This I Believe

Jacqueline - Jonesborough, Tennessee
Entered on April 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: forgiveness

This I believe is why you should be quick to forgive. I went to work on a Saturday morning, feeling good and ready for a hard day’s work. I started off my day with reading the obituaries, my favorite part of the newspaper. Or at least it used to be. As I opened the page and listened to my friend complain on and on about his hangover, I gasped and covered my mouth. My friend said, “God Bless You,” thinking I was going to sneeze. No. My ex-boyfriend, the first love of my life, was staring back at me from the obituaries. He was 23 years old.

I didn’t know what happened or how he had died. I just knew that seeing the proof that he was dead floored me. I just kept remembering something he always said to me: “Jackie, you’re the only girl I’ll ever love.” This thought still brings tears to my eyes. We dated when I was 15 and he was 16. Those were the good old days when you’re mom had to drive you everywhere, and all we had was time, our music, the River, and each other. We’d talk on the phone for hours at a time, and we’d go joyriding to steal stop signs. No worries, no cares. How I have longed to go back to those days many, many times.

We broke up because we were going down different paths with our lives. I was going to go to college, and he couldn’t stay out of jail or the bottle. We tried to reconcile our relationship my senior year of high school, but I was going away to college, and he didn’t want to hold me back. We never got over each other, we just moved on.

He ended up spreading some rumors about me though, and I got really angry at him. I forgave him a long time ago but never told him. I saw him around Christmas my freshman year of college, and I was actually excited to see him. He acted funny though so I don’t know if we were on good terms or not. What is stuck in my mind though was the way he looked at me. The old saying goes that eyes don’t lie. His eyes were saying that he was still in love with me.

It’s inconclusive how he died. He was shot in the head but they don’t know if he was murdered or if he committed suicide. I just know what my heart tells me. I forgave him a long time ago, but part of forgiving someone is to let the person you are forgiving know that it’s all just water under the bridge. Everyone does it; those grudges are held just a little too long even though we got over them long ago. Sometimes, it’s just too late to say something. If I were more forgiving, I would have fewer regrets. This I do believe.