The Gift

【雙語散文】禮物

Lark 黎西芷譯
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【大紀元4月27日訊】1962年的夏天,我丈夫戴爾一直忙於一樁訴訟案,甚至連週末也不得不加班。共進晚餐、看電影都已成了往事。口袋中的錢緊巴巴的,就連以往互贈禮物也已不再列入預算,那太奢侈了。

My husband Dale had spent long hours at his law practice in the summer of 1962, even working on weekends on this particular case. There had been no time to go out to dinner or a movie. Money was tight. Gifts for each other simply were not part of the budget – they were a luxury.

  戴爾在辦公室那邊忙得不可開交,我一個人既要看管三個幼小的孩子,打掃房屋、剪修花園,還得照顧一條布列塔尼小狗。T恤和彈力褲成了我的日常行頭,我精心打造的優雅形象都已付諸東流。生活千篇一律,整天圍著嬰兒、尿布及成盒的紙巾轉。多渴望有人告訴我,我仍然年輕美麗、悅人心意;多渴望丈夫能給我一點暗示:他依然欣賞我,並知道我需要他的一點點嬌寵。而我所得到的,遠遠超出了我的白日夢!

While Dale worked hard at the office, I tended three young children, a house and garden and a Brittany pointer puppy. My daily uniform consisted of T-shirts and stretch pants, making my carefully nurtured image of glamour a thing of the past. Life seemed to center around baby formula, diapers and huge boxes of tissues. How I longed for a sign that I was still a desirable young woman. I hoped for an omen, any hint that my husband still found me desirable, a tiny assurance that he knew I needed a bit of pampering. I got much more than I had daydreamed!

  那是一個週五的晚上,他回到家裏,像往常一樣若有所思地走進廚房,把一個皺巴巴的白紙卷兒扔在桌上:「喏,你的勞動所得!」這簡直令我費解。甚麼話呀?他甚麼意思?更使我吃驚的是他所謂的勞動所得不過是又一卷紙巾!如果這是一個玩笑,我不明白它的幽默在哪裏。

He came into the kitchen that Friday evening, his usual pre-occupied self, and tossed a crumpled, white tissue on the table and said, “Here! For services rendered!” His comment puzzled me. What an odd thing to say. What could he mean by that? Besides, I was shocked he would bring me nothing but a wadded-up tissue. If this was meant as a joke, I did not “get” it!

  我正要將它扔進垃圾桶,戴爾從水池那端提醒道:「別扔,先打開看看。」我撲通一聲坐在就近的椅子上,也顧不得身後孩子們的嘟囔,半信半疑,打開了紙卷兒。

  老天!我瞪大眼睛,驚訝得說不出話來。一枚耀眼的戒指掉了出來!一枚白金鑽戒,中間鑲著方形的祖母綠。


這枚戒指讓我的歲月變得精緻優雅。
這枚戒指讓我的歲月變得精緻優雅。

  我一句話也說不出,只是抬起頭來,迷惑地看著我的摯愛,三個孩子的父親。我流著眼淚試戴戒指。正合適!太不可思議了!好半天,我才語無倫次地問道:「怎麼,為甚麼?哪來的錢買這麼昂貴的寶石?」

I was about to throw the wadded tissue in the trash when Dale cautioned from the sink, “Don’t’ do that! You better look inside.” Disbelieving, I plopped into the nearest chair, ignored the whining children and unfolded the tissue. I stared! Speechless, I swallowed hard. A gorgeous ring fell out! a square emerald, framed in diamonds, all set in platinum. I tried to speak but could not. I looked uncomprehendingly at the love of my life, the father of my children. Then I cried and tried on the ring. It fit perfectly! I felt glamorous! Finally I was able to babble, “How? Why? Where did the money for this dazzling jewel come from?”

  丈夫的笑容是那樣溫暖。他吸著冰蘇打水說:「你應該得到它。」我還是不明白,以我們的收入水平絕買不起這樣精緻的禮物。接著,他解釋道:「今天贏了官司。但客戶卻沒錢付律師費,只好給了我這枚戒指,還說,『勞動所得』。」怪不得他一開始就這麼說呢。
  一個珠寶商告訴我們,這些寶石並非贗品,他還查了專業目錄,發現這種戒指是20世紀初法國巴黎製造的,一共只有四枚。

My husband smiled warmly as he sipped a chilled soda and said, “You deserve it!” I still could not understand why he would bring me such an elaborate gift, something the budget would not tolerate. Then he explained, “We won our court case today, but the client had no money to pay me. So, she handed me this ring and said, “For services rendered.” That finally explained his earlier comment.

  我對這枚戒指珍愛有加,它讓我過去42年的歲月變得精緻優雅,也讓我對往事越來越眷戀。如今,我丈夫已退休,週末自然不再有法律案子纏身了。我們彼此仍互送各式禮物,卻再不用別緻的包裝紙或紙卷。然而,在彼此心中,它們依然珍貴,因為這些都是心之饋贈。

A jeweler assured us the stones are genuine and, checking a specialty catalogue, he told us that the ring was one of only four, made in Paris, France, at the turn of the century. This much-treasured ring has made me feel elegant during the past 42 years, and somewhat nostalgic of late. My husband, now retired from the practice of law, no longer has to spend long weekends doing legal work. Our gifts to each other these days are tokens of a different sort, none of them wrapped in fancy paper or wadded-up tissues, but nonetheless precious, because they are gifts of the heart. @(http://www.dajiyuan.com)

如果您有新聞線索或資料給大紀元,請進入安全投稿爆料平台。
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