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Rahad Abir

‘That lizard is my friend. I am alone the whole day in the flat; who gives me company then?’ 

‘What foolish things are you talking? How can a lizard be someone’s friend? Listen, let me kill it; I feel irritated whenever I switch on the toilet’s light.’

‘Oh, no please. Killing lizards is not good. Just wait and see it’ll go away by itself.’

I was going to kill the lizard with a broom but had not in order to keep Lazu’s request even though I had killed many lizards in my childhood. Numerous tails had been detached from their bodies’ too. Why shouldn’t I kill? Hazrat Muhammad once hid himself in a cave to save his life from Kefirs' attack. A lizard of that cave made a tik tik noise and got him caught. On the other hand, a big spider tried to protect him by covering the cave-hole. I started killing lizards hearing this story from my grandma. Moreover, seventy nekis is gained if one kills a lizard. Conversely, though I was scared of spiders I didn’t hurt any when I found big ones in our rooms and toilets. Growing up I am freed from many prejudices but still feel a Freudian hesitancy to shatter my childhood’s beliefs.

Whilst going to my office in the morning I noticed a lizard next to the switch of the toilet light. There is a basin beside the toilet, when the toilet light is switched on the lizard promptly goes to the gap between the basin mirror and the wall. I did not care about it at the time but coming back at night from the office my mind was filled with misgivings seeing that lizard sitting in the same position. What happened? Has it laid eggs in the around?

‘Have you noticed,’ I ask Lazu, ‘that a lizard has been sitting here since the morning without any movement. It runs only when the switch is pressed’.

‘Not from the morning, but from last night. You do not notice anything,’ Lazu throws a sarcastic comment to me. ‘nevertheless, it’s good that it has caught your attention even a day later. I stay alone all day long in this room, sometimes you forget that too.’

What question, what reply! It was my mistake to ask her. I watch the lizard for a while. Lazu has a torch in her cell phone; I flash the torch on the right switch. No, nothing like eggs.

‘Well, can you tell me, why did you need to marry? You go out at 8 in the morning and are  back at 9 or 10 at night. I don’t see any changes between previous lives and the lives after our marriage except that we sleep together at night. Rather you gave me more time before marriage.’

‘Oh, why are you talking nonsense? It can be supposed from your speech that I stay out intentionally. Okay then, I’ll leave my job to give you time and let’s starve, okay?’

‘Coming home you start your MBA study! You don’t even have time to talk with me when you are at home.’ Lazu’s voice becomes crocked.

‘This is the age of BBA-MBA. If I obtain MBA degree I’ll get a better job and higher salary. I spent a lot to get admitted to my MBA, if I don’t study I’ll fail. What’s the benefit of wasting money?’

Lazu now lies down and draws the blanket over her, turning her face to the wall. The blanket was a wedding gift─ there are numerous cream coloured flowers, leaves, and countless dots like a red coloured Cheetah. It’s so lovely, it looks like velvet─ in fact I wished not to use it but to hang it up on the wall. Lazu looks beautiful beneath the blanket; she seems to be covered, wearing a fur coat.

‘Who wants to work hard for nothing? Don’t I wish to watch a movie with you after being in the office and my MBA class?’ 

For whom do I steal, she calls me a thief! ─I exhale mutely saying inwardly. I got admitted to the MBA thinking of her. Who needs this? If I were single I would feel highly pleased to go chatting with my friends in the evening. Lazu’s younger sister Nazu got married three months ago. Her husband is a millionaire─ they have more than a few houses and land properties in Dhaka, and three cars. They went to Mauritius for their honeymoon. Learning about Mauritius from Nazu, she talked endlessly on that topic for a few days. I felt envious hearing those stories and surely got angry. If I had as much wealth from my father as him I would take for a similar trip with my wife to enjoy ourselves. In actual fact, where is Nazu’s husband’s own achievement here? He is just handling his father’s wealth, isn’t he? At the end, I gave my speech to Lazu, ‘Listen; if we remain alive we’ll go to Mauritius once like them.’

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