If Cinderella was Indian, she'd be called Sheh-la.























There she stood...in her baby blue gown. The diamonds on her dupatta twinkled in the spotlight. Neath the chandelier, she was bathed in a glorious light. A breath of fresh air. He'd heard good stuff about this girl. That she wasn't like the others. The music swellling up in the background added to the moment. Suraj Hua Maddham...
Godssake! How cheesy. At this point, he could imagine that if this was an Indian film, the camera would pan in on the 'hero', whose hand would run through his floppy hair. His face betrayed a smirk. Hahaha! How corny. He made his lips even thinner to stop himself from snorting with laughter. Stop Stop. CONTROL your humour.

Her face felt warm. Bloody egg!  she thought. You're very cute (those dimples, and those sparkly eyes), but could you make it any more obvious you're staring at me? What would people say?? Such badnaami. They'd be the next sorry pair that The People would swoop down upon like vultures and pick away at a non-existent meaty story. Do you think something's going on between so and sos son and so and sos daughter? Youngsters these days. In OUR days, the elders arranged everything...
Shehla and Ahmed's eyes met for a moment. His nostrils flared. Her eyebrows twitched. They looked away quickly in different directions.
The people. The community. They're looking.

Ahmed's mind: She's hard to read. She seems quite... haughty and guarded. Miss Snobby.
Shehla's mind: Is he looking at ME? God. He is. Me??? THE Ahmed? Mr I'm-So-Good-Looking? No, surely there must be some pretty girl behind her. Pah! Like he'd be looking at YOU when he's got pick of the girls. He seems different though. Like there was more to him. Why the hell do I want to be mean to him and have a funny conversation with him at the same time? I want to talk to him. But not here!! Everyone's got in built CCTV systems. (She half- hoped he could mind read.) This wasn't a freaking Bollywood film where they'd spontaneously bump into each other at the food table, she'd-oops, spill some juice over his shirt and they'd giggle over the chaat whilst everyone else melted into the background...

"Shehla! Arrey, can't you wait for me? Hold my hand. Offo! Why do they hire halls with so many stairs? Hold my bag." *thwack!* A bag came thumping onto Shehla's kameez. Shehla thought the hall was very beautiful, actually. It had history and wasn't a gimmick. The waft of samosas and tandoori chicken hit Shehla's nose. "Huh? Oh! Yes. Sorry..."

"Ahmed! Hey! Lift these boxes into the car. Be careful. It's got all the presents in it." Ahmed felt like a dogsbody.

Where's he gone? No. Stop it. No go area. Like someone like HIM would like someone like YOU. He was ridiculously handsome and she was just...Shehla. Nothing really remarkable. You're dark. Not very pretty...and HIM. He had pick of all the pretty, confident, sassy girls who knew what to say and how to flirt. Guys liked that sort of stuff, right? Get a grip, lady. You're just setting yourself up for hurt. It'd serve you right.

Ahmed walked in to see Shehla speaking to another guy animatedly. She looked like she was having fun. All of a sudden, Ahmed wished he was witty and interesting. What could he say to make her laugh?

Shehla's mind: Urgh. Let me just smile and nod my head and speak to this guy so his uncle will shut the hell up about their 'fantastic nephew'. Why is his shirt too tight for him? And...did I just spot a gold tooth? Ooh...there's that 'Ahmed' I see in the background. He seems so mysterious. The strong and silent type. Stop it Shehla. Heart breaks are no good for anyone.

Ahmed: She just dropped something on the ground. 

Shehla's mind: I'd rather be speaking to that Ahmed guy.

Shehla hoped she had been discreet when she accidentally-on-purpose threw the guys number on the floor, pretending to adjust her delicate dupatta (scarf) whilst her spangly chooriyan (bangles) chinked happily.

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