Chapter 20 – What is Love?

11-29-17_10-02-54 PMNick walked into the apartment and heard voices. He looked around and found Ben in the closet talking to Audrey II and III. “Ben, you are talking to fucking plants again?”

“Shhh, they will hear you,” said Ben not looking up.

“You okay man?” asked Nick.

11-29-17_10-08-21 PMBen turned around and shoved his finger in Nick’s face. “No! Emma is pregnant. Grace is going to appointments with her – not fucking Casey.  It’s my damn fault she wound up pregnant by that no good son-of-a-bitch! She only started dating him so I would leave her alone.”

11-29-17_10-12-02 PM“God, you’re an ass. It’s not your fault. Everything’s not all about you Ben. But, you should talk to Emma anyway, and soon.”

11-29-17_10-04-36 PM“Why? Is something wrong? God, she’s not terminating is she?”

“No, Emma’s fine, just talk to her, please. Or call Grace. That would be even better.”

“I can’t. Emma doesn’t care what I have to say. And Grace. She will never speak to me again after the nightclub. There’s nothing I can do.”

11-29-17_10-12-32 PMNick gave up. “Get out of the closet and have a beer with me then. I have news.”

“What?”

“Get out of the damn closet and I will tell you.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

11-29-17_10-27-24 PMBen followed Nick to the kitchen, washed his hands and sat down. Nick grabbed a beer for each of them.

11-29-17_10-38-29 PM“I am officially off the market,” said Nick with a goofy grin.

Ben almost spit out his beer, “You got engaged?”

11-29-17_10-33-41 PM“No, but now that you mention it, that is the logical next step. I told Rachael I love her today, well she said it first and then I said it, but the point it’s we both said it,” rambled Nick.

11-29-17_10-38-58 PMBen studied Nick curiously. He thought Nick was exaggerating when he said he was madly in love with Rachael. How do you know you love someone? wondered Ben. He cares about Nick and his sister. He cares about Emma too. And Grace. Seeing her today drove home how much he missed her. It made him physically sick. But love? How is that different from friends?

11-29-17_10-31-16 PM“What? No congratulations?” asked Nick.

“How do you know? I mean, what is love?” asked Ben frowning.

“Whoa. Well, I can’t explain. You just know. I want to be with her. She makes me happy and I want to do things that make her happy. I can only see my future with her in it.”

11-29-17_10-36-48 PM“So you care about her. What’s the difference in love and caring? She’s your friend.”

“Yes, so are you and Emma, but I don’t have the urge to make love to either of you. And I don’t mean have sex Ben, I mean make love.”

“Aren’t you afraid?”

11-29-17_10-30-47 PM“Of what? Love? Ben, is that why you broke up with Grace? Because you were afraid of falling in love. Do you love her Ben?

“No,” he answered quickly before he could think about Nick’s question. He did not want a relationship and Grace did. Same as Emma and now she was in a mess. “Why the twenty questions? This is your celebration,” he said in an effort to redirect the conversation.11-30-17_8-15-05 PMBen lifted his beer in a toast. “To you and Rachael and love. I hope the two of you make it work.”  Why was he always toasting to someone else’s happiness?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

11-30-17_8-22-03 PMRachael was waiting when Emma got home. “Em, you look upset. Are you okay?”

11-30-17_8-44-43 PMEmma walked around and sat next to Rachael. “Oh God, Rachael, I need to tell you somethin’ and you gotta promise not to tell Nick or Ben. Especially Ben. Or Nick either, because he will tell Ben. Oh God.”

11-30-17_8-42-22 PMRachael was relieved. She was going to tell her. “It’s okay Emma. I won’t say anything. What are friends for?” She felt terrible lying to her best friend.

Emma put her head in her hands. “It’s all going to come out anyway and I just needed to talk to someone.”11-30-17_8-44-15 PMRachael rubbed her back encouraging her to talk. “I’m here sweetie. What is so bad?”

“I wasn’t refilling my pills,” admitted Emma softly, “I was making an appointment for Grace. Rachael, she’s pregnant.”11-30-17_8-43-06 PMIt was so hard to pretend she didn’t already know.  “Oh….is it Ben’s? Are you okay Emma? I know you liked Ben and hoped he would change his mind about dating you.”

Emma started crying and Rachael hugged her friend. She did still pine for Ben. What was it with him?  “Oh Honey, Ben’s a worm. Don’t waste anymore time on him. Look what he did to Grace. He would have hurt you too.”

11-30-17_9-42-09 PM“Ben’s a lonely worm,” defended Emma, “He’s not really a bad person. And you don’t have to worry Rach, I’m over him.  I’m just worried about what he will do when he finds out.  He is unpredictable and I am afraid for Grace.”

“Ben is nothing, if not loyal to his friends. But, Emma, you know better than anyone that friendship is all he is willing to give. That’s why he stopped seeing Grace. But I am pretty sure, and you know it too, that he still cares for her. I have no doubt he cares deeply about you too.”

11-30-17_9-40-30 PM“She doesn’t think he cares. She won’t tell him because she’s afraid he will want to get rid of the baby. She’s in love with him. She’s says she isn’t but I can tell she is. And  you’re right, Ben cares, maybe even loves Grace.”

“Can you convince Grace to tell him about the baby? He should know. Give him a chance to make things right with her. They should do this together,” said Rachael, then thought how insensitive it sounded. “I’m so sorry Emma.”

“I’m okay. Really, I just need to see Casey, you know?”

11-30-17_9-49-47 PMRachael knew exactly. “Yes, Emma, I understand completely. But – how far along is she? They broke up after spring break and it’s already June.”

11-30-17_9-55-52 PMEmma winced, “We figured she conceived that weekend at the Bluffs. She is 12 weeks now. I think she’s been in denial for a couple of weeks.”

“I could use a drink. Want to join me?” asked Rachael.

“Sure, then I’m calling Casey.”

Go to Chapter 21>>>>>

Go back to Chapter 19

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31 thoughts on “Chapter 20 – What is Love?

  1. Hehe, exactly what Cement wrote. The old song did this to us! 😀 Baby don’t hurt me no more.
    Ahem, yeah, I can’t wait to see Ben’s reaction when he finally finds out, but I wouldn’t mind funny misunderstanding with Casey either.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Chapter 19 – Wonder Woman | New Beginnings

  3. Pingback: Chapter 21 – Truth | New Beginnings

  4. We are inching closer and closer to the truth finally coming out! I wonder if learning about the pregnancy will be enough to force Ben to confront his feelings?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope when Ben learns about Grace being pregnant he finally steps out of ”denial zone”, and about Ben not knowing what love is…That’s a bit sad.Maybe he even know’s what love could be like, but is ( again) afraid of saying it out loud to himself…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m relieved Emma is over Ben (if she’s telling the truth), for a moment I thought she was still in love with him!
    And Ben has some serious reflecting to do, he is one messed up guy..! His family must have really made a number on him, he cheers on everyone else’s happiness but denies his own!

    Liked by 1 person

    • His childhood was super messed up. He totally closed himself off from wanting a relationship. Casey was good for Emma. She is a caregiver so it hurts her to see how Ben is behaving. She wants to mother everyone. Emma’s so sweet.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love Rachael and Emma’s friendship and how they attached to Ben even though he can be a real jerk sometimes. Well, Rachael has a real love hate relationship with him. Emma would do anything for her friends. ❤️ Ben’s reaction, stay tuned….

      Liked by 1 person

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