I know someone who has his walls filled with photos of a girl. His girlfriend probably, or obviously! He snapped her face from every possible angles! He loves her smile, and her eyes. But I do not know why, every time I see the pictures of the girl hanging on a sky blue wall, I feel like the girl is dead. Surely, the girl is not dead. She is still alive as far as I know. But, I never met her. This again makes me feel that the girl does not exist on earth anymore. But, she does exist. He said so.
I hear stories about her from him. He tells me that how cute a baby she was in her childhood. He is 5 years older to her. He feels happy that he knew her from the very first day of her life. He gets excited reminiscing the sweet memory of their growing up together. I find him totally amazed with her beauty and intelligence. The way he weaves stories of her, the way he tells the tales of her I feel like the girl has born on earth only to be his beloved. But why have I never seen her with him together ever? How come? I frequently visit him. I have never seen her here, I do not even see any single feminine trace of anyone! “Does not she come here?”, I asked him once. He kept silent. Then again I started thinking that she might be a dead soul by now! He is just keeping her alive through reminiscing. I am again getting suspicious of her existence!
Last Friday of last month, I went to his place to give him back a book that I borrowed from him. I saw him rushing out of the home worried. I asked him that what had happened and he said that he was going to her place to look after her as she was suffering from high fever. One more time, I had believed that she is alive; she exists. I asked him whether he wanted me to go with him and he replied modestly that he could handle all alone. That evening, returning home I was thinking about that beautiful girl. Though I never met her, I felt happy for her that she has got such a nice man as her lover. Later, I got busy with proofreading an article. When I finished my work it was almost 3 AM. I felt somewhat guilty that I had forgotten them and did not call up him to know her condition. Feeling sorry I went to bed. Suddenly, another thought broke into my mind. Is he suffering from any mental condition? Does she really exists? Or, is he imagining her? What if she is already a dead girl, and he is not able to forget her? And, what if for that he has created an imaginative second she for his consolation? Oh! What was I thinking?! Why am I so doubtful? I stopped thinking and fallen into deep sleep.
Next morning, I called him up. His phone was switched off. I got busy with my work. I rang him few more times later, did not get him. In the evening, I mailed him. He generally replies quickly. But, that night, even after 5 hours had gone I did not get any reply from him. Worried I went to sleep.
Saturday, 4 AM. My door-bell rang. Wondering who could be at this time opened the door and saw two policeman at my door.
– You must be Mushfiqua Faitma, ma’am.
– Yes, I am. What is it? What happened?
– We are very sorry to give you the news. Mr. Mustofi met a tragic accident on Friday night. His car hit an electric post and his body has burnt up completely. We need you to come with us for some formalities! We know, ma’am, that you are extremely distressed now! But you need to gather yourself up!
The whole world had tumbled down over me! I cannot think of anything. He was supposed to go and meet her girlfriend Rania! Had he reached there? Or, was he returning? Has she heard the news? I do not know her full name! I do not know her address or contact no even!
– Officer! Has his girlfriend got the news? Her name is Rania. I do no know where she lives, but he was going to her place as she was sick!
– Ma’am, umm.., you are probably feeling very sick. we heard …
– Yes, I am terribly shocked. But, I am ok. I am not feeling sick. It is urgent to give Rania the news.
– Who is this Rania, ma’am?!
– I do not know her full name! Not even her address!
– Calm down, please! We are informed that you are his fiancee! You are very traumatized right now. We understand.
– Me? Mustofi’s fiancee?! No, I am not even his girlfriend! We are just friends! By the way, who informed you this?
– His parents! Colleagues too! They are coming to attend the funeral!
– You are doing a mistake, Officer! You can go to his house and you will see his wall filled up with her photos. And, if you search his papers, books, or diaries you will certainly get her address!
The officers were looking at each other.
– But, this is his house. His address. You two were living together. We heard of you, of no Rania!
– But, no, listen to me!
– Ma’am, please go inside, take your time. Take deep breath, Have water. No hurry, we can wait!
I went inside, and suddenly I realized my room has changed into his room! My walls are filled up with her photos! There was his table, his table-lamp, his bookshelf, his books, his clothes! Oh no! What is this? How my room has changed into his room?
When I opened my eyes I knew that I got fainted. I am trying to remember all the things. I carefully looked at the things of the house. It is his house! Oh Lord! I am going blank! What is happening?
On Monday, his funeral was done. Everyone is consoling me as his fiancee! There is no sign of Rania anywhere! I was perplexed. I was feeling numb. Returning to my home, which they have been saying that his home, and which had turned into his room out of nowhere, I was trying to start my life totally perplexed.
Few days have gone! I am still perplexed. Last night, at 4 AM, my door-bell rang. I got so scared! My life has turned into a nightmare all on a sudden! Trembling I opened the door! It is Mustofi! Mustofi! it is Mustofi. It is no ghost! it is the Mustofi of flesh and blood. They must have made a mistake! I hugged him tight. He entered into the room!
– Where were you all these days? How is Rania? Why your phone was switched off? Why did not you reply me? Where were you all these days!? Why they are saying that you are dead? We even had your funeral! Where were you?
– Oh, Rania, Rania, darling, calm down!
– Hey! Who is Rania? I am not Rania! I am Mushfiqua! Are you alright?
– I am okay, Rania.
– I am not Rania. I am ….
– You are! You are Rania. Darling! Calm down!
– I cannot understand anything! Where were you?
– I have been always there in your mind. I born there in your mind. I grew up there. We grew up together! I am in love with you, you are in love with me. I met my tragic death in your mind. I am buried in your mind. Your mind, your that beautiful mind, was always my abode, my address.
I was staring at him. He was laughing. I love to see him laughing. I looked around. I found my room is back. I looked at him. No, he was not there! Where had he gone?! Someone whispered into my ear, “I am here, I am here, living in your mind.”