Martijn + Paulien

She was 15 and he was 17. They had one date and kissed. He was floating on clouds. That was it began. They never looked back.

Seven years later she was touring Laos in a motorbike and he was in forest retreat center in Myanmar. They were on a six-month backpacking trip together, wandering all over asia. Yet on their anniversary, they were apart. The phone in the monastery didn’t work and he needed permission to go outside. But he took a motorbike and left anyway.

In the nearest internet cafe, a wooden shed surrounded by stupas and cows, he called her.

The connection was horrid. He couldn’t hear anything, then he heard a faint “Hello?”, and some bits and pieces of other noises that he knew was her. And so all that came out of his lips was I love you. He repeated it over and over and over again until she heard it, until his words found its way to her heart.

Then he heard her crying. He knew she heard him. He knew.

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I fell in love with them. With their story. With their love. It happens a lot especially when I photograph people, most especially when I photograph couples. Which is why I love doing this so much. Because I feel them, I feel their stories and let it move my soul. As if their love seeped out of their chests and onto mine. Even just for a bit.

Yes, it’s just like that.

I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, despite my slight skepticism. But their love helped me believe in true love again. I can only hope that I, and everyone in the world finds something even a little close to theirs.

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Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life
Which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide
And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart.

-EE Cummings

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7 thoughts on “Martijn + Paulien

  1. This turned out to be brief and concise, yet it still moved me. I felt their love for each other. The photographs were simple, yet they mean a lot. Just like what you have stated earlier, “As if their love seeped out of their chests and onto mine. Even just for a bit.”. I felt that, too.

  2. This you’re missing the word “when” in this post on June 7, 2013

    She was 15 and he was 17. They had one date and kissed. He was floating on clouds. That was it began. They never looked back. Seven years later she was touring Laos in a motorbike and he was in

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