July 20, 1945

To: Levi Cross
From: Evelyn Anderson

Dear Levi,

So, you’re alive. 

Maybe.

I’m hanging so tightly to that maybe! 

You won’t get this letter. How would it find you? Stranded in the ruins of newly free Paris, unknown address, badly wounded. 

Running out of time. We all are. 

Soon I’ll be out of this rickety old apartment and — to where?

I’m sorry I sent you away the day you enlisted, when I said I never wanted to see your face again. I lied. I wanted to see your face every day for the rest of my life. I was afraid and tired of being brave.  The newspaper pictures, the names, no butter — we were so young. How could we be eighteen and almost out of time?

I turned twenty-three last week. A gray hair in my brush today. Wrinkle cream tomorrow. 

I found your mother. They wouldn’t let me near her bombed out apartment but we smacked our lips over sugarless tea, and she handed me a packet of your letters.

I’m sorry for never telling you I moved. I didn’t think you would write.

I was going to read them slowly: all forty-nine of your crumpled, precious letters. But one turned into fifteen and a glorious night burning up my candle rationing. 

The telegram.

Wounded in Paris. 

But I’m coming. I’m going to find you if I have to knock on every door in Paris, if I have to sort through every graveyard and linen closet.  Neither power of darkness nor eternal butter rationing will keep us apart. 

Remember that night in the park — I asked what you wished for?

You whispered “happy endings and a dangerous life”.

I told you that the truth is: you can only have one.

I take it back. You were right — weren’t you? You are my dangerous life and my happy ending, and I’m going to find you if I have to bike all the way to Paris. 

And then, maybe, on a broken hospital bed, we’ll have time to tell the truth.

Love,
Evelyn

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago

Hi Arianne, and welcome to Voice.club. This is a beautiful and hopeful story, told in an original way. I’m very impressed by the maturity of your writing considering you are still in high school. We’ve had some very talented younger writers join Voice recently. Very much looking forward to reading more from you in the future. Very nicely done 🙂

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
7 months ago

A sweet sad tale poignantly placed after World War II. A wish for “happy endings and a dangerous life” seems so hazardous, Arianna!

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago

Welcome to Voice.club, Arianna! I like your story. You have caught the ambiance from the post-WWII era, with years of longing, uncertainty, wounded soldiers in hospitals, food rationing, and memories. Nicely done! There is one thing I didn’t understand. You said that the young woman had received 49 letters sent to her friend’s mother. Then you continue, “But one turned into fifteen…” Could you explain, please?

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Sandra OReilly
Sandra OReilly(@sandra-oreilly)
7 months ago

Hi Arianna – enjoyed your letter, I thought it really brought out the feelings of two people in love during wartime. I hope Evelyn found her lost love – well done.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
7 months ago

Hello, Arianna. Welcome to Voice club. It is a powerful and sweet first story from a talented young writer like you. You impressed me so much. You perfectly expressed the longing and love during the WWII war. Good job.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Arianna Randall
7 months ago

You’re most welcome, Arianna.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
7 months ago

The angst we go through when we are young and in love is so well described in your story Arianna. And despite the seriousness of it, you have used humour so well to lighten the narrative. A really imaginative take on the prompt and very well written.

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Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
7 months ago

Welcome to Voice.club. Love the originality here! I am also a fan of the WWII era. This time period is often romanticized. You really captured the feeling I got when reading letters from soldiers to their sweethearts. I’m a huge fan of this piece, great work!

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Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
Reply to  Arianna Randall
7 months ago

I have a son whose name is “Levi” and Anderson was the last name of my father. I just wanted to point out these are excellent name choices?! I’m looking forward to reading more of your stories!

Paul Lewthwaite
Paul Lewthwaite(@paul-lewthwaite)
7 months ago

A very powerful piece, Arianna. I particularly liked that line ‘happy endings and a dangerous life’, summed up your story perfectly…well we can wish for the happy ending! 😉

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Brigitta Hegyi
Brigitta Hegyi(@brigitta-hegyi)
6 months ago

It`s a lovely story, Arianna. Hope is the only thing we have in a World like this. Good job! 🙂

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
6 months ago

Congratulations, Arianna.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Arianna Randall
5 months ago

You’re welcome.

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