Before Sunset and a Memory of New Love


Dawn on our first day of marriage
Boob on right belongs to Siobhan

Last night Steve and I accidentally watched ‘Before Sunset,’ starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, and considering we were expecting a Pierce Brosnan/Woody Harrelson comedy, it was quite a surprise. But it was a wonderful surprise and took us back to our holiday in Paris/St. Maxim six weeks after we met. The movie is the sequel to ‘Before Sunrise’, which is the story of a couple who meet on a train and have a torrid 24 hour love affair in Venice. When they part, they don’t exchange phone numbers or full names and never see each other again. But the connection was so intense that the years apart are deeply disappointing for both of them in all other experiences of love.

Bring in ‘Before Sunset’ and they meet again nine years later, and the whole movie is about them reconnecting and talking about what has happened since. Practically all of it is shot as the couple walk the streets of Paris, so all kudos to both of the actors for remembering their lines. It’s awkward and uncomfortable and deeply compelling, but it is a brilliant movie focused on taking chances and most importantly, about being bold and brave with love.

For us personally, we were mesmerised. Yes even a bloke was caught up in the romance, once he decided he didn’t hate the movie because it wasn’t what he expected.

You see, when we met, Steve was scheduled to resign from his job that week and leave Singapore for the UK almost immediately. He told me this news two days after we met. I thought fucken great! I finally meet an amazing guy and he’s going to leave. I then jumped on a plane to Hong Kong for work, Steve picked me up at the airport Friday afternoon, and that night he told me he’s staying, because he thought we had something special and he needed to see where it was going. I found it a very courageous decision – because love can feel like a massive risk – and I am so thankful that he did make that decision, or we might be like the couple in the movie – always wondering?

Before I met Steve, I’d booked a trip to France to catch up with my amazing friends Nathalie and Saskia. We were all heading down to St. Maxim for a holiday together – something we did a lot when we all lived in London. I said to Steve, do you want to come? He said, why not!

We flew on different planes, landing at different times, and during that short time in Paris, we had the most amazingly romantic and beautiful time together. We spent our time lying together in Paris’ beautiful parks, looking at the clouds and talking, talking, talking. We went to all of the wonderful sites around Paris, sat at cafes on the sidewalks watching the sun go down, dined in magnificent street cafes, caught a boat along the Seine and what can I say, it was a time of wonder. During this time we fell deeply and irrevocably in love. We were completely consumed by each other and I’m sure it was obvious to all who saw us, but the great thing about Paris is - no one cares.

Watching the movie brought all of those lovely memories back, as they walked the same streets, took the same boat to Notre Dame, and sat in the same parks. It also got me thinking that anyone who finds their true love should immediately book a trip to Paris, because there is absolutely no better place than that magnificent city to be in love. While our love has grown in so many ways since and expanded to include our wee lads, sometimes I miss those days when we didn’t need sleep, when all was wondrous as we were discovering each other and integrating ourselves together, forever. Yeah, since we met each other, we definitely believe in true love.  

We certainly did our new love justice when we met, but Paris was the highlight, and thanks to the movie, we got to live it together again last night, and today I’m still thinking about it. Sigh...

Yours, without the bollocks
Andrea
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