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Athletic

“Did it work? Did my magic words earlier loosen your purse-strings?”

Priya and Yasmin embraced each other tightly before sitting.

“Who are you saving now, Yas? Children in Sudan? Indigenous tribes in the Amazon?”

“I just spent a year at a field hospital in Syria. Shockingly, people in war zones need medical treatment.”

Yasmin had hardly changed over the years. Beneath the sun-tanned skin, there was the familiar charm. The same that she had loved once.

“How’re you doing?”

“Dad finally retired and gave me the reins of the company.”

“Impressive,” said Yasmin. “Is that why you’re here?”

“Saraf Capital believes in giving back. Your charity does good work.”

“Admit it. You’re not here for us. You’re here for them,” she said, pointing to the reporters.

“Guilty as charged,” said Priya, pouring her Scotch into two glasses. “I’m part of the one percent, so I must atone. Publicly.”

“At least tell me you gave generously.”

“Very.”

“Did you give more than you spent on your chalet in Interlaken? Your yacht in the Antibes? bursa otele gelen escort Your Rolls-Royce convertible outside? Your net worth is roughly five thousand times mine, surely your contribution can be too.”

“That’s for me to know and you to be grateful for,” she replied.

“I hate these fucking fund-raisers,” Yasmin declared with a gulp of whiskey. “I’d much rather be back in my field hospital tending to people who need my help rather than sucking up to wealthy donors. The non-profit does great work, but I’ll be damned if they trot me out for another event.”

“For what it’s worth, your speech was very moving.”

They took a sip each.

“And by the way, you really should remember our parents were members of the same social club before you go off about the one percent. You could have been too, had you listened to your Dad.”

“Chief of Surgery at Johns Hopkins. It’s all Dad ever wanted for me, to follow in his footsteps.”

“But not you,” chimed in Priya. “You had to forge your own way. After med school, what do escort bayan you do? You join Doctors without Borders.”

“I broke Dad’s heart. He had barely accepted me coming out. Me turning down his grand plan was the last straw. I tried visiting him after that, but he made it clear I was persona-non-grata for life.”

“Maybe it was a good thing. You didn’t see how bad it got for him at the end. You should have come for his funeral, though.”

“I wanted to, but Mom informed me it was best if I stayed away.”

“I’m sorry,” said Priya and clasped her hand. Their fingers interlaced as Yasmin looked at her longingly.

Minutes went by, each captivated in the other’s gaze.

“I’m sorry too. For not giving us a chance. I didn’t just walk out on my family, I walked out on you.”

“I loved you and you chose starving children in Africa over me.”

Silence.

“I’m sorry, that’s the Scotch talking.”

“Someone has to choose them. Besides, you wouldn’t have come out. Twenty-two years on, you still haven’t.”

“For you, I would have mudanya escort done anything,” said Priya, struggling to keep her tone steady. “Damn the consequences.”

“But then your father would have disowned you and you wouldn’t be where you are today.”

“Where I am,” sighed Priya. “On my fourth divorce. Children who hate me. A hundred hour work-week. Not to mention needing pills and booze to get any sleep. I deserve better. I deserve to grow old with someone I love and you took that away from me.”

There was a pause as both women studied each other, their hands still in each other.

“Look at us. Two daughters of two demanding fathers. One of us ran from his advice, the other, embraced it.”

Priya was breathing heavily now. She knew the stirring she felt. An unspoken question lingered over them.

“On a more interesting note, Syrian rebels attacked my aid camp a few months ago. I took as many people as I could in a truck and barely escaped. It’s a thrilling story if you have more time.”

Priya nodded.

“You’ll have to come up to my room to hear the rest.”

“I’m still married,” she laughed, showing her ring.

“I know,” smiled Yasmin. “I’m just going to write my room number on this napkin. You decide if you want to open it.”

She handed over the folded napkin.

“It’s one hell of a story. Would be a real shame for you to miss it.”

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