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Friends forever

It was a new country, a new place for me. The people were new; the house my father bought was new too. Sure thing, my parents and my elder sister and brother were depressed at having to leave home, but me, I was happy. I was just excited about the prospect of being in a different country not knowing what it had in store for me, for us.

It took us a while to get the whole house furnished. Until the beds and sofas were made, we had to sleep in sleeping bags on the floor. Again, everyone in the family complained and groaned about it. However, I found it to be some sort of adventure. It was fun, ordering pizzas and eating it with the whole family, on the carpet. It made me feel like I was in a party or some sort of a camp.

A few months later, I was admitted into a new school. I was only nine years old. At first, I hated it like anything. The people around me were unfriendly because I did not share the same complexion with them. However, as days passed by, I did find friends. They began accepting me for who I was, and that made me feel so good!

One day, I was in the playground in our neighborhood, happily singing at the top of my lungs, knowing no one was around. “Hey,” a soft voice called. I turned around and came across a pair of startling blue eyes. “Hey yourself,” I replied, smiling. She flashed me a shy smile and introduced herself. Her name was Tania. A few minutes later, all the shyness was gone and we were chatting away as if we had known each other all our lives. I found out that she was my new neighbor! By the time we were going back home, we were holding hands.

I loved my life. I truly did. Everything was going perfect. I had awesome friends at school, I had been selected into the swimming team and I had found a best friend. What was amazing was that we were from different cultures, and that did not affect our friendship. She loved me as much as I loved her. We planned to take dance classes together. Even though we went to different schools, at the end of the day, both of us would share the day's events with each other. Our families became close too and on weekends, we went out to the movies.

Soon months turned into years and before I knew it, I had turned thirteen. A teenager! The birthday party my parents threw was a complete hit. In the middle of the bash, Tania pulled me aside to a dark corner. I raised an eyebrow questioningly. “Sumaita, there is something I need to tell you,” Tania spoke. I stared at her, knowing what was coming. She could not take the dance classes. I opened my mouth to speak, but she motioned for me to remain silent. “This is hard for me, so let me get over it. I am moving- not to a different neighborhood, but a different country,” tears were streaming down her cheeks. A little while later both of us were hugging each other, crying our hearts out.

Tania was gone. Everything seemed empty without her. I did not like going to the playground, it kept on reminding me of the first time we met. I did not go to the tree house that we had built together, it felt eerily quiet. Tania had promised that she would write to me once she had reached her destination, but as weeks passed, I gave up any hope I had left. My father was transferred to Bangladesh, we had to come back. Before leaving, I requested the people who had bought our house to forward any mails that came in. But the letters never came.

I am sixteen now, and still today, I think about her. No, not all the time. Sometimes, yes. She was a wonderful girl who had been my only support in an unknown country. We had shared so many secrets, so many stories. I do think that our friendship was special. Where was she? What was she doing? It all seems like a dream now. My heart breaks every time I wonder if she even remembers me, my name. One other thought that haunts me is that whether I will ever see her again in this lifetime, and even if I do, will I recognize her?

By Nayeema Reza

The box Of memories

People say that time changes everything, and pain fades away. Words are easy to speak. Harder to accept reality, to understand how a love story as magical as ours could just end. As my mind raced in circles, trying to make sense of it all, my eyes alighted on a box on my table. Fighting tears that threatened to blind me, I picked it up, looking for distraction. It opened with a click, and the contents were uncovered, and suddenly, I spotted something that caught my eye.

It wasn't anything much. It was piece of paper on which I had scribbled the words “I love you”. The paper was dated October 11, 2005. I looked at it trying to understand why I had written such. Then it all came back to me. The message was sent to me as an SMS on that very day by the girl I loved and for whom I was yearning at that very moment. It was just a few minutes after we had met on the day she complimented my cologne. The smile seemed natural as the memories came back. The other contents poured out like a flood of emotions. There were remnants of roses, pictures, cards and another picture of her during her childhood. The picture was looking directly at me. It had a trace of a beautiful smile, a faint trace but it seemed directed towards me. Another picture was of her all grown-up and here she was smiling, a full smile. Once more, I felt that the smile was for me. I smiled back, something I hadn't done for quite a long while.

Cautiously I sifted through the contents, prolonging the moment this time because the past was re-surfacing. The urge to freeze the past and hold it forever was over-whelming. I took out a straw from the box and studied it. A memento from our first date at Kozmo Lounge. It was dated October 15, 2005. I stumbled upon a birthday card. “To the sexiest woman in the world” the card read, something she had given me and I burst out laughing, feeling great. As the last echo of my laughter died away, I careful put the things back to their original place and began to close the box. That is when a ring fell out of it. It was something I had been meaning to give her for a while and on the ring were the simple inscriptions “The Bond We Share Will Never Break. I Love You! October 8, 2006.” It was supposed to be my gift to her on the day we completed our first year together. I held the ring close to me and looked at it, feeling another lump making its way up my throat.

I took up the paper containing the writing and cut out the 6 from 2006. I left a blank next to it, knowing I would give it to her one day. The box contained precious memories and whispers of time spent in a veil of love. Time had changed everything, but it had not managed to change what had passed. It further failed to change the feeling that one felt and thus the pain also resisted the urge to fade. The tears evaporated and paved way for hope to rise. A hope so strong that it felt powerful enough to erase the ending of a love story and begin another chapter. The book of our love story was re-opened and the box provided the pen to ink yet another chapter, until the happy ending came about, were the two souls of the lovers would be re-united. Quietly closing the box, the click sounded, the contents and the memories locked away yet the strength that they generated remained. I quietly replaced the box, feeling my world take shape once more.

By Osama Rahman

School gossips and us

"Look, there she goes. You know Neal in our class, I heard she has an affair with him.”"Oh my god! What about her former boyfriend?"”

Who knows? She gets a new boyfriend every week." We students love to gossip, don't we? We gossip over our classmates, teachers, officials, other schools, other school's students and what not! And these gossips are not the innocent types at all. Someone finds (i.e. dreams up) that someone particular has more than four boyfriends or girlfriends at a same time. Someone else invents that s/he ran away from home during the last school vacation. And yet another person cooks up spicy gossips about our bald headed teacher and some student. Awful, isn't it? But it is the truth.

Haven't you ever found a group of students engrossing in conversation and getting tongue-tied the moment you are visible to them? Yeah, of course they talk (read: gossip) about you. There is no way you can escape it. If you are silent they will say your mom beat you in the morning, if you are loud then you might have found a 50 taka note on street today and so on it goes. If you try to protest, they get that they are right and next thing, the whole school thinks it's true. Then your lovely name will be echoed all day long on SBC(Student Broadcasting Corporation). Studying in a co-ed, I found that girls are more gossip-prone than boys. Some girls just love to talk about others' personal lives. They never think twice before publicizing a private story. My female readers may want to voice disapproval at this. I want to tell them that not all girls are alike, just as not all boys are angels from heaven. But most of the boys like chatting about topics like music, games, sports and etc. As for yourself, don't believe everything that your ear catches.

Get proof. Whether it is true or not don't tell others anything about someone's personal life. You don't know how badly you might be hurting someone. One of my friends moved outside of the country and people started gossiping that she got married so she moved on. When she heard that she got so upset that she cried all day and night for a week. One more thing, remember, your behaviour plays the central role in generating gossips. There is a girl in my class who is a good friend of the most brilliant girl of our section. May be there is something in her behaviour that inspired others to call her a Chamcha of the first girl. It's not always about behaviour. Sometimes, if any teacher asks any student to help them bringing books from teacher's room or library, the student gets the name chamcha right away! (May be that's why class captains are important) It is true that some of your friends help spreading rumours about you. But it is as true that some of your friends try to suppress the tattletale. " It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart; the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you."-Mark Twain Keep in mind that these blabberings are always stopped either by your friends' help or simply by time. So never get upset on blabbermouths or rubbish gossips. You know who you are and you know your friends best.

By Lord Sesshomaru

Out of prison

It has been twelve years since I have been sent to jail. I am still under doubt whether the crime for which I have been sent to jail can really cost me twelve years. I was accused of murder while what actually happened was an accident. I don’t want to go through it over again. Whatever was to happen, had happened and the Almighty has given me just the share that he had kept for me in my fate. I am supposed to be released today. Today, I’ll be out under the endless sky, without shackles.

Standing outside the local prison, I took in a deep breath of the fresh air. The weather is continually warning everyone of the upcoming storm that will be ready to strike at about 3-4 hours time from now. I knew no where to go. Walking by the road aimlessly, I realized the world has changed a lot. Back, in my times, we didn’t have all these luxurious cars driving frantically in the busy streets. Multi-storied buildings and fanciful plazas were only a handful. Nothing is the way it was twelve years back.

Having no place to go, I have come to stand in front of an abandoned field that had once been lively with cheerful screams from children playing. Lost in my thoughts, I was totally out of touch from the reality until a call reached my ears. It said ’baba’ meaning dad in our local language. It caused me to turn just as spontaneously as abruptly. It was a girl, nine to ten years calling out for her own father. For a moment, my heart had stopped beating. The voice resembles that of my daughter’s, whom I have last seen twelve years back. Unknowingly, a loud sigh escaped my throat. Back in the dark days I spent in prison, I had been counting down the days of my release, only, in the hope of meeting my only child. I had expected her at the gate. I had dreamt of forgetting my pains of living a prisoner’s life, watching the tears that would collect in her eyes when I had finished sharing my agonizing experiences at prison. I had dreamt that she would help forget my sorrows. She would call me ‘babu’ once more. I wanted to compensate the days I had lost in prison by taking my child in my arms once more. She has not come. My child has let me down. Angela, my daughter has forgotten me.

The street lamp above my head is blinking. The city out there dazzling with the glow from the bright lights is not for me. It is raining. Back then, I have always been amazed by the evening rain. Today it leaves me indifferent. While my daughter is out there in the comfort of the luxury of the glorious city, I have lied down here to await my death to embrace me. “May God bless you my child”. Somewhere deep inside my heart, I can hear myself praying silently for my baby doll. I can still hear my heart silently calling for my child, Angela.

By Israt Amin Nur



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