t h i r t e e n

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[Yesterday I published a chapter, and if you haven't checked that one out, go read that first. This one might be confusing if you haven't read the twelfth.


"I swear, the other day I did that towel drop challenge and hell no you don't want to know how he almost broke his ankle running to me." Neeti laughs.

I awkwardly chuckle, walking into the restaurant. I don't understand how that's something worth sharing.

"You seriously need to try it."

One, Azaan loves his work way too much for the towel drop to work. Two, I don't think it'd be unfair if he just sticks to his work after I drop the towel, because I understand that I'm not getting any attractive by jogging to restaurants. I gain more calories than I burn.

Three, can we change the topic, please?

"I'm still so excited for Rehan and Ramsha," I squeak, "And I know how annoying I am, but I CAN'T BELIEVE I AM THEIR CUPID.

Like I-" I dramatically flick two imaginary tears as I pull out a seat for myself.

Laughing, I look up at Neeti when the waitress comes over. But over Neeti's shoulder, I see Azaan. With Kylie. In this restaurant.

My smile snaps erased. It's not even lunch time yet.

I stare at his laughing face for a while until the piece of organ in my chest feels like a burning coal.

"Sawera!?" Neeti shouts for a third time and I startle.

"Huh?" I look up at the waitress and glance at Azaan and know that he hasn't heard that, the restaurant is busy and loud. I quickly place an order while Neeti turns to look behind herself.

I shoo the waitress away and look back at Azaan. "Is that Kylie?" I lean and whisper to Neeti.

I can only see the back of the woman Azaan is with, but the way he's laughing, I'm certain it's Kylie. He looks so happy.

A man can only have that gleam in his eyes when he's with the love of his life.

I internally pray to Allah as Neeti casually walks outside and secretly takes a picture of the woman Azaan is sitting with. I know I don't pray regularly and I do a lot of haraam stuff but please don't let that be Kylie, please. I promise I'll stop stalking guys on Instagram, I'll start praying regularly, I'll learn reading Arabic and-

Neeti shows me the picture and... It is Kylie.

The heated coal drops to my stomach.

"I'm sorry Sawera, I have a meeting at 10AM. I can't take you to the play."

"Kay Azaan, don't worry. I'll go with Neeti."


I'm glued to my place, but a little sorted now. I wanted to go home, divorce Azaan and show him that I caught him red-handed but something stops me.

Maybe, it's HumTV. I don't want any dramatic misunderstanding. Maybe his meeting got postponed.

"Hey Azaan, what a coincidence?" I push a forced smile on my face as I walk to him.

I don't know if his eyes actually light up or he fakes a big surprised grin. "Hey! How're you?" He looks at both me and Neeti. "Come, join us." He gets up but I don't give him way to walk and grab a chair for me.

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