Esmé is an intelligent young teenager who uses her confidence and maturity to attract Sergeant X, and Sergeant X also finds comfort in Esmé's letter during a time of war.
Esmé is a talented young teenager who is independent and confident enough to be herself in the presence of an older soldier. At the beginning of the story, Sergeant X attends a choir practice, and notices one girl in particular. Later in a tearoom, that girl arrives with her brother, Charles, and her governess. While Esmé is drinking her tea, she catches the soldier staring at her, and "she stared back at [him], with those house-counting eyes of hers, then, abruptly, gave [him] a small, qualified smile-(92). When Esmé notices Sergeant X staring at she is not afraid to stare right back at him. Sergeant X intrigues Esmé, and she seems eager to meet him. After Sergeant X smiles back at her, she has the confidence to go and get to know him, even though he is a complete stranger to her. Sergeant X comments on Esmé's lovely and distinct voice. She responds that "[she is] going to sing jazz on the radio and make heaps of money-(93). Esmé seems very confident in herself and knows her own talent. She has even planned her own future. She is not afraid to tell him what she thinks and more about herself. Later on in their conversation, Esmé goes on to ask Sergeant X many questions about himself, and bluntly inquires if he has a wife, and wonders how much he loves her. After all of the questions she asks, Esmé confesses to Sergeant X that "usually [she's] not terribly gregarious-(95). Esmé is at ease with the solider and is able to express herself freely and she is able to trust Sergeant X. This trust brings out a side in her that she does not normally expose. At the end of the meeting between Esmé and Sergeant X, Esmé learns that Sergeant X enjoys writing and he promises to write her an exclusive story.