Janice wipes a tear from her flustered cheek as she unpacks her late mother’s belongings. Oh, how she missed her. She finds her old wallet and inside is a baby picture of Janice. Janice smiles to herself and holds the baby picture close. But then suddenly, something drops from the wallet.
She picks it up and unfolds it and what she reads leaves her feeling sick to her stomach. Surely this was fate, right? Janice knew exactly what to do. But she had to be quick, time was running out.
Janice Rude was fat from a stranger to hard work and dedication. Growing up she watched her father work every day of his life from morning to night in order to provide for his family. He knew what hard work meant; he ran his own successful diving board company in Reno, Nevada.
Janice saw her father struggle early on in his career and realized from a young age that reaching her dreams would take hard work. So, she decided to pursue a career in biology at the Occidental College. She had everything planned to a tee. But she never expected what would happen one mundane Monday morning.
Janice’s family business went from strength to strength; they were well off but not rich. That’s why Janice’s father agreed to pay for only part of her tuition fees. Thankfully, she wasn’t afraid of hustling; she went out and found a job in the cafeteria on campus. The job was perfect; she could make up the rest of her fees and attend classes between shifts.
The job was tiring, but the ache to the exhaustion that made her feel accomplished. Nothing could keep her from reaching her goals. Nothing, except one visitor.
Janice was incredibly focused and driven for age. She knew that distractions interfered with success. She was already a minority— a woman studying science. Although her father may not have been ecstatic by her career choice, he was always supportive.
Janice never had much interest in men. She saw their glances, and heard their whistles, but she kept her eyes straight forward. Focused on her career. But she wouldn’t keep her eyes off one handsome face.
It was another Monday morning and Janice woke up ready for a brand new week. She was always early for work but she didn’t mind. Her apron and hat were on before the first person came in the door. She usually smiled and greeted every tired, well-rested, sad, or hungover face that passed.
But this Monday morning, one passer-by left Janice lost for words. And just like that, her entire world turned upside down.
Prentiss Wilson came from a highly respected family; he followed his father’s footsteps by attending Occidental College and joining the Kappa Sigma fraternity. His path was decided before he was born; with his parents pushing him to achieve the goals, they set for him.
He studied law and quickly charmed his way to fraternity president. His plan was right on track. Keeping up with all those expectations required a good breakfast. He didn’t expect a pretty young woman behind the milk to catch his eye. But before long, Janice recognized him from the paper.
Prentiss’ was known by pretty much everybody in the town. His actions were bold enough to grab the attention of everyone on campus, including sophomore Janice.
When one student Gene Grigsby has turned away from Kapa Sigma fraternity purely because of his race, Prentiss quit. He left Kapa Sigma and set up his own independent group. Their first pledge? Bring back, Gene Grigsby. Janice, like everyone else, was aware of Prentiss’ noble ethics. But Prentiss’s decision didn’t impress everyone.
Weeks went by and Janice and Prentiss had exchanged numerous glances. They often smiled at one another, before quickly going their separate ways.
However, when it was time for the pre-Thanksgiving dinner the college held every year, Janice was finally ready to make her move. But when she realized Prentiss had gone home early, she did something nobody ever could have expected.
Prentiss may have been 160 miles away in Santa Maria but that didn’t stop Janice. She made the most spontaneous decision of her life and drove three hours to see him.
Eventually, at his doorstep, she paused, second-guessing her decision. Before she could change her mind, the door swung open and Prentiss was there, staring at her.
From the moment Janice made the first move, she and Prentiss became inseparable. And a few weeks later, months after their initial longing stares, he proposed!
For a moment, their lives were perfect. But somebody very important to Janice was about to tear these two lovebirds’ happiness into a million pieces.
You see Janjce’s father didn’t approve of his daughter’s new relationship. Prentiss wasn’t what he wanted for a son-in-law. No way.
But with their engagement announced in the local paper, it seemed everybody else was rooting for Janice and Prentiss. But Janice’s father was about to give Janice an ultimatum. And it would tear her world upside down.
Janice’s father ultimately tore the two lovebirds apart by refusing to pay Janice’s tuition if she didn’t stop seeing Prentiss. The couple was devastated; Prentiss hoped that Janice wouldn’t leave him broken-hearted, but he knew how much her career meant to her.
There had to be something they could do, right? Thankfully, Janice’s mother could see their undeniable love and took out a second mortgage on her home to fund Janice’s tuition. But little did they know not even that was going to save them.
Unfortunately, despite Janice’s mother’s efforts, they just weren’t enough. Janice decided to end their whirlwind romance and put her education first. She was heartbroken. And so was Prentiss.
As time went by, their long chats and loved-up relationship, went back to longing and distant stares. They tried to stay friends but the pain was too much. They eventually drifted apart, both marrying other people and settling down. But fate wasn’t done with these two.
After graduating, Janice took over the family business and Prentiss went on to attend Harvard Law School, eventually becoming a highly respected lawyer. However, Janice never could quite forget her first love.
Nearly 50 years after calling off their engagement, both Janice’s and Prentiss’ mothers passed away in the space of a few months. At the time, they were both newly divorced. They had no idea what was coming.
Janice was clearing out her late mother’s belongings when she stumbled across her old wallet. She picked it up and looked inside, she found a baby picture of herself and she held it close. She really did miss her mother.
Then just as she was about to shut the wallet and start unloading on the boxes surrounding her, something fell out and landed on her lap. What was it? She picked it up and saw it was a note. Hundreds of questions ran through her mind. She opened it up and started to read it, and she felt sick to her stomach.
The note was in fact a newspaper clipping from Janice and Prentiss’ engagement. Janice was lost for words. She couldn’t believe her mother would keep this. Maybe it was a sign?
She knew she had to reach out to her first love. After all, her mother loved him, and Janice always felt he was the one that got away. But how would Prentiss react to his former fiancé reaching out? Janice had no idea what was coming.
When Janice reached out to the man whose heart she broke and engagement she called off, she hoped she was forgiven. After all, she didn’t have a choice back then.
Thankfully, Prentiss replied straight away and the two former lovebirds agreed to meet in a restaurant in San Francisco. After decades apart, the two went on their first date since their youth. She was as nervous as the very first time she had taken a leap of faith and shown up randomly at his home. But a question remained—would they hit it off again?
When the two met up for the first time in 50 years, it was as if no time had passed! Sparks immediately flew between the two. Prentiss wasn’t going to let her get away this time. He got down on one knee and popped the question after six months of dating. Before she had the chance to change her mind, they married on their college campus, Occidental College.
The ceremony was attended by their friends, family, and college classmates. After a lifetime apart, these two finally made it back together. These two really were always destined to be!