Jamie – The Journey Begins Ch. 26 – Planes Trains Fire Trucks

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“Mom! I have news!!” I sat there looking at my now fiancée, smiling while he was rocking back and forth like a kid waiting to get his favourite candy.

The stupid smile on my face was only matched by his face, which seriously was enough to light up the entire airport club lounge. “I’ve never been so happy, Mom!”

I don’t think I’ve made someone this happy, ever. Ben was just beaming….

“What is it honey? What’s got you so happy, or who?”

“Momma, Jamie asked me to marry him” I couldn’t stop looking at Ben’s face … it looked like he was gonna burst at any moment. My mind drifted off … Y’all know that happy feeling when you’ve been out in the sun, having a drink with great company… kinda ‘southern California days, day …’ Oh Maroon 5 love you guys… Adam Levine! Man … if I could have one wish.

“I said ‘Yes!’, Mom! I said ‘Yes’!”

The screen was filled with Mrs. Rush putting her hand to her mouth, smiling just like her son, completely speechless. First time I’d ever seen her lost for words, bit like my own mom.

Hard to stump into silence, but when you manage to, it’s awesome.

Lisa Rush’s eyes shone bright with the emotion – love, joy – she was trying to reconcile. Then, after a few seconds, a couple silent tears slipped down her proud face.

Still not saying a word, she just shook her head, smiling. Her eyes were beaming like diamonds. Then it hit me! Ben has his mother’s eyes.

I’d seen that same look on his face when I proposed. I gently shook my head – my mind was swirling – the things you see – but don’t – all the same. Ben’s hand was intertwined with mine. We were both staring into the cell phone. The sheer pleasure of seeing his mom so happy, crying and laughing, was taking its toll on Ben, but in a good way.

“Wow!” I whispered. “I’m feel’n a little choked up watching your mom.” Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the emotion all over Ben’s face: I thought he was going to break my hand – fuck me! He was squeezing it so tightly! Then I spotted a few tears roll down his face. He quickly glanced at me for a second. I instinctively leaned in kissing his forehead just above his eyebrow as reassurance – bastard has melted my heart good and proper!

With all this high emotion and outpouring of love between mother and son, I couldn’t help it. I guess we’re always so much harder on ourselves. Deep within my own mind, in that place where all our insecurities and deepest thoughts live – you know that place, right? – I could hear my own inner voice myself asking, “Was her emotion shock, surprise or horror, maybe?” After all, you’d be stupid to think that Mrs Rush and others in the family had not entirely forgiven me yet… more, they were probably being polite for Ben’s sake.

-In a flash, the video stream was playing in my head. Jesus! In an instant all I could feel was that dread feeling that I was gonna puke like the first time I saw his family after we got back together. Well, let’s just say I kinda know how those people, you know in the wild west days, felt walking into a bar. You know the classic – music stops… for a few seconds… then, everyone stops what they’re doing. Time freezes… then they look at that bastard Australian that hurt their boy, right! I still remember praying for the ground to open up and swallow me whole under their gaze. Those few seconds seemed to tick by like hours, but they didn’t say anything bad to me, not at all. In fact, they were polite – courteous, but leaving me with no doubt that there was a fine hanging tree and noose ready for me out back somewhere close by if I tried that shit again.-

Finally, recovering enough to talk, Mrs Rush found her voice, thank god! Hearing her pulled me out of that dark place.

“Oh, my word, Benjamin…Ben! It’s the best news I’ve heard! You make me so proud, my boy, and now another son, James.” Without missing a beat or taking time to catch a breath, she continued, “When’s the wedding? Have y’all set a date? James, huh! Now you boys tell me, James, how did you ask Benjamin? I’m sure it was nice, right?” I looked at Ben for a second. Surely, he could see that I had that ‘deer in the headlight’ look going on.

“It’s okay, Jamie – she’s totally okay with it — relax,” he whispered out the corner of his mouth. I let out the breath I’d been holding in – wasn’t really aware I was doing that, holding my breath until I started to get a ringing sound in my ears and a little blurred vision, now that I think about it.

“Oh, hold on boys. I think that’s your daddy coming in. Scott, is that you?”

Ben shook his head, nodding toward the image of his mom, still with a huge smile on his face, turning toward me. “So, Jamie… I think my mom is happy with the news… you know, just say’n.” He leaned in gently, kissing me on the cheek. I guess it was his turn to reassure me.

I’ve gotta say I was still feeling kinda weird around Ben’s family, over what happened before. ‘My god! What do they think of me? I’m sure he will hurt my boy again…’ was running on my mind’s internal casino siteleri loop. Well, the guys inside my head had selected a new track from the self-torcher album, but still from the same playlist.

I took a deep breath, trying to shake myself out of my own head. “I’m glad, Ben. I was kinda worried how they would take it, you know, after what happened before.”

No matter how hard I was trying, this constant wave of uncertainty washed over me, carrying me away from this happy place, toward the sea of uncertainty. When it’s just Ben and me, I’m okay. But when I’m — we are – around family moreover, I start to overthink EVERYTHING, see, again! Subconsciously looking to the floor, without a word, Ben squeezed my hand gently. I looked up at him to see a caring smile. His eyes told me that he knew what I was thinking.

“Jamie, she never said anything about you in a bad way. She thought you were naïve, more than anything else. Mom was in your corner, going on about how you were a good person from a fine family who was clearly tricked.” Ben shifted slightly looking toward me, smiling trying his best to put me at ease, aww-sweet. “Just say’n, Sam might want to watch himself if he ever crosses the Mason Dixon line, you know my momma.” Pausing, giving me one of those cheeky smiles, he continued, “You know she’s got contacts everywhere. He’d catch a tannin’.”

“Ben, it’s not totally Sam’s fault, right? I was a fool too. I don’t want this remembered as being all his fault you know.” I was feeling a little racked by guilt over what people thought of Sam – he’s a good guy. Over time, I guess I’ve come to realise that we -him and me – fucked up. I’ve done plenty of that in my time as we all have, so…”

“I know, Jamie,” he replied, giving me a little uncomfortable smile. “I tried to explain to her that he’s an okay guy and all, but you know moms – they have to pick a villain even if they’re wrong. Sam’s a good guy, Jamie. You’re right. True, it was a mistake – that’s all. I’m not saying that it’s okay — right, we both know that, but… Mom’s got a soft spot for you, Jamie. I’m sure it goes back to when she first met you after the accident. She was always asking tons of questions about you.”

At that I smiled. “I remember meeting her for the first time: she had such a warm smile. I see where you get yours from, boo.”

“Well, you did look pretty banged up for a while. I honestly thought you and Lucas both were goners a few times, but hey, just give her some Grandkids – all will be good, really.”

“Okay, I know it’s stupid – it’s just sometimes I can’t help but go to that place, all this stuff floods over me. Sorry Ben. I’m being a downer I don’t mean to be.”

“Hey!” Ben gently grabbed my chin and turned my face toward him, gently kissing me on the lips. “If we’re okay – and trust me, James Robert Spence, we are – then what does it matter what anyone thinks? And if you do it again… well, mom can fix it, haha.”

All I could do for a second was nod. No truer a sentence has been said. If Ben can forgive me and accept me for marriage, then what the hell am I worried about? Snapping us back to the parents were the ever-increasing volume, and movement on the screen caught our eye.

Lisa Rush was on the move. We both could hear the muffled sounds of Ben’s dad getting louder, till his face appeared on the screen. Even though Ben is the middle of the Rush Triplets, it always strikes me how much his sister Amber looks like their dad, while Ben and Daniel look more like their mom. But really, you could throw a blanket over them all: they all look the same. The differences we’re talking about – small degrees of difference honestly.

“Hey, wait! How do you know what my middle name is?”

“Medical forms from the Australian Consulate had it on them,” he smirked, flashing his trademark cheeky smile.

“Humph. I don’t know your middle name. Do you have one?”

“Joshua, Benjamin Joshua.”

“Oh, that’s cute as. Benjamin Joshua Rush-Spence?”

“Hmmm… we’ll see, but I like that you put Rush first, Jamie.”

“Hey boys! Your momma tells me that there is some news, Benny?” We exchanged looks for a second, Ben smiling at me, so I took that as my cue to speak up.

“Um Mr Rush, Sir, I know that its custom to ask um, permission to marry… but I kinda jumped the gun. I’m sorry, Sir. Can I ask for your blessing, Sir?”

Mr Rush looked across the room for a second at his wife with such a heart-warming smile. “Lisa, did you know about this?”

“Yes, yes! The boys just told me,” she responded, clearly still excited by the tone of her voice. “Oh look! Daniel is sending me a message, I think. There is a bubble with dots. Or has he sent me a message of dots?”

Ben smiled at his mom’s confusion with the messenger app. “Mom, if the dots are moving, blinking, it means he’s typing the message. Just wait a second – it’ll appear,” Ben replied in a slightly louder voice so his mom could hear.

“Jamie, of course I give you my blessing. If Ben’s momma is okay with it, canlı casino then who am I to say no?”

Okay now, I’m unsure – does Ben have his mom’s smile or dad’s?

“Thank you, Sir. I will make it my life mission to make your son happy every day of our lives.”

“That I’m sure you will. Else your gonna have his momma to deal with, and that’s some scary stuff right there.” Mr Rush rolled his eyes and said in a whispered voice, “You know boys-I’ve shown her how that-app works-a dozen times — still gets confused.” The whole time he was looking over this shoulder, making sure Mrs Rush didn’t hear him giving her some sass.

“He wants to know if we’ve spoken to the boys yet. I’ll deal with you later Scott Rush, show-me-messages.” I could hear her laugh in the background.

Mr Rush came back to us, looking somewhat sheepish, busted! “Damn that woman has CIA grade hearing! You know the type where you can curse three miles away and she’ll hear you. But if someone is talking bad about you, they don’t hear a thing! You know the one, right?” We both nodded at that.

Lisa Rush had returned and was sitting next to Scott. “Well, I guess I should do the whole dad thing right? Jamie, there are two things I have to say on this.” His voice had taken on a firm tone, very dad-like. “First, you have to stop calling me ‘Mr Rush’ now, okay?!? ‘Scott’ will do just fine.”

Stuttering for a second, I managed to squeak out, “Yes Sir.”

“And the second is, as long as my son is happy, that’s all that matters. Congratulations, boys! This is fantastic news. Ben, you have made your mother’s and my day. Thank you, son. Thank you too, Jamie.”

His family is so nice, easy to talk to. They’ve got that innate southern charm happening. “Well, I’m glad he said ‘yes’, Ma’am, Sir. He’s made me the happiest person in the world right about now.”

“Oh, look at you two! You just look beautiful together, don’t they Scott? James, have you told your folks yet?”

“No ma’am. We were going to call them after speaking to you guys.”

“Oh, please James, you run along now. Call your momma and daddy. They will be as happy as we are, I’m sure. But first, you have to tell us, Benjamin, how did it happen?”

My cell beeped: it was a message from Lucas, asking if he could tell his folks yet?” I showed Ben the message. Taking that as his cue, he started to tell his parents how it all came together while I texted Lucas back.

JS: M8 chill for 5 talking to Bens folks RN.

LS: Hurry up gonna explode big news right.

JS: Will msg you asap when ok 2 go

LS: k you got 10

Laughing at my cousin’s impatience, I put my cell away and re-joined the conversation as Ben was saying our goodbyes so. “Oh, that’s lovely, James. You certainly put a lot of effort into that,” Ben’s dad was nodding in the background.

“Thank you, Ma’am. He’s worth it.”

“Oh, bless you! Okay, you boys get along now and call James’ parents. We’ll see you when you arrive later today. Is someone picking you up from the airport?”

“Thank you, Ma’am. Yes, Lucas and Hailey are.” Ben’s hand was creeping closer and closer to my crotch, making it increasing hard — yes, both hard to talk and eventually walk, without taking someone’s eye out with the tent in my pants I had going on now.

“Okay, see y’all later today. Bye. Give my regards to your momma and daddy please.”

“Sure will, Ma’am.” And with that we hung up.

“Righto! We’d better call my folks. I think we’ve got about ten minutes before your mom calls them.”

Ben laughingly replied, “Ten minutes? I think we’ll be lucky to get a five-minute head start.”

At that, I clicked on my mom’s number and facetime connected. It only took a few rings to connect. “Hi mom – hope I haven’t got you at a bad time.”

“No, honey, it’s okay. Your father and I are just getting ready for some late lunch. He’s just got back from a round of golf.”

“Hi son!” dad yelled out. I could hear his footsteps on the stone floor as he came closer.

“Hey dad!” I replied, exchanging smiles with Ben.

“Oh, hi, Ben honey, didn’t see you sitting there all smiles. What have you boys been up to?”

“Well, mom, dad. I asked Ben something today.” Instantly mom started to wave her hands at dad. I could hear him pick up the pace crossing the floor.

Mom’s face was all smiles, “Yes, honey – go on.”

I could see dad’s face in the background now, at the same time almost. Mom looked away for a second, distracted by something going on out front. “Oh, look! Your sister and family have just pulled up. What is it, sweetie? What have you boys been up to?”

“Who is it, Mom? Katie, Jake and the kids?”

“Yes, they’re just running up the drive now.”

I could hear the side door open and close, plus the increasing noise of my niece, nephew, sister and husband all chatting as they walked in.

“Hold on a second, honey.” the screen bounded around as she was suddenly enveloped with Daisy and Jet hugging her, while Kate and Jake took turns in kissing kaçak casino her on the cheek and greeting my dad.

“Who were you talking to, mom?”

“It’s Jamie and Ben. Look there on the phone.” Mom twisted the screen toward my sister and brother-in law.

“Oh, hey, little brother! Hey, Ben!” Katie smiled while Jake waved in the background as he was stuffing one of mom’s sandwiches in his mouth. “What’s happening?” he mumbled out with a mouthful.

I looked at Ben and winked. “Not much really. Just asked Ben to marry me He said ‘yes’.”

“Oh, that’s nice honey,” mom replied, completely distracted by the grandkids asking over and over “where’s the candy?”

Laughing, I raised my eyebrows at Ben. “You watch – she’ll get it in a moment.”

“Sorry Jamie, did you just say — kids shush for a second. I’m talking to Uncle Jamie. You asked Ben to…Oh-my-god! … YOU ASKED BEN TO MARRY YOU!” her face full of surprise.

“And there it is,” I laughed at Ben.

“It’s just as crazy at my folks’ place when Daniel and the kids arrive.” Ben was laughing quietly. Suddenly, the screen was filled with smiling faces in an instant, everyone congratulating us at all at once, talking over each other. It was hard to make out who was saying what.

“Oh my, Jamie! I am so happy for you both! Congratulations! Aww, Ben look at you – the both of you – such beautiful smiles.”

I heard my dad’s voice in the background. “Can I get a moment with my son?”

Then the camera was moving around, with dad appearing on the screen.

“Hey dad.”

“Hey son. Congratulations to you both! Couldn’t be happier for you both, really.”

“Thanks, dad.”

“Look, Jake, Kate and the kids want to speak to you. Call us back when you have time, ok? I’m sure you’ve got a lot of calls to make.” Dad laughed for a second. “Guess you’ve already spoken to Lucas, or was he there with you when you popped the question?”

“Yeah I’ve told him. No, of course he wasn’t there, geez.” Although that would have been cool, hey.

“I’m surprised” dad smiled cheekily, “Of course. but you guys are so close anyways – thought you’d told him. He just sent me a message asking if I’ve spoken to you. You’ve told him not to say anything, right?”

“Yes,” laughing at my cousin’s despair. “I think it’s literally going to kill him to keep his mouth shut till I say he can.” At that, the three of us laughed.

“Good – don’t let him for a few hours. I might call Robert and Ann-Marie first though,” Dad let out a little laugh at Lucas’ expense. “I’ll beat him to it.

“We’re about to board a flight to Texas. I’ll make him wait till we land, dad.”

“Love it, ha-ha. Ok, here’s your sister.”

I chatted to Kate, Jake, Mom the kids and back to Mom again all the way to the aircraft, going through the entire proposal plus the Rush’s reactions and of course Lucas’ too. As our boarding call had been made halfway through the call to Mom, I was fast running out of time.

The squeals of delight from Jet and Daisy were so heart-warming. They were so excited. Daisy asked, “If we were going to have a flower girl, Uncle Jamie and Ben, can I please be it.”

“Sure, sweetheart, but we haven’t made any plans about that, but promise I’ll let you know, okay?”

She gave me a very sceptical eye, such a little miss. “But, Uncle Jamie, if you ask someone to marry you, shouldn’t you think all those things through?” Mate if she’d seen the level of preparation that I had gone to, she wouldn’t say that. Nah-yeah, she would after all: a little girl’s idea of importance is way different to a thirty-year old. Her surprise that I hadn’t thought of such an important detail of flower girl and page boy was sweet.

“Uncle Jamie, you know that page boys can be girls too? They call them ring bearers. Ring bearers can be boys or girls or pets sometimes too. You wouldn’t have someone’s pet be a ring bearer instead of me, would you?”

“No sweetheart. If we have a flower girl or ringbearer, I’ll be sure to let you know, okay?”

“Thanks,” she turned to my sister yelling out, “I’m gonna be a ring bearer or flower girl.”

Finally ending the call, we settled into our seats. I leaned over and gave Ben a kiss on the cheek.

“What’s that for?”

“Just because.”

“Oh, I like this engaged thing if I’m gonna get random acts of affection.”

Smiling, I squeezed his hand a little. “Not the only thing you’re gonna get when I can.”

He simply replied wordlessly giving me a sexy look that made ME blush, “I’ll hold you to that, Jamie. Hey, did you call the battalion chief back, or your sister and brother?”

“Nope didn’t get a chance. Crap!” Impatiently, almost panic stuck, I caught the eye of the cabin crew. “Excuse me, ma’am. Are we still able to use our cells? I have an important call to make. Please, I promise I’ll be really fast.”

“Sure, just be quick. The captain is keen to get away. We haven’t pushed back yet. I’ll let you know.”

“Thank you, ma’am. I forgot to tell my sister some news and she’ll have my ass if I don’t.” Quickly, I fished out my cell and dialled Steph. I could hear Ben talking in the background and glanced toward him. By the look on the cabin attendant’s face, I think he’d just told her what the call was about.

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