As he turned the pages of the book, he sees writing on the back cover. Never before had he noticed this. It was a letter written by Grace to her beloved. He had no knowledge of who Grace may be, yet he couldn’t help but wonder who she was.
The letter read:
To My Darling boy, I hope this letter finds you well. You have been in my thoughts since the day we parted. I thank you for your hospitality; dinner was lovely. At night I sit by candlelight and wonder if you are thinking of me. Could this be so? I do wish that our paths will soon cross once again, as I long for more days in your presence. I was delighted to hear of your new position in the war. For that, there is so much to celebrate. Congratulations!
Lastly, I shall write again soon, perhaps in your favorite novel next time. I send my love and well wishes to you, my dear. Never a night closes that I don’t dream of your ocean blue eyes and jet black hair. I should be going now. The head mistress will wonder why I’m not resting.
He read the letter over and over again, imagining that he was her beloved. Had the letter been received or simply lost in time?
The next morning he ventured to the bookshop to inquire about the original owner of the book. To his surprise, the owner of the bookshop knew where the book came from. An elderly woman from town donated some of her belongings several months ago. Soon after his visit to the store, he located the elderly woman with the book in his hand.
After knocking lightly at her door, a beautiful fair complected woman was standing face to face with him. Politely he introduced himself and explained why he was there. She was taken aback by his desire to know her story, she invited him inside to talk.
Hours had passed and he finally understood why she wrote inside the cover of a book. She desperately hoped that her letter would reach her beloved in a time of torment and despair. She wrote to a pilot that had crossed her path during WWII. It was a brief encounter, yet one that left a lasting impression for decades to come.
Grace was seventeen years old when she wrote the letter inside the book. She chose a book that she knew would be a disguise to anyone except him. His name was Stuart. He was doing his part to protect humanity in a time of need. The head mistress of the boarding school that Grace attended forbid such affairs of the heart. She took to the page of the book attempting to reach Stuart before he set off to fight in the war effort.
Five weeks after Grace’s package was postmarked, it was placed in the hands of her beloved. He read her words and wept. For only a miniscule meeting left an eternal love flaming for Grace that couldn’t compare. The days had passed before he could sit long enough to pen a letter back to her. He had every word written in his mind.. how he would take her dancing, show her his hometown, introduce her to his family. The excitement he felt just thinking of their letters was overwhelming. He couldn’t wait to hear from her again.
His letter was never written. He never made it home from the war. The book was returned to his family with the rest of his belongings. Years later, Stuart’s mother returned the book to Grace. She had waited for him. Without a word of endearment, loss or even the smallest hello, she knew deep inside her heart that he was the one. He was hers and she his.
Grace kept the book on her bedside table for years to come. She never looked at it again for the pain of his loss was felt by even a glance at those pages. Yet she kept it dear to her for he was her beloved.
As she told her story, tears fell. She had never told this story to anyone before. He thanked her for her time, gave her the most gentle hug and bid her farewell. The book remained with him. She wanted her story to continue, for her love for Stuart would remain.