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Mario V. Farina
"Honey, I have
the feeling you want to ask me something," said Marian.
"Yes, I do,
sweetheart," responded her husband. "Nothing
earth-shaking. Would this be a convenient time?"
It was a Saturday
morning, about seven-thirty. Daniel and Marian Carpe were still in
bed. They were on their backs, naked under the light blue coverlet,
their bodies touching. Daniel had his right arm around her
accidently came across something that's been bothering me. Several
letters. I wasn't snooping, just looking for a tie clip."
"I wasn't hiding
them," she said softly. "I knew you would see them
eventually and ask. There were fourteen."
you married before?"
"No, Dan and I
were in love and planning to be married. I was looking forward to
the day I would be changing my name from Ms. Marian Mason to Mrs.
Daniel Pacer. He died before this could happen. Then I met you.
That was about two years ago."
"His first name
was the same as mine!"
"Yes, I'm sure
that was not a coincidence. He was a lot like you. I still think
about him a lot. To me, he's Dan; you're Daniel."
still in love with him?"
answer to that, Hon, is yes. I know all this is a jumble to
you right now, and you have a lot of questions. Let me tell you a
story, and this will answer the many questions you have."
"Dan and I met.
We dated and fell in deeply in love. He was a wonderful man. If I
had searched for a thousand years, I would not have found a man I
could love an iota more. He was in the National Guard and there was
the Iraq war. He was killed in Basra. It had been an IUD. All they
found was a single dog tag with burn marks on it. It was sent to me
by the War Department. He had been in Iraq only fifteen days, and he
had sent me a letter every day but one. Today, all I have of him are
those letters and a single dog tag."
She continued, "He
died on July 16. It was a Monday. That was the same day I met you
for the first time. This date was your first day at the
company where I was employed. When Mr. Chandler introduced me to
you, he asked if I would show you the ropes." She paused.
that," said Daniel. "Then, you were gone for a long time.
I wondered why, but never asked anyone. It wasn't any of my
"Word came that
Dan had been killed and I went to pieces. Then, I returned to work.
You and I began seeing each other. Our talks during breaks helped me
learn how to live again. You told me you had been in Fallujah, and
discharged after you were wounded. That was the second coincident;
the first was that your first name and Dan's were the same. The last
letter from him arrived after he had died."
"That must have
been horrible," said Daniel. "I could see why you saved
"I saved all his
letters," Marian said. "While I was grieving, I read them
over and over, many times. I memorized the contents of each one.
The words in them became engraved on my heart. But I stopped reading
them when I realized that I must begin living again."
"You came back to
"Yes, and you and
I began to know each other better. Slowly, I began to understand
something that had not been clear to me. Dan had sent you to me!"
Awed, Daniel asked,
"Do you mean that literally? Why would you think that?"
"Dear, you're so
much like him. You're thoughtful and kind like him. You stand and
move like him, you smile like him, even think as he did. There are
times when I could swear you are the reincarnation of him! But,
though I loved him more than life itself, I have come to love you
said Daniel. "You don't need to tell me more. I understand how
you feel about Dan. I never met him in Iraq, but believe if I had, I
would have loved him as much as you do." Suddenly he stopped
talking and stared into space.
Alarmed, Marian cried
out, "Darling, is there anything wrong?"
"No, I just
thought about something," he responded. "What did you say
Dan's last name was?"
she said. "Why?"
"When you were
out of work, I received a plain envelope in the mail at home. There
was no return address. In it, was a single Army dog tag wrapped in
tissue paper. It had burn marks on it. It had the name Daniel S.
Pacer on it. This has to be the second of the pair of dog tags
service people wear as identification. It probably matches the
one you have!"
she uttered. "His middle name was Samuel. He did send you
to me! This was his way of telling us this."
Dan suddenly exclaimed. "Look, you were to become, Mrs. Daniel
Pacer. Instead, you became, Mrs. Daniel Carpe. The
two last names are anagrams of each other. They consist of the same
Note from the author:
I read this story on Youtube. Search for "Mario Farina reads
Love Letters." During the reading, our kitty makes a cameo