July 30, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: Tianjin Summers By Shruti Bhutada

1 min read

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I look at the TV screen in the hospital waiting room. The headlines spell gloom and doom. We are in the middle of one of the deadliest pandemic in a century after all. 

As I wait to see the doctor, my past flashes in front of my eyes. It is a past filled with warmth and a never ending summer. 


My life had been a succession of lazy summer days, some happy and many uneventful. Then, I met Chen Rong. 

With his wire rimmed glasses and a perpetually somber expression; as if the weight of the whole world was upon his narrow shoulders; he walked into my life just as a stray cool breeze hits you on a smarmy summer day. 

I fell in curiosity over the conversations we had while enjoying savory crepes in Tianjin’s night markets. I grew enamored as we sat silently by each other, immersing ourselves in Shanghai style jazz solo’s at the centuries old Astor Hotel. Then, on one of our many strolls along the Hai He river, as he confided in me his hunger to save this “dying” world, his eyes alight with both agony and hope; I realized that I was deeply in love with this man. 

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