The Heart Remains Intact

I needed to support my partner leaving me.

Taru Anniina Liikanen
8 min readMar 30, 2023
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.

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Taru Anniina Liikanen

Stand-up comedian and recovering political ghostwriter. Finnish by birth, porteña at heart. Bad jokes frequent.