Nhật ký (The Notebook) – Nicholas Sparks

Tình yêu, đề tài muôn thưở của nhân lọai. The Notebook là một câu chuyện tình rất nhẹ nhàng của Noah và Allie, hai con người rất bình thường như bất cứ người nào trong xã hội Mỹ. Yêu nhau năm 17, xa nhau 14 năm, gặp lại và kết hôn – giai đọan tuổi trẻ đó lại là đọan yếu nhất của tòan câu chuyện – những chi tiết rất bình thường và hơi cliché. Câu chuyện thật sự cảm động ở đọan sau khi Allie va Noah đã chung sống với nhau 45 năm hạnh phúc. Allie bị Alzhemei, chứng bịnh tàn phá trí nhớ và nhân cách. Và mỗi ngày cụ già Noah đã 80 lại lọ mọ ôm quyển tập nhật ký của hai người mò đến phòng bà để đọc cho bà nghe, để làm bà nhớ. Những ngày đen đủi, bà nhìn ông mà thét lên “ông là ai?”. Nhưng những ngày may mắn, bà đôi lúc nhớ ra người chồng, người tình của cả đời, và ông bà lại “fall in love again”

Câu chuyện rất nhẹ nhàng và bình dị nhưng không hiểu sao lại lay động lòng người. Có lẽ khi độc giả cảm nhận được tình yêu sâu đậm của một ông già với một bà lão mất trí, họ sẽ vô hình cảm nhận được một tình yêu suốt đời giữa họ, và những hạnh phúc mà họ đã từng trải trong 45 năm chung sống bên nhau?

Trích (Noah và Allie trong viện dưỡng lão – một ngày may mắn)
DINNER IS WAITING in her room when we return. It has been arranged for us to eat here, as it always is on days like these, and once again I could ask for no more. The people here are good to me and I am thankful.
The lights are dimmed, the room is lit by two candles on the table where we will sit, and music is playing softly in the background. The cups and plates are plastic and the carafe is filled with apple juice, but rules are rules and she doesn’t seem to care.
She inhales slightly at the sight. Her eyes are wide. “Did you do this?”
I nod and she walks into the room.
“It looks beautiful.”
I offer my arm in escort and lead her to the window. She doesn’t release it when we get there. Her touch is nice, and we stand close together on this crystal springtime evening. The window is open slightly and I feel a breeze as it fans my cheek. The moon has risen and we watch for a long time as the evening sky unfolds.
“I’ve never seen anything so beautiful, I’m sure of it,” she says.
“I haven’t, either,” I say, but I am looking at her. She knows what I mean and I see her smile.
A moment later she whispers: “I think I know who Allie went with at the end of the story.”
“Who?”
“She went with Noah.”
“You’re sure?”
“Absolutely.”
I smile and nod. “Yes, she did,” I say softly, and she smiles back, her face radiant.
She sits and I sit opposite her. She offers her hand across the table and I take it in mine, and I feel her thumb begin to move as it did so many years ago. I stare at her for a long time, living and reliving the moments of my life, remembering it all and making it real. I feel my throat begin to tighten and once again I realize how much I love her.
My voice is shaky when I finally speak.
“You’re so beautiful,” I say. I can see in her eyes that she knows how I feel about her and what I really mean by my words.
She does not respond. Instead she lowers her eyes and I wonder what she’s thinking. She gives me no clues and I gently squeeze her hand. I wait. I know her heart and I know I’m almost there.
And then a miracle that proves me right. As Glenn Miller plays softly in a candlelit room, I watch as she gradually gives in to the feelings inside her. I see a warm smile begin to form on her lips, the kind that makes it all worth while, and I watch as she raises her hazy eyes to mine. She pulls my hand towards her. “You’re wonderful…” she says softly, and at that moment she falls in love with me, too; this I know, for I have seen the signs a thousand times.
She says nothing else right away, she doesn’t have to, and she gives me a look from another lifetime that makes me whole again. I smile back, with as much passion as I can muster, and we stare at each other with the feelings inside us rolling like ocean waves. I look about the room, then back at Allie, and the way she’s looking at me makes me warm. And suddenly I feel young again. I’m no longer cold or aching, or hunched over or almost blind with cataracts. I’m strong and proud and the luckiest man alive, and I keep on feeling that way for a long time.
By the time the candles have burned down a third, I am ready to break the silence. I say, “I love you deeply and I hope you know that.”
“Of course I do,” she says. “I’ve always loved you, Noah.”
Noah, I hear again. The word echoes in my head. Noah… Noah. She knows, I think to myself, she knows who I am…
She knows… Such a tiny thing, this knowledge, but for me it is a gift from God, and I feel our lifetime together, holding her, loving her, and being with her through the best years of my life.
She murmurs, “Noah… my sweet Noah…”
And I, who could not accept the doctors’ words, have triumphed again, at least for a moment. I give up the pretence of mystery, and I kiss her hand and bring it to my cheek and whisper in her ear: “You are the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.”
“Oh… Noah,” she says with tears in her eyes, “I love you, too.”

Bổ sung:

Bản tiếng Anh:  http://www.conmotsach.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/nicholas-sparks-the-notebook.htm

Bản tiếng Việt: http://ConMotSach.com/books/nhat_ky.prc

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