an unwanted meeting

Nosheen takes a seat at the table in the corner with her cappuccino. The coffee shop’s windows provide a generous amount of sunlight as the music blasts in the background. She digs into her bag for her phone and tries to pretend as if she is doing some serious work. She’s playing AngryBirds.

The door opens and a customer walks in. Nosheen looks through the corner of her eyes and doesn’t recognize the woman. Her eyes return to the screen too slow to save the bird from crashing into the ground. She tenses up until she realizes she still has two lives left. After five minutes of being stuck on the same level, Nosheen sets her phone face down on the table and takes out a book instead. She opens the novel and begins to read. Her eyes skim the stanzas, her hand turns the page, and her mind concentrates on the lyrics playing in the background. Was that Bob Dylan? She couldn’t figure it out.

#

The day had started off shaky as Nosheen’s phone vibrated to wake her. It was too early to be up, even the sun had yet to rise. After snoozing her phone five times, she finally jumped out of bed and ran into the bathroom. She cupped her hands to catch the cool water and washed her face. She followed that up with washing her arms up to her elbows, rinsing her hands again and wiping them over her head. She finished by washing the right foot and then the left in the sink. Sometimes her muscles would be a bit sore to get her foot to reach the sink, but today they seemed lax. The hot summer weather was working its magic already. Nosheen walked back into her bedroom and laid out her prayer rug to offer her morning prayers. After she finished, she quickly fell back into bed and fell into a deep, sweet sleep.

#

At a quarter to five, the bell on top of the coffee shop’s door rings again. This time, a familiar face enters.

“Mohsin!” Nosheen calls out in a loud whisper to the man who has just entered. Mohsin turns and sees her sitting at the corner table. Noticing she already has a cappuccino, he orders himself a medium coffee, pays and sits in front of Nosheen as the barista prepares his coffee. This was their very first meeting, called by Mohsin to discuss “something,” as he put it. Nosheen was already thinking about how to let him down easily.

Respond to an unwanted meeting

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