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Our Love Story: Part 2

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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.

***

Tuesday:
After my gutsy and rather uncharacteristic introduction to the boy with dimples, I went back to my little apartment and did my best to not think about him for the rest of the evening. After many failed attemps, I decided to go to bed early so the next day would come sooner.

***

Wednesday:
The first four hours of my shift were spent making “accidental” eye contact with him from across the room. He looked cuter today than I had remembered.
But…had I scared him off with my aggressive introduction the day before?
Afterall, nearly four hours had passed and we still hadn’t spoken.
Not to mention, I still didn’t know his name.

I had just finished tieing a knot in a jumbo garbage bag full of sticky, empty Gatorade bottles and sweat drenched towels.  I wiped my forhead with the back of my hand, threw the bag over my shoulder and turned around to see those dimples smiling me right in the face.

My heart hit the floor.

Boy: You need some help with that? he said, almost laughing.
I just stared, caught off guard.
Not quite as calm, cool and collected as I had imagined I would be.

Boy: It’s Ben. My name–it’s Ben. You didn’t really give me the chance to introduce myself yesterday.

I was picking up a mid-western, Matthew Mcconaughey-ish accent.
Are you kidding me? An accent. What’s next?

Me: Uh, sorry about that. I was in a hurry.
Ben: Yeah, I noticed.  So…I saved two of the staff lunches. Have you eaten yet?
He held up two paper sacks and smiled.
Ben: Turkey or ham?
He smiled again.
And at that point I realized–it didn’t matter what he was asking me…
My answer  was going to be yes.

***

You could sorta call the sack lunch on the outside steps of the Event Center our semi-first date.
That’s when we asked eachother all those “first date” questions.
I nervously played with my hair and he poked at the bread on his sandwich.
That’s when I found out that he was the middle of 5 kids–2 sisters, 2 brothers.
His Mom was a piano teacher and his Dad a lawyer.
I found out that he played soccer in college,
lived in Spain for 3 months, Chile for 2 years,
and he had spent a Summer traveling through Europe with his college buddies.
He spoke fluent Spanish,
believed a guy should always open the door for a lady,
and his baby niece was the apple of his eye.
He wasn’t dating anyone seriously because he was focusing on the next steps of his career,
and he was 25 years old–a whopping 5 years older than me.

I gushed too.
Shared things about myself.
Told him that I was an only child, born and raised in Southern California.
I was leaving UCSB to study marketing at USC.
I played soccer in all the same places he visited in Europe,
and while I was about as gringo as they come,
my Mexican roots meant that half of my family spoke Spanish as their first language.

Me: So you’ll be able to communicate with my family members better than me–I said with a laugh.
As soon as the words left my mouth, I realized how it sounded. My face got hot.

Me:
I mean..uh…not that you’ll ever be communicating with my family or anything. I just meant…
Ben: Don’t worry. I knew what you meant–he said with a smile.
I could tell he was enjoying watching me squirm.
And for some reason, I liked that he made me nervous.

My lunch break had ended 5 minutes earlier, but I could have talked to him for hours.
I reluctantly crumbled up my sack lunch and stood up.

Me: I should get back. This was fun.
I lingered a bit, hopeful that he might ask me out later that night. But he didn’t.
Ben: Yeah, this was fun.

And that was it.
He smiled at me from across the room a couple times, but we didn’t talk again for the rest of my shift.
And I went home that night, again, with thoughts of his dimples and accent swirling around in my mind. I wondered if he was thinking of me too.

***

Thursday:
I arrived at work right at 8 the next morning.
D was unlocking the gymnasium doors as I walked up with my hot chocolate with freeze dried marhmallows in hand. He looked over his shoulder as I strolled up.

D: So…lunch date yesterday, huh.
Me: It wasn’t a date.
D: Suuure.
Me: I’m serious, it wasn’t a date. Besides, I don’t even know if he likes me.
D: What do you care if he likes you? I thought you were staying clear of boys.

I gave D a half-serious glare.

Me: He’s only here for like another week…then he’ll leave, and I’ll get back on track. 
D: Whatever you say.

***

I was vacuming the entry rugs when I saw Ben arrive to work  from the other side of the gym.
He didn’t look my way and that was the last I saw of him for the next seven hours.
Probably for the best, I thought to myself.
D was right–I have a plan, and I should stick to it.
But then, an hour before my shift ended,
I turned to see him grinning from ear to ear with a soccer ball in his hand.

Ben: So, are you gonna show me what you’ve got, or what?

***
Part 3 coming soon.
It gets much much better.
sweeter.
steamier.
and even very very sad.
stay tuned.

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69 Comments

  • Reply
    Lindsay Lee
    November 4, 2011 at 3:11 am

    You two are straight from the notebook and I LOVE it. 😉

  • Reply
    Hayley
    November 4, 2011 at 3:13 am

    is there ANYTHING better than a great love story?? i think not!! you 2 are thecutest =)

  • Reply
    Cassie
    November 4, 2011 at 3:15 am

    This story is already getting better and it’s only part 2. I can’t wait to read part 3. It sounds like ya’ll met in a very cute way! =D

  • Reply
    Megan Robinson
    November 4, 2011 at 3:15 am

    first of all, I just LOVE the way you write!!! and your story is just so so beautiful which makes it all even better. I love it all!!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    November 4, 2011 at 3:18 am

    You are killing me, Ashley! I had no idea the story would get even more exciting. I’m giving you until early next week to finish the story or I am showing up at your doorstep and you will have to tell me all of it in person! 🙂

    Seriously though, thanks for sharing. It is such a fun story!

  • Reply
    elise
    November 4, 2011 at 3:22 am

    Okay seriously, I’m more invested in this story than I am with most tv shows I watch. The suspense kills me every time. And, I love the story. Real love stories beat cheesy chick flicks any day. and I love me some chick flicks.

  • Reply
    D
    November 4, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Ashley, I can’t wait to read the next part! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Mindee
    November 4, 2011 at 3:27 am

    I absolutley LOVE reading your story of how you two met! Its got me on the egde of my seat…its like a good book! haha. I cant wait for part 3. Except for the sad part…not looking forward to that, just cause its sad…but im sure it gets better : ) post it soon!

  • Reply
    lauren
    November 4, 2011 at 3:30 am

    i love that you’re writing it like a novel and not just a paragraph! I’m SO dying.

  • Reply
    lauren
    November 4, 2011 at 3:31 am

    and p.s you’re going to make us housewives fall in love with ben! haha!

  • Reply
    Heidi
    November 4, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Ashley- Your love story is too cute for words and we are only two days in of how the road to ever lasting love began!
    Thank you for sharing and as always thank you for being so real. I adore that about you and I hope one day I can have you guest blog for me?! Think about it!!
    Hugs,
    Heidi

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    November 4, 2011 at 3:44 am

    I love your love story! I can’t wait to read the next part. It is so cute! It makes me think of how I met my hubby and it brings back such fun memories!

  • Reply
    misty
    November 4, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Noooooo, I can’t wait!!!! Love love love this story, so sweet. Xoxo

  • Reply
    Megan
    November 4, 2011 at 4:03 am

    I can’t wait for the next chapter! This is such a sweet story. Great writing!! On the edge of my seat!
    Lots of love!!

  • Reply
    Becky
    November 4, 2011 at 4:04 am

    Love reading this! I’m new to your blog and thoroughly enjoying everything I’ve read so far. Can’t wait for part 3…the suspense is already mounting!

  • Reply
    Auntie Bubbie
    November 4, 2011 at 4:05 am

    So nice to hear this story again.
    I remember when I visited you at UCSB and you shared
    with me that you had met Ben but he had gone back to Wyoming.
    I am so happy you found each other.
    Ben is a wonderful person, husband & father.
    The family couldn’t be happier he is a part of us.
    I love you both (and Wesley) so very much.

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Me&Mine
    November 4, 2011 at 4:14 am

    gah I am soaking this up like a good novel, dont keep us waiting TOO long!

  • Reply
    Erika Thompson
    November 4, 2011 at 4:15 am

    I wanna know now! hahah too cute. love it 🙂

  • Reply
    Megan
    November 4, 2011 at 4:22 am

    LOVE hearing how couples met! Can’t wait for part 3!! 🙂

  • Reply
    karla @ bluegrass jewelry designs
    November 4, 2011 at 4:40 am

    Can’t wait to read part 3.

  • Reply
    Krystle
    November 4, 2011 at 4:43 am

    This is such a great idea for your blog! I am enjoying reading your story so much. Thank you for sharing….and don’t make us all wait too long to read the rest….

  • Reply
    staci johnson
    November 4, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Ashley!! Don’t leave us hanging!! I was about to go to bed, then saw your post and had to read it:) Can’t wait for Part 3!!

  • Reply
    kristen duke photography
    November 4, 2011 at 5:28 am

    LOVE it!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    November 4, 2011 at 5:31 am

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! you left it there?! this is adorable. “i realized then that it didn’t matter what he was asking- my answer was going to be yes”. so cute. i know just what you mean. i’m gonna sound like a crazy person, but I LOVE LOVE!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jennifer Yaniz-Torrel
    November 4, 2011 at 5:40 am

    You can’t do this to me! are you kidding me leaving me like this. I want to read morreeee. you should make it into a novel. I like that idea. yup.

  • Reply
    kathy h.
    November 4, 2011 at 5:46 am

    PLEASE DON’T KEEP ME HANGING!! I want to know what happens next. Please, please, get the rest to us ASAP, and please don’t make me wait a weekend.

    (I’d say you’re doing some pretty good writing if all of your readers can’t wait for the next part!!)

    Good job Ashley!!

  • Reply
    Mindy Harris
    November 4, 2011 at 5:58 am

    so happy that you are sharing this. i am a sucker for love stories! ya’all are TOO cute…!!!

  • Reply
    Aleisha
    November 4, 2011 at 6:01 am

    AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are killing me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please oh please get to the next part soon! These posts have been so utterly and completely dreamy!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Aileen Billdt
    November 4, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Girlfriend!!! This is some AMAZING novel worthy writing! You have me hooked and I know you have just scratched the surface of your-I’m sure- amazing journey to love with Ben. Your story is adorable so far and I can’t wait to read more. I can already see it now-you are following in the steps of our beloved Pioneer Woman and your story will be on the best sellers list too! Fabulous job girly! Now PLEASE don’t keep us all waiting too long 😉
    Xoxo

  • Reply
    gaya
    November 4, 2011 at 8:46 am

    GOsh I’m dying till part 3 comesss….

  • Reply
    Veronica
    November 4, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I agree with Aileen! I just finished Pioneer Woman’s book and LOVED it just as much as I am LOVING your story! Cant wait to read the next part 🙂 And you should seirousally think about the book….

  • Reply
    Amanda
    November 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

    This is to good. SO ready for part three missy! 😉
    ~Amanda

  • Reply
    Chelsea
    November 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I love reading love stories and it’s even better reading one that’s real 🙂 Can’t wait for the next part!!

  • Reply
    Aubri
    November 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    This is seriously SO sweet!! I need to know what happens next!!! Ahh!!

  • Reply
    Pia
    November 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I love stories about how couples meet.

  • Reply
    Renee Rasmussen
    November 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    thank you for sharing your love story. Reading your story makes me smile and remember that in a crazy world we always have our companions. I look forward to reading more. 🙂 PS the rest of your blog rocks too. I’m hooked.

  • Reply
    kate
    November 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    ahhhh i love this. i can’t wait to read the rest.!!!! please don’t keep us waiting too long to hear it 😉

  • Reply
    Rachel
    November 4, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I am loving this story. It makes me want to write mine down this way. I can’t wait for part 3!!

  • Reply
    Olivia Booska
    November 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I LOVE love stories!!! Can’t wait to read the next part! I think everyone is posting their love stories lately, I just posted my first part of mine today 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Mindy H.
    November 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Ashley I am loving this story! It’s like a book that I just can’t wait to read the next chapter 🙂

  • Reply
    dyna
    November 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    waiting for part 3!! :0)

  • Reply
    Siobhan
    November 4, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I know u have a million zillion comments on here but I love reading ur story. We lived in Redlands for 5yrs. And my sister-in-law went to UCSSB as well. We moved to LA a little over a year ago so my doc. Hubby could do a residency at USC hospital. I’m not really liking LA but it’s nice to read about someone kinda local. Can’t wait for part three!!

  • Reply
    Brittany B.
    November 5, 2011 at 3:52 am

    Cliff-hanger! Noooo! Please hurry & I’ll stay tuned XD

  • Reply
    Terri
    November 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story! It’s so sweet.

  • Reply
    Aleyta
    November 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Oh my word you 2 are meant for each other!! He’s a doll!

  • Reply
    kate
    November 5, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I am loving this series!! More more more 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephanie @ 4Eighteen
    November 6, 2011 at 5:10 am

    OH MY GOODNESS! Please don’t make us wait to long!

  • Reply
    Veronica Carpenter
    November 7, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    SUSPENSE! CLIFF HANGERS! I HATE them! And I LOVE them!

  • Reply
    lisa leonard
    November 8, 2011 at 12:44 am

    oh i love it! tell me more. xoxox

  • Reply
    shannon leonard
    November 9, 2011 at 7:24 am

    This is killing me!!! Tell me more!

  • Reply
    Our Love Story Part 4: Little Miss Momma - Little Miss Momma
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  • Reply
    Erika
    December 13, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I love how you are writing about how you and your husband started dating. It’s the cutest story and really allows us to get to know you:)

  • Reply
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    witchycrazymommy
    February 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    intentionally missing american idol to read this. your story and your ben are equally cute 😉

  • Reply
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