A Test of Love

  1. Lt. John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army
    uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand
    Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose
    face he didn't ... the girl with the rose.
    .
    His interest in her began thirteen months before in a Florida library.
    Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the
    words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft
    handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the
    front of the book, he discovered the previous owner's name, Miss Hollis
    Maynell.
    .
    With time and effort he located her address. She lived in New York City.
    He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to
    correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World
    War II.
    .
    During the next year and one month, the two grew to know each other
    through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A
    romance was budding.
    .
    Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he
    really cared, it wouldn't matter what she looked like.
    .
    When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled
    their first meeting--7 pm at the Grand Central Station in New York.
    .
    "You'll recognize me," she wrote, "by the red rose I'll be wearing on my
    lapel."
    .
    So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he
    loved, but whose face he'd never seen. I'll let Mr. Blanchard tell you
    what happened:
    .
    A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blonde
    hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as
    flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green
    suit, she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely
    forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose.
    .
    As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. "Goin' my way,
    soldier?" she murmured.
    .
    Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw
    Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A
    woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She
    was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes.
    .
    The girl in the green suit was walking quickly away. I felt as though I
    was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep
    was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and
    upheld my own.
    .
    And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her
    gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers
    gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to
    identify me to her. This would not be love, but it would be something
    precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for
    which I had been and must ever be grateful.
    .
    I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman,
    even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my
    disappointment.
    .
    "I'm Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so
    glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?"
    .
    The woman's face broadened into a tolerant smile. "I don't know what
    this is about, son," she answered, "but the young lady in the green suit
    who just went by, ... she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And,
    ... she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should tell you that
    she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. ... She
    said, ... it was some kind of test!"
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   NursesRmofun
    Very interesting and very sensitive. Thanks for sharing that, Roy.
  4. by   lil' girl
    Yes we should all be aware that looks aren't everything.
  5. by   unknown99
    Oh, wow!!! That made my heart warm!!! Thanks for sharing!!!
  6. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from lil' girl
    Yes we should all be aware that looks aren't everything.

    but he DID end up with the pretty girl afterall.
  7. by   dphrn
    "...even though while I spoke, I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment."

    That line keeps sticking in my mind.

    And the lady in the green suit must have really thought she was something!

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