Your first love can be a pretty big event in your life. Even years or decades later after numerous relationships and even marriages, you never really forget that first significant other that you fell for all those years ago. One man, in particular, is a testament to just how powerful a first love can be, regardless of how much time passes.
Each and every year for the past 47 years, Adrian Pearce has taken out a gift given to him by his first girlfriend, put it under his Christmas tree, and ultimately put it away after Christmas, still completely wrapped in its original paper. That’s right, for almost 50 years, Adrian has never opened the gift his first girlfriend gave him.
The Story Begins
47 years ago when the entire story began, there’s no way that Adrian Pearce could have known the significance. Adrian was born and raised in Canada, and he was just a teenager in 1970 during his last year at a secondary school near the city of Toronto. Just before the Christmas holidays, the whole story of the present began.
Adrian Pearce was 17 during that Christmas season, and he was pretty excited to be in a relationship with Vicki, who was the first real girlfriend he had ever had. However, like so many high school relationships, this one simply was not built to last. Vicki broke up with Adrian right before Christmas, breaking the young man’s heart.
He Was Blindsided
Vicki broke up with Adrian at her home and sent him on his way. He didn’t understand why she broke it off. Pearce told CBC, “She gave me a present at the same time and I took the present home. I had a long walk home and I was all upset and angry, and all the things you feel when somebody breaks up with you.” He was completely blindsided by the whole thing.
There Was Someone Else
During the breakup, Adrian learned that Vicki liked someone else. “She went off with this kind of bad boy, this motorcycle riding guy named Wolfie. As she’s breaking up with me, she gives me the gift,” he said in an interview with Edmonton AM. Now, he was not only upset but also angry.
Although Vicki broke Adrian’s heart, at the time she dumped him, she had already bought him a Christmas present. As Adrian prepared to celebrate the holiday without his ex-girlfriend, he realized that he still had the wrapped present. Many people would have opened it then and there, but he couldn’t do it.
A Present Can’t Fix Anything
Adrian returned home angry and frustrated. His family asked him what was wrong. He told his family the situation in a rage. He showed them the gift and told them “I’m never going to open that present.” He threw the present under the tree and went to his room to sulk in isolation. His now ex-girlfriend had made his holiday miserable.
Adrian Pearce was your typical heartbroken teen at the time. He left the present under his family’s Christmas tree and pretty much forgot about it. Adrian had a lot to deal with that Christmas season, from all of his responsibilities as a student at school to just being a regular teenager with a broken heart.
Not This Year
On Christmas day, the Pearce family started to open all of their presents. Before long, all of the presents had been opened, and there were none remaining. Well, except for one, that is…the gift that Adrian had gotten from his ex-girlfriend, Vicki. Her gift still sat there, unopened. Adrian didn’t want to open it that day.
Adrian Pearce was simply too stubborn to open up the gift. He told his family that year that he would never open the present. Soon enough, it was time to go to college and Adrian left home. While at school, he met someone familiar: his ex-girlfriend’s sister. By this time, it was 1977, and the gift was still unopened.
A Second Chance?
As they talked, Vicki’s sister decided to give Adrian her new phone number. Adrian decided to call her, and they met in person for the first time in quite awhile. At first, it seemed as if they might get back together, but it turned out that their moment had passed. Both went on to live their separate lives after that.
Married With Children
Fast forward many years later, and Adrian Pearce was now a married man with kids. Even though he would celebrate Christmas with his wife and kids each year, the present would also make its own yearly appearance. His kids were intrigued and wanted him to open it, but he wouldn’t. Finally, his wife had seen enough.
No Room Under The Tree
Quite understandably, Adrian’s wife was sick of having a present under the tree from a girl he had briefly dated in high school years before. She told him the present couldn’t be under the tree anymore. Finally, in 2017, Adrian decided that it was time to bring the story to an end.
Starting The Search
Like always at Christmas 2017, Pearce decided to pull out the gift and once again admire it. However, this year, he decided to post a picture of the gift and its story on Facebook. His friends and family were stunned. They began to guess what the package might be. One friend said an engraved cigarette case while many others believed it to be a photo. It was on this post that someone suggested he wait till the 50th anniversary of the giving to open it as well as look for the giver.
A Possibly Clue
Adrian Pearce knew that he had to start off the search somehow, and he was fortunate enough to find an old diary from the 1970s. Inside, there was an old phone number for Vicki, as well as a number of her parents and what appeared to be the number for her employer at the time.
Dialed The Numbers
Although he knew the numbers may be possibly outdated, he still moved forward and dialed the numbers. “I was almost shaking I was nervous, ” he recalled about making the call. Unfortunately, none of the numbers turned up any leads. He had to think outside the box.
Going A Step Further
Adrian Pearce was not deterred by the fact that his first try failed to turn out any information on Vicki. Instead, he decided to search using her maiden name from high school. This turned up a woman who was living in British Columbia, but she was in her 90s and clearly not the same person as the Vicki he had dated.
Reaching Out Through Facebook
Adrian Pearce also used Facebook to try to reach Vicki, asking his friends and followers to share his posts in the hopes of getting in touch with her. Despite this, he said in an interview that he wouldn’t know what to say if he did find her. As for the present, he said he kept it at first because he had hoped they’d get back together.
Adrian also shared some other pretty interesting information: he had actually almost opened the gift from Vicki once upon a time. At that time, he started to open it, but had second thoughts and decided not to after all. After that, he would continue to get the gift out each year during Christmas as part of a habit.
Adrian’s story was one that many people found interesting, and it soon took on a life of its own. He found himself being interviewed by different news outlets and reporters. He took the opportunity to tell his unique story and put out a call for anyone that could help him track down his ex-girlfriend from his teenage years.
Far And Wide
The story has certainly spread over the ensuing months. It has gone so far as to be covered in countries such as Russia, Australia, and Denmark. However, even with all of the exposure, he was not having any real luck in his search for clues to Vicki’s whereabouts. Why was it so difficult to find her?
Surprised About The Publicity
Pearce appreciates all the publicity about his story, even if it doesn’t portray him in the best light. “It’s pretty funny. It does surprise me that it went that far, that people were that interested,” he told CBC. “There’s so much crappy news out there. This isn’t fake news. This is real news and this is a story that could have a happy ending.” But, will he find his happy ending?
Is it Her?
Since Pearce’s story made international news, a few women have come forward and claimed they are Vicki. Pearce was skeptical of each and asked them questions about old dates and teachers. Unfortunately, all three women couldn’t answer his questions correctly. He knew they weren’t the Vicki he was looking for. Therefore, his search continues.
A 50th Anniversary
Since beginning the search, Adrian started to think about when might be a good time to take the plunge and finally open the gift. He began to think that it might be fun to open it in 2020, 50 years after he was first given the gift by Vicki. What’s more, Adrian figured that he could use the media attention to help make it a charitable event.
Lots of Ideas
Adrian has a number of ideas for what he can do with the mysterious gift. The package is about the size of a postcard. Despite its small size, it could be lots of different things. Is it a picture, a book, or possibly (now very rotten) chocolate? This curiosity fave Adrian and his friends an idea.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Since many people are curious about what it could be, he thought perhaps there could be a contest to guess what the gift is, which could help raise funds for charity. However, there’s one sticking point that remains: Adrian would still like to find Vicki first.
A Bit Undecided
Still, Adrian is ultimately not completely decided on what he should do with the gift. After all of these years, he’s still tempted just to leave it unopened, he says. “Maybe I don’t want to know what’s inside it. It’s more exciting right now not opening the thing,” he said to one reporter. Well, if you can wait 47 years, what’s a few more?
The Search Continues
As of now, Adrian Pearce still has not had any success in finding his old high school girlfriend, Vicki. He has put out the call on social media, but not turned up any leads just yet. Still, with a couple of years left until the gift reaches its 50th anniversary, he hopes that he can find her so that she can “join the celebration.”