Joined: 07 August 2010
Joined: 02 June 2012
"Would you like some food, sir?"
Khirad, although normally the heaviest of sleepers, finds herself slowly drifting away from her fatigue and welcomes her blurry sight, which consists of the delightful view of the seat before her, and groans inwardly. The awkward positioning of her head against the window must have had caused some sort of tension in her muscles, which she begins to feel the second she tries to greet the source of the interruption.
There's an airhostess ' the same one, Khirad recognizes from earlier on ' who stands over their heads, eyes set on Ashar like she doesn't even know what subtleness means, and Khirad suppresses a smile at the thought of the desperate population of people in the world. She might not know him, but incessant staring is never pleasing, and he's probably far from impressed.
She sets herself straighter in her seat, the only indication of her being awake, and Ashar's eyes fly to her face immediately as she tries to rub the sleep from her eyes.
"Veg or non-veg?" He asks her softly, turned to her with a distraught expression, something akin to what framed her face in the presence of her older seat neighbour; she cringes inwardly at the abrupt reminder, and decides, only because she doesn't like to owe people, to help him out.
"Non-veg, of course. Maybe it'll be biryani," she says lightly, and smiles at him brightly enough that he knows it's a cue to play along.
"Of course," he says, taking the plate the air-hostess holds out with a small smile, and playing it before Khirad. "You and your pathetic love of Biryani," he says fondly, and as the corners of his eyes crinkle, she involuntarily catches the beauty of his smile.
"Non-veg for me, too," he says politely, and sets the tray handed before him. Then, he gives her a charming smile, and adds, "And tea, too, please, for my wife and I."
Khirad almost stops while taking the plastic wrapping off her salad, and stiffens involuntarily. He lies with such ease, such confidence, that it sharply contrasts with her uncertainty, and she doesn't look up until he holds her cup out to her.
The airhostess stands there for a second too long, her eyes scrutinizing them as if she's Sherlock Holmes working on a case of some sort, and Khirad catches her eyes fleeting over the two of them, and locks her in a gaze. She sees an obvious dislike of herself reflected in the woman's eyes, but doesn't skip a beat in plastering on a smile.
"Thank you," she says, in a voice that is both polite and clipped. "That will be all."
She walks to the next seat, and just as Khirad's about to have some of her salad, he leans in gently.
"Honestly, thank you," he says, looking so relieved that it makes her want to laugh, but she refrains.
"Oh, please, it's no problem," she says, trying to opt for as light a tone as possible. "You did the same for me. How long was she here for anyway, one minute? It's no big deal."
He looks like he's been stabbed repeatedly by a butter knife with the way he turns to her. "She's been here for over five minutes!" He explains, a little bit hysterical in his whispers.
Khirad's eyebrows quirk up, and her senses heighten. "You're kidding," she says, trying to appear as nonchalant as she can.
Ashar runs a hand through his hair as he takes a sip of the tea. "No, honestly. She introduced herself and everything - her name's Aleena, for one - and asked me what I thought of the service and stuff."
Khirad's not bothered, but she pretend to shrug it off. "That's not too extraordinary."
"See, that's what I thought! Until she asked me about my Begum, or, simply put, you." he says, like it's a fact that he's reading off the papers.
He really needs to stop doing that, she thinks, because she almost chokes on her salad as he looks at her expectantly.
"She didn't," Khirad refutes, after turning slightly to check if she's in hearing range. When she's satisfied, she turns back to him. "You're just teasing," she says with finalty.
"No, seriously. She asked me about how long we'd been married, and I've said two months, okay? And then she asked me your name, and how we met and everything."
"This is an aeroplane, not an interview. Oh God, do people really care about who's married, or in our case fake-married, to who?
She makes sure to mention the fake part, because it's really easy for her to trip over her words, and she knows he'll take whatever he can get to tease her. Zareen always does. But he doesn't even notice, and turns to his food with one last smile at her, and she knows that yeah, people really do care.
"Ladies and Gentlemen," a voice rings loudly through the speakers, "At the moment, we're over Karachi, but have to remain in the air for a little while longer, due to a commotion on the runway. We were be landing in approximately ten minutes, so please fasten your seatbelts and straighten your seats. We hope you had a pleasant experience in flying with us."
Khirad, too absorbed by the book she's reading, doesn't look up when Ashar clears his throat, because the main character is on the brink of anger and there's nothing more she loves than reading and letting her imagination soar. He clears his throat again, and she just rolls her eyes at the very same antics she's been tolerating in Zareen for over four years now.
"You never mentioned what it was you studied in university, Khirrat," he says inquisitively. She turns to look at him, folds her book in her hand because she knows that she's not going to get any reading done, and fixates him with her best glare.
"Oh, for the love of God, my name's Khirad," she points out accusingly, and he cracks a smile at her demeanor. She's oddly flustered when she's angry, and he sees a certain enjoyment in winding her up, just like he often finds himself doing with Zareen.
"That stare isn't scaring me," he says simply, and then, "You never answered."
"I studied Law. I've yet to do my masters, though," she replies, meeting his eyes with the fierce sort of passion that she finds within herself every time she speaks about it, and braces herself for the inevitable question: Why Law?
He surprises her, though. Instead of raising an eyebrow curiously, he just cracks a smile.
"That's different," he says. "Quite interesting, too; it was one of my favorite careers, although I must say, you don't look like a Lawyer, though" he adds. "You look like a Doctor, to be honest."
"How would you know what a Lawyer looks like?" she asks, tilting her head in confusion. He thinks, in two seconds of absolute quiet in his brain, that she's actually kind of adorable.
"I don't know, you just don't look like one. It doesn't matter though, because you are."
"Ah, I've heard it before, if I'm being honest. People seem to have strange sorts of misconceptions about others, you know? Lawyers are apparently the rudest people on the planet, and all the Doctors are the angels that just couldn't fit into heaven. It's not a bad thing, per say, just disappointing how there's always a barrier in our minds," she says sincerely, eyes never once leaving his. They're a beautiful shade of brown, she remarks, but more than anything, it's the attention he's giving her words that flatter her. He never once looks away as she speaks to him, treats her like what she says actually does matter, and she's not met a lot of people like him. Usually, eyes trail away to the next interesting thing, as she continues in the wake of her words.
She smiles then, just as he ponders over how he had misjudged meeting her, too, and wonders if she thinks the same.
They're in Karachi, she thinks, as the crowd in the plane begins to stir in their seat, stretching and yawning and sighing. She's in Karachi.
They break out of their conversation easily, him telling her about a few friends that he knows that pursued the legal field and quit it soon enough, and she nods with a bright gleam in her eyes.
"Yeah," she nods, understanding perfectly because she's met a few of those people, too. "It happens a lot in university. You think you want to study something, but then you realize that your heart is in something else entirely. That's the thing with people: they never once know exactly what it is they want."
He looks at her once, the sincerity shining brightly in her eyes like that's the only thing is knows to do, and gives her a little smile. She thinks it's one of his reserved ones, ones that he lets get away before he has time to overthink it, and she just smiles a little wider, already comfortable and fresh, even after just three hours around him.
She doesn't know when it happened, doesn't know if it'll even last or not, but for now, she thinks they're alright.
As if that's his cue, he stands up slowly, excuses his way into the large queue that's forming, and looks at her once before making a little space for her before him. It's not entirely uncommon, she's seen a lot of chivalrous men, but she smiles when she realizes that he's got an arm stretched forward, resting right behind the man who stands before her little space, so that any movement that he makes won't startle her.
It's not much, really, but she feels this rare sort of adoration pooling in her stomach as she steps in the space he's saved her, and gives him one grateful smile.
"Thank you," she mouths, careful that she doesn't brush into the man before her as she turns to look at him. He wants to tell her that she's nothing to be thankful for, that he'd have done this for anyone, but he likes the subtle shyness in her eyes, so he just nods.
"My pleasure," he mouths, and she turns away before he can see the pink on her cheek.
"Itna saaman?!" He groans melodramatically, eyes closing in on the black bag that's heading towards them. "You're coming for three weeks, right? Or did the plan change and you're staying for a year now?"
She laughs despite herself at the only childish demeanor she's seen from him ever since they met, shoulders shaking and head thrown back like she can't help it even if she wants to. He grins a little wider, then, grabbing the bag in one swift motion and setting it on their trolley.
It's one bag for him, and three for her, and they're set up on the trolley with such order that he's proud of his handiwork. He takes the trolley before she can insist and have it develop into some sort of an argument; he realizes that he rather likes her when she's being defiant, but he'll save that for another time.
"Ready to go home?" He asks, in step with her as they walk out of the airport doors, cold air hitting her face and sending her hair flying. She doesn't meet his eyes and focuses on the rhythm of her steps instead, trying helplessly to ignore the way he says home, like it's such a daily occurrence, like her parading into their life is all sorts of normal.
"I'm really sorry about this," she says quietly, eyes glued to the floor her feet's on as he hangs up on the driver after politely asking him to pick them up. "I know how inconvenient it's going to be for you all b-"
"But you couldn't do anything because my sister is an annoying brat who always has to get what she wants?" He asks, cracking a smile towards the end.
"Not in that particular order, or with those words, but yeah," she agrees.
"She's going to be ecstatic," he promises. "And as for the rest of us, I think we'll find a way to put up with you. It'll be hard, but I guess we have no other option."
It's a lame attempt at humor, but a giggle falls from her lips before she can even think over it, and somewhere between her laugh filling up the silence outside Jinnah airport at three thirty am on a Saturday morning, his voice joins hers, too.
so, there is is! Chapter three of TFIOH! :) Hopefully, the next chapter will be up sometime this week, too, and after that, I'm going to try to post every Wednesday. :)
Joined: 02 July 2006
Joined: 11 December 2010
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Joined: 31 July 2012
Joined: 07 August 2010
Joined: 05 January 2012
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