I met my first boyfriend the summer before I started the 7th grade. Only problem was, I didn’t know he was going to be my first boyfriend then. It started out innocently enough; a friend of Mom’s gathered up a bunch of neighborhood kids and took us to the local root beer stand one hot July afternoon. He was just one of the group. Annoying me, teasing me, picking on me. Looking back, I understand that’s how 13 year old guys show how they like a girl, but at the time, I just thought he was annoying. Cute but annoying. If I had only known how that trip to the root beer stand would change my life!
A couple of months later, I’m trying to adjust to life in Junior High and who should appear at my locker one morning but the annoying guy from the root beer stand! We were in choir together so I’d seen him around school but I didn’t think he had paid any attention to me. After all he was an 8th grader and I was a lowly 7th grader. He said he had a class in that hallway and was waiting for his class to start. It wasn’t until he started appearing at my locker every day I figured out that he wasn’t waiting for class to start, he was waiting for me! OMG!! A cute boy!!! Waiting for me!!! EVERY DAY!!! It wasn’t too long after that, he asked me to a school dance. As they say, the rest was history.
We dated for two years. We were a happy little couple. We went to football games at the high school. He walked me to just about every one of my classes every day. He was brave enough to eat the stuff I cooked in Home Ec. I was amazed at his beautiful singing voice. My first movie date was with him when he took me to see Rocky. During summer vacation, we went roller skating on Saturday afternoons. We were inseparable. Mom called us “Mutt and Jeff” because he was about a foot taller than me. He was my Prince Charming and I was his beautiful princess and we were sure we’d be together forever.
So you’re wondering what happened to end such a beautiful relationship. I wish I had a good answer for that one. We never fought. We were happy. But my Prince Charming was going to the high school and I was afraid of being left behind. I let my insecurities get the better of me and I left him before he could leave me. My heart was broken but I knew he’d fight for me and come charging back on his white horse and all would be well in the kingdom again. Well, my plan backfired. Things were said and things were done that neither one of us could take back. And my fairy tale was gone forever. There were times over the years that we tried to fix the mistake but the hurt was too deep . . . the loss was too painful to get past. The last time I saw him in 1983 was so painful I could hardly look him in the face. So we went our separate ways always to wonder what might have been. I thought about him often and wondered how he was doing. I prayed that he was happy, healthy, and well loved by someone who would appreciate him for the wonderful gentle soul that he was/is. I always had a strong desire to apologize and ask him to forgive me for being so cruel to him.
Fast forward 30 some odd years (I was very young when I met Prince Charming). I’m surfing on F@ceb**k when I see a familiar name. No, it can’t be!! Could it? After all these years of trying to find him to apologize he shows up as a friend of a friend on F@ceb**k?! Yea, it looks like him. Yea, the description sounds like him. I sat and looked at his picture for a few minutes before I decided to send the friend request. Will he remember me? Does he still hate me for what happened? Had life given him the gifts I prayed for him to have? He accepted my friend request almost instantly. Wow. Now what do I do? Do I send a chat message or an email. I was so excited that I didn’t know what to do . . . so I did nothing.
A few weeks ago, he contacted me with a chat request. A simple “Hi” were the first words we had spoken in 33 years. The conversation was a bit tentative at first because neither one of us knew what to expect. After like the third sentence, I blurted out that I was sorry for breaking his heart and I read the most beautiful sentence I’ve ever seen . . . “That’s okay. I understand now. You don’t need to apologize.” And then he proceeded to apologize to me for the things that he had done in response to the break-up that had hurt me. And I told him the same thing, that he didn’t need to apologize. For all these years, we had both carried massive loads of guilt for the pain that we had caused each other but we never knew what to do to fix it. He told me that he had forgiven me many years ago and had also been looking for me to apologize and make amends for the hurt in our past. Finally, I had the answers to the questions I had carried in my heart all these years. He forgave me and I forgave him. We were finally at peace with that painful chapter of our lives.
I am so thankful that God answered my prayers. My Prince Charming is happy, and healthy, and is happily married to a wonderful woman that is the love of his life. In addition to that, God gave me an even greater gift . . . He gave me back my childhood friend. Prince Charming has forgiven me for what happened between us all those years and said he still considers me a friend. I am a very lucky girl . . . and all I had to do was be brave enough to take the first step . . .