warakias

*     cb!   i shld rlly be more active on her 

paradisaeas

/   HERE AND AYA 
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kshartiste

oh!   um...   hi,   farah.   i  –  i'm  fine!  just,  um,   tired.

kshartiste

it's  really  stupid.  [  she  bites  her  lip,  leaning  into  the  embrace.  ]   i  turned  in  my  assignment  at ..  at  school,  today..  and  my  professor  really   liked  it,  but  some  of  my  classmates  saw  it  and  um... they..  said  the  daughter  of  the  light  of  kshahrewar  should  be  able  to  do  better.  but  i  –  i  don't  know  what  i  did  wrong..
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warakias

@kshartiste,    it's  okay,   aya.   i'm  your  big  sister.   i  should  be  looking  out  for  you.   (..)   cmere..   (   she  sits  beside  her  younger  sister,  pulling  her  close  to  her  chest  within  her  embrace.   )   ..   you  can  always  talk  to  me. 
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kshartiste

[  she  hesitates,  staring  at  the  ground,  before  moving  into  her  sister's  room  and  hopping  on  the  bed,  knees  tucked  to  her  chest.  ]   ...   thank  you.   i'm  sorry.
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paradisaeas

hmm...   how  about  you  choose  how  i  do  my  hair  today?   you  can  do  aaaaanything  you  want!  

paradisaeas

mm,   okay  then.   do  you  want  to  use  my  hair clips ...  or  yours? 
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warakias

@paradisaeas,   um..    baba  really  likes  when  you  have  your  hair  braided,    so  a  really  pretty  braid!! 
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paradisaeas

really!   braid,  ponytail,   anything  you'd  like.   i  trust  you  –  we  can  show  baba  after,  hm?
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paradisaeas

...   you're  back. 

paradisaeas

[   he  pulls  her  into  a  hug,   frowning,   guilt   tugging  in  his  chest.   oh,  he's  crying  again.  ]   i ...  i'm  sorry.  it  felt  as  though  i  failed  you.   i  –  i  didn't  want  to  do  so  even  more.   and  you  brought  it  up  and  seemed  so  eager  to  leave  that  it  ..   it  felt  like  i  wasn't  doing  enough  and  i  didn't  want  to  make  it  worse.   of  course  you  were  allowed  to  speak,   farah,  i  never  meant  to  make  you  feel  otherwise.  i  was  angry,  mostly  at  myself,  because  it  felt  like  i  couldn't  do  anything  to  stop  you  from  being  potentially  signed  off  to  a  marriage  without  our  say  to  simply  become  a  wife  and  childbearer,   more  angry  at  the  court  for  forcing  such  misery  on  you  by  threatening  baba's  work  once   aya  was  born.  [   he  presses  a  shaky  kiss  to  her  forehead.  ]   every  moment   without  you  here  was  unbearable  for  us  all.    please  know  that.  i  have  missed  you  so  terribly,  as  has  your  baba  and  sister.  haitham  –   your  father  has  made  it  very  clear  to  the  court  that  he  won't  have  suitors  throwing  themselves  at  our  door  left  right  and  centre  and  they  seem  to  be  abiding.   please,   farah.   come  home.     
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warakias

if  you  did  not  want  me  to  leave,   why  did  you  make  me?   i..   did  not  want  to  go.   (   she  looks  up,   finally,   sniffling  as  her  hand  lays  over  her  father's.   )   you  were..   angry  with  me.   angrier  than  i  have..   ever  seen  you,   and  it  felt  as  though  i  was  not  /allowed/  to  speak.     you  and  baba  have  fought  for  me,   i  acknowledge  that,   but  when  aya  was  born,   it..   fizzled  out.  i  was  to  be  seen  and  not  heard  and  i  could  not  take  it. 
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paradisaeas

you  seem  more  taken  with  this  one  than  the  others. 

paradisaeas

i  only  mean  you  have  gotten  to  talking  quite  extensively  rather  than  surface  level  chatter.  whatever  are  you  discussing?  
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warakias

@paradisaeas,    quite  the  accusation.    i  have  no  idea  what  you  are  talking  about,   papa. 
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paradisaeas

turn around,  farah –  let papa do your hair.   you look so lovely...

warakias

@paradisaeas,    nuh  uh!   baba  says  mama  is  the  prettiest  in  the  /whole/  world.   you're  so  pretty!    (   she  turns,   blonde  hair  falling  from  her  father's  hands,   her  own  holding  his  cheeks.   )    baba  doesn't  lie,   which  means  you  really  are  the  prettiest!
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paradisaeas

[  he pauses as he moves to gather hair for the braid,  expression softening as he kisses the top of her head.  ]  you're already prettier than me!  and you'll only get prettier.
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warakias

@paradisaeas,    ...   does  papa  think  i'll  be  as  pretty  as  him  some  day?
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kshartiste

farah?  are you feeling better?

kshartiste

[  aya wraps small arms tightly around her older sister,  relaxing slightly.  ]  okay...   but,  if you ever feel sad in the future,  you can tell me!  you can tell me aaanything,  even things you don't want baba or papa to know.  i'm very good at secrets. 
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warakias

@kshartiste,   no!   no,   you  didn't  do  /anything/.   i  swear..    (   a  moment  passes  before  she  reaches  out  to  hug  her  little  sister,    bringing  the  younger  close.   )    you  didn't  do  anything  wrong. 
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kshartiste

[  the girl frowns a little, small hands clutching the hem of her shirt.  ]  i ..  i didn't do anything to upset you,  did i?  i didn't mean to if i did! 
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