F3 Cycle 83 Prompt: Write a story about a first crush, and include the outcome when the crush has been revealed.
Word Limit: 1,500 words.
Due Date: Wednesday, July 11, 10:00 pm, EST.
With dinner concluded, Ben and Jennifer excused themselves and return home while I drive to the motel I usually stay at while in town. It is a modern but quiet place situated on the edge of Georgetown facing the marsh with the waters of Winyah Bay just beyond. When I started coming back down to Georgetown after so many years away Ben would demand that I be a guest at his house saying we were family. It was truly a nice gesture but I always declined, at first it was because I felt the secret Jennifer and I carried was just too heavy an item to have all three of us in the same house. Luckily I was able to convince my friend that after so many years away I needed my space and solitude so he eventually stopped asking. Later on it was because the motel was neatly tucked away off the main highway offering excellent privacy from anyone just driving by.
Once in my lonely room the remaining afternoon bleeds over into the evening with my only company the flickering television. If I was an honorable man I would get in my truck and begin the drive back to my equally lonely apartment up in Greenville. Instead I lay on my bed and think about the two people who are the only remaining anchors to my hometown and a past that fades further away each day.
I know Jennifer is spending her evening relaxing and catching up on her reading. The demands of being a popular preacher's wife weigh heavily on her during the week and she jealously guards her Sunday alone time. On the other hand Ben does not have that privilege. The price he must pay for his fame and growing influence in the community requires that each of his sermons not only be thought provoking but dramatic performances worthy of the best professional actors. No matter how much Ben seems to have changed over the years deep down he is still the same scare little boy overly eager to please everyone. The first thing he did after arriving home was grab a bottle of bourbon and lock himself into his study to begin the process of writing next week’s sermon. Somewhere around midnight, he would pass out and not become conscious again until late Monday morning. It is a depressingly sad life we all lead but each of us are trapped by our history and love for each other.
A little after midnight I am pulled away from my morbid contemplations when I see headlights shining through the drawn curtains of my room, the knock on my door that comes seconds later is no surprise. While experience has shown we have little to worry about anyone seeing her I quickly open it to let Jennifer come inside. It is almost a ritual for us now, once inside she wordlessly deposits her pocket book and car keys on the small desk and then fall into my arms. The first kiss is always so deep it almost engulfs our tortured souls. Time is not our ally so our words are few but they generally fall into a familiar pattern.
“I hate you.” Jennifer she said that particular night pulling away so she could undo the purple dress she still wore. As it crumpled to the floor, I looked at her naked body hungry to pull her close again. The true love of my life was still as beautiful as the day she begged me to runaway with her and my thoughts raced to say something in response.
“Yeah, I hate me too.” Was all I said, after that thought the world outside did not matter. Hours later as we both lay together exhausted and spent I often find myself wishing I could get her to leave Ben and runaway with me like she wanted so many years ago. The irony in our little drama is that while Jennifer still loves me she has become use to the lifestyle only Ben can provide her. It is not a happy or healthy arrangement for any of us but when Jennifer walks out of my room in the morning all I can think about is how long will it be before my next visit home.