She took extra time grooming herself that day, causing annoyance to her siblings who grew exhausted banging on the bathroom door. Bathed in the scents of ittar, hands and feet stained with henna and kohl smudged in her eyes, she then proceeded to dress in her best garments: a ferozi shalwar kameez with a white dupatta. It was her favourite.
That day, she didn’t do anything differently. She still warmly greeted her parents in the morning, she cuddled the kids no more than usual, and she did her fair share of housework. Nothing was out of the ordinary and yet something about her seemed extraordinary. There was a newness to her complexion. Like the sparkling of buttermilk lashing around in a pot, or like the first buds of spring stretching out under the sun.
We didn’t know back then, of course, she was preparing for a blind date. She herself couldn’t have known. She must have felt a nagging anxiety like we all do, she must have felt the yearn, the pang for familiarity in that moment of uncertainty. After all, no-one sees death coming.