Many teens often feel that the person they fall for in high school is their eternity. But various elements tend to get in the way of everlasting love. Fortunately, this couple is living proof that "fate" exists.
Los Angeles' Occidental College takes the title of oldest liberal college on the West Coast. It's also where Janice Rude and Prentiss Willson first laid eyes on each other. The two met at the campus cafeteria where Rude worked. She was studying in the field of biology while Willson was going for his law degree.
Willson, who was also president of Kappa Sigma, was head over heels for Rude. There were days when he was the first one in line in the morning just to see her. Rude was always hoping to catch him at her 6 a.m. shift. Over the months, their relationship started to flourish.
Then Rude did something others would consider insane.
One day, Willson didn't show up for his usual chat. Rude was severely concerned about his whereabouts and started asking questions. After learning he went home a bit early, she managed to get his address and drove 160 miles to see him.
Was that three-hour drive worth it?
Willson was extremely pleased to see Rude standing on his doorstep. A stunt like that could've been disastrous for anyone else, but this time it worked out. Rude was immediately beloved in the household. With Thanksgiving being a few days away, she was invited back for the holiday. Willson's mother was thrilled to see her son completely smitten.
After only a few months of seeing each other, Willson decided to pop the question. Rude was quick to say "yes," and the couple was on their way to marital bliss. Their friends and classmates couldn't have been happier for the two.
Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse.
Rude's father didn't want her getting married so quickly. He was forced to give her an ultimatum: leave Willson or he would stop paying for her tuition. Both of their mothers wanted the couple to be together. Willson's mother even brought up the idea of eloping. However, Rude decided to end her relationship with him.
Following their breakup, Willson and Rude ran into each other on a handful of occasions over the decades. Both were happily married to their significant others at the time.
Both of their mothers passed away within months of each other. While searching for old trinkets, Willson and Rude both discovered something surprising.
Their mothers had both saved copies of their original engagement announcement. Rude's mother had a copy tucked in her wallet for over 35 years. What made this discovery particularly surreal was that the two had never actually met. But considering their plea for their children to be together, it wasn't all that shocking.
In 2010 Willson and Rude, who were both divorced, decided to head out on their first date in nearly 50 years. They chose a quiet San Francisco restaurant to catch up on things. It was hard to imagine that they still had a spark after all those years.
What followed next was truly heartwarming.
Six months after they started dating again, they became engaged. Unlike last time, they were determined to get a wedding out of it. In 2012, they were married at the Occidental College campus. Joining them at the ceremony were their old classmates. And while they are no longer around, their mothers are likely proud that this story finally has a happy ending.