In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Green-Eyed Monster.”

Benjamin was always a rebellious boy, Jennifer noticed. By this time in 3rd grade, Benjamin and Jennifer had been classmates for over 6 years, and although he thought she didn’t notice him all these years, Jennifer had been quietly watching Benjamin ever since Jennifer’s mom warned her about him.

But Jennifer was slightly envious of him. While Jennifer lived in a comfortable but strict household, Benjamin had survived only by bouncing between family members when his parents could no longer handle his rambunctious energy. Jennifer envied the way Benjamin was care-free and undisciplined. Free to do what he wanted, when he wanted, a caged spirit inside of Jennifer ached for this freedom.

Every day to school Jennifer’s parents ensured she represented her family history in both dress and attitude.

“We come from a great, long line of Glass. Why, my great grandfather fought for the Confederacy during the War of Northern Agression.”

So Jennifer was required to wear a pearl-white lace dress to school every day, with white leggings and white buckled-shoes, and to return spotless home from school.

Jennifer envied Benjamin’s wardrobe. Benjamin had never matched clothing one day in his life, and often looked as though he was wearing someone else’s dirty clothing. Oftentimes too large, Benjamin would inevitably head home covered on mud from head to toe from playing football with the other boys at recess.

Jennifer would watch Benjamin make tackles and get tackled, both cheering and then fearing for his safety. Jennifer often fantasized about running into the mud-pit the boys were playing in with her pearly white shoes and dress, knowing exactly the punishment she faced if she were to return home in that condition.

The Benjamin Has No Clothes

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man.”

When Jennifer walked in, she immediately noticed Benjamin standing holding the hand-rail of the 135th floor balcony, overlooking a great number of office buildings. Jennifer’s attention was immediately drawn to Benjamin’s clothing.

Wearing a 3-piece, black suit with a black tie, Benjamin looked more like a 1950’s movie star than her boyfriend for the previous 6 years.

Jennifer immediately noticed a shimmer of white hair on Benjamin’s temple, giving him a distinctly more mature and rugged appearance.

Jennifer suddenly realized she had stopped walked and was simply staring at him, when Benjamin must have noticed the same thing because they looked directly into each other’s eyes from across Benjamin’s large, open and finely-furnished apartment.

As Jennifer began to walk towards Benjamin’s warm embrace, he surveyed what she was wearing.

Benjamin’s first impression of Jennifer’s dress was that the dress accentuated and emphasized the right areas of Jennifer’s athletic, slightly muscular, 6’1″ tall body. The dress consisted of a black flowing cotton garment draped around Jennifer’s lovely hips, highlighting the muscular shape gained from 13 years of women’s soccer.

Above a bare midriff, the dress separated and continued on a gold scarf wrapped around Jennifer’s petite A-cup breasts, firmly grasping, revealing that Jennifer wore no bra.

Benjamin began to notice that Jennifer resembled a flower, blooming before his eyes when immediately she closed the distance between her and him and Jennifer’s soft, caressing dress fell on top of Benjamin’s sleek, modern suit and Jennifer pulled Benjamin in for a kiss, having not seen him for over 3 months.

Benjamin’s Land of Confusion

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Land of Confusion.”

As Benjamin and Jennifer laid on their backs and watched the stars above, Jennifer turned to face Benjamin, and asked him “What’s your favorite school subject?”

Never the studious type, Benjamin’s stomach reflexively knotted up anytime people discussed anything related to academics.

“I’m planning on joining the Marine Corps after high school, so that stuff doesn’t really matter to me.” Benjamin stated, in his best tough-guy voice, hoping Jennifer would be intimidated and stop down this line of questioning.

“Of course you need to know Mathematics and English, haha!” Jennifer replied, mistakenly thinking that Benjamin was joking. “We’ve been together 4 months and you still won’t open up to me! This is our junior year of high school, so we need to start thinking about colleges together. Maybe we can both go to Georgia Tech together!”

“I-I…I’m not very good at school, and Mathematics is my worst subject.” Benjamin confessed to Jennifer. Benjamin suddenly felt a lightness between the two of them.

Benjamin continued: “Do you remember the 3rd grade with Ms. Carter?”

“Yes, with the pet iguana that got out of its cage and Ms. Carter found it in her desk 3 days later?” Jennifer asked.

“Yes, Well that year I was struggling with math but still doing pretty well. I asked Steven to help me with my homework and he ended up telling all the other boys that I couldn’t read or count. After that they all made fun of me and I never cared about learning math from that day on.” Benjamin looked at Jennifer, who was watching him the whole time.

Jennifer scooted her body to where Benjamin was laying down on his back, and when she was right next to him, gave him a kiss on his forehead.

A Short History of Benjamin Arbor and Jennifer Glass

Even before either Benjamin Arbor or Jennifer Glass ever set foot on this earth, their relationship was already forming. Jennifer’s Dad, Bruce Glass, and Benjamin’s mother, Anita Arbor, had been classmates at Georgia Tech, when on the first day of English 101, Bruce sat next to Anita, and in a startled moment, knocked his cup of coffee over, covering Anita’s entire bookbag.

“I-I-I-I’m sorry ma’am! Let me help you with that.” Bruce Exclaimed as the class went silent and the teacher investigated the commotion.

“No need for worry, I keep a handkerchief for such an occasion.” Anita Replied, as the teacher continued to lecture and the students returning to their slumped-over positions.

And so began the initial contact which would result in a tumultuous relationship between Benjamin and Jennifer, which would unfold over the three next decades.

Jennifer and Benjamin were born 6 months apart, and when they were 3 years old, they attended the same day care and would be in the same classes from day care until Jennifer left to college at the University of Kentucky with a volleyball scholarship.

Benjamin’s first words to Jennifer were:

“Hi Jennifer! How’s your Dad’s…” as he slipped and fell in the hallway at their middle school between first and second period, nearly breaking his arm as he fell and Jennifer helped him up.

“Are you okay?” Jennifer asked when Benjamin regained his footing.

“Y-Y-Yes.” Benjamin stuttered before collecting his books and walking away feeling completely embarrassed, with his hand still hurting from the fall.

This experience was the first and the last time Benjamin and Jennifer were to speak, until they both were seniors in high school.

After Benjamin and Jennifer had been dating for almost 11 months, high school graduation would take each of them on very different paths: Jennifer was to attend the University of Kentucky on a full athletic scholarship after being heavily recruited during her high school volleyball career, and Benjamin had enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.

After returning from 4 years active duty, Benjamin returned to the United States to find Jennifer engaged to a lawyer in Lexington, Kentucky.

Benjamin continued to work various jobs in San Francisco, Seattle and New York City.

Benjamin would not cross paths with Jennifer for another 7 years, until one fateful day would bring both of them together.

Benjamin’s Journey

Benjamin sat across from the federally-appointed psychiatrist, noticing his slow and then fast writing speed.

“Tell me more.” The psychiatrist stated, more of a demand than a request.

“I was a senior in high-school, and I was looking forward to turning 18 and graduating so I could sign up with the United States Marine Corps. I wanted to see the world.”

“What was your first experience of the Marine Corps?” The psychiatrist put his pen down and watched Benjamin’s response intently.

“Getting off the bus at Camp Pendleton, North Carolina. As soon as we arrived on the base, a drill sergeant ferociously climbed on board, with all the recruits climbing over each other to get off the bus. That was my first dog-fight, and my ‘welcome’ to the Marine Corps. I was 3 or 4 men away from the exit when I caught an elbow, slammed right into my nose. Blood spurted over the seats, my clothes, my bag and other recruits. But military matters were more pressing, so we all lined up on the yellow foot-pads, me in formation while my nose continues to pour blood.”

“Tell me about your first Commanding Officer.”

“Staff Sargent Gregory Monticello, originally from Cleveland Ohio, the first of his family to enter the military due to the lack of available job opportunities. Why would you want to know about him?” Benjamin showed the first glimpse of a smile in over 3 weeks of meeting with his psychiatrist.

“I’m asking the questions here.”

Benjamin took a deep breath and stretched his arms. He knew this was going to be a long night.

Inspired By: “Journey.”

Fireside Chat

“I’ve never told anyone this story…” Benjamin spoke to Jennifer, both of whom were watching the fire flickering in a fireplace, logs neatly formed into a stacked formation. Benjamin and Jennifer enjoyed Christmas break at a hidden away cabin in one of the small mountain towns near Denver, Colorado. Jennifer had just finished her winter term finals of her senior year. Benjamin had been home from the military for only a few months.

“Those 3 years I was in Afghanistan and unable to communicate by phone or by mail.”

“I know, I know. You were being held hostage. Your country is proud of your sacrifice.” Jennifer reaching out to hold Benjamin’s hand.

“I wasn’t ‘hostage’. I was court marshaled while I was out there and had to spend 3 years in custody.” Benjamin confessed. Jennifer took her hand back, startled by her new understanding of this man.

‘Wh-What happened?” She asked, running a million different scenarios through her head.

“One of the first nights we were there, it was my turn to watch the entire American outpost, at our base ‘Camp American Eagle’ on the outskirts of American occupation.” Benjamin paused, reflecting on the fact that this revelation would forever change his relationship with Jennifer. “We had just finished a 15 mile journey to build an alliance with the local tribesmen. I was cooking my dinner a few hours after the rest of the platoon had gone to sleep. I was cooking army-issue sausages, when the grease from the pan caught fire and spilled over onto the wooden platform of the tower I was in.”

Jennifer’s eyes searched over Benjamin’s facial features, eyes, mouth, nose, as if she was viewing each of them for the first time.

Benjamin continued: “The fire spread, I barely escaped with my life as the flames engulfed the watch tower. I pulled the fire-alarm for the barracks, so no one was injured, but approximately 1/3 of the base was burned that night and I was court marshaled the next morning. I was required to serve 36 months hard labor as punishment. I’m sorry I lied.”

Jennifer noticed the reflection of the flicker of the flame on Benjamin’s face, warping his figure and distorting the shadows cast on and by his face. Jennifer searched inside herself for some type of response or reflection. Nothing. Jennifer slowly turned away from Benjamin, and when her face was shielded from his view, began to weep silently.

Benjamin and Jennifer’s Dirty Dishes

When Jennifer got angry, there were no need for words: her face said it all.

This was one of those occasions. Jennifer opened the door to her and Benjamin’s apartment carrying over $150 worth of groceries from the store including all of the necessary ingredients for Chicken Tettrazini, Ben’s mother Anita’s favorite dish.

As Jennifer struggled to keep the groceries from spilling and walking into her house while simultaneously closing the door behind her, her face grew increasingly red as she discovered the chores that Benjamin did not do.

“Ben! I told you if you wanted your mother to come over tonight, you had to clean up the kitchen and do the dishes!”

Ben, was busy in another room adjusting his newest invention, the “StarLapper 6800”, shaped like a motorcycle, but the bike hovered on air rather than tires.

“BEN!!” Jennifer called as she dropped half of her groceries onto their kitchen floor.

Ben bolted to the kitchen from his workshop, hoping Jennifer would not notice his absence, and immediately began cleaning the kitchen as if he had been doing it the whole time she was gone, desperately hoping the redness in her face would subside.

“Ben, why is it always such a struggle with you? I understand you are working on your projects but I need your help to keep this place clean!”

Ben looked at Jennifer. She was no longer red and much of the anger had faded, he figured it was safe.

“I’m sorry, I just finished my greatest invention yet, I had no time for the dishes.”

“Oh great, what now?” Jennifer asked, recalling approximately 37 other ‘inventions’ Benjamin had created while avoiding some type of housework.

Hoping to change the subject, Benjamin quickly asked “How was your day dear?”

Jennifer shot him a sharp glance and silently began removing the ingredients from her shopping bags and collecting them on the counter.

Benjamin rolled up his sleeves, filled one of the two sink tubs with hot water and dish detergent until the suds covered the water, and began washing a plate, followed by a bowl, and finally the silverware until there was nothing to be called ‘dirty dishes’, all cleaned and drying lined up on a drying rack, slowly collecting the drops of water and drying, ready to be used for Benjamin and Jennifer’s upcoming dinner party.

Inspired by:

Those Dishes Won’t Do Themselves

Hindsight is 20-20

As Benjamin looked over New York City from his 38th floor, glass walled apartment, he began to reflect, speaking directly but facing away from a man dressed in a grey suit with black shoes.

“I can rewrite history? What’s the catch.”

“No ‘catch’, but there is a price.” The man from Decathlon Technologies responded. David Houston, the senior vice-president of sales and marketing for Decathlon Technologies, had just informed Benjamin about Decathlon’s Technologies newest ability, to rewrite history.

“Benjamin, what is it in your history would you like to rewrite?”

Suddenly a flood washed over Benjamin as he thought of 3 or 4 very distinct events, that if he was able to change, would, Benjamin believed, drastically alter the course of Benjamin’s life. Benjamin was now lost in his own head, thinking about how he would fix his past mistakes, and where he would be in his life if he never made those mistakes.

Before Benjamin could answer, David calmly stated the price:

“$10,000 per event.”

The price was no longer a consideration for Benjamin at this point in his life. From the age of 5 until 13, Benjamin lived on a one-room, thirty-four (34) acre farm just south of Atlanta, in Murphysborough, Georgia where his father was a farmer, who, if he worked hard enough, could scrape together enough food for Benjamin and his family to eat for that day.

“So how does it work?”

Revealing what, appeared to Benjamin to be similar to an Apple iPad, David opened his HyperView 2035 and, after a few hand gestures, a hologram of the Hindsight 2020 filled the entire apartment, displaying the technical details of a new machine designed to travel back in time for 15-20 minutes at a time.

“What you are now seeing is the Hindsight 2020 by Decathlon Technologies. After approximately 3 decades of research, this unit is now available to a select, few, high-worth individuals such as yourself.”

David paused while Benjamin considered the technology.

Meet Jennifer Glass

Jennifer Glass was always described by her Mother’s Bible Study group as a “delicate, sweet child” and they all had high hopes for Jennifer’s future as a Doctor or Lawyer or some occupation of equal greatness. Always a tall girl, Jennifer’s height at 25 topped out at 6′ 1″. Jennifer’s height would lead to great heights beginning with winning the 2008 Division I Volleyball NCAA Championship with the University of Kentucky.

Jennifer Glass was born April 4th, 1990 at the small town of Murphysborough, Georgia to Phillip Glass and his wife Amelia Glass, who had won the 1973 Miss Georgia Beauty pageant. A constant throughout Jennifer’s life was her incredible ability to be photographed well, in the right lighting with the right people wearing just the right clothes.

Jennifer had always been uncommonly good at both horse-riding and mathematics, both of which would play a large part in her success as a graduate student researching Bio-Engineering for John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Always a very sharp and frugal person by nature, Jennifer would make patient and slow investments which over decades grew stronger and stronger. In addition to a professional career researching Genomes and developing new technologies in the BioEngineering industry, Jennifer pursued an art career which would flourish throughout galleries in United States and Europe.

But despite her accomplishments, Jennifer never felt successful “enough” for herself. “5 more years” Jennifer would tell her self, and ruthlessly tire over 60 hour work weeks and conquering office politics only to find herself only slightly ahead of where she was 5 years ago. Over these years, Jennifer would collect awards, letters of recognition and recognition from non-profit groups, but still tired endlessly in pursuit of what she considered perfection.

Jennifer was a girl whom everyone in contact fell in love with her, which only added to her charm. During her college days, Jennifer would attend a function with a group of friends and by the end all attention was on her. Jennifer was destined for greatness from her earliest days.

Benjamin Speaks to Jennifer for the First Time

Benjamin slams the door shut as he leaps over his front steps and runs out to the school-bus which promptly departs for the next child.

“Today is the day.” Benjamin said to himself. Completely lost in thought as he clutched a brown paper bag containing his lunch. Benjamin found the first available seat on the bus and plopped himself down.

As Benjamin thought about the grandiose, beautiful words he would first speak to Jennifer, his mind took him on a journey, through the positives and the negatives, the probable and the impossible outcome of their first conversation.

Benjamin knew that he would see Jennifer in his 2nd period class, starting at 9:45 A.M. Jennifer always sat in the front row, two desks from the left, and Benjamin always sat in the last row, 2 seats from the right. But not today! Today Benjamin was determined to sit right next to Jennifer, and he would leave his first class immediately as the bell rang and sprint to his next class.

While Benjamin was lost in thought, the school-bus arrived at his school, Jefferson Middle School, named after Benjamin’s favorite founding father, Thomas Jefferson.

When the bus stopped, all of the other kids quickly walked off the bus, leaving Benjamin alone, filled with his plans for the day, and already enjoying the happiness success would bring.