Ernest Hemingway's "A Very Short Story" begins in a hospital in Padua, Italy where an unnamed American soldier is recuperating. He has an affair with his nurse, Luz, and the couple hope to be married after the war. Following the armistice, the two meet once again: The soldier will return to New York City, where he will get a job; Luz will come after he is settled. But they argue on the train before they say their goodbyes, and "He felt sick about" it. Meanwhile, Luz has another affair--this time with an Italian officer--and she sends the American soldier a "Dear John" letter saying that theirs was "only a boy and girl love." In the end, Luz and the Italian officer go their separate ways, and Luz never hears back from the American soldier, who
... contracted gonorrhoea from a sales girl in a loop department store while riding in a taxicab through Lincoln Park.