The Heart Remains Intact

I needed to support my partner leaving me.

Taru Anniina Liikanen
8 min readMar 30


Image by author.

The scream erupts as the last penalty kick hits the net, and it doesn’t fully quiet down until late in the night. After an excruciating three hours of one of the tensest FIFA World Cup games in history, Argentina has taken the win over the Netherlands in the quarter-finals in Qatar.

An hour later, we pour out of the subway together with a river of people dressed in white and light blue, a flowing, human flag covering 9 de Julio Avenue.

The suffocating heat has gathered dark clouds around the city center. It’s only five blocks to the comedy club where I’m performing tonight, but we might not make it there before the storm.

I grab Diego’s hand to avoid losing him in the crowd as lightning illuminates the sky. Almost too perfect of an ending for the day, makes it look like a movie instead of real life.

Football, like love, has a tendency of feeling predestined when it works out. Something too perfect to not be orchestrated by a higher power.

We find cover at a bus stop when the clouds erupt. We’re trapped here now. Two immigrants from different corners of the world, watching tides of Argentinians roll in from every bus and subway, soaked, screaming, singing.

Trying to enjoy this and every other moment we have together, despite the tough moment we’re living through.

Two days ago, we agreed Diego would leave me.

A Meet-Cute for the Ages

I came from Finland, he came from Colombia.

We met in Buenos Aires nearly two years ago, first on an app, then on a street corner by a falafel place, both anxious to see if the real-world version of us would be satisfactory to the other or if we’d have to seek comfort in hummus. A meet-cute for the ages.

“You looked taller in your pictures,” were the first words I blurted out to him.

“Sorry,” he said and stood up straight, towering over me at well over six feet.

“You look like a communist,” I then said, and he laughed. “It’s a good thing,” I corrected.



Taru Anniina Liikanen

Finnish by birth, porteña at heart. Recovering political ghostwriter and comedian. Bad jokes my own.