Fleeting Heart

(Note: There are times I feel we are all tiptoeing in an online world made of eggshells. Our lack of openness and honesty may save us from judgement and vulnerability, but it keeps so many lessons and so much raw beauty from being shared. Today I’m deciding not to tiptoe, instead I am going to leap and dance and run. I think love stories are the best kind of all, even when they don’t end in a happily ever after.)

I was not expecting to fall in love as soon as I got back. Perth was only a quiet stop-over on the way home after the intensity of Bali. But love found me anyway.

The very first moment I saw him something came over me. I felt like I was only a single star in a galaxy of him. Right away I knew there was something about us, something I couldn’t explain. A feeling I couldn’t shake long after he’d left. I did what I always do, I wore my heart on my sleeve and I told him. He said he felt it too.

He saved me tickets to a big show he was organising a few days later. I had butterflies all day long. I danced, ran a bath, drank homemade mulled wine and braided my hair as time crawled by. Then it was night and I was there with my friend Claire and my heart was in my throat as we walked down a dark hallway caught in a rush of excited people.

We rounded the corner and there he was. Burning like a sun. I was overwhelmed again, so little and insignificant beside him. Then he saw me and his embrace lifted me into the air and I closed my eyes and I wished I could stretch out that moment to last forever.

I only saw him fleetingly through the night, he was constantly surrounded by people but every time our paths crossed his hands found mine and his eyes lit up. “Do you think he likes me?” I asked Claire. “Yes,” she said, and I skipped around like I was a thirteen year old with a crush. I couldn’t believe it.

He was doing some interviews the next day and he asked if I wanted to join him. I kept my cool but inside I was delighted. He picked me up in his car the next morning. During the interviews he answered questions about his passions with an excitement I recognised in myself. His hand found my knee while he spoke, like we’d been lovers all our lives. And when he was driving back he kept my hand under his on the gearstick so our hands wouldn’t have to be apart.

Late one night we were walking the city streets after an exhibition. It was cold and I was shivering so he wrapped me in his warm jacket. He pulled me into a cinema, buying us tickets to whatever was playing. We sat near the back so I joked “is this the part where we make out?” And for the first time he kissed me, fully, spectacularly. My mind was all explosions and confetti and him, all him.

For the brief time we shared together we were almost inseparable. The knowledge that I was leaving in a few days gave weight to every moment. There was so much joy in the littlest things; the dimple that appeared from nowhere when he smiled or the way he reached for my hand as we walked down the street. We lay wide-awake in bed until almost morning, laughing and cuddling and fighting off the sleep that’d bring another day to a close.

Together we’d spontaneously improvise scenes in movies that didn’t exist and tell jokes that went on forever. We were ridiculously silly, both of us still children deep down. In other ways we were very different, I was an open book and he was guarded. I was strong-spirited and he was gentle-spirited. But there was fire with us. I’d never met anyone like him. When he and Alba met they played and laughed like they’d always known each other and it made me warm all over.

I was kind of flitting between two lives. Half of the time I was Mama. Staying with my family, taking Alba and my cousins to the park, cooking Alba’s favourite foods, reading bedtime stories and kissing her sore spots better. Then she was with her Papa and I was going on adventures and sleeping in late.

On our last night together everything was lucid. He took me out for dinner with one of my best friends. I looked at his hand holding mine on the table and then I looked at him smiling at me, so goddamn fucking beautiful and I thought, dear god, I know I’ve resolved to not be with anyone for a long time but this is almost enough to make me rethink it all.

I had to leave, like I always do. Me, the disappearing act. It felt like one moment I was falling in love as he was kissing me goodbye and the next I was falling asleep with Alba on the opposite side of the country.

I really missed him when I got back. All the energy I had put into loving him couldn’t just disappear, it had to be redirected. And so I wrote every free moment I had and every story seemed to contain pieces of him. I held onto our memories like souvenirs. It all felt so precious to my romantic mind.

I’ve learnt many times over that the duration of things doesn’t equal their importance. Single moments can influence lifetimes. He left an imprint on me. A reminder to keep on playing and never grow up.

That first night he kissed me I wrote this in my journal.
“This is how I see it. As an artist it is my responsibility to not have a boring life. To feel deeply. To listen to the stories of strangers. To try new things and go new places. To say yes. To question everything. To find beauty in the commonplace. And to fall in love. Over and over. Because through the highs of love and the lows of heartbreak I truly know what it is to feel. “

16 love notes

  1. how lovely,
    out of interest = how old was he?
    and did such a physical connection feel strange after so long with another?

  2. N,
    you are such a sweet girl, i come here from time to time and I always leave feeling so happy. Love your writing.


  3. this made me so incredibly happy and warm. i can relate so much to your words. i got out of a 5-year relationship a few months ago, and then traveled across Europe. i had a few moments with people that i instantly fell in love with and connected with on a level that i’ve never experienced before. the vulnerability of being in a new place and the deep scars of heartbreak and sadness made me appreciate every single moment i had while i was traveling for two months. i’m now more open because of it, and i know that i’ll continue falling in and out of love, naturally and beautifully. i know it must be difficult to share this post because you too had a long and incredible love in the past. you’ve given me inspiration to not be afraid to share these types of feelings of love, giddiness, and excitement. thank you thank you thank you. <3

  4. Your words about being an artist brought me peace in a time when feelings of doubt are taking up my whole system. Thank you.

    Love and light,

  5. I’m so happy for you! I’ve always had the fear that my Love would end and that I would never feel the same strong emotions. But now i can see that the end of a love can bring a love even stronger, and so differently beautiful from the others!! Life’s full of opportunities and we should never let ourselves down from failures ( of any kind )
    I wish you the best, and i think you’ll get it! xo

  6. real love is beyond time, and if its mean to be, it will be. But nobody can take away those feelings and moments. i really liked this post!

  7. @x anonymous- definitely not, he didn’t then and he hasn’t now. things were always destined to be complicated because of timing, but then again, that’s life. 🙂

  8. Hi Nirrimi! I think the part I like the most about this with regards to Alba is that that way she also gets to understand by you directly showing her practically, that your own happiness is more important than what other people think and what looks like a “perfect and good girl” life from the outside. She might take that later on in life and act that way too. Which is absolutely amazing. I obviously also love the fact that you go by this too. Not saying that people who currently don’t, are bad, because they clearly aren’t. Many people just don’t get to grow up to this beautiful and important message. Quite like when people say “health is important!!! Don’t smoke” (or whatever they might say) and then they smoke anyway and rather spend their money on that than on good quality food. Wouldn’t even blame people for that. But their kids, growing up to this, might find it a lot harder in life later on to then act on this and put their health and happiness actually first. Which, from my humble perspective, I’d say is in fact one of the most important, if not the most important thing in life. So I loved this story. And I love seeing Alba growing up as an emotionally healthy person, from what I can see. Love it. 🙂 + much love from Europe to wherever you are right now.

  9. Soooo gorgeous Nirrimi <3 I have such gorgeous memories of falling madly in love for short times and tingling with energy…its a gorgeous feeling, and sometimes its the best when the relationships are shortest.
    Im now in a long term relationship and the feelings are a slow-burn not always that full fire and both are just gorgeous <3
    Thankyou for sharing sweet lady, your words open up memories and joys in my heart Xxx Bex

  10. oh nirrimi, how right you are. This post sits heavy in my heart, but there’s a great lightness to what I’ve read as well. It reminds me of the Joan Baez song ‘love song to a stranger’ – I think the lyrics will resonate very deeply with you at this moment in time. love and kindness, life is a crazy mash x

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