The Dragobete, the Romanian Valentine's Day, had never been more intense for them. In the overwhelming flood of strong and contradictory feelings, he took off his wedding ring and put it on her finger. Like breaking a sacred bond. Although it was Sunday, he grabbed his work bag and left. He didn't know where to go yet. His heart and thoughts were in turmoil. He bought a beer and drank it on the curb at the bus station. The other person couldn't be waiting for him; they just couldn't. He only knew he had to leave. To go anywhere. Just not home. To leave immediately, to go nowhere.

(Translated by Lorina Xiaoyu Hou / 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 2023, the group has 10,790 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 every few days. The group's coordinators are Florin Piersic Jr., Gabriel Molnar, Răzvan Penescu, Luchian Abel, and Vlad Mușat. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)

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

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