f o r t y - o n e

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[Wedding playlists please,]

"You forgot?"

"Yea, I'm sorry."

"No, like are you serious? You forgot you had to tell me you are divorced?"

"I- I didn't know it mattered."

"I spent every other weekend with you for two years, I came till here for you, you don't let me give you gifts I know but I didn't know I was making effort for you only to hear these gossip aunts talk shit about you."

"Azaa- Areeb. I didn't-"

"-Stop it, Sawera. I'm booking my flights." He leaves.

I sit down on the bed and hold my head.

I'm the headache.


"Sawera tum bhi lagwaao naa mehendi."

"Nahin, Rabeel, thank you."

"Sawera, lagwaa lo. Please. Mere liye." Sehar aapi says.

"Aap ke liye hi yahaan aayi hoon. Aur aap ki wajaah se hi Areeb mujh se naraaz ho gayaa hai."

She takes my hand and puts it on a henna artist's hand.

"You know chaachi told me all of what you've done today and I'm very upset."

What the fuck?

"What have I done? Oh- yea, I'm so sorry, I don't know how it happened. I didn't spill the juice on your niece on purpose-"

"-Sawera, you amaze me so much. I was talking about how hard you've worked all day." She says and all the girls around me laugh. "All these decorations, it wasn't your job. Why do you never admit the good things you do no matter how big and why do you keep overthinking all the negative things no matter how small?"

Once Sehar aapi's hand is done, the henna artist turns to me and picks my left hand.

I can't remove my watch.

The mark's right below.

She smiles to me and I don't know how to tell her to not to remove my wrist watch.

She does and gives it to Sehar aapi. And I promise myself to remember to not pick my hand up.

She's so sweet, her voice is so humble when she asks me if I want a specific design.

Everyone's so nice here.

I almost dropped the whole background carpet on the bride and groom's love seat sofa but no one said anything.

"Stop thinking that," Sehar aapi warns me in my ear before getting up to go to Abyan.

"You haven't slept yet, darling," she runs a hand through his hair.

He shakes his head, "has Abeeha gone to sleep?"

"Mhm, Abyan, who's Abeeha huh?" Abroo, Sehar aapi's sister asks.

He hides behind his mum and his mum hides her laughter while his khaala tries to guess who she is.

"Hm, is she pretty?"

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