"Why... aren't you wearing a shirt?"
"It's a joke..."
"Your life is a joke."
Real funny. He should write these down. He was on a roll but somebody had to keep the peace. I stepped in.
"Inayat, lay off, would ya?"
Inayat settled into his chair which screeched under the pressure. Ever since he dropped out of uni, he'd been comfort-eating like it was going out of style.
"It's not my fault he's a fucking mug, is it?"
"I'm a mug?!"
Arsal jumped off his chair and threw it across the room. Inayat began laughing; the motherfucker was in stitches.
I wrestled Arsal to the side. He was panting like a dog in heat.
"Inayat, why do you have to piss him off so much?"
Inayat shook his head and waved his hand away, like I was over-reacting.
"It's just a joke, innit? Tell Arsal to calm himself."
Arsal tried to break free but I had him in a strong hold.
"Arsal Bhai, you wanna take it easy, now?"
"Hold me back, Idris. Hold me the fuck back or else this guy's going to really be in stitches."
Inayat pulled out a fag, winked at Arsal, and left the room. Arsal shoved me aside.
"Idris. One of these days, man..."
He looked me close in the eye.
"Do not fuck with me."
He kicked the chair as he left the room. I heard the main door open and then a quick slam soon after. I couldn't believe Arsal'd just walked outside topless. But then again, we were all on edge after what happenned.
I guess this is where I tell you who I am and why you should give a fuck. Well, the name's Idris and times have been real rough lately. Illyas decided to fuck off last week. Where? Shit, what am I? His travel agent? With him gone and Sara as well, it seemed as though the family was done before. And all of these arguments weren't helping things either. Who the fuck knows what's going on in this family anymore? Who really-
"Get your hand off me!"
I slapped Dawud's hand off my lower back. Motherfucker was getting too comfortable.
"Sorry. What was that argument about just now? Was it about me?"
"What? No. It's never about you."
Dawud snorted arrogantly, like he was the big news over here.
"Well, what were they arguing about then, little Idris?"
"How the fuck does that concern you? Just cos Arsal's been inviting you and Mobo over these past couple of days, don't mean we're friends."
Dawud started laughing with his mouth closed. I scowled.
"Idris, we're not friends..." he said, half-smiling. "We're family."
I threw up a little inside and swallowed it painfully.
"Besides, I already know why they've been arguing lately. It's a matter of leadership."
"Damn it, Dawud, nobody thinks they're the leader. The family doesn't work like that."
"I never said that they wanted to be leaders. I'm talking about how there's a lack of one."
I shook my head and began to walk away, tired already of Dawud's bullshit conspiracy theories.
"Idris, you know it's true. They need direction. They need a referee. They need order."
I turned around and said venomously, "And you think you're the one to provide that, do you?"
Dawud started stuttering like a spastic, "W-well... I-I wouldn't exactly-"
The door burst open and Mobo leapt across a coffee table toward us.
"Guys! Come quick, outside! It's Arsal and Inayat!"
"Not again..." I groaned.
We all ran to the door; Dawud shoving us to the side so he could get there first. He grabbed the knob and turned around slowly.
"I present to you your family, Idris."
"Fuck off, Dawud," I spat.
He opened the door and just outside were both Inayat and Arsal, viciously slapping each other. Arsal's bare body was stamped with pink hand prints in the sunlight. I shook Dawud's hand off my shoulder.
He whispered to me darkly, "Look at them, Idris..." He slipped his hand on my shoulder again and faced me with a deep frown of sorrow. "Look. At. Them..."
Inayat wrestled Arsal to the ground and force-fed him the grass. Why Arsal chose to chew and swallow the grass, I'll never understand. I sighed, defeated.
"Holy shit, you're right."
Dawud raised an eyebrow and nodded. We watched Arsal eat more grass.