Rushda Rafeek

He can’t think you thought he was marvelous. Moreover serious. He begins with telling you that it’s been so long. And you laugh. He can’t hear you as you type with letters what seems to sound like you’re laughing. It is true, it has been long enough. The last time a boy you knew a little messaged you was so long ago. This, you think, is funny and why funny you don’t know. You hardly knew every boy in school. You vaguely remember this one though. The close ones were the ones who took long to chew your food, then pulverized your heart and eventually spat it out. So you hardly wanted to know every boy moreover get close to, feed.

Come June you attend a friend’s wedding. You wonder how she ended up with that kind of man. Try to understand not all are like you. They deserve it, even say are privileged enough so. You wish them both all the best in your head. Anyway you are bored. For some reason, you’re palms glisten with sweat. You don’t see friends you are close to, never discussed politics with. You don’t see your parents. You start messaging a friend who’s asking if you said hi to darktallhandsome. Oh he. No because you are scared. Like it or lump it this has got to be the chance. But. Cut that bull crap.
 
 

* * *

 
 
The picture comes off with slurring effects. He doesn’t mind at least you’re pretty and he has liked it. These are traps. You say sorry for replying late, that you had a bachelorette party then a wedding to attend and pick up where you left off.

Just one more thing though: killr blu, i’v bn waitin 4 u. Incorrect vocabulary hollows you out indeed. But the rhyming is pretty impressive. At the rapidity of the things talked over, it fills in the smell of wild sugar. Aladdin’s cave is nothing to this. You talk on science and being selfish. You avoid lying. To hold the conversation reek with secrets is to thrill him and never watch him disappear. Although unpredictably, your interests tally with his realizing that he could be the one. When the doubts cut in bleeding, you question yourself. Could he be all? No wonder five months later, you are flaunting your dark Gothic fronts with the moon pinned proudly in the backdrop like sexy music. The darkest god damn thing he’d ever seen. He fidgets with his chin then his jaws. So did he like it? Only if you bend. Your breasts are teachable. Your breasts nod like a soft drum. This is the year of the strange.
 
 

* * *

 
 
When you look at his face in the pictures, you are reminded of how much he has retained a kind of gentleness you could fall in with, the kind you’d usually fall for. Then his skin shines like the laughter of children. He has a very mischievous height to him and his smile, lovely. What else. His fingers are adorable.

He tells you he cares, leaving a question here, and another there. You say things you wouldn’t say out loud and he has to guess. He touches the butterfly in your insides, the chill down your spine. He tickles the smiles in your kitchen boiling a few noodles. You drink with him. You eat with him. This proves how roseate your imagination can get. His name fills the back of your notebooks. It becomes a way of life. You grin for nothing, the kid in a toothpaste advertisement at least knows why. Are you the girl he would have dated if he hadn’t left after his eleventh grade? Are you the girl he would have left the one with a thin waist for? Are you the girl he would have saved? You shrug it off listing under the circumstances impossible. You always do this with a heavy breath. But seriously, you envy couples on the road. Young ones, old ones, married ones, ones you think are married. Ones who hold hands, others who don’t, who won’t. You stroke his hair as your fingers become little birds learning the smell they won’t forget. All night he is lodged in your dreams; the lamp you hold on as though you live inside a shoe. You even see him visiting you with flowers on his bicycle. There, where at last you cry for both his and your efforts that play itself like a giddy child working on a wrapped candy. Has he started kissing? For the sake of god, his name is in your mouth which is enough if you believe.

You are heart hungry. As if Skype conversations were easier than faceless confessions. He stops you. But tell me he says rather icily, what did you really think of me? Of us or whatever that meant to women like you. He is irritated so his eyes refuse to lock with yours. At this point let him think you tried.

Laughing the kind of laugh that quickly blinks tears away, you afford a luxury of expressions which are all the wrong ones. Well where do you even start, you fold your arms; of course you were fun, it was all fun. That’s the good thing about Internet— no hard feelings right with the itchy venom coming unbidden; how dare you, you gabble on, how dare you.

 
 
 


Rushda Rafeek’s writing stuff has appeared in other places as well. For the moment she lives in Sri Lanka, is twenty three and partly Indian; the kind of fact she tells people and they don’t believe.