Faiza Jerin

Bangladesh

Echo of The Hour

November 17, 2020

                                                                                        1
 Noori starts to doodle in her desk as if no one were watching. All sudden, she feels a thrust on her shoulder only to discover Sana, her old mate from 3rd grade. 

 Sana says, with a suspicious voice, ‘A famous kid is in our class for this year! It’s going to be fun, as it seems! Geez, don’t you know her? Lyra?’
‘Lyra?’ Noori turns back and notices a pale girl, with a soft, quiet face, drawing something on her sketchbook. A lot of kids seem to be mesmerized because they all are seen to be surrounded to her desk. Noori feels astonished too, by the crowd. The silence just breaks by a bell, and the homeroom teacher enters the class.
 
‘Those who have secured places in the finals, please introduce yourselves.’
 A mild voice came when Lyra stood to introduce herself. ‘Hello, my name is Lyra. I came 2nd in the finals. My hobby is to draw.’ Noori stares at Lyra for a while, ‘She could be my friend’ nods and brings out her literature book from her school bag.
 
 ‘Hello, Lyra. I am Noori.’ gives her hand for a friendly approach during the lunch hour. Lyra shakes with her hand and smiles. Noori notices some woollen hanky on the desk.
 ‘You know knitting?’
 ‘ I am still a noob though.’
 ‘I don’t think this is a noob’s work’, grazing the knitted pieces. ‘Maybe you might help me with some knitting?’
 ‘Sure!’


 
                                                                                   2
‘Time. Why is it making so hard for me with each day? Why am I feeling so restless? No, no. I cannot bear that. Is there no escape?’ A clink awakens Lyra from her sleep, making her come around to the reality. That, her favorite jar has made the sound. As her eyes moved away from the broken pieces, she thought of the words whispered. Lyra’s mother expels her from her thoughts as she must get ready for school.



 
                                                                                 3
‘Woah, you draw so well. I don’t think I can do this well.’ Noori, who is having her eyes so wide.
‘You are embarrassing me. This is nothing. I am yet to learn a lot.’ Lyra, who is so drawn to her painting, as if this is her last one.
A sky. Which is gripped by the dominance of pink over blue. The clouds are all gone. A girl is spotted behind the tree. Or is she hiding? But why is she hiding under such a gracious sky? Is she uncertain? Is something worrying her?
‘It’s getting late. I should be going.’ Noori notifies her departure.
‘You want to leave so fast?’ Lyra asks.
‘Yeah, see you tomorrow.’
 
Noori removes the stain from her uniform. She brings her hand to the sink to let the water run and wash away. ‘Is my stain like hers? Perhaps, hers are different. Poles apart.’



                                                                                  4
‘Hey, I thought it was only my place.’

‘You too knew about this place?’
‘I found this place last year. I wandered once and then found myself here.’ says Noori as she tries to catch the clouds. ‘Sometimes I feel like I could catch these floating candies.’
‘This is why I come here.’ Lyra smiles.
‘How did you find here?’
‘I used to come here for drawings. Soothes me a lot. Because this is where I keep my secrets.’
Noori halts and sits next to Lyra. ‘'What’s the matter? Your eyes seem to be delivering a lot. Tell me?’ 
Lyra stares into Noori’s eyes. Gaze tilts from one eye to another. ‘I will sing you something.’
‘Right now?’
‘No. Let the right hour pass by.’


                                                                                   5

‘Tell me the meaning of this dream. Please, I don’t want to be waking up to tears every day.’ Lyra whispers to herself. Lyra awakes, feeling a lump in the throat. A shadow following her.
‘No, no, no. Please, don’t do that. I don’t like it. Please.’ Lyra clenches on her bedsheet, her feet tingles.
‘I had told you. You are a canvas for me. Won’t you listen to me?’ The shadow getting closer to Lyra.
‘Why are you doing that to me? I kept quiet as you told me to. You told me you won’t do that anymore.’ Lyra cries as she feels her chest being trampled. 
 
The truth. The truth is coward. Everything became unfamiliar, strange, and ugly. How did it come this far? Why is it being like this? We are the same. Then why are we having the different paths?



                                                                                  6
‘I hope you like my present. I gave you beforehand because I was too excited’, Noori giggles.
‘It must have taken a long time!’ Lyra’s voice sparkles as she takes a close look at the scented candle.
‘Tomorrow is 12th. Please enjoy this day a lot, Lyra.’
‘I wish I could look at this, without any regrets.’ Lyra looks at Noori, as her tears trickle down. ‘Will you mind if I stay here like this?’
Noori feels a thrust in the throat. ‘Why is Lyra talking this way?’ she thinks.
‘I will sing you something now. Will you listen?’
‘The right hour came?’
‘Yes, the hour has just appeared.’


                                                                                    7 
‘Hello.'

‘Oh, Noori. Please go to Lyra’s room. She is taking too long. ‘
 
Noori knocks at the door twice. For a hunch, she twists into the door lock only to be left with a trace of forever grim. Lyra’s tongue lolling out of the mouth, those eyes being wide as hell.
 
Noori stares into the emptiness, the scented candle, burning with its life is what has drawn her to the reality. In a flicker of time, she loses herself into a blurred scenario. She does not feel anything real, a white lie echoes, mumbling that this is all a lie.




 
The hour is gone, forever. so does the promises.

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