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Story for Valentine's Day

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A very sweet story for Valentin'es Day  KO
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	"Kate O'Brien", wildwoman1
DATE:	2/5/98 1:04 AM

RE:	Story for Valentine's Day

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Subject: Story for Valentine's Day
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John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his uniform, and 
studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central
He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn't,
girl with the rose.

His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida
Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the
of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin.  The soft 
handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind.  In the
of the book, he discovered the previous owner's name, Miss Hollis
With time and effort he located her address.  She lived in New York
He wrote he a letter introducing himself and inviting her to
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
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 - 7:00 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
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
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
provocative smile curved her lips.  "Going my way, sailor?"  she

Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her, and then I saw
Maynell.  She was standing almost directly behind the girl.  A woman
past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat.  She was more
plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes.  The girl in
green suit was walking quickly away.  I felt as though I was split in
so keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for
woman whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own.  And
she stood.  Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her gray eyes
a warm and kindly twinkle.  

I did not hesitate.  My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy
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
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
could meet me; may I take you to dinner?"  

The woman's face broadened into a tolerant smile.  "I don't know what
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
you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she is 
waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street.  She said it
some kind of test!"  

It's not difficult to understand and admire Miss Maynell's wisdom.  The 
true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive. 
me whom you love," Houssaye wrote, "And I will tell you who you are."