♪♫ still into you → paramore,
I should be over all the butterflies but I’m into you (I’m into you) and baby even on our worst nights i’m into you (I’m into you) let ‘em wonder how we got this far ‘cause I don’t really need to wonder at all
She’s still got my number? I assumed she would have just deleted it after that fight… Ben shook the thoughts from his head. “Yeah that sounds great, just message me whenever you’re free. I only have classes during the week, and the garage back in Wycoff has been pretty quiet. I’m just on call there. I’m basically free whenever though.” He shrugged and gave a slight smile. She probably had lots of plans, he had no idea what her life was like out here; she could be involved with anyone or anything, she could’ve even just been saying that to make the boy not feel so bad. Ben glanced over his shoulder to where she had looked and saw Olivia glancing out the window in their direction. She knew the jist of their relationship and had every right to have that menacing look plastered on her face as she watched them. “Yeah, I’ve gotta walk her home before I drive back to my place. I’ll see you around Sarah.” And with that the brunette turned from him and made her way up the street, as she left his vision he too took his leave.
Several days had passed and Ben had received no word from Sarah. The boy had started to just accept the fact that it was a one time thing and the girl was just trying to save his feelings. Checking his phone for a non-existent message from his ex, he rolled himself out of bed and grabbed a pair of pants off the floor before heading to the bathroom.
Hot water rolled off his back and took all the stress from his shoulders. In ways it was nice being able to live at home, the shower was amazing and the rest of the house was large and beautiful. They really lucked out with their parents being so well off. To someone on the outside they were living the dream, luxuries shining from every corner; but to Ben, the luxuries were dimmed. Hearing a crash over the running water he knew that the cause of this dimming was going to be pretty bad today. He closed his eyes and tried letting running water drown out the sound of yelling coming from the kitchen but that wasn’t helping. The boy took a deep breath and shut off the water. Towelling off quickly he slipped on his jeans and opened the door slowly, quietly. Nobody seemed to be around and the yelling had stopped. He tried to dash back to his room but was caught midway down the the hallway by the raised voice of his father.
“BENJAMIN!” Ben stopped in his tracks and flinched. Before he could even turn around his dad was throwing him into the wall. “WHY IS YOUR PIECE OF SHIT PARKED IN THE GARAGE?” the man boomed, a solid, tightening grip on his sons arm while he pressed him into the wall. The boy cowered. “Dad… I told you. I told you I was going to work on it today which meant I had to keep it in the garage so it wasn’t covered in ice this morning.” He pleaded uselessly. His dad didn’t care. If something was an inconvenience to him, then he wasn’t going to just talk to you about it, well at least not Ben. “YOU CAME HOME AT ELEVEN LAST NIGHT AND BROUGHT IT UP TO ME JUST AS WE WERE HEADING TO BED, YOU CONSIDER THAT TELLING ME? GET IT THE FUCK OUT OF THE GARAGE, IT’S TAKING UP THE SPACE I NEED.” The man dug his fingers into Ben’s arm as hard as he could before shoving him aside, causing him to stumble and fall to the ground. “I will…” he muttered quietly and scrambled for his bedroom to throw on a shirt and dash outside as quickly as possible.
After moving his car to the overhang beside the garage he set up a small heater and started to get to work. Hours passed by as he worked. He was covered in grease stains and wiping sweat from his brow. It had taken him hours but he finally had his engine back together, he was just tightening the last bolt back into place when his phone went off on the roof of the car. Expecting it to be Olivia, he let it sit for awhile as he finished up. Closing the hood, Ben wiped his hands off on his already dirty rag and then again on his ripped and grease stained jeans. He slid his thumb across the bottom of his screen without seeing who the text was from and opened up his messaging app. Sarah Davis: Hey Ben, I’m free today if you’re still wanting to catch up? Her name was still in his phone. He was so sure that it had been lost, he’d tried searching for it for a long time when he first left PCA but he could never find it in his contacts. His face lit up with a huge grin as he typed his reply. Yeah I’m free, I’d love to. Wanna meet back at the cafe from the other day in an hour? We can go wherever from there. The boy threw the rags on his workbench and bolted for the house to quickly wash up and get ready.
Ben ripped off his grimy work shirt, still leaving on his grease stained pants since they were probably the cleanest that he had at that moment and grabbed a fitted black t-shirt from his pile of clean clothes residing on the top of his dresser before going to wash off all the black grease from his arms and face. With water and soap splashing everywhere, seemingly every grease mark was gone. The boy towelled off his upper body and furrowed his eyebrows noticing a dark mark still remaining on his left upper arm. He rubbed at it and winced. “Fuck.” He whispered to himself. Where his father had grabbed him were several large, deep purple bruises. He pulled the clean shirt over his head and tugged the sleeve down his arm a little further. It covered it right up. Good. Ben checked his phone and was welcomed by a response of agreement from the girl. Letting her know that he would be on his way and sending a quick text to Olivia, the boy grabbed his flannel lined leather jacket and made his way down stairs. “I’ll be back sometime later, don’t wait up for me!” He called and flung himself through the door before they could start screaming at him again.
Clambering into the front seat of his mustang, he pushed the keys into the ignition and the machine roared to life. Seemed as though he fixed the rattling problem and everything was put back together properly. Grinning to himself he turned up the radio and ripped down the highway towards to the big city.
The long drive seemed to go by a lot quicker than it usually did. Before he knew it Ben was parked outside the little cafe and looking around for Sarah. He finally caught sight of her sitting near the window looking around at the passers-by. Ben walked up behind her, pulling his hand from his jacket pocket he tapped the girls shoulder gently. “You looking for someone?” He asked with a small grin on his face.
“And you’re telling me you said yes?” The shocked voice on the other line shrieked. The moment Sarah had arrived back at her apartment she’d placed a call to her best friend, Mandy, the one who was currently yelling at her over the phone. “Sar, are you out of your god damn mind? We’re talking about Ben here, the Ben Howorth.” This comment was replied to with an eye roll from Sarah, only after did she realize that Mandy was unable to see the annoyed gesture. “Yeah, I know who he is.” She commented. “I just don’t see what harm could come from this. It’s just catching up, we haven’t seen each other in two years. It’s only natural to want to do this.” The girl said, her hand digging into the assorted peanuts bag she had sitting on her counter. “Need I remind you what happened last time you two caught up? The movie-like hang out you two had might have been cute but just think, that was after a summer of not seeing one another. Just think what could happen now after a two year break.” She played off this assumption with a laugh, popping a peanut into her mouth. “Okay, I get it. We have history but Ben’s got a girlfriend now. They seem,” Pause. “—— happy,” Her nose scrunching at the word. “This is just going to be two old friends hanging out.” Sarah spoke, her tone serious. She wasn’t sure if she was trying to convince Mandy or herself. “Look, I’ll give it three days. Make sure he gets the message that I’m not too eager.” Also, that I have a life. That comment she decided to keep to herself. With a sigh she waited for her friends agreement. As soon as she was given it the two hung up the phone.
As the girl had promised she had waited three days before even thinking about contacting Ben. Taking her phone from her bedside table she unplugged it from its charger. How was she even supposed to do this? Suddenly, for the second time this week, she was feeling nervous. It made her angry. The boy was not allowed to make her feel that way any more. He had long ago lost those rights. Most likely around the same time that he had walked out of her life forever, or so she thought. Apparently forever wasn’t as long as she had once expected it to be. Two years long to be exact. It made her feel vulnerable, weak. They’d known each other for two to three years now. Ben knew all her little ticks. Including what she was like when flustered. If she allowed herself to show that during their hang out she was sure that he would be be able to pick up on it right away. It wasn’t fair for him to have that kind of control over her. Not after their last fight. His words had stung. And they should have severed any feeling she might have still had for the boy. Instead they did they exact opposite. She knew that she could be shitty to Ben. Leading him on like she had for years only to set her sights on another boy. Bitch move. Even she was able to admit that. She knew she’d deserved the cure insults he’d sent her way. It wasn’t that she wanted to hate him. She just wished that the giddiness she felt building inside her would go away. Wishful thinking that was.
It was as if the closer her finger got to clicking his name in her phone the more anxious she got about actually sending him the text. Standing up from the bed she started to pace back and forth in front of the large fish tank she had in her room. Bringing her thumb up to her lips she nibbled on the rough, already torn skin beside the nail. Two bright coloured fish — Gucci and Prada — darted around together in the tank. “I should chill out right? This isn’t a very attractive look for me is it?” Great, she was talking to her fish now. The stress was obviously going to her brain; making her crazy. Removing her thumb from her mouth she brought the phone up, clicking her contacts. Navigating down to ‘B’ the girl found his name. The Davis realized, a little embarrassed, that she had not changed his name from Benny-Bear yet. Ignoring that she clicked the message button and typed a quick text before she lost all her confidence. Text @ Benny-Bear: I’m free today if you’re still wanting to catch up?
It didn’t take long for her to get dressed, after checking her phone she noticed that he had offered to meet up at the same coffee shop she’d seen him at three days earlier. As far as Sarah was concerned, as long as Olivia wasn’t tagging along she was happy to go anywhere with Ben. Text @ Benny-Bear: Sure thing, see you there. After running a brush through her long hair she was out the door. Pulling a purse over her shoulder.
Taking a seat near the entrance she waited. Not long after did she hear a familiar sound rolling up to the coffee shop. The sound of Ben’s car. She’d be able to pick it out anywhere. Turning in her chair she ordered herself one of the drinks from the Holiday menu. Hopefully the coffee would calm her down. She was still a little tense about the whole situation. Feeling the tap on her shoulder the brunette turned in her seat. “Yeah, about this high,” she held her hand in front of him, “Kind of dorky looking. Tell me if you see him.” She said with a smile. “Hey, Ben.” The smile widened on her lips, as she stood from her seat. Before she could stop herself the girl flung her arms around the boy, pulling him in for a hug.
♪♫ r u mine? → arctic monkeys,
I go crazy cause here isn’t where I wanna be, and satisfaction feels like a distant memory. I can’t help myself, all I wanna hear
hersay is “are you mine?”
Ben tried calming himself down by taking in a deep breath. “Uh, yeah thanks, Sarah. See ya around.” He gave a small nod and a wave before scurrying away to the cafe. See ya around? I’m probably never even going to see her again in my life… why didn’t I say something else.. He shook his head quickly. It was weird, he shouldn’t be feeling like this. The last time they spoke was after a huge fight and it was filled with bickering and awkward silences. Things were broken past the point of fixing, or so it had seemed those couple years ago. All of these thoughts continued to bounce around in the back of Ben’s mind as he strummed through his set. The music just seemed to slowly empty his mind, making him feel relaxed and his heart returned to it’s normal pace. Back to normal.
When he had heard Sarah call him shivers ran up and down his spine. Not so back to normal he thought. the conversation started awkwardly and he guessed it’d probably stay pretty awkward for the remainder of what he assumed would be a short time. “Well, at least you’re not stalking me, that’s a relief.” The boy laughed awkwardly reaching his hand back to scratch at the nape of his neck. Living here. Bens eyes widened slightly and he cocked his head to the side. “Really you live here? I mean it’s not surprising since there’s a lot of nice schools here and tons of things to help get you into music. You doing anything with your music out here?” He asked nonchalantly. It’s not that he wanted to be nosy, but although they’d ended things on a bad note it’s not like he’d wanted them to stay bad. The situation at the time and how everything was being dealt with just hadn’t been what he wanted. “I’m actually living in Wycoff with my family…” He let out a heavy sigh followed by a meager smile. “I try and find places to stay every night but I’m not always that lucky and I’m not making enough money to be able to stay in the city so I usually end up having to make the hour commute on a daily basis.” The boy let out another small sigh accompanied by a shrug. “But oh well.”
Almost as soon as Ben introduced Olivia to Sarah, the long haired girl was sliding off her stool and about to make an exit. His head tilted slightly at the tone she used to address Olivia. Sarah… Don’t do this.. He thought before shrugging out of Olivia’s arm and walking after her. Ben looked back and gave his girlfriend an apologetic look, mouthing the word sorry. “Hey, Sarah wait.” He reached out and tried to grab her before she left. “Hey, what was that about?” Raising an eyebrow he studied her face. He could definitely tell she was irritated by something. “What’s going on? Do you actually have to leave? I know things ended really shitty, but I mean, we haven’t seen each other in two years…” Stop Ben, what are you doing, don’t. “If you can’t hang out today, do you want to at least get together some other time?” Why are you doing this!? He mentally scolded himself. Ben shifted his weight slightly and gave her a pleading look. His curiosity was getting there better of him and he knew that that wasn’t something that he should be letting happen.
Two years, that’s how long it had been since the two had seen one another. It would have been far less if Sarah had followed through. Millions of times she must have punched in his number, wondering what Ben’s reaction would be to receiving a call from her. Just as many times she had hung the phone back up. The brunette had it stuck in her mind that he was uninterested in speaking to her. After a month of the daily routine she gave up. On herself or the wish that he had the same thought as her and she would one day get a phone call from her old love was unknown. Either way she had moved on with her life. Step one, forgetting Ben Howorth. Which obviously had not happened. Their little bump in proving just that.
Snapping out of her head she returned to the conversation they were having. “Hardly, if I was stalking you do you think I would have allowed my cover to be blown? No, I am much more professional than that.” Was she allowed to make jokes? Oh well, the words were already out of her mouth. Perhaps it would lighten the mood. That couldn’t hurt. “Yeah, have been for a year now. California was — uh, to crowded.” Yeah, that was a nice way of putting it. “Oh, no. Kind of a pipe dream, really. I mean, don’t get me wrong, all power to you for getting yourself a gig. I just don’t see myself being good enough to break into the industry.” She decided not to speak of the pile of sheet music she had crowding up her apartment. Just because she chose not to pursue it didn’t mean that she was able to shut off her lyricist switch.When talk of the boys living arrangements came up she watched his mood change ever so slightly. She wasn’t sure what his home life was really like, only the brief window she had been given when first meeting his mother. Sarah didn’t want to judge, but she couldn’t blame him for looking for different accommodations. “My, that would suck. I don’t know if I would be able to do that drive everyday.” Sarah added.
Sarah didn’t know why she’d reacted like she had. The time had long since passed for her and Ben. If there had still been something there it would have presented itself far earlier than now. He had the right to move on. Still she fled. Out the door and back into the brisk air outside. Not long after she heard the boy. Had he followed her? “I — I just remembered I have this huge project to finish and I really need to be getting to it.” Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a lie. She did have that stupid photography project to finish. Her stomach churned at the thought of having to photograph couples after seeing the disgusting display of Ben and his girlfriend in front of her. The girl was about to hurry on her way again when she heard his next question. Her blue orbs flicked up to his face, watching him with curiosity. “Ben — sure.” She agreed without thinking. “I’ve still got your number, I’ll text you. But, yes, I really do have to go. You should be getting back anyway.” She cast her eyes towards the window of the coffee shop where she could see Olivia. “Your adoring fans probably want some alone time with you.” With that she turned on her heels and started on the short walk back to her apartment.
unsure, a mix for the shaky sensation of wondering if someone feels just the way about you as you do about them. for that feeling inside when you’re not sure whether this is going to end up as another broken heart or the best thing that has ever happened to you.
01. ho hey - the lumineers; 02. home - daughter; 03. lost and found - katie herzig; 04. congratulations - blue october ft. imogen heap; 05. fire escape - matthew mayfield; 06. everything has changed - taylor swift ft. ed sheeran; 07. i know you care - ellie goulding; 08. mother’s ruin - simon wilcox; 09. arms - christina perri; 10. catch me - demi lovato; 11. rubik’s cube - athlete; 12. my first love - paper aeroplanes; 13. please don’t go - barcelona; 14. so contagious - acceptance; 15. kiss me - ed sheeran.
listen | download link to follow
♪♫ maneater → blue eyed blondes,
She said, “I know that men are stupid, I know that you are too, So I will try to simplify my story just for you. I am a man-eater, I own them from the start, But somehow this handsome fucker got his grip around my heart.
A small cloud of steam billowed up into the cold November air as Ben let out a small sigh. He was on his way to the small cafe down the road where he had picked up a few gigs in the last couple months. He didn’t get to sing there often but when he did, he loved it. Adjusting the guitar slung over his back, he continued to stroll down the small city block with his hands buried in his pockets. Ben had been living in New York since he left PCA and had been accepted to a performing arts school. He was only half way through his first year where there and he absolutely loved it. Top student in all of his classes, got access to small gigs around the city, a steady girlfriend… he couldn’t have been happier besides the fact that he still had to live with his family in Wycoff. It was quite a bit of a drive everyday or whenever he couldn’t find a place to stay in the big city, but he had no other choice. There was no way he could afford to live in the city so staying with his abusive family was the only way that he could follow his musical path. It’s not like Ben ever told anyone of it or could without having his family completely torn apart. As abusive as they were he still loved them. He just tried to ignore it and stayed locked up in his room whenever he could.
Ben shook the thoughts of his family from his mind and started to focus on his gig. He usually got to sing his own music but this was not one of those times. He was doing a small list of acoustic covers. Being so wrapped in his own thoughts Ben wasn’t overly paying attention to where he was going when THUD! He collided with a stranger. Stepping back he slightly reached out his hand, “I’m so sorry! I wasn’t paying attention.” Looking up to the face of the poor person, he caught the gaze of a familiar friend. No.. it can’t be… “Sarah!?” he gasped, wide eyed and flustered. “I… uhm… Uh..” he sputtered out random pieces of nothing trying to think of something to say as his heart raced in his chest. How could he have run into her? Out of all the people in the WHOLE city, it had to be her that he bumped into. Ben almost didn’t recognize her at first with her hair grown out, long and brown compared to the short, blonde that it was last time that he saw her. But her eyes and face were still the same. He’d never forget her eyes. “Uhm.. I’d stop and chat but… I’m actually just headed to a gig… so.. I.. uh… I gotta go…” the boy nodded and gave a slight wave, bending his way around her and quickly walked down to the cafe just within sight.
How.. what.. no… why can’t things just work out and not have hiccups.. Ben thought to himself as he made his way through the cafe to just behind the stage. He chewed on his lip as he started unzipping the his guitar case pulling the pick from the strings and throwing the guitar strap around his shoulder. He took a deep breath and shook his head slightly. It’s not like I’ll ever see her again.
Taking to the stage he sat on the small stool they had placed for him. He flipped his feet behind the bar and took another deep breath. Crap.. I didn’t even think of what I wanted to sing.. shit. Ben just let himself start to strum. The sound of an all to familiar song started to play and he started up the lyrics right on queue. “I got all this love, deep down in my heart, still right there from the day were broke apart, and baby I tried to let it go, but you were tied to me like an anchor to my soul.” The words flowed softly from his mouth and drifted through the small cafe. His guitar rang out quietly as he strummed and the words streamed from his mouth. “If there’s anything left of anything we had, is there a small chance you’d ever want me back.” Ben sung through the last few verses till the songs completion. Plucking through three more songs sing with a velvety smooth voice, he finished his small performance and hopped off stage.
After packing up his guitar he slung it over his back again and started making his way to the counter to grab some coffee before he ducked back out into the cold. On his way there he was stopped by a familiar voice. Looking over his shoulder he saw Sarah standing there. “Oh.. hi again Sarah. Didn’t think you’d follow me in here…” He chuckled half heartedly dodging his eyes around and chewing his lip before returning to her gaze. “What are you doing all the way in New York?” He had to know, there had to be something that brought her here although if she was living there it’s not like he would know, New York was HUGE after all. Ben quickly ordered his coffee before continuing the conversation with the brunette. His heart was back to racing like it had been when he bumped into her on the street. He had been hoping it was just a reaction to slamming into her, but he highly doubted that now. Ben let out a short sigh. After talking for a short time Ben was greeted with a hand around his waist and a kiss on the cheek. “Hey Benny, whose this?” It was his girlfriend Olivia. “Oh.. hey Livi, this is, uh… this is an old friend from high school.. This is Sarah.” Olivia’s face suddenly dropped, “Oh.” She muttered. “And Sarah this is Olivia.. my uh girlfriend.” He stuttered slightly.
Pulling her hair up into a high ponytail on top of her head she tucked the stray hairs that fell into her face behind her ear. The large camera that hung around her neck was brought into her hands with one swift motion. Adjusting the focus she snapped a picture of the breathtaking November scenery; making sure to capture the two New Yorkers in their natural habitat. Sarah loved New York in November — okay, so maybe this was her first November in New York. But if it counted for anything she favoured it more than anything that California could offer her. Seasons weren’t exactly a thing there. Unless boiling hot and total downpour were not considered seasons. In that case, those two didn’t interest her. Needless to say, the move she had insisted would be good for her had in fact been good for her. Now a world away from any kind of high school drama that might have had the chance to cling onto hers (example: Noah) he was content. Able to focus on her music and photography. Things had played out just as she’d hoped. But enough with the thoughts of the past. The now Twenty year old had an assignment to worry about. One she had been putting off for days now. Couples. She wanted to stick her tongue out at the sound of the word. What teacher would force her students to torture themselves by photographing lovey, dovey, gross couples? Apparently hers. Sighing she lifted her camera back to her eye, scanning the area for some inspiration .This was so much harder than writing music.
She had it, the perfect picture, the couple was just about to kiss. Perhaps she would be able to be rid with this awful assignment sooner than she’d thought. Just a little more and — Bang! The camera fell from her hands, and her perfect shot was ruined. “You had better have a good explanation for —” Wait, that voice. Why did she recognize that voice? The girls blue orbs turned to meet the owner of the voice. Oh my! She was sure that the shock was written all over her face. “Ben? I — wow.” Of course that was all she was able to make out. The first time she’s seen her curly haired, ex-boyfriend since high school and she can’t even make out a full sentence. Pathetic. The bumping into had gone a lot better in her head. Not to mention she also had a totally hot, super famous underwear model slash high paid recording artist for a boyfriend that she was able to rub in his face. Though it didn’t make her feel so bad because the male also seemed very alone and also unable to get any words out. “Oh a gig, well, break a leg.” The words fell from her mouth.
Her hand coming up to her face as soon as he turned away from her. “Break a leg? Really?” The girl mumbled out loud. Her hand coming down to see a man staring at her in an odd way. “What? Haven’t you ever seen someone talk to themselves before?” Her hands lifted in a questioning manner and then fell back to her side as she rushed in the direction that Ben had fled in. Sarah hadn’t the faintest clue why she would want to follow him. She was bound to make more of a fool of herself by doing so. Perhaps someone could tell that to her legs which were refusing to stop from heading in that direction.
She entered the cafe just as the boy started his set, hovering near the back she made sure to keep herself hidden from Ben’s view. Taking the camera from around her neck she placed it carefully in the bag that hung over her shoulder. Turning to the barista she ordered one coffee. When she was handed her drink she held it in her cold hands hoping to warm them as she waited for the boy to start his set. Sarah scanned the crowd, wondering if anyone else from PCA had shown up to hear the boy play. She had suspected Rachel, but then again the girl was rather busy with her daughter back home. She was starting to feel awkward, knowing that the boy would probably appreciate it if she left without him having to see her again. Besides, she was still having to finish the stupid project. No thanks to Ben. Just as she was about to get up from the stools he currently resided on he started the song. No. With that she was frozen in place. With that she settled back down on to the stool, staying put for the next three songs. She couldn’t help herself. Even after all the time they’d spent apart his voice still had a way of captivating her. Apparently it had the same effect on the audience which was currently mesmerized with the boy sitting on stage.
“Shit!” Sarah swore when she noticed he was coming her way. For Gods sake she couldn’t catch a break today. The only reason she had chosen the back was to avoid him. But of course he would head that way. “Ben.” The girl spoke up, a nervous laugh accompanying his name. “Oh, no. I didn’t follow you here. I just came to get coffee.” Good, lie to the one person you know can read you like a book. Smart thinking, Sarah. “Living here.” Cue the nervous laughter, again. “You?” She knew the answer was probably the same but she was only trying to be polite. This was ridiculous, Sarah Davis did not get nervous. She was naturally confident. Her sweaty palms and pounding heart was telling a different story. Of course she could blame him. Ben Howorth had to be the blame for these unfortunate conditions she was dealing with. Not wanting to dive into any deep conversations she opened her mouth to ask him if he’d seen any of their old friends recently when they were interrupted. Benny. The nickname rang in her ears. without even knowing the girls name she already had a dislike for her. Benny. That was Sarah’s nickname for him. To make matters worse Ben addressed her as “An old friend.” The titled made her mouth turn sour. “And I was just leaving. It was really good to see you again, Ben. Great set, by the way.” Sarah slid off of her stool. “Nice to meet you, Livi, was is?” Sarah mimicked the way he said her name.