Moscow Doesn’t Be­lieve in Tears, but in Roses

莫斯科不相信眼泪,相信玫瑰

Special Focus - - Contents - Zhu Chengyu 朱成玉

In 1998, I was study­ing abroad in Rus­sia. On Valen­tine’s Day, it was snow­ing heav­ily in Moscow, with tem­per­a­tures be­low freez­ing. Even so, the rose ven­dors were bustling on the streets to pro­vide peo­ple with the to­ken of love and some com­fort for the lovers.

I felt a lit­tle de­tached, for the roses only made me feel colder, as if I was blown into the waste­land of love by a gust of a lovelorn whirl­wind. I be­gan to doubt how many lies were hid­ing in the per­va­sive oaths of love on earth.

I walked out of a café, where I broke up with Ye, my girl­friend. How ironic! It should be a day for lovers to hold hands while I chose to sep­a­rate. Leav­ing with­out turn­ing back, I knew it was over, like the sounds of steps left be­hind me, cov­ered with the thick snow. I chose to for­get.

I wan­dered in the street as if swim­ming in the tides of roses and lies— no mat­ter what, I couldn’t get close to the shore.

“Would you like a bunch of roses, sir?”

“How much?” I asked ca­su­ally. “You de­cide it. Love is price­less, isn’t it?”

Not ex­pect­ing she would say such thought- pro­vok­ing words, I was a bit star­tled. I looked up at her, and saw her frozen pur­ple face smil­ing at me.

The red roses were spread evenly over her stand, but the busi­ness lan­guished.

I picked up a rose. Think­ing of my loss in love, I threw one kopeck into the money box. “My love only val­ues so lit­tle.” I shrugged my shoul­ders ras­cally.

That money was just enough to pity on a beg­gar.

Hold­ing the rose with no­body to give

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