Monday, 18 February 2008

Tall, dark and absent-minded.

    The heart is a small thing, but desireth great matters. It is not sufficient for a kite's dinner, yet the whole world is not sufficient for it.
    ~Francis Quarles

The phone calls ended Friday afternoon via PJ who acted as the supreme go-between, sandwiching me into a chair and sitting on me while I was forced to hear what I thought was going to be a massive campaign of retribution by Ben but turned out to be two-separate conference calls from a whole bunch of higher-ups that I didn't know but they sure as hell know who I am now and they were incredibly and deeply embarrassed for the behavior of several people who were present at an impromptu party.

Ben's phone was there because he had left it on the table and gone up to his own room and someone's girlfriend got a hold of it and had a little fun. He leaves his phone everywhere.

The apologies were formal and profuse.

Like I said, it's happened before but usually it was one of Ben's girlfriends trying to get her hooks in or increase the odds in her favor. In this case he didn't even know who had his phone until he woke up and went to call me and had to go get it.

Then the shit hit the fan. He quit. They sorted it out. He was equally impressed with the phone call I had received earlier telling me not to expect him back alot, and the whole thing smacked of underhanded trouble-stirring so I took the apologies with a grain of salt, mostly because I really don't feeling like dealing with people I don't even know and also because we've been keeping things private and I'd like them to stay that way. No one save for the guys knew he went out there with a girlfriend at home this time.

When PJ finally got off me and let me breathe, he suggested we find some major distractions for the weekend, as in leave the house, get away, keep the kids busy because honestly, while I believed that what happened was the truth, him being out there is still hard. I don't like it. Fine, I said it.

I woke up Sunday morning and Ben was standing in the door of my room. He was ashen, positively exhausted and looking as if he were about to cry. He didn't say a word, he was waiting for me to go first.

So I did.

My skin isn't thick enough for this, Ben.

He closed his eyes and made a face. He leaned back against the side of the doorway in a physical interpretation of the wind going out of someone's sails.

Keep them away from me.

He nodded, eyes still closed, as if he were afraid that he might see something he didn't want to see. And I don't know if I was just handed the party-line of placating the wives back home 101 or if they meant it when they said that Ben would garner more respect this time out and that they would work harder to keep the riffraff away and keep his personal property secured, which basically means if Mark finds Ben's phone he's to pocket it, but I chose to believe that he didn't know it was happening, corroborated by virtually everyone present and so I chose to forgive him and only him. Because he threatened to abandon what he lived for and breathed for rather than lose me, something he also now seems to live and breathe for. Huh.

I love you.

He cocked one eye open at me and winced.


I never say it lightly anymore, Benny.

Oh, dear God, I love you. How badly did you eviscerate me to everyone?



I'm sorry too, Ben.

Don't be, I wouldn't want to be sitting at home. Well, I would now. I want to be, here, that is.

You will be soon enough.

Not soon enough for me, Bee.

Ben asked me to know that he's working as hard as he can to have a future with the one girl who never turned her heart on him and that he wasn't about to watch me turn it now. That he's never wanted to marry anyone before in his entire life and when the thought of only being with one girl would have given him hives before, now it makes him happy, it gives him something to look forward to while he's out there pretending to be someone he'll never be.

That all he wants is what's in front of him and that now he has to leave again and for fuck's sakes we're going to get this right.

He asked me to keep the ring and the chip and that when he returns things are going to be a lot different. No, before he comes back. Starting now. Starting with trust, getting it, keeping it, invoking it and not needing to worry about it at all. And then he said Happy Valentine's Day and I burst into tears.

He flew out this morning. Here's hoping for that quiet spring I wished for.