We parted ways, unsure if we would see each other again.
Once in Kurdistan, I found myself thinking of Esme.
I had yet to see anybody drinking or smoking and, so far, the only girls I had seen had been hidden deep within the endless black folds of heavy chadors. I messaged her with the best chat up line I could think of. We sat in a cafe, her blue hair peeking out from beneath her green hijab; a compulsory garment for all women in Iran.
Saying goodbye to Esme as I crossed the border into Pakistan was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
I told her about my current three year trip across the world, of my upcoming adventures in Pakistan, my plan to sail a raft across the ocean.
Minutes slipped into hours and, before I knew it, the sun had set and it was getting late.
Most of the time foreigners can get around this by simply saying they are married, but because Esme was Persian, and therefore a Muslim, the rules were much stricter.
We left the guesthouse in a rush, unsure of where we would stay as the cold swirled around us and snow began to fall.