by C.K. Medley
The Love Letter Worth More than the $40,000 Pearls
|In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
“Love can be expressed in a myriad of different methods, but the most timeless and most treasured will always remain the classic love letter.” In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby Jay Gatsby makes a last ditch effort to win back, what he believes, to be his one true love Miss Daisy Fay.
The Love Letter Worth More than the $40,000 Pearls by Catie Medley featuring excerpts from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
My Darling Daisy,
I just received the most shocking news that you are to be married to Tom Buchanan. I cannot believe it’s true, but my darling, I understand why you may doubt my love. It has been so very long since that cold fall day when we sat before the fire and pledged our love for one another. So very long since the last time I held you in my arms.
I never told you this, but the night we met was by pure chance. You see, I came to find my way into your home by a colossal accident. And isn't that in itself proof enough for you my dear, dear Daisy?
There were many boys in uniform there that night, myself included but they were all so different from me. I was, at the present time still a penniless young man without a past, and at any moment I felt as if the invisible cloak of my uniform might slip from my shoulders. You didn't know that at the time though so, I made the most of myself. I took what I could get, ravenously and unscrupulously. The chance to immerse myself in the lives of the rich for just one night was one I took incautiously and full heartedly.
But I ask you to remember. To remember when we first met. I in my uniform and you in your most elegant gown. Taut with an ivory gleam to it, accentuated with silver beads cinched around your waist that cascaded down your hips, effortlessly so. They danced playfully in the gleam of the chandelier above.
You floated down the stairwell and every eye was on you, but you were used to that. I will admit It excited me that many men had already loved you, my dear Daisy - it only heightened the desire I held for you. You hadn’t even uttered a word and I was already smitten.
It was out on the second story balcony where we first spoke. You hadn’t seen me at first, yelling some odd, playful words to a figure inside. You were surprised to find me out there, but acquainted me like an old friend. Your eyes gleamed with a youthful curiosity as you eyed my uniform. I gave you one of my cigarettes and for that you stayed.
You had a low, thrilling voice. I wanted to catch each one of your wispy sighs and store it for safe keeping. Your face was sad and lovely with bright things in it, bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in your voice that I found and still do find difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered “Listen,” a promise that you had done gay, exciting things just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.
Once the last of the cigarette was gone you flicked it off the balcony railing and you giggled excitedly and mischievously as it fell into the purse of a woman on the front porch step. You pushed me into the shaded region of the balcony and hushed me when I laughed at your silliness.
We spent all night up there, you did most of the talking. Usually duller, older men would talk at you and you’d pretend to listen, but that night you were tipsy off the prolonged indolence of so many conversations before ours.
My intentions were to take what I could and go, but as our voices softened with the A.M. I realised you were the most extraordinary girl I would ever meet. And I still hold that thought to heart. From that night on I felt married to you and that was all.
When we met again, two days later, it was I who was breathless, who was, somehow, betrayed. Your porch was bright with the bought luxury of star-shine; the wicker of the settee squeaked fashionably as you turned toward me. I kissed your curious and lovely mouth and it was the taste of something I’ll never forget. You had caught a cold, and it made your voice huskier and more charming than ever. I was overwhelmingly aware of the youth and mystery that something like your wealth imprisons and preserves, of the freshness of many clothes, and of you, gleaming like silver, safe and proud above the hot struggles of the poor, like me.
I can’t describe to you how surprised I was to find out I loved you. I even hoped for a while that you’d throw me over, but of course you didn’t, because you were in love with me too, Daisy. You thought I knew a lot because I knew different things from you. . . . Well, there I was, ‘way off my ambitions, getting deeper in love every minute, and all of a sudden I didn’t care. And so I ask myself, what’s the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling you what I was going to do?
On the last afternoon before I went abroad, off to war. We sat together, you in my arms for a long, silent time. It was that cold fall day, with fire in the room. Your cheeks were flushed. Now and then you would move and I’d change my arm a little, and once I kissed your dark shining hair. The afternoon had made us tranquil for a while, as if to give us one last deep memory for the long parting the next day promised. We had never been closer in our month of love, nor communicated more profoundly with one another, than when you brushed silent lips against my coat’s shoulder or when I touched the end of your fingers, gently, as though you were asleep.
Daisy, I know you remember because our love is something no one can ever forget. Don’t marry Tom. You and I both know the truth that lies in your heart. After the war we’ll be together again, and not only can I give you the marvelous lifestyle you need, but the breath taking love you deserve.