John 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. With time and effort
he located her address. Her name was Hollis.
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 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. John 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
face he'd never seen. I'll let John tell you what happened:
woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim.
Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her
were blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness,
in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I
toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not
a rose. As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her
"Going my way, sailor?"
she murmured. Almost uncontrollably I made one step closer to
and then I saw Hollis. She was standing almost directly
behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair
under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick ankled
thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was
quickly away. I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was
desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the
whose spirit had truly companioned me and upheld my own. And
she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her
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
it would be something precious, something perhaps even better
a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful. I
my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman,
while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my
"I'm Lieutenant John, and you must be Hollis. I am so glad you
me; may I take you to dinner?" The woman's face broadened into
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
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 Hollis'
The true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the
This beautiful story came to me in a Email and the,
Author is Unknown to me...If you know who wrote it, please let
I'd love to give credit.