Sain odottaa rakkautta pitkään, mutta kun se viimein asteli elämääni, koko tilanne oli kuin elokuvista.

Kaikki alkoi uudenvuodenyönä pienen ystäväporukan uudenvuodenjuhlista, joissa olikin yllättäen mukana tumma, komea muukalainen. Kiinnostuimme toisistamme heti, mutta matkassa oli yksi iso mutta: asuimme eri mantereilla. Minä olin unelma-ammatissani Helsingissä, Samuli puolestaan oli jo muutamaa vuotta aikaisemmin muuttanut kiinnostavien töiden perässä Bostoniin. Kaiken huipuksi oli Samulin Suomen-loman viimeinen ilta, ja hän oli palaamassa Yhdysvaltoihin jo seuraavana päivänä.

Suutelimme ensi kertaa vuoden vaihtuessa ja rakettien räiskyessä. Vaikka taustalla oli Malminkartanon Jätemäki, tuntui kuin olisimme New Yorkin Times Squarella.

Samuli palasi Bostoniin, mutta heti seuraavana päivänä sain viestin: ”Miltä kuulostaisi viikonloppu Pariisissa?” Kuten arvata saattaa, se kuulosti minusta aivan ihanalta.

Tulimme kuitenkin pian siihen tulokseen, että pidempi loma Islannissa kuulosti vielä ihanammalta. Näille ensitreffeille ei mietitty ennalta tekosyitä, joiden varjolla pääsisi livahtamaan nopeasti pois paikalta. Sitouduimme saman tien viettämään yhdessä yhdeksän päivää.

Ajelimme jäävuorien ja geysirien seassa, kylvimme ulkopaljussa tähtitaivaan alla ja lilluimme geotermisessä kylpylässä. Jäätyneen vesiputouksen juurella sanoimme ensimmäistä kertaa ääneen ”Rakastan sinua”.

Sitten piti enää päättää, kumpi muuttaisi toiselle mantereelle.

Samulin muutto Suomeen kuulosti helpolta ja järkevältä. Minun muuttoni Yhdysvaltoihin kuulosti seikkailulta. Valitsimme seikkailun.

Seuraavana syksynä muutin Bostoniin ja toteutin samalla kertaa kaksi unelmaa. Vaikka olinkin nauttinut esimiestyöstäni STT:n uutistoimituksessa Helsingissä, olin jo pitkään haaveillut ulkomaankirjeenvaihtajan työstä. Nyt pääsin paitsi elämään yhdessä rakkaani kanssa myös asumaan ulkomailla ja kirjoittamaan työkseni uuden kotimaani asioista synnyinmaani yleisölle. Kaiken lisäksi Yhdysvalloissa oli tulossa presidentinvaalit. Istuva presidentti Barack Obama oli jo toisella kaudella eikä voinut enää asettua ehdolle, joten arvelin, että vaalit kiinnostaisivat jonkin verran Suomessakin.

Juhlimme avoliittomme alkua lomailemalla Havaijilla. Trooppisen vesiputouksen juurella Samuli kosi ja lupauduimme toisillemme ainiaaksi.

Meidän oli määrä muuttaa takaisin Suomeen vaalien jälkeen, kun maailman katse kääntyisi taas pois Yhdysvalloista. Toisin kävi. Donald Trumpin presidenttikausi täytti ulkomaansivut päivästä toiseen, ja minä pääsin seuraamaan Yhdysvaltojen politiikkaa aitiopaikalta juuri niinä vuosina, joista puhuttaisiin vielä pitkään.

Lykkäsimme muuttoa monta kertaa. Samalla lykkäsimme myös häitä.

Erään toisen unelman toteuttaminen ei kuitenkaan voinut enää odottaa. Olimme miettineet nimiä lapsillemme jo ensitreffeillämme, ja nyt niistä oli jo kulunut useampi vuosi. Samuli oli jo yli nelikymppinen, eikä enää ollut kovin paljon aikaa siihen, kun ikämme alkaisi taas samalla numerolla. Päätimme yrittää tehdä asiat perinteitä rikkovassa järjestyksessä.

Olimme löytäneet rakkauden pitkän odotuksen ja monien pettymysten jälkeen, ja samalla tavoin myös elinikäinen unelmamme omista lapsista toteutui pitkän ja kivisen tien päätteeksi. Syksyllä 2018 saimme aivan ihanat kaksoset, ja nyt meillä on sekä tytär että poika.

Lastemme tähden muutimme takaisin Suomeen, vaikka Yhdysvaltojen politiikka ei vieläkään ollut lakannut kiinnostamasta lehdenlukijoita kaikkialla maailmassa.

Nyt on vihdoinkin häiden aika.


Kuva: Kihlapari kuvattavana Salemissa Massachusettsissa Yhdysvalloissa. Kuvaaja Marina Baklanova.

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