April, 2000. Thessaloniki.

One of the most beautiful moments of my life.

We were both back from church, from different churches, because he felt he had to attend with his family and I was partial to a small Byzantine church with a tree-filled courtyard. I had walked home nursing the flame of my candle and lit a lantern on my bookcase, which cast the only light we had. The scent of roses, a few dozens of pink and red roses that my mum had given me, drifted out to the balcony where we sat. The balcony faced out onto the empty triangular space between some blocks of flats, an ugly and uninspiring place usually — but that night, it was magical. There was nobody out there but us, no light, no sound, everyone was away or asleep, and so we whispered. Not that we had much to say, we were content to just be, together alone in that warm, soft, sweet-smelling night. Sleepy, I lay my on the railing, and he put his hand out to make a pillow for me — and in that space between wakefulness and sleep it felt like our balcony was boat sailing in a sea of darkness, of longing, and of tenderness.

That night we slept together, with the windows open and the scent of roses in the air.