The short haired girl in front of me was the first one; the rest followed her furiously: they decided the best thing was to decorate – a chemist’s fancy, an engineer’s minor alteration and an architect gathering of shade.
Tumio jodeo kone kichu koro na tumi fashba, her voice pounded, Karon juboner kotha Manush lekhe ar tara shundorjo shogo kore na – shundorjo mane paap oh ache ar eta ak bora paap.
In Bangla, my cousin-sister Deepika, who was known to run away with the Catholic, had taught me this. She was not older than me it was vice versa (I sprung forth a few months earlier in the summer and she the winter-child). Winter must have prepossessed breadth and volume for it is the deepest white – she possessed more wisdom. I had not thought about it until they had cornered me.
It was they with their cunning fangs and out of baggage p[ride that insulted me that I in my prepossessed naivety had insulted them:
“ You stupid little bitch! How dare you complain!”
Well, it was a human right – they had decided to lock up some other girls in the room of electric wires – that could have led to an accident. And it was my duty to protest.
As they stripped me I felt no shame; rather, I felt liberated – at that moment I realized their were greater devils than myself. When they pushed me into the lake and I felt the cold lungs of the water collide with mine, for four lungs in one ribcage meant the clashing of vessels and air, the suffocation began and I felt horribly mutilated.
“ That bitch could show all her pride now!”
“ Let’s go! Let’s leave right now!”
“ Do you see anyone coming?!”
And this was January…
“ Are you thinking of sex?”
“ Yes, every modern person does so – Freud has blessed us with his vulgarity; his own perverse walk-out has made us realize that we have perversions too.”
“ I wouldn’t give Freud all the credit though – he had just reincarnated what medieval people idolized – a sexual sphere. He has refined the invention and to that I salute him – it is true as it says in the book The Modern Companion To Modernism that sex walked out of the closet with Freud.”
“ Are you a virgin?”
“ Yes, does that excite you, does it give you something.”
“ Well, yes, I am equally virginal.”
“ But, you are –“
“ Interested in the sexes – yes, you are the first person I confessed.”
“ And naturally.”
“ Would you do it with me and another boy – our own personal threesome?”
“ I do not know but maybe…”
“ I really like you Anita.”
“ Likewise Hassan.”
“ Listen, it’s not only Lust. It’s –“
“ Borderline, between Lust and Love, close to touch..”
“ Somewhat. Oh by the way how is the pack?”
“ I don’t know and I really have no intention to care.”
“ Why does she bother you?”
“ Because I embody things she hates. Such as naivety…”
“ Well…then there is innocence as well…”
“ Do you think she likes you…?”
“ Could be…she wanted to date me before…don’t you remember…?”
“ Yes…but then we were still in High School…”
“ So what…I believe she just wanted consolation…”
“ Her father was caught remember…?”
“ Oh, yes, that is WHY?”
“ Yes, the mother was horribly angry…”
“ But don’t you think it was better out -:”
“ …In the open? Anita it is embarrassing isn’t it?”
“ True, True.”
“ And I think she hated me as well.”
“ Why would she hate you Hassan…she adored you?”
“ Yes, but, maybe I’m right. I am like her father.”
“ Hassan you are the only friend I have…”
“ I know…”
“ Does it bother you…?”
“ No, because you are also my only friend…the other guys are just a façade. But, I’m not deceiving them they know it.”
“ I think Deepika was aware of it.”
“ Your cousin is very insightful – did she say anything?”
“ Only that you had the makings of my potential lover.”
And I think I deflowered him as he peeled my bud.
The Callous schoolteacher had said that she and I could become friends but that in actuality her misinterpretation could not weighed more. Friendship was a sphere of universality of an understanding – as comets crash to earth in a misalignment of direction the bruises she tried to inflict on me found their own craters. I wonder why I didn’t fight back? Possibly, because I knew bruises were wrong but it was also her negativity because its roots were thick but buried like an ancient tree’s: it frightened me many a times but got my fancy as well.
“ And what can you do?”
Many things but the sorceress need not wave to the peasant – I know this factum to be egotistical but how can I repair the human model? How can I repair the hidden anger? But also because she was not filly a peasant – her sorcery was white, A Snow-White type whose pureness was mandatory – mine was dark and flawed in a black that was practical to my identity.
Also, what can be done to a soul who neither wishes to perceive or calm down?
“ I can do many things Kaiya, but I’m afraid you will not understand…”
This time she actually managed not to slap me and I felt awfully irritated. Because I was so used to seeing her as a tempestuous calamity that the human helplessness in her (her lack of knowing of what to do) was quite unannounced.
So was the next move she picked up some scissors and sprang on my hair – “ Why do scum like you have hair?!”
She actually managed to cut her locks – after which she dyed her hair brownish-blonde – my hair was only cut an inch and normal trimming saved any questioning.
Kaiya tried to make my life worse as she always does but it helped nothing on her part. It was May…I had other things to do like writing a few lyrics so Hassan could be interested in playing his guitar. He hadn’t touched it for a while as his ex-older boyfriend probably may tried to do something unruly and disturbing to him with it
Hassan is crying again and I know why – his mother must have cried and so he cried.
His mother had recently become aware of his bisexuality and as all Bangladeshi mothers panicked at the first sight of it: the kissing of the ex-older boyfriend in a sensuous tongue-serenade that lasted approximately fifty minutes with the ex-older man rubbing furiously his front against Hassan: the erectile tendency of the excited man as they say.
She screamed and screamed and fainted.
She, immediately, arranged a young girl but that girl liked Hassan and encouraged his affairs with his beau. Hassan’s mother now felt ruined.
Hassan’s father lived with his second-wife her two former boys and their four new children. The boys were older than the new children by many years but younger than me and Hassan. The previous sons of the widowed, new wife were named Joi and Nasib and they were friendly with us. The four new children, consisting of three girls and a boy, were not. One of the girls admired Kaiya and found ample pleasure in attacking me:
“ You are not as pretty as her – you’re so ugly no wonder she hates you so much!” This was Anika and then the two other two were Phul and Kanta.
Phul thought it wrong for Hassan to visit because, “ He is a child so separated from our father – he’s so different, he doesn’t obey Abba so what’s the point in him coming?”
Kanta’s deduction, “ Women are teased for their second marriages. Our father was nice enough to keep our step-brothers from my mother’s side – you are obviously your mother’s burden now, so, that is why he didn’t take you; it should stay that way.”
“ Please I rather turn a prostitute then stay with my father twenty-four seventh.” Hassan snorted.
Hassan’s father used to be a gambler; he drank, lost money, beat his wife and had wanted Hassan to be a girl. Because girls were born to be servants and not masters (in his beliefs) and so he hated the idea that Hassan would one day manage him. When Hassan was younger he had taken him to a drive and put him on a park, on an isolated outskirt of the city, Dhaka. He was abandoned without knowing it until his bloody and bruised mother came to his rescue. Nowadays remember that incident makes him slap his father, anytime, anywhere: so, it was his father’s best interest to keep his son satisfied.
Anika’s reaction to Hassan was admiration, “ I want to see you bully Daddy – teach me how to bully men so I may extort them from all their needs and make them my slaves.”
Hassan disliked her because she had become just like his father’s new wife: she beat his father and was one of the reasons of his docility. Though before the divorce his father had given up philandering, gambling and petty crimes; he was afraid of his new wife because she had strong connections and her male playthings were also quite possessive of her. Hassan said once he found his father naked, with his penis bleeding and his back bruised – his “special” area had had a certain amount of blood.
Hassan chuckled, “ Divine retribution for what he did to Amma…”
Anika had laughed, “ And it takes a lot to satisfy a widow.” Unfortunately, I thought Anika had become more crude and unbearable than Kaiya, and it disturbed me to see this at a girl of fourteen when I was eighteen.
Now I am older and Anika may be pregnant. She says she will run away from school this April…
The first time I met Hassan’s older boyfriend he had made the innuendo of a threesome; ever since then my efforts were best spent in keeping away from him.
I had complained to Hassan and he had laughed, “ You expect such behaviour from a frustrated, depressed married man.”
But truthfully, it seemed his sexual behaviour was very much unsafe. Possibly this is what Hassan had discovered. Yet, he hasn’t told me at all what had happened to make him finally leave this boyfriend. I didn’t think he ever would tell me.
“ I have something to tell you…” Hassan started, “ It isn’t something anyone would want to hear.”
“ What is it…?” there was a mixture of urgency and indifference in my voice: urgency for care and indifference to muffle panic.
“ My ex, he, had wanted to break in a woman’s house and rape her, with me.” Hassan slowly started crying, “ He also started hurting me while…while he had sex…the guitar…he found it kinky…when I told ‘no’ to both of his requests he got angry. He almost hurt Mamma, he almost hurt…umm…I can’t say anymore…”
I embraced him… It was a cool day in August…
Anika had decided to stay close to Kaiya: at first Kaiya felt like a ruler to have such a devout follower. Now, Anika’s own bitchi-tential was coming out and it could have engulfed Kaiya’a.
There was a constant war between the two in their bond of power-play-friendship.
Anika compained to me one day, “ I don’t see how she held on for so long. If I were on her place I would easily manipulated to my side or blackmail you to be my servant by now.”
“ And which would you prefer Miss Anika?” I said with incitement.
“ The former because you have more worth than that maggi Kaiya gives you…” her result bewildered me.
Hassan’s anger was immense, “ Why are you so disturbingly bitchy Anika, Phul and Kanta aren’t like you?”
“ That’s why Kanta got dumped by her rich boyfriend.” Anika laughed, “ Fucked her to the bone too.”
Hassan raised his hand and Anika screamed. I rushed forth but Hassan controlled himself. He looked sad and angry, and – and looked as though a meteorite hit him.
“ Don’t…don’t speak that way about Kanta…” he panted in disbelief, “ She’s yours sister dammit!”
“ How…How dare you try to hit me?!” Anika screamed, “ I’m the only one who cares about you and you wanna hit me?! You care about those sluts when they don’t give a shit about you!”
“ That’s because they have a personality unlike you!”
Anika fell quiet and she started crying, “ But Kanta did get fucked by an richer fuck! She aborted his kid!”
The sound of falling things…
We turned around and see Anika’s mother…she looks shocked beyond anything…
The next day I saw Kanta and she had bruises. She confessed to Hassan and me, “ Yes, I did get an abortion and unfortunately I took Anika along with me…” she started crying, “ Now Phul won’t even talk to me – she thinks I’m a whore but it is she who has had a horde of boyfriends! And Anika, that little slut! She thinks she’s an angel!”
“ Calm down.” Hassan advised, “ You don’t want our brothers to know.”
“ Joi knew – he was supportive during the abortion.” Kanta explained, “ But Nasib was upset – he wanted to keep the child. He said we could love him but you see what my mother did Hassan? And your father also called me a whore!” then she with angry howled, “ They want me to get married to some associate of my stepdad’s but I will kill myself before that happens!”
“ Don’t do anything irrational.” I advised.
“ What am I to do when I have such irrational blood relations?” she looked at me fiercely.
Kanta did marry the associate but he then with prison for assaulting Kanta. Kanta got property-ship of his assets. But…then she almost went to jail…for trying to kill her mother with a kitchen knife and after that Kanta left for the States and married an Arabian man. She finally found peace…
I heard of her last in December…She was expecting the first child she would keep…
When I remember the last night I saw Phul, before she eloped with the homeless boy turned drug-dealer, I found her as an impractical portrait – exuding maturity and strength: her latter actions kind of broke that for me.
Joi was angry enough to bring his sister back but she had to be put in Rehab. Later it was found out that she had left the drug-dealer and had become school teacher. She was married later to a successful business but found him boring enough to divorce him. She now works as a teacher though she has many sexual partners. She wants to get married to one of them soon.
Joi is humble enough to chase after a girl of personality though he was disappointed. He then took to drinking and dating prostitutes until he got a STD. He now looks for a woman who would understand him. He has become more gentle now because he has seen the death of his step-father before his eyes: killed by one of his mother’s obsessed lovers.
His mother, after all these strains, had left the children to themselves. The Youngest boy, the sole boy born out of her second marriage, Eisaan, has had grown a tendency to treat Joi and Nasib as his parents. However, when he got older he was sent to live with Kanta and from them got to think of her as his mother. Of all the siblings of that household, Nasib and Eisaan were the most stable: Eisaan now studies hard, learns art and is engaged (in his deepest feelings) to a Persian woman older than him. Their relationship is actually beautiful.
Nasib is still an enigma. We hardly talk as he is mostly out and he does not talk much anyway. He has a good sense of innocence in him and he looked as the virgin he was. He was very hurt that their mother had decided to walk out on them but consoled himself with:
“ She is a complex woman with a complex life; I think she needed a breather.”
Their mother got married a third time but did not stay long there. She came back hoping to see her children but only found Anika and Nasib. All the others were gone.
She had a mental breakdown but is recovering. She is trying her best to fix her life.
I think most of my life had passed seeing the lives of family members not my own. It seems odd.
I last heard of Anika in July but it seems their mother is now alone…
The moon looked glorious underwater; I forgot about everything and just stared at her. I then got out with a gasp and shivered: it was a gloomy night.
I was about to swim back when I saw someone, standing, waiting for me – It was Kaiya.
I didn’t want to pay any attention to her because it was worthless to but she looked intensely at me, but she didn’t look angry but…sad…
“ I’m sorry.” She looked as though she was about to cry, “ It went way overboard this time.”
“ I’m glad you noticed.” I was really going to speak to her. This was the last straw – I couldn’t walk back naked, so I screamed, “ Where are my clothes?!”
But my answer was received by a horrible sight of seeing my clothes were ripped and covered in mud. I sighed; the pain, the anger and the exhaustion made me stay silent.
I was about to go when Kaiya confessed something:
“ I love you Anita.”
I spun around, half-naked now as I had worn some of my altered clothes, and there was a shock then furiously commented, “ What the fuck does that supposed to mean? Are you fucking out of it?”
I was readying myself, knowing how aggressive she was, for a fight but she laughed merrily, “ I mean it. I love you – I always have…”
But this did not quell my anger, in fact the opposite emerged as victor, “ Well if all this shit was your love I don’t wanna see the fucked up side of your hate!”
“ Anita…Anita…please…” she was all over me and trying to embrace me, “Please…please listen to me…”
“ Would you fuck off!” I pushed her off and then I did…
…I beat her
…I kicked her everywhere while she screamed
“ I HATE YOU! YOU FUCK!”
Then, with tears in my eyes I was about to leave, when she got up and grabbed me:
“ DON’T LEAVE! DON’T SAY YOU HATE ME! SAY YOU’LL LOVE ME ANITA! SAY YOU’LL LOVE ME! I PROMISE TO MAKE THINGS BETTER WHEN WE’RE TOGETHER! I PROMISE I’LL MAKE IT UP TO YOU!”
“ GET OFF! GET OFF NOW!”
I was scared. What was she talking about? How can she be serious?
“ I have always loved you…” she was crying, “ But I was angry that you didn’t want to be like the other girls because then I thought we could be friends. But, I realized it was your difference that made me love you. I was so upset that you thought me a bitch and that Hassan was always your own confidante. You –“
“ Just let me go Kaiya. I can’t love you back I’m sorry.”
“ No, you gotta listen, if you do, you’ll forgive me and then I’ll –“
“ This is not about forgiveness Kaiya…” I calmly freed myself from her, “ I just can’t love you that way. You had become my enemy: someone I kinda hate. Now I hate you for not being true to yourself.”
She suddenly slapped then grabbed me, “ But I wanted to be! Can’t you believe me?!”
“ Have you done anything for me that I should believe?”
“ Please…please…Anita…let…me…let me…love you…” Kaiya was sobbing horribly.
“ I can’t love you back but I will definitely stop hating you. Please Kaiya don’t get upset, please, you have to understand. This is the way I feel.”
“ Is it that prick Hassan?”
This is when I slapped her, “ You got no right to curse Hassan! He’s been my friend through thick and thin!”
“ But, he dated me! Though I made fun of you he –“
“ Did it ‘cause I said it was alright…”
“ I’m sorry if I said I hate you…” I apologized, “ I was just overwhelmed with anger. Listen, just be yourself more.”
I didn’t understand why Kaiya had loved me and I didn’t understand why she committed suicide either.
That was in September…
Looking at the pictures of Joi and his new wife made Nasib happy.
“ Too bad Mom couldn’t see it…” their mother had passed away recently.
“ Well, she did even her presence wasn’t known to us…” I said and looked at Hassan, he looked peaceful as he slept in the sofa.
“ You know Big Mom comes around now. When Mom got ill she used to come. I think she never came before because my stepfather was around. If only she knew that he wasn’t violent anymore.”
“ Nasib, you know she knew that; it’s just odd to visit if you understand what I mean.” I explained.
“ Well, I never thought it out like that…” he giggled, “ I guess I have much to learn.”
“ No, it isn’t like that at all – you understand more than all the others in your family. I think you were just not focusing on this matter.”
“ Hmm…he looks peaceful doesn’t he, Hassan.” Nasib looked intently at Hassan.
“ Yes.” I smiled, “ He does.”
“ He deserves this peace – he had it rough when his father was around and even his ex-boyfriend.”
“ So.” I said amused, “ You know?”
“ Yes, and I was happy…” Nasib closed his eyes, “ I want him to be happy.”
“ Well, you are very open about it.” I giggled but stopped when I saw Nasib looking quiet.
“ I may have to hurt him and the others very soon.” Tears were falling, “ I wonder if I’ll be forgiven.”
“ Nasib what are you talking about?” I looked urgently at him.
“ When I think about it now I know it’ll have to be this way.”
I thought about Kaiya and her hasty marriage, “ Don’t do anything foolish.”
“ No, I won’t. I won’t do anything that will hurt anyone like suicide but I may try to run away.” Nasib closed his eyes.
“ Don’t talk like Anika now…” I chuckled and hugged him, “ You can talk to me about it.”
“ I can’t talk of it now Anita…” he looked peacefully at me, “ But it will appear very soon.”
I know understand how hard it was for him: they are happy now
I think they ran away in October…after Kaiya’s suicide…they were both strong…
Anika’s disappearance did not shock Hassan’s mother but it didn’t make her calm:
“ Why are all these children disappearing out of the blue?”
“ She probably had to go somewhere…” I looked sadly at her distress.
“ Is she pregnant?”
“ I think.”
“ Is…Is the father…?”
“ I don’t know…”
After two more days a sickly and pale Anika came home to be slapped by her Big Mom, “ You stupid girl where have you been?! We were –“
“ I am pregnant…” Anika cried, “ I am pregnant!”
“ Oh my God.” I quietly said.
“ I wanted him to come home…I wanted him to take care of me…he doesn’t, he did not…why doesn’t he…It should have been your child…” she now was talking to herself, “ It should have been your child…why didn’t you want me…It should have been your child…”
“ Anita, what is she talking about?” Hassan’s mother was strangely horrified.
“ I don’t know.” I was worried as well.
Then she answered us with one Horrendous scream that shattered our senses:
“ IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR CHILD HASSAN!”
We looked, petrified, it was so…so unbelievable,…
“ Why are you looking at me?” Anita looked at us angrily, “ What are you looking at?!”
Hassan’s mother got enraged, “ What are you saying?! Do you understand what you’re saying?!”
“ Yes I do! I have loved Hassan for a long time!”
To that her Big Mom slapped her, “ This is sinful! He’s your brother!”
“ Stepbrother…” she almost spat it out, “ He didn’t think twice about it when he ran away with Nasib!”
Hassan’s mother stopped…she froze…then she looked at me, “ Anita, is…is this true?”
“ Yes.” I looked solemnly at her then looked at Anika, “ But Nasib isn’t biologically related to Hassan – you are.”
“ SO WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE CHOSE ME!”
Then she fainted…the heat of July must have gotten to her…
“ I came.”
“ I’m glad.”
This was the first kiss and we embraced as though we were lovers.]
“ Nasib is out and he’ll come back soon.”
“ Where did he go?”
“ He went to do some shopping.”
“ Are you going on cheat on him by using me?”
He looked at me and smiled:
“No. I am merely going to let out my real feelings.”
It was a nice August night…
The child that rests in my hands now is so beautiful. She has her father’s eyes and I have named her Samiya. Her mother was gone now – running away as soon as she could.
I sighed as I remember how Nasib said he would look for her.
“ Is that my little nephew?”
Kanta looked so radiant and looked quietly at me, “ This child, can I take him.”
“ Only if Nasib and Hassan allow – they have right to him too.” I said the facts.
“ Anika shouldn’t have run away.”
“ It was difficult for her.”
“ If we don’t find her it’ll make me sad though.”
“ How is Eisaan?”
“ Excited for his new nephew, though I have children now as well.”
“ I think also it’s best if you take care of Samiya.”
“ Listen, about Nasib and Hassan – are you going to, I mean, are you going to do anything?”
“ Nasib found us but he seemed less angry as he said he expected it.” I laugh, “ He said Hassan has really loved me. He also told me that if Hassan wants to be with me it’s fine.”
“ And you…what do you think?”
“ I’ll give Hassan to think about it. I don’t mind if he doesn’t choose me. I won’t let that stop me from moving forward.”
I remember Kaiya.
After I told her of my feelings concerning hers she was sent to an asylum. She couldn’t handle the fact I didn’t love her. After she got well she married…
…but, she ran away with her husband’s sister.
She called me and said that she won’t hide her homosexuality ever again. I told her that was the right thing to do.
But one day she came back home to find her partner kissing another woman. Angered by this betraral she killed that woman and then she killed herself as a punishment to her lover. After much time that woman was able to forgive herself…
I was not gonna be like Kaiya and neither was Nasib nor Hassan. We would move forward.
The December breeze made me shiver with an eagerness for life…
When Hassan came home I asked him about Nasib…he laughed and said Nasib’s new boyfriend was younger than him and was the lead singer in a rock band.
I smiled as he embraced – he asked if we should go for a walk – I said yes.
The Lake we approached was filled with memories of Kaiya and me and that moon underneath the water. He smiled at me and I knew.
We both embraced and jumped into the water…we were giggling…
The Moon underneath the water was beautiful
It was a breezy August day…
And it seemed so nice…
The Moon mating with the wind…
Author’s Note: I was inspired by my experiences, friends, family and a special crime show I saw on Sony Television once and some other TV shows; this story comes from them.