There have been times in my life when I truly looked at a mirror to see and understand what I have become. The self I have in my mind and the self I see acted out in every occasion - from family quality time, to the persona taken for school work-related essays, to online chat sessions - truly fascinates me. I can, and may be doing so right now, talk about what I feel and see all day long ... but that wouldn’t make much of a story, for every one of us has opinions within us that they wish didn’t exist, or wished were some other way expressed or handled. That being said, what I am writing about now, late at night, and almost right before the due date for this article to be submitted, is a memoir of a certain occasion when I was in third grade, halfway across the world, in the older side of the capital of Bangladesh called “Old” Dhaka.
Straight up, I was a very passionate kid about the matters of heart. It didn't matter to me as long as everyone was happy within my proximity. It was seldom my own selfish way of keeping things “mellow”, but perhaps sometimes I truly wanted happiness for others. In a mix of all that I became a young and hopeless romantic. At third-grade age, there are other things that preoccupy my mind such as collecting stickers, shouting at others at the sorry excuse of playing sports, hunting down new toys to ask my parents to buy, and such. But in the midst of all that, I tried to find another source of happiness and it very nearly, to be honest actually did, destroy the rest of my remainder of sources of happiness.
There was a girl next door (the name shall not matter but I’ll refer to her as “E” if needed). Obviously, this isn’t a story where someone dies or gets mixed up in the wrong crowd. No, it was simply me doing something very rude to my whole state of being at the time. The story unfolds when I tried to - don’t recall passionately or not - confess my feelings for her. It wasn’t as much so of the romance I would consider I understand now; it was more so of an admiration of her (she carried herself around quite well -if what my memory tells me is correct). Even so, the crowded town with its cramped up apartments had made the words “love”, “feelings”, “like” very much the same in all age groups. So the clash occurred. Her older brother, seemingly my worst enemy due to the “harmless” bullying he does, naturally confronted me (publicly, too, in front of the “gang” at the expense of his sister’s privacy, as well as mine too but I wasn’t in any position to be picky about the other minuscule injustices done to me besides the major one confronting me at the moment). I was hesitant about saying what I had said before, but I said it again in front of others this time. No, that’s a lie. I was, and perhaps still am, very heavily reliant on “beating around the bush”. In doing so, I quickly understood that a beating was due upon me if I didn’t retract my words or somehow get out of this jam by manipulating how it can be said, or influenced. I put the blame on my closest friend at the time, a very religious and modest, but immensely hot-tempered boy of my age. I said that it was he who had shown interest in her, not me. I simply “tested the ground”, like a trial of sorts because I had no stake if she indeed were not “available”.
Now, quick note here. The girl, her brother, and almost two-thirds of the “gang” who just randomly show up as they please at any given day to play some smaller than life minigames - are related by blood. If I know it correctly, I’d say there were five prominent businessmen in our area, all of them situated in the very same neighbourhood as mine and thus their offsprings and other relatives were near proximity as well. So some of the issues of one of them can quickly escalate to something else and get the whole lot of them riled up, if not handled properly- something some of us outside that “royal” circle were careful to practise at.
So he, my friend, got targeted by the majority of the riled-up do-gooder family of hers. Even to this day, I feel like even if it weren’t something as minor as that, they would’ve been prepared to do way worse than what was done. In our age and in that setting, most blood-thirsty fights occasionally ended when one’s shirt was getting too torn up to be noticeable by parents, or if any elder people came too close to the “fight corner”. The relevancy was this: physical harm or “duking it out” was much easier done than mental torment and psychological warfare. This time it was different. The disrespect was already heavy on my friend’s shoulders and the looming body of big brother (who we optly called that just because he was the eldest among us) posed lesser threat than it would usually do. My friend, and if I was at his place too, might have wished to regain his honor or maybe at least his privilege to be able to say what he wanted to say (I assumed he would just be retelling his defense and getting me in trouble rightfully for my mistake) by standing his ground long enough, to show his willpower, to show that his strength from being on the “right side” exceeds all. In that regard, we all were emotionally driven more so than we are now perhaps. It felt logical to be able to make a statement by endurance over reasoning. But big brother (I really don’t recall if we actually called him that or not to be honest) wanted to regain his authority of dictating our internal relations that didn’t include him. It was a bold ask, and maybe the benefits of that in resolving other issues did make it justified. So in the end, my friend was just slapped once. That’s it. Nothing more, or nothing less. Of course that disregarded his stance on the matter, and also dismissed his moral grounds on it. But what was more important is that it created a chain reaction of other smaller events that eventually just led to the “good” ending of this small trivial story of mine: me, the villain, being eradicated, or maybe just self-disposed of…
I would continue but this monologue is already two pages long (presumably which is more than enough to justify as a “decent” piece in a school newspaper), and it's late, and I like the idea of having a part two to this, and also am certain no one would care anyways about what happened or what did not but that is all for this time either way. Maybe this will go live, and I will do part two on another quiet, cold, calm night; maybe it would not and I would understand that my trivial storytelling is not worth much after all. Until the answer arrives to that, good luck, have fun, and keep smiling! Oh yeah, one other thing: I have several stories like these which are not fascinating at all, and if you feel the same, do try to come up with your own, in a memoir or fantastical fashion. Then I wouldn’t have to drag this out I guess.