picture by: Heidi
He saw her there, standing on the beach. Looking out at the ocean with her long brown hair dancing on the wind and a wool shawl pulled warmly around her slim figure.
Though he’d never met her before, he recognized her immediately.
Instinctively, he reached inside his uniform and pulled her most recent letter from his breast pocket. He knew it by heart.
I can’t tell you how much your letters have meant to me and my family. Until you began writing to us, we had no idea whether my brother had lived or died. It brings us great comfort to know Frederick is being tended by a good doctor and is slowly recovering from his wounds.
Please tell him that Mr. and Mrs. John Bridger send their warmest wishes for a swift recovery. I met them in town today and they were most eager for me to tell him. I also met their daughter, Miss Ann Bridger, who was very pleased to hear the news that Frederick has been found and asked for permission to write to him. (I suspected Frederick would give his permission freely, as they’ve always been good friends, but thought it best to ask first).
How is the weather there? I noticed today that the leaves on the large maple tree out front are beginning to change color, but the weather is still quite pleasant. Frederick will be relieved to know he won’t have to rake the leaves anymore now that our younger brother, Michael, is old enough to do it! (Though Michael has said he’s happy to allow Frederick the honor, if he’d like).
Please tell Frederick we miss him and love him dearly, and pray for the day of his safe return. Thank you again, Captain Tenney, for your dedicated correspondence with us. You are truly an answer to prayer!
Miss Beth Harrison
He folded the letter and returned it to his pocket.
She was still staring out at the ocean and he wondered what she was thinking about out there all alone. He admired how the wind whipped her unfastened hair.
Then without warning, she turned and began walking along the shore. He couldn’t see her face clearly, but she appeared to notice and study him briefly before looking away.
She doesn’t know who I am, he thought with a mixture of relief and disappointment.
He allowed her a few more minutes of peace before the storm.
Then finally he stepped out onto the beach and slowly approached her, his heart beating faster with every footstep…..
I jerked out of my reverie.
“Heidi! It’s time to go!” Charming called to me from near the parking lot, “I’m taking the Little Man back to the car, okay?”
“Okay!” I called back, holding my camera and turning back to the beach.
I looked through the viewfinder one more time and wondered what Captain Tenney was going to say…..