He was flipping through his weeding photos. In the background of the first one, with the couple and the bride's bouquet, he noticed an unfamiliar man. He is surprised to notice him in each photo. Young and handsome, his beautifully arched lips offered a faded smile. He went on and asked his mother, uncle Ilie, Tanti Irina, he even tried prying it out of his mother-in-law. Not only did none of them recognize the man, but he also didn't appear in any of their photos.
He'd find out much later. The man had been Ioana's first lover and had died a long time before the two of them met.

(Translated by Ana Stănilă / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I / Corrected by Silvia Petrescu, coordinator of the translations)

Real Fiction is a collective project started in 2013 by Florin Piersic Jr. The concept of Real Fiction continued to exist as a Facebook group, after a volume of stories was published at Humanitas Publishing House. (In February 2021, the group has 4.300 members.) The authors write ultra-short stories, with the texts limited to 500 characters (in Romanian, so the length of the English translation might be a little different) - a flash-fiction exercise on a topic that changes almost daily. The group's coordinators are Florin Piersic Jr., Gabriel Molnar, and Luchian Abel. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)

Versiunea în română a acestui text se poate citi aici, în rubrica Ficţiuni Reale.

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