Chapter 46 – Grace Ramsay Rec Center

01-22-18_8-35-05 PMIt had only been two short months since Sofia started work and they were ready to break ground on the Park. Sofia had insightful ideas. It helped Ben tremendously to have a fresh perspective – and a female one at that. Together, they were quickly able to make the final decisions needed to move forward.  “We break ground tomorrow,” said Ben, “Let me buy you a drink after work. I want to thank you for your help and celebrate our progress.  I know I wouldn’t be this far along without your input and fresh ideas.”

Sofia chewed on her lip for a second thinking. Ben had learned that meant she was working things out in her head. “Hey, it’s okay. I know Jesse probably wouldn’t approve,” he said giving her an easy out.

01-22-18_8-07-42 PMSofia rarely mentioned Jesse. She knew Ben didn’t like him. She accidentally let it slip, at least Ben thought it was an accident, that she wasn’t living with Jesse and instead had her own apartment. He wasn’t sure why she followed her boyfriend all the way to Willow Creek only to live apart. He knew better than to ask her. She always got defensive when the subject of Jesse came up. Regardless, he was glad she had. These last two months had been super productive. They worked so effortlessly together.

Finally, Sofia flashed him a smile indicating she had come to her decision. “Sure, let’s celebrate,” she said surprising him.

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

01-22-18_8-58-24 PMThey arrived at the bar and sat down. Ben order two glasses of Cabernet. When the wine was served, they toasted to the park.

“It needs a name,” said Sofia.

“What needs a name?”

01-22-18_9-03-45 PM.png“The park, silly.”

“Why?”

01-22-18_9-06-31 PM“You can’t just call it the park. It’s special, so it needs a special name.”

“Special Park?” teased Ben.

“Bennnnn!” she scolded.

01-22-18_9-09-24 PM.pngBen smirked and took a drink. “Do you know how cute you are when you’re mad at me?”

Sophia smiled. “It’s good to see you laugh. You were so sad when I saw you last year.”

01-22-18_9-18-06 PM.pngBen thought about what she said. It was true. “I was having a hard time. It was Cole’s first birthday and the anniversary of Grace’s death. I’m sorry I got mad at Jesse. I was out of line. It gets easier as time goes on. I guess time is the great healer. Having you here has helped me a lot. My mom and Leroy too. They have been a godsend.”

“You loved her very much.”

01-22-18_9-29-50 PMBen looked at the wedding ring he still wore and twisted it before reaching for his drink. He used the time to think about his answer.

01-22-18_9-32-37 PM“I do – did. At first, I thought about her constantly. Now, days go by and I don’t think about her at all. Sometimes I forget what she looks like and it scares me. Then Cole will give me this one look he has that looks just like her and it takes my breath away. I think that’s why I keep her picture on my desk. I don’t want to forget her. It seems wrong somehow.” Ben’s voice was thick with emotion as he continued, “She was so young and beautiful, with so much love to give. It doesn’t seem fair.”

01-22-18_8-56-35 PMSofia studied her glass and twisted it. “I’m sorry,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper, “I didn’t mean to upset you.”

Ben smiled, and his sadness vanished. “It’s okay. Don’t be sorry. It’s good to share your pain. A very smart lady said, ‘When you share your pain with someone else; it only hurts half as much’. She was right.”

Sofia looked up, smiling with a gleam in her eye. “Ben, I know what we can name the Park. We should call it the Grace Murdock Recreation Center.”

Ben thought about her suggestion. “Nooo,” he said slowly, and Sofia’s face fell. Ben smiled quickly and shook his head, “I don’t mean no, no. I mean not Murdock, but Ramsay. It should be Ramsay, Grace Ramsay Recreation Center.”

01-22-18_9-23-44 PM.png“Ramsay? That’s her maiden name? But why not her married name?” asked Sofia.

“She was only a Murdock for a few short months. Ramsay is who she was and how she should be remembered. Not as my wife, but as her own person.”

Sofia smiled affectionately at Ben biting her bottom lip again. Tears were swimming in her eyes. “That’s so sweet,” she said blinking fast. “No one will ever forget her that way. We can dedicate it to her. Sorry, I’m a little emotional. ”

01-22-18_9-28-35 PM.pngBen was amazed at the girl, no, woman, sitting across from him. Jesse was a very lucky man. He raised his glass, “To the Grace Ramsay Recreation Center.”

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

01-23-18_8-59-53 PM.pngThe next morning, when Ben told Leroy what he wanted to name the Park, Leroy had wholeheartedly approved, much to his relief. He was so afraid Leroy would think it was self serving.

“That will be healing for you and it’s a great name. I know Lillie May will pleased too. How is she? Is she well enough to come to the dedication ceremony?”

Ben was sad thinking about Lillie May. “I don’t know. Maybe. I will let her know next time we go. I might ask Sofia to go with me since it was her idea.”

01-23-18_9-01-22 PMLeroy grinned, “Let me know if you need to take a couple of days.”

Ben was so humbled. Leroy had been nothing but supportive and kind since he came back. “Thanks. But I go on Saturdays. And thanks for everything else.  I owe you and Mom so much for helping me and Cole. I can never repay you.”

01-23-18_9-17-53 PM“You are home now. I haven’t seen your mother this happy in a long time. I really wish you would spend some time talking to her. Try to understand why she did what she did. She never stopped loving you Ben.”

Ben didn’t have to think about his answer this time. “I will. Maybe we can go out to dinner together. I owe her such a huge apology. Dakota can earn some more babysitting money.”

01-23-18_9-08-23 PM“Dakota adores Cole, she would do it for free. So do Hailey and Maddy for that matter….”

Sofia bounced into the office interrupting their conversation. “Good morning!” she said, practically singing the words.

01-23-18_9-30-58 PMBen didn’t mind the interruption. He loved her perky enthusiasm and smiled at her musical greeting.  “Hey Pia. You’re in a good mood this morning. Guess what? Leroy approves of your suggestion to name the park.”

“It was a good one,” said Leroy.

01-23-18_10-27-18 PM.png“Thanks,” she said giving Ben a warm smile, “but Ben helped too.”

Leroy looked back and forth between them. “I’m gonna take off and get a ‘coming soon’ sign made with the name of the Park. We can place on the property to advertise. See you two later.  And Ben, call your mom.”

01-23-18_10-30-59 PM.png“Will do Leroy. Thanks again,” replied Ben and turned to Sofia. “I could use some coffee. Want to go with me to get real coffee instead of the stuff we have here?”

01-23-18_10-42-24 PM.png“Sure. I could go for a Caramel Macchiato!” she said.

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

01-24-18_6-29-31 PM“I had a good time last night,” said Ben as he handed Sofia a cup and sat down with her. “It was nice to get out of the house and just relax. Thanks for going with me. I love Cole to pieces, but….conversation with a two year old quite one sided! He repeats everything I say.”

01-24-18_6-26-24 PM.png“Aww. He’s such a cutie.  And you’re welcome. I enjoyed it too. I love hanging out with you. You are so easy to be around.” She quickly took a drink of her coffee as a blush spread from her chest to her cheeks.

Ben pretended not to notice. “You would be in the minority with that opinion. Did I ever tell you what Emma’s pet name for me is?”

01-24-18_6-30-10 PM.png“No,” she gushed, “Do tell!”

01-24-18_6-30-24 PM.png“Dick-hay-ud,” he said using his best Emma accent.

01-24-18_6-31-00 PM“Oh my God Ben! That’s too funny! But I don’t see you like that at all. You are so sweet and caring. You light up when you talk about Cole and it’s so cute. Why on Earth does she call you that?”

01-24-18_6-33-11 PM.pngBen’s lighthearted mood changed as he thought about why. He took a breath before answering. “I have changed since then. I think having a child changes you on a cellular level – probably from lack of sleep,” he said and laughed, “but seriously, Cole changed me. Falling in love and admitting it changed me. Losing Grace like I did changed me. It nearly destroyed me actually. Had it not been for Cole, I would no doubt still be a dick-hay-ud, probably worse than before.

01-24-18_6-33-28 PM.png“The thing is Pia, I wasn’t a nice person. Jesse was right to be angry with me. I slept around. It wasn’t a secret. At least until I met Grace and Cole was conceived. I had to come to terms with my feelings and let her in. They both taught me about real love. My one night stand days are over and so is my love life. I have Cole now. So maybe you are right, and I’m not as much of a dick-hay-ud as I used to be, I hope.”

01-24-18_6-37-22 PM.png“I’m sorry Ben. I didn’t mean to pry. And you’re not.” said Sofia with an apologetic smile.

Ben laughed nervously, a little embarrassed. “You know Pia, you are easy to be around too. Maybe it’s because we spent so much time together fishing when we were younger, I don’t know, but I just want to tell you everything. Things I never tell anyone else. Oh, that reminds me of something I meant to ask you. I have to take Cole to see Lillie May this weekend. I am going to tell her about the park. It would be nice for her to meet the person whose idea it was to name it after her granddaughter. Would you like to come with us? Then maybe, afterwards we can take Cole fishing at one of the streams there.”

01-24-18_6-41-16 PM.pngSofia’s face lit up like a little kid on Christmas Day. “Oh. I would love that! It’s been forever since I went fishing. And I would get to see Cole again. And I would love to meet Lillie May too. She seems like a very nice lady, but she won’t think I’m intruding will she?”

“No. She will be thrilled to see someone besides me. Secret, she is the one that said to share your pain. Oh crap. You think Jesse will be okay with you going with me?”

01-24-18_6-35-21 PM.pngSofia chewed on her lip thinking. It was so damn cute. He couldn’t help but stare at her. She took one more drink of her coffee before answering. “No,” she said finally, “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. It’s work related anyway. If he asks I will tell him so. And I really want to meet Lillie May and go fishing with my friend and that sweet little boy.”

01-24-18_6-40-06 PM.pngBen was surprised that she would lie to Jesse and it worried him. “Sofia, you should tell him. If I learned anything, it’s you have to be honest with the one you love. If he says no, then that’s okay. I understand.”

Sofia turned her head and studied her coffee. Her hair spilled over her shoulder hiding her profile. Ben practically had to sit on his hands so he wouldn’t reach over and push it back so he could see her pretty face again.

01-24-18_6-41-52 PMShe finally turned towards him pushing it back herself. She had evidently worked out whatever it was she was struggling with. “He…doesn’t know you work there…that we… work together.”

01-24-18_6-40-30 PM.pngShit… “Oh…” was all he could manage. No wonder she is hesitant, he thought.  But now that she said it, he wasn’t surprised. No doubt Jesse would have insisted she quit. “Look, I don’t want to cause problems. Maybe we shouldn’t….”

“No Ben!” she said before he could finish, “I want to go. It will be okay. I promise. Don’t worry about Jesse. We will be back before it gets dark. I will still be able to see him for our Saturday night date.”

“Sofia, you can’t keep it a secret forever. He’s bound to find out. Willow Creek isn’t huge. Honestly, there is no pressure for you to go. You know that right?” He wanted to spend the day with her, but didn’t want to cause problems between her and Jesse.

01-24-18_6-43-15 PM.png“It’s my choice. And I choose a fun day with you and Cole. I would just be cleaning my apartment otherwise,” she said beaming. Then she surprised Ben again. She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “Now stop worrying. Didn’t your mama tell you that you would get wrinkles on your face from frowning?”

Ben busted out laughing. “No. I can’t say that she did! So, okay, if you’re absolutely sure. But, Sofia, you need to let him know that I work there too. It will be a whole lot better if you tell him rather him finding out from someone else. Trust is a big part of a relationship. Now, I think it’s time to get back to work before Leroy fires both of us and it’s no longer an issue.”

Go to Chapter 47 >>>>>

Go Back to Chapter 45

66 thoughts on “Chapter 46 – Grace Ramsay Rec Center

  1. Pingback: Chapter 45 – Assistant | New Beginnings

  2. Oh my goodness! The Befia ship is starting to move now. Come on Ben you are showing signs of being ready to try again but slowly. You can do it! I’m so proud of you darling! You just need Cole to tell you it’s okay to love someone other than him and Grace. It will be hard but you can do it!

    Way to go for Sophia for whose standing up for what she wants. If Jesse doesn’t like it, too bad!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ben is slowly healing, but he isn’t quite there yet. 🙂 So Jesse can take a flying leap huh? Too bad if he doesn’t like it, he can just get over it! 😂

      On Sunday we will see their trip to see Lillie May. I adore Lillie May. She’s such a sweet old woman! ❤️

      Like

  3. Oooooh the drama!!! It’s so close I can practically smell it and I can’t wait to see how all this unfolds! 😀 😈
    Seems that Ben is starting to fall for his little fishing companion, and *someone* is not too happy about their friendship (can’t say that I blame him though)!
    I wonder if Jesse only saw them from the window or heard some of the conversation too, hmmm… well, whatever it is, I’m sure it’s not gonna be pretty around there very soon! Can’t say that I’m not looking forward to whatever happens 😈

    Liked by 2 people

    • 😇 What? You think there is drama around the corner? 😂

      I don’t think Jesse heard any of the conversation, but just seeing them was surely enough to set him off! 😈

      Ben is most certainly falling for her, but very much in denial about what his true feelings for her might be. But is the feeling mutual? A bit complicated for both of them. 😕

      Liked by 2 people

    • I am glad you like their relationship. Sofia is just a cutie. Ben has truly changed a lot since Grace. And the big question of the day is what will Jesse do about it? Hmmmm. 😈

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, am I caught up! No, I will just go read Sempreviva’s newest post and continue my goal to cut my sleep short this night. Uh, it’s Saturday anyway! From like 10 minutes.
    So, I really enjoyed this rollercoaster I was taken on while reading your story. There was joy and there was grief, but I loved it all and as you can tell by the fact I *almost* read it all in one day (one day for you at least) you can tell I was very, very engrossed. I am obviously leaving a follow and adding you to my blogroll. And I will be stalking your blog right now if you don’t mind, haha.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ~ Look who is putting on his big boy boots & giving relationship advice,go Ben!
    ~ I think Sophia’s secret will be out of the bag as Jesse will demand to know what is going on, why he saw her with Ben,what is going on?Explain! (He looked very mad looking through the window!)
    ~ Things are not going to end well! 😥
    ~ I love the name of the park,so fitting for Grace!♥♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! When I saw big boy pants, I laughed. He actually uses that term in a future chapter. Did you peak? 😂 But yes, he is definitely much more mature than he was.
      You think Jesse is mad? Maybe just a little. 😈 She is playing a bad game. He will most certainly confront her.
      And yes, Naming the park for Grace was so sweet. Glad you like the name.
      Fishing trip on Sunday!

      Like

  6. Pingback: Chapter 47 – Fishing | New Beginnings

    • Yep, somebody’s gonna get bit. Secrets have a way of being discovered at some point…and of course Ben has one too…..so he is one to preach. But he was honest with Grace about his hobby, well mostly honest. But he is learning.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Arghhhhhh!! Iflt agony during all these scenes where Jesse wa slooking! Like some monster in a horror movie ready to jump in the scene…I’m suprised Jesse didn’t slap the window and say ”Get away from MY GRILFRIEND!!!” maybe he will use this whole situation to his advantage..? We shall see, also, I’m posive the ship ”kiss your sister” is sealing, and no, I can’t change the name..XD

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, so here’s a thing I thought I’d never say: Ben, that is some spot on advice you just gave about relationships!
    I need a moment to re-orient myself here.
    Ahh! And Jesse ominously lurking in the background (ebil cackles).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Was wondering what happened to Sofias spunk that she showed in the early chapters. She still has it. But you can see how Jesse’s controlling has limited her to lying and doing things that are out of his control. This is good for Sofia. But it is bad for their relationship. It is hard for a controller to trust anyone and when Jesse finds out we are going to see the real Jesse.
    Positive is that Ben is changing and maturing, you can see it at work and at home. He is becoming a more sympathetic character now.
    Great crafting all that in the chapters I have read so far. Think I am going to stay up a little longer Just to see what happens next.

    Liked by 1 person

    • She’s losing that fun loving nature now that she’s away from home and with Jesse more. He totally doesn’t trust her…. Ben is growing and maturing. I’m proud of him…he still has one little or big problem hanging over his head….

      Like

  10. uh oh. Now Sofia’s not cool :/
    1 she lies to her boyfriend,
    2 she looks like she’s falling for Ben but doesn’t even consider a break up. even if Ben wouldn’t like her back and Jesse wasn’t a creepy window stalker, it’d be the right thing to do…

    also…
    ” If he says no, then that’s okay. ”
    sorry Ben, but no. noone ever has the right to tell anyone who they can meet and who not.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh geez, Jesse. This won’t be good.

    It’s nice to see all these pictures I’ve seen before in context! Even nicer to see how things come together from knowing what happens.

    Like

  12. I see that punk, Jesse! And i dislike him more and more, peeking through a window like some psychopath. 🤪🤪

    I’m glad Ben is healing up from losing his sweet wife. Time truly does heal, and i really like Sofia a lot. (Yes, you can see feelings brewing inside her for Ben) But yet she honors his late wife by naming the park after her. It takes a real woman to do that. I honestly hope they end up together. They are best buds and it seems she is awakening Ben’s life and bringing back his smile.

    Now, if Sofia can just drop that dickhead Jesse like a bad habit, things will be GRAND! Because he’s a virus and I hate him. Heh heh heh.

    Once again, great job, Audrey! 👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Well, I’m back! The fact that gen 3 is the header now and I’m not done with Ben’s gen is yikes! But slow and steady as they say, hehe. I did a bit of catchup on the last few chapters and I’m still firmly on my Bephia ship that is now cruising along. Props to Ben for insisting it’s okay if Sophia doesn’t tag along even though we all know he would very much prefer she did. I’m guessing that’s Jesse watching on creepily through the window, haha that is the worst possible scenario given Sophia’s been witholding info from him that will no doubt make him angry given his last encounter with Ben… I sense some drama, but overall I’m proud of how mature Ben has become, even though he’s wrong in thinking Jesse should dictate where Sophia can go or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s nice that they want to name the park in Grace’s memory and so cute that Ben decided to use her maiden name to honor her. Personally, I believe Grace chose to be a Murdock voluntarily so that should be the name of the park but honestly, that might just be personal preferences. It’s the thought that counts most in that matter and since Ben’s is very sweet, that name it is 😊
    Oh. Goodness. I don’t remember his face any more but that man watching Ben and Sophia from behind the window is Jesse, right? It must be him. Oh, Sophia, just tell him you’re an independant person and want to have own friends and that you know Ben is a good person at heart 😫

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Naming the park after Grace was such a good idea and can hopefully bring some closure for Ben. Sofia is so sweet. And yes, the man watching them is indeed Jesse. They are only friends. And he should respect that. But … will he?

    Like

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