OOC: GONNA GET ON NOW.
OOC: GONNA GET ON NOW.
The truth of the matter was that both Ben and Marie only wanted to marry each other with the pretence of loving each other when really they both had secret agendas. Marie was in love with someone else forcing herself to forget and while Ben believed he loved Marie, he only proposed to wipe the smug look off of Justin’s face and it had worked. Ben managed to pull on Justin’s strings making him a very jealous man. A man he used to loathe but now only has sorrow for. Everything Ben put him through; he only wished Justin was in a good place in his life at that moment. Who was he to get in the way of true love? He’s seen that now and wishes the best for Marie and Justin. A part of Ben wondered what was happening between the two, whether they were finally together or did the event that took place with Edward Wallace ruin what they had?
It was a rather strange feelings being beside Marie again. She was the type of girl that brought comfort wherever she was; a girl who released a positive energy in the atmosphere even when things weren’t so positive. That was what Ben missed the most about her. With only a few months being passed since their break-up, in that short space of time, so much had changed that Ben didn’t really recognise Marie but now he was talking to her, she was the exact same girl he believed he was in love with; with a few exceptions of being a girl who’s finally following her own destiny. “Well, once again you’ve proved me right in saying that you can’t actually beat me.” A grin formed on his face. “Without drugging me until I’m pretty my paralysed. That says it all.” Laughter passed from his lips as he enjoyed watching Marie smile. It was a genuine smile he never saw before, at least not when it was just the two of them. Every smile he had ever seen from her was forced.
Ben leaned back against his chair, taking a moment to think about everything that was happening in his life. “Where to begin?” He laughed, looking down at his hands. “I can’t say much but then at the same time a lot.” It seemed easier for Ben to talk in riddles so he didn’t have to bring up all that was happening in his life. That was something he wanted to forget just for the moment. “What about you? How’s everything?” From the time that they broke up, Ben never saw or heard much about Marie; it was as if she had vanished into thin air. It had actually made things a lot easier for Ben to know she wasn’t around, allowing him to finally deal with it all and move on but a part of him still always wondered about her; where she was, who she was with or what she was doing. These were the thoughts of Ben Smith as he tried to move on from that part of his life.
Marie could recall the look she’d gotten from every girl at prom when Ben had proposed. There were jealous murmurs throughout the whole night and even a few girls who tried to lure Ben with their eyes, a look that said, ‘there are many other options - you should explore before you commit to someone.’ But it was done and their engagement was set in stone. Marie’s father was extravagantly happy that his daughter, his little princess was now safe in Ben Smith’s arms, the man that could provide her with anything and everything she would ever need. Marie knew it was all some business deal - Guy Pollock probably wanting to make a successful deal with Ben’s father. It made sense. What puzzled her is why he would ever have her in between. She’d been so sure that she meant more to him than merely someone to use for his own business purposes. Anne Pollock, her mother, wasn’t even involved in anything. Hell, she’d even teased Marie about being engaged when she was still a child inside, an insecure mess. Her mother, though, was someone Marie tried hardest not to listen to, simply because she had the tendency to make her feel bad about herself, which had caused several problems in Marie’s past, problems that people barely knew existed in her life at one point.
Behind all the smiles and laughters, Marie was still insecure. But she was sure Ben had no idea about her bundled up insecurities. The only person she had ever really opened up to regarding those insecurities had been Justin, way before she’d even known Ben. She had never been able to open up to someone like that, in fear of being judged. But that’s what had happened with Justin and that was when she realised that something inside her felt she could trust Justin Rockwell. Quickly, Marie snapped back into reality. “I’ll get you one day. I’m like a ninja,” she teased, laughing ever so lightly. Marie had never really taken time to notice how beautiful Ben’s eyes were, how the green blended in with a bit of grey. “You have really pretty eyes,” she said, sounding almost as if she were in an inexplicable trance. “I wish I had green eyes,” she finished off.
Ben’s sigh said it all - he seemed exhausted. It was probably his work, or at least Marie assumed. “Then tell me everything. We have time,” she assured him. Ever since the breakup, Marie had seen Ben around and quite a few times he’d been with Emily, in which case she would instinctively walk the other way. She knew Emily disliked her and being disliked didn’t suit Marie Pollock. She liked bringing joy to people, not annoyance, a feeling she thought she brought to Emily. “Me? I guess things could be better, but they could also be worse. I think I might take a gap year like you suggested. It might help me figure out what I want to do.”
It was time for a new beginning, something Ben wasn’t ready for; not in the slightest. Everything revolving around Ben’s life had been drastically changing recently and he wasn’t quite sure on how to feel about it all. Change is good. He tried to persuade himself, yet there was a part of him that still wanted to hold on what he had already. Too much was changing and he wasn’t given enough time to adjust. His sudden casual relationship with Emily; which was great for both of them, the selling of his apartment and now his newly built friendship with Marie; something he had not expected to happen for a long time. Somehow, they both managed to get past all the bitterness and start fresh. While some part of Ben was more than pleased to have Marie back in his life, he still lived with a guilty conscience from the past of the person he used to be when he was engaged to her.
The guilty conscience that he swore he would never reveal, especially when no-one investigated further into the matter and the victim himself, never remembered. Yes, he was talking about his face off with Justin Rockwell that lead to him getting shot and blanking out the horrendous event. That was the secret he swore to take to his grave. The one thing that kept him linked to that memory was Marie and once all ties were severed with her, Ben felt he could finally move on from the biggest mistake of his life. Without Marie knowing why, Ben apologised for all he had done but deep down he knew if she knew the truth for her require forgiveness, she would never have done.
Forcing all of this to the back of his mind, Ben tried to think about the new beginning. Fuck, it’s finally a chance for you to be different, show you’re different. Forget everything that’s happened. Deciding to walk this time instead of driving his car through the busy streets, Ben slid his hands into his pockets, brushing past the busy crowd until he found himself nearing Starbucks. From a distance, he could see Marie sitting there, patiently waiting for him to arrive and that’s when the nerves kicked in. He couldn’t deny that he still loved her but he wasn’t in love with her. That was something Emily was right about. As he finally reached, he nodded his head at her. “Marie.” He automatically reached out his hands in gesture of a hug which she replied to. As he leaned back, he grinned. “I see. So, you have to drug me to beat me up?” He tilted his head as he pulled out his seat. “That makes much more sense.” He chuckled.
Although it had only been a couple of months, Marie had felt like the incident with Justin had been years ago. Time had the tendency to play tricks on her at times and frankly she hated time, despised it, even. The mere thought that Justin’s attempted killer was out there somewhere made shivers crawl up her spine. The killer could be anywhere and it had hit her that maybe they would try to put an end to Justin. It made her worry about him, especially when they hadn’t spoken in awhile. Maybe the killer had gotten to him already, maybe Justin was lying down in his apartment, his heart as dead as his mind. Marie hated thinking about it, but she couldn’t help but come up with unfortunate scenarios in her mind of what could happen to Justin with his attempted killer running free. Marie couldn’t deny the fact that she loved Justin, but she wanted the best for him, and clearly they weren’t meant to be together - at least not now, but she figured later on in her life things might become easier on both of them. But the new Marie Pollock wasn’t thinking about the future; rather, the present.
Sure, Marie had screwed up big time - she’d practically married Ben in order to forget Justin and ended up kissing Justin’s best friend out of drunken stupor, but she came to a conclusion that everybody made mistakes and she wasn’t the only one, though the guilt always managed to haunt her at times. People even started wondering whether Marie loved Ben Smith and she did, she loved him dearly, but it was a different kind of love; and now, a friendly kind of love. They were patching up old wounds and Marie was glad they were both putting it all behind them and moving on. Marie could never admit it, but she felt a hint of jealousy when it came down to Emily Sinclair. She didn’t exactly know why or how, but she just knew that the small thought of both of Emily and Ben together pushed one of her buttons. Regardless, she wasn’t in any position to say anything, nor would it be appropriate to.
“I do. You’re twice my size. It’d be unfair if I didn’t drug you,” she played along, an angelic laughter escaping her nude lips. She missed Ben - his humour, especially. Emily was lucky to have him and Marie only hoped she never did anything to hurt Ben, not like she’d done. He deserved better than being hurt and deceived - Ben Smith was the perfect guy; Marie refused to find any flaw in him, simply because even if he did have a flaw, everything else he did made up for it. Noticing how deep into her thoughts she probably looked, Marie snapped back into reality, staring into Ben’s light green eyes. “So, what’s going on in the life of Ben Smith?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.
Sleep. That had been something Marie couldn’t be more grateful for. Everyday felt like another challenge, another day of thinking about her future, the future that seemed to be slipping out of her fingers as the days passed by. She was unaware of what to do or who she wanted to be. At first, she’d been keen on being an architect - her father had pushed her into it throughout her childhood, always making her be creative when it came to design. Marie had convinced herself that she would be an architect and truthfully, she’d have no problem if she did become one, but it wasn’t a passion anymore; rather, a chore. The thing was, Marie Pollock had always been undecided about everything and she had only really noticed how indecisive she was the day graduation had unfolded. It’d made her realise how utterly clueless she was and that scared her quite a lot, really.
It had been a few short months since Marie had seen Ben. In fact, they hadn’t really talked to each other at all. It was usually small conversations that ended within seconds, but Marie knew they had to keep their distance. She had hurt him, lied to him, betrayed him. It hurt Marie to even think about what she’d done, so she chose not to think about it. You’re not looking back, not looking forward, just focusing on the present. Not only had Marie strayed away from Ben, but from Justin, too. He had a new job and was starting a new life, so she kept herself from trying to get attached to him again, afraid that she was threatening his future altogether. Quickly, she put on a white loose dress and striped wedges, inspired by the sunny New York summer.
In a few minutes, she found herself sitting outside Starbucks, merely looking around. Marie noticed her heart racing a bit, but she didn’t exactly know why - was it because she and Ben were having a friendly rendezvous? Whatever it was, she could feel her heart thumping. What if Justin walked by? What if Emily walked by? Stop being stupid, Marie. It won’t matter, anyway. You’re just having coffee with your ex. There’s no big deal. You’re over-thinking it. “Ben,” she said as soon as she noticed him standing right in front of her. Instinctively, she stood up and offered him a friendly hug. “If I were you, I’d be careful. I might’ve asked the staff to put something in your drink so I could drag you to the back, wake you up, and kick your ass. Just a friendly warning,” she whispered into his ear before sitting back down, crossing her tanned legs and placing her hands on top of her knees.
I’m free now? If you want to meet up now?
Well, I really hope you don’t kick my ass because that wouldn’t exactly look great on your behalf now, would it? Especially in public.
Sounds good. Starbucks?
We’ll see about that. I’ll probably sneak you into the back with my ninja skills and then kick your ass.
I’m doing good, going out for a swim later again and expecting my sisters to pop out soon enough. How much I’ve missed their annoying, and casual girly fights.
Sarcasm intended. What’s new in the life of Ms. Marie Pollock, mm?
I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have two sisters and be the only brother.
I definitely picked that up. New? Nothing much. Trying to figure out my life, so I guess I’ve been visiting quite a few universities.
Then perhaps I should get used to this new hyped, caffeinated Marie. Beside, people who drink too much coffee are those who can stupid things faster with more energy. I approve.
I think you should. I’ve got an approval from Owen Carlyle? Yes.
Exactly and it’s pasts like those we need to recreate. Have a good time and all.
Uh… yeah. She wasn’t too keen on you from the start. Always kept hinting it but I just assumed it was from jealousy.
I couldn’t agree more.
Well, she has you now, so I’m sure she can’t really hate me too much anymore. At least I hope not.
Well it seems to be working well for you! I, on the other hand, ain’t very good with keeping focused on the present, sometimes the past; good past, is worth looking back on.
We’re doing good. We’ve both been pretty busy so I haven’t gotten to see her around lately, but yeah…
Of course. I enjoy looking back at the good things too. The fun, careless times.
I’m glad for both of you, then. I’m sure you guys will find time. She never really liked me, but yeah.
Now, now. I remember this challenge being brought up previously before and I’m pretty sure I won, but, just because it’s amusing, I think I’ll challenge you again.
Prepare to go down, then. I may look small and innocent, but I was forced into doing karate for three years.
That’s meant to scare you.