Chin* and Ned* eloped when they were young. It was 1972. Chin was fifteen years old and Ned was twenty three. Naturally, both their families weren’t thrilled about the whole thing. The elders even predicted that they wouldn’t last a year. But they were madly in love with each other and there was no keeping them apart.
It was indeed a happy union. They were blessed with three children. All of them were boys. Ned accepted any work offered to him while Chin kept house. When they were able to save enough money, they put up a small store. The store kept them well sustained and it seems like they were able to prove their elders wrong.
But one day, somebody from Ned’s past, Sally, moved into town. Sally was Ned’s first girl friend and probably his first love. Unlike Chin who was practical and street smart, Sally was sweet and vulnerable. And she didn’t keep the fact that she still wanted Ned.
Ned gave in to temptation. He got Sally pregnant. When Ned realized the gravity of his mistake, he begged Chin for forgiveness. To Sally’s disappointment, Chin stood her ground and kept Ned as if nothing happened. Sally left the town. As Ned promised, he regularly sent money to his and Sally’s daughter. He even took the child in when the girl was sent by her mother to Ned so he could send her to school. Chin treated her nicely and so did her three boys.
When I asked Chin how she was able to go through it, her answer was simple..
“It was easier for me to forgive and accept his mistake than to lose him altogether. Besides, Ned is a good man. It’s too bad people only remember THAT single mistake and forget all the things that he did good..”
I felt embarrassed, because honestly, I didn’t know Ned that much except for that mistake Chin was talking about.
*not real names