Written by: Buttertoes
It is funny how memories can play a trick on you. And it is only when you turn the pages of the past that you see the emotions and feelings that you have suppressed over the years thinking that it will allow you to live in peace. The first time I fell in love, it was with my best friend back in school. Not being able to stand the overwhelming desire to be with her, I came out to her and told her that I loved her. She, understandably, was not ready to hear that and eventually started to avoid me. We were extremely close, and I just could not accept that she might be considering breaking our friendship. I felt that I would rather lose my life before I lose her as a friend. With my head and heart not in the right place, I wrote the following words on my diary –
27 June 2006, 1:35 AM
Today I decided to end my life on a specific date in the future – 19 Aug 2009. Within the next three years, I would have finished my O’Levels and A’Levels and have gotten a chance at Dhaka University (in sha Allah). At least my family would be proud of me by the time I’m finished with myself. But since I already told Tasnim (my best friend) about it, I may need to change the date. Besides, it may look too suspicious if I die on my birthday. My family would think there is some “ghapla” and may perform an autopsy. I don’t want my family to go through the shame of having a daughter who committed suicide.
The only person who can get me out of this situation is a psychiatrist, but I don’t want to see one because after hearing everything they’d ask me not to see Naila again. That will also end my life. So my plan is better.
I have started to write a novel based on my life. The prologue starts from the day I commit suicide so that I am prepared for the emotional turmoil that leads up to my death. I tried to act out the scene of me committing suicide, but every time I get to the main act, Naila comes in and talks me out of it. I think this is because my death would be the death of everything. It would mean I’d never get to be with her again. It would mean there will never be a chance of “us”. How stupid am I?? Us? It is never going to be “us” anyways. But then, whenever I say this out loud, someone calls out from the corner of my heart, “Don’t say that. You don’t know everything about the future. It just might happen.” But I just know that it is wrong.
I just don’t want to lead my life anymore. Even the word “life” seems meaningless to me. I don’t remember the last time I sincerely felt happiness. I feel everything has stopped for me. I do my classes at the coaching alone, not talking to anyone else. I feel inferior to everyone around me. When I am on a bus, if a guy sits next to me and tries to almost get on my lap, I feel I am at their standard and I deserve it. This only proves the point that I’m never gonna get anyone. My life would be worthless. My brain says that having someone to love you is not important; the most
important thing is to be successful in life. Then I say, whom I will be successful for? My parents? My family? My brother and sister both have a very bright future, so I don’t need to worry about that.
I believe that there is a perfect person for everyone. I wonder who is for me. Or is there any? I am a defective piece of creation, made when nature was its most freaking self. Is this why there is no one out there for me? Or is it because I am solely devoted to a single person without whom I can’t possibly think about anything else. I wish I were just pretending all these things, but sadly I was not.
Till now, I have never taken such a serious decision for me. This is surely going to affect a lot of lives. Let me draw a possible future scene –
It is 12 noon. Time for me to wake up. Ammu calls out, “Tiana, Tiana get up, it is already 12”. I am lying absolutely motionless. Ammu is now worried. When she touches my arm, she will feel my cold skin. Right then, she will assume the worst and will break down crying. Abbu will run to my room. He then tries to check my pulse and does not feel any. He on the other hand will never believe it that the child he loves the most has left him. The first call would go to my sister’s office and my brother-in-law. Dulabhai will immediately call an ambulance for me and try to take me to the <name> Hospital (which is nearby). In the meantime, abbu will call bhaiya. Dulabhai comes home and finds me still. Yes, I am dead.
Hearing all the hau-kau the neighbors will start coming to our home. Once the ambulance arrives, dulabhai rides with my body while everyone else tries to calm my parents down saying things like, “Arre nothing happened, everything will be okay,” Some people will say, “Was she feeling okay yesterday?” Ammu while howling like crazy will say, “No her chest was hurting” (as I would pretend to have pain on the left side of chest and neck last night). Anyways, as the ambulance reaches the hospital, the doctor on duty will declare me dead, possibly of a heart attack. Dulabhai will be pretty shaken up and will call abbu to give the news. Abbu will be completely broken. By that time, my sister gets to the hospital and starts crying on my dead body. My brother has gone to my niece’s school to get her home.
In the meantime, Tasnim will call me as she does every day. Someone will take the call and let her know that I was dead. Tasnim will be completely taken aback and will start crying, while thinking, “Why today? Today was not 19 August 2009.” (Haha I fooled you) She will then call Naila, who will be sleeping, and her mom will pick up the call. Upon hearing my sad demise, aunty will hurriedly wake up Naila, crying (aunty likes me a lot). I am sure Naila will first think she is dreaming, but then when she realizes it, she too will start crying and start on her way to the hospital. Tasnim and Naila will reach the hospital at the same time. She asks Tasnim if she knew what happened to me, but she won’t say even when she knows. When they reach my room, they see my body. A strange reflection of peace on my face.
I cannot write anymore. I feel very bad. I wrote about crying so many times that I have started to cry myself. One thing is for certain that she’ll miss me. So will a lot of people. But these should not come in my way.
After a few days of writing this entry, my best friend broke all ties with me, driving me to the edge of sanity. I was completely devastated. Not knowing what I would do with my life now, I came out to my parents. They too were devastated to learn about that side of me, and with their extremely limited understanding of sexuality, they took me to a psychiatrist to get me “cured of homosexuality”. The most horrible three months of my life followed. I was prescribed 6 different pills a day which only managed to make me cry all day. I finally realized I need to get out of the mess, and I told my family that the treatment worked and I “had become” straight.
The next entry I am now sharing is from a year after.
3 August 2007, 12:10 AM
A year has passed since Naila and I last talked. It feels like a decade. My life has changed so much. And it feels good. I finally feel like a person and not like an inanimate object anymore. It’s so weird. All the good memories I had with Naila are flashing before my eyes.
Like the day when we were hanging out on her rooftop, the househelp came and told me ammu was there to pick me up. I started to move towards the stairs when Naila suddenly came up behind me, hugged me and gave me a kiss on my left cheek (No, I didn’t feel anything!) Then, the time when she repeated the same thing on Friendship Day.
I remember all the weird ideas we came up with like sticking gum on Anika’s back. It was hilarious. I remember the crazy games that we used to play. Like the time when we were in the library and we asked Anika to shake the steel almirah. And she did it! It was just incredible. I also remember the time she made me sit on the right side of Tasnim in the Caterpillar ride at Nandan Park. As soon as the ride began, I slid on the angular seat and pressed on Tasnim with no fault of my own.
Naila was always pulling pranks like these on people. Back in Class 7, I was constantly afraid of Rima (who, by the way, is now a friend) because she used to act all weird around me, as if she was in love with me or something. Naila and a friend wrote a prank letter with Rima’s name and kept it inside my Geography book which said she loved me. When I got it, I was shocked! I had never been proposed to by a girl before. It was days before I found out about the truth.
I remember the first time we had an argument and I delivered a card apologizing to her. Later after school was over, her chauffeur came up to me and gave me a letter from her. Oh, I wish it was that easy to make up this time as well.
The things she wrote in my books, God! So I had a habit of writing “Owned by Tiana” in all my academic books. And she would just add weird stuff to it.
We used to take crazy photographs together. I took one of her eating bread, but her expressions came out so funny that I accidentally deleted it while laughing. That is still one of the gravest mistakes of my life.
All the jokes we made. All the things we shared. You know what, writing all these down now, it feels like nothing has happened between us.
I was her friend, she wasn’t mine. I understood her, she didn’t. I knew her, she didn’t. I really wish I could have her back as my friend. For that to happen, many things need to change. Her, first. She needs to know that I am not the villain in her life. All I ever wanted was to see her happy. Yeah, I was jealous at times. But I didn’t intentionally or individually do anything to kick Sakib or Javed out of her life. Not that I wanted them in her life either because both were destructive and she deserved better. I did a lot for her and at the end of the day, she called me “selfish”. I just can’t understand that just why me telling her that I was a lesbian and that I loved her changed everything. Everything. I know the love of her life Adnan got married right in front of her eyes last year. I know that she does not have any close friends now. I wish I were there by her side.
Let all your sorrows be mine and all my happiness be yours.
I told this to her when she told me how she felt about Adnan. I still mean it. Because, as I told Tasnim, a part of me never stopped loving her and never will.
I wish I could meet her on neutral terms. Then I can tell her all the gossip and the new things that have happened to me. I am dying to tell her that I am friends with Rima again and she still gives me weird vibes. I would love to see her laugh at this. God, I miss her. I wonder when it was when all the laughter died. No, it didn’t. We even laughed at something on the last day we talked. Suddenly, I became the criminal who destroyed her life! I don’t think something this silly and serious at the same time has happened to anyone else in the world.
Throughout the year, there were times I thought I was still mad about her, and other times I felt I was over her. Now I realize that I really can’t fight myself and stop me from being who I really am. It’s a battle where nobody wins. Think like this. You’re in the middle of the ocean rowing a boat. Suddenly a tide comes and tumbles the boat over. Now if you have a life jacket, you will float. And if you don’t, you can sink, deeper and deeper, and will never know when it stops. See, now the ocean’s love. And I am fortunate enough to have a life jacket. I am swimming away, but even I can’t stop. But I am not sinking. You know, I would like to jump out of the jacket and swim down the ocean, but not for the wrong person. And I am swimming away, still can’t see where to stop.
You never know what the future holds for us. I just wish that I’m happy with whatever it is holding. I’ve suffered enough. Now I want to be happy and to be with someone. I really can’t see why, just because I don’t have a penis, I can’t love a girl?
All the pages of my life tell the story of me and only me. If I were given the choice of reliving my life, I do not think I would want to change anything about it. Even the darkest hours of my life like the ones I have written above. Looking back can hurt sometimes, but every experience I have lived through made me who I am today. Today I feel at peace with myself. Today I love the person I have become. Turning pages of the past does not feel bad anymore.