This is the seventy-seventh of 87 letters exchanged during World War II between Nicholas Salvatore and Elizabeth Galloway. For more see Nicholas and Elizabeth.


May 22, 1945

Your silent smile is killing me

Dear Elizabeth,

If you were here I’d take you for a walk in the countryside. To outsiders it might look like the first walk we took. Maybe we just met but maybe we’ve been together since we were children. They’ll never know. We’re different people – physically older, more scars since we parted, more experiences, less time left on this earth.

These letters have been a lifeline. Looking at your picture has kept me from taking drastic and regrettable action. We’ll walk out into the green and blossoming world, watch the leaves moved by the unseen hand, breathe in each other. I’d nervously take your hand, worried that mine is too sweaty, or that I’m squeezing too tight, or not tight enough, or any other of a hundred unfounded fears. And then something will happen. Maybe a sparrow will fly past or a dove will sing and I’ll stop worrying about what might happen and see what is happening and the rest of that nonsense will leave my head.

I will be, as always, yours.


Next letter – June 1, 1945