She was beautiful. In a way wild things are. Wild flowers growing on the road-side. Moist with dew and open towards the sharp morning air. Heavy with fragrances. Unaware.

You are like a young horse, he told her once. With all that hair, and all that limbs. Jumpy and Scattered. Unsafe.


Rain was washing her first autumn down the dormitory windows that day he loved her for the first time in the room next to his office. Where he played piano between his lectures.

She watched him undoing her hair, still and silent. Tracing outline of her mouth, her breasts and small mark just below her ribs. Yearnings in her back surprised her.

Later he showed her how to enter without being seen. How to read poetry, drink cognac and keep secrets. For ever.

I will always love you she told him over and over.

You do not know what always is, he would say and bury his face in her hair, nape of her neck, crevice of her stomach. This is what always is, she though.

The day she could not open the door of the room with piano, Nina remembered what he told her; ‘If something happened to me you must leave. And you must keep safe.’

They later told her she was half dead when they found her by the river. Her grandmother told them to look there, in the field where they kept horses for sale. Before they break them. Where they used to light small fires and sing, when the girl was only little.

It was all arranged then. She was nursed to health and married. You have a child right away, her grandmother told her. It will keep you alive. You will fight to live. This is the way we are. All other things come and go. Trust me, she said, I know. And you are like me. We survive.

Nina crossed the oceans, and fought. For each breath. Hers and her child’s.

Twenty years later, on an ordinary day in early autumn she walked into a man with honey coloured eyes. She watched him tilt his head back and laugh that open laugh only certain men possess. Made from equal parts of strength and tenderness. It commands attention.

She wished he would never stop laughing and talking in those sharp, clipped sounds all people from his land have. She knew he has stories untold. Stories carried across the oceans, to be buried in the foreign soil. Like hers.

When she kissed him, old river song came back to her for the first time since. Wild flowers opening with dew into the morning air. Longing.

You are a beautiful woman, he told her. But I can never love you. You are unsafe.


Author: Daniela

Reader, Writer, Mother, Freethinker, Habitual Day Dreamer, Blogger - Sharing Ideas, Poetry, Prose, and Conversations on the Lantern Post!

33 thoughts on “Nina”

  1. Let me guess, this is one of those movie directors call based on a true story?
    I love it, beautifully written and am at a loss of more adjectives to describe how it makes me feel!


    1. Thank you … and more. This is to say if I know more or better English words I would now use them to let you know how much your support means to me.

      Many thanks,


  2. My present vulnerability might utter the same words of feeling unsafe …
    Life is untimely. When the wounds have healed the ‘he’ would not think like that again. But we live now. What is patience in the face of longing and love …


    1. I read your comment couple of times … because it surprised me in its clarity and its reflection of my own thoughts. Love and longing cannot have patience … all they have is now.

      Thank you … I mean; really thank you -:)!



  3. What a very rich story Daniela. Again as you have done before, leading your reader through time, deep emotion and many miles. And the unexpected turns and moments. And all with a handful of well-crafted words. Beautiful.


  4. Imam osjecaj da si ubrzano disala dok si pisala ovu pricu, kao da si trcala.
    Sada vjerojatno dises opusteno i zadovoljno, sto si i zasluzila nakon tako dojmljivo ispisanih redova. Kao sto pise u prvoj recenici ove price. 🙂


  5. Daniela, another gorgeous piece. Even after all this time, your writing remains some of the best (if not THE best) I have seen in all my WordPress reading!

    Have you attended that writing workshop already? I would love to hear about it. Also, I don’t know if you’re in the habit of sending work out for literary publication these days, but if not I really think you ought to be! You write so beautifully and capture such poignant moments. I am certain your work would find publication without trouble!


    1. My Dear Julie,

      Truly, I have no words to thank you for such heart-warming kindness and generosity … all I can say/write is THANK YOU!!!

      Sadly and most unfortunately due to my day job (read: only income source) I could not have attended the workshop … but they assured me that place is always there for me … so perhaps one day. As my beloved Charles Bukowski once said … ‘I had two choices; to slowly go mad (at the Post Office job) or to starve … I chose to starve.’ He was 49 … I am not far off that!

      Once again … thank you for all your support, it does mean a lot to me!

      Take Care,
      With Love,


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