f o r t y

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"Sawera?"

"Azaan, not right now," I hug the blanket tighter,

"Sawera?"

"Huh?" I open my eyes,

"We've landed."

I look around, "was I?" did I sleep on his shoulder? "I'm so sorry." I stand up.

"No, it's okay." Areeb's so sweet.

I'm so fucking stupid.

No, you're not stupid Sawera, please—

I am. We watched Cocktail and I literally cried in front of the whole plane. That's so stupid.

But Veronica was totally me. I couldn't watch it after the party scene.

The whole plane stared at me and Azaan was so right, I'm a child. I was more annoying than the babies that cry on planes.

He gets up and we leave.

But Sawera, if you feel bad for Veronica, you should also feel bad for yourself. If she doesn't deserve that, you didn't either.

Meera was so selfish.

My head feels heavy everytime I think of this. I've ruined it all, there's no going back, I should shut up.

Areeb looks at me and I look around confused, wondering what he's asking for.

Why are airports so crowded here?

"Where are they?" Areeb asks and I get stressed.

How will I find Izyan bhai now?

I knew this was a mistake. Ugh.

I don't see him anywhere.

Would Azaan come?

Sehar aapi didn't say anything of that sort. I didn't ask either.

After five calls to him and three hours of walking around the airport, we finally find him and I drop to the bed right as I get to the room.

I looked for Azaan everywhere when aunties hugged me and pushed me all around while asking me why I was unmarried.

I didn't know you weren't supposed to say, "I'm divorced."

They all gasped and looked to each other, then asked me how and why but Sehar aapi saved me and led me here.

Now I don't know how to go to the gents side.

I'm not supposed to.

I have already skipped Mayoun, I should have come a week or so later. After the mehendi and other functions were done.

Right now they are all making arrangements and I don't know what—

I'm obviously supposed to help them what am I doing here?

I get out of bed and freshen up.

I'm so stupid, why'd bhabhi call me to only enjoy a wedding where I don't know neither the groom nor the bride. I'm obviously supposed to help with the decorations.

It's my profession.

Maybe not wedding planning exactly but it's similar and I should try. Why would I occupy a room and sit like a guest for free?

I pray Maghrib and leave downstairs.

"Hey, how do you like it here?" Bhabhi comes to me.

I nod, "Exactly what Neeti told me India looked like."

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