Chapter 24

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“Yusra, I’m bored!”

Yusra rolled her eyes, and added the onions she had just chopped to the pan on the stove.

“Well go find something to do!”

“But I’m too bored to move!” he whined, and she paused to put a hand on her hip.

“Houssam, you are twenty seven years old! Start acting like it!”

He groaned and put his face in his hands.

“I don’t want to be twenty seven! I miss twenty six!

“Look Houssam, we are doing this dinner for you! So stop being a baby!”

“I’m not a baby.” He mumbled. “And this isn’t for me. This is for you and Ilham. If you wanted to do something for me, take me to play laser tag!”

“Come on Houssam, you will have fun!”

“I will not. Who is coming to this anyway?”

“Um, well Hisham and Ilham and Hana of course, Mohammad, Abdullah, Rami, Ahmad, Laila, Kalthoum…”

Houssam’s eyes lit up.

“Well, I guess it cant hurt to make dessert. You know show off my skills.” He said with a grin before standing up and washing his hands. Yusra eyed him suspiciously, but when he avoided her gaze, she turned back to the stove.

“So what are you going to make?” she asked, and Houssam grinned.

“I’m thinking a devil’s food cake, and baklawa.”

Yusra smiled, and nudged her brother in the shoulder.

“Wow such fanciness! Anyone you are trying to impress?”

He scowled at her as she arched an eyebrow at him, and she stood watching him, waiting for his answer. After a few seconds he sighed.

“Maybe there is.”

Her other eyebrow raised.

“Oh really?”

“Yes. So?” he asked as he gathered his hair in his hands, tying it with the rubber band he had around his wrist.

“Well are you going to tell me who it is!?” she demanded, and he made a face at her.

“No.”

“Why not!? I thought we didn’t keep secrets from each other!”

“Please Yusra! It’s not like you told me who you liked!”

“You knew I liked Amir!”

“Only because I guessed! You didn’t tell me!”

“Fine, fine. If I guess will you tell me if I am right?”

He glared at her for a few seconds.

“Fine.”

“Yay! Um, okay Hana?”

Houssam shook his head.

“Nah. I mean she’s great and all but I don’t see her like that.”

Yusra’s face fell slightly. She had been thinking a lot about Hana’s feelings for her brother, and had decided that even though she knew Houssam wasn’t interested, maybe he just needed some time to realize his feelings.

Obviously she had been wrong.

“Okay, um…”

“Okay it’s Kalthoum!” he burst out and Yusra turned to him in astonishment. Not because of who he liked, she already knew, but because of his outburst.

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