Before Sunset

Before sunset.

Just before sunset, the landscape was bathed in a warm glow of the radiant sun, with the sky showcasing brilliant shades of blue. It was five in the evening. And eight of us – Nyamalo, Hebu, Fatty, Hashanah, SBF, Oversmart Ma, Romis and me, Chachi. Drenched in water after the water fight we had, we lay down on the soft chartreuse grass on Fatty’s roof, looking up to the sky with legs hanging from the building.

Fear? Who cared? We were always hungry for adventure. Wait, actually scratch that. We are always hungry for adventure. When these girls are around, the whole world could go down but we’d still be laughing till we pee a little. Or maybe a bit more? You shall never know.

Suddenly she exclaimed, “Janish ki hoise ajke?!”

(Do you know what happened today?!)

While Hebu’s deep-set eyes, lined black with kohl, searched through her bag for her phone, a frown of worry creased her forehead. She rambled about how she fearlessly argued with her mother to go out that day and she was dead serious. Towards the end of her ‘thrilling’ story, I asked her, “Did you actually say those?” She replied, “No, well, I was saying these in my head. I would have…”

For a second, we all exchanged glances and then, burst into a roaring laughter. This happens every single time. All of Hebu’s stories culminate to a peak and at the end, they plummet into an ocean of anticlimax.

As ecstatic as we were due to our private tuition being cancelled that day, we were lost in deep thoughts about the unknown future, how swiftly all the years had passed by and how there’s only about a year left until we leave for our universities. The sun filtered through the few thin strips of wispy cotton-white clouds which hung loosely on purple-orange sky. Soon, it metamorphosed into a ruby-red orb protruding out of the sky, the sun was on its verge of setting. A pool of crimson and amber-tinted clouds shrouded the sky, signalling the end of the day.

Awed at the sky, my heart sank at the thought of leaving that place, my hometown.

My Chittagong, my family and the girls. Could any place other than my beloved Chittagong be this drop-dead beautiful? Could the hug of the chilly wind in any other place warm my heart like it did then?

My attention was broken by the sound of my ringtone. Ma. Before I could say ‘hello’, she yelled, “Where are you?! You said you’ll be back by 4. Come home this instant!”

Hurriedly, I gathered all my things and hugged them before I left. Just kidding. Hug? We never do that. Nor do we even say ‘bye’. It’s always ‘uh whatever, who cares, just leave’. As I hopped onto my car in those soaking wet clothes, I thought about what Fatty’s four year old cousin said while we were there. “Are you friends?” he had asked. Fatty nodded yes. “No you’re not. You’re sisters.”

Mehejabeen Murshed suffers from wanderlust and an endless love for fat fluffy cats.

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