Soul Mates

Soul Mates

From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul

Soul Mates

I have often told my daughter, Lauren, the story of how her father and I met and of our courtship. Now that she is 16 years old, she is concerned because she realizes that her soul mate might be sitting next to her in a class or might even ask her for a date, and she is not quite ready to make the same commitment her parents made years ago.

I met Mike on October 9, 1964. Our shy eyes met from across the patio at our friend Andrea’s party. We smiled and eventually found ourselves in a conversation that lasted the entire evening, to the exclusion of everyone else. I was 11 and he was 12. We went steady three days later, which ended after a somewhat tumultuous month.

Months later, Mike still invited me to his lavish bar mitzvah and even asked me to dance. (Years later he told me that despite my braces, my skinny legs and my flipped hair, he thought I was beautiful.)

Mike and I had many mutual friends and were in the same social group at school, so our paths constantly crossed throughout the next few years. Every time I broke up with a boyfriend or had my heart broken by another, my mother would say, “Don’t worry, you’re going to end up with Mike Leb.” I would shriek, “Never! Why would you think such a thing?” She would remind me how his name often came up in my conversations and what a nice guy he was.

Finally, I was in high school, and it was packed with new cute guys. I was ready. What did I care if Mike started dating my best friend? Why, I wondered, was this slowly driving me crazy? Why did we find ourselves talking while waiting for our buses? I will never forget the navy blue penny loafers he wore. Nobody else I knew had such great shoes. My mother’s words often came to my mind, but I still wanted to erase them.

By the summer after tenth grade, Mike and I had spent more time together—in the company of his girlfriend, also known as my best friend, and others. That summer Mike left for a Spanish program in Mexico. I found I really missed seeing him. When he returned in August, he called and came by my home. He was so adorable with his tan skin and worldly demeanor. He still couldn’t speak a word of Spanish but he looked so good. It was August 19, 1968, when we looked at each other outside my home and realized we had to be together. Of course, we had to wait until after the date I had that night with another guy. I told my date that I was going to start dating Mike so I had to be home early. Mike then told his on-again, off-again girlfriend it was off again for good.

We kept our relationship our little secret until we could proudly announce it at the next party. We walked in late and boldly told all of our friends that we were officially a couple. Not a soul seemed surprised as they uttered “finally.”

After graduation from high school, I went away to college. I lasted 10 weeks before I transferred to a closer college to be near Mike. On June 18, 1972, we were wed. I was 19, andMike was 20.We set up our love nest in married housing while we both finished our college degrees. I became a special-education teacher while Mike went on to medical school.

Now, 25 years later, I smile at our beautiful daughter, Lauren, and our handsome son, Alex. Although their parents’ legacy causes them to look at high school relationships a bit differently, they will never have to worry about their parents saying “Don’t take it so seriously; it’s only puppy love.”

Fran Leb

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners