“Amita dear, are you busy?” called her mum Kanti from the kitchen in Hindi.
“Not at the moment mummy. What is it?” Amita replied.
“Can you please take the rubbish out to the bin for me?”
“Of course mummy. I'll do it in a moment.”
Amita was sat with her bright red laptop on the cream sofa, chatting to her online friends in the USA. She told them that she had to pop out for a few minutes and would get back to them shortly.
Amita was 26 years old, and stood five foot two inches tall. Her skin was a warm shade of brown, with medium length black hair and dark chocolate coloured eyes. She was a pretty girl, with the kind of smile that radiated the warmth of a Bengal summer.
After three months, Amita was just beginning to get used to being back at her parents' house. The rooms that had once seemed familiar and comforting had become mysterious and confusing, a state that was only just starting to change.
Although she had spent most of her life there, Amita never truly felt bonded to her home town. Her parents had arrived from Mumbai in 1998, when she was ten years old, and part of her still felt like it belonged somewhere else. Though where that place was eluded her, it didn't appear to be Mumbai, as on her visits back there it felt as alien as her current home did on arriving into the country for the first time. Amita hadn't yet heard of the expression 'third culture kid', but it summed her up perfectly.
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Putting the laptop carefully onto the next seat, Amita stood up and wandered into the kitchen.
“Where is the rubbish to take out mummy?” Amita asked.
“Just over there dear.” Kanti replied, pointing to the corner of the kitchen, which shone with the gleaming polish that can only be achieved once the children have left home. The cupboards were a surprising shade of turquoise, but one that managed to perfectly match alongside the rest of the house.
Amita picked up the bag and carried it through to the front door. She grabbed her jacket from the rack, put it on, and opened the door. As Amita walked out into the cold breeze she shivered, walked down the small pathway to the front gate, opened it, and walked the few steps further to the wheelie bin.
She opened the lid and placed the bag inside, before closing it and looking out at the people walking by. A kindly young man saw her and offered a polite wave, she waved back with almost embarrassing enthusiasm, the young man smiled, glancing briefly at her pretty face in the moonlight that emerged briefly from the dark grey clouds. Amita laughed a little to herself, smiled, and headed back indoors.