Forever And Always?

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Three days had passed since Elizabeth had last spoken to Kevin and since the beginning of their 4 year relationship; it’s been the longest three days of their lives. Tuesday night Elizabeth went to sleep on top of the world but when she woke up on Wednesday morning, the world was definitely on top of her. Her seemingly perfect relationship turned into disaster into a disaster overnight and she had no idea how to fix it.
Saturday morning Kevin lay on his living room couch thinking about the girl he had fallen in love with. She was everything he ever wanted and more. She possessed beauty, intelligence, ambitious; all the qualities of what he believed were the perfect woman. At times throughout his relationship he felt as though he didn’t deserve her but something always happened to make his doubts go away. In less than five hours he would be boarding a plane to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Kevin never actually said a proper goodbye to Elizabeth and even though he was completely unsure of what was going on between them, he knew he couldn’t leave without doing so. But how should he go about doing it.

Lizzie lay on her bed balled up in the fetal position. Her head rested on the pillow Kevin had won for her at a carnival last year. The sweet memory now angered and she threw the pillow across the room. It landed under the wall where she hung up all of her favorite pictures. There were a lot of pictures of her, her family, and her friends, but most of them were of her and Kevin, the love of her life. She glanced at a picture of them at the beach. A coral halter bikini showed off her bodacious curves and complimented her big smile, while beads of water ran down Kevin’s chiseled chest and into his black swimming trunks. They lay together in the sand, beaming at the camera. Tears formed in Elizabeth’s eyes and her throat felt as though it was closing when she tried to hold back the flood of tears. One tear escaped her left eye and it was all it took for her to remember the past couple of days.
Tuesday was easily one of Lizzie’s least favorite days. She had classes until 3:00, cheerleading from then until 6:30, and then it was straight to volunteering from 7:00 to 8:00. Luckily today was be a wonderful day. She had shared loads of laughs with her boyfriend and all their friends and around lunched time she learned that both cheerleading and her volunteer time had been canceled. At the end of the day, Kevin walked Lizzie to her cubicle outside of the computer lab like he always does. As she searched her cubicle, she expressed her happiness.
“Cheerleading is canceled tonight, and the woman I volunteer for doesn’t want me to come in tonight. This’ll be my first free Tuesday in forever.” She laughed.
“Well, in that case I’m coming over tonight,” he said with a wink.
“Okay babe. I see you tonight. I love you.” She beamed as she spoke,
“I love you too baby.” Kevin was just as excited as she was.
They went their separate ways. Lizzie went to her car and began the 20 minute drive home while Kevin went to basketball practice.
At home, Lizzie looked around the house to make sure everything was in order. The two had been together for years now, but Lizzie had always felt that a man should walk into a home not just a house. After everything was set, she went upstairs to take a shower. Just as she left the bathroom, the doorbell rang. Sure that it was Kevin; Lizzie made no effort to put on more clothes to answer the door. In nothing but her towel, she sauntered downstairs and swung the door open. Instead of Kevin being happy to see her, she was greeted with a grim smile, one that was sure to turn into an angry face.
The smile quickly left her face and she raced upstairs with Kevin right on her heels. They entered her bedroom quietly and Kevin went to take a seat on the bed in the center of the room. Turning towards her dresser, Lizzie quickly found a plain top and bottom and threw them on. Something or someone had made her boyfriend upset and although she intended to fix the problem, she had no idea that she was the cause.
Kevin watched her get dressed silently. He was beyond pissed but tried hard to maintain his composure. He would ask a simple question and the answer would decide the fate of their relationship.
Lizzie finished dressing and turned to look at Kevin. She didn’t like the look in his eyes. Mainly because she could usually tell how he was feeling, but today, at this moment in time, she had no idea and the thought frightened her. She thought carefully about her words trying not to upset him. It wasn’t often that he would become extremely mad or upset but when he did, God bless the person in the room with him.
“Babe, you know I don’t like seeing you like this. Tell me what’s going on.” She worded it in a way that wouldn’t imply anything. She wanted absolutely nothing to set him off.
Kevin looked her dead in the eyes. The stare was so intense that Elizabeth suddenly felt a burning sensation in her chest. It was like a wildfire had started there and was now spreading to the rest of her body. She quickly turned away. Looking around the room, she spotted the messy pile of papers on her desk. Perfect, she thought, something for me to clean.
Kevin looked at her backside as she made her way over to the desk. He hated when she tried to avoid a situation by cleaning. Focus, he thought.
“Elizabeth Ann Jackson, the woman I love.” She had just reached her desk when he began speaking. She turned around fully expecting a smile. A snickered smile and cold eyes greeted her instead. She choked on her own breath at the sight of him. He was really beginning to scare her, and she struggled to maintain her composu
“Yes babe?”
“Have you ever cheated on me?” Suddenly, the room being to spin and for a moment Elizabeth thought she had passed out. The blood seemed to drain from her body and she was sure that her head was going to explode. S***, s***, s***. I should have told him when it happened. God help me please. Thoughts formed in her head more quickly then she could process them. Kevin stared at her intently. He watched her begin panicking but her eyes remained completely innocent. He was sure that her eyes would give him the answer he needed, but they didn’t.
“No,” she said back to him with no confidence.
As hard as tried to hold it in, Kevin couldn’t. A few tears escaped his eyes and he felt his chest and stomach twist into knots. He almost threw up. Elizabeth looked up at Kevin. In their four year relationship she had only seen him cry twice. This time, and the time that he mother had died. She felt a part of her slowly die as the tears quietly streamed down her face. The couple stared at each other not knowing what to do or say.
They were always the time to argue but it was always about stupid things. Where should they go out to eat? Whose fault was it that the math project lost 10 points? Whose house is better? They would argue, be mad, and be kissing each other five minutes later. This situation threatened to tear them completely apart and they weren’t even sure what was going on exactly.
The stare was too intense for Kevin so he was the first to break away. Elizabeth slowly begins to speak.
“Babe, I am so, so sorry.” The pain and urgency in her voice saddened Kevin but nonetheless, he was still pissed off.
“We’re done. This relationship is over, but I need to know what happened so maybe I won’t hate you forever.” Elizabeth could feel the ice in his voice.
Elizabeth walked over towards the bed and motioned for Kevin to sit on it. She failed to control the flow of tears as she started to explain herself.
“I love you more than anything in this world and nothing would make me happier than to become your wife after we graduate college.” She paused to take a look at Kevin, hoping to see his expression soften. It didn’t, so she continued.
“It happened the day we had the argument after your grand mom’s funeral. I went to Chelsea’s house to talk with her. Her older brother was home from college, so she asked him to keep me company while she went to get us ice cream. I could have sworn you said we were through with me, and that’s the only reason why I kissed him. I never --”
He caught her off and said, “I called you that day and we talked about what happened. You cheated on purpose. You destroyed our f*ing relationship on purpose.”
Elizabeth flinched at his choice of words. He hardly ever cussed at her. She was terrified to lose him over this and she tried her best to explain everything to him. She began pacing her room, her words coming out fast and jumbled, almost incoherent.
“Kevin, I swear to God. This was a one-time thing and it’ll never happen again. I had a simple moment of weakness because I needed someone because for the first time in forever you weren’t there for me. Immediately after it happened I felt disgusted with myself and went to the bathroom to throw up. Of course when I came out, her brother looked at me strange but I didn’t care. Right after that you called my phone; saying how you said those things out of anger I was so happy. I couldn’t wait to see you.” She took a pause and quick breath before continuing.
“I didn’t tell you about the kiss because honestly I didn’t know what it was. To me, we weren’t in a relationship when it happened so it was cheating. But after you called and told me we were in a relationship the whole time I became terrified. I guess after me and Chelsea stop being friends she was quick to tell you what happened. Babe. I’m really sorry and I love you. Will please forgive me? I promise I do anything.”
As she said the last part she was facing the window away from the bed. When she turned towards the bed, but Kevin wasn’t there. Frantically she started towards the door, but he was already there, jacket in hand. She looked into his eyes and noticed that the ice there had been replaced with a slow burning fire. The fire was their love and she could see it burning to ashes before her eyes. The sight of tears escaping his eyes for the second time today nearly made her knees buckle.
“I’ve never known you to lie to me about something so, so…” Kevin couldn’t even finish his thought. He looked at her, but wasn’t really seeing her. It was more like him looking through her.
“Love is full time, over time, and all time; no matter what. Even if weren’t in a relationship, the love was still there for the time being and that should have been enough for you. You’re a cheater and make sure you hear this good: Our relationship is over. Now, you’re more than welcome to kiss or f*** whoever you want.”
With that Kevin walked out of Elizabeth’s room, downstairs, out the front door and out of Elizabeth’s life. When she heard the front door slam, her knees completely buckled and she fell to the floor. She struggled to breathe as she wrapped her arms tightly around herself in a hug, hoping to self-comfort. Her body gently rocked back and forth, her cheeks stained with the endless stream of tears from her glossy eyes, enduring the emotional pain that continued to engulf her. The man she was sure she was going to marry had just walked out on her and now she felt nothing but emptiness surround her.
Three days and 3 hours later, Kevin Benjamin sat in the airport waiting for his plane. He looked around the terminal at the many men waiting to board the plane and go to the same place as him. The only difference was that everyone seemed to communicating with a loved one somehow. Whether it was on the phone, Skype, face time, or some other web chat, everyone was enjoying their time in the airport expect Kevin. He thought of Elizabeth and the pain that she caused him. Even still his love for her was greater than the pain. Not knowing whether he would ever see her again, he sent a quick text before turning his cell phone off:
Love is full time, over time, but most importantly ALL the time. I love you Elizabeth Ann Jackson. Forever and Always <3





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