Our Love Story: Part 7, Serendipity

Here’s the thing about this love story of ours. It’s long. And drawn out. And mushy gushy. And even a bit cheesy. But it’s true. And I’ve decided to take my time writing it, capturing all the special details of those moments I never want to forget. So if mushy-gushy, cheesy love stories aren’t your thing, I totally get that.  Just know that I’m writing this as a gift—to my family, and my children, and their children—and also, for Ben and me—so that on those days when the kids are screaming, the laundry is overflowing and the bills are rolling in…on those days when it all just seems so hard, we’ll have this to remind us of those first moments when we fell in love. And if sappy, detail ridden love stories are your thing, well then you’ve come to the right place. All previous chapters can be found here.

Photo taken on our second date.

 ***

I’m not good at relationships.
That’s what he told me as he removed his jacket and wrapped it around my shivering shoulders.

***

As promised, he had called at around 8:00 p.m. after he had finished dinner with his brother.
I couldnt help but notice that he was practically speaking in a whisper.

Ben: It’s beautiful out. How about we go on a walk?  I’ll see you in 15 minutes. 
And then he hung up.

Fourteen minutes later he knocked on my door, flashed a dimpled smile, kissed my forehead and lead me by the hand on the 300 yard walk to the beach. There was so much I wanted to ask him. About his life. About his plans. About what was going on in his head. And there was so much I wanted to say. So much I wanted to make sure he knew before he disappeared from my life forever.

But neither of us said a word.
We walked in silence.
Soaking in the moment.

I remember taking in deep breaths of the Eucalytus trees that lined the pathway to the water.  I remember taking a mental note of the way the cool air felt against my cheeks.  And I remember his warm hand, wrapped around mine, swinging ever so slightly by my side. I was silent because I was etching every detail of this moment into my memory for eternity.

We watched while fireworks burst across the skyline as a few eager college students began their Fourth of July celebrations a week early.  He pulled me in closer as the ocean breeze picked up.  It was almost too perfect.

Ben: Let’s stop and watch for a little while.

I remained silent as I nuzzled into his chest and admired the blue and red embers falling from the sky.
At one point I turned and looked up at him. He was looking away into the skyline, but I knew he felt my gaze.  We spent nearly a minute that way before he said it—the words that made me question his intentions. The words I desperately tried not to over-analyze.

Ben: I’m not good at relationships.

That was how he chose to break the silence.
In this perfect moment.
It was obvious that something was weighing on him tonight.

Me: Is that what this is? A relationship?
Ben: No. that’s not what I’m saying.

I couldn’t help that his words stung a little.

Me: Well then what are you saying?
Ben: I’m just saying…well…I guess I’m trying to say that I’m not good at this part.
Me: This part?
Ben: The part where the girl starts to like me back. This is always where I mess things up–where I walk away.

Me: Always? So you’ve done this a lot?

He shifted his eyes from the fireworks and into my direction.
I knew he had heard the quiver in my voice when I spoke that last sentence.

Ben:  Never like this. This time is different.
Me: Different how?
Ben: Different because this time…this time I don’t want to walk away, but I have to.

***

We stared at that same horizon long after the fireworks had disappeared.
Both of us afraid to break the silence.
Both of us afraid to share what we were feeling in that moment,
nervous that perhaps our sentiments wouldn’t be reciprocated.
I took a deep breath and put my head back on his chest.
What did I expect? I knew this would end eventually.
But right now, I was here. And he was with me.
And I wasn’t about to waste another second of the night worrying about the moment he would inevitably walk out of my life.

 

***

It was about midnight when I crawled into my unmade bed.
I didn’t have to work the next day, but Ben was scheduled  for a full shift.
I fell into a restless sleep as I thought up ways to keep myself distracted while we were apart.

 

***

Monday:

I didn’t wake up with the butterflies in my tummy that had taken up residence since meeting the boy with dimples in the gym only days earlier.
Instead, I woke up with a pit in my stomach.
Frustrated that I wouldn’t see him today.
Dreading his fast approaching departure.
And confused about what wasn’t said on our date the night before.

I went on a run, got caught up on laundry, and even did a bit of grocery shopping—even though I had no appetite.
It was only noon and I was running out of distractions.
So I watched a movie.
Serendipity.
Big mistake.

My roommate, Rachel, walked in from an afternoon run to find me crying through the final scene of the movie.  You know, the part where a tear falls down Jon Cusack’s cheek as he picks up the match to his glove and makes eye contact with his soul mate, Kate Beckinsale, for the first time in years.

Rachel rolled her eyes a bit.
Rach: You need to get out.
Me: I’m fine right here, thank. you. very. much.
Rach: Well, you don’t look fine.
Me: It’s just this movie. It gets me every time.
Rach: Uh huh.
Rachel wasn’t buying it.  She knew me too well. And we were the “tell it like it is” kinda friends.
Rach: Well, I’m gonna head out for a late lunch. You want to pull yourself together and join me?
Me: Neh, not hungry. I’m gonna wallow instead.
Rach: If you say so.
She grabbed her wallet and grabbed the door handle.
Rach: You know, he hasn’t left yet.  You still have some time.
And with that, she headed out the door for a Freebird’s burrito and I went back to the final scene of my cheesy chick flick.

Less than a minute later, there was a frantic knock on the front door and I realized that Rachel’s keys were still sitting on the coffee table.
Me: Yeah, yeah. Hold your horses. I’m getting your keys now.
I threw open the door.
Me: Here you g…
But it wasn’t Rachel.

***

He stood there silent.
In his work uniform.
With a goofy smile on his face.
I smiled back at him as I felt all the little butterflies in my tummy start to wake up.
Right then, as he looked into my eyes, I knew he meant what he said:
This time was different. 

***

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

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Comments

  1. The suspense is killing me!!! So beautiful. I get completely sucked in every time I read your love story!

  2. Me too! I’m watching “P.S., I Love You,” one of my FAVORITE love stories, and I had to stop it to read this one! You should just write the movie script already…;)

  3. Ashley you are KILLING me with the suspense. Ever since I found your blog, less than two months ago, I’ve been obsessed with your love story. (Not in a creepy way, in a “wow, love stories really do exist” way) and I’ve been hoping you’d write more. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story, now I want to hear more!

    xoxo, Bree

  4. No…..I want more!! This is the cutest love story!

  5. Loved reading this! Such a sweet story. Write moreof it very soon please!!

  6. Ahh! I was so hoping it would be your love story when I clicked on your blog this morning. I love it. I also love the movie serendipity. It is my favorite.

  7. Imacrazymomof4 says:

    I stumbled across your blog thru instagram and thought you seemed like an old friend that I’ve known forever. I love your love story! The way you write it down is amazing…you are a talented writer and it’s really such a gift to your husband and kids! LOVE it!!!

  8. Your love story is such an inspiration to me! An inspiration to not settle but to wait for that perfect head over heels love story God has planned for me! My favorite word is Serendipity, brought about by the movie. I read the title and thought hey! Ironic! Then you mention the movie and I was like more ironic!!! Maybe my story is right around the corner! :) Always, thanks for sharing Ashley!!! :)

  9. Tiffany Mahe says:

    gahhh I didnt realize we were at part 7 already… The suspense is killing me now!!!!

  10. Each of your short chapters always leaves me hanging on the last word. Now please finish the next one, quickly. :)

  11. Wendy Orme says:

    And you left us hanging there?!? Great post…LOVE your love story!

  12. sigh, oh man, I had a list of things to do today and got sucked into your love story, thinking it was complete and I was just waaaaay behind…good stuff, cant wait for the next post!

  13. You’re killing me, smalls. But I still love it.

  14. I just read these all for the first time today. This is officially the first time I’ll have to squirm with the rest of the group until Part 8! Can’t wait!

  15. You’re a great storyteller… I am right there with Bree on being addicted to your love story (not in a creepy way, just in a suspense-filled, can’t wait for the next episode way) ;)

    God Bless!
    Jess

  16. You could write a novel, like a real one. No wait, you SHOULD write a novel. You could even write your own love story. Because you are a great writer. And the suspense is killing me!

  17. i agree! write a book. in all your spare time, i know ;) but seriously……

  18. So great!!! I can’t wait to read more!! Thanks for sharing!

  19. seriously, this would make an amazing book! And I was confused for a minute with your comments on the sidebar ha

  20. YOU ARE KILLING ME!!!! You can’t stop there!!!!! fantastic writing!!!!!!!

    HURRY and write some more!!!! PLEASE!!!!! hahaaaa

  21. Best love story EVER!!!

  22. Aw yay! He showed up!!!! :)

  23. so cute….. loving the comments on the side bar.

  24. Man, u know how 2 write a gr8 cliffhanger! Please continue 2 wet our appetites! :D

  25. I check your blog daily for the next installment of the love story. I was so excited to read part 7 – but I had to go back and read part 6 again first! Keep it up.

  26. I LOVE your LOVE STORY posts :) (seriously addicted…lol) so cannot wait for the next one :) literally-ha! p.s. your lil’ baby boy is a-dor-a-ble!!! have a blessed day :)

  27. You are killing me by stopping the story! I cannot wait for the next section to be posted! You are also helping me realize I am a HOPELESS ROMANTIC! NO. JOKE. There were tears forming as I read this! Yep, I’m ridiculous!

  28. AHHHH!!! I need the whole thing! It’s like a tv series where I have to wait to get the rest of the story. Such a sweet story you two have!! Miss you friend!

  29. Amazing! Like everyone else, I am sucked in to your love story every time I read an entry! Your writing is so good. Seriously you could make this into a book &/or screenplay!! Fabulous!!! Thanks for sharing…you’ve inspired me to write mine down – if for no other reason, for my kiddos. :)

  30. I LOVE this! I am addicted, I am constantly checking back for updates… and I was SO excited when I saw there was a part 7. If you turned this into a 500 pg novel I would totally buy it and stay up all night reading it. You’re so good at writing, you’re sort of inspiring me to write my love story on my blog. Thanks for the awesome entertainment!

  31. Thank you for the next installment! I was hoping it wouldn’t end! You are such a great story teller, I agree with the other comments, you need to write a novel, or get this stuff made for movies! I would totally watch this chick flick!

  32. Love your love story so far and can’t wait to hear the rest! I wish I had written mine out at the time, it has been 8.5 years now and I just don’t think I could capture all the specifics the way that you have. Eager to read more of your story! Oh and congrats on your new little man!!

  33. Wow, that top picture was taken on your second date? That was some early love! I wished for that….didn’t happen that way for me. Reading your love story inspired me to tap out my love story! Well, I wrote the short version on my family blog, but I’m half way through now on my site…I’m sad that I don’t seem to get as much feedback as I’d like for pouring out my heart! Here it is: http://kristendukephotography.com/my-love-story/

  34. Hello Asley!
    I just found your blog as a coincidence, and for the last two nights I had waited until everyone at my house are sleeping so I can come and lurk around your Blog which BTW I just felt in love. I enjoy your style of riding, you could be an awesome romance writer! I said that because you had keept me looking forward for each of your Love story parts. Each one is better then the previous one. I just read all of them! When the next part is coming? I know that you just had a new baby which is SO cute, but please I would love to read the next part. I know that you marry him but I don’t know the details and I’m a romantic my self and I’m trying to figure how you guys get there.
    I am so glad that I found your blog, you gain another fan. Thanks for sharing your life by keeping it real. Congrats for the beautiful family you have!

    Your new fan,
    Mely =)

  35. I’m so sorry Ashley I just misspelled your name , and trying to type as fast as I could didn’t notice the other little typos. For example, I wrote “riding” instead of writing. And I couldn’t find an edit button.

  36. Traci from Dallas says:

    i’ll have to admit i stumbled across this site and was reading up on one of the hair tutorials. i didn’t realize i’d get sucked into this love story of yours. it is so sweet and so cute and so so addictive. you write amazingly well!! can’t wait to read the rest!! :)

  37. you gotta stop leaving me hanging!

  38. Ashley please tell us the rest! U make me curious whats going to happen next
    I really love it..

  39. oh my word!!! can you finish please?! this is such a good love story & i wan to hear the rest!! pppplllllllease!

  40. More? Please? I know you’re probably super busy, but I’m dying here! This is so good! Need to know what happens next!

  41. OH MY GOODNESS girl I love reading your love story! I want the rest!! It’s soooo good!

  42. It’s been almost 4 months since you wrote this. When are we going to get part 8? :[ Sawyer isn't an excuse! :]

  43. I agree with Shauna. I need number 8!!!

  44. Please write part 8! I’ve been following your blog for months now. I have the most recent portion of the love story bookmarked and when I remember, i always check back. This time it’s been sooooo long!
    Please finish soon :)

  45. Please please please write more! I recently found your blog and stumbled upon your love story and I can’t stop! This is so perfect! Please write more some time soon!

  46. I go on this website everyday to see if you posted something! Im dying to know what happens next! Please write soon!

  47. Hii!! I’m new here but I love your blog already!! I saw your curling hair tutorial on Pinterest and now I’m seeing all the things in here!!
    I love the story of how you met your husband! It’s so sweet!! I just wish that I’ll find one like that someday!!
    (but here in Brazil – where I’m from and still live – we don’t have a lot of guys who opens the door for us! :( )

    Can’t wait for the rest of the story!!

  48. You can’t leave us hanging! Pls post part 8!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Read the prologue here. Read part 1 here. Read part 2 here. Read part 3 here. Read part 4 here. Read part 5 here. Read part 6 here. Read part 7 here. [...]

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