Rachel Morgan lost her heart when she was 17 years old. She lost it in a split second. All it took was for Daniel Rowan to look at her and smile. In that moment, something told Rachel her life would never be the same and she was right.

Rachel and Daniel very soon began to date. They spent as much time together as possible, that was until their parents decided they were spending too much time together-that they were too serious-that they could not possible know what was best for them. So Rachel and Daniel were separated.

Rachel was devastated. She knew she could not persuade her parents but she tried…and failed. So life went on and Rachel tried to go on living her life without Daniel. She eventually began dating other young men but they weren’t Daniel. Her heart wasn’t in any of those relationships because Daniel still owned that heart.

Finally, after graduation and after a bit of college and working, married…not from love but because she felt lonely and she thought it was expected. She tried to make it work, but it never did. The marriage ended and Rachel concentrated on a new job.

It was while Rachel was at her job and concentrating on her job when someone tapped her on the shoulder. Rachel turned to come face to face with Daniel. Her heart pounded and she couldn’t catch her breath. He was even more handsome than she remembered and his smile even more dazzling to her. She hadn’t know he worked for the same company.

After that, Daniel would come to talk with Rachel each evening. Those talks made her love going to work. She could barely wait to go to work. Daniel, once again, brightened her life. But reality held an ugly cloud over it all. Daniel had married and was married still. That reality kept Rachel from being completely happy, of course, but she still thrived on just seeing Daniel again.

Then, one night just as she was leaving work, a supervisor informed her that her temporary position was being terminated and she need not come back. Rachel frantically looked around for Daniel but he was nowhere in sight. She couldn’t tell him. He wouldn’t know until he came in the next night and she didn’t show. She had no way of telling him.

Rachel told herself it was for the best. It was a situation that had no positive side. She dealt with sadness and she dealt with missing him for some time afterward, but ultimately had to move on. So she went through her life trying to forget that her heart still remained with Daniel.

Time went by and Rachel married a second time. Again, she had no heart to give to the marriage and that fact eventually took it’s toll, ending that marriage as well. For a long time, she was certain something was wrong with her that she couldn’t make a marriage work. But that wasn’t the case. The fact was, Rachel couldn’t love someone else when her heart was already taken.

Many times, Rachel tried to tell herself she was romanticizing the entire situation-that she was imagining things-that she was living in the past and wasting her life because of it. But she simply could not deny the hold that her feelings for Daniel kept on her. So Rachel realized she could not have a relationship with anyone and went on to try and live a life by herself…until life intervened once again.

That afternoon, Rachel was on her computer when a name jumped out at her. Daniel Rowan. She told herself it could not possibly be him, it had been so many years. The odds were too much, but Rachel ignored her logic and reached out to that name. When the answer to her message arrived, Rachel was afraid to look. She hesitated for hours. When she finally looked, her heart pounded and her breath refused to come. It was him. After all these years, here he was and happy to hear from her. Rachel was in tears, but she was also afraid that the dreams she had kept deep inside since she was 17 would be dashed.

Rachel and Daniel chatted a while and it was as if no time had passed. They still had so much in common and they still felt as they had all those years ago…but Daniel had married a second time. As much as Rachel loved him still, she knew she would never ask anything of him he could not give..BECAUSE she loved him she would never ask such a thing. Neither of them would go down that path.

Rachel could only ever speak for herself, of course, but her heart had always been, and would always be, Daniels. She would always love him as she had her entire adult life. But Rachel was a realist and knew her life was not to be the fairy tale she had always envisioned. No life ever was. So she cherished the friendship with Daniel that had always been there. She reminded herself that there were no fairy tales and life nearly never works out as we might hope.

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