I’m so thankful that with you I’ve found a partner, a best friend…
AND the best lover of my life…
It’s Sunday afternoon and Ben is trying to focus on the baseball game he has on in the background. His thoughts keep drifting to Sherry and the debacle that was their date the night before. It ended well enough. They cooled off, calmed down and cuddled. They talked and he explained some things to her as best he could. He explained more about his new life, and what happened, the new challenges it brought concerning intimacy and sex. Bless her heart she didn’t shy away or seem put off. Still, the awkwardness of the situation left him feeling disconcerted. It feels like we’re ok but, what if we’re not? Only time will tell I guess.
“Hey man, how’s it going?” Tom asks, coming into the room.
“What’s the score?”
“I’m not even paying attention,” Ben says. “I keep thinking about Sherry, and last night.”
“You were quiet last night, what happened?”
“It was great! We went to that taco place over the river you know, and of course, amazing food. We ate, we talked, we laughed and she’s beautiful. Man, she is fucking beautiful.”
“High five, dude that’s great… why do you seem sad then?” Tom asks, sitting next to Ben on the couch.
“After dinner, we got some ice cream and went back to her place, just to hang out ya know? We were on her sofa snuggling, laughing, and teasing each other. Started making out, made it to 2nd base… then she tried to steal 3rd.”
“Hell yes, that’s awesome!! Good for you! Why not a home run?”
“Dude, I panicked… she started undoing my pants and I panicked! I’m not ready to go there yet; I mean I called the doctor and stuff but…” Ben says, dragging his hand over his head.
“You’ll get there, it’s normal I guess, what you felt. How did she take it?”
“She was amazing really… she said all the right things. Geez Tom, she still doesn’t know everything ya know… the full reality… it’s a lot to take in. I haven’t heard from her all day, what if she was just being nice to my face?”
“Is there anything about this girl that makes you think she’s being less than honest with you? She sounds amazing the way you talk about her.”
“She is amazing! My amazing… but, no word… all day and a fucked up mess last night.” Ben slouches into the sofa cushions and pouts.
“Well, you’re taking a chance, trust her, have a little faith. She seems like a genuine person buddy.”
“It was a learning experience for sure!” Ben says with a deep breath. “So obviously… I’ve been with women, but it’s always been about what I needed ya know obviously they had fun… I think they had fun? Anyways, last night with Sherry I wasn’t as concerned about me… I just wanted to give her pleasure make her feel as good as I could. It was a huge shift for me.”
“Dude, seriously if it’s not about pleasing the person you’re with you’ve been doing it wrong!”
“Maybe that’s why none of them stuck around… that and well I didn’t want them to. Man, I was a cocky ass wasn’t I?”
“You’ve always been a good guy, Ben, slightly misguided, handsome as fuck which didn’t help…” Tom laughs.
“I never needed to know how before… ok like squeeze and kiss boobs great fun but usually they were all happy to just fuck… or suck… Damn, I’m gonna miss B.J.’s dude! I think that’s what Sherry was going for when I stopped her.”
“Ouch, well now you know… so your junk is a little fucked up and your hands can’t squeeze boobs anymore… Your mouth still works fine!”
“I’ve never really done that before… I never had to, ok so I tried it, but after a few minutes they were underneath me and I was doing what I DID best.”
“Dude… adapt! That’s your new game buddy!”
“Thanks… a whole new ballgame huh. You want a beer?”
“Are you gonna get it for me?” Tom asks, with a laugh.
Ben reaches beside him and hands Tom an unopened, still cold bottle.
“Ha, you were planning to drink more than one?” Tom asks.
“Maybe, or I was hoping my best buddy would be home and join me soon to watch our baseball teams showdown. You decide.”
A few minutes of silent, manly, beer drinking, and baseball pass by…
“Hey Ben…Was it good, while it lasted, I mean?”
“Fuck yes!” Ben says clinking his beer with Tom’s.
It’s early evening and Sherry is walking out the front door leaving the hospital behind her. She’s heading toward her car. She’s exhausted from the crazy situation that fell in her lap early this morning. She looks at her phone for the first time all day.
Ben: Good Morning Sunshine. kiss
Ben! Dear sweet Ben… She clasps her phone to her chest for a minute. In all the chaos she’d hardly had a minute to think about him, much less talk to him. Ugh, I hope he’s not worried… after last night.
Sherry the Strawberry Tart Goddess: Oh Ben! Hi handsome! What a crazy day I’ve had! I’m so sorry it’s taken me all day to get back to you! Can I call you?
Sherry has enough time to walk to her car and climb in before her phone is ringing in her hand. A quick glance at the screen confirms the giddy excitement she feels… It’s Ben. She answers quickly.
“Hi handsome, geez what a day I’ve had! How are you? I’m so sorry I disappeared today.”
“I am so happy to hear from you! I’m fine, how are you? Are you ok? What happened?”
“I’m fine! I’m tired. One of my clients went into labor 6 weeks early; I can’t deliver her at that point, so I met her at the hospital to be moral and emotional support. I’ve been here all day… I haven’t eaten anything more than a granola bar I found at the bottom of my purse.”
“Go get some food, Sherry!”
“I will, I have food at home I’ll eat as soon as I get there. I’m done, but still at the hospital. You called just when I got in my car. How are you? How was your day?”
“I’m good; my day was lazy, which was needed after last week. I hung around at home and watched a baseball game with Tom.”
“I love lazy days. I feel so terrible this was my first chance to talk to you. Are we ok Ben?”
“Yes, we’re ok Sherry. I can’t pretend I wasn’t a little worried not hearing from you all day. It was a huge relief getting your text. Nothing has changed since last night. I think we’re good and ok… Last night was just weird… and hard for me. I know you understand as much as you can and I appreciate that.”
“I really do and I meant everything I said last night Ben. We’ll figure it out as we go I’m not in a rush despite my shameless behavior last night.”
“HA! Shameless! Sunshine, I wanted it just as bad as you did. You weren’t taking advantage of me or anything.”
“That’s a relief! I’ve been in that position… I’d hate to think….” Sherry’s voice trails off. Don’t open that can of worms Sherry don’t do it. You respected his boundaries last night. You didn’t do anything to him or with him you didn’t both want to do.
“Sherry…” Ben’s voice gets soft. “I miss you, I have missed you all day and I’m glad you called and that we could talk and just reinforce everything we talked about last night. I still think you’re worth it.”
“I think you’re worth it too Ben, not that anything has been a serious trial for us yet. This is the good part right all this meet cute, early days, and the rush of romance stuff…This is just the first speed bump.”
“Effing speed bumps… I wish I could give you a hug!”
“I’d love a hug too… “
“I’m keeping you, go home, take a shower, EAT! Absolutely eat and I’ll talk to you tomorrow. We’ll see if we can plan something to do this week.”
“I have a mountain of paperwork waiting for me and clients to see tomorrow and Tuesday is pretty busy too. What do you have going on this week?”
“I need to see about setting up some tutoring jobs and stuff. I enjoy summer break but if I don’t make plans to keep busy I’ll go stir crazy. I have a doctor’s appointment Tuesday. What are you thinking?
“I’m just hopeful and excited to see you and spend some time together this week. We can avoid sofas if it helps you feel better.”
“Of course I want to see you Sunshine! We’re good Sherry; don’t let my funk and fear hinder this ok. Last night feels like a disaster to me, but we talked about it. That was good! I was a little fearful after not hearing from you all day that maybe you were just being nice… but I was so relieved to get your text! My appointment on Tuesday is to discuss this stuff and look at options… just for myself.”
“Do you want me to come with you? Learn with you?”
“You’ll learn with me regardless Sherry… and you just said you were busy,” Ben says with a shy chuckle.
“I’m willing to rearrange if you want me there, and I do look forward to learning… but we don’t have to hurry. How did you get an appointment so fast? Geez Ben, I’m sorry! Were you so upset you felt like you had to rush to make an appointment?”
Ben laughs “Sherry, I made the appointment last week! I’ve been thinking about it too, a lot! I was hoping to be more prepared when we got there… last night surprised me, but not in a bad way. Don’t think for a minute I didn’t want it to happen I did! I do… I’m just not prepared or fully aware of how it’s all going to work and my biggest fear is disappointing you or I guess….” he lets out a long-suffering sigh. “I guess I’m afraid or I was afraid you’d reject me, that it would be too much for you because it’s harder and not normal.”
“Ben… I don’t know what to say…”
“I’ve never had a relationship before Sherry, never really wanted one or had need of one. I feel different about you, for the first time like, I want to keep you. I’m more worried about taking care of you and meeting your needs than I’ve ever been with anyone else ever before.”
“Ben you’re kind of making me melt into mushy puddles in my car…”
“It’s my own insecurities and fear holding me back. You haven’t given me any reason not to trust you. You’ve said all the right things! I need to have a little more faith in you, in myself.”
“Ben, I’m not afraid ok… Sex is good, sex is great, but it’s not the be all end all. I want a partner, a friend, I want someone who I enjoy and relate to on every layer, not just a physical one.”
“Now I don’t know what to say. This is all new territory for me.”
“You don’t have to Ben, you’ve been honest with me I appreciate that! Hell, you’ve been a wonderful surprise to me too. Speed bump dear man, we’ll drive over it slowly, but together.”
“Go home, Sherry, eat and rest, I’ll text you tomorrow.”
“Ben, I wouldn’t trade the last few weeks with you for a pair of Tieks…”
“Now that is high praise… Good night Sherry.”
“Good night handsome, sleep tight!”
Ben: Good Morning Sunshine…. Kiss
Sherry’s working away on her laptop, updating patient charts and billing information. She keeps looking at the sweet text Ben sent this morning. I could definitely get used to waking up to that every day…
She stretches and rolls her shoulders, she’s been working for hours now. She looks at the last few sips of coffee left in her cup and swallows them quickly, contemplating more. Maybe it’s time for a little break and distraction? She picks up her phone to send Ben a quick text.
Sherry the Strawberry Tart Goddess: Hope you’ve had a good morning Ben. I’ve been tied to my laptop. Kiss I’m thinking of you.
Thinking about Ben reminds Sherry of something she’s wanted to do since they said goodbye Saturday night. They both have a lot to learn and most of it will be hands on but, she could read and have some idea. She could try and have a better idea of what Ben was looking at and feeling. She could help put him at ease.
With her fingers poised over the keyboard, she types in… Sex and Spinal Cord Injury…. She waits while the results populate before her eyes and she gets lost learning and reading. She reads everything she finds her eyes and brain eager to absorb and learn, wanting to be an educated and understanding participant in this adventure with him. Everything she reads sounds promising and hopeful at least. Nothing scares her away, in fact, she feels challenged and excited to explore and learn. The challenge sounds like one that will build their overall relationship not just their sexual one. She’s glad to read communication is important and happy that end of things is going well. It is a whole new world for them both and there’s no rush getting there, they’ve already laid the groundwork for a healthy sexual relationship just by being patient and honest with each other. There is one thing she does know after being single for so long… your most valuable sexual organ is your brain more than any other body part.
Sherry hears an email chime in and clicks over to see what it’s about.
——– Original message ——–
From: Xander Bevins <XBevins@darkspringsinc.com>
Date: 6/14/16 12:09 PM (GMT-08:00)
Subject: Long time no see…
I was thinking about you… so I googled. It looks like you’re doing well. Your own business and such, I always imagined you at home barefoot and pregnant with a bunch of mini-me’s. Good for you though finding something to do til you settle down. I hope it’s going well. I still think of you sometimes I’d love to buy you dinner soon and catch up! Write me back…
FUCK He found me….
Sherry felt fear, loathing, and shame prickle at her skin as she read it. All the horror she’d worked and fought so hard to overcome flooded back into her memory reading THAT name… Xander Bevins… No chance she was letting him back in her life… Not now not ever!