10 years ago, after months of sitting on opposite sides of the class and ignoring one another; we finally got stuck together after school waiting for mutual friends. After that day we ended up being pretty much inseparable. There are moments during our journeys that change the entire course of our lives - that weird day after school was one of them. We went from not speaking, to not being able to not speak and despite coming from religious families and different cultural backgrounds; the universe seemed to be yelling that we were meant to be together. At one of the hardest times in life (those dreaded teenage years), we ended up turning our backs on everything we were taught was right and wrong, and choosing each other.
As with all great love stories, there needs to be conflict to keep things interesting. After 10 years, we weren't the same happy/optimistic people that we used to be and despite our best efforts we reached a place where we genuinely had no clue how to hold our relationship together. Arguments about finances, life, goals, where the laundry basket should sit ... they all culminated the night Maleeha said she was moving over 700 miles away to Indiana. There are small waves that life rolls at you, those waves grab at your ankles and tug at your clothing ... sometimes they may even temporarily make you feel as if you're going to lose your balance, but then they subside and you know that you're fine. This was one of those times when life decided to throw a tsunami into the center of our lives and all that we thought we had built over 10 years. She packed up our life and put it in the trunk of her car. In 13 hours, we were more miles apart than we had ever been since meeting one another.
Long distance is strange. In movies it's romantic, in books it usually ends with someone hopping on a plane and surprising the other one with flowers; no one ever tells you how much effort it takes. The experience is unique in that it literally takes both of you working together, matching up schedules, tempering feelings of jealousy, trying to quiet the loneliness, adjusting to simply not lying next to someone that had been by your side for a decade... no one tells you how messy it is emotionally, no one says "This is going to hurt. This is going to suck. You are going to hate this." But that probably has more to do with this generation's need to romanticize painful experiences and how much easier it is to sell the idea of a perfect, easy love than the messy "I've stayed up all night crying and don't know how to make it through tomorrow" kind of love.
After 10 years it took us 18 months of texting and calling one another, 2 trips across 2 states, a 48 hour adventure at JFK airport, and a 30 minute drive for us to get to know one another again. It seems strange that you can know and live with someone for that long and need to become reacquainted but that's also something people forget to tell you. We are constantly changing and sometimes we forget that everyone else is changing at the same time, so you look at your partner and see who they were during Junior year of high school, not who they are 10 years later after life has happened to them. Today we sit together and we know the 2017 versions of one another and understand that change is inevitable; the best thing to come of our long distance relationship is our willingness to communicate and understand one another.
Our goal is to create a space that we didn't have growing up. A safe space for the underrepresented people, people that have felt like they've been silenced or overlooked due to their "differences". Being an interracial, Muslim, lesbian couple has taught us a lot of things in life but the most important thing that we've taken away is the importance of acceptance. We want this website and blog to be a forum for all the "misfits" and "black sheep" to come together and express themselves.