Two friends can become lovers, never the other way around. You've told me this stupid line so many times it's become second nature. The moment I reach out to touch your breast I curb the impulse, pretending to pluck some piece of lint off your sweater. Farther down, it's even harder. When you got that ugly bruise on your thigh and asked me to put some salve on it, I was this close to reaching a little higher. You're right, a friend in need is a friend indeed, but can you really not tell that I need you more than I need your friendship?

(Translated by Cristina Fliter / 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 March 2022, the group has 8,050 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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