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'We are busy organizing our wedding this autumn'

Second place

She was wearing a pink chequered blouse, black skirt and brown boots. Her shoulder-length, charcoal hair was pinned up with a clip near her ear. I couldn't take my eyes off her. Apparently she felt me looking at her. As she reached the door of a church in the southern part of Groningen, she paused, turned around, and looked straight at me. At that moment, I knew I’d found a treasure. Later I discovered that her name was Lea, a PhD student of chemistry at the University of Groningen. She comes from the same country as me. However, I already had someone waiting back home, and so did Lea.

But the feelings I had for her never actually faded. When the time came to finish the last chapter of my thesis, in the spring of 2010, I asked her whether I could do my writing at her office in the Zernike complex. She said yes. So during the days I worked on my thesis, and when it got dark I escorted her back to her house. Every night, we rode our bikes side by side.

One afternoon we went to De Spieghel. In that cosy jazz café I asked her whether there was any chance for us to have a serious relationship. 'I would love to and I care so much for you. But I’m already engaged. I really appreciate your feelings for me’, she replied.

After that moment, nothing changed. Days went by like before and I still came to her office regularly. Until one day she told me that she couldn’t stop thinking of my proposal. And later that night, in front of her house, she kissed me. At that moment we agreed to have a relationship as soon as we had ended our previous ones back home.

Time went so fast when we were together. At the end of the summer of 2010, I finished my studies and had to go back to my country. On my last day in the Netherlands, she accompanied me to Schiphol airport. She was brave and said goodbye to me. But as I was waiting for the plane to depart, she called me from the train back to Groningen. She broke down in tears and promised to contact me as soon as she finished her studies, so that we could live together. So now I'm waiting for her and we are busy organizing our wedding this autumn.


Jerome Eugene Wirawan from Indonesia (MA International Relations & International Organization, 2010)

Last modified:12 March 2020 10.10 p.m.