• Monday, October 20, 2014

COWARDS AND FRIENDS

Fatimah Akhtar

Click. Click. I yawn. It's around 2 AM and I -- again -- find myself in front of my brand new laptop, scrolling through my newsfeed. My eyes shift to the clock and then back to the screen.
She should be calling any minute now; I just have to keep myself busy until she finally does. At least I have pretty girls changing their display pictures to keep me company until she calls.
“Rehnuma Islam Rushma changed her cover photo: 'He wants to say I love you, but keeps it to goodnight. Because love will mean some falling and she's afraid of heights',” I read out loud before scrunching up my face.
Granted, the text was incredibly cheesy. But, there was a face. There was this face that flashed in my head as I read through. And it wasn't her face.
See, that's my problem. I know I love her. I've always loved her. Raisa and I grew up together. I don't think there was any point in my life that I didn't love the girl. Even with every other girl -- Sarah, Nishat, whoever -- it was always her.
Sarah would hold my hand and softly ask, “You love me, don't you?”
“Of course, I do,” I would answer. She was a beautiful one, that Sarah. Light brown eyes, curves in all of the right places, cascading brown-black hair that reached way past her waist, every day I would find myself entangled in her. But even then, Raisa, she was the one always on my mind.
Was Raisa more beautiful than Sarah? Short jet black hair, brown eyes and barely any meat on her bones, I've seen Raisa since we were three and it never felt like she even hit puberty. And here I was, madly in love with every bit of that.
In love with the way we built our first tree house and how she got on my back trying to get up there for the first time.
Raisa did not return my feelings. I don't think she could. So, I never told her.
My train of thought is interrupted by the sound of my phone vibrating on the desk table. I pick it up. It's not her, just a text message.
“1 new message from Samiha Jahan Fakir,” displayed my phone. Click.
“Farhad, you awake?” read the text.
My reply: “Why are you awake? Aren't you supposed to be up early in the morning?”

“I had a nightmare; it was about him again. I woke up crying.”
“It's okay, you're okay.” I added a happy face, after some thought.
“That I am but sometimes I get scared. I wish I spoke up sooner.”
“Most girls in abusive relationships can't even speak up,” I type down, “It's amazing that you even did.”
 “Thank you . I know. I guess I've had my share of experiences. I think I'll stick with my break.”
“You are, and it's working.”
“I think there's only so much of relationships I can take.”
“Figures ,” I type.
“Thank you, Farhad.”
“No problem, always here. Go back to sleep.”
“Goodnight.”
I begin to type something, and then stop myself.
“Goodnight,” I finally reply.
The conversation ends there and I watch the digital clock on my laptop shift to 3 AM.
I leaned back against my chair and close my eyes thinking of Samiha. She wasn't ready. I wasn't ready. Hell, for what? There was nothing to be ready for. Nothing at all. She was a friend. And it was Raisa who --
My phone began to vibrate.
“Raisa is calling,” it read.

Published: 12:00 am Thursday, January 23, 2014

Last modified: 8:42 pm Thursday, January 23, 2014

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