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Random Joke # 15058 Generated:

    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."


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