Chapter 7: Bitcoin in Prison

“Inmate #45400001, please step forward.”

Benjamin took two small steps forward, his feet connected by chain, and his hands immobilized behind his back, and hears a cold click of a prison door shutting behind him. “This can’t be real.” Benjamin tells himself, and yet, looking to his left, right, up and down is the same view: dirty white walls, etched with names and dates with no meaning to Benjamin. The guard, standing on the opposite side of the gate as Benjamin, unlocked the chains holding Benjamin’s hands and feet together, freeing him to move freely inside a small, windowless room. A panic began to set into Benjamin as the reality of the situation began to hit him. “How can this be?” Benjamin asks himself, over and over.

Benjamin has millions of dollars in bitcoin in the “outside” world, the “real” world. “How can I get out of here?” Benjamin touched the middle of his chest, caressed the alphanumeric code “X564y122ZJ34U777B” subtly hidden in a tattoo covering Benjamin’s chest, and both arms: the tattoo Benjamin got immediately after joining the army, it was the struggle between good and evil, fighting over Benjamin’s heart with the un-noticable code subtly underneath the drawing of Benjamin’s heart, caught between a statue of Athena on one side and a faceless humanoid on the other. When he first got the tattoo, Benjamin thought that the good & evil sides looked distinct, that there truly existed a war between both sides, but time had given him the distance to realize that both sides of the tattoo had coalesced into one giant tattoo over his entire torso, engulfing his heart placed directly in the center. Benjamin hadn’t thought about his tattoos, which covered most of his body, in years. His many tattoos had become just another part of him, blending into the every day scenery of his life, but at this point he stopped and reflected on the good/evil tattoo, and realized that he should have had a few more angels drawn on the ‘good’ side, just to stack things in his favor. Along Benjamin’s neck is a tattoo with the written words “Molon Labe”, an Attic Greek expression indicating defiance, one of Benjamin’s most enduring character traits. But these considerations were of no use to him at this point, and his mind sharply focused on the code: this code was the pass-code to his bitcoin wallet, containing hundreds of bitcoin, which due to the skyrocketing price, was worth tens of millions of dollars in the real world. Benjamin began to rack his brain thinking of…what next. Benjamin had always been able to rely on his innate human spirit and intelligence to escape from even the most confining of situations, and Benjamin attempted to abstract his previous experience and apply it to his current situation.

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Chapter 8: The Rise of the Ethereum De-Centralized Authority

To say that Ethereum De-Centralized Authority (EDCA) is everywhere is not entirely correct; it is more accurate to say that there is nowhere that the EDCA is not. After decades of global war and political unrest, The EDCA was established in 2035 as a response to man’s inability to maintain control over the growth and power of various technologies, and as a response to highly complex moral and ethical questions raised by these technologies. Originally intended to fix the imperfections and fallibility of human government, once the EDCA had become firmly in place, the law of unintended consequences began to take hold.

At birth, each human is assigned a birth number and a balance of ‘0’ Ether. All human behavior, and each specific action, is given a corresponding plus or minus Ether value which is then added to their balance in real-time. Actions deemed as helpful or ‘good’, such as picking up trash, value is calculated and then added to each human’s balance, which is then used at local Ethereum store-houses to purchase food, fuel and other necessities. Every action and the corresponding value was encoded by The Guardians in 2035, leaving absolutely no room for human interpretation of right or wrong. No one is quite sure who the Guardians were, but the code was available for anyone to inspect, and the code can never be changed or modified. This code was then dispersed across thousands of computers globally, and numbers began to be assigned to global citizens, beginning with the developed countries of United States and Europe, until all humans were under the control and guidance of the EDCA. At first it was believed that this would be a new world order which would bring peace and prosperity to all global citizens, but it soon became clear that no government, or human intervention, could control the EDCA once it was implemented. Due to the strict wording and lack of interpretation, many of EDCA’s global citizens learned the easiest and fastest actions which would provide the most amount of ether, and soon there were hundreds of people whose sole job was to open doors for one another. Soon, in crowded areas such as New York City, a mob of people would rush to open the door for someone entering a Starbucks, eventually leading to altercations which reduced each person’s Ether value, so people learned not to fight one another. The next evolution in this process was that, a group would coordinate, with one person holding the door while the rest of the group walking into the store, and then they would rotate on who would hold the door and receive the Ether for the ‘good deed’. Since there was no way to edit the EDCA code once it had been implemented, this coordinated effort could be seen in every small town and large city and eventually became part of the background and an accepted ‘quirk’ of the EDCA.

In the beginning, it was believed that the EDCA would bring a new world: a peaceful, equal society where right behavior would be rewarded and any one would be able to succeed because global resources would be allocated in proportion to each person’s morality and ethics. Kings, Queens, Dictators, and even presidents, it was believed, would be relegated to the past as each person would be judged by their deeds in a way that was pre-determined, fair and equal. The result, however, was a society that became more stratified than ever before. Modes of production, from mining to farming, had become totally automated by this time, which meant there was very little work for humans to perform. Almost all activities, including creativity such as painting had been totally taken over by technology. Robots built houses, farmed food, cleaned houses, and drove the cars for the elite of EDCA in each area, for whom almost everything was free. One member of the EDCA, number 345343, had an Ethereum balance of over 75,000 as the result of saving the life of a drowning woman. This balance was enough to buy a lifetime of food, fuel and entertainment.


It is in this framework of the Ethereum network that Benjamin found himself thrown into after 15 years separated from society. Beginning with a negative balance, it would be years of good action before Benjamin was able to purchase a sandwich at the local EDCA supply mart. Benjamin looked upon his left wrist, with a glowing red number: -9823.45. Benjamin began thinking on how he was to live in this new life, and suddenly saw the number decrease to -9823.55, as idleness was considered a negative human action. Noticing a discarded EDCA Supply Mart hamburger wrapper on the ground, Benjamin picked it up and threw it in a nearby trash-can, and noticed his red number increased by 1. Benjamin thought of Jennifer, and noticed his balance increase by 10. Love, or the feeling of it, was one of the only actions which technology had not yet replaced, it was entirely the domain of humans. Benjamin soon began to wonder how he would be able to navigate his way in this new world, and noticed his balance increase by 5.


The original intent of the EDCA was to replace God, morality, and ethics, ultimately freeing humans to live in a perfect world with no greater Authority than the EDCA. No police, no court system, the EDCA was all knowing and all powerful, whose punishments and rewards were immediate, reliable and fair. After only a few days, it became clear to all citizens of EDCA that they had hoisted on a new and entirely oppressive regime on themselves in the name of freedom, for there was no appeals process nor a judge with the quirks, emotion and fallibility of a human mind or spirit. The EDCA was cold and calculating, like a winter night: impersonal.

Chapter 2: A Christmas Date

Christmas time in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill is a living collection of Christmas Lights, Luminarias and Nativity Sets among varieties of stucco, pueblo and Victorian-era houses, in a climate that is bitter cold at night and warm during the day anywhere illuminated by the sun. Being located in a high-desert climate, any light dusting of snow that falls during the night or afternoon is immediately gone by 10 a.m. the next morning. The feeling of Christmas time in Nob Hill is non-existent during the day, until around 5:30 each evening, when the sun goes down casting long and deep shadows of dark brown, contrasted with the orange hue of the sunlight. These shadows give a distinctly ancestral feeling to pueblo-inspired houses due to the blocky geometry of these homes and the contrast between light and dark, with the homes resembling stairways coordinated in 3 or 4 orientations. During the transition between day and evening, the temperature drastically shifts from a warm 50-60 degrees to hovering or below freezing in a matter of minutes. An added affect of this transition is to immediately immerse this area with the feeling of Christmas time: with the illumination of Christmas lights and Luminarias, and families getting off-work, originating in a stretch of Central Avenue between Wellesley and Washington, for gift shopping among boutiques and drinking hot cocoa to fend off the bitter cold which immediately descended from a warm, temperate day. This pattern is repeated every day from Thanksgiving until the night before Christmas, which is then repeated year after year, when a certain feeling is shared among all of Albuquerque’s residents: a calm, serene, state of mind when staying indoors near a fire, shielded from the cold only heightens the anticipation for the next morning’s opening of presents.

It was during this time of year when Benjamin and Jennifer would resume their decades-long dance of love.


It had been almost 2 weeks since their chance encounter in Humble coffeeshop, when, as if on cue, Benjamin’s phone rang. Looking at the caller ID of an unknown number, somehow instinctively Benjamin knew it was Jennifer.

“Benjamin, Hi, It’s me, I mean it’s Jennifer.”

“Hi Jennifer, how are you today?” After years of constant wonder and pining over Jennifer, something was different inside Benjamin, and it was surprising even to him. He no longer felt the need or desire to be the constant source of motion and energy for their relationship. Benjamin reflected on his new found change of heart, was he maturing, or was this something else entirely?

“I’m great. Listen, Benjamin, I have a Christmas office party to go to, you know how the president and vice president of my company love to bring back the 1950’s. I can’t bring my girlfriend, Julia, they would flip. How about being a sport and being my date? It’s Friday at the old Albuquerque Rail Yards. Black-Tie event, free drinks–”

“You know I don’t drink.” Benjamin interrupted.

“Well you can drink egg-nog.” She continued with her enthusiastic selling of the idea: “Please Benjamin it’s just one night, and you look so good in a black-tie tuxedo.”

Jennifer continued, but Benjamin wondered how she was able to jump back in with such a friendly demeanor after such a long break of contact.

“I can’t, Jennifer. Abigail and I have plans.” Benjamin lied, but under these circumstances felt no obligation of niceties to Jennifer.

“Ah yes, I’ve heard about Abigail. Your wife?” Jennifer asked, her tone and quickness changing noticeably.  Jennifer, always the scientist, was now probing and testing to see Benjamin’s current love interest, much as she treated many of her experiments, in order to reveal their deeper truths. Inside herself Jennifer felt a tinge of jealousy and the beginnings of a slight panic. She had always been able to rely on Benjamin, had always assured herself that he would always be there for her, whenever she wanted.

“No, we’ve only been dating a few weeks. Besides, who told you about Abigail?” Benjamin asked, being sure to emphasize ‘Abigail’ vs. Jennifer’s pronunciation of ‘Abby’.

“I heard it through the grapevine. Besides, this isn’t a date, it’s just you accompanying me to an office Christmas Party. You can think of it more as a a bodyguard, if you’d like.” Jennifer knew that Benjamin, despite his exterior and calm demeanor, always loved to be her protector.

After a short moment of silence, Jennifer could tell that Benjamin was not quite convinced–yet. “Bring Abigail.” Jennifer threw out, which caught both of them off-guard. For Jennifer’s part, at least Benjamin would be attending her party. Benjamin thought this was a fair agreement and stated that he agreed. Jennifer continued: “And I’ll bring Julia, it will be a big group of us.”

Benjamin reached for his cup of coffee and took a sip. Lately Benjamin had been adding cream & sugar to his regularly black coffee: he enjoyed the way that the sharp, bitterness of the coffee was mellowed by the cream, with a bit of sugar added for taste. “Sounds good, see you at 8. I’ll talk to you later, I’m writing a book and I’ve got to finish this chapter.” Benjamin said in a rushed manner.

“Father Time is undefeated.” Jennifer reminded Benjamin.

With that, Jennifer heard the click of the phone hanging up and Benjamin began to type on his laptop with a new fervor.

Jennifer noticed a small change in Benjamin and began wondering what exactly it was. Their conversation was much different than usual, she was usually in control of the pace and content of their conversations. An intrigue began to develop that Jennifer felt the need to solve. Who was Abby? What was different about Benjamin? She asked herself. Benjamin would never place another person above her, she reassured herself. Benjamin, her rock, who she always unknowingly relied upon the idea of whether they were close or apart. Through failed jobs and failed relationships, Jennifer always comforted herself that somewhere, Benjamin would always be waiting for her.


On Friday night, Benjamin stopped his Black Porsche 911 in Jennifer’s driveway and opened the passenger side door for Abigail, and together they walked to Jennifer’s 5,000 square foot mansion located in the foothill’s of Northeast Albuquerque. Benjamin was wearing a crisp black-tie tuxedo with a red lapel, matching Abigail’s red skin-tight dress, accentuating her muscular yet feminine physique, the physique built from years as a high-school and college track athlete. As they climbed the three steps leading from Jennifer’s driveway to the entrance of her home, two giant double-doors dwarfed the couple, and before they could ring the doorbell Jennifer had opened the door to welcome Abigail and Benjamin into her home, with Julia standing at attention in a black sequin dress, eager to greet the couple.

“Benjamin! Abigail! So glad you both could make it. Please, come in. Abigail, Benjamin, this is the love of my life, Julia.”

After taking a few steps into Jennifer’s large entryway, Benjamin’s attention was drawn to a large chandelier, centered in the large entrance between two large flowing staircases leading to the second floor of Jennifer’s home. White marble flooring and Venetian plaster lent the home a classic and refined ambiance, and the entire home was spotlessly clean with art and furniture perfectly placed in order to maximize the hospitality and comfort of the home. Benjamin realized how this home fit Jennifer perfectly: clean, pragmatic, yet still impeccably beautiful and maintained.

“Abigail, can I offer you something to drink?” Jennifer asked, with the hospitality and professionalism of Vanna White.

“Sure, I’ll take a water.” Abigail responded, as Jennifer appraised her muscular shoulders, arms, legs and calves. Jennifer realized that Abigail had the same sleek, sharp curves of Benjamin’s Porsche, both formed by years of hard work and engineering, both for beauty and utility.

“Sure thing, sweet heart.” Jennifer replied, and with that Julia disappeared into the kitchen to retrieve a glass of water, returning after a few moments and handed Abigail a tall, crisp glass of water.

After a few moments of small talk, Benjamin calmly collected the attention of the entire group with one simple question, “Shall we?”, and all 4 in the group walked through Jennifer’s front door, climbed into Benjamin’s Porsche and together they whisked off to the holiday party as the sun continued to set, illuminating the sky with orange, pink and red bladed-clouds.


All eyes were on Benjamin as he walked into the holiday party with 3 of the most beautiful women in New Mexico, resembling a large, ancient Greek statue of chiseled features and exquisite physical features. Benjamin was at the peak of his physical conditioning, only a few months out from active military duty, his muscles had been refreshed and filled by his new schedule of rest and proper nutrition, which were all on show underneath his black tuxedo, and accentuated by his flank of 3 beautiful women in the flower of youthfulness. The crowd of 300 stopped all conversation to admire the 4 newest members of the party, whose superior physical beauty lent a new sense of urgency to the festivities of the holiday party. Located at the top of a stairway above the crowd, Benjamin took the hand of both Abigail and Jennifer and led them, step by step down the staircase until they reached the same level of the large group enjoying egg nog and champagne, a renewed vigor and spirit filled the room as each person began to discuss the new participants of the party.

“Jennifer! So glad you could make it!” A tall, older gentleman grabbed the attention of Jennifer, Benjamin, Abigail and Julia as he hugged Jennifer with a familiar, patriarchal spirit. He continued: “And tell me, who is your friend?” Speaking of Benjamin, he reached his hand out for a firm handshake.

 

 

Chapter 1: A Chance Reunion In A Coffee Shop

Intro

Dear and faithful reader,

the following story is a multi-part series following Benjamin and Jennifer’s romance as their lives transition from adolescents to adults. Beginning in the year 2025, Benjamin has completed his military service and began a career as an entrepreneur, and although he had many failed businesses, his one success was investing in bitcoin early on in 2009. Fabulously wealthy, Benjamin is now a dedicated philanthropist determined to building a school in the South Valley of Albuquerque to educate disadvantaged youth. Jennifer has successfully dedicated her life to work as a civil engineer primarily focusing on building bridges and highways. Their lives had gone different directions, but one day a chance encounter in a coffee shop would soon bring them back together, and reignite a romance that would shape both of their lives, bring them closer to their shared destiny and provide a testament of love’s enduring power.

Chapter 1: A Chance Reunion in a Coffeeshop
Chapter 2: A Christmas Date
Chapter 3: A Visit to Academy of Dreams Charter School
Chapter 4: A Grecian Vacation
Chapter 5: A Dream Wedding
Chapter 6: The Happily Ever After Honeymoon
Chapter 7: Bitcoin in Prison
Chapter 8: The Rise of the Ethereum De-Centralized Authority (EDCA)


Chapter 1: A Chance Reunion in a Coffee Shop

As Benjamin looked up from his book that he was reading in Humble Coffeeshop, the newest coffee shop of Albuquerque’s Nob Hill, Benjamin’s eyes were immediately drawn to a long pair of legs striding confidently through the glass entrance of the shop, and instantly he recognized the love of his life: Jennifer. It had been over 6 years since Benjamin and Jennifer had been in the same room together, let alone spoken a single word to each other. Benjamin’s eyes continued to look past the book in his hands, and noticed a stronger, more mature Jennifer than the teenager he had last known her to be.

At first, Jennifer did not notice Benjamin, and he watched as she stepped towards the counter and ordered a tall Earl Grey tea, to go. Jennifer had never been to Humble Coffee before, and rarely in Nob Hill, the area of Albuquerque where unshaven college students collect into dozens of coffee shops to drink cold-brew coffee while discussing politics with other intellectuals. Naturally, Jennifer did not have time to socialize in these types of places as her job constantly kept her moving as fast as she could, from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., every day including Sunday. This schedule suited Jennifer as she preferred to stay as busy as possible, and had firmly established herself a rising star in her field as a civil engineer. But today, after pulling an all-nighter to complete the the RFP for the Paseo Del Norte interchange, she needed a bit of a caffeine boost, so she decided to stop into Humble Coffee to supercharge her afternoon work. After receiving her order and taking a sip of her tea, she turned and began walking to leave the coffee shop, mentally focused on the multitude of tasks before her. Suddenly, her eyes turned directly towards where Benjamin was seated and nearly spilled her tea as she halted her movement mid-step as if stopped by an invisible force.

Although Jennifer had merely stopped for a caffeine boost during her busy mid-morning workday, she decided to take a few minutes of her busy schedule to say hello to her former lover, Benjamin. Slowly walking towards the table where Benjamin was seated, relishing each step which brought her closer to the moment she had not known she was anticipating, she began to feel nervous as she did not know what she would say to Benjamin or what he would say to her. She sat down squarely across from Benjamin, as if two opposing lawyers about to face-off over a contentious case.

“Hi Jennifer” Benjamin stated, the simplicity of the words betraying how often he had rehearsed this reunion in his mind for the past few years, unsure if it would ever actually happen. With that question, Jennifer began to ease into the situation, thinking of the appropriate response to Benjamin.

“Hi Benjamin.” Jennifer replied, holding back the rush of emotion filling her body to reach across the table of the coffeeshop and gently hold Benjamin’s strong, sinewy hands, shaped from years of hard work and his military experience which were currently wrapped tightly, shaping the book in his hands to Benjamin’s liking. Jennifer noticed the strength of Benjamin’s grip around the book, and his intent to shape it within his hands.

Each looked upon one another, noticing the changes which time had brought to their physical features. Jennifer noticed the few white strands of hair which now peppered Benjamin’s temples and 3-day old beard. Jennifer looked upon Ben’s plaid jacket, and thought how he fit in perfectly among the hipsters and intellectuals of Nob Hill. Benjamin noticed and admired Jennifer’s cheekbones, which had always been his favorite feature of hers: angular, taught, and when viewed at the proper angle, sharp as the edge of a diamond cut by the world’s finest jeweler. He remembered the last time they had been together, when it was the very same cheekbones which sliced his heart into a thousand pieces. Benjamin noticed her finely pressed, perfectly put together suit-jacket and matching dress-pants, placing her perfectly in her profession of engineer, and Benjamin realized that this was merely a glimpse into an uninterrupted collection of her daily ‘uniform’ stretching 10 years into the past and 40 years into the future.

Jennifer and Benjamin continued to sit in silence: words could not suffice in this particular moment between two former lovers due to the tension built by years of separation from one another, each realizing how much they missed each other. The scene reminded Benjamin of two poker players, each with a strong hand, squaring off in the last round of betting before each must reveal their cards and one will be declared the winner based upon rules firmly established.

Jennifer began to move her chair, as if to leave the table and return to her life’s work when Benjamin interrupted her: “Sing to me, O muse…” he said, with a wry smile and a slight chuckle.

“What?” Jennifer replied, taken off-guard by the seemingly archaic and nonsensical statement.

“It’s from the book I’m reading, actually it’s the first line. I just started.” With that statement, Benjamin took a sip from his coffee and looked down at his book again.

Jennifer looked upon the white paper cup near Benjamin, noticing the swirl of steam gently and slowly rising from his cup of coffee. Black, no cream, no sugar. After a few more moments, Jennifer’s noticed the collection of coffee stains on the side of the cup, a collection of many sips of coffee, each sip of the coffee which caused a varying length, shape and size of streak vertically along the coffee cup, altogether forming the collection and creating a beautiful pattern: the dark brown, disorganized, accidental splotchy stains of the coffee contrasted against the pure white, organized, cleanliness of the cup. To Jennifer, the cup with the coffee staining, resembled an abstract expressionist painting, maybe a Willem De Kooning, and Jennifer wondered if Benjamin had noticed the beauty as she did, remembering her former training as an artist, before her career as civil engineer had firmly established itself.

After a few minutes of silence, remembering the years spent together and memories made and long past, Jennifer broke the silence and began to come up with a reasoning for their separation: “I have been busy, Ben, with work.” She stated, coldly and matter-of-fact, although that was not her intention. She tried to understand the reasons which had kept her from Ben, realizing that it was her own choice to separate herself from her love, all the busyness of life itself: going to work, paying bills, had slowly but surely separated her from what she had known to be true: Benjamin Arbor. In that moment she made a promise to herself that never again would she allow the everyday-ness of life to separate her from Benjamin.

“Benjamin, I’ve got to go.” she abruptly stated, and the two exchanged phone numbers after this chance encounter, and something inside Benjamin told him that this would be the first of many times he and Jennifer would enjoy coffee and tea together.

As Jennifer exited through the coffee shop’s entrance, she felt the sharpness of the cold winter air on her face. As she turned her face towards the sun, a warming began to replace the cold as she reflected on her chance encounter with Benjamin, and as she thought about him she realized that every day they had been apart, she had thought about him and missed him tremendously. Jennifer stepped to her black Porsche 911, the graduation present she had bought herself after graduating with her Master’s degree, she climbed inside, sat down and pressed the push-button near the steering column to start the car. As the engine purred and then growled to an idle, she set her half-full earl grey tea into the empty cup-holder of her car. As she began to drive off in the direction of her work, Kennedy & Reed Engineering, she began to feel a new energy rising inside of her and wondered if it was from the tea or from her time with Benjamin. She pressed on the gas and felt the engine pulling the car forward, which pushed her back into her seat. She craved this feeling and pressed the gas with a new determination.

Goodbye, Benjamin. Love, Jennifer.

Benjamin could feel his heart being ripped out of his chest as she said the words, “I’m sorry, Benjamin. It’s over.” Benjamin heard the words reverberating within his mind, concentrating to a sharp point which landed softly onto his soul and rested in a place that would ache for the rest of Benjamin’s life. Jennifer quietly handed Benjamin a hand-written letter that expanded on the two words “It’s Over” for a full page.

“Is it…Is there someone else?” Benjamin asked Jennifer, with a lost gaze as Benjamin stared at Jennifer’s letter held in the palm of his left hands. Benjamin noticed the red envelope with the hand-written “Benjamin Arbor” on the front, addressing the contents of a broken heart directly towards Benjamin.

“No.” Jennifer recoiled inside herself after the lie escaped her mouth. She had met a Doctor while on vacation near the North Shore of Martha’s Vineyard, and after a short summer fling, Jennifer now found herself 4 months pregnant.

“What…why…what did I do?” Benjamin began probing his new darkness with a flashlight, searching for any answer that would ease the pain currently overpowering him.

“Benjamin…” Jennifer began to search for any consoling words she could find. Inside Jennifer a war raged between the truth and her lies and rationalizations. She couldn’t tell him the truth, it would destroy him. Jennifer promised herself she would tell Benjamin anything. Anything except the truth. “I haven’t been in love with you for the past 2 years.”

Benjamin’s mind immediately began racing, to the wedding in Santa Barbara, to the initial meetings in Phoenix, all of the previous two years flashed before his eyes and he began searching for clues, any sign that what Jennifer said was true.

“What do I do now? Where do we go from here?” Benjamin, always the action oriented individual that Jennifer fell in love with, began to develop a strategy to overcome his newest challenge.

Jennifer began to consider what her future would be like, carrying a child due in 6 months that would soon begin to show. “Benjamin, we can stay friends.” With these words, Jennifer mixed the hemlock with honey and poured the sweetest lie that is told in the end of every relationship.

Benjamin sat, paralyzed and frozen, beginning to slowly survey the thousands of pieces of his life that he must put together one by one, which at that time, seemed to be an exceedingly daunting task. As Benjamin began to open the red envelope to read Jennifer’s letter, she began to walk away. Her heels made a click on the cold, hard tile floor. As Benjamin watched her walk through the door and disappear, he knew that it was the last time he would see her, and a rush of energy spread through his body and exploded into a shower of tears, landing on the red envelope and slightly smudging her handwritten words “Benjamin Arbor”.

Benjamin and Jennifer reunite [Part I]

Jennifer felt Benjamin’s breath exhale over her stomach as she writhed on Benjamin’s bed. Her shirt was off and Benjamin began to remove her skirt as he embraced her hips and breathed in her intoxicating scent.

Jennifer had just returned from her graduation at the University of Kentucky, and had not seen Benjamin for 4 long years. During this time Jennifer had many boyfriends and the guilt began to well up inside her. She thought of herself as a whore: while Benjamin was captured in Iraq she had sex with over a dozen men, many of them one night stands. Jennifer would do her best to pleasure her man of 6 years in a way he would never forget.

Benjamin had returned to Albuquerque the night before, and called around Jennifer’s friends to find out where she would be. Jennifer nearly dropped to the ground and began sobbing when she first caught glimpse of Benjamin in his United States Marine Corps dress suit, with a bouquet of flowers on her front door.

As Benjamin began to voraciously remove Jennifer’s underwear, it reminded her of a Lion feasting on its prey. Benjamin began to kiss Jennifer’s beautiful, soft luscious vaginal lips. As he continued to lick and arouse her passion, he reached up and squeezed her large, full breasts. He slowly and gently began pleasuring Jennifer as only Benjamin could. Jennifer knew she would have to tell him the truth, but tonight she was determined to pleasure him for the 4 long-years he was capture in Iraq.

Dear Benjamin, Love Jennifer

When Jennifer received a letter in her mailbox whose return address stated “Sgt. Benjamin Arbor, USMC” she felt a simultaneous jolt of relief and anxiety surge through her body.

Jennifer had not heard from Benjamin for the previous 3 1/2 years. The last time Jennifer heard from Benjamin was 2 months after his deployment to Afghanistan, as he was adjusting to the new terrain. After his letter, news reports began covering his kidnapping by enemy forces.

Jennifer began to tear open the envelope, her mind exploring 1000 scenarios and wondering what he had to say, and what she had to tell him.

“Dear Jennifer,

It is me, Benjamin. They told me that this letter would reach you. I am headed back to the U.S. Do you still live in Albuquerque? Send me a letter with your contact information:

Sgt. Benjamin Arbor
PO BOX 713
West Palm Beach, FL

-Forever Yours,

Benjamin

In one moment, the entire 15 year history between Benjamin and Jennifer flooded Jennifer’s mind: Elementary school when they were both too shy to talk to each other, Becoming best friends in 8th grade, and their entire relationship between 8th grade and when Benjamin left for Basic Training. Jennifer had not thought about him or their relationship after the first, painful year when media stories kept circulating and the uncertainty of Benjamin’s condition began to slowly unravel Jennifer from the inside-out.

Jennifer was married now, to Sebastian Cumberbatch, a local politician in the Republican-dominated New Mexico State Legislature. Jennifer was 3 months pregnant with her first child with Sebastian, and within a few weeks would begin to show. Jennifer gripped her stomach as she sat down in her front drive-way and began to weep.