Tuesday, 25 June, 2024, Reg No- 06
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The Shadow of Your Soul

Published : Saturday, 18 May, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 714

Nafisa was asleep, not deeply though. Perhaps she still could hear the noise coming from the basement. Is it a rat? How could it be? There can be any, she cleans it every week. Or maybe she was just imagining a rat making noise, running with its small feet under some old mattress. She changed her side, and suddenly she was awake. She opened her eyes, and her husband Arefin was visible, a fine young gentleman in his late 20s. He was deeply asleep and was probably lightly snoring. She lets out a small sigh. Nafisa got married early. She always wanted to get married early and raise a family. A room full of kids is what she always dreamt of. But Arefin was happy with the idea of 2.

"Everythings expensive, darling. Where do we get those extra bucks for sending 10 kids to private schools?" Nafisa neither argues nor agrees. She slowly gets out of bed, without making any sound; Arefin still makes a soft groan. What is he dreaming of, she wonders.

She slipped into her slippers and walked to the balcony. It was autumn, a gentle breeze gently blew her hair. She thought of getting a shawl to wrap herself in it, but it wasn really that cold. She was all fine. If she had a cup of coffee or tea now, she wouldn be able to sleep for the rest of the night. Caffeine just hits her hard. She looked ahead, a sleepy suburb with streetlights on was all she could see; it was eerily silent. What time was it by the way? She felt too lazy to get inside and take a look at the clock. Instead, she stared at the clear sky with countless sparkling teeny tiny stars. Wonderful how her ancestors had enough knowledge of how to tell the time or have direction from the position of a celestial body.

Has mankind become dumber? But technological advancement might suggest otherwise. She can settle the debate. Probably it better stay unresolved. She doesn care anyway. Let the philosophers do their job. Was she thinking too much? She couldn tell. And suddenly, she was grappled with a surge of sadness, the type you can really explain at all.

After some 100 years, she won even be here but still there will be the sun, the moon, the Milky Way and all the nebulae. The breeze will blow, gently touching the flowers and those birds will sing: Rejoice! Rejoice! Raindrops would fall on the ground, volcanoes would erupt, stock market would crash, and a pretty lady would laugh at the dumbest joke her rich boyfriend would make. Billions of people on earth but probably no one would pray for her soul and tell that how wonderful of a person she was. She wouldn be remembered. A sense of meaninglessness prevailed over her thoughts. The void in her head and heart hurts her so she can physically sense the pain. She clutches the railing and takes a deep breath. Her heart was pounding like crazy.

What if she dies right now? Like some big rock hits her from nowhere or a sniper shoots her down or she just simply forgets to breathe for 2 minutes? What would happen to Arefin? Would he be married to some old girlfriend and completely forget her? Will he ever visit her grave? Her heart started racing even faster, as if it would explode any minute and blood would splatter everywhere. The dark of the night was strangling her. She pressed her head with her both hands. She could barely breathe….

And then a voice came in, like a light piercing through the dark tunnel. It was calm again in her head.

"Nafisa", a hand touched her shoulder from behind. She was already sobbing. She turned back and glanced at his husband. Arefin looked at her, said nothing and held her in his arms as if he understood everything. He did, actually.

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