She looked in the mirror at her own image and she understood there is no longer a Lolita inside her and it was the time to accept the fact that a woman took her place. She looked at her wrinkles with understanding and thanked them for the dance, for the laughter, for the mistakes, but also for the new beginnings. I love you, she said. I love you the way you are, the way you have been and the way you're going to be and you don't have to be the youngest of them all to be loved. I love you because you exist and not because you are only a speck of dust lost in time. You never retire. You always live here and now.

(Translated by Diana-Maria Croitoru / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / 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 2022, the group has 7,950 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, Răzvan Penescu, and Luchian Abel. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)

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

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