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Love stories 💘


#1

@adrianmorales

I thought maybe you might like to discover this story (it’s short :grinning:).
It was the first story I read from this author, the first before many ones after.
I love this story.

Source:

Author: Haruki Murakami
Title: On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning

One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo’s fashionable Harujuku neighborhood, I walked past the 100% perfect girl.

Tell you the truth, she’s not that good-looking. She doesn’t stand out in any way. Her clothes are nothing special. The back of her hair is still bent out of shape from sleep. She isn’t young, either - must be near thirty, not even close to a “girl,” properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She’s the 100% perfect girl for me. The moment I see her, there’s a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is as dry as a desert.

Maybe you have your own particular favorite type of girl - one with slim ankles, say, or big eyes, or graceful fingers, or you’re drawn for no good reason to girls who take their time with every meal. I have my own preferences, of course. Sometimes in a restaurant I’ll catch myself staring at the girl at the next table to mine because I like the shape of her nose.

But no one can insist that his 100% perfect girl correspond to some preconceived type. Much as I like noses, I can’t recall the shape of hers - or even if she had one. All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It’s weird.

“Yesterday on the street I passed the 100% girl,” I tell someone.

“Yeah?” he says. “Good-looking?”

“Not really.”

“Your favorite type, then?”

“I don’t know. I can’t seem to remember anything about her - the shape of her eyes or the size of her breasts.”

“Strange.”

“Yeah. Strange.”

“So anyhow,” he says, already bored, “what did you do? Talk to her? Follow her?”

“Nah. Just passed her on the street.”

She’s walking east to west, and I west to east. It’s a really nice April morning.

Wish I could talk to her. Half an hour would be plenty: just ask her about herself, tell her about myself, and - what I’d really like to do - explain to her the complexities of fate that have led to our passing each other on a side street in Harajuku on a beautiful April morning in 1981. This was something sure to be crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock build when peace filled the world.

After talking, we’d have lunch somewhere, maybe see a Woody Allen movie, stop by a hotel bar for cocktails. With any kind of luck, we might end up in bed.

Potentiality knocks on the door of my heart.

Now the distance between us has narrowed to fifteen yards.

How can I approach her? What should I say?

“Good morning, miss. Do you think you could spare half an hour for a little conversation?”

Ridiculous. I’d sound like an insurance salesman.

“Pardon me, but would you happen to know if there is an all-night cleaners in the neighborhood?”

No, this is just as ridiculous. I’m not carrying any laundry, for one thing. Who’s going to buy a line like that?

Maybe the simple truth would do. “Good morning. You are the 100% perfect girl for me.”

No, she wouldn’t believe it. Or even if she did, she might not want to talk to me. Sorry, she could say, I might be the 100% perfect girl for you, but you’re not the 100% boy for me. It could happen. And if I found myself in that situation, I’d probably go to pieces. I’d never recover from the shock. I’m thirty-two, and that’s what growing older is all about.

We pass in front of a flower shop. A small, warm air mass touches my skin. The asphalt is damp, and I catch the scent of roses. I can’t bring myself to speak to her. She wears a white sweater, and in her right hand she holds a crisp white envelope lacking only a stamp. So: She’s written somebody a letter, maybe spent the whole night writing, to judge from the sleepy look in her eyes. The envelope could contain every secret she’s ever had.

I take a few more strides and turn: She’s lost in the crowd.

Now, of course, I know exactly what I should have said to her. It would have been a long speech, though, far too long for me to have delivered it properly. The ideas I come up with are never very practical.

Oh, well. It would have started “Once upon a time” and ended “A sad story, don’t you think?”

Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.

One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.

“This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.”

“And you,” she said to him, “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.”

They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle.

As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one’s dreams to come true so easily?

And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, “Let’s test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is exactly what we should do.”

And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west.

The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.

One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible influenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggy bank.

They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love.

Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty.

One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew:

She is the 100% perfect girl for me.

He is the 100% perfect boy for me.

But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever.

A sad story, don’t you think?

Yes, that’s it, that is what I should have said to her.


#2

My goodness, what a story! I like it too. I wonder if they will ever pass by each other again… I choose to believe they will.

I just finished watching Emily’s Five Things, and I can’t help but apply the moral of that drama to this story. We don’t have too much time to love. We should just love while we have the chance. Also, per the movie We Bought a Zoo, we sometimes need just 20 seconds of insane courage, yet how many times have I passed by someone without saying what I wanted to say. Words we don’t say…


#3

Thank you for sharing this story!
Umm… It doesn’t have to end on a sad note, though. I like to believe the 100% perfect girl had written that letter in hopes of finding her 100% perfect boy. Love works in mysterious ways, after all. :revolving_hearts:


#4

@helenama73_911

Is Emily’s drama on Viki? I haven’t watched this drama!
What’s the story about in short? (I don’t mind spoil)

@adrianmorales
I love that we can make our own story with just this short novel.

Have you read some love stories or poems that you’d recommend me? I’m trying to find a book to read these past few days, switching from Regency romance to thriller and from thriller to Chinese romance historical novel. But to no avail, I am still looking!


#5

@piranna
https://www.viki.com/tv/36332c-emilys-5-things
Here it is! It’s a Taiwanese drama about a woman learning to navigate the relationships in her life, her familial relationships, her friendships, and her workplace relationships. Of course, love is a central theme in the drama, romantic love, platonic love, family love, and self love. A woman named Emily is at the beach one day and finds a message in a bottle. After convincing herself that the message is written for her, she decides to complete the five instructions written on the bottle with the help of her brother and her two friends. Along the way, she discovers that she has feelings for her best friend (and he likes her back as well), but because she doesn’t want to lose their friendship, she doesn’t confess and he doesn’t either. Yes, this is somehow tied to the instructions in the message. If I say anymore, I’ll spoil the ending. Anyways, I think that their love is quite selfless. What I really liked about the drama is that the main and second leads weren’t jealous to the point of being nasty (like in other dramas). Everyone learned something, especially that they shouldn’t miss out on loving someone. Anyways, I really enjoyed that drama. :slight_smile:

As for love stories, I have a few to recommend, if you haven’t already read them. Of course I’d recommend all of Jane Austen’s books (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, etc.) and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, if you haven’t read them already. I also recommend Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. It’s a mystery-romance-thriller. If you enjoy romance and mystery and a good old fashioned chase, then I recommend Mary Steward books, especially Nine Coaches Waiting. She wrote a lot of books, but of the ones that I read, Nine Coaches Waiting is my favorite. It’s a Gothic romance thriller written in the 50s, but her style of writing makes the reader feel like they are in the setting. She likes to use real places as her settings such as France, England, Scotland, even the Middle East.
A few other mentions:
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
any Georgette Heyer book (mystery and romance)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (although in my opinion the love in this book isn’t healthy at all)

As for love poems, my favorite has to be “I Ask the Impossible” by Ana Castillo. My English professor showed this poem to our class on Valentine’s Day, and I fell in love with it.


#6

@helenama73_911

Thank you so much! I’ll look into it :slight_smile:
Ooh, I love your synopsis, seems like a drama I’d watch :wink: I love when they talk about everyday relationships we can relate to!

My aunt told me about this story “Father Forgets”
by W. Livingston Larned. In short, she told it was about the eyes of a child and the eyes of an adult. Children easily forget, forgive or are not rancorous compared to adults. And how we, adults, could be severe towards children while raising them, because of our experience or we have high standards towards a child.
More globally, this story doesn’t only apply to a parent-children relationship, but any relationship.

The story:

Listen, son; I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast, I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!”

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came Up the road, I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive - and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped.

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterward that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding - this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy - a little boy!”

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

The French version!!

« Un père, ça oublie »

Mon fils, je m’adresse à toi tandis que tu dors dans ton lit, ta petite main écrasée sous ta joue, et tes boucles blondes collées par la sueur sur ton front. Je me suis introduit dans ta chambre comme un voleur, seul. Je lisais mon journal dans la bibliothèque quand une vague de remord m’a saisi à la gorge. Me voilà à ton chevet, coupable.

Je pense à mon comportement sévère envers toi. Je t’ai réprimandé quand tu t’habillais pour l’école, parce que tu ne t’étais pas assez bien lavé le visage. Je t’ai sermonné pour la saleté de tes chaussures. J’ai crié de colère quand tu as renversé tes affaires par terre.

Pendant le petit -déjeuner aussi, j’ai trouvé matière à critique. Tu as renversé des choses. Tu as avalé ta nourriture tout rond. Tu as posé tes coudes sur la table. Tu t’es fait des tartines avec bien trop de beurre. Alors que tu allais jouer et que je partais prendre mon train, tu t’es retourné, et tu as crié en secouant la main « Au revoir papa ! » J’ai froncé les sourcils et j’ai répondu « Tiens toi droit ! »

Ce soir, même histoire. En arrivant dans la rue, je t’ai repéré, à genoux, en train de jouer aux billes. Il y avait des trous dans tes chaussettes. Je t’ai humilié devant tes copains en te poussant jusqu’à la maison. Cela coûte cher les chaussettes. Si c’était toi qui les achetais, peut-être que tu serais plus soigneux. Un tel discours, d’un père à son fils ?

Te souviens-tu quand, plus tard, alors que je lisais dans la bibliothèque, tu es entré timidement, le regard comme blessé ? J’ai levé les yeux de mon journal, agacé d’être interrompu. Tu restais planté là, hésitant. J’ai grogné « Qu’est-ce que tu veux ? » Tu n’as rien dit, mais tu as traversé la pièce en courant, tu t’es agrippé à mon cou et tu m’as embrassé. Tu me serrais avec la force de l’affection que Dieu a mis dans ton coeur, résistante, même à ma négligence. Et, déjà, tu étais reparti en trottinant dans l’escalier.

Mon fils, peu de temps après mon journal m’a glissé des mains et une peur terrible m’a envahi, jusqu’à la nausée. Quelle routine étais-je en train d’installer ? Chercher la faute, gronder : voilà comment je récompensais ton comportement de petit garçon. Ce n’est pas que je ne t’aimais pas, mais j’attendais trop de toi. Je te mesurais à l’aune de ma propre maturité.

Il y a tellement de bon, de juste, de vrai dans ton caractère. Ton petit coeur est aussi large qu’un coucher de soleil au-dessus des collines. Tu l’as démontré en courant spontanément dans mes bras avant d’aller te coucher. Rien d’autre ne compte ce soir. Mon fils, me voilà à ton chevet dans la pénombre, agenouillé, honteux !

Tu ne comprendrais ce que je viens de raconter si je te le répétais à ton réveil. Mais, demain, je serai un vrai papa ! Je serai un compagnon pour toi. Je souffrirai quand tu souffriras, et je rirai quand tu riras. je mordrai mes joues plutôt que de laisser exploser mon impatience. Je me répèterai, comme une prière : « Ce n’est qu’un petit garçon, mon petit garçon. » J’ai projeté sur toi l’image d’un homme. Mais je te vois désormais, mon fils, pelotonné dans ton petit lit. Tu es encore un bébé. Tu étais hier dans les bras de ta mère, la tête sur son épaule. Je t’ai trop demandé, trop !