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残忍而美丽的情谊:The Kite Runner 追风筝的人

IN THE MIDDLE DRAWER of the dresser beside my bed, I had found an old _National Geographic_ magazine, a chewed-up pencil, a comb with missing teeth, and what I was reaching for now, sweat pouring down my face from the effort: a deck of cards. I had counted them earlier and, surprisingly, found the deck complete. I asked Sohrab if he wanted to play. I didn’t expect him to answer, let alone play. He’d been quiet since we had fled Kabul.But he turned from the window and said, “The only game I know is panjpar.”“I feel sorry for you already, because I am a grand master at panjpar. World renowned.”He took his seat on the stool next to me. I dealt him his five cards. “When your father and I were your age, we used to play this game. Especially in the winter, when it snowed and we couldn’t go outside. We used to play until the sun went down.” 在我床头柜子中间的抽屉里面,我找到一本旧《国家地理》杂志,一枝用过的铅笔,一把缺了些梳齿的梳子,还有我汗流满面努力伸手去拿的:一副扑克牌。早些时候我数过,出乎意料的是,那副牌竟然是完整的。我问索拉博想不想玩。我没指望他会回答,更别说玩牌了。自我们离开喀布尔之后,他一直很安静。但他从窗口转身说:“我只会玩‘番吉帕’。”“真替你感到遗憾,因为我是玩番吉帕的高手,全世界都知道。”他在我旁边的凳子上坐下,我给他发了五张牌。“当你爸爸和我像你这么大的时候,我们经常一起玩这游戏。特别是在冬季,天下雪、我们不能出去的时候,我们常常玩到太阳下山。”
He played me a card and picked one up from the pile. I stole looks at him as he pondered his cards. He was his father in so many ways: the way he fanned out his cards with both hands, the way he squinted while reading them, the way he rarely looked a person in the eye.We played in silence. I won the first game, let him win the next one, and lost the next five fair and square. “You’re as good as your father, maybe even better,” I said, after my last loss. “I used to beat him sometimes, but I think he let me win.” I paused before saying, “Your father and I were nursed by the same woman.” 他出了一张牌,从牌堆抽起一张。他望着牌思考的时候,我偷偷看着他。他很多地方都像他父亲:将牌在手里展成扇形的样子,眯眼看牌的样子,还有他很少看别人眼睛的样子。我们默默玩着。第一盘我赢了,让他赢了第二盘,接下来五局没使诈,但都输了。“你打得跟你父亲一样好,也许还要好一些。”我输了最后一局之后说,“我过去经常赢他,不过我觉得那是他让我的。”我顿了顿,又说:“你父亲和我是吃同一个女人的奶长大的。”
“I know.” “我知道。”
“What... what did he tell you about us?” “他……他跟你怎么说起我们?”
“That you were the best friend he ever had,” he said.I twirled the jack of diamonds in my fingers, flipped it back and forth. “I wasn’t such a good friend, I’m afraid,” I said. “But I’d like to be your friend. I think I could be a good friend to you. Would that be all right? Would you like that?” I put my hand on his arm, gingerly, but he flinched. He dropped his cards and pushed away on the stool. He walked back to the window. The sky was awash with streaks of red and purple as the sun set on Peshawar. From the street below came a succession of honks and the braying of a donkey, the whistle of a policeman. Sohrab stood in that crimson light, forehead pressed to the glass, fists buried in his armpits.AISHA HAD A MALE ASSISTANT help me take my first steps that night. I only walked around the room once, one hand clutching the wheeled IV stand, the other clasping the assistant’s fore arm. It took me ten minutes to make it back to bed, and, by then, the incision on my stomach throbbed and I’d broken out in a drenching sweat. I lay in bed, gasping, my heart hammering in my ears, thinking how much I missed my wife.Sohrab and I played panjpar most of the next day, again in silence. And the day after that. We hardly spoke, just played panjpar, me propped in bed, he on the three-legged stool, our routine broken only by my taking a walk around the room, or going to the bathroom down the hall. I had a dream later that night. I dreamed Assef was standing in the doorway of my hospital room, brass ball still in his eye socket. “We’re the same, you and I,” he was saying. “You nursed with him, but you’re my twin.” “他说你是他一生最好的朋友。”他说。我捏着方块杰克上下摇动。“恐怕我没他想的那么好。”我说,“不过我想跟你交朋友。我想我可以成为你的好朋友。好不好?你愿意吗?”我轻轻将手放在他手臂上,但他身子后缩。他将牌放下,从凳子上站起来,走回窗边。太阳在白沙瓦落下,天空铺满了红色和紫色的云霞。下面的街道传来阵阵喇叭声,驴子的叫声,警察的哨声。索拉博站在红色的斜晖中,额头靠着玻璃,把手埋在腋下。那天晚上,在艾莎和一名男性护理的帮助下,我跨了第一步。我一只手抓住装着滑轮的输液架,另一只手扶在助理的前臂上,绕了房间一圈。十分钟后,我回到床边,体内肺腑翻涌,也冒出浑身大汗。我躺在床上,喘息着,耳边听到心脏怦怦跳,心里十分想念我的妻子。隔日,索拉博和我仍是默默无语,几乎整天都在玩“番吉帕”。又那样度过一天。我们只是玩着“番吉帕”,几乎没有说过话,我斜倚在床上,他坐在三脚凳上。除了我在房间里走动,或者到走廊尽头的卫生间去,我们一直都在打牌。那天深夜我做了个梦。我梦见阿塞夫站在病房的门口,眼眶仍嵌着铜球。“我们是同一种人,你和我。”他说,“你跟他一个奶妈,但你是我的孪生兄弟。”
I TOLD ARMAND early that next day that I was leaving. 第二天早晨,我告诉阿曼德我想离开。
“It’s still early for discharge,” Armand protested. He wasn’t dressed in surgical scrubs that day, instead in a button-down navy blue suit and yellow tie. The gel was back in the hair. “You are still in intravenous antibiotics and--” “现在出院太早了。”阿曼德抗议说。那天他穿着的并非手术袍,而是一套海军蓝西装,系着黄色领带,头发又涂着睹喱水。“你还在静脉注射抗生素期间,还有……”
“I have to go,” I said. “I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, all of you. Really. But I have to leave.” “我非走不可。”我说,“谢谢你,谢谢你们为我所做的一切。真的。但我必须离开。”
“Where will you go?” Armand said. “你要去哪里?”阿曼德说。
“I’d rather not say.” “我不能说。”