A little boy promises to marry his friend when they grow up and returns to their promised spot every year for her. 56 years later, she finally goes there, but he is heartbroken to realize she is not alone.
Johnny was a little boy of 8 when he held Sandra's hand and said, "I promise I will marry you one day, Sandra! That will make our friendship stronger! I will never break that promise. I hope you will remember your promise too."
Sandra cracked a smile. "I WON'T BREAK MY PROMISE EITHER, Johnny! I will have a beautiful wedding dress then. But mom says we change when we become adults. How will I know it's you when I see you?"
"That's stupid! How silly is she? I will never change!" Johnny thought carefully. Then he pulled a notebook from his backpack and scribbled down the address of the park where they often played after classes.
Little Johnny and Sandra promised they would marry each other. | Source: Pexels
Sandra and Johnny lived next door to each other and were good friends. They attended different schools and frequently spent time together after classes before heading home. Their bus stop was near the park, and they got off around the same time.
The day they made promises to each other was the beginning of their summer holidays. Sandra and her parents were moving to a new neighborhood during the break and Johnny feared he'd never see her again.
As a pact to strengthen their friendship, they promised to meet again at the park one summer. And before leaving, they exchanged notes as a testimony to their promise.
Years later, when he was old enough to marry, Johnny came to the park every summer, waiting for Sandra. His heart sank with each year that passed without seeing her, but he refused to give up. Year after year, he returned to the park with the note.
One year, while he was sitting on a bench, a tiny girl raced up to the bench and sat next to him. He was so deep in thought that he didn't notice her until she giggled and exclaimed, "Gran! I'm here!"
The little girl had come to the park with someone special. | Source: Pexels
Startled by the sudden distraction, Johnny looked at her and froze in disbelief after catching a clear glimpse of her face. She was a vivid image of young Sandra.
Soon after, his gaze was drawn to an older woman walking toward the girl and he got up from his bench, unable to believe what his eyes saw. The woman was Sandra! She had aged a lot but she was still the most beautiful woman in his eyes. His wait was finally over after 56 years.
There's no age or time to pursue your love.
Johnny's eyes welled at her sight, but he felt a sharp pain when he realized the small girl had called her "Gran!" Sandra married and broke their promise? Johnny was crushed by the very thought of it.
As Sandra approached the bench, she hugged the little girl and smiled. "You naughty little thing! You enjoy bothering Gran, don't you? I'll tell Cynthia that you always trouble me...." She pouted her lips and the little girl, Anne, smiled.
"Gran! You're so silly! You always complain to mom about me. I'm going to play! Bye-bye!" she cried and ran away.
Anne's grandmother was none other than Sandra. | Source: Pexels
Sandra grinned as she sat down on the bench. "Oh, this girl! She's growing up far too quickly..."
Johnny was at a loss for what to do at this point. He couldn't decide whether to confront Sandra or not, but he knew his heart wouldn't rest until he found out why she didn't keep her promise. He braced himself and finally asked her.
"Sandra?" he asked gently, tilting his head towards her, and she looked up, puzzled. "Yes? How may I help you?"
Johnny's eyes welled up again as he showed her the note. "Just wanted to ask if you remember this," he replied and that's when it hit Sandra.
"Oh my God, Johnny? I - I didn't even …. How have you been?" she asked, a wave of guilt washing over her as she stared at the note and realized she hadn't kept their promise.
"I was doing fine until now, Sandra," he complained. "I'm surprised I was the only one who came back here like an idiot, believing you'd be waiting for me. It seems that it's already too late. You appear to be content with your life. I'm not sure there's anything else to say..."
Sandra and Johnny had a heartfelt conversation. | Source: Pexels
With that, he picked up his coat and hat from the arm of the bench and prepared to leave. But Sandra's words stopped him in his tracks. "What if I said I was waiting for you but didn't have the courage to confront you?" she asked and Johnny looked directly into her eyes.
"Please have a seat, Johnny. Don't you think it's unfair that you don't let me explain? You may leave, or you may take a seat and listen to what I have to share. The choice is yours," she replied.
After a thought, he decided to give her a chance. "It better be worthwhile, though…." he muttered as he took a seat next to her.
Sandra took a deep breath and said, "It all started when I married my husband..."
It turns out Sandra's husband abandoned her after she became pregnant with her daughter, Cynthia. She was beyond broken and didn't know what to do. But after Cynthia was born, she resolved to give her daughter the best of everything, so she put her life on hold and focused solely on Cynthia's happiness.
Sandra revealed how difficult life had been for her. | Source: Pexels
"Call me selfish if you want," she added. "But I believe every mother is selfish for her children like I was. I never looked at any man after my marriage ended, Johnny.
"I wanted to return to you, but I didn't have the courage to look you in the eyes. I was ashamed of the broken woman I was, trying to provide a good life for my daughter... "
Having heard Sandra's side of the story, Johnny felt terrible. How could he judge her like that? If he had suffered while waiting for her, she too had a difficult life.
Johnny decided to put the past behind them and apologized. "I'm sorry," he said quietly. "I was too quick to pass judgment on you … Someone rightly said that God saves the best for last. Maybe we were supposed to meet again like this."
At that, Sandra smiled. "And I would love to keep our promise even though it's a bit late…."
Sandra and Johnny decided to give each other a chance after 56 years and got married. Anne was happy that her grandma finally got her "prince charming." Apparently, Sandra had told her plenty of stories about Johnny and how much she loved him and missed him every day.
Sandra and Johnny married and lived a happy life. | Source: Pexels
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