The short story “A Very Short Story” by Ernest Hemingway is about the relationship between a soldier and a nurse named Luz. They meet at the hospital when the soldier is wounded, and they seem to fall in love. The soldier helps Luz during her night shifts by taking the temperature of other patients while she rests. The two plan on getting married in the future.
After the soldier returns to the front, Luz writes him letters, which he does not receive until after the armistice. In her letters, she tells him that she misses him. They decide he should get a good job in New York, after which they can get married. Luz will not come with him until he gets a good job. The soldier wants her to join him sooner, and they argue about this. Although they kiss good-bye at the train station, they have not made up after their argument, and the soldier is upset that they have to part like this.
The soldier goes to America, and Luz goes to Pordonone, where she opens a hospital. While there, she sleeps with the major of an Italian battalion. She writes to the soldier that their relationship is over because she expects to be married to the major. She adds that, although she loves the soldier, their relationship cannot work. However, the major does not marry Luz. The soldier does not answer her letter. He sleeps with a sales girl in the back of a cab and gets gonorrhea.