Washington DC – Day 82: Melissa

I was reunited with a very good friend from college, Melissa. She has planned to visit DC today from Charlottesville, Virginia. It had been almost a year since the last time I saw her, so we were excited to catch up with each other.

I wasn’t sure earlier that the plan is still on. We relied too much on Friendster for communication, and true enough, it was down this morning! So, I crossed my finger and hopped the Orange Line to Vienna, hoping that somehow I could find Melissa there. She drove for about two hours and parked her car in Vienna station. At least that was the original plan. Lo and behold, the Orange Line was down as well! Vienna station was closed, and people had to ride a shuttle to the next station. At about 11:30 am, my train stopped at West Falls Church station. Passengers had to come down and transfer to Vienna via a complimentary shuttle. And just when I was about to exit, I saw a tall figure wearing a hijab. Melissa!

Gosh, we arrived at the station at precisely the same time! We were cheering, laughing, and catching up with each other immediately and non-stop until we arrived at McPherson station for breakfast. We ate at Au Bon Pain and continued our conversation. Among other things, she told me that she had been engaged! I am so happy for her! And we kept chatting like teenage girls on a reunion. She told me that his name is Jahangir, and immediately I thought of the character from the Taqwacores, and she said there were a lot of similarities between the two.

After breakfast, we went window-shopping at the Fashion Center at Pentagon City. We didn’t really shop (though she bought a couple of items). We just need an indoor place where we can talk and walk. We went to Old of Town Alexandria at lunchtime, and Salman joined us. We went back to the apartment afterward for prayer and further discussion. We discussed many things ranging from nostalgic moments in the MSU (the three of us served in the same year) to the philosophy of reincarnation. We frequently had this type of discussion when we were in college, but it’s more of a rarity nowadays. I’m gonna miss those moments.

Jahangir called and said that he could come by for dinner. He has been driving from Princeton, New Jersey, to Virginia to visit Melissa. It turned out that he could come, and they would be driving back tonight. We decided to pick him up from I-495 after waiting for three hours. Road constructions have halted inbound traffic, so we decided to “rescue” him from this traffic. Surprise, surprise, he had cooked Biryani rice, so we all went back to the apartment to enjoy his cooking. It was delicious! Melissa has chosen wisely indeed.

At about 10 pm, Melissa and Jahangir left to continue their journey. Thanks for visiting, guys! I hope I can see you again before I left, if not, well I’m just gonna wait for an invitation in the mail. ^_^

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