Ben finally looked at me after what felt like 5 hours of silence. "I'm not going back to school." His expression was solemn.
"What do you mean?" My heart sunk.
"I mean, I need to take some time off. Maybe go back to the whole home-schooling routine, or even travel somewhere else far away. I just can't go back to that school"
"You can't just quit school," I said, my eyes glued to his. "What about us?"
"I'm not quitting, I just need a few months to myself. Mr. Snell has given me permission to come back for the second semester if I keep up good grades," Ben looked back to the ocean and sighed. "As for us, I think we should take a break too."
My heart sunk even deeper. "W-why?" my voice cracks. "Things were just getting good for me and-"
Ben cut me off "For me too, but I think its for the best. I'm doing this for you."
"I don't want you to"
"Maybe not now"
"Maybe not ever" I let out a breath, unwilling to accept what he's saying. "Why?", I ask begging. I feel tears coming down my cheeks.
His sad expression turns to pain. "Remember last time I touched you, I squeezed you too hard?", I nodded as he continued. "It reminded me of Julie, the way you looked at me, how scared you looked. Camelia, I don't want to hurt you like I did Julie."
I touched his tree-branch-scar. "I know you didn't mean to. I trust you." I looked up into his eyes and saw that they were glossy, ready to spew at tears any second.
Ben pushed my arm away," Maybe you shouldn't"
"Don't talk like that" I wipe my tears away.
"You're safe," A single tear comes down his olive toned skin. He quickly brushes it away. "Let's keep it that way."
"You won't hurt me! Please listen to me! I want to be with you," This time I grab his hand. Ben touches my cheek wiping away another tear, his fingers trembling on my skin. "Please." I insist.
"I need you." Ben grabs my other hand. We stay there for a while, silent, peaceful. No words needed.
"Don't go" I plead.
Ben breathes in, "I won't," he breathes out. "But, its not going to be easy for me."
"I know that, and I trust you." I step closer to him.
"Thank-you." Ben puts his arms around me and hugs me. I look out to the ocean and I see the sun falling over the ocean. The sky is a lovely amber and purple color.
I pull away. "No, thank-you" I sigh; the drama is over… at least for now.