Valentine's Day 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.

HomeShort JokesJokes from Emails

Valentine's Day 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 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 now 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 - 7:00 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 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. "Going my way, sailor?" 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 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 the unattractive.
"Tell me whom you love," Houssaye wrote, "And I will tell you who you are."