The Future of Us

My girlfriend wants to meet next week to discuss the future of this relationship.

It is understandable that she wants to have a conversation now. It has indeed been over two years that we are together. In the circumscribed same-sex dating scene in Bangladesh where fates of relationships are determined even before the couples meet, two years is quite an achievement.

I am not sure what to say to her. Yes, I do want to be with her.

But where?

In this country?

Where people get punished for even speaking their mind, let alone being themselves?

Somewhere abroad?

But how?

How will we sustain the household?

Are we even going to get any jobs?

What about our careers here?

What about our families?

What about the responsibilities we have on our shoulders towards our parents?

Who is going to put in the additional money for the house rent in our absence?

Do I need to come out to them before I move out?

What if that is the last time I see my family?

After just five days, I will have to sit with my girlfriend to discuss the future of our relationship. And I am already spiralling out of my mind.

I wish I could talk to my parents about this like I discuss other problems in my life with them. How unfortunate am I that my parents have no idea about a second life I am leading as someone who identifies as a lesbian?

I wish my parents were bad parents. I wish my mom did not make me a hundred different liquids to get rid of the constant cold I was suffering from. I wish my dad did not wander about in my room for the entire week I was traveling abroad for the first time in my life. I see my parents aging away and getting thinner by the day and I just cannot proceed with the thought that I may not be here with them holding their hands during visits to the doctors.

I have three nieces all of whom I love just as much as I would my own children. What if I am not here to see them grow up? To hear the youngest one’s first words, or to help the middle one with her homework getting increasingly difficult, or to be there when the eldest one gets her first heartbreak?

I really do not know what to tell my girlfriend during the serious conversation that is almost about to happen.

I have big dreams to achieve in my career. The field I am working in does not see many successful female role models and I really want to set examples for the generation to come. I have sacrificed sweat and blood and hours and days to get to where I am today. I have reached about a quarter of that target with so many more goals to hit. Should I give all of these up, go abroad with my girlfriend and start from scratch? Am I being unfair to my girlfriend because of the incredulous tone I am taking here? I know she has not even asked me to choose between a future with her abroad and my career here. But really, I do not know what to expect from the conversation we are about to have.

However, I do have dreams of living with the person I love for the rest of my life. Picking those right shades for the curtains together, going shopping for dinner set with a nice flower design, arguing over where to place the bed – yes, in my future I want to have all these things. I want to have babies with my partner and raise them to be great human beings. I want to attend those office events and the never-ending dawats with my partner and introduce her to everyone. I have a traditional view of the future of us. And I wish with all my heart that it becomes true despite knowing that it never will. Not here. Not with my family. Not with this society we live in.

My head hurts when I think about all these dreams and the reality. If there were four of me, it would have been lovely. Four of me would have led the different paths set out before me. I would have known for sure which path brought the least amount of pain to the people I love.

Should I ask my girlfriend to postpone the conversation? How about the week after? Or maybe next year? Do we really need to decide everything now?

The future of us can wait, right?

Written by Cloudburst

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