Reunion by Peng Fei ~ 彭飞 《重逢》 with English Translations


彭飞 《重逢》






Peng Fei

The evening hue reddened half of the sky and gilded the shabby lane with its golden light. Along the lane, there came an old man in a well-ironed suit. He glanced anxiously at the walls on both sides, which were worn-out and peeling off constantly. At this time, he saw an old woman on the opposite. In a blue shinny cheongsam with the pattern of checks, she was hurrying on her way, holding a leather suitcase in hand.
The old man quickly stopped her and asked her in a very polite manner, “Excuse me, is it the Waterwheel Lane?”
“Yes, it is.” The old woman answered, glancing at her watch.
The old man sighed with relief, “Is the house with the doorplate of No. 172 here?”
“Go ahead. The old two-story house at the end of the lane. There is a coffee-shop downstairs. You can’t miss it.” The old woman looked at her watch consciously or unconsciously.
Feeling happy and excited, the old man almost shouted, “Thanks a lot! Ah, everything has changed here. Do you live here? Do you know a girl named a Cui? Oh, no, her name actually is Cai Yucui.”
She was just about to move, but hearing his words she suddenly stopped. Her face turned pale. She asked him with a doubtful tone, “You are looking for her?”
“Yes, we haven’t seen each other for thirty years. Several days ago, one of my friends wrote me a letter and told me she is living here. We made an appointment of meeting each other at the airport, but the plane arrived half an hour earlier, so I come here in advance.”
The old woman’s eyes were covered with a layer of mist.
“It has been tens of years. Everything has changed. Cui was only 18 when I left, and I don’t know how she … Oh, you didn’t tell me whether she is living here.”
The mist in her eyes became denser. She lowered her voice and said, “She lives on the upper floor of the coffee shop. You can go upstairs via the steps beside, and ask the landlord about it.”
“Thanks. Thank you very much. See you.” The old made a bow to her in gratitude. He didn’t notice the mist in her eyes had turned into dewdrops, sparking in the evening glow.
In light of her direction, he found the coffee shop. He went upstairs in darkness, and knocked at the old and shabby door. The door opened and a middle-aged woman, lean and bloomy, looked at his suitcase and smiled reluctantly to him, “You want to rent the house? A tenant just left. Would you like to have a look at it?”
“No, I am here to look for a woman named Cai Yucui.”
“Cai Yucui?” The landlady felt surprised and suspicious, “It is she who just left no more than half an hour ago.”
“Just left!” The old man’s eyes turned dim and then bright. He murmured to himself, “Is she in a blue cheongsam?”
“Yes, she has been living here for more than ten years, and I’ve never seen her dress herself up so brightly like that.”
The old man stood there in a daze. After a while, he walked downstairs slowly. No evening hues were left in the lane and everything became dim and dark. The old man turned his head and looked at the old house. All of a sudden, he took out that letter, which he cherished so much, and tore it into pieces. He shuffled out of the lane, hunchbacked, in the fluttering pieces of paper.

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