Once upon a time, long long ago, two college students met. They were next door neighbors living somewhere near the Arnold Arboretum — this last having meaning only because their romance began to bloom that spring along with the lilacs.
Years later she would relate with a smile the time he asked her if she liked creme de menthe (the liqueur). She gushed yes, she loved chocolates. He found her charming then, and he was right. She would grow into a radiant, loving, remarkable woman.
It was early in the game when his mother determined this flirtation should not flower. She wanted him to marry a girl of his own faith—not an uncommon feeling at the time. He returned to his campus and she to hers. Her family moved across the city. That was that.
Both married and had families. In early middle age they ran into each other unexpectedly one winter evening at the University skating rink, children in tow. Hello, how nice to see you. And you. A warm moment, then life resumed happily for both.
Fifty years later she and a good friend attended an outdoor gala. Prince Charles was in town. Thousands of people were seated in rows of folding chairs on the fragrant June grass. The prince’s robes, shot with gold, glittered in the sunlight.
At event’s end the women stood up to go. She saw a man and a woman approaching from several rows back.
“I knew you by the sound of your voice,” he said.
“He has spoken of you many times over the years,” said his wife.
What happens when a romance is nipped in the bud?