There is a crumbly rim of sugar on the edge of my tea cup, still steaming although its been sitting undisturbed for the past several minutes. Absentmindedly, I am stirring the escaped mint leaf around as I think about everything that is poured into that cup of tea, or poured into my life over the past two months.
I have been sitting here, in this café, drinking tea and avoiding the reality of saying goodbye to everyone who has left their thumbprint on my life here in Cairo – and then understanding that most of them will not be here when I get back. I am torn between that crushing reality and the happiness of me stepping out into Hartsfield-Jackson on Monday night and seeing so many people that I love that have been absent from my life for the past two months, and will be absent again after the first of September. What weighs more – the pending heartache over my friends that are leaving here, or the existing one for everyone in my non-Egyptian life?
I find myself avoiding the responsibilities of my life at the moment in my cup of tea, including answering that question. Although I know it isn’t true, I keep stirring pretending that I can drown all of those thoughts like a mint leaf, and they would dissolve like sugar.