HCM CITY — We can't live without love, according to the lyrics of one popular song. And in the case of one couple, the truism proved apt.
The Phu Nu (Women) newspaper in HCM City's recent Chuyen Tinh Cua Toi (My Love) writing competition attracted more than 1,000 female and male participants, young and old.
Forty highlighted stories were published every week, and a final 10 stories were then awarded.
The contest's third prize was presented to Nguyen Thi My, a young woman living in HCM City, who has faced many hardships.
Her future husband, Tran Duc Thep, suffered brain damage after a traffic accident. "I want to give my life so he can be healthy," My wrote in her essay submitted to the newspaper.
My spent nearly two years in hospital, helping and taking care of her partner. "He was confined because of a speech impairment. How could he love and marry me? But I confidently said ‘yes,'" she wrote.
My worked several jobs to support Thep. "We will always be together. Love keeps us alive."
Their love received the support of their family, friends and Thep's doctors.
My's story left a very strong impression on the contest's jury and readers.
At the newspaper's awards ceremony on Monday, a day before Valentine's Day, the young couple joined hands and couldn't stop their tears flowing down their faces as they stood before the audience.
Pham Thuy Linh of Ha Noi won the contest's first prize for her work titled: Yeu Theo Cach Khac (Love in Another Way).
After years seeking a perfect love, the young Linh met her man. "Love comes to me now," she wrote.
One day she found out that her partner was HIV-positive. "My legs wanted to escape, but my heart and soul ran to him," she said.
Linh, who now takes care of her partner, whispers tenderly, "I don't know how tomorrow will be, but I'm sure we will overcome all obstacles."
Poet Le Minh Quoc, Phu Nu's subeditor and member of the event's jury board, said: "The competition provided an open environment for its participants to share their happiness, sorrows, challenges and other issues that may be hard to talk about."
"By sharing their love and experiences, these writers can help readers, particularly young people, improve their confidence and power, and make the right choices in love."
Many young couples and married couples lack sufficient knowledge and skills to overcome the pressures of work, love and life, so they are more likely to break up when faced with serious problems, he added.
"I believe that all the stories written by the competition's participants can be of use for all of us," Quoc said. — VNS