The Mission: Courtship (part 11)

Deborah Hendrick on Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

Elijah suspected that he was not very good at writing letters, but if Ginny wanted a courtship via the U.S Mail, then he would comply. And it worked—Ginny loved every word he wrote, and his strong distinctive printing. She loved reading about his friends in the squadron, his funny neighbors, and what he did on his days off. And at the end of each letter, he would write a line of music for her to decipher—always something he knew she would recognize.

Ginny’s days were long and full. At work, a new estuary mapping project absorbed her days and kept her busy. She lived at the beach house full time now, on deadline and working every night to finish the paintings for the book illustrations. So she rose before five each morning, and greeted the sunrise with a pot of coffee and a large sketch pad, upon which she wrote her letters, filled with little drawings of birds, the surf, and the morning fishermen.

In his fat seventh letter, Elijah included a newspaper clipping about the squadron, some snapshots of him and his buddies, and several pages of letter. But instead of his customary snippet of music across the bottom, he taped a necklace. From a gossamer chain hung a delicate dragonfly, crusted with diamonds. Ginny didn’t need a blue box to recognize Tiffany.

“I can’t believe he just stuck this necklace in an envelope,” said Ginny, but of course she knew why he did it. She might have ignored a box.

That weekend Ginny bought a roll of color film, dug out her beloved F-3 and tripod, and began taking pictures of herself. She changed clothes a dozen times, put her hair up, pulled it back, and let it fly in the wind. It was a lot of work, but the end result was two dozen casual photographs of herself, composed with all the care and staging of a professional. And in each one, a tiny dragonfly glittered at her throat.

Topics: The Mission


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