I’m Still Here! । Fatima Binte Mostafiz

Wee woo wee woo!! After the surgery, I’m lying on a stretcher in an ambulance, which I think is kinda cool cause no one in my class has ever been on an ambulance before, now I can talk big words about this! Hehe. But I guess papa isn’t happy, who is sitting on a seat beside me. He looks kinda cold. I could just talk with him but I don’t think he is into talking right now. His lips have no smile in them. Is something wrong? Did I do something naughty? I don’t think so, at least I can’t think of any right now. A little while ago…. Umm.. Uhh I can’t remember. But I remember that I was coming home to show my parents my amazing result. I was superbly happy. I secured first in my entire class, first!! Can anyone believe that!!!? At least I can’t. At first I thought I had the wrong result card, but later when I saw Tabassum Mahi written on it I got goosebumps! Even my best friend Maliha became happy for me. Oh it was so…. My world of thoughts has reached its end as the car shook a little. Maybe there was a rock or something. Because of the the shake my head moved to the left side. I don’t feel like looking at this side.
“Papa!! Could you bring my head to the right? Please!!”
But papa didn’t say a word. I think he didn’t even hear what I said. “Ahh… I don’t care!” Now I see a little TV. It’s kinda weird. Cause all I see is a strait line and It’s not even moving! ahh what’s the point of looking at it? TVs should show cartoons and stuff not a line! Suddenly, the car stopped. Home! ahh I missed this place! Now I can watch real TV that shows things that are interesting!! Then Papa started to move and gave a white cloth on my face.
“Hey what gives!!?”
But still no reply. Then he opened the back door and uncle Rashed came in. Then he and papa started to carry the stretcher. When we came out, I saw many curious people wandering around papa and uncle from a little open space of the white cloth. I am having kinda fun! Wee look at me, being carried like a pretty princess! When we came inside our house, I saw everyone standing in the living room. All the relatives I know are here, even Omar bro is here!! And he lives in Turkey! Gosh I love that country! So big, and beautiful and….. oh my gosh is that mama!!? She looks so funny!! Her hair is not done, dark spots under her eyes, eyes re…is she wearing that blue dress!!? She never wears it. I told her so many times but she used to say- “just because you like the color doesn’t mean that I have to wear it.”So what’s the big occasion to wear that! When papa and uncle put me down mama jumped on me and started crying like hell. Then everyone started to cry. Is this a crying composition? I want to be a part of it too, but is this really a competition? Or something els? Ohh.. People let me get up first! Then cry as much as you want! But mama didn’t let me. She started talking –
“Mahi my angel! Why did you have to get hurt! Will you ever walk in front of me?  I couldn’t give you anything for your brilliant result. I… I’ve only given you such a hard time. Please, for…give…m..me…” I think mama wanted to say something. But I saw her fainting. I really want to hold her but my body isn’t responding. Maybe my want was too powerful. Suddenly I felt really light. Like I was coming out of my shell. I reached out my hands to hold her and then it happened. I couldn’t hold her! My hands went out of her body and she fell down to the ground. That’s WEIRD! Everyone came to hold her. aunty lily cried-
“sis, there’s nothing we can do. We have to stay strong!”
“what are you people saying!!”
I shouted. But no one responded. I went close to papa and said-
“papa what are you all doing!?”
And I tried to shake him. But my hands couldn’t touch him. Again, again and again but no luck! I looked down and what I saw gave me a heart attack! “what’s that!!?” there’s someone on the stretcher, but I can’t see the face. The entire body is covered with white cloth. Suddenly mama woke up, she looked kinda okay and said to papa-
“thanks, I’m fine now. Are you going to take her right now? Can I see her face one more time?” He shook his head. Mama removed the cloth from the face and put her hand on it. It was like my eyes were playing with me. IS THAT ME!!!? I felt like I could just scream. I'm Still Here
“If this is me then what am I!! Look at me I’m talking to all of you!” I tried everything but no one noticed me. I ran out of the house and started to stare at the tall buildings stupidly. What is happening with me!? Why can’t I touch anyone? What should I do!? Fine, I bet Maliha knows about this. I’ll go to her right now……
I am walking along side the road, everything looks the same. The street of Dhanmondi is busy as always. I just don’t understand any of this! I just came back from Maliha. Before meeting her, I thought that everyone was joking with me, cause my parents are very hilarious. But that thought went in vain as I saw Maliha crying to her mother. She’s already so white that her face is completely red, tear drops were falling from her eyes like streams. And her mother was consoling her. She suddenly shouted –
“no mom it’s my fault! It was wrong of me to call her when she was crossing the street. She looked behind just because I called her. And then that bus came from the opposite side and..” she started to cry. Then her mother hugged her and said-
“sweety it is not true. Fate is very strange, no one can change it. Death is something that can’t be hampered. We can’t do anything to help. Now wipe up the tears and come with me to Mahi’s house”
“no mom I can’t stand to go there!! I’ll faint”
“don’t say that. Don’t you wanna make Dua for your friend’s happiness?”
Maliha didn’t say anything. She wiped her tears and started to get ready. And me!? I was just standing there, feeling like I’ve lost it. Suddenly a loud horn startled me and I saw a truck playing its terrible music to alert the rickshaw to pull a side. When it did, the truck overtook the rickshaw like wind. As the truck was coming closer, I suddenly jumped in front of its way. Now I’ll know what I am. Alive or dead. And even if I get killed… EHH!…it won’t matter. Just a few seconds left till the truck squish me. 1,2,3,4…5!! WHAT THE HECK!!!!?nothing happened to me, the truck just ran to me and I’m still okay. Does that mean I am really dead!! I screamed louder than any other siren in the world, and started to cry on my knees. WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH ME?! please someone help me, save me from this. I’ll never be able to go to a park with my parents or get a cake for my birthday!! I’ll never finish that book on Cinderella! I won’t be able to eat candy anymore!! No one will play with me, Maliha, sami, madam rose, sir Hamid will soon forget me, papa won’t bring me toys ever again and.. And my mama will never sing to me again!!! IT’S OVER FOR ME!!!! Was I overreacting? I don’t think so. What else were you expecting from a 7 years old girl like me to say? After crying for a long time, I stood up and moved my icy legs forward, where my house is. When I came, I saw my body in front of many men, who were preying. Seeing this, I started laughing as tears coming out from my eyes. Can you be as lucky as me!? I am seeing my own Janaja. Haha, I’m the luckiest girl in the world!! After my Janaja papa, Rashed uncle, Said uncle, Omar bro and Khalid bro took my body in an ambulance. I too took a seat with them. As the ambulance was going, I started looking at the city people, who has no idea what’s happening. After a while I looked at papa and saw the same cold expression, and his eyes were fixed on my body. A few minutes later, we arrived at our destination, the graveyard. Everyone helped to dig the grave and put my body inside of it. Then they filled it up. After the work was done papa suddenly hold Rashed uncle and started crying. This is the first time I saw him cry. Rashed uncle’s eyes were flooded too. Papa screamed –
“my little girl!! Oh what is left for me. Why you, why why why!! I’m so lost”
“no papa don’t cry like that! What will I do if you cry. Just look at me I’m right here! I’m talking to you, please notice me!! PAPA!!”
I started crying again and tried my best to hold him. But I still couldn’t touch him. And that was the last time I ever saw my papa. They left me, in this graveyard, with many other helpless dead people. I couldn’t even imagine to come to a place like this without my parents and now? This is the place where I’m gonna stay, my new home! My bed is the grave, my neighbors are the other bodies. I won’t be able to sleep in a comfy bed with my parents. And if I ever have a nightmare no one will hug me tight. I walked slowly to my grave and sat under a tree beside it. I touched the grave and it felt like my heart broke into million pieces. Is there anything I can do!! I’m all alone. Papa and mama think I’m gone. Isn’t there any way for me to tell them I’m still here? Suddenly my eyes were burning in flames. I shouted-
“of course! I have to tell them. Since I can’t tell them myself I’ll make someone els to tell them. Yea!! I’ll find a little girl who can write this and show everyone that I am still here!! You hear that universe! I’m still here!” and then my search began. I started looking for girls closer to my age….
“nope, I found two girls in Dhanmondi but I don’t like their writing style. So off I go again”
I searched and searched and after five years of searching in Bangladesh….. Yes, I’ve found her. I kinda like her writing style. And she’ll be perfect for this. But she is sleeping right now. Oh of course she’s sleeping, it’s night. But how will I tell her? Hey maybe I can show her as a dream! That’s great. So let’s start…..
Aaaaaand….. DONE!! Oh I feel so great after so many years. But I must go now.  Still I’ll come to see you often, cause you’re my new friend now. Don’t forget to write it! Tell them that I’m still there, with my body. W-wait I didn’t catch your name! Oh, I understand. Hmm, your name is…….
“Fatima!! Fatima, wake up dear. It’s time for Fajr!”
“Ehhhh!!?”
“well wake up. You don’t want to be late!” Then mom left my room. I put one of my hand in my forehead. yup I’m in good shape. Gosh that was a weird dream! But the weirdest thing was the ghost of my dream told me to write it. Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe I’ll write it. But not now. Today’s Friday, got a lot of time in my pocket. Hooh, gotta pray first. After my prayer, as I was sitting on my praying place, I felt a little weird. Like I was being looked at by someone. Like someone was actually looking at me. I don’t believe in ghosts but I can’t throw this feeling away, can I?

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