Forty-seven years ago, Adrian Pearce had his heart broken.

Pearce was just 17 years old when he started dating his first “serious girlfriend,” Vicki Allen, according to CBC. The two George S. Henry Secondary School students were gearing up for Christmas break when Allen broke up with the high school senior.

In a post on Facebook, Pearce said his high school sweetheart left him for “an older man” — but not before giving him a present:

She broke up with me at this time of the year in 1970 and that was when she gave me the gift. She left me for an older guy named Wolf who she called Wolfie.

The gift is something Pearce has held on to ever since, although he has no idea what it is because he never opened it. As he 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.

And so I fired the present under the Christmas tree. After my family opened their gifts at Christmas, there was still one Christmas gift left and it’s the gift this girl Vicki had given me. I told my family I’m never going to open that present.”

Over four decades later, now married and a father, the Edmonton, Canada, man held onto the gift without knowing what’s inside.

For years, Pearce ceremoniously placed the gift under the Christmas tree, as he first did when he was a teenager — although he never had any intentions of opening it. Only once was he tempted to pull back the worn, crinkled paper, but he stopped short of doing so.

Pearce continued the tradition even while married with kids, and despite pressure from his children to see what was inside, Pearce always refused.

As for why Pearce never opened the gift, he told CBC:

“I kept it initially because I guess I had hopes that we would get back together and open it together. Now it’s just become a habit after 47 years of looking at it and having the pleasure of not opening it.

Maybe I don’t want to know what’s inside it. It’s more exciting right now not opening the thing.”

The gift no longer makes its way under the family’s Christmas tree, as Pearce’s wife ultimately put an end to it. But with almost 50 years of feelings wrapped in the small blue parcel, Pearce continues to wonder what’s inside.

What started out on Monday as a simple Christmas post has turned into quite something else. And as a Christmas wish, I…

Posted by Adrian Mike Pearce on Saturday, December 23, 2017

His curiosity finally led him to announce when he’ll open it, in hopes Allen will be there to share the occasion:

As Pearce wrote on his Facebook post:

Even though I vowed 47 years ago to never open the gift I might consider doing so on the 50th anniversary. The icing on the cake (so to speak) would be finding this woman and having her join the celebration!

The romance was long gone between the two by the time they reconnected in 1977, Pearce explained in the post. The former couple eventually lost touch, and although Pearce would now like to find her, all he has are non-working phone numbers from a 40-year-old diary entry:

In a 1977 diary, when I was studying at Humber College, there is a notation that I had met her sister Stephanie and she had given me three phone numbers to use to contact her sister. One for Vicki, another for SEARS (where she was working?) and the last for her parents. I called each number yesterday using three different Toronto area codes but all three numbers are out of service.

“The numbers are 40 years old after all,” Pearce added.

Pearce told CBC he plans to host a contest in which people can guess what the gift is in an effort to raise money for charity. But one thing is for certain: the grand unveiling won’t be complete without Allen by his side — with his wife’s blessing, of course.

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