Chapter 54

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Content Warning: Mature content

1981

Dublin the city of writers, history had depicted it gloomy and bleak but to Seema's eyes the city was beautiful and magnificent with its age old buildings which may look grey but they told a story as they stood tall bracing the different calamities the city had endured. Or the waters of River Liffey passing by the City Centre was the lifeline where people had settled from ancient times. First the Vikings, then the English and finally gaining independence and be known as the Irish.

In the windy autumn day of October, Seema strolled down the lane leading to her home from school dressed in a bright blue cardigan that highlighted the Warrenmount Secondary School crest, white dress shirt, a pleated navy blue skirt going down to the tops of her calves and navy blue tights accompanied with threadbare leather black shoes.

The Georgian houses stood tall majestically on either sides of the street along with pear tears adorning the front gate of each house. The small front gardens outside each house were littered with various coloured flying leaves. There were hardly any cars on the street, it was much too expensive for families to own cars in this locality. Rather people walked or used the bus.

Ferociously, a gale rustled Seema's skirts, wisps of hair escaped her tightly knotted braid, and she clutched her books to her chest securely withstanding the strong winds. She had shut her eyes firmly to bear the change in the weather as the leaves danced and the branches of the pear tears swung. It took a few minutes, for the winds to settle, she peered from one eye just few houses away from her home and saw her elder sister laughing with her group of friends.

Ducking her head, her feet hastened to reach home before she was to face them again. But as she passed them, they ridiculed none the less.

"Look Ghaz, your nerd sista is here!" mocked the tall blonde dressed in her wide white bell bottom pants and neon coloured jacket.

The red haired girl in her long boots and bright pink short skirt, sneered, "Teach her some fashion, will ya!"

Wavy curls that were brushed in puffy hairstyle were wafting in the autumn breeze, concealing her face. Red painted nails hand gracefully swiped the hair from her face. Ghazala was the immaculate beauty with her curly locks, light brown eyes, high cheekbones and pointed chin. Her height and slim figure gave her the advantage of being able to carry any dress easily. Even now, her long shapely legs were encompassed in a wide bottom yellow high waist pants emphasizing her slim waist accompanied by dull red cardigan. She was in her push up bra that made her breasts even more prominent in the tight cardigan. She was admired by men of all ages around her. She loved the attention a little too much.

Chewing bubble gum, Ghazala eyed her sister distastefully and then rolled her eyes, "She is an airhead."

Seema cringed inwardly and rushed to her house. Her sister and her friends always bullied her. There was no sisterly bond between them. In fact, as long as Seema remembered Ghazala had been the rebel while Seema being the middle child loved her solitude. Ghazala was the attention seeker whether at home where she argued with her parents at all times or with her friends were she was main attraction among men and women.

In the house, Seema walked past her Mom's cousin who was minding them while her parents were away for Hajj. Her parents had a desire to be able to go on the Islamic pilgrimage but they were never able to save enough. After years of struggle, their father worked at the clothing shop and their mother stitched and mended clothes that they were able to afford to go on the pilgrimage. But the problem was how could they leave their children alone? It was then decided, their Mom's spinster cousin would come from UK and look after them. Seema didn't interact much with the aunty. Ghazala was shouted at but she just ignored her and their 10 year old brother Jamal was the only one that aunty whole-heartedly took care of.

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