Glass Enclave
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Tarig had a story about stray cats, the ones that lived around the hospital. Their favourite meal, he said, comes every time a baby is born. They wait around the dustbins, one juicy placenta drops in and you should see how they fight for it! He liked to tease her with gory hospital stories. Laugh at the expression on her face.

Rae's cat was slow and well-fed. She walked, glossy and serene, around the room while he greeted Yasmin and Sammar and showed them in. 'What happened to your hair!', was the first thing Yasmin said. His hair was cut so short that it stood up from his head like spikes. He laughed and patted his head, saying, 'I guess the barber was over-zealous this time'. He looked different than he did at work. He was not wearing a tie and he had not shaved. It seemed to Sammar that the flat was not very large. The room they sat in was attached to the kitchen. Large bay windows overlooked the road and on the other side of the room, over the kitchen sink, was another window with yellow blinds. There were books lined under the window and the Week-end supplement spread out on the floor.

The cat climbed and sat on Sammar's knees. She did not know what to do, she had not looked at a cat closely like this before, not seen the yellow slits of its iris, the shine on its perfect black coat. She stroked it awkwardly and listened to Yasmin and Rae talking about the faxes, the weather outside, the headlines on the newspaper that Rae now picked up from the floor and folded away. 'I loathe all this fuss about the Royals', Yasmin was saying. 'Loathe' was another of the words that Yasmin often used. I loathe this shitty British weather.

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