When I was 17, already through my first semester of college, I packed up my first car (a lovely pearl Saturn if you're wondering) and drove across country with my best friend. I was moving to Rhode Island to be with my high school sweetheart, she was tagging along for the commentary in her life's memoirs. The road trip was fairly uneventful but I distinctly remember laying my head on the pillow, in whichever value motel we happened to stop at once our eyes begun to droop, and imaging the day that would mark the end of our journey. The day I would step out of my car and into HIS arms.
It may have been that I was a beautiful 17 year old Southern California girl exercising her newfound independence with a recklessly romantic act- but the moments that followed that final screech of my tires onto his mother's gravel will forever be burned into my mind. It was exactly one week before my 18th birthday the leaves had already begun to turn every so slightly and the warm Summer winds rustled the trees towering high above my head. It felt as though I were in a whole new world, despite the fact I had been there so many times. My heart pounded and butterflies began to knot my stomach. The reality of my decision was finally setting in. We had dated all through high school, but what if her didn't want me here, now?
The Summer, then Fall, that followed now remains the most vivid of my life- It is filled with warm feelings and sweeping memories that play like ancient home movies in the back of my mind. And while we were far from each other's soul mates, we had our time, and that time was perfect. It's funny, really, when I'm asked to reflect upon 'my first love' in casual conversations with girlfriends or in discussion groups, my eyes get a bit glossy and I tend to smile, "It's a bit like a romance novel," I'll say.
People tend to get a little confused- Surely, if it was such a great romance, it would still be continuing. How could someone have such fond and vivid feelings about a person they no longer share those feelings with? I can't explain it, but it's true. And that is precisely what makes me a Nicholas Sparks fan.
The Choice chronicles the somewhat whimsical but extremely raw love story of independent medical student from a privileged past Gabby, and small town ladies' man Travis. Both going about their lives relatively happy until their world's collide setting forth a series of defined choices. The movie and book both dare to ask- "How far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?" a question which weighs heavy in introspect when we are asked to turn the question to our own lives.
But, most of all, The Choice remains a classic Nicholas Sparks novel of deep connection and love set among beautiful lush environments. I am sure many women will be asking to see this film for Valentine's Day, and many couples will walk out of the theater with quite a bit to discuss. And, in true Sparks' form, I am certain emotions will overwhelm until the very last scene has rolled. Check out the Official Trailer for The Choice then let me know, below, if you've ever had to make tough decisions in the name of love.
What Daughter Says: I didn't marry my high school sweetheart but I don't regret my choice to move across country to be with him. At the time, it was what I needed. In the end, it led to another path.