The Return of Ben Convington - Tia
One of the things that I don't miss about Nashville is that it is 2 degrees of Kevin Bacon. Not 6..2. If you have any kind of social life you really can't go anywhere without running into someone that you know. Sometimes it's cool. It's fun to see someone you may not have seen in a while and get to catch up. Other times it's not that great. Because, let's be honest, who really likes running into someone that you did end on good terms with?
I fully expected to run into people that I knew at the Stevie Wonder concert. I mean, it's Stevie Wonder. And most of my friends are grown. So I knew that my folks would be there. I DID NOT even think that Ben Covington would be there. I don't know why though. Being who he is, and what he used to do (and because we use our real names I can't go into too much detail or some of our Nashville readers will easily figure out who I'm talking about and then it will be a situation) I should have known that he would be there.
I first got wind that Ben was there from Toya. Apparently the people that we rode with ran into him and the girl he was with. Initially Toya didn't want to tell me that he was there. But then she thought better of it lest I run into him; at least I wouldn't be completely caught off guard. When I found out he was there I literally had to get some air and a $4 bottle of water. (By the way, the owners of the GEC are going to Hell for price gouging. And I don't mind saying it.) It has been years since the whole situation with Ben popped off but in that moment I realized that I still had some issues with him. (More on that later.)
I regained my composure and headed back inside to enjoy the show. I cried SHAMELESSLY during Overjoyed. My dad used to play that song all of the time when I was little and I fully plan to walk down the aisle to it. So needless to say to hear it sung by The Man himself darn near sent me over the edge.
As Stevie was taking his bow, I darted off to the restroom. I knew that I must have looked a mess from my unabashed crying spell and the overpriced bottle of water I consumed two hours earlier was begging to get out. So I made a mad dash to the restroom before everyone broke out. I did what I had to do and touched up my make-up and headed out.
I went back to where we'd been sitting to look for Toya and couldn't find her anywhere. I called her several times and got no answer. For a brief, terrifying moment I thought she may have found a way to get backstage with Stevie and was too caught up to answer her phone. (I found out later that her phone was on silent.) I figured rather than trying to find her while thousands of people were trying to exit I would pick a spot and stay there.
As the people were thinning and I was standing there texting Toya for the 100th time and I look up and see Ben Covington walking by. DAMMIT. I really had assumed that I'd dodged a bullet. Most everyone had left. I figured he was gone too. But of course he wasn't gone. I'm a BGLU. If he'd been gone what would I have to write about?
He walked up and gave me the awkward side church hug then introduced me to the girl he was with. He asked how I was doing and what I was doing. I filled him in on my Atlanta exploits and asked how he'd been. We chit-chatted for a while about life and the Stevie songs we wished we'd heard before the weird "we had a bad parting" silence set in. Taking the hint, he looked me in the eye and said, "We'd better go." On the inside I'm screaming, "PLEASE LEAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" But before he goes, he gave me a not so subtle once over and smiled that smile that makes most heterosexual women in the 615 KNOW there is a God and said, "You look great, by the way."
I wanted to put my heel in the crux of his back.
I was seething by the time I finally ran into Toya. And initially I couldn't figure out why. Hours later as I lay sprawled across Toya's couch I came to the realization that my feelings were still hurt. Years later I was still Lawry's about Ben Covington. And if I was being honest I was a little mad at God.
I was mad at Ben because I felt like he led me on. I felt betrayed and used. We had been friends before he decided that he wanted to be down. And then he went and ruined that. And I was mad because I never really got an answer for why. We went from clowning each other and playing dominoes, to maybe seeing if this could go somewhere, to NOTHING. I mean NOTHING. No calls, no emails, no explanation why he wasn't interested. I didn't so much care that he wasn't interested. I was just hurt that someone who I had considered my friend decided that he couldn't be man enough to tell me that he didn't want to be down. Be a man, grow a couple and tell me the truth so that I can go back to spanking you a dominoes.
And then I realized I was mad at God. In my little finite mind I didn't understand how he could have let the whole thing happen. I hadn't really been looking for a relationship at the time. And my constant prayer at that time of my life was that I didn't want anymore guy friends. I was all full up on guy friends. Hell, I had guy friends on reserve. I was over it. I didn't want anyone trying to talk to me unless he was going to be man enough for me.
I was also mad at God because I felt like he KNEW Ben was my prototype. How could he let everything that I ever wanted in a guy walk into my life only to have him turn out to be a candy-ass? (Random Aside: Ben Covington is my PROTOTYPE. I mean aside from being a candy ass. He looks like the type of guy I've always seen myself with. He knows all the music that I need someone who's going to roll with me forever to know. And I frankly didn't even know a guy like him existed until I met him. I knew what I wanted but I'd never seen it. Then here he comes...)
On the drive home from Nashville I finally just gave up. The night before Toya made a good point. "You may not ever get an answer. You just have to know that it's the past and move on." In Lessons Learned, Alicia Keys said, "It's called the past 'cause I'm getting past. And I ain't nothing like I was before. You ought to see me now." I realized that I HAD to give up the past. I can't change it. And letting my heart still hurt, hurts no one but me. Ben Covington is doing his thing and I can't be mad at that. I now have to move on and do mine.
I began to praise God. I began to worship. Without motive or assumption. I just began to sing praises because I knew that I needed to. In those 3 hours in the car I let God have my heart. And by the time I got home I realized that my salty feelings toward Ben won't last if I don't let them. And I realized that if God created one Ben Covington then there is probably another one. One who isn't a candy-ass. So I'm going to do my thing. And when (I say when because Nashville is a small town no matter what they say.) I see him again I will be able to look at him and know, "He's just the past."
Although, I can't promise I won't want to put my heel in his back on general principal.