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Part 36
New York, Friday August 12

9:36 a.m.
Another successful night last night! I am so happy. I have actually succeeded in making my parents proud of me, even my mom. They have come to every single performance and are showing no sign of being bored yet. I am in such a good mood these days I even let mAmAn get away with her comment of "CherA behett naghshe kolfataro dAdan?"

Sunday August 14

10:04 a.m.
I can't believe what happened to me last night.

I was taking off my make-up in my dressing-room (Woo-hoo I actually have my own private dressing room!), eager to join Ali and my parents for a snack when I heard a knock on the door.

-- "BiyA too Ali jAn, it's okay."

I was continuing to apply my make-up remover, when I saw in the mirror the tall silhouette behind me enter the room. Despite my astigmatism, I recognized the figure right away and turned around, alarmed.

-- "Peerooz! What are you doing here?"

I don't know why the mere sight of him was turning my stomach. I was actually surprised at the ferocity of my reaction. It's unbelieveable how feelings can change from one extreme to the other in a short amount of time. This was the same guy who could spark electricity in all of my limbs just a few months ago. Now he was positively making me nauseous standing there in my little room, the two of us alone together. Uncomfortably alone.

Peerooz was carrying a big bouquet of fuscia colored tiger lilies in his usual Bollywood manner. As soon as I caught sight of the flowers, I knew instinctively what was coming. For the second time, I could predict what he was about to say to me. I mean this guy really WAS a walking cliche. I felt at this moment the eerie sensation that life is not real and we are all just a bunch of characters acting our parts in a play, the product of the imagination or dream of some Supreme Being.

-- "Naz darling, you were wonderful... I hope you don't mind but when I heard... I had to come see you and congratulate you."

I retorted with a harshness that was not calculated:

-- "Peerooz. You shouldn't be here!"

-- "Naz darling...With the other one, it's over... I love you..."

He took one step towards me.

I stood up from my chair and he misread my intentions. He thought I was walking towards him when really I was trying to get to the door. To safety.

He took one of my hands and slipped his other behind my back. Before I could free myself from his grip, his lips were touching mine and I heard the door swing open.

Ali took one look at me in the arms of Peerooz and silently walked away.

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