Our Love Story: Part 10, The Goodbye

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.


I didn’t say much on that last night.
I suppose I was too afraid of what I might confess.
Of promises I might try to make.
Of feelings I wasn’t certain were reciprocated.

My mind and body were at odds with one another as we continued down the path towards the ocean.
My heart was racing, nearly beating out of my chest–and my adrenaline was through the roof.
But my body was inching along–each foot struggling to put itself in front of the other.
Almost as if reaching the end of that path represented the end of this moment. Our moment.
And I was delaying getting there with every ounce of my being.

Ben was quiet too.
Holding my hand a bit tighter than usual.
Pausing more frequently along the path to place a gentle kiss on my head.
And occasionally giving my hand two firm squeezes…followed by a deliberate pause…and then one more firm squeeze.
He wasn’t saying “I (squeeze) Love (squeeze) You (squeeze)“–he was making that clear with his purposeful pause before the third squeeze.
More like he was trying to say ” I love….{pause}…what this could have been”.

And that was the biggest tragedy of this Summer Love.
What could have been…


We reached the end of the path and sat down at a picnic bench perched just on the edge of the bluffs.
The mist from the waves barely reached the tips of our noses and I can still remember the exact smell of the ocean on that fateful night.

Our knees were touching, hands intertwined, and my head was leaning on his shoulder.
Me: Can I ask you to do something for me?
Ben: Anything.
I reached to the inside pocket of my coat and pulled out my small bound journal.
Me: Will you write something for me…you know, to remember you by?
Ben: Are you afraid you’ll forget me?
Me: I couldn’t. Not ever.
He reached for the journal, pulled the pen out of the binding and opened to the first blank page he could find.
Me: I’m just looking for a piece of you. Something tangible, for when your over 1,000 miles away. I just know my words about you won’t be enough.

He looked up and smiled.
He had already written a few sentences without pausing.
A few minutes later he was done. He closed the book, put the pen back in the binding and then handed it over. Immediately I started to flip to the page he had just written, but he quickly grabbed my hand.

Ben: Don’t.
Me: What do you mean?
Ben: Save it. For when I’m gone.
I swallowed back tears and nodded my head.


We were back at my apartment door when Ben gave his final plea.

Ben: I don’t want this to be goodbye.
I was trying my best to keep the tears that had been building in my eyes from spilling out onto my cheeks. But there was no hiding my sadness, my heartache. Ben took his thumb and wiped away the first drop as it fell.
Ben: So what I’m saying is…I need to see you tomorrow.
I looked back at him, confused.
Ben: I want you to come to the airport. One final goodbye…one last kiss. Will you do that?
Me: Of course. But what about your brother?
Ben: I’ll call you as soon as he drops me off and then you can come straight over. My flight leaves at 2:30. I’ll call you by 1:30. We can hold hands for an entire hour.
He gave me a silly grin. I smiled.
Ashley: Then I’ll wait for your call.

Then he leaned in and kissed me.
Like he meant it.
Like he wanted it to last forever.
I kissed him back, and the world around us disappeared for a moment.
Everything was hanging on this kiss.
And it was perfect.

I was smiling now.
Even though I knew the airport goodbye tomorrow would be much tougher than tonight.
Even though I knew we were just prolonging the inevitable.

So when he kissed my forehead,
headed back to his car
then turned over his shoulder
with the sweetest smile on his face and said “I’ll call you tomorrow”…
How could I have known he wouldn’t call?

Source: wanelo.com via Ashley on Pinterest

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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  1. Geesh, you sure know how to pull at the heartstrings with your writting! Seriously, you’re fantastic. I would say I wish the story weren’t real, it’s that sad right now, but we all know how it ends so good for you girl 🙂

  2. I’m ADDICTED to this love story! And you always leave it hanging! He doesn’t call?! Ahhh I need to know what happens next!

  3. I’ve been obsessively reading this story from the beginning! I’m dying to find out why he didn’t call. I mean, I know it all worked out, but I’m loving reading the whole story. Please please PLEASE post more often!!!

  4. I love all your posts but your love story is by far my favorite! I cant get enough! I cant wait to hear the rest! I feel like you should post it every day 🙂

  5. You can’t leave us hanging!!!! “How could I have known he wouldn’t call?” He didn’t call?!?!?! OMG!!!! Please let us know what happens next!! Love these posts! Love all of your posts!

  6. I love this. Thank you for sharing your story with us. In the last couple of months I’ve been a little uninspired. I’ve let my blog slip through the cracks of my crazy life. I’d forgotten how good it felt to write it all down. I came across your blog yesterday (by accident) and read all of your love story posts in one setting. Your writing is so honest; you don’t old back any details. It is truly inspiring. I have a renewed excitement about writing again and I can’t thank you enough! Keep the stories coming! I can’t believe he didn’t call! I bet you were crushed! I can’t wait to read the rest!! -Brittney

  7. Shut the front door.
    Can’t wait for the next part. I don’t even remember how I came across your blog, but I love it. Thank you for sharing your love story.

  8. WAIT!! Can you write the next installment tonight and post it tomorrow? I feel like this is the most amazing “novel” and I don’t want to put it down! Haha. 🙂

  9. oh no you did not leave me hanging like that!!! LOL!

    so in love with your love story.

  10. You kill me every time. Like, really, you’re way too good at this cliffhanger thing.

  11. No fair. I wanna read more more. This is such a GREAT love story! Just like Ali said, I honestly feel like I’m reading a novel!

  12. Ahh! You’re kiilin me, Smalls! You are SO talented… Please, please don’t keep us hanging for too long.

    I still think this should be a movie.

  13. OH my goodness! Please write a romance novel. Please? I felt like I was in a Nicholas Sparks novel! This is such a SWEET story and you certainly left me wanting to know more. You’re adorable and such a wonderful mama and wife. Love your blog 🙂

    p.s. please hurry with part 11~

  14. This should be a book. I would read it straight through until the end! I am dying inbetween your posts. I want to read more!

  15. You are killing me by ending it there! I hope you post the next part soon. You have also inspired me to write my own love story. I think my girls will live having it written someday and need to do it before I start to forget some of the details.

  16. I’m going to die. Really.

  17. I love this story so much!

  18. Ahhhh! I’ve been waiting and waiting to hear the rest of the goodbye! So intrigued for what’s next! It’s a good thing I know you two end up together otherwise I don’t know what I would do 🙂

  19. I just love reading your story. I have been waiting to read more and more about your love story. It is definitely such a sweet love story 🙂 I can’t wait to hear the rest of the goodbye… which.. is obviously not.. since you both are together 🙂

  20. michelle says:

    Oh my goodness! I’m your Momma and I can’t wait to read what’s next! xoxo

  21. Oh I want to know what he wrote!

  22. annie andersen says:

    This breaks my heart =( I’m glad I know the ending or I don’t think I could handle these cliffhangers! Wish I could write like you!

  23. Ah! Please just write a book so I don’t have to put it down! You are an amazing writer. Keep them coming 🙂

  24. Note to self – don’t get involved in the great love story until you see the end has been posted! ARGH!!! Awesome story!

  25. I need more! I’m sobbing over here!!

  26. Seriously addicted! Can’t wait for the next part!
    P.S: your kids are adorable!!! 🙂

  27. Deidre Reinhart says:

    I am So in love with this story and dying to hear how it ends…the torture…the waiting…YOU ARE KILLING ME! 😉

  28. Ashley, I am at tears reading your love story! Thank you so much for sharing this with the rest of us; now I know that true love really does exist. And I think that’s what we all needed to hear 🙂
    Can’t wait for the next entry! <3

  29. I agree with everything everyone is saying! It is such a delight to read your story as it unfolds, but it is so hard to be patient in between posts! I suppose that’s part of the fun, though…I’m trying to have a positive attitude about it 😉

  30. Emily Jones says:

    If there’s anything I’m a sucker for, it’s real life love stories! Please continue!! I’m dying to know what happens next. PS you have a gift for writing. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Just got crazier! Urgggghhh! Love your writing, hope to see a paperback in your future 😉

  32. Just finished all 10 parts of your love story and can’t wait to read the rest. You have an amazing talent with your writing, better than some novels I’ve read and that much better that it’s a real love story.

  33. H. Horne says:

    Ugh! Cliff-hanger? Ugh!!!

  34. Ahrg! Where’s part 11?!?!? I am loving your story-great romantic story that it is! When’s the next part coming out? I can hardly wait!

  35. This story is amazing!! You have a way with words and I can’t get enough – bring on the next series, please!!

  36. It’s April – it’s time!!!! Please! I found you on Pinterest about how to curl hair, then identified with your secret and was sucked into everything else fascinating, but this is by far my FAV part of it. I do love all the help about the children too – but please post number 11! I look forward to this every month lol

  37. I love your love story. I get excited every time I see that you’ve added a new chapter. Can’t wait to read the next one.

  38. Love this! Can’t wait for the next installment!

  39. I loved reading these. I felt like I was reading a novel; you are an amazing writer! Keep it up! 🙂

  40. Can’t wait for the next chapter!!!

  41. Sarah W. says:

    You’re due to fill us in on some more of your story! 🙂

    • I just found the love stories and I can’t believe I’ve already caught up! I’m dying for the next chapter! As I don’t think I could wait months for a new update in the story!

  42. Irlanda Ruiseco says:

    C’mon! you are taking too long! My friend and I started reading your love story and couldn’t stop. We really need more.


  44. Can you please write another post!!!

  45. Cannot wait for the next installment!!

  46. WHAT?! I seriously started reading this story thinking that it was already completed, that I just needed to continue pressing links! Aw man! Well, you know how to hook a reader!!

  47. Hannah Davis says:

    I saw a pin for your blog on Pinterest, and it was about curling your hair. From there I started exploring your blog, and since I’m a romance addict/fanatic/obsessor, I saw the tab called “Love” and found your posts about your love story. I began reading, and the first post instantly captured my heart. I couldn’t stop reading each story, and I fell in love with it. Please post the rest or else my nails will continue to suffer from me constantly biting them because I’m waiting on you to continue the story. I can’t get enough. It’s addicting, and one day I hope to find the love that you and Ben share. I love your blog. Thank you for sharing your story.

  48. Please write the blog for the next part! Your love story is so amazing and it’s so much like what woudl ahppen in movies! :’) It’s so beautiful 🙂

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