Reader Submitted Story

Wesley came from Virginia, leaving his girl behind until he built her a house and found a real preacher to perform a wedding. She cried for days before he left, holding onto the sides of the buggy as it pulled away. Wesley was strong and didn't look back although his heart was hurting in his chest. "Melinda, oh Melinda," he thought to himself as the miles fell behind him.It took him some time to get settled in the village he chose. The rain came and then the heat. Wesley took sick and but for the cool hand of Janel, he would have not recovered from his fever. Janel was fair of face and tender and gentle. Wesley loved her although he was wracked with guilt. As the day passed, his house began to form into a lovely shape, windows that caught the light and the lilt of the eaves gave the house a happy look. Every week, Wesley would send Melinda a letter to tell her how her house was coming along and to tell her he pined the days away waiting for the time he could send for her. Janel brought Wesley his dinner every day, always covered with a clean, sweet smelling cloth that she left with him. It held her scent and he soon had a collection of them that he kept in his top drawer. The weeks passed and suddenly no more letters came from Melinda, no words of love or comfort for him, no talk of coming to him. As the house was finished and the furniture moved in, Wesley knew he couldn't live in the house alone. Janel comforted him and one day when the light was sparkling in her hair, he asked her to be his wife. She fell into his arms, kissing him on the cheek. They were married. The house was warm with light coming in the windows, trees shading the porches, and breezes blowing through the hallways. After the babies were born, Janel worked harder to make their home happy and she succeeded. Except, Wesley began to think the house needed a name, it was so much a part of their family. He named the house "Melinda" for the love he left and would never see again. Wesley and Janel lived in the house until they died, months apart, their children never knowing why they lived in a house called 'Melinda."


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