message. But if your best friend of, well, forever suddenly says that they love you, and you’ve already loved them for a while, the words don’t come that easily. “But...what about your girlfriend?”

He chuckled, making his nose crinkle and his eyes light up, “Haven't you figured it out yet?” He looked at me like I was the most precious thing in the world, “Linds, you're my girlfriend...if you're willing.”

“But, I…I don’t get it. I mean, you had said something about a girlfriend you were bringing home.”

He laughed with a completely happy expression.

“What? That’s what you said.”

“Linds, I never said I was bringing a girl home.”

“Yes, you did.”

He placed his cold hand on my face-something we hadn’t really done before. But it helped when you wanted to get the person’s attention. “No…I didn’t. I said she wasn’t there. And she wasn’t. Little did I know that all this time the girl for me was standing right here.”

“But you were talking about how wonderful she is and everything.”

“I know, Linds. I was talking about you. You are the one that’s so wonderful and just…the greatest.”

All I could do was stare at him, still not able to believe what I was hearing.

“Linds, you’ve always been there for me. Even on my worst days, you never left my side. And I don’t know why it took me this long to see it, but I do see it now. I mean, you’re smart enough to win almost every debate we have. You’re sweet enough to capture my heart. Not to mention you always know exactly what to say to make me laugh. And you’re beautiful.” He paused to place a strand of hair behind my ear, “And those eyes, they just take my breath away sometimes, you know that? Those beautiful blue eyes.”

There have been few moments over the years where I was left speechless by something Ben said. And this was definitely one of those moments.

“I get it if it’s too weird for your best friend to be in love with you. But I am. If you’d rather not go there, ok. But…if somehow you feel the same, I would have to let you know that I would be the happiest guy in the world.”

He stopped, and simply stood there, watching my face. A vague trace of hope displayed on his face. I gently removed his hand from my face, and stepped back. I turned around and took a few steps away in attempts to gather my thoughts. I had dreamt of this moment for so long. I just knew that one day my best friend would come to me, confessing a long time crush as well. And yet, when it finally happened, it felt somehow different.

I heard a low sound in the background, and realized that the music was still playing. I somehow hadn’t realized that the same song was on repeat. Of course, Ben being here had been a little bit of a distraction too.

I listened a little closer to see what part of the song it was. As soon as I heard the lyrics, I had my answer.

“I just want you for my own more than you could ever know. Make my wish come true.”

I turned around slowly, suddenly very aware of what was about to happen.

Ben took a couple of steps closer, not saying a word, but instead simply raising his eyebrows in anticipation.

I leaned against the threshold, trying to make sense of the words swirling around in my head, “Ben, I have to tell you something. I should have told you a long time ago, but I suppose it’s better late than never, right?” I said, carefully watching his face. My heart sunk a little when I saw the slight fade of his hopeful expression. No, Ben, this is good! I wanted to yell suddenly.

I reached out and grabbed his arm, hoping to get his attention. He looked at me, hope gradually fading even more.

“You know, it’s not fair for you to do that.”

This took him by surprise, “Do what?”

“Act all mopey as if I had told you to get lost.”

“What? I’m not doing that.”

“Yes, you are. Now will you give me a chance to tell you my answer?”

“I think I already know your answer.”

“No…you don’t.”

The expectant look returned then.

“Ben, you can’t imagine my shock in finding out that you’ve been in love with me for so long. But, you know, I guess it was kind of a good sort of shock. I mean, if you find out the guy you’ve been in love with for a while feels the same way, it’s a bit thrilling. Scary, but thrilling.” I replied, grinning. I looked at his face, which was in complete shock. His jaw had dropped slightly, and was currently speechless. I playfully poked his stomach to remind him that he wasn’t breathing either.

“Any day now…” I stated, waiting for an answer.

He let all of his air out in one breath, “I just, I, uh…wow.”

I couldn’t help but giggle. The boy was just as speechless as I had been a few minutes earlier.

He looked at my face, searching my eyes for the truth, “You’re serious?”

“Yes, Ben. You have no idea how crazy it’s been to keep from saying anything. But I was scared.”

“I know, I was too.”

“Wait, so…did you just take a chance?”

“Well, I thought I was. But little things you did clued me in, so it wasn’t as scary. Once I knew how you felt, it wasn’t so hard. And then you tricked me.” He replied, poking my stomach repeatedly.

I giggled a little, and somehow we ended up closer together. All of the sudden, we were standing right in front of each other. And I got the feeling we were both very aware of this.

Ben wrapped his arms around me, while I placed my hands on his arms.

“So,” he started, “are we really going to do this?”

“I’m game if you are.”

“You know, I think we skipped a few steps.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, instead of starting off, ‘hey, I like you’, we just jumped straight to the ‘I love you’s.”

“That’s true.” I glanced up and realized just where we were standing.

Ben followed my glance and saw the mistletoe too. He looked back at me, searching for hidden thoughts.

Just kiss me already, you fool. I thought. Maybe he’d get the hint then.

Ben laughed a little and started to lean his head toward mine. He stopped to rest his forehead on mine, “Linds, are you sure about this? I mean, things are already different. What if it doesn’t work out?”

“Then we worry about that if we get there.”

He stared into my eyes for a moment, and I watched with anticipation as his gaze moved from my eyes to my lips. Of course he wanted this too. We had both been waiting for things to change for long enough.

He slowly got closer until he was barely an inch away. Such a tease. I thought, as a smile slowly grew across my lips.

We locked eyes once more, and instinctively knew that this was right. As soon as our lips met, that feeling got even stronger. How had I missed it all this time? Of course I would end up with my best friend. I smiled internally at the thought.

It was a short, sweet kiss, and as soon as it ended, all we could do was smile at each other. I got my best friend home for Christmas. My Christmas wish come true.


© Copyright 2019 LizanneGlasgow. All rights reserved.

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