12 Semesters of Love
G. Sumdany Don
“Heaven isn't hard to find....all you need to do is look carefully”
I sat there in the English class, looking at the new girl. She was paying attention to what the teacher was saying while for the first time in my life, my attention was not towards the class. I stared at her long, silky ebony hair which contrasted with her round, creamy fair skin. Her face was like one of those children that when you see them, you feel like pulling their cheeks. I felt the same for her. The eyes were black, nothing mesmerizing, but the kajol that surrounded them, made me stop blinking. Below the kajol guarded circles, a few pink pimples rested on her cheeks like cherries resting on a vanilla cake. The glossy Lakme lips were glistering under the bright tube lights, the suburbs of her hair floating under the noisy fan, her eyes glued at the projector screenings while my eyes were super-glued towards her. My heart was beating so loud that I bet even the teacher could hear it. Is there anything called love at first sight? Or was it just a physical attraction because she was so pretty? I wished if I could talk to her, I wished if she was mine, I wished if I could sit so close to her that I could smell her natural fragrance….but from the first day I knew she could never be mine, never.
So you knew her? Why wouldn't you? She was the type of girl everyone knew, everyone loved and everyone wanted to be friends with. She was popular as she did a lot of clubs, for her smart but yet decent dresses and for her trademark Hugo Boss. She was like a storm in the university; she walked past the corridor and the whole building shook. Comparing me and her is like comparing two parallel lines in geometry. I was the studious scholarship holder type and she was the “lady in red” type. People loved me only when they needed me, for finding books in the library and for helping them with those bogus GED assignments and presentations. But she knew me; in fact I became her so called “Best Friend” after I began to help her with the tiresome World History course. I used to go to her house and always wished that it was empty. I sat beside her, taught her and when occasionally she would touch my hand, my blood would boil, my senses would evaporate, and my eyes would blur. But I knew I could never tell her about my true feelings, I could never be her man, but I wished, I just wished if she was mine.
One day she came running to me and hugged me. She looked at me deeply, as if she could see the inside of me through my sad eyes. As if she could feel that every cell of my body wanted her, my skin wanted her touch and that she was like blood in my veins and soul in my heart. When I was dying to hear the three sweet words, instead, shattering my dreams she said that Masum had proposed her to be his girlfriend and she said “Yes”.
The 9th semester was the only time I got a 'B' in a course. I went through the usual things that all heart-broken guys go through- couldn't eat, sleep or study...you know how it goes. Well, her affair with that idiot didn't last that long. She came to my house one day, hugged me and cried wildly. I became active in soothing her soul after the breakup. Followed by a comedy movie, one pack of Pringles and a Diet Pepsi, I dropped her home in her favorite three wheeled vehicle. In front of her door, she kissed on my cheeks and said “Thanks, you're my bestest best friend, you're my sweet Jaanu!” She was staring at me for a long time. But I could never tell her that I don't want to be just friends, I wanted to be her everything. I wanted to be like water in the soil; no matter how or where you dig, water would always come up.
I guess she was happier then me when I was awarded the gold medal. I was acting cheerful, but was terribly sad inside. I knew I can't see her everyday from now on. I had become a sea-shell, very hard from outside but nothing more than a soft sponge inside. But if you place the opening of any silent shell close to your ears, you will find the roaring sound of the sea and its waves, which was like the sound of my broken heart. The trips to Coffee World, the lunches at Boomers and the rooming-arounds at Rifles Square; all these will eventually shrink. It will be summer in my life, when she was the only cool breeze I ever had. I looked at her and thought of asking her to love me, to marry me, to be the light of my blind mind…but I couldn't. I knew she loved me like a friend, and she could never be mine.
The Beginning of an End
I wasn't surprised when finally she decided to get married to a guy named Hasib. During the reception, I did all the hospitality that her “Best Friend” was supposed to do. I cheered up the guests, cracked jokes with Hasib's friends and sometimes quickly paced outside the hall and went near the waters of the Shenakunjo. I had always dreamt of marrying her at that place, but the funny part was that she was getting married, like in my dreams; it's just that the lucky man wasn't me. I let the liquid salt from my eyes mix with the waters of Shenakunjo. She was all that I wanted, she was all that I needed and she was my everything…everything. And when she waved me goodbye through the windows of the flower decorated car, she was finally gone, gone forever, like a runaway train that never comes back, wrong way on a one way track.
What is love if it's unspoken?
Time went on but suddenly came to a stop on the day I got the news of her leaving Bangladesh. I went to the airport, and stood at a distance, watching her in silence. She looked content with her life, still had the compelling personality that she always had. She saw me, came to me and we talked for a while. She didn't pay me much attention and I knew I was nothing important anymore, and it was alright as I was thinking about all the time I had spent with her - the first day, the first smile, the first touch and the final goodbye. Just before leaving, she handed me a dairy of hers from our university days. She left. I sat on one of those airport benches and with blurry eyes, I opened the diary.
“I look into his eyes, wow! What decency he has, what purity and what a charming personality. I love the way he gives those hidden smiles whenever he sees me, the way he gets nervous when I touch his hand and in the sweet way he asks me “Ai lunch korso?” He is so cute!! And such a good student!! Without his love and care, I would've failed in all my courses. I think I love him. No! I'm sure I love him. I think about him all the time. But I know he would never love me, he doesn't notice me like that. He only loves his books, his teachers, the damn library and thinks about his career and dreams only about going to the US with scholarship. I wish if he dreamt about me at least for once. But I still love him, I want him…I wish if he only understood, if he only proposed me. I wish he was mine...”
The writer is a 3rd year student of ULAB, and has dedicated the '12 Semesters of Love' to Star Campus on their 12 months of success!