Updated: September 15, 2012 6:07AM
Sari and Kevin were engaged when she was “a very young 19.”
“I truly loved him, but a few months prior to wedding, I got cold feet. I just thought I was too young. There was no one else involved.”
They were living together at the time, and Sari went home and told Kevin she couldn’t marry him.
“Instead of postponing the event, I moved out. Why didn’t I suggest postponing it? I don’t know.”
The break was clean and final.
When Sari was 24, she married “out of obligation.” She was pregnant. She remembers saying to her father, as she walked down the aisle, “Well, here I go.”
“I was just going through the motions.”
The marriage lasted 10 years and produced three children.
Sari married “out of obligation” the second time, too. “As if I didn’t learn the first time. We’d been living together for five years, and it seemed like the thing to do. Once again, seconds before walking down the aisle, I said to my father, ‘Well, here I go.’ ”
Sari would occasionally run into Kevin’s family. She would ask how they were, but she never asked about Kevin. “I always felt bad about leaving. I’m sure he was devastated. Our friends would ask me what happened to him, but I didn’t know. Someone told me he moved to Indiana and got married.”
Over the years, Sari would talk about Kevin to her children. She once went to a fortuneteller who told her, “You think about a Kevin quite often.”
“I was shocked because I had never told anyone how much I thought of him or even how much I regretted leaving him. I had too much pride. But she was right. I would always wonder, ‘Whatever happened to Kevin?’ ”
Twenty-nine years after Sari broke her engagement and two divorces later, she was on Facebook when she received a friend request. She had no idea who it could be. “I thought, all my friends are already here.”
She clicked — it was Kevin.
“I responded with a message. A ‘Wow! How-are-you’ kind of thing.”
Kevin told Sari he had also been married and divorced twice and also had three children.
They messaged back and forth every day from December 2011 to February 2012. “It was extremely easy to communicate with him. The messages got longer and longer.” He was living several hours away and asked her to visit him on Valentine’s Day.
“We were both extremely nervous. But after a few minutes, it was like we had never been apart. He had bought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolate and card. We went to a very nice restaurant for dinner, and it was so comfortable.
“And there it was — the feeling that I’d had 29 years ago. I realized he had always had my heart.”
Sari and Kevin are getting married. When she introduced him to her oldest daughter, the daughter said to him, “So you’re the Kevin my mom always talked about.”
“I know now that you can’t learn to love someone. Never marry out of obligation. I loved Kevin then, and I love him even more now. When he tells me he loves me, I tell him I love you more. He says it’s not possible.”
Did you marry out of obligation? Send your tale to firstname.lastname@example.org.