Sunday, March 29 2020


Red Sun flower

Update: December, 11/2016 - 09:00
Viet Nam News

By Đào Thị Thanh Tuyền

Many young people like red sun flowers, not just because they are beautiful or because of their “lethal” bright colour. In the old days, red sun flowers were rare, grown by few people and liked by less. Nowadays, the red sun flower grows easily and rapidly, but still not many like it. There are a lot of legends about the red sun flower, but all of them tell of sadness, of loneliness. The stories about it always end with break-ups, jealousy, death and worse. The red sun flower turns towards the sun and has both confidence in love and repentance for wrongdoings.


“Anything interesting going on, my dear?”

“Not much, my dear. Only arguments with no winner. Why are you late?”

“I’ve got some guests to attend to!”

“Are they interesting?”

“No, and I’m dead tired. They’re middle-aged and only talked about sex. So dull!”

“How is that dull? Men like to talk about sex, I thought.”

“Not me!”

“How good you are!”

“I’m neither good, nor bad!”

“You sent me a pair of beautiful shoes this morning!”

“They’re a gift, my dear! Oh, by the way, you keep forgetting to give me a bottle of brandy, you’ve been saying you will for about a year now!”

“I’ve put it on my desk. The older the brandy, the better it is!”

“When can we meet?”

“Soon, soon.”

“I’ve got to go to bed now. I’m pretty drunk. Good night, my dear!”

“Yes, good night!”


“You’re home early today. Not off out boozing?”

“I’ve got to be a good boy. How do you know I’m home?”

“You told me once that whenever I see that you’re online, it means you’re home. What a dreadfully good boy you are!”

“Dreadfully good? Oh, by the way, my lost cat has returned after being gone for a month. It had been beaten terribly!”

“Oh, what a pity! Have you bandaged it?”                                          

“My mother is looking after it.”

“What about your other three cats, my dear?”

“They’re fine. They’re playing here.”

“Has the dog been playing with them?”

“Yes. They always play together.”

“But I haven’t seen that in your Facebook posts?”

“I’ve told you that my dad does not allow me to post on Facebook!”

“What a hard ass! Your father has you wrapped around his little finger. If you change your Facebook name, how would he know?”

“Oh, no, he is very strict. Did I tell you I’ve lost my motorbike?”

“No, you hadn’t.”

“My friend borrowed it and says he has lost it. If my father knew, I would be given a good hiding!”

“Oh my God! How careless your friend is! What can you do about it?”

“I don’t know!”


“Why are up so late, my dear?”

“I’m about to go to bed. Anything interesting to tell me today?”

“Nothing, dear. Business and business. So boring!”

“Business makes you happy, so why are you getting bored with it?”

“Sometimes it makes me tired. What about your motorbike? Did your father forgive you?”

“My friend pawned it. It was not lost, my mother bought it back for me.”

“What a friend!”

“Yes, I unfriended him right away. It was a life lesson for me!”

“By the way I sent you a photo of the dog sleeping with four cats. Aren’t they cute? This is instead of wishing you good night!”

“Oh, how cute they are! Yes, good night!”


“Excuse me, my dear!”

“What’s the matter, my dear?”

“I’ve made a decision today!”

“What decision, my dear?”

“To meet you and get the brandy. I’m free tomorrow afternoon. Please give me your address and I’ll drop in when I come home. Can we meet at a café?”

“Oh, I’m busy tomorrow”

“Again. Whenever I want to meet to get the brandy, you’re always busy. What a nuisance!”

“Are you angry with me? I’m really busy. Tomorrow is my friend’s birthday. After work, I’ll go to her party right away and I’ll be home late at night. Can we meet another day?”

“I hope you aren’t busy next time. You promised me that brandy last Tết (Lunar New Year) and we still haven’t met, even though I’ve tried five times. I recorded every time in my notebook.”

“Wow, you’ve got a retentive memory!”


“Anything interesting going on today, my dear?”

“Today is pay day.”

“Yes, you are a government employee, so you get paid early in the month. I get paid at the end of the month. Are you parting today?”

“Yes, I’m treating my friends!”



“Can we meet soon, my dear?”

“Have you had any luck today?”

“No. But I’m going to see you tomorrow to get the brandy. If you say ‘No’ to me again, I will block you for good!”

“Don’t lose your temper. You’re unlucky today, I am sure about it.”

“I am coming to see you. Please, don’t change the subject. At three o’clock tomorrow I’ll go to the Café “Let’s love each other!” near your office. If you don’t come, I know how you feel.”

“Please wait a moment, my dear!”


“Mother, he wants to see me at three tomorrow. What can I do?”

“Is he demanding you to see him?”

“Yes! He said if I don’t meet him, he would unfriend me!”

“Early tomorrow afternoon, you should send him a message, saying you have unexpected work, or tell him that on the way to see him you got stuck in heavy rain or traffic, say sorry and promise to meet another time.”

“How can I text him now? He is only online in the evening when he is home. I don’t want him to unfriend me.”

“I’ll pray for you, my dear daughter!”


“Are you angry with me?”

“For what?”

“I did not come to the rendezvous the other day?”

“Really? I forgot. I must have got drunk, so I did not remember. Sorry, dear!”

“Oh, God, I’ve been so worried. I opened Facebook with great care for fear that you would unfriend me.”

“I’ve been away on business for two days, so busy that I could not go online. Good sleep to you, my dear! I’ve got something to do now. The four cats and the dog send their regards. By the way I sent you a photo of them sleeping at my foot. Can you see it?”

“Oh, so interesting! Your house is so quiet at night! Yes, I’m assured now because you aren’t angry at me! Keep on working, my dear!”


“Mother, I’m so lucky because he forgot. But I’m sure he will mention it again.”

“I’ll pray for you, my dear daughter!”


“Where have you been these past few days?”

“My mother got sick. I have to take care of her in the hospital.”

“Sorry, I don’t know about it. What’s the matter with her, my dear?”

“She’s old. She’s all right now, my dear”

“When will she be discharged from hospital?”

“Possibly at the end of the week.”

“Very glad to hear that. I’ll pray for her quick recovery.”

“Thank you. Is there anything interesting on Facebook these days?”

“Nothing new, my dear! Just quarrels. Violence in public. Bustling trade. Binge drinking. But I liked some funny clips, as usual!”

“You know, I feel like drinking that brandy. Can I drop in and take it home?”

“I’m now at my aunt’s. What a shame! Take a rest, my dear. I bet being in hospital is tiring you out.”


“What good luck for me, mother!”

“What happened?”

“He wanted to come and get the bottle of brandy because he suddenly felt like drinking it”

“It’s already dark. Possibly he just ad-libbed, I think”

“Or is he sad because of his mother’s illness?”



“For four years, we chatted with each other like that, except for my business trips or when I was busy with work!”

“You want to talk about such rubbish? Do get married now and stop thinking you are a child.”

“Do you think love a game?”

“I forgot love when I’m busy feeding my child! But are you crazy?”

“I’m completely.”

“Are you drunk? She’s been gone for five years. You can’t forget her, can you?”

“No, I’m as sober as a judge. But the image of a girl waiting for me by a computer makes me feel that I don’t want any other girl.”

“Are you addicted to your virtual life?”

“I think it’s more real than any other life. There is laughter, blames anger and fear of being abandoned. I always want to rush home as soon as possible because there is a girl waiting for me to share the trifles of daily life. It’s like a drug that helps relieve my worries and restore my energy after a long day”

“It is a fantasy!”

“It seems funny, doesn’t it? But, I think, such is life! Sometimes, virtual life is needed. It is a stage we can walk on with confidence.”

“Okay. You’ve got one more hour to explain why you asked me to talk, because after that I have to take my child home from school.”

“It was a hoax in the end.”

“Who? That girl who you chatted with every night?”

“No, she was a woman, about fifty years-old!”

“A middle-aged woman?”

“Yes. But I don’t understand why she played the role of a girl for four years. Why?”

“Many people join play roles on social networks. Just for fun. Life is so diverse. You should accept it and consider it a normal thing. None of them are honest completely. I think you will forget it if you do not use Facebook for a while.”

“I want to ask you one more thing.”

“You’ve got only 10 minutes because I’m going to take my daughter home.”

“I intended to unfriend her last night, but I saw you had added her as a friend.”

“Who? I can’t remember, I have three thousand friends online.”

“The red sun flower”

“What? What are you driving at? It’s my cousin I’ve just found on Facebook.”

“Please, explain it?”

“I’ve just received news that her daughter died in a traffic accident four years ago.”

“Oh, my God!”                                                                 

“I think this woman tricked you due to the pain of a mother who had pushed her daughter to the edge by forbidding her from loving a man who was ten years older. Moreover, it was not a traffic accident. The girl jumped in front of a speeding car. It was midnight and the girl was drunk!”.

Translated by Mạnh Chương


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