Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

The Ones Who Got Away

on May 15, 2015

Spinstered the Novel begins with this story:

Young Love

Photo by Susie Jarvis/Waterkopf Photography.

I fell in love with Lawrence Poole at the coy and clueless age of seven. He gave me a pink wildflower and a whisper-wet peck on the cheek after he caught me under the monkey bars during a lunchtime game of tag. In that moment, I was smitten. Not so much with Lawrence. Oh, he was nice enough and cute as corn. But the girl in me liked the boy in him and that was enough. I followed him around the playground like a homeless puppy, hoping for more. I didn’t know what I wanted more of. I just couldn’t forget how that kiss made me feel.

Three years later, Lawrence stopped coming to school. “Leukemia,” I heard Mom say to Dad one night. The next day, she took me to visit the first boyfriend I never had. He didn’t talk much as he floated in a pool of fluffy, white pillows, his skin blending in with the hospital sheets. I wanted to ask him why he only kissed me once, but the room was full of soft-talking parents with sad eyes. So, I sat in a folding chair by the bed and chattered on about all the homework I had to do and how I wished Mrs. Effelbaum would stop blowing her coffee breath in my face when she helped me with math. Mom didn’t tell me I was there to say good-bye. When he died a few weeks later the whole class cried. And, somehow, I felt more alone than ever.


This story is, in fact, based on truth. My first crush was a boy named Lawrence in grade school, he did get sick, and my mom took me to visit him not long before he died. That’s what I remember. I created the rest of the story for the purpose of fiction.

Lawrence, of course, wasn’t my only childhood crush. My first official boyfriend was Calvin in eighth grade. He had red hair and a quiet soul. It lasted about two weeks. Years later, I heard he had died after being hit by a train.

Apparently, I’m the Typhoid Mary of young love. As far as I know, though, no other object of my affection has passed away. Still, it’s awful sad.

I’ve found myself reminiscing about lost loves this past week. An incident at the high school where I teach triggered the memories. It got me thinking about the boys who liked me and didn’t say anything and the ones I liked but who didn’t like me and the few who asked me out, but I turned them down.

And, in many of these cases, I don’t know why. I sensed potential. If only potential had transformed into a relationship. Just once. Then I’d be married.

Of course, then I wouldn’t be here. Since I firmly believe here is where God wants me, then I also have to believe I didn’t actually lose anything. It’s pointless—and only adds to the heartbreak—to sit and ponder “what-ifs” and “might-have-beens.”

All of this to say, I hope one day I’ll truly be at peace with the knowledge that I didn’t miss my chance. That Mr. Right didn’t saunter through my door only to have me kick him out. That I didn’t wait too long or want too much.

I need to believe I didn’t thwart God’s plan. (Can God’s plan be thwarted?) Though I still trust He has someone for me, I’m free to stop worrying that he’s already come and gone.

Are you worried you missed your chance? What are your feelings today about the ones who got away?


One response to “The Ones Who Got Away

  1. nosyjosie says:

    I just wrote my post about this! Go take a look, if you have time. All 400 words of my thoughts on this are there. lol

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