Ben’s Birthday Part 2

I guess these song lyrics sum up my relationship with Ben. A little old school, but that is up to you to decide. JoJo’s single – Secret Love (part of Shark Tale soundtrack)

Boy you’re so hard to believe
Boy you’re so hard to believe

Just a friend
That’s all I’ve ever been to you
Oh just a girl
Who wants to be the center of your world
But I ain’t got much to offer
But my heart and soul
And I guess that’s not enough
For you to notice me
I’m just a girl
And I guess that’s all I’ll ever be to you
To you

(The chorus is not me at all but I can see how it would be)
I try to smile when I see other girls with you
Acting like everything is ok
But ohh
You don’t know how it feels to be so in love
With someone who doesn’t even know
My secret love

In my dreams
I see us both together constantly
Why can’t you see
This love that’s here for you inside of me
What do I have to do
For you to notice this
You look at her with love
With me it’s just friendship
I’m just your girl
And I guess that’s all I’ll ever be to you
To you


What do you see in her
You don’t see in me (don’t see in me)
Boy you’re so hard to believe
Why do you show her love
But there’s none for me
Boy you don’t make sense to me
Cause I don’t have much to offer
But my heart and soul
And I guess that’s not enough
For you to notice me
I’m just your girl
And I guess that’s all I’ll ever be to you
To you

It leads to another chorus and then goes back to the same lines:

Boy you’re so hard to believe
Boy you’re so hard to believe.

Moving away from song lyrics and on to the rest of the story.

Having got to the bar where we were meeting Sam and a friend who’d he bought along – J. As usual I was ID but the boys weren’t. I laughed as I pulled out my driving license and told the bouncer that I was actually older than the two boys I was with. Not by much but all in our thirties. The boys – Ben and Chris laughed as we headed into the already crowded bar. It was packed to the rim. I guess 2 for 1 cocktails worked on a Saturday.

The boys and I headed straight for the bar, Ben asked me what I wanted and then said if I wanted to, to go and find Sam and J, as they were at a table. I waited a while and realised there was still a long wait to be served. So I let both Ben and Chris know that I was heading to find Sam. They nodded in acknowledgement.

To be honest, it wasn’t hard to find Sam. You could spot him anywhere. I’m not exaggerating either. He’s not hard to miss and that’s putting it lightly. I went over and said hello – well I gave him a hug and a kiss and he made the introductions about his friend J. Sam made small talk and I gave non-committal answers and J watched with amusement. However, I could see Sam getting drunker and drunker. But who was I to say anything? At some point, Sam left either to relieve himself or get more drinks and I became acquainted with J.

It wasn’t long until Ben and Chris arrived back with a multitude of drinks. I’m not sure a what point Ben made the statement along the lines of a birthday kiss. My immediate response was “You’re not getting one from me.” I didn’t mean it any shape or form. It just came out. Rather I blurted it out. If it affected Ben, he didn’t show it. However, Chris, Sam and J looked at me – amused. I wasn’t lying. If I was going to kiss Ben it wouldn’t be in a crowded bar. And after my birthday incident – I wasn’t going to let happen.

During the course of the evening, I danced with Chris who was a way better dancer than Ben and I even told them both that. Ben laughed it off and I told him I was being serious. J and I chatted about everything under the sun, with Chris who joined us every so often. I found out J’s girlfriend was a teacher so we had quite a bit in common to chat about. Our conversation then moved onto the topic of Chris. (I should mention that the boys were getting drunker as the evening went on and I was the only girl in attendance.)

Somehow J and I started a conversation about Chris (I can’t even remember why) and how stated that he had the whole Superman / Clark Kent persona going on. I should tell you that Chris is quite an attractive male. He is about six two, broad shoulders, lean waist, muscles and wears glasses. Even without his glasses he has the same appeal. In fact I had told him he was better looking than Ben; which had J gasp. J was astonished that I would come out with something like that and I wasn’t drinking. Chris laughed at the statement and I came back with “It’s true”.

Our conversation was interrupted by Sam shouting “You fancy Ben don’t you?” from across the table. For once, I was lost for words. What and how could I respond to that? So I said my usual “What you on about?” “You fancy him and he fancies you!” repeated Sam, almost as if he was daring me. Daring me to do or say what, I don’t know. Chris leaned closer and murmured, “You and Ben?” At this point, I lost my nerve or rather the cool, calm, collect version of me and said the first thing that came into my head. “Ben and I are just friends!” louder than I had intended to. Chris, Sam and J looked at me as if I had lost it. Chris this time asked a different question, “Are you sure?” I looked him straight in the eye and hoped they didn’t betray what I was feeling. “Yes,” I lied. “Why do you think that?” Chris looked at me as if I was mad, “Just the way he is with you.” “We’re just friends.” I stated, knowing he wouldn’t call me out on my lie. Chris wasn’t like that.

Sam on the other hand straight out called me a liar. I could live with that. I wasn’t ready to discuss my feelings about Ben in a crowded bar with three men who were on the outside of the situation.

Ben on the other hand had missed the whole show. Well, he had originally been standing next to Sam when Sam asked me the dreaded question. But he had then miraculously disappeared. Who knows to where and with whom? I know that none of them meant to hurt me but being the only girl; I felt a little outnumbered. What did I want to do? Crawl and hide under a rock. To be honest, I wasn’t going to let one little incident spoil my mood or the rest of the evening. So I did what anyone in that situation would do and that was carry on; whether I wanted to or not. After that conversation the boys steered clear about discussing my love life.

I looked around the crowded bar and thought about chatting up a good-looking guy but for once my heart wasn’t in it. They had pretty much left me alone since I was at a table with four guys; one whom they assumed would be my boyfriend. As the phrase goes ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’.

At some point in the evening we left and headed to Pizza Hut for dinner. Why? You ask. Who knows? Ben fancied it, I guess is a good enough answer. As it was his birthday that was all that mattered. On the way I chatted to Chris and J and was not bothered by the lack of communication from Ben or even Sam. Once in Pizza Hut we ordered and Sam had to be reminded to be quiet as he was being very loud. I somehow ended up sitting next to Sam and was glad when Chris swapped places. Although the group photo doesn’t show that.

The discussion at the table was boy heavy and as usual I sat and listened and piped up when I had something relevant to say. Ben did something that was very out of character for him. It had gone quiet and he told the rest of the table that I used to play football for a women’s side of a popular Premier League team. I am not sure why he said or did this. So while we waited for food I filled the gap by talking about football. As Ben I were at opposite ends of the table I couldn’t say much. Once the food came, silence descended at the table that was until the boys had been fed.

J who was sitting opposite was chatting about his girlfriend when he asked me “Why I didn’t have a boyfriend?” Isn’t that a million dollar question? (I know I live in the UK but the phrase is still the same). I just shrugged my shoulders from which J then asked, “Why not Ben?” Luckily I didn’t have to answer, as Sam began talking and I was glad for the distraction. It was all that was needed to get away from the situation.

Sam and J left soon after dinner. The boys and I headed back. It was going to be way past two o’clock by the time I eventually arrived home.

Did I have a great night? Did Ben enjoy his birthday? Why was I the only girl? What did the others see that Ben and I didn’t?

To be honest, Ben’s birthday just complicated things. Was I glad I went? Yes, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.


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