I Love Him, I Love Him Not
It's Valentine's Day 2006. Ben has something special planned for Angela. How do Bella and a very absent Edward factor into the special day?
Just something I wrote on Valentine's Day, but forgot about.
1. I Love Him, Right?
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Valentine’s Day: A holiday created to cause havoc in all lovers’ relationships. At least that’s how this holiday was for Ben and me.
Last year, I had celebrated Singles Awareness Day. It had been fun. My little brothers and I had had a picnic in the living room. We had eaten conversation hearts, and had watched recorded Saturday morning cartoons. Scooby-Doo was a mutual favorite of ours. We rounded off our evening with a thrilling game of Monopoly. I had won, miraculously.
This year was going to be different, because Ben and I were dating, and had made plans as couples are wont to do. After school, Ben had picked me up in his rusty white car, and we drove to Port Angeles. Silence had pervaded our ride, but with Ben silence wasn’t awkward. We were comfortable enough in our relationship to not have to fill every quietude with chatter. That was one of the things I liked most about him.
Dinner had been wonderful. Both of us, being seniors and trying to save money for school, had opted to forgo the candlelit dinner, and live it up at McDonalds. Sitting in a secluded corner, Eric and I had bent our heads together talking about our plans for the future. I was hoping we would both get into the University of Washington so we wouldn’t have to deal with the ever-present fear of long-distance relationships.
After the last grease-drenched fry had been eaten, Ben and I decided to take a walk down near the water. The chilly February breeze near the boardwalk raised goose bumps on my arms, but I didn’t mind. It was a beautiful night.
As we walked to the end of the pier, we sat down on a bench, staring at the waves rolling in from the ocean. Grabbing my hand, Ben kissed me sweetly. It was a perfect night.
“I wanted to give you this,” Ben suddenly stated, reaching into his jacket pocket. Pulling out a long black velvet jewelry box, he handed it to me.
My eyes were as big as a kid’s on Christmas. “But…I didn’t get you anything.” I said guiltily, staring at the black box.
“You didn’t have to. Open it.” Ben urged, smiling.
Looking down, I slowly lifted the lid. Inside, a beautiful silver heart pendant lay unobtrusively nestled in the velvet.
I gasped in awe.
“Do you like it?” Ben asked apprehensively.
“Do I like it? I love it! Thank you Ben! Here, help me put it on.” I turned my neck, holding my hair up as Ben’s fingers fumbled with the clasp. Letting my hair fall back, I turned and smiled at my boyfriend.
“I love you.” Ben whispered.
My eyes widened. I wasn’t ready for this conversation. To be honest, I hadn’t given a lot of thought to whether I loved Ben or not.
“Ang…” Ben questioned.
“I don’t know what to say. I think I need some time. Love is a really strong word, and I don’t want to say it until I know for sure.” I felt a little guilty. In a way, I did love Ben. He was my first boyfriend and my first kiss. I just didn’t know if I loved him.
“I understand. I’ll wait. May I ask why you’re hesitant?” Ben was so understanding! I didn’t deserve him.
I thought for a minute while Ben waited in silence. “I think it has something to do with Edward and Bella.” I said slowly.
“Edward and Bella? What about them? We haven’t seen or heard from Edward in almost six months.” His eyebrows knit together in confusion.
“That’s the problem. They committed too fast, and now look at Bella. You know what she’s been like since he left. Sure, she’s getting better, but still…she’s not what she used to be.” I trailed off, not exactly knowing how to explain.
“I understand a little, I guess.” Ben said, “Just take your time, Ang, and know that I love you.”
“Thanks for being so understanding, Ben. You really are wonderful.” We both smiled.
“You ready to go home?” Ben asked me, sliding his arm around my waist.
“Sure,” I said, standing up.
The next five weeks were tense. Ben and I were dating, but things were a little strained between us. I couldn’t help feeling slightly guilty for not yet being able to tell Ben I loved him. Whenever I thought I could tell him I loved him, an image of Bella crept into my mind. She had been so broken and lifeless. What if I ended up that way? What if Ben did? Was it a risk we should take?
Walking into school that Monday morning, I received the shock of my life. Edward Cullen had his arm around Bella Swan, and was walking her to first period. Whispering something in her ear, I saw a too-long-absent blush creep up Bella’s cheeks. Bella and Edward were back and in love, and I was happy for them.