Candles of Love

Jennifer Yuan
3 min readFeb 28, 2019


It was a Friday noon in a bright and warm autumn. Sky was Dodger blue with white clouds softly drifting away. TGIF — the day was so looked forward to. However, I was feeling wretched. No surprise. Years in constant flux took the toll. The condition had no sign of improvement, but of deterioration. “Where is home?” I had asked many times, but I did not get an answer. Many times, when I stopped at a stop sign, I did not know which direction to turn to. I merely kept driving. I needed a home to rest. I needed a rest in a bright and warm autumn.

The good news was I had resumed my Chinese brush painting practice a few weeks ago. This ancient Chinese art form had brought some peace to my life. When I put down a brushstroke, I could see ink quickly dissolved into the delicate rice paper, leaving diverse shades of color. This produced an interesting effect and a serene feeling. I was satisfied with a few recent paintings and decided to frame them up for sale.

I went to IKEA to look for some frames. The RIBBA 16x20 frame looked good. I picked up five and put them in the shopping cart.

As I was waiting in the checkout line, I noticed that a good number of large white candles were rolling and rolling on the conveyor belt. They were rolling sometimes in two and sometimes in three. My eyes followed these white candles. I saw that at the end of the conveyor belt, stood a tall young man. He was concentrating on picking up the rolling candles and putting them in a big shopping bag. He was wearing a casual unzipped blue jacket, with sunglasses hung in front of the checker shirt. The big round white candles kept rolling and rolling towards him. I looked at him and wondered why he was buying so many candles.

The checkout place was quiet. I could hear the beeping sound when each candle passed the scanner. The repetitive sound was getting on my nerves. I tried to keep the curiosity to myself, but I could not get the question out of my mind. To break the monotone, I asked, “Why do you buy so many candles?”

“For the wedding.” The young man said with a shy smile. He did not look up, but kept busy putting candles in the shopping bag.

“Congratulations!” I said with a smile. Indeed, wedding was such a sweet thing to hear about.

“Thanks.” The young man smiled again, continuing to putting candles in the shopping bag.

“How many candles do you get?” Right after I finished the last word, I felt regret. “What a silly question! Why does he want to tell a stranger?”

“Twenty. I got thirty in the morning. They looked nice at the venue. I came to get more.” The young man looked up and answered quickly. His eyes were sparkling, telling the whole world how happy he was. Without any more words, he quickly brought up the shopping bag and left quietly.

“Wow!” I was speechless. In my imagination, hundreds and thousands of candles were lighting up.

The candles of love, did you see them?