Chapter 1

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*First Draft*

Zaisha is a ninth-grade teenager. She has a very reserved nature, she doesn't like the harsh realities of life like the most common of them all, two-faced people. She loves simplicity and always stay true to herself & the people around her. Basically a soul too innocent for the times.

It's eid today and her mother was asking her to go to her aunt's place, her mom's second cousin who has come to India from KSA to celebrate Eid and whom Zaisha has only met once, that too just two weeks ago in an iftar party. After trying hard to push off she agreed to come only because her aunt's younger daughter, Aisha, was someone she loved in her first meeting itself. She made her mother promise that they'll return in an hour or two at most because whenever her mom goes to her relative they end up coming late night which she never liked. More importantly because Zaisha's father works abroad and as she doesn't have any elder brother too, her mother's relatives had to drop them all home   (Because it's India and how can women travel all alone at night? Sad reality? I know.) and Zaisha hates taking favours from people so she never liked this.

Zaisha was sitting silently with her sisters in the lounge of her aunt's house and watching the elders talk non stop. Then came Aisha's younger brother of Zaisha's age, Taha. Zaisha has met him for 15-20 minutes the first time she has met his family. He is funny, super talkative and extremely extrovert. Just like the previous meeting, he started talking with Zaisha. They were talking about phones and games, smartphones were just getting introduced and he had already bought one, he was showing that to Zaisha then he started reading out jokes sent by his friends. Zaisha was enjoying his company, for the first time in life she wasn't getting bored in the home of her mother's relative. Zaisha though is a reserved person but not for much long, once she gets friendly with someone then she can be a really tough one to stop talking. But that phase arrives late and after various attempts from the other person.

Aisha is a very sweet girl whom every child loves, she started talking to the younger sisters of Zaisha and then they all decided to play dumb charades. They all went to Taha & Aisha's room and started playing. After playing a couple of rounds and making their stomachs ache due to laughter they stopped the game as Aisha had to go to help her mother in the kitchen for the dinner. Taha and Zaisha started talking again. Taha was a short chubby kid while Zaisha was a slim girl with accurate height to go with her age. Taha suddenly asked Zaisha to stand up and match heights with him. She found it funny as he was comparing them but agreed to it. Zaisha was wearing heels, she bent down, uplifted her long black Anarkali frock and removed her stilettos. As they both checked their heights, as expected Zaisha was taller than Taha. Zaisha was very happy to see the results to which Taha said "Oh it's nothing to be happy about, I know I will grow up taller than you very soon. You just wait."  He paused for a second and then asked "Zaisha, do u drink milk?"
"No" Zaisha answered, and then added "I simply hate it"
"Same here But you know milk with bournvita makes you grow taller and I will start drinking it from today itself, so that next time we meet I can show you that I have grown taller than you," Taha said with a smirky smile.
Zaisha only laughed at the competitiveness of Taha.

Soon a call was made by Aisha for the dinner which made Taha & Zaisha leave the room. After eating the dinner Zaisha called her uncle to pick them up. When she was done dialling her uncle's number, Taha came to her and asked "Zaisha, did you liked the jokes I read to you from my phone?"

"Oh yes! They were very funny."  Zaisha politely replied.

"How about we exchange them? I have lots more" Taha excitedly suggested.

"Um.. how?" Zaisha asked a little thoughtfully.

"Through SMS" Taha answered to which Zaisha said "oh of course, how silly of me to ask" and they both giggled. Taha pulled out his phone from the pocket of his kurta and quickly asked for Zaisha's number. And then it was Zaisha's turn to save his number in her phone.

It was the first time that she was getting on friendly terms with the children of her mother's cousin. She was never this frank with any of her relatives, be it paternal or maternal. Quite a few times she gets friendly with a few of them but then they meet after so long that they forgot each other, thinking the same will happen with Taha too, she saved his number as "Taha (Asna Khala's son)" (khala= maternal aunt in Urdu)

Soon after her uncle came and they all left for their home.

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