Little One

Undying letters of love... a true story.

My little one.

            Those three words sent the sagging flesh on Gloria's skin to lift into a smile. Without even noticing, tears began to well in her eyes. It seemed like nearly a century ago that those words were written. It was certainly almost half a century ago since she had last been called those words. Memories of a sepia-toned life flooded the old woman. Those were three sweetest words she ever knew.

Candles.

            It was her eighth birthday party. Birthday hats and noisemakers were hard to come by in those days when the fear of the great depression was slowly being replaced by the fear of war. In the quiet West Bronx neighborhood of New York City, Gloria's family made do with a homemade cake to satisfy all of the neighborhood kids hey had invited. When it came time to blow out the candles, Gloria sat on her little throne and made her final wish.

            She had been considering her wish all day. The trouble was that she was torn between two wishes. Should she marry Erik or Bob? They were both nice to her, and there was no doubt she would someday marry one of them, but which one? As Gloria received her gifts and played pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, she finally decided. Bob was the one she would marry.

Letters.

            Years later and Gloria forgot about her childish wish. Instead, Gloria thought of her schoolwork and the raging trepidation of the world war. However, Bob and Gloria were still friends. Over summer vacations and winter storms, they would send letters to each other: letters about school, boy scouts, girl scouts and other more trivial topics. The letters were a distraction. Nothing more.

Daisies.

            The letters continued throughout high school and on into college. Bob went to study engineering. Gloria studied home economics. They had fallen into a simple pattern of writing for company, for companionship, and for love. The daisies were an added touch. They were Gloria's favorite flower, and he had remembered.

Wishes.

            Their marriage was quite literally Gloria's wish come true. Bob was kind and she was sweet. Together they made a simple life for themselves and had four boys. While Gloria was wishing for a girl, her sons ended up being her life's pleasure. The boys grew up in Arizona where life was all sunshine and chlorinated pool water. Soon they too grew up and had children of their own- almost all girls. Soon the six granddaughters and one grandson became her life's pleasure. Again, her good wishes had been granted.

My little one.

            Gloria read her time-worn letters over and over. She had forgotten she kept them, and now felt the weight of her entire life in her hands. In the neat strokes of Bob's schoolboy fists, she saw meaning. In the fine lines created by his careful engineer's fingers, she saw love. And in the well-rehearsed letters that spelled out the three words of her old pet name, she saw loyalty.

She was, and would always be, his little one. 

The End

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