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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. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like.(If you thought the original was touching, you’ll find tears in your eyes by the time you finish this one.) In the autumn of 1998, an updated version of this tale appeared in the little-known “true life stories” magazine For Me.In that modern retelling, Gwen and Brian meet in an Internet chat room for writers, and the denouement takes place at the airport in Sydney, Australia.He felt as though he were being split in two, so keen was he desire to follow the girl, yet so deep was his longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned and upheld his own. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible, her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. His fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify him to her.This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which he had been and must ever be grateful.Were love the important thing, we’d have been quite happy to have the frumpy woman turn out to be the real Hollis and for the story to end with the two lovers walking away arm in arm.
The fable of a young man who is paired by circumstance with an unattractive woman, who shows her kindness nonetheless, and who is rewarded for his gallantry by ending up with a beautiful young woman is far from a new one.A young woman was coming toward him, her figure long and slim.Her blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were blue as flowers.John Blanchard 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.
I am so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?