t h i r t y - t w o

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We usually go on walks on Sundays after dinner.

Today's a Sunday and we are walking around the town. It's all good until I'm talking and he's looking at me.

I hate when his eyes stop at me with that look. I hate it so so so much. It makes me self-conscious and then negative thoughts appear and he's probably comparing me and Amabella or thinking when to meet Kylie because he's done with me.

"Nevermind, I talk too much. What were you saying?" I give the mic to him and become the audience.

"Why would you stop? That was interesting Sawera, go on. You gave the USB to her and—??"

"I don't know, I don't remember." I get anxious. I want him to talk. I want him to forget my voice and picture and distract himself.

Fuck everything, I want to cry. I rub my arms up and down, it's too cold.

"It's late, we should go home." I say, then think what I'm saying. I hope he doesn't think I got tired, "You know, I think I wasn't sick enough for recovery."

"What? Where does that come from, Sawera? We were enjoying the night. Why would you say that?"

"Anyway, it's late—"

"—There's no sick enough. You were sick. The no reason to renunciate basic human necessities."

"Hm, maybe."

"Shut up, we both know you're happier now," he says.

"And what about you? You're not happy with me, Azaan. I know you're not—"

"—The fuck Sawera, I'd be an ungrateful fool if I were not happy with all of what I have, mainly you. Duh, we don't even need a TV, you're enough entertainment 24/7."

I laugh, feeling a little lighter and hoping he was watching me that way because of this. Because I was entertaining. But the pressure that appeared in seconds after that look, I hated it. And it's not going away.

"Okay, but we should go home," I take his hand in mine and glance down at his watch. "It's too late."

"Yea, because you were telling me of what happened on the sixteenth floor today and why there was so much chaos."

I feel like talking but I'm too self-aware and I don't want him looking at me, "I don't know, I forgot."

He sighs, "You just don't like talking to me, isn't it?" he plays the victim card and I give in and continue the story.

We get home, change taking turns, and I don't want him to comfort me or anything but I don't want to wear my usual silk crop top and shorts. I wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt and lower the number on the thermostat.

"Did you just lower the heat?" He asks when I enter the room.

I'm glad he didn't ask if I were okay. I'm not feeling like crying right now, and explaining that all of this is because of his one look is going to be hard. He's not going to understand.

I go and sit next to him. There's one good habit he has implemented and that is of putting his phone down when I come and sit with him.

But am I worth it?

"Yea, I hope that's fine," I answer,

"No, it's not, you know what my nightwear is."

I look at his thin white shalwar kameez and nod, "Yea, I'm sorry." I clutch the duvet to move it out of the way so I can go and put the thermostat's numbers back to where they were, but he holds my hand.

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