“I need your help”, Usha blurted abruptly. I looked at her in confusion. She was sitting on the table opposite
me, messily holding some papers in her hand. She looked determined. It wasn’t a request; she demanded my help.
I wanted to laugh at her serious face but controlled myself anyway. Obviously, I was gonna help her, or rather
she’ll make me, so why not make her grovel for it a bit?
“I’m busy today, sorry I can’t do it.”
“I didn’t say it was today”, her expression blank. Shit, she knew what I was up to!
“Well, I’m busy tomorrow too, and the day after”, I said with a fake smile.
She stared at me intensely, got off the table, then put both of her hands on the handrest on each side of
my chair and leaned in. I gulped hard, my heart racing a mile per second. “You WILL help me, whenever and
however I ask you to.” Her piercing eyes bore into my soul. I tried to get back some control and pushed her back.
“Okay I will, just get off me, you are irritated.” I had to get out of there.
“That’s what I thought,” she said happily with a toothy grin on her face. Sometimes I just hate her really. She knew all my buttons and pushed them haphazardly whenever she felt like it. She’s lucky I like her.
I came out of the room to smoke and when I went back, there she was, busy working again. That girl, seriously! I rolled my eyes hard and just grabbed her hand, pulling roughly, “Enough work already, it’s almost 9:00 pm and we are having a coffee break.” She tried to resist but what puny little Usha can do against me. Every time she struggled like that, it made me laugh out loud. When she noticed my amusement, she stopped and let go. We were out of the building by then. I was looking for a rickshaw when I caught her staring at me.
“What are you looking at?” I always get self-conscious when she looks at me like that.
“Will you give me a piggyback ride?”
“Yes, hop on”, I replied excitedly. I love giving her piggyback rides. It’s when she becomes the cutest version of herself, and only I get to see that. It makes me feel special. She’s like a tiny little kitten I had to protect from the rest of the world. But deep down I always knew she’s strong. Probably even stronger than me.
I was walking quietly on the sidewalk, there was a light breeze, her arms wrapped around my shoulder and she was humming a song. It was perfect.
“Do you love me?” She casually asked. She did that often. Ask random questions at random times. I got used to it by then.
“Yes,” I simply replied.
“How much is a lot?”
“So much so that I’d give you a piggyback ride even if you get fat and heavy and I can’t lift you anymore,” I said half-jokingly.
“Hmm, I expected more to be honest. Would you marry me if you were a boy?”
“I’d marry you just as we are now”, I wanted to say. Instead, I replied, “We wouldn’t be this close if I were a boy so can’t say for sure. Probably not.”
“I’d totally marry you if you were a boy”, she said, hugging me tightly from the back.
First and Multidimensional Queer Women’s Collective of Bangladesh