Just a few years after high school, a friend of mine suffered through his parents getting a divorce. It was really rough and he became estranged from his father for a while. His dad had made some mistakes and in the middle of this conflict Phillip had said some things he regretted, but neither was stepping up to repair the rift between them.
In the midst of all this, Phillip poured his time and energy into hanging out with his friends. He was part of the same group of guys that I hung out with. Phillip was constantly coming up with activities for us to go do. Just hanging out in someone's garage was not good enough for him anymore.
There was a movie out that Phillip wanted to see and convinced us all to go see it with him. Altogether, there were 8 of us and I thought this might be a good opportunity to ask out a girl (I'll call her Sarah) I had had my eyes on for the last few weeks. I guessed a group setting might be more comfortable for her and would make her more likely to say yes.
I guessed correctly and she agreed. Plus, she must have been thinking the same as me. The night before we were all supposed to meet, Sarah decided to bring along her 12 year old niece. This would provide another buffer between us. I don't know if this was for her comfort or to prevent anything physical (you know, because I am sooooo smooth), but she wanted to bring her.
With this girl being 12 years old, Sarah needed the permission of the girl's mother. The mother was a little uncomfortable with letting her daughter go with Sarah to meet up with a bunch of guys she didn't know, but didn't want to deny her the opportunity to hang out with her aunt. Plus, she knew it was important to Sarah.
The girl's mother asked her boyfriend to accompany them to the movie theater to keep an eye on things. Despite not wanting to hang out with a couple of girls in a movie theater on their way to meet up with some guys, he agrees to do her this favor.
The next day he shows up with the girls and follows them as they meet up with us and is caught off guard when he runs into his son Phillip. As it turns out, Sarah's sister was dating Phillip's father and this series of events put them in the same place.
I don't remember what movie we saw or anything else that happened that day, but I will never forget when their eyes met and they suddenly realized what had happened. Within a few seconds they were both choking back tears and Phillip's dad gave him a big bear hug.
This crazy turn of events was all it took for them to start the reconciliation process and become part of a family again.