*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
When my mother was a teenager, she was madly in love with the young neighborhood man she was dating. Unfortunately, he kept trying to break up with her.
My mother's boyfriend wanted to experiment with dating other young women. My mother felt if he really loved her, then she would be enough. She told him he was being petty and childish, and she refused to agree to the breakup.
One day, my mother's boyfriend called her and told her they needed to sit down and have a serious talk. She didn't know what to expect, but she had a bad feeling about the conversation.
They met at the park, and my mother's boyfriend told her when he was ready to get married, she was the one he would choose. He said he would pick her over anyone else. Unfortunately, there was a catch.
He told her he was going into the army. "I'll let you know when I return," he told her.
My mother wasn't a happy camper. She felt brokenhearted. My mother took little consolation from the fact that he'd said he would choose to marry her if he got married at all. For now, he was going away into the army, and there wasn't a thing she could do about it.
She did not wait for him.
My mother told me her hurt feelings replaced her feelings of love, and then her hurt feelings turned to anger. She wanted to get revenge in the only way she could.
She began dating someone new. My mother and her new beau dated briefly before getting married. She didn't forget her old beau, but she did her best.
Two years after her boyfriend dumped her to join the army, my mother was walking to the pharmacy when a car pulled up alongside her. It was him. He had finally returned for her.
His timing couldn't have been worse. By then, she was newlywed and pregnant with her first child.
"What have you done?" he cried. "I told you I would come back for you."
My mother told her former beau that she was a married woman and soon she would be a mother, too.
He begged her to get in his car and run away with him. He even said he would marry her and raise her child as his own, but she turned him away. It was too late.
"I was tempted to go with him," my mother told me, "but how could I leave your father for a man who joined the army just to get away from me? Clearly, I couldn't trust him."
Sadly, my mother still has feelings for her first boyfriend. She wonders what could have been if he had married her before he left for the army. Unfortunately, she will never know.
What do you think? Comments are welcome.