f i v e

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"Assalamualeikum." I skipped downstairs wearing a simple black anarkali dress with a chooridar pyjama, a simple black dupatta and black khusse.

Ammi and bhabhi were sitting on the sofa, in the conversation pit, looking at some magazine. They raised their eyes to look at me and started observing me as if I were an alien... Was this a little too Pakistani?

Bhabhi whispered something to ammi laughing and she smacked bhabhi's arm.

I can be comfortable with strangers because I know I got to behave like a stranger, I can be comfortable with my people because I know I have to behave with them like family. Here, I don't know what to do and how to behave; they tell me that I'm family but they don't treat my like a family member.

What's this whispering and laughing at my back?

"Waleikumassalam aao bettho Sawera," ammi patted on the spot next to her "kaisi ho? Palwasha bataa rahi thi tummhaari tabyat kharaab lagg rahi thi?" Ammi asked.

"Nahin, main ttheek hoon." I walked down and sat next to her.

She checked my forehead. "Naashte mein kyaa khaao gi?" I saw a handmaid stopping by.

I swear to God they are so freaking reliant on these servants, I don't like this.

"Main apna naashta khud banaa loon gi." I smiled placing a hand on her hand.

"Sawera, ammi doesn't believe in cultural rituals like that 'pehli rasoi rasam', she didn't let me do it either." Bhabhi explained.

Yeah, but I don't like relying on these servants. "Mujhe subbhah ka nashta banaana passand hai."

"Okay, but it's the most important meal of the day so you better not eat anything unhealthy." Bhabhi ranted the same dialogue my mom does.

I mentally rolled my eyes. I am going to eat something unhealthy.

"Bhabhi, are you going to cook something sweet?" Palwasha asked.

"Ew, what the heck is bhabhi? If you call me bhabhi I'll get unmarried! I'm not that old." I got slightly miffed.

Ammi laughed.

"Do you mean that I'm old?" Bhabhi asked.

No sis, I don't remember your name, calling you Bhabhi is easier. "No, but I don't like being called bhabhi."

Actually, I don't like being called wife, bhabhi, chachi, bahu...

Bhabhi got upset.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say that..." I looked across ammi. "I don't like this word being used for me. It's too old fashioned."

Bhabhi ignored me and turned her focus on the magazine.

"I'm sorry bhabhi." I frowned, feeling guilty.

"Mazaak kar rahi hoon Sawera," she laughed looking at me, "itni asaani se kaun naraaz hota hai?"

"Azaan. Paanch apology emails likkh chuki hoon innh do hafton mein."

"What? Really? What did you do?" Palwasha ran down in the conversation pit and sat in front of me, enthusiastically.

"Nothing at all. He's dumb." I claimed and instantly regretted, I looked at ammi who looked a little ruffled by that comment. "I mean, he gets upset at little things."

Oh my God, what do I say!?

"He's a nice person though, I like him." I stated. "Quite understanding, mature, responsible..." I don't know more adjectives!

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