Love me tender

by licoricelegs, Chatham, ON

He was my cousin Ralph’s best friend. He was always around. Suddenly he seemed to be paying attention to me…not to Ralph. He asked me out on a date. I was scared. My first date….and he was an older boy…..three years my senior.

He seemed to be everything I’d ever dreamed about. He was attentive and funny and he had the most incredible piercing blue eyes. The fact that he was blond, rich and the most popular guy in our school didn’t hurt either. But, was he the one?

All summer he courted me; took me to the beach; fancy restaurants and taught me how to play golf. I was sure that he was the one. Then Jerry stopped calling. I saw him with another girl. He ignored me. I was devastated. I cried myself to sleep more nights than I want to admit. Gradually the pain lessened and I moved on with my life.

I started dating Gregory, the son of my father’s boss. He was nice….but something was missing. Then one evening at the country club dance, Jerry cut in while we were dancing. I didn’t even want to look at him. He’d hurt me so deeply. I’ll never forget that moment for as long as I live. He put his hand under my chin and forced me to look at him. Then he poured his heart out to me. Told me that he loved me, that he’d gotten scared by the intensity of his feelings and like a fool had run. He explained that his parents had been putting pressure on him to see other people, not to be getting so serious when college was just months away. Then he confessed that he couldn’t stand to live without me another day. He begged me to take him back. Jerry kissed me right there on the dance floor with everyone looking on.

We got back together that very night. Jerry and I both went on to different colleges, but we were true to each other. The month after I graduated college, we married. Our love was blessed with four beautiful daughters and a son. Jerry is a successful architect and I run my own catering business. After a rough start to our romance, I’m glad that I gave Jerry a second chance and listened to my heart.