by, Kelly M.
Lori moaned as she slowly moved back from the toilet.
A knock sounded on the door.
“Lori, are you almost done in there? I’ve been waiting for fifteen minutes!”
Lori looked at the door, listening to Ben’s impatient urgency. “Yeah, Ben.”
She stood and rinsed her mouth longer than usual, wanting to get rid of the horrible taste. Turning off the water, she opened the door. Ben started to move, when the weakness overcame her, and she started to fall.
Ben quickly stepped up and caught her at the waist gently, “Whoah!” he said alarmed, “I think you need to lie down.”
He guided her over to her bunk and helped her get in.
“What’s going on?” John asked, coming over carrying his daughter, “I thought…”
“You did. She almost fell.”
“Is she okay?” Korey asked, concerned.
Ben placed his hand on her forehead, “My bet is she has the flu.”
John shrugged and shifted Alexandria to his other side, “Or it’s PMS…”
“John!” Korey smacked him on the arm, “Not everything is PMS!”
“OK. But that’s all I’ve seen.”
Korey gave him a look before turning back to Ben, who was covering Lori up. “Thanks Ben.”
“No prob, Korey. I’ll be nearby if she needs anything.”
She smiled, “Thanks Ben, I appreciate this,” she said scooping up Xavier, “it’s bedtime.”
Ben watched and smiled as John and Korey read ‘Peter Rabbit’ to Alexandria and Xavier. Ben turned his attention back to Lori when he heard her moan. His eyebrows creased with concern, he got up and rinsed a washcloth with warm water.
“But Peter went back into the garden again,” Korey read.
“This time Peter was in trouble! He’d become so fat eating the farmer’s vegetables, that he’d gotten caught under the fence!”
Ben leaned back and watched them. Alex and Xavier cuddled against their parents, Alex urging Peter to escape and Xavier laughing at John’s different character voices.
He smiled. Then his age-old feeling of loneliness came back to him.
“When will I meet that girl and have a family?” He sighed.
He was tired of it always coming back to him… ‘Sides he was too quiet to ever be able to ask a girl out, and it was no fun always having them make the first move.
He wringed the washcloth out.
“Don’t worry, Ben. I know what I’m doing. She’ll come for you.”
Ben abruptly shut off the water and looked around, but he knew Who had spoken to him. He couldn’t help but smile, but paused: “She’ll find me, God?”
Ben smiled, then exclaimed, “Thank you!”
He felt a tap on his shoulder. Turning around, he saw Lori standing there.
“Ben, I thought that was you. I’m so glad I found you…”
Her words trailed off and Ben’s breathe hitched. “Lord… am I overreacting … or is it … Lori?”
Ben waited, anticipating the answer.
“It is Lori, Ben.”
Ben stood for a moment, soaking it all in.
“Ben? Are you all right?”
Ben looked at Lori and smiled, realizing what he’d never before. Lori had all the qualities he’d always hoped, prayed, and asked God for in a woman.
“Thank you, Lord! She’s everything You knew I needed!” he prayed silently.
“I’m great, Lori,” he offered his arm, “Lori, thanks…”
She stopped and looked at him, a piece of her hair falling over her right eye, confused at what he said, “For what, Ben?”
Ben smile and brushed the stray hair back behind her ear gently, “For finding me.”