The Man Behind the Letters

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His letter came again today. It was the same every time; a standard white envelope with an American flag stamp, and written in his eloquent cursive handwriting. The name Eleanor Perrish was written neatly in the center of the letter, and although I was not her, I looked forward to each letter as if I was. The letters came once each week without fail. You would think the fact that he never got a reply would slow his writing, or stop him from sending more, but it never did, because the next week another letter would arrive.

As I tore the letter open, excited to see what he wrote, my heart fluttered. These letters were not meant for me, but since they arrived at my house, and I was not in contact with the woman who lived here before me, I didn't see the harm in indulging in them. The way that he wrote was spectacular. He obviously loved the woman Eleanor, and sometimes when I read I felt like I was intruding on something special between two loved ones, but I couldn't help myself. I pictured Eleanor to be tall, thin, and beautiful; everything that I wasn't. She must have been every man's wet dream in order to have a man like Jay Overton, who I pictured as well-built from years in the armed services, and ruggedly handsome, in love with her.

As I read, I couldn't help but feel a slight sense of jealousy overwhelm me. He loved this women so much, even though she never answered. What baffled me the most was the fact that he never gave up. With every letter he told stories of his battles, mental and physical, and stories about his comrades. The soldiers were constantly pushed to their limit, but never failed to do their job as ordered.

He described to her a love that I had only read about in romance novels. How he would come home to sweep her off her feet, marry her, and about the kids they would have, and the life they would share together. Even in such a dark time in his life, he was focused on making her happy, and spending the rest of his life with her. It made me wonder if anyone was ever going to love me the way that he loved her.

I waited for the letters to come every week, but one day they just stopped; the next one never came. Weeks went by, and soon I lost hope that I would ever receive another one. The mail box remained empty, since he was the only one that wrote to the house, and my heart filled with sorrow at an unfinished story. I desired the resolution, the happy ending that he had made it home, but now I worried that he would never make it home and Eleanor would never know how much he cared for her.

I felt a pang of sadness sweep through me at the thought of two lovers being torn apart by war. It brought a tear to my eye and I suddenly wished that I could find Eleanor to give her the letters, but then I would lose the part of me that considered them to be just for me. I would also lose Jay Overton in the process, and when a tear fell from my lashes and dripped a cool trail down my cheek, I realized that I wasn't ready for that either.

I had fallen in love with the idea that he was writing to me, and in the process, I had also fallen in love with the man behind the letters. The man was a mystery, but he had spilt his thoughts, his hopes and dreams into these letters that I felt as if I knew him.

words: 635

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