In 9th grade, I fell in love with a boy. Blonde and blue-eyed. Wistless. Rebellious.
In 10th grade, I moved away. But before I left, a photo was taken of us. Black and white film. A perfect image of our backs bent over the railing of a wooden bridge in a shaded park, our heads leaned in close.
Parting was such cinematic sorrow.
Three years and a high school boyfriend later, I returned. Our visit was distant and awkward and my soaring expectations of hearts grown fonder were well on their way to crashing and burning. By the time we said goodbye I was cold and apathetic.
But just as I was leaving, said boy silently slipped an envelope into my hand. I ravaged the seal the second I got in the car.
Inside was the photo with a love note penned on the back — poetry to my 18-year-old imagination, which quickly became the idealistic obsession that shaped my dating life for years to come.
Cue the music. Roll the credits. It was clearly meant to be.
Or was it? I didn’t marry that boy. Or any of the others who starred in the scenes of my fantasy’s most prolific period.
Today, a friend told me to read this — a beautiful reminder that love is more than grand gestures and “great stories.” It’s work and sacrifice and forgiveness and faith.
It’s a stumbling revelation, but a revelation nonetheless — the most epic romances are the ones that are real.