Seeking a Friend for the Rest of the World

Charm city is full of charming people. Regardless of if they don’t permanently reside in Baltimore, they still are a part of the eclectic quilt we call home. Meet Marissa Williams, 23-year-old UB student who hails from Prince George's County. Williams is a laid back, self-proclaimed “go-getter” who majors in Digital Communication. She lives by the mantra(s) of positive energy and a spin-off of the phrase “when one door closes another one opens.” She says, “Don’t wait for a door to open, make your own door.” Williams prides herself on being an open-minded, open-spirited thinker who is always educating herself. She defines herself by simply being Marissa, although she is in a same sex relationship. She would prefer to do without the label saying, “I don’t want you to say Marissa: the gay girl, or that lesbian. I’ll tell people I’m in a gay relationship. It is what it is. That’s the reality of it. That’s the standard, but don’t put a label to me. You can call it what you want.”

The go-getter aspires to be an entrepreneur and sees herself “in Tibet chilling with the monks. I say that all the time.” Her goal is to live in every continent because she loves to travel. In fact her love of travel, led her to meet her girlfriend of ten months, Sabrina Akram. She and “Sabs”- as she calls her- met in Beijing, China while interning. Marissa and Sabrina have a serendipitous love story because there is a five hour times distance between the two (Sabrina lives in London) and Marissa wasn’t romantically attracted to women until she met Sabrina. “I’ve always paid female compliments because I have confidence in myself, but there have been times in my life where I’ve been like she’s really pretty… oh she’s really cute. I’ve always felt that way and it never went past that. I never desired another woman until I met Sabrina. I was like, I have to talk to this girl, just as if it was a guy. I can’t lose this opportunity. Like, I have to say something… It took a couple [of] weeks," Marissa chuckles. "It took some time. I had to make up an excuse to get her alone because I couldn’t do it in front of everybody. I would never do that anyway.” It was a little magical how it happened— the elevators doors were closing in and Marissa knew at that moment she had to tell Sabrina how she felt. When the time came to depart from Sabrina and Beijing, Marissa recalls writing a very detailed email, some of which goes:

"It will help me realize what you really mean to me as a friend and as a person. I truly think you’re beautiful inside and out. When we started our secret adventure, I knew it would come to an end realistically but it’s not over. I truly pray for [you] and your well-being. I’m hoping in time you will grow and truly see how beautiful of a person you really are and that you overcome this idea that you’re not anything more than normal because you are. And if you’re only normal in London, just remember that you’re special to me. I look forward to seeing you soon and in the meantime continue to build our relationship. It’s hard to believe that in such a short time I’ve grown a love for you that is truly unexplainable. I just know that it’s real and mutual."


During the week of March 16th, Marissa went to London to not only see Sabrina but to check another country off the list of places to see. Her travel aspirations continue because traveling to her is just as essential as the air we breathe. After graduating in 2015, Williams has decided to move to London and to continue to seek knowledge, freedom and most of all love.