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Tell me whom you Love

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. His interest in her 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 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.  He lived

in New York City and he wrote her a letter introducing

himself and inviting her to correspond.  The next day

he was shipped overseas for service in W.W.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 building.

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 - 7:00

at the GrandCentral Station in New York. "You'll

recognize me," she wrote, "by the red rose

l'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 as 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. "Going my

way, sailor?" she murmured.

Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to her,

and then I saw Hollis Maypole.

She was standing directly, 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 been

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 go and 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 its response to unattractiveness.

"Tell me whom you love," Houssaye wrote,

"and I will tell you who you are."

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