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  Appointment with love爱的约会

  Six minutes to six, said the clock over the international booth in New York’s Grand Central Station. The tall young Army lieutenant lifted his sunburned face and narrowed his eyes to note the exact time. His heart was pounding with a beat. In six minutes he would see the woman who had filled such a special place in his life for the past 13 month, the woman he had never seen, yet whose written words had sustained him unfailingly.


  Lieutenant Blandford remembered one day in particular, during the worst of the fighting, when his plane had been caught in the midst of a pack of enemy’s planes. In one of his letters he had confessed to her that he often felt fear, and only a few days before this battle he had received her answer: “Of course you fear…all brave men do. Next time you doubt yourself, I want you to hear my voice reciting to you: ‘yeah, though I walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will hear no evil: for thou art with me.’…” He had remembered, and it had renewed his strength.


  Now he was going to hear her real voice. Four minutes to six.


  A girl passed close to him, and Lieutenant Blandford started. She was wearing a flower, but it was not the little red rose they had agreed upon. Besides, this girl was only about 18, and Hollis Meynell had told him she was 30. “What of it?” he had answered. “I’m 32.” He was 29.


  His mind went back to that book he had read in the training camp. Of Human Bondage it was; and throughout the book were notes in a woman’s handwriting. He had never believed that a woman could see into a man’s heart so tenderly, so understandingly. Her name was on the book plate: Hollis Meynell. He had got hold a New York City telephone book and found her address. He had written; she had answered. Next day he had been shipped out, but they had gone on writing.


  For 13 months she had faithfully replied. When his letters did not arrive, she wrote anyway, and now he believed that he loved her and that she loved him.


  But she had refused all his pleas to send him her photograph. She had explained:” If you’re feeling for me has any reality, what I look like won’t matter. Suppose I’m beautiful. I’d always been haunted by the feeling that you had been taking a chance on just that, and that kind of love would disgust me. Suppose I’m plain ( and you must admit that this is more likely), then I’d always fear that you were only going on writing because you were lonely and had no one else. No, don’t ask for my picture. When you come to New York, you shall see me and then you shall make your decision.”


  One minute to six…he put hard on a cigarette. Then Lieutenant Blandford’s heart leaped.


  A young woman was coming towards him. Her figure was long and slim; her blond hair lay back in curls over her delicate ears. Her eyes were as blue as flowers, her lips and chin had a gentle firmness. In her pale-green suit, she was like springtime come alive.


  He started toward her, forgetting to notice that she was wearing no rose, and as he moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips.


  “Going my way, soldier?” she murmured. He made one step closer to her. Then he saw Hollis Meynell.


  She was standing almost directly behind the girl, a woman well past 40, her graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump; her thick ankled feet were thrust into low-heeled shoes.


  But she wore a red rose on her rumpled coat. The girl in the green suit was walking quickly. Blandford felt as though he were being split into two, so keen was his desire to follow the girl, yet so deep was his longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned and upheld his own; and there she stood. He could see her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible; her grey eyes had a warm twinkle.


  Lieutenant Blandford did not hesitate. His fingers gripped the worn copy of Human Bondage which was to identify him to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious, a friendship that he had been and must ever be grateful…


  He squared his shoulders, saluted, and held the book out toward the woman, although even well while he spoke he fell the bitterness of disappointment. “I’m John Blandford, and you---you are Miss Meynell. May---may I take you to dinner?”


  The woman smiled. “I don’t know what this is all about, son,” she answered. “That young lady in the green suit, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said that if you ask me to go out with you, I should tell you that she’s waiting for you in that restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test.”


  Love is just a thread爱如丝线

  Sometimes I really doubt whether there is love between my parents. Every day they are very busy trying to earn money in order to pay the high tuition for my brother and me. They don’t act in the romantic ways that I read in books or I see on TV. In their opinion, “I love you” is too luxurious for them to say. Sending flowers to each other on Valentine’s Day is even more out of the question. Finally my father has a bad temper. When he’s very tired from the hard work, it is easy for him to lose his temper.


  One day, my mother was sewing a quilt. I silently sat down beside her and looked at her.


  “Mom, I have a question to ask you,” I said after a while.


  “What?” she replied, still doing her work.


  “Is there love between you and Dad?” I asked her in a very low voice.


  My mother stopped her work and raised her head with surprise in her eyes. She didn’t answer immediately. Then she bowed her head and continued to sew the quilt.


  I was very worried because I thought I had hurt her. I was in a great embarrassment and I didn’t know what I should do. But at last I heard my mother say the following words:


  “Susan,” she said thoughtfully, “Look at this thread.Sometimes it appears, but most of it disappears in the quilt. The thread really makes the quilt strong and durable. If life is a quilt, then love should be a thread. It can hardly be seen anywhere or anytime, but it’s really there. Love is inside.”


  I listened carefully but I couldn’t understand her until the next spring. At that time, my father suddenly got seriously sick. My mother had to stay with him in the hospital for a month. When they returned from the hospital, they both looked very pale. It seemed both of them had had a serious illness.


  After they were back, every day in the morning and at dusk, my mother helped my father walk slowly on the country road. My father had never been so gentle. It seemed they were the most harmonious couple. Along the country road, there were many beautiful flowers, green grass and trees. The sun gently glistened through the leaves. All of these made up the most beautiful picture in the world.


  The doctor had said my father would recover in two months. But after two months he still couldn’t walk by himself. All of us were worried about him.


  “Dad, how are you feeling now?” I asked him one day.


  “Susan, don’t worry about me.” he said gently. “To tell you the truth, I just like walking with your mom. I like this kind of life.” Reading his eyes, I know he loves my mother deeply.


  Once I thought love meant flowers, gifts and sweet kisses. But from this experience, I understand that love is just a thread in the quilt of our life. Love is inside, making life strong and warm..


  Words from the heart最后的表白

  Most people need to hear those "three little words" I love you. Once in a while, they hear them just in time.


  I met Connie the day she was admitted to the hospice ward, where I worked as a volunteer. Her husband, Bill, stood nervously nearby as she was transferred from the gurney to the hospital bed. Although Connie was in the final stages of her fight against cancer, she was alert and cheerful. We got her settled in. I finished marking her name on all the hospital supplies she would be using, then asked if she needed anything.


  Oh, yes, she said, "would you please show me how to use the TV? I enjoy the soaps so much and I don't want to get behind on what's happening." Connie was a romantic. She loved soap operas, romance novels and movies with a good love story. As we became acquainted, she confided how frustrating it was to be married 32 years to a man who often called her "a silly woman."


  Oh, I know Bill loves me, she said, "but he has never been one to say he loves me, or send cards to me." She sighed and looked out the window at the trees in the courtyard. "I'd give anything if he'd say 'I love you,' but it's just not in his nature."


  Bill visited Connie every day. In the beginning, he sat next to the bed while she watched the soaps. Later, when she began sleeping more, he paced up and down the hallway outside her room. Soon, when she no longer watched television and had fewer waking moments, I began spending more of my volunteer time with Bill.


  He talked about having worked as a carpenter and how he liked to go fishing. He and Connie had no children, but they'd been enjoying retirement by traveling, until Connie got sick. Bill could not express his feelings about the fact that his wife was dying.


  One day, over coffee in the cafeteria, I got him on the subject of women and how we need romance in our lives; how we love to get sentimental1 cards and love letters.


  Do you tell Connie you love her? I asked (knowing his answer), and he looked at me as if I was crazy.


  I don't have to, he said. "She knows I do!"


  I'm sure she knows, I said, reaching over and touching his hands rough, carpenter's hands that were gripping the cup as if it were the only thing he had to hang onto "but she needs to hear it, Bill. She needs to hear what she has meant to you all these years. Please think about it."


  We walked back to Connie's room. Bill disappeared inside, and I left to visit another patient. Later, I saw Bill sitting by the bed. He was holding Connie's hand as she slept. The date was February 12.


  Two days later I walked down the hospice ward at noon. There stood Bill, leaning up against the wall in the hallway, staring at the floor. I already knew from the head nurse that Connie had died at 11 A.M..


  When Bill saw me, he allowed himself to come into my arms for a long time. His face was wet with tears and he was trembling. Finally, he leaned back against the wall and took a deep breath.


  I have to say something, he said. "I have to say how good I feel about telling her." He stopped to blow his nose. "I thought a lot about what you said, and this morning I told her how much I loved her... and loved being married to her. You shoulda seen her smile!"


  I went into the room to say my own goodbye to Connie. There, on the bedside table, was a large Valentine card from Bill. You know, the sentimental kind that says, "To my wonderful wife... I love you."

  我走进康尼的房间,亲自去和她告别 。我看见,床头桌上放着一张比尔给她的大大的情人节贺卡——就是那种充满柔情蜜意的贺卡,上面写着:“给我出色的妻子……我爱你。”

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