We asked readers to write about their summer loves and they sent us dozens of stories that were funny, touching, sad and, most of all, heartfelt. We were forced to make hard choices. Here are some of the best.
The Summer of ’69
I was 18, a counselor at a residential camp in New Jersey for children with disabilities; he was 26, a special ed teacher who volunteered at the camp on Thursdays.
I loved his creativity, thought he was cute and developed a huge crush. I started looking forward to Thursdays and we began talking, but I figured it was hopeless given the age difference. In September, I would be a sophomore at a university far away, and he lived and taught in a small town near the camp.
We kept talking and, after a few weeks, we were spending my day off together. We would go to his house, walk in the woods, make a meal and play with his dog. He was a great dancer and a perfect gentleman. I assumed he thought of me as a little sister. One night at the end of the summer, there was one magical kiss, but I was afraid to read anything into it.
I returned to school. We corresponded. He wrote newsy notes about his teaching and local events. I responded in kind and hid my feelings to avoid scaring him. Three months later, I met the man I was to marry and wrote to him about my new love.
His response broke both our hearts — he had felt much more than friendship for me, but was afraid to tell me because I was young. He asked me to cease contact — a request I honored.
Forty years later, I found him again on Facebook. We shared our stories, both now grandparents, but we haven’t met again. He’s happily married…
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