|"Shane and Lauren had fallen in love in grade school; now they are highschoolers, and their feelings for each other have grown even stronger. They are certain they have fond their true love. However, their parents do not think so. Teenage emotions are unstable, everyone knows that. It's all puppy love. Shane and Lauren are allowed to date, but their feelings are not taken seriously by their families. Things get bad when Lauren become pregnant. Shane wants to marry her, and abortion is out of the question for both of them. All they want is to become a family, to have this child and raise it together. But they are only 17, and both sets of parents take decision-making into their hands.
The parents believe it would be best for the young couple to be separated. Each family sells their home and moves, Shane's to California and Lauren's to Illinois. Having no means of their own, Shane and Lauren are forced to follow. They promise to find each other as soon as they can. To seal this promise, Shane spends his savings to buy a ring for Lauren, on which he engraves the words “Even Now.” Even now, when things are so bad and they must separate, they love each other and want to be together.
Lauren has a baby girl, Emily. Since both sets of parents are doing their best to block any communication between Lauren and Shane, she cannot reach him to let him know. Angered, she takes all her money and the baby and sets out to drive to California. Little Emily gets very sick on the way, and Lauren is forced to return. The baby is taken to the hospital, and some time later Lauren is misinformed that the baby died. With nothing holding her in Illinois, Lauren moves to California. She starts a new life there, under a new last name to avoid being found by her parents, and still hoping to find Shane.
Years go by. Both Shane and Lauren continue to search for each other, but, due to different circumstances, they fail to meet. They become successful; Shane is a flight instructor, and Lauren writes for Time magazine. Both are still single, remembering their lost first love. Lauren has pretty much given up on the idea of ever getting married. Shane occasionally thinks about maybe letting it go and starting a family, but memories of Lauren are still strong.
Emily, their daughter, is now grown up. A talented college student, she wants to find her parents about whom she knows next to nothing. Her grandparents raised her, never sharing the story. But when Emily finds a box with her mother's writings and learns about the love story that had ended with her birth, she is determined to find her mom and dad more than ever.
Laura Southcombe, Resident Scholar