My Love.

I wish it were easier for me to speak about my love life on this blog. Make a column out of it, kind of like a lesbian, DC-based version of Carrie Bradshaw's. In fact, I've always admired how my personal über-inspiration Garance Doré always speaks freely of her relationships and break-ups*.

And honestly, I've drafted several times posts in which I told in detail about my own love life, but I never ended up publishing them. Or, if I did, I would eventually delete them a while later, feeling too exposed, and also feeling that I was exposing other people.

But tonight, as I've been staring at my screen and wondering what I should write for September 1st, what was supposed to be another post about how fall, the waning phase in nature's cycle, feels like a new beginning, turned into what may perhaps be the most personal piece I've ever written.

This post is about love. My (last) love and my (current) love.

My (last) love.

I didn't officially come out as a lesbian until 2013. I got engaged to my on-and-off high-school girlfriend, and was so madly in love with her that I stopped caring that my Lebanese entourage would find out.

I was mostly worried about my father learning, since he can be a bit of a traditionalist alpha male, and our relationship was on rather shaky grounds back then.

I came out to him one night over Messenger, without even preparing myself for it. I just blurted it out, and frankly, after the initial shock, he more or less got over it, but not completely, but I mean it isn't a big issue and I'll just do what I want in the end and he'll get over it.

The girl I was with, back then, came from a beautiful West-African country with a great culture, but where being gay is illegal and very dangerous.

This wasn't the reason why I didn't go through with the relationship column project that I wanted so much to write.

Retrospectively, I can admit that I was deeply, deeply unhappy with this woman.

 I did not want to admit it to myself back then, as I was madly in love, but I felt dead. Perhaps it was a form of Stockholm syndrome, but I went from being a happy, optimistic and motivated girl, to a ghost who suffered from too frequent panic attacks.

I did not trust my womanly intuitions that something very, very wrong was going on. I kept her on that gilded pedestal while refusing to see that it was crumbling, and I sunk into depression. Deeper and deeper.

In the beginning of 2014, I woke up. I realised love CAN'T possibly be synonymous with abuse and sadness, and I pulled the plug on that woman.

It was the scariest thing ever, but I felt like I was breathing again.

Like I was alive again.


My (current) love.

As the spring came in, I found myself falling in love again.

(It's funny, I always remember this period of my life as defined by Gustav Klimt's Death and Life. I felt as if I was in between both these figures.)

I found myself falling fast and deeply in love with that adorable, nerdy, beautiful green-eyed ashy-blonde with the mind of a genius, the body of a Greek goddess, and the heart of a child. She was older than me, but had so much purity, innocence and sensitivity in her that I felt like I was the older person in the relationship.

It began on a cold, snowy Saturday morning, on which a woman and I had gone together to the Cryptology Museum before being told by federal police (as we were on NSA grounds) that the museum was closed.

For a long time, things were happy. But I knew from the start that we were standing on fragile grounds, and there could only be the illusion of stability between us. We both had very complicated pasts; I was still lunging around trust and abandonment issues thanks to my ex, and she was carrying around baggage of her own.

Last November, everything fell apart. We tried to fix things, but frequent misunderstandings, a repetitive lack of good judgment on my part, our complicated histories, and the toxic dynamics of the French community didn't help.

She has now left this country permanently, and very honestly, I am more than happy for her. The DC French-speaking bubble, at first a reassuring and comforting nest, can very quickly become a basket of venomous snakes. And there are times where running as far as you can in the opposite direction and putting an ocean (or two) in between, is a matter of survival.

I know that at this point, she will be better anywhere else than here. And a woman as beautiful, intelligent, loving, sensitive, and adorable as she is deserves all the happiness and well-being in the world.

I don't know, right now, what will happen in the future with her, but I just know it isn't the end. It isn't just the positive messages that I read in my tarot cards (and the Doreen Virtue oracle cards) that confirm this.

It's my intuition. My womanly intuition that has never failed to warn me when I was seeing somebody for the last time ever.

It's the fact that when I last saw her on that cold January day right before the snowstorm hit, when I exchanged the kiss-on-both-cheeks and readjusted her woolen hat that had fallen off, wiping snowflakes off her baby-soft hair, that it would be a long time until we saw each other again, but that we would, that we certainly would.

It's also the memories of happy instances and professions of trust and faith that may be buried under layers of mistrust, that may be forgotten but not lost.

It's these words:
"I love you"
"I love you too".
Words uttered during the last hours of a very long night of partying, listening to Lucia di Lammermoor, eating oysters and drinking lots of wine, but words more sincere than any others.

It's the memory of that time at the cat café in Georgetown, when we played a crazy cat lady game, the goal of which was to collect as many cats as possible. She won the game (okay, I let her win), but I said that it didn't matter who collected the most cats (she had eighteen, I had twelve), because one day I would buy my dream house in Georgetown and we would live in it happily ever after, with all the cats in the world.

It's the countless walks in Adams Morgans in the late afternoon, as 18th Street begins to buzz with its addictive activity, the countless rendez-vous at Tryst (which, she once told me with her characteristic smile, proud to show off English skills that I wouldn't tease her relentlessly about, meant "a gallant encounter"). It's the places we've discovered together, unearthed together, places that will always carry our unofficial and invisible stamp.

It's a reconciliation on my twenty-third birthday at The Coupe, (the happiest birthday of my life so far), after a fight that I thought would be irreparable, because I had made a horrible mistake, a mistake which she, the kindest heart I know, forgave me.

It's the feeling that despite the mistakes we've both made, we are both two good persons, two good souls, and we will be rewarded after showing hope, faith and patience through trials and tribulations.

It's the fact that this is real life, and not an opera.

It's just intuition. Intuition, this wordless melody of hope, like the song of a phenix rising from its ashes.

I just know it isn't the end until everything is well again.

And perhaps the reconciliation will happen in a few weeks, maybe in a few months, maybe in a few years.

Perhaps it will be movie-like and tearful, on a bridge at sundown in the historical center of a romantic city.

*Hopefully Paris... What do you mean, it's too cliché? Fine, Rome works as well. Grrr. Okay, let's be real, anywhere the reconciliation takes place, even if it is the grayest, most anonymous suburb, will suddenly become the most romantic city in the world.* 

Or perhaps it will be via our ever-faithful iMessage**, filled with emojis. Including the poop emoji because elle fait quand même assez chier (there's no real way to translate this expression in English).

Maybe I will have moved on and built a life with another woman; maybe I will even have children with this other woman.

Maybe she will have moved on as well, and she will have built her life with someone else and have children of her own.

Maybe one day we will live together in a victorian Georgetown mansion with 30 cats (very likely, more).

Maybe, maybe, maybe... The essential part is that I believe.

I believe in the redemptive power of forgiveness.

I believe in love, the most powerful thing in the world.

I believe that all is well ends well.

And I know, I know, as if there was a wordless communication between her heart and mine, her soul and mine, I know she believes all of this too.


*This said, both the men in her life are public figures.
**Did you really think I could fall in love with a girl who uses Android?! My ex swore by her Samsung and tried to get me to ditch my beloved iPhone for it. No wonder it went to hell. #totallynotbiased

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