An Exchange of Letters between Two Lovers, One of Which is Stationed in Some Far Away Country, and the Other Unable to Join Him

My dearest John,

I hope this letter reaches you safely. I hope you are happy however this letter may find you. I hope you know how much I miss you. But I demand only that you do not think of me as often as I think of you. What a shame it would be, if we both felt such terrible loss. Each day without you is a day wasted and what a shame is a wasted day. I feel so alone without you. I fear I will never see you again and…oh John. Teach me how I can live without you. Teach me not to feel the ache of your absence, teach me not to wish for your touch day and night. Let me sleep John and teach me how to forget.

Ah, if only I was sure you didn’t care for me. If only I knew my love was a burden, perhaps I could stop loving you.

I hate the stars, John, because I look at the same ones as you do, without you. Even the snow whirling outside my window…snow so much like your skin, so much like pale fire. Oh, I knew your face so well. What impossible love hath so bewitched me to commit to memory all your being? Eyes like moonlight and hair like coal. That smile…but what good is a memory to me? So quick to fade from its initial splendour, like some rose pressed too long in a book. But now, my only comfort. And even then, such a trifle! Still I wish never to forget. Even your ghost is worth more than all my life.

Oh John, do not die in that awful combat! Do not let the machine guns mow you down nor let the bombs destroy you. Do not thusly increase my sorrow a thousandfold. I dream of you John, but what a poor substitute a dream is, for I wake and once again lose you. Do not die John. I live now only in expectance. I live only as I wait. Do not deprive me of my hope, to see your face again, to touch your hand once more. Do not die John, for it will only make me miss you more dearly.

Ever yours, in will and in heart,

Anne.

***

My dearest, most trusting Anne,

This is difficult for me to say, for I know it will cleave your heart in twain. I wish it didn’t have to be so, but I fear I must thusly live forever with the burden of my mistake.

How I wish that I had never gone away from you, my darling Anne, for I am afraid I have caught a terrible disease. It is not fatal, but alas, it is incurable. Woe is me Anne! Were it that I had not heard the name Kandi!

Ever infected,

John.

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