j jefferds
Love in a Land Apart
by Jorge Jefferds

I woke up at four o’clock in the morning on June 9, 2012. I was happy that finally I would meet Chris again after several months of being apart; happy that I made the challenging decision of moving with him to his country. Tears, worries, and fear seemed to be part of the past, of my life in Chile, my motherland. Through the window of the airplane, I looked down at a conjunction of endless lights that formed a mass of stars. Over the speakers, someone announced that  we were flying over Miami, Florida. It struck me how little we human beings are compared to the sky, how insignificant we are in the galaxy.

Soon, I will be trying to live my life in a different place, with a language I barely learned in college for three years, submerged in a culture so strange to me. If it weren’t for my boyfriend’s love, compassion, and company, I wouldn’t be landing in these new horizons. Romantic meet-ups can happen anywhere. You don’t choose the one to govern your heart. People come to your life at anytime and from unimaginable places. He was born in Pennsylvania, and we believe we were siblings in another life.

For love, there are no boundaries, no countries, no divisions. Yet, there is always something to sacrifice. Moving is the first step to bring pain. I left my mother, my brother and sister, my nieces, friends, relatives, and my beloved dog behind for one who touches my soul: Chris, the man I married two years ago. I replaced my roots, my Chile, for this land apart, for America, for the love of my life.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The airplane photo was taken on a Delta flight from Santiago, Chile, to Atlanta, Georgia. June 8, 2012 was my last day in Chile, and the beginning of an adventure of love, romance, pain, and commitment. Settling down has not been easy. There was so much homesickness in the very first month — I  especially missed the long summers, and the family parties. I moved from my native country for just one purpose:  The tremendous sense of unity I’ve felt with my other half.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jorge Jefferds was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1971. He started to write short stories before he moved to the United States in 2012. He published his first novel, Paradise-Ville. Volume One: Sanctuary of Death, in 2014. He is currently working on the sequel and on short stories. His passion is writing, because he thinks that his characters understand him as well as anybody can. Currently, he lives in Pennsylvania, in the wilderness that surrounds the Allegheny River.

AUTHOR PHOTO: The author introducing his latest title Paradise-Ville, Volume One: Sanctuary of Death, during a reception and signing event in June 2015 at the Coudersport Public Library.