Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears, but in Roses
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