When Ryan left for war Anna, his fiancée, was devastated. Every day she would wait for a tragic phone call or a knock on the door. He was a pilot on an aircraft carrier. Although he had not told her much of where he was or what he was doing, the letters were always warm and good humoured. He was, she guessed, based somewhere off the coast of Scotland.
They had talked of marriage before he left. They would be wed when he got back from the war. It wouldn’t be a big wedding; just family and a few friends. Anna planned it in detail. It took her mind off worry. She had told him in her last letter, perhaps they could get married in a garden. His sister could sing “Ave Maria”. The wedding feast, given the rationing during the war, would be lovely yet simple.
The war seemed to go on interminably. Then the fateful day came. There was a knock on the door. Ryan’s plane had been shot down. He was buried in Belgium. Anna was beyond grief. She vowed to be faithful to him all her life. He would be the only one. She was almost tempted to change her surname to his.
Two weeks later the Dear John letter written by Ryan before his death arrived in the mail.