He would write them out in perfect, neat little letters on paper he lined himself, then use the Epson to scan, upload, save, send. Our keyboard didn’t have the requisite Bengali letters, and anyway, isn’t love expressed best in your native tongue?
He was living in our house because he was my father’s best friend from college and law school and his son needed to come to America for a delicate eye surgery. Most of his days were spent learning to take the train to Lexington for his son’s appointments, or waiting for the two of us to come home from school to make us Mumbai toast.
I listened quietly to the conversations held over a $5 phone card to Dhaka, when he thought I was asleep in the next room, but it wasn’t until I opened the scanned files that I felt like I was in on a secret. I can’t…so far apart. I miss you every day….I want….I need. That’s as far as my Sunday Bengali lessons got me, but I felt an unmistakable chill down my spine when he caught me at the screen, trying to sound out words I barely knew the meaning of: I can’t I want I need.