Top Love Story
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 had begun 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 pencilled
in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected
a thoughtful soul and insightful mind.
(Read Related : Touching
In 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 Two
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
The day finally came for him to return from
Europe. They scheduled their first meeting at
7.00 p.m. at Grand Central Station in New York.
"You'll recognize me," she wrote,
"by the red rose I'll be wearing on my
Therefore John Blanchard was in the station
at 7.00 p.m. 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 whose figure was long
and slim was coming toward me. Her blonde hair
lay back in curls from her delicate ears and
her eyes were blue as flowers. Her lips and
chin had a gentle firmness and she was like
springtime come alive in her pale green suit.
I made my way towards her, totally forgetting
to notice that she was not wearing a rose. A
small, provocative smile curved her lips.
‘Going my way, soldier?’ She murmured.
I made one step closer to her almost uncontrollably
and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing
almost directly behind the girl. She was a woman
well past her forties and she had greying hair
tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump
and her thick-ankled feet were thrust into low-heeled
shoes. The girl in the green suit was walking
quickly away. I felt as though I was split into
two. I was keen to follow her but I had to address
my deep longing for the woman whose spirit had
truly companioned me in the past year.”
(Read Related : Myanmar
“She stood there as I observed that her
pale, plump face was gentle and sensible and
her grey 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
something precious, something perhaps even better
than love. It was a friendship which I had been
and must be grateful for.”
“I squared my shoulders, 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
‘I don't know what this is about, son.’
‘but the young lady in the green suit
who just went by begged me to wear this rose
on my coat. 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!’”
It's not difficult to understand and admire
Miss Maynell's wisdom. The true nature of a
heart is seen in it's response to the unattractive.
"Tell me whom you love," Houssaye
"and I will tell you who you are."
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