Mom give me some money. "Take it from my purse. Don't take much". There's only hundred taka! . "what are you gonna do?" It's too hot outside mom. I am gonna take the rickshaw. "you be careful. come back home early". don't worry i will.
Lily is standing in the street. Waiting for a rickshaw. Every time she sees an empty rickshaw she is calling out. But they don't seem interested at this hour.
Everyone is exhausted from the heat. Most of them will go into lunch break. Luckily she finds another empty one.
Mama curzon hall? she shouts at the rickshaw puller.
He asks more than the fare but she is lucky to have it now. She jumps on the rickshaw. He looks at least seventy years old, sweating all over his face. Using his napkin every few seconds.
He is wearing a white shirt and lungi but it's not white anymore. It's dirty. She wonders If he has someone at home to wash it.
Mama* where are you from? she asks the rickshaw puller.
He doesn't seem to hear it and keeps going. So she shouts.
"Old dhaka", he replies. No i mean where are you from originally she asks again.
I was born in barguna but we left our home long time ago. There was no home left. We lost everything to river.
I am sorry to hear that. Lily can hear the long sighs. Do you have anyone now?
i have sons but they live separately. I lost my wife several years ago. I live for myself now.
What about you? he asks. Lily was surprised to hear that. Normally they will just reply what they are asked.
I live with my parents. she replies. "are you from tangail?" he asks. Yes i am. How did you know that? He smiles and say anyone could.
she knows she must have said some words in some accent that gave her away.
Lily give him the hundred taka note and says keep it. The old guy doesn't look surprised. His face has a unique expression. He is grateful. He is not smiling but she can see it in his eyes.
Class is almost empty. Because there's only one class in the afternoon today. She sits in the second row her usual place. She takes a look around. No he didn't come. She should have known.
Lily feels she wasted her sleep for this.
It's been twenty minutes since class started. Lily couldn't hear a thing the teacher is teaching. She is looking at her face sometimes to let her know she is actually focusing.
She is thinking about something else. Otherwise she would have fallen asleep already.
Rahi enters the room all sweating. His shirt is all wet and it's sticking to his chest. She looks at him for a fraction of a second. She always gets nervous. She starts fixing her hair.
Moving them out of her face. Then again out of her ear. He is standing there for teacher's permission. She looks at him again. This is the only time she feels safe looking at him.
She knows she doesn't have the courage to look at him when he is sitting. He will go and sit in the back. She can't turn around and look at him. She will get caught.
Teacher nods her head and he walks past her. As she starts feeling normal again out of her surprise he sits just behind her. She starts sweating. How could that be. He never did it before.
Her heart is pounding so fast she is afraid he can hear it.
Lily gets out of the bathroom after a long shower and stands in front of the mirror as usual. It's her most favorite thing to do. She thinks she looks most beautiful after a long shower.
She looks at her face. does it look more chubby today she wonders. She is taller than average girls. Her long black hairs look more black when it's wet.
She thinks about taking a selfie to post it in instagram. She can't be like other girls. Use lots of effects to make her something she is not. She doesn't like to be fake.
She just put lipstick and take a selfie. She is looking really good today. Wish he could see her like this. Sometimes she thinks about following him so he would follow her back.
Her heart still pounds thinking about yesterday. Why did he do that. Does he think about her the way she does. Does he feel anything different when he looks at her. Was it a hint.
Was it nothing but an empty seat!
"what are you looking at all day apu*!" Nily asks sarcastically. Nily is lily's younger sister. She is 5 years younger than her.
That's none of your business. go study or help mom.
It's Friday apu. I don't study on Friday. Tell me what are you thinking about so passionately.
Lily doesn't wanna encourage her. She gets on her head asking questions once she starts. "Nily do you think i am pretty?"
Of course you are! I wish i would be like you apu. you have the most beautiful eyes. Who are you thinking about apu?
No one. Go away now. Nily doesn't go away though. She smells something fishy going on here. Is he handsome? Tall? Tell me apu.
Lily knows she will have to take the hard path now. Go bring your book, i will teach you. That shuts up Nily as usual. She starts watching.
Lily loves her sister. She could be naughty at times but she is adorable. She is the closest friends lily have.
She doesn't necessarily shares everything with her but when she feels bad Nily is best person to be around. Always happy always smiling. Makes her feel better no matter the problem.
Lily's mom is cutting the vegetables at kitchen. She is preparing to cook for lunch. What can i do mom? Lily asks her mom hoping she will say, no you don't have to do anything.
You can tell me first why do you have lipstick on your face on a friday afternoon! there's smiles on her face.
It's for instagram mom. you wouldn't understand.
You better wipe that off before you father comes home.
Lily got the answer she was looking for. She doesn't have to do anything here. She leaves the kitchen with a smile on her face.
Lily feels grateful to have a family like this. No one can ask for a better parents. Her mom is wonderful but she always have soft corner for her dad.
He can be very strict at times but He would do anything for her. Even if he sees that lily is doing something he doesn't like he would let her. She didn't want to wear burka at college. Mom was going against it. She was talking about security and religions and on. But dad just asked, are you sure lily you want to do it.
Suddenly the alarm bell is going off. "Nily open the door. Probably dad is already back", lily shouts. "no prayer is only about to start. you look who it is." Lily shouts back from her room.
Lily goes of loathing to open the door. Out of all her expectation she could never expect who was standing on the door. It was no one else but Rahi.
*mama--uncle *apu--older sister (to be continued)