‹ Prequel: Chicago City Lights
Sequel: Make It Back to Me

I'll Be Right Beside You

More Important

March 20th 2009
Usually after a loss, Ben could only dwell on the game. Especially after a shoot-out loss, he found it was usual the only thing he could think about well into the next day. But Ben Eager had more important things to worry about, like his sick (with hopefully just a cold) girlfriend who was probably laying in their bed at their apartment, waiting for him.

Catching Phoebe’s attention, Ben asked how Evelyn was feeling, knowing the young girl had no doubt been texting with her best friend during the game. Phoebe managed to pry herself away from Nicklas long enough to tell Ben that she was still feeling ‘like shit,’ as Evelyn had so nicely put it. Ben laughed, quickly gathering his things before he told his teammates he wouldn’t be going out with them that night. He vaguely heard Adam make a whipping noise as he left the room, followed by what sounded like a slap. Ben let out a laugh, knowing full well it was probably Kita, whom Ben could only assume was now officially Adam’s girlfriend.

As he climbed into his truck and pulled out of the UC parking lot, carefully avoiding fans, he wished like hell he could say the only problem with Evelyn was that she was sick. She had been distant for the two weeks, and it was killing Ben. No matter how many conversations he tried to start (which was so out of the ordinary for him it was almost funny) with her, it was like she would only say a few words before closing up again.

Running a hand over his face, he climbed out of his truck and made his way up to their apartment, taking a deep breath before he entered. As he set his bag down, he heard Evelyn sneeze from the bedroom. Poor girl, he thought making his way into the large room. He almost couldn’t help but laugh at her appearance. She had to have put at least three more blankets on the bed, and she was snuggled and tucked in under every one of them.

Crawling onto the bed next to her, he pulled a few of the blankets off of her, trying to get a glimpse of her. “Baby,” He laughed. “You’re going to suffocate yourself.” He heard Evelyn snort, “I already can’t breath!” Running a hand over her face, he pushed her hair to the side, pressing a kiss to her forehead. “You still feel hot,” He told her. “But it could just be the eight blankets.” Evelyn smiled sheepishly, letting her head fall against Ben’s chest.

“Can we watch a movie?” She asked him. He nodded, getting off the bed and walking to their rack of DVDs. “What do you want to watch?” He asked her, his eyes scanning over the many, many movies. “Highway,” She answered, immediately. “I haven’t seen it in ages.” Ben paused, pulling the DVD from the shelf, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen it.”

Evelyn just stared at him, “It’s one of my favorites; up there with Fight Club and Requiem For a Dream. Though, it could just be the actor that all three movies have in common…” Ben laughed, changing into a pair of shorts before putting the DVD into the player and crawling into bed next to her, “And what actor would that be?” Evelyn grinned, “Jared Leto; he’s my favorite.”

Ben couldn’t get completely into the movie, as good as it was. He kept glancing at Evelyn, trying to figure her out. Why, after a year of a near perfect relationship, was she closing him off? He saw her everyday he was home, but yet he had never felt lonelier. He laughed, realizing it was actually possible to miss someone you saw every day. Sighing again, he watched as Jared Leto’s character, Jack, and Selma Blair’s character, Cassie, kissed for the first time, making Evelyn bite her lip. Ben sat there awkwardly as he saw his girlfriend let a tear fall from behind her closed eyes.


”It’s just so beautiful, you know?” Ben stared at her and gave her a slight nod, making her continue. She paused the movie but kept her eyes on the stilled screen.

“Cassie is so flawed. She used to be a prostitute! And even knowing that, Jack still loves her; he doesn’t care about all the hundreds of men she’s probably been with, because he knows that she loves him, too. It’s just… beautiful.” Shaking her head, she turned to Ben with wide eyes. “I probably sound like an idiot.”

“Nah,” Ben laughed, pulling her in closer to him. “You’re making perfect sense. Jack’s flawed, too, right?” Evelyn nodded, and Ben was thankful he had been paying attention that much. Continuing, he said, “He’s running from a Vegas mafia boss, because he slept with the guy’s wife. I mean, that’s pretty damn stupid.”

Evelyn laughed, “I think so.”

A silence fell over them as the movie continued. Ben thought Evelyn was watching the movie again, so he turned to look at her only to see she was already looking up at him. Pulling his eyebrows together in confusion, he asked her what was up. She bit her lip, pulling herself up into a sitting position, pressing her forehead against his.

“I love you,” She told him, letting her lips fall against his cheek. Ben pulled her into his lap, staring into her brown eyes with his blue ones, “What’s going on, Lyn?” She shook her head, but Ben’s stare only made her want to tell him. He just had a way of doing that to her, making her turn to mush under his gaze.

“I’m not happy,” She told him.

Ben’s eyes widened and his mouth fell open, “What?”

“Work,” was all she said, making Ben let out the breath he was holding. Evelyn stared at him, “I didn’t mean I’m not happy with us, baby. I could never not be happy with you, and you know that.”

“Okay,” He said. “Then quit your job.”

“I want to go back to school.”

“Then go back to school.”

Evelyn groaned and slid off of Ben’s lap. “I had to go and fuck everything up! I wish I would just keep my mouth shut, sometimes.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’ve been thinking about going to graduate school, and I should be thrilled that I am able to do it, and I could probably get into the best graduate schools in Chicago, but for some reason that’s not enough for me. I don’t know why.”

“What do you mean ‘it’s not enough’?”

“Ever since I was a little kid, and I realized I wanted to be a journalist, I dreamed of going to CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.”

Racking his brains for any recognition of the name, he came up blank. Putting his hand in hers, he silently asked her to tell him more, to continue with her story. Evelyn let another tear fall from her eyes, but this time it wasn’t because of the movie, it was real life. Once she told Ben, there was no going back.

“It’s in New York City.”

Ben nodded his head and dropped his gaze to his hands that were still holding Evelyn’s. He didn’t say anything for a long while; he just sat there staring at their entwined hands. “You know I would never stop you from going, right?” Evelyn nodded. “You know it would break my heart if you went, though, right?” She nodded again, “Ben, I’m not going to go.” Shaking his head, he told her, “If it’s your dream to go, I think you should.”

She nodded, “I’m going to look into schools when I’m feeling better… Ones in Chicago.”

“I like that idea, but, Evelyn, if the school you want to go to most is CUNY in New York, you’re going to go there.”

“I can’t leave you, Ben.”

“You won’t be leaving me. You’ll just be living in a different city for a while… How long is graduate school usually?”

“Well, the program as CUNY is three semesters, so I’d be gone for about a year if I do a summer semester, too.”

“We’d see each other all the time.”

Evelyn sighed, shoving Ben, “Let’s stop talking about this like I’m leaving tomorrow. Nothing’s official.”

Ben nodded his head, one hundred percent agreeing with what Evelyn was saying. She wasn’t leaving, not yet or not ever, and they’d just cross that bridge when they got there. Nothing to stress over; he felt better now that they had talked, and he knew what was going on in Evelyn’s head.

Deciding she wanted to watch another movie, Ben again walked to the DVD rack and picked out Fight Club, which Evelyn had actually suggested. She laughed and told him she was in a ‘Jared Leto mood,’ making Ben sigh loudly and frown. Evelyn kissed his cheek, telling him that it was doubtful she’d ever meet her favorite actor and one of her favorite musicians as well.

“Wait, he’s an actor and he’s in a band?” Evelyn nodded. “How the fuck am I supposed to compete with that?” Evelyn laughed and told him that he simply didn’t. If she ever met Jared Leto, it would be ‘so long’ to Ben; she told him trying to keep a straight face. He frowned as the opening scene started, telling her she was lucky she was sick because if she wasn’t, he would have kicked her ass.

The wink she sent his way made him smile again, pulling her into him. He relished the feeling of her body against his as they watched a movie together, having no idea how much longer he’d be able to do things like this with her. He knew, even though she said she would apply to Chicago area schools that she’d end up in New York, and the thought nearly broke his heart in two.
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I'm definitely pleased with the slight up in comments on the last chapter. I'd still like to see more, though! I think this chapter's a little boring, but hey, Evelyn finally told Ben. Also, can you tell I'm in a 'Jared Leto mood' myself? *swoon*

Click here and comment! <3