Fire

Matt and Louisa met in the early 90’s.  They worked together on a children’s show, he was the host, she was his producer. Both young and beautiful and talented. Other than a professional relationship there were no sparks between them. He was a slim pale green-eyed boy. She was lean warmer brown-eyed girl. One day, to her complete shock, Matt looked at Louisa and said, ‘in 10 years we’ll be married and have three kids.’ She couldn’t believe the nerve. It was enough to make her pay attention in him. They started dating. When dating became “steady”,  Matt asked to spend a weekend alone. ‘He was not sure’, after all, Louisa was 13 years his senior, had a successful thriving career, and he was a young actor waiting to take off.

‘Ok’,she said, ‘whatever. Go do your thing. If you’re in you come back on Sunday; if you’re not, don’t bother calling me. ‘

He moved in on Sunday at 2pm. The following 4 years were wonderful, with occasional standard shortfalls of a young-couple-struggling-to-find-intimacy-in-harmony. It was healthy, sexy, and happy. Until the day she started to be strongly seduced by an older man. Matt’s career was taking off, he was the center of attention: gossip columns,  studios, glossy magazines. Vanity in check, the ego sky-rocketed. And so came the small infidelities. The Older Man’s sweet words and attention was Louisa’s way out. She told Matt about The Older Man and things just got nastier. Part anger, part hurt, Louisa decided to give in and took off in an love affair adventure. Matt was devastated, she was horny.

The Affair With The Older Man ended after three months. Matt was heartbroken, Louisa was too. Matt courted every young actress he laid his eyes on because he could. They decided to give love another shot. He moved back in, a year went by, but the damage was done. Louisa’s career continued to thrive and she became The Boss in her early 30’s. She made money, a beautiful house and a beautiful unfaithful husband. Louisa got pregnant. That could not be the rest of her life – not that man, not that love, not that country. So she left. She wanted Matt to come with her to London, start a new life in another environment. Maybe that would do it. He betrayed her trust with the single thing she had asked him not to do. So Louisa called it quits, and has never heard from him again. Two weeks after she left, Matt disappeared with everything she owned inside their home, left bills to pay,  an empty house and no note.

Across the Atlantic, lost, unemployed, and trying to get her life back on track, her mind spun out of control. Random images of the sofa, the art-pieces, shoes, plants, and her beloved handmade colored cart she used to put precious things in…all gone. Photos, diaries. Loss. The feeling of emptiness is like death. That’s when she learned to let go.

Months later, now in Amsterdam, Louisa realized the meaning of freedom, liberation.  And although the lost photos and books still make her heart tight, she has long given up on them, released from the weight of a possession. She was free.  Louisa had already suffered a loss when the relationship failed.  Then when she left her country to the world. The rug is pulled from your feet, you have to pull yourself to your feet. People are woven into your life, and then unwoven. That is what freedom is made of.

A few years later, in the midst of another problematic relationship, Louisa came across another loss when her house burned down, and she lost everything again she had made in the years after she left Matt. After the fire and until this day, she looks around, thinks about her health, her good spirits, her positive look on life, realizes that love is never long and never enough – sadly. But she “lets it all burn.”