t w e n t y - t w o

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[Okay, look. This book has a really imperfect character with some really imperfect thoughts; Sawera. And this book has a really imperfect character with some really imperfect knowledge on disorders; Azaan.
This book isn't meant to promote or romanticize anorexia. It's supposed to be a guide so you know how to NOT handle a person with anorexia.
Azaan's an imperfect human being like all of us. Pardon him.

I just want to lie down on my bed the whole day, and I go inside to do just that but he calls me outside and I plomp on the sofa.

"Where do you want to go tonight?" He inquires.

"I don't know. Abeer's taking me to a par-"

"—That asshole is taking you out?"

I love that word coming out of his mouth.

"Eh, yes." I bite my lip to not smile but when I remember the hypocrisy I add on,

"You can go on lunch with Kylie, have her close enough to get her perfume's fragrance on you, laugh with her, say 'what would I do without you,' -something you haven't said to me ever, just so you know- drop her to her apartment on a rainy day and catch a cold, and as if she weren't enough, you go to Neeti's house, hold her hands, call her home, flirt with her- and now you have the audacity to call Abeer an asshole?" I ask.

"Oh, and not to forget," I add, "you flirted with my friends the very second day of our marriage. For which you didn't even apologise properly. You took me on a dinner date as an apology but even ruined that dinner date."

"And I thought you zone out so often and find it hard to focus because you are too stressed. You're-" He pauses then shakes his head and blows air out of his lips while rubbing his temples.

He gets up and leaves the house.


"Shit, man. I know I did it again. I'm so fucking sorry, Sawera. I promise I don't do this on purpose." He knocks on the washroom.

I stop my teeth from chattering as I speak, "Can we talk later, please? I'm tired." I turn in the bathtub.

"What are you doing?" He asks.

I clench my teeth to not make a sound, "Nothing, I'll be out in five."

I refill the bathtub with cold water after the one I'm sitting in gets to a normal temperature.

I sit in it for an hour, then get up and open all the cabinets but I don't find any weighing scale.

I wear my clothes and wait for the shivering to stop before I go out to see Azaan on his laptop. Now, looking up at me.

I'm still shivering a tiny bit.

"What were you doing inside?" He asks, looking straight into my eyes.

"That's... Not a question to ask."

"It is. Because I don't understand you whatsoever."

"I was taking a bath. You want to install cameras in the bathroom to check on me?" I ask.

"Why the fuck were you taking a cold bath?"

I go to my washroom.

There's no weighing scale anywhere in the house.

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