In 2014 I felt like I crashed down from the sky to Ghent (Belgium), being 33 years old at the time and being part of an Erasmus program at the Luca School of Arts it all seemed like I was reliving some sort of late puberty. Before arriving to Belgium, my life in Croatia seemed pretty ok; I was having creative jobs in theatres across the whole country, I had a steady relationship, bunch of good friends I could count on…

That night I met Simon in very cheesy and dark bar filled with arty farty students. I had to literally run away, especially after seeing his green eyes in the bright moonlight in that moment. We left the inside crowd together. I had to run away as I could sense that the feeling he unlocked in me was a start of a thunderstorm.

Now we are already 4 years and half together, and if I look back to the choices I made at the time, I don’t think it would be any different now. Sometimes we meet people in our lives that without even knowing are pushing mirrors in front of our nose and just by one look we know we won’t be able to ever look away.

Simon showed me I was living in fear, and that being the loudest in the group doesn’t always mean you’re the most honest one. The moment I could hold Simon hand in public and exchange touches, my world turned upside down. Once you leave the cage (even though it was golden) you can’t really go back.

Living in Belgium is demanding but I feel we are doing well, even on the grayest days I feel his support and I hope he feels the same. Nobody really knows what life holds in front for us, but I am sure whatever happens, what he reflects in me since that particular night, will keep on flickering. These photos taken over the span off 4 years are the proof of that.

=- by Mario Leko  (instagram @belomieko)