After Hania left town, I didn’t really expect to see her again. Sure, we discussed me coming for a visit to Syria but was that realistic? Then she was living in Prague and it seemed more possible but not probable that we might be in the same place again.

Nonetheless, she and I have kept up with each other. With each story of the Arab Spring, I think of her. I wonder if her family is well. I wonder if her activist friends are safe. I’m grateful that she is safely in Prague instead of being bold and loud and beautiful (and in danger) as I know she would be in Syria right now.

It sounds mundane, but we’ve maintained contact via Facebook. She comments on my posts and we chat briefly. Nothing special really. Then last night, she said, “My dear Ellie, I will belly dance at your wedding!”

I thought to myself, “Ah, wouldn’t that be nice. But this is just Hania being Hania. Too much beauty and love in and intention to be constrained by reality.”

But, it turns out that there was a great deal of truth to what she said. She followed up with a private message to me saying that she would be returning to the United States for her PhD. And not just anywhere but right here. At the University I work at. So, Hania will be near to me again and I am so hopeful to rekindle that friendship. She moved something in me that I’ve not quite felt before with another woman. Something I desperately wanted to feel with my ex-girlfriend Ariel but couldn’t because of all of the pain and stress of that situation. She felt safe, soft, sisterly but also so mysterious and sensual. I felt that I knew her but that I wanted to always be closer.

So, Hania will return here in a few weeks and I am looking forward to introducing Mr. Vanilla to her – I think they will get along quite well. And I hope she will let me tie her up again and that she and I will cook delicious, fragrant foods, and that she will teach me to belly dance. But I will be glad to just be near her.