Aspen opened the box with her hands shaking and she busted out laughing when she saw it…it was a beautiful white gold ring with a pink heart in the middle and little diamonds on the side. Matt told her that he saw it and he thought of her so he had to get it. She told Matt that he almost gave her a heart attack especially when he was always asking what kind of engagement ring etc she would want one day. Aspen laughed and laughed and laughed and told him she thought he was going to propose. Matt laughed too and said “Well dang I’m glad I didn’t or I would have been embarrassed”. They ate their meal and Aspen was having a really good time. OHHHHH yeah Aspen said …open your gift up. She handed Matt the card and he read it slowly…when he got to the end he started smiling really hard and Aspen said welllll…..? Matt just smiled and said finally you’re mine. Usually they would go back to Matt’s house after a date and just chill with everyone but Aspen told Matt just to take her home because she was very exhausted.
When she walked in the house her brother Luke was on the phone. “Who are you talking to now?” Ooooo it’s just Caitlin said Matt. Well tell her I said heyyyy Aspen said and he told her. Aspen laid in bed and thought about the college applications she had put in a few weeks earlier. She had put an application into ECU University because they had a really good nursing program and that’s what Aspen had always wanted to do since she was a little girl. I can’t believe I’m graduating in a month she thought. Time was really flying and she began to wonder weither she did the right thing with getting into another relationship before she went off to school. Aspen’s mom came in and handed her an envelope. This came for you today she said. Aspen looked at It and it said East Carolina University. This was it…her whole life depended on this moment. Grace just stood there and Aspen told her that she didn’t want to read it with anyone around so Grace stepped out. Her heart started pounding veryyyyy verryyyy fast…she slowly opened it and pulled out the letter…Congratulations you have been accepted into the University Of East Carolina….I GOT IN!!!!! She was so happy she started jumping up and down…she ran into her mom’s room and said I got in!!!! grace was sooo happyyyyy for her but soon she got a worried look on her face. Aspen how are we going to pay for this? You know we don’t have that kind of money…Aspen said don’t worry about that I’ll take out some loans..It will alllll work out! She went back and laid in her bed..she knew she wouldn’t be getting any sleep tonight….boy was some changes coming!
Matt came out of the cash office and Aspen asked what was wrong?? He told Aspen that Ryan had bought her the same cupcakes on purpose and that it was obvious that he liked Aspen. Aspen told him that he was over thinking the situation and that Ryan was just being friendly. Matt just said yeah whatever and they went on with their night. Matt asked Aspen if she wanted to go to his house later on and she said ok. Once at Matt’s house his sister Shannon was drinking a wine cooler just chilling on the couch. Aspen sat next to her and they started talking. Aspen even decided to partake in a wine cooler. Aspen was just sitting on the couch admiring how pretty Shannon was. She was in cosmetology school and was amazing at doing hair. Aspen even had the courage to say yes when Shannon asked if she could cut her hair. Aspen had loooong brown hair half way down her back and she felt like she wanted something different. She told Shannon she wanted a long blonde bob so Shannon eagerly went to work. While Shannon was doing Aspen’s hair she got the courage to finally ask Shannon where she was making all her money. Shannon explained to Aspen that Hazel (Matts Mom) was in the entertainment business as a Dancer (stripper) at a nice club downtown. When Hazel got into an accident and couldn’t work for a few months they had to do something because Hazel brought in most of the income for the household. Shannon agreed she would try the dancing at her mother’s club and make some money to help out. Aspen could not believe what she was hearing. There’s no way that Shannon and Hazel could be strippers. In her mind she saw strip clubs as a place where girls would strip completely naked and do bad things for money. Shannon cleared Aspen’s mind and said I know what you are thinking. I use to think the same thing until I actually starting working a the club. I do not get completely naked and there is absolutely not touching involved. I get to wear cute little outfits. Dance…and literally get paid massive amounts of money for just looking pretty. Aspen began to think that didn’t sound too bad but she also wondered why Matt had never bothered to tell her about any of this. After Shannon was done with Aspen’s hair she looked into the mirror and woaaaahhhh did she look different. She looked sassy and had a new energy upon her. When she saw Matt he said lord you look good. Aspen smiled because she knew she did. She hugged Shannon because Shannon was off to work for the night and Matt drove her home. He told Aspen don’t forget about our Valentines Day date tomm. after work. Aspen told him she wouldn’t and went into the house.
The next day Aspen was thinking to herself what the perfect Valentines Day would be that she could get Matt. It’s not particularly easy to shop for a guy especially on Valentine’s Day. So she decided she would get a card and write something very special in it. She found the perfect card and at the bottom she signed the answer to your question is yes…I will be your girlfriend. Aspen smiled to herself as she wrote this because Matt had been trying for months for Aspen to finally say yes to him but Aspen just wasn’t ready. She put the card in the envelope and headed for work. When she got to work Matt and Ryan were both standing in the cashier’s box side by side and matt came down and kissed Aspen on the cheek and handed her some Roses and a bear. He told her he had something special to give her later that night and Aspen agreed she had something to give him too. Ryan just looked at Matt and rolled his eyes and went back to the back office. Aspen noticed that Ryan wasn’t really talking to Aspen as usual so she decided to walk back to the back and speak to him. Whats up Ryyy? Ryan was just like hey very blandly. Whats wrong? Nothing said Ryan just trying to get some work done. OOO okay said Aspen. Guess what said Aspen? What Ryan Said? Aspen told him about what she was planning to do with the card and that her and Matt were finally going to be official. Ryan looked very bothered and Aspen could tell that. Aspen you are way to good for that guy don’t put yourself in that predicament. I think we’ll be just fineeee said Aspen and plus you shouldn’t be so jealous in the first place. Ryan just huffed and went back to his work. Aspen walked to the front of the store because it was almost 10:00 and they were about to close. She thought to herself how much she loved that little store and how she saw just so happy in that moment. She got to the front and Matt asked if she was ready to go. They got into his car and he told her that he was taking her to Tripp’s Steakhouse. She loved that place. When they finally got there the restraint was dimly lit and there was still a few couples in the restraunt. Aspen was surprised because it was getting close to closing time for them. She looked at the menu and she couldn’t wait to order because she had skipped dinner that night earlier. She decided she was going to order the steak and lobster tail combination and Matt ordered the same. Matt was just grinning at Aspen and she said whattttt Matt and he said nothing…Im just admiring how pretty you are. Aspen said thinks jokingly and took a sip out of her sweet tea. Their food finally arrived to the table and it looked heavenlyyy…She could just smell the lobster and steak combination and the garlic butter on the side. Before she could get a bite in Matt said I got something for you and slip a little blue box on the table. Aspen went cold because it looked like a ring box. Matt said well don’t just sit there go ahead and open it….Aspens arm started shaking as she picked up the ring box…This can’t be …can it????……
Aspen didn’t text Matt back that night because she honestly just didn’t want to deal with it anymore. He constantly called and texted her for a week and even started to get his friends to call and text Aspen. If anything this was just making Aspen more angry. Eventually she picked up the phone one night when he had literally called her back to back over 10 times….WHAT DO YOU WANT???!!!! “Aspen I just want to make things right…I miss you” Well its over Matt, Please stop calling me before I have to block your number…this is really getting pathetic and quite creepy. Eventually the phone calls and texts started getting fewer and fewer as time went on and Aspen was very relieved. While at work one night a new guy came from the back office and introduced himself to everyone…My name is Ryan and i’m going to be your new store manager. He seemed like he was actually kind of nervous and was trying to hide it by acting really energetic and happy. Aspen could tell he was uncomfortable though by the way his face turned red. He looked really young and Aspen wondered how old he was. He told everyone that since he was new and this would be his first new night working that he would buy everyone pizza. Matt walked over to Aspen’s register and said I don’t think I like him already. Aspen asked why? He seemed really nice?…must be because its a new male in the place and she laughed as she said this. Matt and Aspen usually would talk all night while at work and just play around. They worked at a smaller Lowes in town so no one really shopped there much like they did the Bigger one on the other side of town. When the Pizza got to work that night Ryan told Aspen that she could help herself to a piece of pizza and Aspen denied. OOOO so you’re too good for my Pizza huh? He said with a smile. Aspen couldn’t help but to smile. Matt caught sight of that and he didn’t like it.
Aspen’s 18th birthday was coming up in a week and she could not wait! She had started talking to Ryan more and soon they became really good friends. They were into a lot of the same stuff so sometimes when the night got slow at work he would walk up front and talk to Aspen at the register. Matt was an office assistant so he would have to count registers at the end of the night and had a cube high off the ground that overlooked all the registers. Every time Ryan would come up front to talk to Aspen he would huff and puff and wouldn’t really talk to Aspen for the rest of the night. Ryan sensed this and he would come up front more often just to make Matt mad or either call Aspen to the back to chill in his office for a few hours and just talk. When Aspen finally walked back up to the front it was just Matt standing at the register since it was close to 10:00 pm which was closing time. She went and shoved Matt just playing and he wouldn’t even look at her. “Matt what’s your deal”? “You know what my deal is..you’ve been talking to Ryan all night and have barely talked to me”. Well I’m sorry.. Aspen said I didn’t think it would be such a big ordeal since you know I’m not your girlfriend or anything. Matt just huffed and puffed…you’re right..im sorry I overreact I just like you a lot. Aspen said it was ok and they were fine. “So what kind of cake are you wanting for your birthday”? Aspen told Matt that she had asked her parents for a John Deere tractor cake because she was obsessed. I guess I can just wing the cake Matt said. It was Saturday and Aspen’s birthday was finally here. She decided she would work day shift that day because she had a car payment to make. She walked into the office and Matt came in behind her with the prettiest John Deere themed cupcakes Aspen had ever seen! They had the farm scene…the rows…the tractors. Everything that she could have wanted on them. She was so shocked! Thank you Matt you are the best! She said as she hugged him. Not so fast she heard as Ryan stepped through the office with a cupcake John Deere arrangement just as appealing as Matts was. Matts whole face changed and Aspen could tell he was angry as he stepped out of the office. “I overheard you saying you liked John Deere so I decided to get you some cupcakes”. Aspen smiled and said she appreciated it. Well Happy Birthday Aspen Ryan said as he stepped out the office. Aspen felt so special because usually she didn’t have people who would bring her stuff like that. When she stepped out the office and logged into her cash register she saw matt in the Office Assistant box just shaking his head. OOOOO boyyyyy here we go againnnnnnn
Aspen and Matt talked about everything on the way to his home. She told him all about her troubled child hood. About her mother who still couldn’t give up alcohol. Aspen’s mother Grace was a completely different person once she started drinking. She would pick an argument about any and everything. When Grace drank Aspen could feel a small level of hatred surface. Grace always seemed to want to play the victim and she always felt like someone was out to get her. Grace would call Aspen and her brother Luke very name in the book when she was intoxicated including her favorite words for Aspen “B****” and “W****”. Aspen told Matt she could never understand why it was so hard to put the Cisco down. Aspen told Matt that if she ever had kids she would never put them through what Grace had put her and her bother through. About an hr later Matt pulled up to a house on the lake. It was the weirdest arrangement she had ever seen. There was a doublewide but it was connected to a trailer by a very large front walkway. It all seemed to flow very nicely and it was a very pretty housing arrangement. Aspen felt very nervous as she opened the door to get out. She had no idea what to expect as she walked up to the first house (the doublewide). Matt knocked and walked right in. Hey Mom and Greg this is Aspen the girl I was telling you guys about. Both of Matt’s Parents said hey right away and was very welcoming. Matt’s Parents told them to have a seat and asked if they wanted anything to drink. Matt’s mom Hazel had just made some sweet tea. Aspen agreed to the drink and boyyyyy was it delicious. Probably one of the best batches she had ever had. They asked Aspen the usual. About her family. Where she went to school. And how she met Matt. Aspen felt the nervousness brush right off and she felt right at home. Two little blonde hair girls came out of their room and came up to Aspen. One of the little girls told Aspen that she was very pretty and Aspen could feel herself blush. Hazel told the little girls it was way past their bedtimes and they needed to go back to bed. They giggled and ran back to their room. Matt asked Aspen if she wanted to go over to his side of the house and meet his older sister and little brother and Aspen agreed. They walked over to the trailer and went right in. Aspen though how cool to have literally a house to themselves. They had three bedrooms…two baths…a kitchen..and a living room..all to themselves and they were all in their teenage years. They walked into the living room and Matt introduced Aspen to his sister first whose name was Shannon and his brother whose name was Mitchell. Shannon was sitting on the living room couch with a friend and was counting a lot of money and putting it into an envelope in her pocketbook. She told her friend she had made 2000 last night and Aspen wondered what it was that she did. Mitchell was drinking a beer and asked if Aspen wanted one and of course Aspen said no. They all sat around and talked for awhile and Aspen told Matt that she probably needed to get home since it was getting late. Matt drove Aspen home and she thanked him for a wonderful night. This was the best Aspen had felt in awhile and she felt her phone ding. It was a message from Matt’s sister Shannon on Myspace…She said she was glad Matt was finally hanging out with a nice girl. Aspen blushed because Shannon was a reallyyy pretty girl who was 2 years older than Aspen. Aspen sent her a message back and said me too!
When Aspen walked into the house her brother Luke was sitting on the couch texting on his phone. She was very surprised that Luke was even home. Luke seemed to never be home once he turned 17. He was always at a party or hanging out at someones house. He asked how Aspen’s night went and Aspen said great. She asked Luke who he was texting and he said a girl named Caitlin. Of course Aspen was nosy and looked her up on Myspace. She had seen this girl named Caitlin comment on some of her brother’s stuff so she looked into it. She saw her picture and thought she was a very pretty girl but she was also only 15. And she just turned 15. She gave Luke a half look and told him you better be careful this girl is much younger than you. Matt said it wasn’t really anything serious and laughed. Aspen went to her room and plopped on her bed. Wow this was the best night she had ever had…right when she was thinking this she looked down and saw a text from her ex boyfriend Matt…Can we talk? Aspen thought not againnnnnn.
Matt pulled into the drive way and she watched him as he walked up to her house. She could tell he was nervous and boy did he have a right to be…when he got to the big front porch he leaned in to kiss Aspen and she pulled away. He said “What is your problem”??! Aspen told him that she just needed space and the relationship just wasn’t working for her anymore. He kept ignoring everything she was telling him and kept saying that he could do better and be better and he didn’t want to lose her. Aspen told him that she just didn’t feel the same about him anymore but she was very thankful that she had such a pure first love and would forever be grateful for him. Eventually he got the drift and she told him that she hoped they could still be friends. She felt a little sad inside because she knew that she possibly hurt him. After Matt left Aspen just sat on her front porch for a while and looked at the beautiful sunset going down. She loved living in the country and being able to hear the crickets and smell the fresh crisp air. Even though she felt horrible about breaking up with Matt she somehow felt a burden come off her chest. She heard her phone ding and when she looked down it was a text from Matt Ashens. Aspen sent him a text and said guess what?? and then once he replied what??? Aspen told him that she was finally single. Matt called her right away and asked if he could take her on a date finally. Aspen agreed to go out the following Saturday but made sure to let matt know that she wasn’t rushing into anything and she wanted to take everything slow.
Matt pulled into the driveway on that Saturday and Aspen had to explain to her parents why there was a new guy in her driveway. Aspen’s parents had grew to love Matt and how sweet he was. Aspen explained the situation in a hurry and told them all about the new Matt. Aspen’s mom was always skeptical about anything new as well as her stepfather. Matt walked up to the porch and introduced himself to her parents right away. As Aspen got into his car and they were headed out she asked where they were going and he advised it was a surprise. They finally got to their destination and she realized he had taken her to the Cheesecake factory. The cheesecake factory was a very fancy restraint especially living in the south with not too many options. They walked in and the restraunt was very dimly lit with candles on each table. Once they got to the table the waiter handed them menus and Aspen felt very uncomfortable looking at the prices. She always felt uncomfortable when she knew someone had to buy her food. Matt seemed to sense this and told Aspen she could order whatever she liked. She still went for a cheap option. Matt told Aspen that he had waited for forever to finally be able to take her out and he was very happy she said yes. He also asked after dinner if it was ok if they went and hung out with his family on the lake. Aspen felt a little uncomfortable with meeting his family so quick but she agreed that it was ok…..boyyyyy was she in for a treat!
Matt Ashens was a very shy down to earth quiet guy but he went above and beyond to get Aspen to notice him. Matt and his friend DJ tried for two whole weeks to get Aspen to hang out with them before she finally said ok. Aspen thought in her head there’s nothing wrong with going out with two guys friends and it doesn’t mean anything. Aspen was never the one to really keep secrets but she thought it would be best to keep this secret from her boyfriend. They went and saw a movie that night and then decided to go to pizza hut. Matt kept calling Aspen all night and finally she answered it. “Where are you at”? Aspen answered “I’m at a friend’s house studying Matt, ill talk to you tomorrow”. Matt had really been getting on Aspen’s nerves lately and it seemed like everything he was doing seemed to irritate her a lot more lately. She was especially tired of his cheapness and barely ever being taken anywhere. The thrill of those back roads soon got tiring and Aspen had been thinking more lately that she deserved better. When they all got to Pizza Hut everyone was acting really weird and when the check came Matt took it and told Aspen that he would pay for her. She told him that it was ok and she didn’t expect him to do that but he said that he wanted to. Aspen thought to her self this is new and she wasn’t really use to it.
A week went by and it was Valentines Day. Aspen wasn’t really that thrilled because she had to work that night which left little room for anything. Her boyfriend Matt had come by with a Valentines Day card and a stray dog he had picked up on the side of the road on the way over. Aspen loved dogs but she thought to herself this is really getting old that he couldn’t even afford to give her a decent Valentines Day gift especially when she had went alllllll out for him. Now don’t get me wrong Aspen was nowhere near shallow but what you have to understand is Matt never would keep a job longer than a month. He gave up descent jobs and always made an excuse of why he didn’t want to work there. Aspen made up an excuse that she had to go into work earlier than usual just so she could get away from him because she was sort of irritated by the whole situation.
When Aspen had got to work everyone was just smiling at her and she thought this was realllyyyy weird. DJ Matt’s friend asked her if she could come look at the back of the store inventory with him and make sure he had gotten an accurate count. So Aspen followed him to the back thinking nothing of it. When she got to the very back of the Store there was Matt standing there with a human size teddy bear (you know the biggest ones available) a dozen roses and some chocolate. Aspen did not know what to say but she did know that she was very flattered. She told Matt you know I have a boyfriend and he’s probably not going to be happy that I have another guy giving me gifts..Matt assured her that it was just a friendly gift because he had overheard her talking to her friend Ashley about never getting roses for Valentines Day. Aspen seemed to like matt a lot more after that very kind gesture and they started texting a lot more after that day. Aspen knew she wasn’t being fair to her 1st love and at this point she knew she had to let it go. She asked if he could come over and talk and she was shaking knowing what she was about to do. She knew Matt was very dramatic and knew it was not going to be an easy break up….she saw his head lights coming up the road and she started to panic…this is it…I have to do what I have to do….
Aspen and Matt spent a lot of time together after their first date…and eventually Matt asked Aspen to be his girl friend. Aspen fell so hard for this country boy with the deep blue eyes. They met each other families…shared holidays…and eventually Aspen decided this was the guy she wanted to be her “first”. For a couple weeks before all her friends talked about having sex and how it wasn’t a big deal and Aspen began to feel like she was the only one who hadn’t done it. Matt never pressured her to do anything and he was verrrry respectful whenever they were together. Of course like any teenage couple they would kiss…hug..rub..etc but eventually Aspen felt like this was the guy she wanted her first time to be with. Aspen and Matt were hanging out at his house one Saturday and his parents weren’t home and that was it she told Matt she was ready and they finally did it. About an hr later one of Matt’s little sisters came in with the condom in a zip lock bag…apparently Matt went to flush the condom down the toilet and the condom had came back up and the sister decided she was going to get him in trouble by telling his mom. His mom was very angry and said that Aspen and Matt should not be messing around since he was 18 at the time and Aspen could press charges if she wanted. Aspen was completely mortified and extremely embarrassed.
For the next few weeks Aspen didn’t even want to go to Matts house because she was completely embarrassed to be around his family so she would make excuses as to other things that they could do. Months and years went by…Aspen was now a senior in high school. Aspen was the goody goody type of girl…sure she lost her virginity one week before she turned 16 but she always took school seriously and maintained a 4.0 GPA. Soon Aspen got her first job at Lowes Foods as a cashier and decided to wanted to start saving for her first car. Grace and Mark didn’t have substantial money to just Aspen and her brother Luke first cars so they were taught they had to work for what they had. On Aspen’s first day at work she was so extremely nervous. She didn’t have the slightest idea what she was doing but she actually turned out to catch on rather quick. While she was closing her register on the first night of work a guy walked up to Aspen and introduced himself as Matt. He said it was such a pleasure to meet her. She noticed he had been smiling at her off and on all night..she thought to herself here we go….