Our Love Story: Part 6, After the Kiss

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 in my college apartment just after our second date.

I’ve always believed that there is a lot to be said for a first kiss.
There’s the build up–the anticipation.
Will it be like I imagined?
Will sparks fly?

Will he be sloppy?
Or, worse–a lizard kisser?
Or will he kiss like the guy of my dreams?

The kind of kiss that is so perfect, so magical, that you’re certain you won’t need to kiss any other guy ever again…

In a way, it can make or break the progress of the relationship.
You don’t really recover from a bad first kiss.
It’s not exactly like you tell yourself, “Eh, it’s ok, we can work on that”.
It kinda just needs to work on its own.

So you can imagine , as I went up on my tip toes and closed my eyes…
just how badly I wanted this first kiss to be everything I had ever hoped for.

It felt like an eternity that I was up on my toes waiting for his lips to meet mine.
But when they did…

My heart bottomed out.
My knees became weak just as I got a simultaneous shot of adrenaline.
It was the kiss that put all other kisses to shame.
No practice necessary–perfect on the first try.

We pulled apart and I came down off my toes, rocked back on my heels, and had to make an extra effort to not fall over.

That was nice.
Ben: Yes, it certainly was.
And before I could say another word, he wrapped his hands around my waist and pulled me in for another, longer, even better kiss than the first.
Ben: I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me.
Me: Don’t apologize.
We both smiled, knowing he wasn’t really sorry.
Ben: I should probably be heading back–my brother expected me home a while ago.
Me: I had a really good time.
Ben: Me too. I’ll see you tomorrow?
Me: Yep, I start work first thing in the morning.
Ben: Perfect.

He gave me a soft kiss on the forehead, turned and walked out the door.
I smiled and closed the door gently behind him.
Perfect, indeed.



I didn’t sleep Saturday night.
Not even for a minute.
I was too busy reliving all the details of our date–eager with anticipation to see him the following morning.
At 7:00 a.m. on the dot, I jumped out of bed, freshened up and reluctantly put on my frumpy work attire.
At least our date was his proof that I did in fact own a normal wardrobe.
I gave an extra spritz of my Ralph Lauren Romance perfume and headed out the door with a hot chocolate in hand.

The butterflies were alive and fluttering in my tummy as I walked to work that morning.
It was everything I could do to keep from sprinting. Or even squealing with excitement.

I pushed through the gym doors with a sense of triumph—this was going to be a good day, I just knew it.
And I was right.


Aside from my supervisor, D, I was the first one into work that morning.
You could still hear the buzz from the massive overhead lights as they flickered into full brilliance.
D looked at me over his shoulder as he wheeled out the basketballs.

D: Sooo.  How was last night?
Me: What do you mean?

But I couldn’t keep the smile from forming on my face.

D: You know exactly what I mean. All the coaches were talking about it after you left.  He asked you out, didn’t he?

I nodded enthusiastically, but pushed my lips together in an effort to keep from spilling the beans.

D: I don’t need details. It’s written all over your face. Just be careful, don’t forget he leaves soon…and I’m not looking forward to those tears.
Me: I won’t cry. I’m looking at this for what it is—a Summer love.

Even as I said it, I knew it was a lie. And D’s reminder of Ben’s impeding departure was like a knife in my side.

D: Yeah, sure. Well, enjoy the final days of your Summer love.

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest



About 30 minutes later I spotted Ben’s brother, Matt, across the gym going over some papers on his clip board.
That meant Ben was here too, and I was going to find him.
After searching the entire bottom floor, I finally found him upstairs taping down the court boundaries.
He was hunched over, back to me, focused on the work at hand.
Three other coaches were spread out over the gym floor working on the same project.
Looking back, I am completely unsure of what possessed me to do what I did next.
I suppose love will, in fact, make you do silly things.

In a matter of seconds, I had tip toe/sprinted across the gym floor until I was standing directly behind him.
I leaned over,
tapped him on the shoulder,
and as soon as his unsuspecting face turned around…
I planted a kiss right on his lips.
Right there, in the middle of the gym.
I could feel his cheeks turning red as I held our kiss a moment longer.
And then I pulled away, smiled,
and as quickly as I had run up behind him,
I turned and skipped off.

Clearly I had been watching too much Dawson’s Creek.



12:00 p.m.

I sighed loudly and shrugged my shoulders as I slumped into the chair next to D’s desk.
D attempted to ignore my dramatic entrance, but after my third consecutive sigh he gave in.

D: What is it?
Me: Well, I thought we would have lunch together today. But I haven’t seen him since I ki…I mean, uh, since I said hi to him this morning.  It’s like he’s disappeared.
D: I think his brother has had him running errands around town all day.
Me: Yeah, and I can’t help but feel like that’s deliberate.

D shifted his chair ever so slightly in my direction.

D: I think you might be right.
I was caught off guard. I didn’t expect him to agree with my wild theory.

Me: Wait. You do? I thought I was imagining it. Do you really think his brother has been keeping him away from the gym on purpose?
D: I think his brother doesn’t want to see him get hurt.
Me: But I’m not gonna hurt him…
D: Sweetie, you can’t help it.


Sure enough, the entire day had passed, and other than our impromptu morning kiss, I hadn’t seen Ben all day.
At this point, minutes and hours were all we had left together, and as each one passed a part of my heart began to crumble.
Feeling a bit down, I moped into the deserted conference room to start taking out the trash before my shift ended.
Lower your expectations Ashley, be realistic–I told myself as I dumped the bin into my industrial garbage bag.
I was heading to the next bin when I heard the door open behind me.
It was him.

Ben: Well, there you are!

Before I could say a word he swooped me up into the cradle position and gave me a quick yet perfect kiss.
Our faces were only inches apart.

Ben: I need to see you tonight.

I certainly wasn’t going to argue with him.

Me: What did you have in mind?
Ben: I’m having dinner with my brother and his wife, but I’ll call you after?

I tried not to look disappointed that we wouldn’t be having dinner together.

Me: Sounds like a plan.
Ben: I’ll call you.

And with that, he set me back on my feet, gave his customary kiss to my forehead and left the room with a dimpled smile.
I stood, staring blankly as the door closed behind him.

Oh boy.
I was in trouble.
In my mind this was nothing more than a week long fling—a Summer love, as I had explained to D.
But my heart knew better.
It was preparing to get broken…


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  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 1:07 am

    So glad this is back, and I’m already impatient for the next chapter. Love love love your love story!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Oh my really thats it! Ive waited so long for this… cant wait to see what happens next!!!! EEEEEKKKK

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Keep writing!! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 1:30 am

    I’ve been stocking your blog ever since I found your “perfect hamburger recipe on Pinterest.” I feel in love with it as soon an I started reading it. And I LOVE your love story. I feel like I’m reading a totally romantic Nicholas Sparks book, but even better. I get totally lost in it! haha Anyway, I’m excited for part 7. Goodness, it’s the exact feeling I had when I left the theater after watching Hunger Games. Just can’t wait till the next. Seriously, you’re a very talented writer 🙂

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 1:36 am

    I’ve been waiting so looooong for this!!! It wasn’t long enough!! I need more!

    🙂 so perfect, but please, for my hopeless romantic heart, don’t make me wait another 4 months 😉

  • Reply
    Beth @ Through the Eyes of the Mrs.
    June 8, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Oh the suspense is killing me. Broken hearts are a terrible awful thing and there should be no such thing. I love that you just went right into that gym and planted one on him, xoxo

  • Reply
    [email protected] by munchies mama
    June 8, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Ahhhhh, your cliff hangers are killing me!!!!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Love the kiss and sprint! LOL so something I would have done with my heart racing and then again wondering all day why I hadn’t seen him LOVE IT! Thanks for continuing the story I have been waiting oh so (im)patiently. 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie @ My Darling Days
    June 8, 2012 at 2:28 am

    You need to publish this stuff! I love every second and fine details of each part! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 2:34 am

    Nooooo! 🙂 it wasn’t long enough (hah!) The suspense is killing me!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Ashley, you are SUCH a talented writer. You have me on the tip of my toes, feeling everything you say as if I’m reading/watching a real book or movie. I’ll be sad when the story is over! haha

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 3:03 am

    Ahhh your story is sooo good I love when you post about it!! it gives me buterflys, so cute!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 3:05 am

    I love this so much. And I agree with everyone saying you are a very talented writer. I can’t wait for the next part!! Don’t leave us in suspense for too long. PLEASE!!

  • Reply
    Rebecca N.Z
    June 8, 2012 at 3:10 am

    I am so jealous that you remember all these details! The little things, of meeting your soul mate and true love 🙂

    you writing is amazing, I do think you should seriously look at writing a novel – you would be an awesome romantic author.

    Cant wait for the rest

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Awww..this sounds like a sweet love story. All the emotions are just like first love all over again. It is so importantt o relive those moments when we have been married for quiet awhile. You and your husband seems to do just that, that is wonderful and romantic.

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Ash, seriously I need the whole love story all at once- so sweet!! I love that you planted a kiss on him in the gym, I can’t imagine you doing that!! Give baby Sawyer a love tap for me!


  • Reply
    Michelle {the Momma Bird}
    June 8, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Oh I’m so glad you gave us a dose of your Love story again! You should put these posts into a book and give it to him for an anniversary – he’d LOVE it! And it’s something you & your kids & grandkids could cherish forever!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Boy you sure know how to keep the suspense going! LOVING this series! Obviously we know how it worked out, but I can’t wait to hear how! Oh I love love!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I adore this story and look forward to the next installment. Your memory recall is amazing.

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    YAY I was so excited to see this in my feed this morning!!! Can’t wait for the next part!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Ch. 7! Ch. 7! LOL You are gifted writer! Especially 4 suspense! Gr8 Job! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Ahhhh! I hate when you end and I don’t know what’s going to happen next! Write on girl!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    i really wish i had written down/remember this much detail about when i started dating my husband. you can’t make this stuff up! and i wish i had this whole story written down like you do. i guess i could try and do as much as i remember. but seriously – love your story and love that you’re sharing it. i’m excited for the rest – as it appears everyone else is too 😉

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I’m so happy you are still writing this! I love it!! Please write the next part soon!!! I obviously know the ending, but I need to know how it happened :). Your love story is so incredibly sweet!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Oh my gosh! Seriously? You need to make these posts longer. Now I have to wait to find out what happens next! You’re keeping me glued to the computer with every chapter. I love your love story. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I just started reading your blog when Casey posted your “how we met” story on her blog, and I LOOOVE your story 🙂 Have you heard the song ‘Call me Maybe’? This probably sounds totally weird coming from a stranger, but I was listening to that song while reading about how you guys met and it totally reminds me of you now.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Alexander
    June 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Wow! Your writing is amazing and I feel as though I am right there as you describe everything. It was a long break between chapter 5 and 6. Hopefully chapter 7 will be coming soon!!!!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Always leave your readers wanting more proves that we need a good love story that we know is true. Can’t wait till the next installment. I will admit that I wanted more..

  • Reply
    Kassi @ Truly Lovely
    June 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    So I see part 6 isn’t the broken hear post as per the pin on pinterest. 😉

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Did you hear the collective squeals from the internet when you posted this latest installment! LOL I love your love story series!! So fun to read, as we obviously know how it ends but eeek can’t wait for the rest?!!

    You have got to write some novels!! You’ve got amazing talent!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    sweet summer love…will be waiting patiently for your next installment. ♥

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    The suspense is killing me!! I’m such a fan of your love story!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Ashley, you are such a beautiful story-teller! When you’re all done, you should totally print this out as a book (with pictures!) and give it to your husband as an anniversary present. 🙂

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    It’s funny that me (your Momma) loves to read this story even after living every moment of it with you. You are such a loving, caring, talented momma, wife and daughter. Love you baby. xoxo Mom

  • Reply
    June 9, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    This is painful … can’t wait for the next part…. Love your story!!!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2012 at 12:56 am

    i SOOOOOOOO cannot wait for the next part!!! <3 reading your love story 🙂

  • Reply
    June 10, 2012 at 1:20 am

    OMG! i loooooooooooove this. please post more of your story soon!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Rachel Nicole
    June 10, 2012 at 3:09 am

    I adore your love story. PLEASE PLEASE do the next part soon!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    can’t wait to do the next part. i was inspired to write my next post too! you really are an amazing inspiration 😉

  • Reply
    June 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Just found your blog today and I’m completely smitten with your Love Story! Can’t wait for the next chapter…talk about cliffhangers!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Your story is so lovely. It’s great hearing how you went after what you wanted. Thank you for inspiring me to write my own story. 😉

  • Reply
    June 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    You have now become a tease Miss Momma!!!! SHARE THE NEXT PART!!!!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I echo the sentiments of everyone else who has commented on this- wow.
    a) You are such a great writer and story-teller.
    b) Your cliff-hanger endings leave me on the edge of my seat, anxiously awaiting the next part 🙂
    c) You are an inspiration, and I’m so glad I found your blog! (Through Casey Wiegand’s blog)

    You know we’ll be waiting with baited breath for the next part… but no pressure 😉

  • Reply
    June 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Can’t wait for the next chapter!! Hope it will be soon : )

  • Reply
    Ashley G
    June 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I love reading your story for 2 reasons. . . It keeps me on my toes and wanting to read more, while at the same time, I’m not disappointed and waiting for the tragic ending because I KNOW what happens! Looking forward to part 7

  • Reply
    June 14, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    AHHHH!!! I want to read more!!! Post the next chapter soon please!!!

  • Reply
    June 18, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Goodness! You are so good at writing and waiting is killing me! Please just write it all next time ;P Just kidding but I love y’alls story so far!

  • Reply
    June 20, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Such a great job telling your story! Can’t wait to hear the rest! xo

  • Reply
    June 23, 2012 at 7:30 am

    This is the best! I’m hoping for a love story like this. Yours is just proof that it can happen! You’re such an amazing writer, keep it up! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 9, 2012 at 5:25 am

    I hardly ever comment on blogs but I HAD to comment on this one. Your Love Story series is the best! It gives this single girl a smidge of faith in future relationships. I wish you would post them more often because I hate waiting for the next one. 🙂 Love your blog, love this series! Great work Ashley!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Ah, I need the rest! I found your blog today after seeing your wavy hair tutorial on pinterest. I’m hooked! You’re an amazing writer 🙂 Can’t wait to read the rest of your love story!

  • Reply
    Charli Bryan
    July 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Wait…you can’t just leave it like that! What happens next! Please write again soon!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I loved your love story very much. Can’t wait for the next chapter.

  • Reply
    Jess @ The Colorful Ones
    July 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I’ve said this before, but I absolutely adore your love story series… I am amazed at what detail you remember your courtship with! I have certain days and moments that live so vividly in my memory, but certainly not as many of them as you’ve got! 🙂 I love it when I see a “Our Love Story: Part #” in my inbox, because I just can’t wait to see the next installment! 🙂 God Bless!


  • Reply
    July 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    AH!!! where is part 7! i’m so intrigued!

  • Reply
    July 30, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Waiting for the next part…love reading about your romance and how it all started. Your story is pretty amazing. And you’re so beautiful! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 7, 2012 at 6:05 am

    I need more! Ack! This is WAY better than most of the romance novels out there. I’ve been thinking about this for MONTHS, ever since Elise’s Pieces referenced it… Must. Have. More.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Randomly stumbled upon your blog. This was an awesome Love Story! You are an amazing writer and I was totally disappointed that after Chapter 6 it wasn’t over yet. I can’t wait for Chapter 7!

  • Reply
    August 12, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    My husband recently told me that he thinks I should write our story down. I was super excited, but after reading your story, I don’t think mine will be nearly as suspenseful! I’m loving your story so much!

    Also, I love that the forehead kiss was “customary” after it happened twice! That’s too cute. ;D

  • Reply
    September 11, 2012 at 2:58 am

    I can only hope my story to be half as good as yours. You are an awesome writer! I’ve been waiting for this part for what seems like forever already! can’t wait for the next one! <3

  • Reply
    little miss momma love story
    March 18, 2013 at 8:14 am

    […] 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 […]

  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 12:28 am

    OMG i just about fell off my chair when I read about the gym kiss. Thats crazy, but hey if you didnt care then who am I to judge. So fearless!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I just want you to know that I found your blog and started reading your love story immediately and am now going to be late to class because I just can’t pull myself away! Can’t wait to read the rest later. Your timing is perfect for romantic suspense! Too cute! Makes me want to fall in love with my husband all over again! 🙂

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    So glad this is back, and I’m already impatient for the next chapter.

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