A one sided love story of a girl - Short Love Stories
18 months ago l meet a man who would change my life forever. I was much too young to understand that one day that one look would be all I thought about. Consumed by him we stumbled upon more than just an average first love, it was something amazing something l wanted to keep forever. However, like life, everything that is good has a bad to it. I could never say this before, but I think one word to describe love is powerful. Internet love is nothing to be ashamed of it’s just something you have to let your self dream about and dreaming well we did a lot of that. Nick was the missing piece of my life something that l had always dreamt about and didn’t have. And when l first meet nick l was swept away by his charm, love and personality. And from that moment l new he was the love of my life and if l ever lost him that piece would go missing again. And when l made the huge decision to leave home at the age of 17, leave my job, family and everything that was special behind to go live on the other side of the world to be with the one man l new l just had to be with. And who would have guessed that l was walking into a trap and something that l wasn’t prepared for.The first 3 months was perfect l had settled in with the love of my life, brought myself my first car that I worked my guts off to afford, found a job that l loved, everything was perfect., we were perfect. And l had no idea l would have to prepare myself for the worse heart broke ever. Everything started to fall part as soon as he brought his love his first Holden. I was so excited “my boyfriend” was buying his first car, l was just so extremely happy for him. Nothing could stop this change no matter how much l told him l loved him with all my heart it just seemed like it was getting worse. Christmas 2001 came l was quite happy than because it was our first Christmas together but sad because it was the first Christmas away from my family. Everyone made me feel so welcome and made my Christmas day a day to remember for the rest of my life. All of a sudden we were all back at work again and l was still loving my work and getting really good pay. I was so excited the first week we went back because that was when l started my contract “fulltime work” and l was starting my child care course in just 2 months. Everything seemed to be great again, well l guess that’s what l thought. It was our 1 year and 6 months together l was so happy. I remember so clear when l woke up that morning l rolled over to hold my nick and he pushed me away and all l wanted to tell him was that l loved him so dearly with all my heart and soul. I remember l waited all morning and afternoon and still he hadn’t said anything about our special day, l think l waited till about 5:30 that afternoon and l said “sweet heart happy anniversary” and he said ohh l didn’t get you anything. But l didn’t want anything from my baby all l wanted was for him to say ohh Tanya l love you. Now lm back home with no job, no money, no car and no love from the love of my life. I feel so empty and l know now l didn’t know what l had till he was gone.One strange thing is that l don’t remember what nick was wearing the last time l saw him but l can still see so clear what my babe wore the first time l set eyes on him. White barker shirt, blue puma pants, green boxers, white joggers and his blue adidas bag in his left hand that he put down while he put his long arms around me. I may have lost my love of my life but I will cherish the memories of him forever. Nick will always have a special place in my heart. I have suffered a lot but I still believe the love that we both shared was the greatest gift that could ever been given to me. I will always love you nick your in my heart forever
Monday, August 16, 2010
A one sided love story of a girl - Short Love Stories
Love beneath the pacific tides - Short Love Stories
When I stepped off the plane in Maui, I smelled flowers, teriyaki sauce barbecue, and coconut suntan lotion. I was on Spring Break, traveling with a scuba driving group from college. The dive master planned seven days, a tight scuba schedule, and then back to rainy Oregon. While that was the main reason for the trip, I'd been thinking about a romantic agenda. In a couple of days, almost everyone in my group had met someone to go out with, everyone except me. Nights on the beach, I sipped pineapple cocktails and watched couples walking arm and arm along gentle waves. Still no luck. There was a girl I liked who joined our dive group late, but I hadn't a chance to spend much time with her. Her name was Bonnie and she had dark brown hair and blue eyes. When she smiled, you could hear the angels singing. If only I could get her away from the group so we could spend some time together. By the fifth day, still nothing.Our group took a high speed launch from Maui to dive at Cathedrals, an underwater reef formation off the coast of Molakai. The crossing was rough, with big swells breaking on the bows. The dive master drew names to see who would be paired up as dive buddies. I caught Bonnie looking at me and flashed a glance back, smiling, but she turned away. Please, please, please pair me up with Bonnie, I wished, secretly crossing my fingers. But the diver master didn't pair us up. Instead I was assigned to Todd, an inexperienced, pimply faced sophomore who seemed accident prone. I glanced back at Bonnie who gazed down at the deck, disappointed when the dive master called out Todd. Had she wanted to go with Todd? Had she wanted to go with me? Not this time. I exhaled deeply, a barely audible sigh. With only two days left on our dive trip, I guessed it just wasn't meant to be. Our dive boat drew closer to dropping anchor in the warm turquoise waters off Molokai. Todd looked ashen and then suddenly darted for the rail on the starboard side of the boat, leaning over hard. He'd gotten sea-sick from the boat ride over from Maui and was in no condition to go diving. That left me without a dive buddy. Bonnie looked over to me and then over to the dive master. I was about to ask if she wanted to go with me, but before the words came out of my mouth I heard, "Can I go with Ken?" There it was. She said it and the dive master nodded over in my direction. In a few moments the Bonnie and I were in the water and making our way down, 70 feet below the surface to a gothic coral formation--the Cathedrals. Sun shown through the coral like light through blue and purple stained glass church windows. Three manta rays glided by in a triangle formation like brown velvet archangels. From across the channel I could hear the calling of humpback whales underwater. Bonnie grabbed my hand and took her regulator from her mouth. At first I thought she was in trouble and needed my air. I took a deep breah, removed my regulator from my mouth, and offered it to her. She shook her head no and her long brown hair rose around her like a soft beacon. She closed her eyes and kissed me with her soft salty lips. We held hands for the rest of the dive and kicked our legs in unison, dancing, floating, spiraling around the coral like dolphins. It's said that diving in Hawaii is among the best in the world. Now I knew way.After a day of diving, we returned to Maui. Couples went off on their own. The two of us walked along the white sand beach back at Maui and sat down to watch the sunset. I put my arms around her and hugged her tightly to me. She pulled her knees up to her chest and we rocked back and forth, listening to the music of the waves and watching the last ember of the sun sinking into the vast Pacific. The sand, the soft starlit sky, the smell of coconuts, flowers, and teriyaki. If you aren't in love in Hawaii, you soon will be. I know because it happened to me at 70 feet below the surface, near a coral reef formation called the Cathedrals.
Love beneath the pacific tides - Short Love Stories
Just speak out! - Short Love Stories
Young Ashley was having a great end of the summer party at her house. She invited all of her friends to come over and go swimming in her lake. One of her best friends Zach was there. Not only was he one of her best friends, but also her ex-boyfriend, but it didn't bother her to much. Well, as everyone was jumping off the diving board and swimming in the lake Ashley walked up stairs to go get her sun glasses. Zack slowly followed her up stairs.Ashley grabbed the sun glasses and turn around to find laying on her bed. "Get off!" she yelled as she walked out of her room back down stairs. AGain Zach slowly followed."What are you doing?" Asked Ashley. Zach was following her like a lost puppy dog. Ashley went back outside and jumped in holding on to her sun glasses, then she stuck them back on as she climbing into a raft and laid there trying to get a tan. "Hey any of you kids want some more drinks, we're running low." Said Ashley's mom. "Yeah grab us some more pespi and cherry coke please." Yelle Ashley from in the water and then her mom drove off in her car. "Hey your mom is gone cann we go to your room." Asked Zach. "NO!" Said Ashley talking to another friend of hers, JOrdan. "Ashley he likes you." Said Jordan. "No he just wants some." Said Ashley. "No he just doesn't know how to ask you out." Said Jordan. "He already did that twice, the 1st time lasted 3 days and the 2nd time lasted 12 hrs." Said Ashley. "That's why he is afraid to ask you out, cuase you might say no." Said Jordan. "Well, if he ask I would." Said Ashley as she jumped into the lake and splashed raven and Katie. "Ashley!" Yelled Katie, Raven laughed becuase Katie looked liked a draowned rat. "You look funny." Said Raven. "Ashley I see Zach, can i tell him what you said?" Asked Jordan. "Whatever." Said Ashley as she swam under the dock. "Hey Jordan can i talk to you?" Asked Zach. "Yeah sure." Zack and Jordan walked the the porch in the front and sat down. "Jordan will Ashley go out with me, if i ask her" Asked Zach. "Yeah, she said she would." Said Jordan. "Ok well i need to get her alone." Said Zack. "'l help get you guys alone." Said Jordan. "Thanks man." Said Zach. "No problem." Said Jordan. "Ashley some one wants to talk to you." Ashley got out and wrapped a towel around herself. "Yes?" then she saw zach. SHe sat down next to him. "Ashley i know evrytime we go out it last shorter and shorter, but if you go out with me this time, i promise it will last a life time." Ashley was so touched by what he said she gave him a huge kiss. "I guess that is a Yes?" Asked Zach, shocked about he kiss. "Yes!" Said Ashley with tears in her eyes.
Just speak out! - Short Love Stories
A christmas story - Short Love Stories
In the very early 1800's, a young boy about 14 years old named John lived in an orphanage in Old England along with several other children. Orphanages were dreaded. Orphan meant unwanted and unloved. The orphanage was administered by a master and his wife who were results of meager backgrounds themselves and were short on love but high on discipline. No childlike play, no expression of compassion, no understanding.
Every day of the year was spent working. They worked in gardens, cleaned, sewed, and cooked sometimes for wealthy children. They were up at dawn and worked until dark and usually received only one meal a day. However, they were very grateful because they were taught to be hard workers. John had absolutely nothing to call his own. None of the children did.
Christmas was the one day of the year when the children did not work and received a gift. A gift for each child - something to call their own. This special gift was an orange. John had been in the orphanage long enough to look forward with delight and anticipation of this special day of Christmas and to the orange he would receive. In Old England, and to John and his orphan companions, an orange was a rare and special gift. It had an unusual aroma of something they smelled only at Christmas. The children prized it so much that they kept it for several days, weeks, and even months - protecting it, smelling it, touching it and loving it. Usually they tried to savor and preserve it for so long that it often rotted before they ever peeled it to enjoy the sweet juice.
Many thought were expressed this year as Christmas time approached. The children would say, "I will keep mine the longest." They always talked about how big their last orange was and how long they had kept it.
John usually slept with his next to his pillow. He would put it right by his nose and smell of its goodness, holding it tenderly and carefully as not to bruise it. He would dream of children all over the world smelling the sweet aroma of oranges. It gave him security and a sense of well being, hope and dreams of a future filled with good food and a life different from this meager existence.
This year John was overjoyed by the Christmas season. He was becoming a man. He knew he was becoming stronger and soon he would be old enough to leave. He was excited by this anticipation and excited about Christmas. He would save his orange until his birthday in July. If he preserved it very carefully, kept it cool and did not drop it, he might be able to eat it on his birthday.
Christmas day finally came. The children were so excited as they entered the big dining hall. John could smell the unusual aroma of meat. In his excitement and because of his oversized feet, he tripped, causing a disturbance. Immediately the master roared, "John, leave the hall and there will be no orange for you this year." John's heart broke violently wide open. He began to cry. He turned and went swiftly back to the cold room and his corner so the small children would not see his anguish.
Then he heard the door open and each of the children entered. Little Elizabeth with her hair falling over her shoulders, a smile on her face, and tears in her eyes held out a piece of rag to John. "Here John," she said, "this is for you." John was touched by her youth and innocence as he reached for the bulge in her hand. As he lifted back the edges of the rag he saw a big juicy orange all peeled and quartered. . . and then he realized what they had done. Each had sacrificed their own orange by sharing a quarter and had created a big, beautiful orange for John.
John never forgot the sharing, love and personal sacrifice his friends had shown him that Christmas day. John's beginning was a meager existence, however, his growth to manhood was rewarded by wealth and success.
In memory of that day every year he would send oranges all over the world to children everywhere. His desire was that no child would ever spend Christmas without a special Christmas fruit!
A christmas story - Short Love Stories
Marble trader - Short Love Stories
by W. E. Petersen
During the waning years of the Depression in a small southeastern Idaho community, I used to stop by Mr. Miller's roadside stand for farm-fresh produce as the season made it available. Food and money were still extremely scarce and bartering was used, extensively. One particular day, Mr. Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas.
I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me. "Hello Barry, how are you today?"
"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas......sure look good." "They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"
"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla'time."
"Good. Anything I can help you with "
"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."
"Would you like to take some home?"
"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."
"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"
"All I got's my prize aggie, best taw around here."
"Is that right? Let me see it."
"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."
"I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"
"Not 'zackley .....but, almost."
"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red taw."
"Sure will. Thanks, Mr. Miller."
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community. All three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble, or an orange one, perhaps."
I left the stand, smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Utah, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys and their bartering.
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community, and while I was there, I learned that Mr. Miller had just died. They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them.
Upon our arrival at the mortuary, we got into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an Army uniform and the other two had short haircuts, wore dark suits and white shirts, looking like potential or returned missionaries.
They approached Mrs. Miller, standing smiling and looking composed, by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary, awkwardly, and wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. Eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket. "This is an amazing coincidence," she said. "Those three young men that just left, were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size...they came to pay their debt. We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but, right now, Jim would have considered himself the richest man in Idaho." With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three magnificently shiny, red marbles.
Marble trader - Short Love Stories
by W. E. Petersen
Cry for help - Short Love Stories
Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, and all of the others, including Love.
One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all repaired their boats and left.
Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to persevere until the last possible moment.
When the island was almost sinking, Love decided to ask for help.
Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, "Richness, can you take me with you?" Richness answered, "No I can't..There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place for you here."
Love decided to ask Vanity, who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel, "Vanity, please help me!" "I can't help you Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat," Vanity answered.
Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, "Sadness let me go with you." "Oh...Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!"
Happiness passed by Love too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her!
Suddenly, there was a voice, "Come Love, I will take you." It was an elder. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that he even forgot to ask the elder her name.
When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Love, realizing how much he owed the elder, asked Knowledge, another elder, "Who helped me?"
"It was Time", Knowledge answered.
"Time?" asked Love. "But why did Time help me?
Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, "Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is."
Cry for help - Short Love Stories
Love at first sight - Short Love Stories
Before I start telling you my story, I would like to tell you that I believe in love at first sight. It happened to me and I am sure it has happened to a lot of other people. One day, after finishing from work I went to catch the bus home as I usually did. I sat down and opposite me there was this incredible guy looking at me. Our eyes met and it was like our souls joined. We couldn't stop looking at each other. I knew deep down inside that he was the one for me. After a while, I got the giggles and he gave me the most incredible smile. It took my breath away. I felt something I have never felt in my life before-- what I believe to be true love. For my whole trip home we kept on looking at each other. I was a bit shy, so I kept looking away. When I got off the bus, I felt this emptiness inside. As the bus drove past me, he looked at me and smiled. It took my breath away and I felt that we were destined to be together. When I got home, I couldn't stop thinking about him. A week passed and I still remembered the way our eyes joined and the incredible smile he gave me. I went to the same bus stop praying I would see him again. No luck, he wasn't there. A week later I got on to the bus sat down then after five minutes someone came and sat next to me. When I looked, I realized that it was him. We both smiled at each other like we were so happy to see each other again. When we started to talk we became even more fascinated about each other. He offered to take me to the theatre to see a play and I said, "Yes, I would love to." It turned out perfectly, we both had a lot of fun and it seemed we were soul mates. We kept on arranging to go out with each other. After four months, we realized we were madly in love with each other. He told me he came to that bus stop the next day hoping he would see me again. We are now in love and happily married with one beautiful child.
Love at first sight - Short Love Stories
May be life really is - Short Love Stories
by Louise R. Shaw
It was done in shades of blue with a touch of peach here and there and when I first saw it, tears sprang to my eyes.
Something about the painting made me see beauty in something that had previously been just another duty. The child was sound asleep in his mother’s arms, his head on her shoulder, her cheek resting against his curly hair. Light from a nearby window was just beginning to chase the dark shadows away.
The rocking chair in the background was empty. Whatever his need, she had taken him in her arms without waiting to get to a more comfortable spot.
The quilt she held him in was further evidence of someone’s love. The little patchwork pieces so patiently arranged in design and so warmly healing.
I knew just what had happened as I drank in the picture. She had heard his cries, wrapped him tightly in the warm quilt, told him everything would be OK now, and rocked him gently until his fears and tears were quieted and he was once again safe and warm and asleep.
But though he sleeps, she does not. And as she holds him snugly, the faraway look in her eyes is evidence that she too is at peace.
I cut out the picture from the magazine, had it mounted, double-matted and framed and hung it right next to the door that leads from my room. When I get up in the night to calm tears, I pass it in the dark and know that what I’m doing isn’t a terrible inconvenience at all.
It took two years before my youngest slept through the night. I listened to all the advice from outsiders — let him cry, feed him yogurt or oatmeal, skip a nap, and on and on. Then I realized that every moment during the day, we were surrounded by one or two or three others and their wants and needs and troubles. At night, just the two of us were together. My son and I.
It was then I decided that those few minutes together were not a chore or a pain or a sacrifice. They were an act of love, a sweet service. And then, as the woman in the painting in shades of blue, I felt peace.
May be life really is - Short Love Stories
by Louise R. Shaw
A good lesson - Short Love Stories
by Artin Tellalian
A young man, a student in one of our universities, was one day taking a walk with a professor, who was commonly called the students' friend, from his kindness to those who waited on his instructions. As they went along, they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which they supposed to belong to a poor man who was employed in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day's work.
The student turned to the professor, saying: "Let us play the man a trick: we will hide his shoes, and conceal ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them."
"My young friend," answered the professor, "we should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of the poor man. Put a coin into each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how the discovery affects him."
The student did so, and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes. While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes; but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance. He gazed upon the coin, turned it round, and looked at it again and again. He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin. His feelings overcame him; he fell upon his knees, looked up to heaven and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving, in which he spoke of his wife, sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom the timely bounty, from some unknown hand, would save from perishing.
The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears. "Now," said the professor, "are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?"
The youth replied, "You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. I feel now the truth of those words, which I never understood before: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
A good lesson - Short Love Stories
by Artin Tellalian
Across The Way - Short Love Stories
By Robert Grant
The news that the late Mr. Cherrington's house on Saville Street had been let for a school, within a few months after his death, could not have been a surprise to any one in the neighborhood. Ten years before, when Mr. Cherrington and those prominent in his generation were in their heyday, Saville Street had been sacred to private residences from one end to the other, but the tide of fashion had been drifting latterly. There was already another school in the same block, and there were scattered all along on either side of the street a sprinkling of throat, eye, and ear doctors, a very fashionable dressmaker or two, an up-town bank, and numerous apartments for bachelors.
The news could not have been a surprise even to Mr. Homer Ramsay, but that crusty old bachelor in the seventies brought down his walking-stick with a vicious thump when he heard it, and remarked that he would live to be ninety "if only to spite 'em." This threat, however, had reference, not to Mr. Cherrington's residence, but his own, which was exactly opposite, and which he had occupied for more than forty years. It was a conviction of Mr. Ramsay's that there was a conspiracy on foot to purchase his house, and accordingly he took every opportunity to declare that he would never part with an inch of his land while he was in the flesh. A wag in the neighborhood had expressed the opinion that the old gentleman waxed hale and hearty on his own bile. He was certainly a churlish individual in his general bearing toward his fellow-beings, and violent in his prejudices. For the last ten years his favorite prophecy had been that the country was going to the devil.
Besides the house on Saville Street, Mr. Ramsay had some bonds and stock--fifty or sixty thousand dollars in all--which tidy little property would, in the natural course of events, descend to his next of kin; in this case, however, only a first cousin once removed. In the eye of the law a living person has no heir; but blood is thicker than water, and it was generally taken for granted that Mr. Horace Barker, whose grandmother had been the sister of Mr. Ramsay's father, would some day be the owner of the house on Saville Street. At least, confident expectation that this would come to pass had long restrained Mr. Barker from letting any one but his better half know that he regarded his Cousin Homer as an irascible old curmudgeon; and perhaps, on the other hand, had justified Mr. Ramsay in his own mind for referring in common parlance to his first cousin once removed as a stiff nincompoop who had married a sickly doll. Not that Mr. Horace Barker needed the money, by any means. He was well-to-do already, and lived in a more fashionable street than Saville Street, where he occupied a dignified-looking brown-stone house, from the windows of which his three little people--all girls--peeped and nodded at the organ-grinder and the street-band.
The name of the person to whom Mr. Cherrington's house had been leased was Miss Elizabeth Whyte. She was twenty-five, and she was starting a school because it was necessary for her to earn her own living. She considered that life, from the point of view of happiness, was over for her; and yet, though she had made up her mind that she could never be really happy again, she was resolved neither to mope nor to be a burden on any one. Mr. Mills, the executor of Mr. Cherrington's estate, who believed himself to be a judge of human nature withal, had observed that she seemed a little overwrought, as though she had lived on her nerves; but, on the other hand, he had been impressed by her direct, business-like manner, which argued that she was very much in earnest. Besides, she was vouched for by the best people, and Mrs. Cyrus Bangs was moving heaven and earth to procure pupils for her. It was clearly his duty as a business man to let her have the house.
Until within a few months Elizabeth Whyte had lived in a neighboring town--the seat of a college, where the minds of young men for successive generations have been cultivated, but sometimes at the expense of a long-suffering local community. Her father, who at the time of her birth was a clergyman with a parish, had subsequently evolved into an agnostic and an invalid without one, and she had been used to plain living and high thinking from her girlhood. Even parents who find it difficult to keep the wolf at a respectful distance by untiring economy will devise some means to make an only daughter look presentable on her first appearance in society. Fine feathers do not make fine birds, and yet the consciousness of a becoming gown will irradiate the cheek of beauty. Elizabeth at eighteen would have been fetching in any dress, but in each of her three new evening frocks she looked bewitching. She was a gay, trig little person, with snapping, dark eyes and an arch expression; a tireless dancer, quick and audacious at repartee; the very ideal of a college belle. The student world had fallen prostrate at her feet, and Tom Whittemore most conspicuously and devotedly of all.
Tom was, perhaps, the most popular man of his day; a Philadelphian of reputedly superfine stock, fresh-faced and athletic, with a jaunty walk. There was no one at the college assemblies who whispered so entrancingly in her ear when she was all alone with him in a corner, and no one who placed her new fleecy wrap about her shoulders with such an air of devotion when it was time to go home. She liked him from the very first; and all her girl friends babbled, "Wouldn't it be a lovely match?" But Tom's classmates from Philadelphia, when they became confidential in the small hours of the morning, asked each other what Tom's mother would say. Tom was a senior, and it was generally assumed that matters would culminate on Class-day evening, that evening of all evenings in the collegiate world sacred to explanation and vows. Elizabeth lay awake all that night, remembering that she had let Tom have his impetuous say, and that at the end he had folded her in his arms and kissed her. Not until the next morning, and then merely as an unimportant fact, did it occur to her that, though Tom had told her she was dearer to him than all the world besides, there was no definite engagement between them. It was only when whispers reached her that Tom, who had gone to Philadelphia to attend the wedding of a relation, was not coming back to his Commencement, that she began to think a little. But she never really doubted until the news came that Tom had been packed off by his mother on a two years' journey round the world.
What mother in a distant city would be particularly pleased to have her only son, on whom rested the hopes of an illustrious stock, lose his heart to a college belle? But Elizabeth can scarcely be blamed for not having taken the illustrious stock into consideration. She kept saying to herself, that, if he had only written, she could have forgiven him; and it was not surprising that the partners with whom she danced at the college assemblies during the next five years described her to each other as steely. Indeed, she danced and prattled with such vivacious energy, and her black eyes shone so like beads, that college tradition twisted her story until it ran that she had thrown over Tom Whittemore, the most popular man of his day, and that she had no more heart than a nether millstone. And all the time, just to prove to herself that she had not cared for him, she kept the roses that he had given her on that Class-day evening in the secret drawer of her work-box. It had been all sheer nonsense, a boy and girl flirtation. So she had taught herself to argue, knowing that it was untrue, and knowing that she knew it to be so.
Then had come the deaths of her father and mother within three months of each other, and she had awakened one morning to the consciousness that she was alone in the world, and face to face with the necessity of earning her daily bread. The gentleman who had charge of the few thousand dollars belonging to her father's estate, in announcing that her bonds had ceased to pay interest, had added that she was in the same boat with many of the best people; which ought to have been a consolation, had she needed any. But this loss of the means of living had seemed a mere trifle beside her other griefs; indeed, it acted as a spur rather than a bludgeon. The same pride which had prompted her to continue to dance bade her bestir herself to make a living. Upon reflection, the plan of starting a school struck her as the most practicable. But it should be a school for girls; she had done with the world of men. She had loved with all her heart, and her heart was broken; it was withered, like the handful of dried roses in the secret drawer of her work-box.
* * * * *
Elizabeth was fortunate enough to obtain at the outset the patronage of some of those same "best people" in the adjacent city, who happened to know her story. Fashionable favor grows apace. It was only after hearing that Mrs. Cyrus Bangs had intrusted her little girl to the tender mercies of Miss Whyte that Mrs. Horace Barker subdued the visions of scarlet-fever, bad air, and evil communications which haunted her, sufficiently to be willing to send her own darlings to the new kindergarten. People intimate with Mrs. Barker were apt to say that worry over her three little girls, who were exceptionally healthy children, kept her a nervous invalid.
"I consider Mrs. Cyrus Bangs a very particular woman," she said, with plaintive impressiveness to her husband. "If she is willing to send her Gwendolen to Miss Whyte, I am disposed to let Margery, Gladys, and Dorothy go. Only you must have a very clear understanding with Miss Whyte, at the outset, as to hours and ventilation and Gladys's hot milk. We cannot move from the seaside until a fortnight after her term begins, and it will be utterly impossible for me to get the children to school in the mornings before half-past nine."
It never occurred to Horace Barker, when one morning about ten o'clock, some six weeks later, he called at the kindergarten with his precious trio, that there was any impropriety in breaking in upon Miss Whyte's occupations an hour after school had begun. What school-mistress could fail to be proud of the distinction of obtaining his three daughters as pupils at any hour of the twenty-four when he saw fit to proffer them? He expected to find a cringing, deferential young person, who would, in the interest of her own bread and butter, accede without a murmur to any stipulations which so important a patroness as Mrs. Horace Barker might see fit to impose. He became conscious, in the first place, that the school-mistress was a much more attractive-looking young person than he had anticipated, and secondly, that she seemed rather amused than otherwise at his conditions. No man, and least of all a man so consummate as Mr. Barker--for he was a dapper little person with a closely cropped beard and irreproachable kid gloves--likes to be laughed at by a woman, especially by one who is young and moderately good-looking; and he instinctively drew himself up by way of protest before Elizabeth spoke.
"Really, Mr. Barker," she replied, after a few moments of reflection, "I don't see how it is possible for me to carry out Mrs. Barker's wishes. To let the children come half an hour later and go home half an hour earlier than the rest would interfere with the proper conduct of the school. I will do my best to have the ventilation satisfactory, and perhaps I can manage to provide some hot milk for the second one, as her mother desires; but in the matter of the hours, I do not see how I can accommodate Mrs. Barker. To make such an exception would be entirely contrary to my principles."
Horace Barker smiled inwardly at the suggestion that a school-mistress could have principles which an influential parent might not violate.
"When I say to you that it is Mrs. Barker's particular desire that her preferences regarding hours should be observed, I am sure that you will interpose no further objection."
Elizabeth gave a strange little laugh, and her eyes, which were still her most salient feature, snapped noticeably. "It is quite out of the question, Mr. Barker," she said with decision. "Much as I should like to have your little girls, I cannot consent to break my rules on their account."
"Mrs. Barker would be very sorry to be compelled to send her children elsewhere," he said solemnly, with the air of one who utters a dire threat.
"I should be glad to teach your little girls upon the same terms as I do my other pupils," said Elizabeth, quietly. "But if my regulations are unsatisfactory, you had better send them elsewhere."
Horace Barker was a man who prided himself on his deportment. He would no more have condescended to express himself with irate impetuosity than he would have permitted his closely cropped beard to exceed the limits which he imposed upon it. He simply bowed stiffly, and turning to the Misses Barker, who, under the supervision of a nurse, whom they had been taught to address by her patronymic Thompson instead of by her Christian name Bridget, had been open-mouthed listeners to the dialogue, said, "Come, children."
It so happened that as Mr. Horace Barker and the Misses Barker descended the steps of the late Mr. Cherrington's house, they came plump upon Mr. Homer Ramsay, who was taking his morning stroll. The old gentleman was standing leaning on his cane, glaring across the street; and, by way of acknowledging that he perceived his first cousin once removed, he raised the cane, and, pointing in the line of his scowling gaze, ejaculated:
"This street is going to perdition. As though it weren't enough to have a school opposite me, a fellow has had the impudence to put his doctor's sign right next door to my house--an oculist, he calls himself. In my day, a man who was fit to call himself a doctor could set a leg, or examine your eyes, or tell what was the matter with your throat, and not leave you so very much the wiser even then; but now there's a different kind of quack for every ache and pain in our bodies."
"We live in a progressive world, Cousin Homer," said Mr. Barker, placing his eyeglass astride his nose to examine the obnoxious sign across the way. "Dr. James Clay, Oculist," he read aloud, indifferently.
"Progressive fiddlesticks, Cousin Horace. A fig for your oculists and your dermatologists and all the rest of your specialists! I have managed to live to be seventy-five, and I never had anybody prescribe for me but a good old-fashioned doctor, thank Heaven! And I'm not dead yet, as the speculators who have their eyes on my house and are waiting for me to die will find out." Mr. Ramsay scowled ferociously; then casting a sweeping glance from under his eyebrows at the little girls, he said, "Cousin Horace, if your children don't have better health than their mother, they might as well be dead. Do they go there?" he asked, indicating the school-house with his cane.
"I am removing them this morning. Anabel had concluded to send them there, but I find that the young woman who is the teacher has such hoity-toity notions that I cannot consent to let my daughters remain with her. In my opinion, so arbitrary a young person should be checked; and my belief is that before many days she will find herself without pupils." Whereupon Mr. Barker proceeded on his way, muttering to himself, when at a safe distance, "Irrational old idiot!"
Mr. Ramsay stood for some moments mulling over his cousin's answer; by degrees his countenance brightened and he began to chuckle; and every now and then, in the course of his progress along Saville Street, he would stand and look back at the late Mr. Cherrington's house, as though it had acquired a new interest in his eyes. His daily promenade was six times up and six times down Saville Street; and he happened to complete the last lap, so to speak, of his sixth time down at the very moment when Miss Whyte's little girls came running out on the sidewalk for recess. Behind them appeared the school-mistress, who stood looking at her flock from the top of the stone flight.
Elizabeth knew the old gentleman by sight but not by name, and she was therefore considerably astonished to see him suddenly veer from his ordinary course, and come slowly up the steps.
"You're the school-mistress?" he asked, with the directness of an old man who feels that he need not mince his words.
"Yes, sir. I'm Miss Whyte."
"My name's Ramsay; Homer Ramsay. I live opposite, and I've come to tell you I admire your pluck in not letting my cousin, Horace Barker, put you down. I'll stand by you, too; you can tell him that. Break up your school? I should like to see him do it. Had to take his three little girls away, did he? Ho, ho! A grand good joke that; a grand good joke. What was it he asked you to do?"
"Mr. Barker wished me to change some of my rules about hours, and I was not able to accommodate him, that was all," answered Elizabeth, who found herself eminently puzzled by the interest in her affairs displayed by this strange visitor.
"I'll warrant he did. And you wouldn't make the change. A grand good joke that. I know him; he's my first cousin once removed, and the only relation I've left. And he is going to try and break up your school. I'd like to see him do it."
"I don't believe that Mr. Barker would do anything so unjust," said Elizabeth, flushing.
"Yes, he would. I had it from his own lips. But he shan't; not while I'm in the flesh. What did you say your name was?"
"And what made you become a school-teacher, I should like to know?"
"I had to earn my living."
"Humph! In my day, girls as pretty as you got married; but now the rich ones are those who get husbands, and those who are poor have to tend shop instead of baby."
"I know a number of girls who were poor, who have excellent husbands," said Elizabeth quietly, spurred into coming to the rescue of the sex she despised. "But," she added, "there are many girls nowadays who are poor who prefer to remain single." She was amused at having been led into so unusual a discussion with this queer old gentleman.
"Bah! That caps the climax. When pretty girls pretend that they don't wish to be married, the world is certainly turned upside down. Well, I like your spirit, though I don't approve of your methods. I just dropped in to say that if Horace Barker does cause you any trouble, you've a friend across the way. Good-morning."
And before Elizabeth could bethink herself to say that she was very much obliged to him, Mr. Ramsay was gone.
That very day after school, while Elizabeth was on her way across the park which lay between Saville Street and the section of the city where her rooms were, she dodged the wrong way in a narrow path, so that she ran plump into the arms of a young man who was walking in the opposite direction. Most women expect men to look out for them when they dodge, but Elizabeth's code did not allow her to put herself under obligations to any man. To tell the truth, she was in such a brown study over the events of the morning that she had become practically oblivious of her surroundings. When she recovered sufficiently from her confusion at her clumsiness to take in the details of the situation, she realized that the individual in question was a young man whom she was in the habit of passing daily at this same hour. Only the day before he had rescued her veil which had been swept away by a high wind; and here she was again, within twenty-four hours, forcing herself upon his attention. She, too, of all women, who had done with men forever!
But Elizabeth's confusion was slight compared with that manifested by her victim, who, notwithstanding that his hat had been jammed in by her school-bag (which she had raised as a shield), was so profuse in the utterance of his apologies and so willing to shoulder all responsibility, that her own sensibilities were speedily comforted. She found herself, after they had separated, much more engrossed by the fact that he had addressed her by name. Although they had been passing each other daily for over two months, it had never occurred to her to wonder who he might be. But it was evident that she was not unknown to him. She remembered now merely that he was a gentleman, and that he had intelligent eyes and a pleasant, deferential smile. The recollection of his blushing diffidence made her laugh.
On the following day, when they were about to pass as usual, she was suddenly confronted in her mind by the alternative whether to recognize him or not. A glance at him as he approached told her that he himself was evidently uncertain if she would choose to consider their experience of the previous day as equivalent to an introduction, and yet she noticed a certain wistfulness of expression which suggested the desire to be permitted to doff his hat to her. To acknowledge by a simple inclination of her head the existence of a man whom she was likely to pass every day seemed the natural thing to do, however unconventional; so she bowed.
"Good afternoon, Miss Whyte," he said, lifting his hat with a glad smile.
How completely our lives are often appropriated by incidents which seem at the time of but slight importance! For the next few months Elizabeth was buffeted as it were between the persistent persecution of Mr. Horace Barker and the persistent devotion of Mr. Homer Ramsay. With Mr. Barker she had no further interview, but not many weeks elapsed before the influence of malicious strictures and insinuations circulated by him concerning the hygienic arrangements of her school began to bear their natural fruit. Parents became querulous and suspicious; and when calumny was at its height, a case of scarlet-fever among her pupils threw consternation even into the soul of Mrs. Cyrus Bangs, her chief patroness. But, on the other hand, she soon realized that she possessed an ardent, if not altogether discreet, champion in her enemy's septuagenarian first cousin once removed, who sang her praises and fought her battles from one end of Saville Street to the other. Mr. Ramsay no longer railed against electric cars and specialists; all his fulminations were uttered against the malicious warfare which his Cousin Horace and that blood relative's sickly wife were waging against the charming little Miss Whyte, who had hired Mr. Cherrington's house across the way. What is more, he paid Elizabeth almost daily visits, during which, after he had discussed ways and means for confounding his vindictive kinsman, he was apt to declare that she ought to be married, and that it was a downright shame so pretty a girl should be condemned to drudgery because she lacked a dowry. This was a point on which the old gentleman never ceased to harp; and Elizabeth labored vainly to make him understand that teaching was a delight to her instead of a drudgery, and that she had not the remotest desire for a husband. And by way of proving how indifferent she was to the whole race of men, she continued to bow to the unknown stranger of her daily walk without making the slightest effort to discover his name.
Pneumonia, that deadly foe of hale and hearty septuagenarians, carried Mr. Homer Ramsay off within forty-eight hours in the first week of May. And very shortly after, Elizabeth received a letter from Mr. Mills, the lawyer, requesting her to call on a matter of importance. She supposed that it concerned her lease. Perhaps her enemy had bought the roof over her head.
Mr. Mills ushered her into his private office. Then opening a parchment envelope on his desk, he turned to her, and said: "I have the pleasure to inform you, Miss Whyte, that my client, the late Mr. Homer Ramsay, has left you the residuary legatee of his entire property--some fifty or sixty thousand dollars. Perhaps," he added, observing Elizabeth's bewildered expression, "you would like to read the will while I attend to a little matter in the other office. It is quite short, and straight as a string. I drew the instrument, and the testator knew what he was about just as well as you or I."
Mr. Mills, who, as you may remember, was a student of human nature, believed that Miss Whyte lived on her nerves, and he had therefore planned to leave her alone for a few moments to allow any hysterical tendency to exhaust itself. When he returned, he found her looking straight before her with the document in her lap.
"Is it all plain?" he asked kindly.
"Yes. But I don't understand exactly why he left it to me."
"Because he liked you, my dear. He had become very fond of you. And if you will excuse my saying so," he added, with a knowing smile, "he was very anxious to see you well married. He said that he wished to provide you with a suitable dowry."
"I see," said Elizabeth, coloring. She reflected for a moment, then looked up and said, "But I am free to use it as I see fit?"
"Absolutely. I may as well tell you now as any time, however," Mr. Mills added smoothly, "that Mr. Ramsay's cousin, Mr. Horace Barker, has expressed an intention to contest the will. He is the next of kin, though only a first cousin once removed."
Elizabeth started at the name, and drew herself up slightly.
"You need not give yourself the smallest concern in the matter," the lawyer continued. "If Mr. Barker were in needy circumstances or were a nearer relative, he might be able to make out a case, but no jury will hesitate between a first cousin once removed, amply rich in this world's goods, and a--a--pretty woman. I myself am ready to testify that Mr. Ramsay was completely in his right mind," he added, with professional dignity; "and as for the claim of undue influence, it is rubbish--sheer rubbish."
Elizabeth sat for a few moments without speaking. She seemed to pay no heed to several further reassuring remarks which Mr. Mills, who judged that she was appalled by the idea of a legal contest, hastened to let fall. At last she looked straight at him, and said with firmness, "I suppose that I am at liberty not to take this money, if I don't wish to?"
"At liberty? Bless my stars, Miss Whyte, anybody is at liberty to refuse a gift of fifty thousand dollars. But when you call to see me again, you will be laughing at the very notion of such a thing. Go home, my dear young lady, and leave the matter in my hands. Naturally you are overwrought at the prospect of going into court."
"It isn't that, Mr. Mills. I cannot take this money; I have no right to it. I am no relation to Mr. Ramsay, and the only reason he left it to me was--was because he thought it would help me to be married. Otherwise he would have left it to Mr. Barker. I have no intention of marrying, and I should not be willing to take a fortune under such circumstances."
"The will is perfectly legal, my dear. And as to marrying, you are free to remain single all your days, if you wish to," said Mr. Mills, with another knowing smile. "Indeed, you are overwrought."
Elizabeth shook her head. "I am sure that I shall never change my mind," she answered. "I could never take it."
Elizabeth slept little that night; but when she arose in the morning, she felt doubly certain that she had acted to her own satisfaction. What real right had she to this money? It was coming to her as the result of the fancy of an eccentric old man, who, in a moment of needless pity and passing interest, had made a will in her favor to the prejudice of his natural heir. Of what odds was it that that heir had ample means already, or even that he was her bitter enemy? Did not the very fact that he was her enemy and that she despised him make it impossible for her to take advantage of an old man's whim so as to rob him? She would have no lawsuit; he might keep the fifty thousand dollars, and she would go her way as though Mr. Homer Ramsay and Mr. Horace Barker had never existed. Mr. Ramsay had left her his money on the assumption that she would be able to marry. To have taken it knowing that she intended never to marry would have been to take it under false pretences.
Mr. Mills consoled himself after much additional expostulation with the reflection that if a woman is bent on making a fool of herself, the wisest man in the world is helpless to prevent her. He set himself at last to prepare the necessary papers which would put Mr. Horace Barker in possession of his cousin's property; and very shortly the act of signal folly, as he termed it, was completed. Tongues in the neighborhood wagged energetically for a few days; but presently the birth of twins in the next block distracted the public mind, and Elizabeth was allowed to resume the vocation of an inconspicuous schoolmistress. From the object of her bounty, Mr. Horace Barker, she heard nothing directly; but at least he had the grace to discontinue his persecutions. And parental confidence, which, in spite of scarlet-fever, had never been wholly lost, was manifested in the form of numerous applications to take pupils for the coming year. For the first time for many weeks Elizabeth was in excellent spirits and was looking forward to the summer vacation, now close at hand; during which she hoped to be able to fit herself more thoroughly for her duties after a few weeks of necessary rest.
One evening, about a fortnight before the date when the school was to close, she noticed that the print of her book seemed blurred; she turned the page and, perceiving the same effect, realized that her vision was impaired. On the following morning at school she noticed the same peculiarity whenever she looked at a book. She concluded that it was but a passing weakness, the result of having studied too assiduously at night. Still, recognizing that her eyes were all-important to her, she decided to consult an oculist at once. It would be a simple matter to do, for was there not one directly opposite in the house next to Mr. Ramsay's? The sign, Dr. James Clay, Oculist, had daily stared her in the face. She resolved to consult him that very day after school. To be sure she knew nothing about him individually, but she was aware that only doctors of the best class were to be found in Saville Street.
She was obliged to wait in an anteroom, as there were three or four patients ahead of her. When her turn came to be ushered into the doctor's office, she found herself suddenly in the presence of the unknown young man whom she was accustomed to meet daily on her way from school. Her impulse at recognizing him, though she could not have told why, was to slip away; but before she could move, he looked up from the table over which he was bent making a memorandum.
"Miss Whyte!" he exclaimed with pleased astonishment and some confusion, advancing to meet her. "In what way can I be of service to you?"
"Dr. Clay? I should like you to look at my eyes; they have been troubling me lately."
Elizabeth briefly detailed her symptoms. He listened with gravity, and then after requesting her to change her seat, he examined her eyes with absorbed attention. This took some minutes, and when he had finished there was something in his manner which prompted her to say:
"Of course you will tell me, Dr. Clay, exactly what is the matter."
"I am bound to do so," he said, slowly. "I wished to make perfectly sure, before saying that your eyes are quite seriously affected--not that there is danger of a loss of sight, if proper precautions are taken--but--but it will be absolutely necessary for you to abstain from using them in order to check the progress of the disease."
"I see," she said, quietly, after a brief silence. "Do you mean that I cannot teach school? I am a school-teacher."
"I knew that; and knowing it, I thought it best to tell you the whole truth. No, Miss Whyte; you must not use your eyes for at least a year, if you do not wish to lose your sight."
"I see," said Elizabeth again, with the hopeless air of one from whom the impossible is demanded. "I thank you, Dr. Clay, for telling me the truth," she added, simply. "Have I strained my eyes?"
"You have evidently overtaxed them a little; but the disease is primarily a disease of the nerves. Will you excuse me for asking if at any time within the last few years you have suffered a severe shock?"
"A shock?" Elizabeth hesitated an instant, and replied gently: "Yes; but it was a number of years ago."
"That would account for the case, nevertheless."
A few minutes later Elizabeth was walking along the street, face to face with despair. She had not been able to obtain permission from the doctor to use her eyes even during the ten days which remained before vacation. He had said that every moment of delay would make the cure more difficult. She must absolutely cease to look at a book for one whole year. It would be necessary at first for her to visit him for treatment two or three times a week. He had said--she remembered his exact words--"I cannot do a very great deal for you; we can rely only on time for that; but believe me, I shall endeavor to help you so far as it lies in human power. I hope that you will trust me--and--and come to me freely." Kind words these, but of what avail were they to answer the embarrassing question how she was to live? She must give up her school at least for a year; that seemed inevitable. How was she to earn her daily bread if she obeyed the doctor's orders? Would it not be better to use her eyes to the end, and trust to charity to send her to an infirmary when she became blind? Why had she been foolish enough to refuse Mr. Ramsay's property? But for a quixotic theory, she would not now have been at the world's mercy.
It was the sting of shame which this last thought aroused, following in the train of her bitter reasoning, that caused her to quicken her pace and clinch her hands. That same pride, which had been her ally hitherto, had come to her rescue once more. She said to herself that she had done what she knew was right, and that no force of cruel circumstances should induce her to regret that she had not acted differently. She would prove still that she was able to make her own way without assistance, even though she were obliged to scrub floors. A shock? The shock of a betrayed faith which had arrayed her soul in bitterness against mankind. Must she own that she was crushed? Not while she had an arm to toil and a heart to strive.
The next ten days were bitter ones. Elizabeth, after disbanding her school, began to plan and contrive for the future. Schemes bright with prospect suggested themselves, and faded into smoke at the touch of practicability. She had a few hundred dollars, which would enable her to live until she had been able to devise a plan, and she determined that the world should not think that she was discouraged. The world, and chiefly at the moment Dr. Clay, whose kindness and earnest attention during the visits which she paid him suggested that he felt great pity for her. Pity? She wished the pity of no man.
One evening while she was alone in her parlor, wrestling with her schemes, the maid entered and said that a gentleman wished to see her. A gentleman? She could think of none who would be likely to call upon her, but she bade the girl show him in; and a moment later she was greeting Dr. Clay. Presently, while she was wondering why he had come, she found herself listening to these words: "I am a stranger to you to all intents and purposes, but you are none to me. For months I have dogged your footsteps unknown to you, and haunted this house in my walks because I knew that you lived here. The memory of your face has sweetened my dreams, and those brief moments when we have passed each other daily have been sweeter than any paradise. I know the story of your struggle with that coward and of your noble act of renunciation. It cut into my heart like a knife to speak to you those necessary words the other day, and I have been miserable ever since. I said to myself at last that I would go to you and tell you that I could not be happy apart from you; and that your happiness was mine. This seems presumptuous, intrusive: I wish to be neither. I have merely come to ask that I may be free to call upon you and to try to make you love me. I am not rich, but my practice is such that I am able to offer you a home. Will you allow me to come to see you, at least to be your friend?"
The silence which followed this eager question seemed to demand an answer. Elizabeth, who had been sitting with bent head, looked up presently and answered with a sweet smile:
"I have no friends, Dr. Clay. I think it would be very pleasant to have one."
A few minutes later when he was gone, Elizabeth sat for some time without moving, with the same happy smile on her lips. He had asked nothing more and she had given him no greater assurance. Why was it that at last she buried her face in her hands and sobbed as though her bosom would break? Why was it, too, that before she went to bed that night she took a handful of withered flowers, mere dust and ashes, from the secret drawer of her work-box, and, wrapping them in the paper which had enclosed them, held them in the flame of the lamp until they were consumed? Why? Because love, unwatched for, unbidden had entered her heart, which she thought sere as the rose-leaves, and restored light to the sunshine and joy to the world.
Across The Way - Short Love Stories
By Robert Grant
A great life - Short Love Stories
I've heard the saying, "The best gift parents can ever give to their children is to love each other."
I've had the pleasure of witnessing the truth of this statement for over 40 years. From as far back as I can remember my Mom and Dad were a team. A great partnership. They were more than just a partnership. It was as if they were one person.
Sure, they argued, but there was never any doubt in our minds that any disagreements would be worked through and resolved. Mom and Dad began their married life poor, but they worked hard and, over the years, built a very successful business. They each had their strengths and weaknesses, but the way they worked together, you never saw the weaknesses, just the strengths.
Dad was the outgoing, more public person with whom people met and fell in love with right away. Everyone knew Dad! Then, when they got to meet Mom, they felt the exact same way about her as well. Mom, although not at all shy, was more comfortable being the person behind the scenes. More detail oriented, she ran the books and, according to Dad, was the one who really made the business work.
The biggest lesson about love and marriage that my mom and dad taught us kids was how to talk "about" your spouse. Have you ever heard husbands and wives, when speaking to others, make unkind remarks about their spouses? It's one of those things people just seem to do. Sure, they're "only kidding," or maybe they are not. But words matter. And words teach, whether positively or negatively.
You would never hear such a thing from my mom and dad. Dad always speaks of Mom in the most complimentary, glowing terms. As does she of him.
This lesson made such an impression on me. I still remember when I was age 12 and we were getting carpet installed in our home. The crew boss was one of those stereotypical beer guzzling, hard-living guys, who would have probably belonged to Ralph Kramden's Raccoon Lodge from the old Honeymooner's TV show. For lunch, my folks bought pizza for the crew. Dad went to talk with the boss about the job. I was around the corner listening.
The boss said, "This is an expensive job. Women will really spend your money, won't they?" Dad responded, "Well, I'll tell you, when they were right there with you before you had any money, it's a pleasure to do anything for them you possibly can."
This wasn't the answer the carpet installer expected to hear. He was looking for negative banter about wives which, to him, was natural. He tried again: "But, gee, they'll really play off that and spend all they can, won't they?" Dad replied, as I knew he would, "Hey, when they're the reason you're successful, you want them to do the things they enjoy. There's no greater pleasure." Strike two.
The crew boss tried one more time, "And they'll take that as far as they can, huh?" Dad responded, "She's the best thing that ever happened to me. I'd do anything to make her happy."
I was trying not to laugh. I knew he wanted Dad to give in just a little bit and say, "Yeah, I guess that's true." But it wouldn't happen... not in a million years!
Finally, the installer gave up and went back to work, probably shaking his head in bewilderment. Witnessing my dad in that moment taught me more about loving and respecting your wife than anything he could ever have told me about the subject.
Mom and Dad are now retired and enjoying their life together, just hanging out, reading, and visiting their children and grandchildren. They recently celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary.
They still hold hands, and they are more in love than ever. Throughout the years, whenever Mom would remind me that I should be looking to get married, I'd say, "Ma, I have plenty of time." She'd jokingly reply that I don't have "that" much time. My Dad would then look at me in that wisdom-filled, city streets bred way of his and say, "Hey, you take all the time you need. If you marry someone just half the woman your mother is, you'll have a great life."
I should only be so lucky.
A great life - Short Love Stories
The most beautiful heart - Short Love Stories
One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley.
A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.
Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, "Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine." The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing.
The people stared "How can he say his heart is more beautiful?" they thought.
The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears."
"Yes," said the old man, "Yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom have given my love - I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared."
"Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges - giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?"
The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks.
He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges.
The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man's heart flowed into his.
They embraced and walked away side by side.
The most beautiful heart - Short Love Stories
A legacy of love - Short Love Stories
By Kay Arthur
As I entered womanhood, Mom sat me down and told me that no matter what happened and no matter what I did, I could always come home. Because of what those words meant to me, I said the same thing to my sons.
My childhood was filled with affection—lots of kisses, lots of hugs, lots of spoken I love yous. I never wanted for physical affection, and because of what that affection meant to me, I gave the same thing to my sons.
I grew up in a home where love was openly talked about and warmly expressed. I can still picture myself in my attic bedroom, sitting on my bed and fuming at my parents. They had been mean to me and were totally unreasonable—at least that was my evaluation of the situation. They hadn't understood that I was a teenager and should be allowed certain freedoms. With eyes closed, lips taut and hot tears streaming down my face, I leaned back against the wall and planned how I would get even with them for hurting me. What would be the worst thing I could do to punish them and show how much they had hurt me? It didn't take long to figure it out—I would never kiss them again. That would do it! They'd see then!
That's how important physical expressions of love were in my home. And those physical expressions of love were indicative of the singularly greatest thing I appreciate about my mother. She loved me unconditionally while expecting me to live according to her rules, not mine. From her example, I also learned not to focus on myself or wallow in pity parties.
Both my parents came from broken homes and had difficult childhoods; yet they never dwelt on how dysfunctional their families were. They were both survivors, but not survivors at someone else's expense. In my mother, I saw love's ability to forgive.
I saw my sweet Mom love my real grandfather, even though he had abandoned her and my grandma and failed to provide for their needs. I never saw Mother treat Grandpa Miller any way but lovingly, even though he was far from lovable. I learned how love behaves and forgives because I saw what a woman can do and be if she wants to—if she is not willing to let her past determine her future.
I watched my mother take care of my hundred-year-old grandmother who, in her blindness, deafness and feebleness, needed almost total care. When I was in her home, I heard what I've heard all my life: "I love you, Mother." They would tell each other this a minimum of five times a day—when Mom would get Grandma up, tuck her in or prepare her meals. And I would hear love's response as Grandma said, "And I love you, too, Leah."
Love forgives and moves on, focusing not on what might have been, what could have been or what we wish were different. Instead, love's focus is on what needs to be done now and on doing it the best we can.
My mother taught me to love; she taught me to press on, forgetting what is behind, and she demonstrated forgiveness. I wonder if she knew then that she was demonstrating principles of life that my heavenly Father would teach me in His Word.
The transition from my parents' arms to God's arms was easier because of what Mother did. No matter the hurts, the pain, the skinned knees—I now know enough to get up, go to my Heavenly Father and listen as He says, "Press on. Don't faint. Run with endurance the race that is set before you. I love you with an everlasting love."
This Week Make sure the three words, "I love you," are always a part of your conversation. Sharing your legacy of love—unconditional love—will bless families for generations.
Prayer Our heavenly Father, help us to love as You love. Helps us to forgive and move forward no matter what hurts or disappointments we may have experienced in the past. We praise you for a legacy of love that will bless our children and grandchildren and future generations into eternity.
A legacy of love - Short Love Stories
By Kay Arthur
Sad Love Quotes
Love and death are the two great hinges on which all human sympathies turn.
- B. R. Hayden
Hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
- Alfred Tennyson
To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.
- George MacDonald.
A break up is like a broken mirror. It is better to leave it broken than to hurt yourself trying to put it back together.
There is one thing I would break up over and that is if she caught me with another woman. I wouldn't stand for that.
- Steve Martin
Posted by Cyber Dupin
Sad Love Quotes
It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages
- Friedrich Nietzsche.
When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving one's self, and one always ends by deceiving others. That is what the world calls a romance.
- Oscar Wilde
The saddest thing in the world, is loving someone who used to love you.
Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing.
Love is only half the illusion; the lover, but not his love, is deceived.
- George Santayana.
Jealousy is indeed a poor medium to secure love, but it is a secure medium to destroy one's self-respect. For jealous people, like dope-fiends, stoop to the lowest level and in the end inspire only disgust and loathing.
- Emma Goldman
Posted by Cyber Dupin
Beautiful Love Thoughts
To be in love is merely to be in a state of perceptual anesthesia -- to mistake an ordinary young man for a Greek god or an ordinary young woman for a goddess.
- H. L. Mencken
The sage said, "The best thing is not to hate anyone, only to love. That is the only way out of it. As soon as you have forgiven those whom you hate, you have gotten rid of them. Then you have no reason to hate them; you just forget.
- Hazrat Inayat Khan
Posted by Cyber Dupin
You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation...and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.
- Hermann Hesse.
I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each others dreams, we can be together all the time.
Posted by Cyber Dupin
Beautiful Love Quotes
Your body needs to be held and to hold, to be touched and to touch. None of these needs is to be despised, denied, or repressed. But you have to keep searching for your body's deeper need, the need for genuine love. Every time you are able to go beyond the body's superficial desires for love, you are bringing your body home and moving toward integration and unity.
- Henri Nouwen.
Posted by Cyber Dupin
Romantic Love Quotes
I recently read that love is entirely a matter of chemistry. That must be why my wife treats me like toxic waste.
- David Bissonette
Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbor was. "Light! Give me light!" was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.
- Helen Keller.
Posted by Cyber Dupin
Funny Love Quotes
An archeologist is the best husband any woman can have; the older she gets, the more interested he is in her. - Agatha Christie
Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.
- Bill Vaughn
My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife, you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher.
Love is the strange bewilderment which overtakes one person on account of another person.
- James Thurber and E.B. White
Posted by Cyber Dupin