I don't have faith in faith
I don't believe in belief
You can call me faithless
I still cling to hope
And I believe in love
And that's faith enough for me
Things were a little harder on Ben's last night home.
One of my biggest fears about falling in love again revolves around the risk that Ben might do something Jacob used to. Or Cole, more likely but still, while Jacob used second-nature actions and went on gut-feeling, I can't expect everything Ben does when he touches me or talks to me to be one hundred percent new or different.
So it's not and it's difficult and I have torn myself away from more embraces or moments than you could shake a stick at and one moment of overwhelming closeness that dissolved into horror on both our parts the night he instinctively traced my bottom lip and I completely shut down and he got angry and these are a different kind of eggshells to walk on, honestly.
They're all so much alike and it's why I loved them and Ben isn't perfect, not even close the way Jacob was and he'll never be as smooth as Cole could be but his heart is huge and his incredible grasp of simply living life as it goes along is monumental. He isn't like them, he's different in so many ways. You can't believe how wonderful he can be. Or how cruel. Wait, that puts him back in the Cole-likeness territory. Which figures.
He rubbed my lip again because he said he liked it, that it was intimate and incredible and close and that was what he wanted me to be to him and that I would get used to it maybe or maybe not but he wasn't going to second-guess himself with me to avoid the ghosts we keep.
I agreed and within half a minute we were nose to nose and that was so familiar too and I closed my eyes and then when I opened them again I was swimming in warm tiger-eye browns and his expression-rich face that is so incredibly solid and sure in spite of his reputation.
Beautiful. He said sleeping with me was underrated, that loving me was beyond what he had expected. I just stared into his eyes. He said he thought he loved me before, he had no idea.
I have ruined him, too.
He said he thinks of little else these days and I cut him off, reminding me that he built me into this, he's elevated me beyond my place, that he could not make me responsible for his own mistakes or his feelings. His whole face changed and he grabbed me and this time it wasn't sweet and soft and gingerly, it was harsh, painful and frightening. He said it wasn't a mistake and that he had tasted life, in every wonderful moment that could be, and now he knew what life was all about. What Bridget was all about. He understood what happens, at last.
We would have fought with it all night but finally in tears and exhaustion we fell asleep, arms around each other, Bridget squished underneath Ben's big frame as he was so worn out and I was so tired of the circles I think in.
In the morning he looked at me and said sadly that I was not forever, was I? I shook my head and said I didn't know. He broke down, mashing the pillow over his face to hide from me and I rubbed his back and told him I wasn't worth whatever he would go through and he tore the pillow away and shook me hard, saying something that will forever be burned into my mind.
But that's just it. It IS worth it. You ARE worth it. But am I worth it?
What do you mean?
I mean if you hold your breath every time I touch you in case it feels the same to you, am I worth that pain to you? Will you deal with that pain to be with me?
Then I'm not planning to mince words or actions. I hung out with the guys for the last billion years, it doesn't matter if we share moves or words. The point is, this is about you and I and has absofuckinglutely nothing to do with Jake or Cole. Can you live with that?
No, really, because I don't plan to complicate this. I'm not going to fight with you.
Oh please. We're born so complicated.
Bridget, look at me.
Who am I?
You are Ben.
Who am I not?
Oh, he was going to torture me now. I was reduced to hoarse whispers and trembling elbows.
You're not Jacob. You aren't Cole.
Good, then everything is new by default.
Yes, your favorite expression. You think I miss stuff. I don't. I hear every word you've ever said and done everything you've ever asked of me and now it's time you did something for me.
Don't make everything so hard or so profound. You're the person I went to when I wanted to feel happy. The one who always made me feel better and came up with fun things to do or make me laugh at the drop of a hat. You traded insults better than any of the guys. Where is that Bridget?
She isn't dead.
Oh, she's fucking dead.
Then I'm dead too.
He laughed and repeated that I wasn't dead. He is coming back with expectations. I know he is and I don't want to be in the position. The position of having to watch over his heart so that it doesn't get broken. Again.