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 whose
face he'd never seen. I'll let John 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. 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, and you must be Hollis. 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
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' wisdom.
The true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive.

This beautiful story came to me in a Email and the,
Author is Unknown to me...If you know who wrote it, please let me know,
I'd love to give credit.

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Music: "Laura"
Sequenced By: Bonita
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