It goes without saying that no one ever unable to summon up their first love. Same happened with Maria Roberts who had fallen head over heels for a 14-year-old Chris Atkinson on a family camping trip to Devon in 1996.
Despite the fact that they hardly spent just two weeks together and in due course lost touch, the pair still carried a fire for one another. And while both of them would have thought about starting their respective families with other partners, when Maria lastly succeeded to trace Chris after 20 years later, their puppy love became something much profound that they got married and promised never to be part again.
Read more to know about the love story of Maria Roberts and Chris Atkinson:
Love at first sight:
“Despite the fact we only spent that short interval of time together, undoubtedly it was love at first sight back in 1996,” expresses Maria. “Afterwards, Chris was always on my mind and when I found myself single again I knew I had to look for him.
“When I saw him again two decades later I just felt he was still the one for me. And, fortunately, Chris felt the alike. “He told me he had been thinking about me every day too.”
The love-struck couple’s pathways first intersected back in August 1996 when Maria’s family went on their annual holiday to Grange Court, Devon, 160 miles from their home in Aldershot, Hampshire.
Simultaneously, Chris, his sister, and parents journeyed 176 miles from Worcester to the same caravan site.
Maria remembers how there was an “on the spot spark” between the pair – both 14 at the time – and they instantly became close for the fortnight.
Holiday ended and time to go back to their respective lives
The two weeks passed by and the holiday was about to end the broken-hearted pair was promised each other to stay in touch. Living over 130 miles away, and in the days when mobile phones and email still weren’t common, the duo decided to write to each other.
“We spoke on the phone without a miss,” she continues, “and we’d write to each other – it was exciting. He made me feel animated and gave me something to always look ahead.
Another meet up arranged by parents
After successful holiday together, their parents decided to meet up the following year in Devon so that gave another hope to both Maria and Chris to see each other again. But something different was stored in the destiny and a cruel twist ensued, Maria’s father had inadvertently reserved the wrong week and her family had left the place just before Chris’s were due to reach.
Lost touch eventually
For months they continued to converse but with GCSEs and school taking over most of their time, by 16 they lost touch with each other. After her school got over, Maria began working as a hairdresser and has her share of bad experience with various boys. In the meantime, he tried to get through his motorbike test so he could drive down to Aldershot and see her.
Got into serious relationship
As months dwindled down into years, the couple both got into serious relationships. In 2002, Chris greeted his first child, Leon and then went on to have another four – Jaden, 10, Olivia, eight, Jack, six, Harvey, three and James, 22 months – from different connections. In the intervening time, in 2011, Maria became mum to Ethan, five, and later Erica, three, with her significant other.
Maria relationship suddenly hit the rocks
Maria’s relationship in due course broke down and she started to feel amazed as if she’d ever be able to meet up with the guy she met long back. Then in April 2014, she thought of making a final attempt to find out Chris.
And while browsing through her friends, suddenly Chris’s face popped up on her screen. She felt super-excited and check out her facebook profile and when she found that there was no mention of a partner in his profile she decided to write him a message. When Chris saw her message, he double checked it and was surprised to see her message.
He tried like hell to find her out over last couple of years, but unfortunately couldn’t. The pair exchanged messages for six months and, as they were both now single, decided to meet up in Evesham, Worcs. They met each other and decided not to lose each other again; they began with a long distance relationship, meeting each other every other weekend.
In August 2015, just eight months after rewiring, Maria and her two children relocated to Worcester.
“I had just taken our lives to next level and went,” she articulates. “I had an inkling it was the right thing and I never turned back. We were tougher than ever and irritated at the years we’d missed. We had to catch up with a lot of things.”
In November 2015, three months after that, Chris proposed to Maria.
“When he asked me to marry him I literally squealed ‘YES’ and he got me a lovely white gold diamond ring.”