When Yulya is upset, she grows strangely quiet. It’s a heartbreaking uncomfortable silence that I had to behold during our long drive from the Marina back home. Thankfully, my parents invited us for lunch at The Turkish House to give Yulya a proper going away meal. Numerous fried Sultan Ibrahims, shrimps and calamari later Yulya came around, cheered up and her primary instinct kicked in- to smoke sheesha. We rolled (indeed the only way to describe it) out of the restaurant to find an odd looking café next to The Turkish House, which looked promising if one wanted to crawl into a dark corner and smoke away their misery. As this was exactly our agenda we headed to the café, found the loneliest table and established base. The entire dialogue during that half an hour consisted of the phrase “I don’t want to go to Kuwait” being repeated over and over again until it faded into the smoke of the sheesha and became nothing but a background noise.

With the plane leaving in just two hours we had to tear ourselves away from the sheer comfort of each other’s company, put on our big girl pants and go to the airport. Silence on the way home. Silence on the way to the airport. Tears at the check-in counter. Long hugs. Awkward glances from strangers. Promises and ambitions voiced over departure announcements. Airports are always heartbreaking. Especially so when you are saying goodbye to an unlikely friend, one in whom you have found a sister, a teacher, a companion and a soul mate- within the span of 5 short days.