A Lost Valentine
One thing leads to another, and love always finds a way…
Why the plop of mail sent Gaynor dashing to the door on Valentine’s Day, she had no idea. She was seventy two. Nobody had sent her a card for many years.
Despite herself, her heart skipped when she spotted a bright yellow envelope on the mat. It was obviously a Valentine but her delight didn’t last long. The moment she picked it up she saw the card wasn’t meant for her. It was addressed to Ann Parsons in Greyfriars Avenue. Gaynor lived in Greyfriars Grove. This kind of thing happened so often, she’d become friendly with her counterpart and knew she was on honeymoon.
Gaynor inspected the envelope, hoping to find a return address on the back but there wasn’t one. She squeezed the envelope. It didn’t feel like just a card.
For several minutes she wavered, unsure what to do. With Ann’s house on the market, it could be weeks before the card was forwarded.
“I’m sure she won’t mind if I open it,” she told herself. “Just in case there’s something that needs attention.”
Carefully, she slit the envelope open. The card was fairly standard with Cupids, bows and arrows and at least a dozen hearts but she’d been right, there was something else in the envelope: a handwritten letter…
DearestAnn, Iknowyouaregettingmarriedsoon andthatmylastchanceofwinningyour lovehasgonebutIneedtotellyou something.
Whateverhappens,Iwillalwayslove youwithallmyheartandsoul.Ifyouever needme,I’llbewaitingforyou,evenif ten,twenty,thirtyyearshavegoneby. Allmyloveforever,
Luckily, he’d added his twitter address. Gaynor picked up her phone and sent him a message, telling him about the mix up…
Yourcardwasdeliveredtothewrong address,GroveinsteadofAvenue.Annis onhoneymoon.I’veputthecardthrough herdoor.Ijustwantedyoutoknow. A reply came back within seconds. Thatwasaprivateletter.Youhadno righttoopenit.
“How ungrateful,” muttered Gaynor. After all, she’d only been trying to help.
Later that evening, a young man knocked at her door. Gaynor could hardly see him thanks to the huge bunch of flowers he was holding.
“I’m Mark, the man who sent the Valentine. I’m so sorry I was rude. I was upset.” He handed her the bouquet. “Thank you for telling me about Ann. I feel better for knowing what happened.”
As he turned to go, he looked so forlorn, Gaynor’s heart went out to him.
“Since you’ve come all this way, would you like a coffee? It’s the least I can do.” “Thanks. I’d like that,” he replied.
Over coffee, all he talked about was Ann. Gaynor could hear the love in every word he spoke.
“I need to show you something,” she said. She took a photo off the wall and handed it to him. “Me and Bill on our wedding day. I lost him three years ago.” “I’m so sorry.”
‘Thank you, but it’s true what they say, time really does heal. That’s not why I’m
“You’reyoung, you’llsoonfind someoneelse,”she toldhimsoftly
showing you the picture. About four months before we got married, I met another man. We had such a connection – sparks, fireworks, the whole caboodle.” “Wow. What happened?”
Gaynor laughed. “Nothing much. We shared one kiss, that’s all. He begged me to postpone the wedding but I couldn’t do it. Just before the wedding, he sent me a letter, it was a lot like yours, in which he swore his undying love. I didn’t reply. I went ahead and married Bill – and I’m very glad I did because we had a wonderful, happy marriage.”
“Did you keep the letter?”
“I did,” admitted Gaynor.
“Do you ever think about him?” Mark asked. “That lost love?”
“Now Bill’s gone, I do, but love comes and love goes.” She didn’t say that Jack had been in touch via Facebook wanting to meet up. “You’re young, you’ll soon find somebody else,” she told him softly.
Mark shook his head. “Ann will always be in my heart.”
Gaynor smiled. He looked so serious. “Time changes things. Jack’s not the man I knew back then and I’m not the same woman.”
“But you are,” said Mark. “Love doesn’t care about grey hair. Deep down inside you’re exactly the same. The heart never changes.”
After he’d gone, Gaynor couldn’t get the young man’s words out of her mind.
That night, she replied to Jack’s messages: HappyValentine’sday.I wasn’tsureweshouldmeetbutI’ve changedmymind.
He replied within seconds: That’s great.Whatchangedyourmind?
As she typed her reply she was smiling… AlostValentine.
BY LINDA LEWIS