further Ahmad

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Mawara, dressed in a business suit with a silk blouse underneath, was waiting at their table when Komal arrived at Penthouse Restaurant on the top floor of West Brooks.

“You’re always late!” She complained as Komal dropped into the seat opposite her.

“But your dress is worth it.” Mawara smiled at her friend. “Must be very expensive.”

“Not really.” Komal shook her hair care-freely by a gentle push of her left hand. “I’m not that prodigal.”

“Do you think women are more extravagant than men?” Mawara asked thoughtfully.

“Umm, I suppose yes.” Komal said. “A man will pay two dollars for a one dollar item he needs but a woman will pay one dollar for a two dollar item she doesn’t need.”

Mawara laughed, nodding her head in agreement.

“What about you?” Komal looked at her from head to toe. “Back to trousers?”

“No….. I still prefer hipsters.” Mawara told her.

“Good for you.” Komal said, picking up the menu as the waitress approached.

“Have you ordered?” Komal looked at her friend’s face as she nodded in the negative. “Good then, I’ll just have melon, club sandwiches and the bean and pasta salad.”

“Pasta?” Mawara made a bad mouth. “So fattening, don’t do it.”

Komal laughed. “Pasta is okay if there’s no rich sauce with it. Shall we have soft drinks too?”

“Well mineral water for me.” Mawara said plainly.

When the waitress had gone, she said, ” I am sorry I was late, Mawara—I was stuck in traffic. London is hell these days.”

“So is life” Mawara said mournfully.

Komal gave her an amused look. “Is it? What happened now? Broke up again with someone?”

Mawara’s life was full of dramas; it kept Komal constantly entertained.

“You’re so cynical.” Mawara accused. “You always think the worst.” She said huskily, like she was almost about to cry.

“Hey, what’s the matter?” Komal asked again, looking into her eyes, trying to find the answer there. “Boss being a jerk?”

“Someone betrayed me.” Mawara said with tears in her eyes, then laughed when she saw the look of terror in Komal’s eyes.

“Oh stop it! I’m not pregnant!”

Komal laughed weakly, that was exactly what she had feared.


“What happened then?” Komal questioned.

“You know what men are like. Two dates and they think they can put you to their bed.” Mawara cursed under her tongue.

“Would you mind telling me what exactly happened to you?”

“Well.” Mawara sighed aloud, then said, ” I met this Paki guy online who seemed so stupid. He started to tell all those funny dialogues and stuff even on our first chat. Believe me Komal…..he looked so simple… plain.”

“And you took full advantage of that, right?” Komal asked with a look of anger in her eyes.

“Haha, of-course, what-else could I do?” Mawara winked naughtily. “But in the end he did the reverse.” She made a crying face. “But man….whoa, this guy is one hell of a kisser.”

“So, did he flirt with you or something?”

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“You can say that.” Mawara said. “He asked me, ‘have you seen Britney Spears?’”

“I said, ‘of-course, many times’.”

“‘Your figure is just like hers’ .” Mawara copied him. “But I’d forget this one too. I can’t stuck myself up to one guy only.” She added.

Komal flushed angrily. “You’re out of your mind.”

She then bit her lower lip as the waitress brought their first course.

She said, forking a piece of melon, looking down.

“Stop living like this Mawara.” Komal said flatly.

“What do you mean?” Protested Mawara.

“Don’t you think a mature man is better than some girl-crazy kid?” Komal asked gently, feeling for her childhood friend.

“Whatever.” Mawara said stiffly. “I’ve no intention of falling in love until I’m sure the guy is in love with me, and means it.”

The waitress came along and whisked their plates away and was back a moment later with their main courses.

“However, a few making-out sessions in the back seat of cars do make you mature.” Mawara smiled devilishly.

“I hate it when you talk like this.” Komal said angrily

Mawara’s eyes widened as the waitress arrived with club sandwiches, set the plates down and left.

“There is this new club in North London. I’m planning to visit it tonight. Want to go?” Mawara grinned and lifted the steaming brew to her lips.

“You know very well that I’ve never been to night clubs.” Komal replied in a serious tone.

“Look Komal, you’re going to learn to be less up tight. You’ve been to places I can only dream of, and met people I never will, and that’s great; but you’re back in the good old England now, and you need to try to fit more than you have. Try letting some of those formidable defenses down a little.” Mawara lifted her chin and began methodically removing frilled toothpicks from the sections of her sandwich.



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