He got up from the bench where he was sitting, straightened the sailor’s uniform on it, and set about examining the people at the city’s major train station. His eyes were searching for that girl, that girl whose heart he knew so well, but whose face he had never seen, with a rose on her collar. His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a library in Florida. He was very impressed by the writing in a book he bought from the shelves. Not from the book, but from tiny notes written in pencil on the edge of one of the pages.. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and a character functioning inside a person. On the front page of the book, he saw the name of the last person who read that book: Mrs. Hollis Maynell.
After some time and effort, he finally found his address. Mrs. Maynell lived in New York. Blanchard wrote him a letter introducing himself and offering to be his pen pal. The next day, he also sailed for Europe to participate in the Second World War. They got to know each other by letters for a month a year later. It was as if every letter was a seed of love that fell into their hearts. A romance was beginning. Blanchard had asked the girl for a picture of him, but she refused. If he really cared about himself, what did it matter how he looked?.Finally, the day of Blanchard’s return from Europe has arrived. They arranged their first date.. It’s exactly 7 p.m. at the New York Train Station.”In order for you to get to know me,“ the girl wrote in her letter, ”A red rose will be worn on the collar of my jacket”.It was exactly 7 o’clock at work, and Blanchard was looking for that girl with the red rose, whose face he had never seen before, but whose heart he loved.
Let’s hear the rest of the story from Mr. Blanchard:
” Suddenly I noticed that a young girl was walking towards me. She is slim and tall,her wavy blond hair has fallen from the front of her beautiful ears to her shoulders.. The color of the flower is blue-eyed. She was a girl who foreshadowed Love to people as if with the uniform folds of her lips and chin and her Red dress. So I started walking towards him. I was so impressed that I didn’t even think to look if he had a rose on his collar.When I approached him, he said to me with a slight smile on his lips, ‘Are you going in the same direction as me, sailor?’ he whispered. I took another step towards her, almost uncontrollably, and at that moment I saw Hollis Maynel. He was standing right behind her. he’s already past 40, he’s turning gray, he’s got his hair under his hat.. He is close to fat, short, thick-willed feet are buried in shoes without heels. I turned my head,The girl in the red dress was walking away quickly. I felt split in two; my desires were telling me to follow the girl, and a request from me was telling me to stay with the woman whose soul had accompanied me for a year. He was just standing there. His pale, wrinkled face was kind and soulful, his gray eyes were warm. I have this hesitation. I held the blue leather-bound book toward him that would make him recognize me. It could not have been love, but, surely, precious, maybe even more beautiful than love, it could have been something like a friendship that I have been grateful for and will be for a long time. I greeted the woman, although I tried to hide my disappointment, which I didn’t quite manage to do, in a voice that made it clear, ‘I’m Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Mrs. Maynell. I’m so glad I could meet you. Can I take you to dinner?’ I asked. A smile spread over the woman’s face: ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, young man,’ she said, but this girl in a red dress who just passed by asked me to put this red rose on my collar, and if you would like to invite me to dinner, she asked me to say that she was waiting for you in a big restaurant across the street. He said it was some kind of test!”