When Sharon Galbraith was dating Fred Inns in high school back in 1965, she remembers being head over heels in love with him. He recalls falling in love at first sight.
But Galbraith's mother — with some input from the family pastor — put an end to the young love affair. She decided that her 16-year-old daughter was far too young to be serious with a boy, and insisted they stop seeing each other. Inns, who was 18, reluctantly honored the request, a decision that he would later painfully regret.
"She was it. She was my girl right from the start," Inns said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "What attracted me I guess my heart."
Galbraith said she felt the same about Inns from the very start. "He made my heart happy, too," Galbraith said. "He was just a wonderful guy. He had good character, and I just fell in love with him," she said.
But Inns tried to put his feelings aside when Galbraith's mother ordered the young couple to end their relationship. Inns and Galbraith reluctantly allowed their relationship to fizzle out, and after graduating from Newport Harbor High School in Costa Mesa, Calif., Inns was drafted into the Army.
Now, 38 years later, after two marriages that ended and six children between them, Galbraith, 54, and Inns, 56, are not just back together. They are husband and wife.
Still My Girl
It was a long road, though. After Inns was drafted into the Army during Vietnam, he still wrote to Galbraith, and his feelings were unchanged.
"I carried a torch for her and I carried her picture as I traveled," Inns said. "I didn't know how she felt about me."
But then Inns received a letter from one of his friends back home, claiming that he was dating Galbraith. Though he found out much later that it was not true, Inns believed it, and felt crushed. He decided to let his "girl" go ahead and be happy with someone else.
Galbraith eventually moved on and married another man and raised two children. She divorced in 1986. Each time she returned to her childhood home, her thoughts went back to Inns.
"It seemed like every time I would come back for a vacation, I always was drawn to go by the old house where we used to live," Galbraith said. "I always asked my mom if she heard any news about him."
Her mother told her she didn't know what happened to Inns either. But they assumed he had been scooped up by someone else.
After Inns' stint in the Army, he married and had four children. He remained with his first wife for 30 years. But despite having a large family, he did think of Galbraith at times. In 1995, he read an update about her in a classmates book, but it said she was married and he didn't think it was appropriate to call another man's wife.
Then last year, Galbraith found out that Inns' brother was still a deacon at the old church they used to go to. After church one Sunday, she spoke to the brother, and to Inns' mother, and handed them her phone number.
Like a nervous schoolgirl, she waited for 10 days and heard nothing. It turned out that Inns' brother, the deacon, waited a week to pass on the message, and when he did, Inns' heart leapt with excitement, but each time he called, he kept getting Galbraith's answering machine.
When he finally got in touch with Galbraith, he met her at a coffee shop. It didn't take long for the old couple to get comfortable again. After coffee, the two headed to the beach, where they sat for hours talking.
The rest was history. Inns proposed marriage to Galbraith in March, and they got married on Sunday in Newport Beach, Calif.
Inns and Galbraith say it's hard to believe they got a second chance at love with one another after so many years.
"It felt wonderful, like something we should have done a long time ago," Inns said.