As some of you know, Bec is very dear to me, so I won’t rave on about her talents as a writer, at the risk of appearing prejudiced. BUT, she’s an impressively alert, attentive and tender writer.
After you’ve read this small piece, you might like to visit her blog (where you can read further instalments in the adventures of Eleanor and Grace), or race off and buy a copy of her verse novel, Gap.
I was twenty-five when Eleanor and I first met. Perhaps people thought it would never work – that our differences were too great, our life experiences too heartbreakingly polar. Perhaps people thought nothing of it at all; truth is, I never thought to ask. I guess that’s the thing about love, sometimes the only people who can understand it are those already entwined in its enchanting grasp.
Is it true that we can know immediately? That a person can sweep into our life fast and unexpected like summer rain, and in those moments and all the ones that come after know nothing will ever feel quite the same again.
There were many moments when I knew: some were disguised in the ordinariness of everyday life, others possessed an ethereal quality, charged and intensely real.
Our first New Year’s Eve was spent nestled between two trees buried deep in the sandy shoreline on the coast. We ate fish and chips and I tasted calamari for the first time. It was sweet and tender and not at all how I imagined. We watched the early fireworks and drove home feeling full and lit up like sparks. At home we undressed quietly in the dark and slid into the pool. We drank champagne and wished each other a happy new year. I was drunk and silly after two glasses. By eleven-thirty we were in bed with the sheets tangled around us. She clutched me in her arms at the fall of midnight. In the distance we heard fireworks tearing open the night sky and quietly falling to dust.
Rebecca Jessen lives in Toowoomba with her two cacti. She is the winner of the 2013 Queensland Literary Award for Best Emerging Author for her verse novel Gap. In 2012, Rebecca won the State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award. Her writing has been published in The Lifted Brow, Voiceworks, Stilts, Scum Mag and Rex. Rebecca graduated from QUT in 2011 with a BFA in Creative and Professional Writing. Her verse novel Gap is out now through University of Queensland Press.