We were some forty or fifty students in a large class. After we graduated, we each went our own way. That same year, Javad decided not to continue with his education. Reza Karimi went to the front and was martyred. When they returned his body, a ceremony was held at school. Afterward, a large crowd went to his memorial service at the mosque. When Ramin finished his military service, he started his own company. Supposedly, in the services industry. Rassouli became a pilot. His plane crashed during the war and he was captured. He spent fourteen years as a prisoner of war. I think he was recently released. Hamed developed cancer and died. Houshang Razavi is still working in his father’s shop. He sells socks. He must be very fat by now. Kourosh went to Germany. His uncle lived there and he sent him an invitation letter. Kourosh came up with the money by racking up a lot of debt, and he left. Now he is studying dentistry and working as a dishwasher in a restaurant. Hossein Maghbeli froze to death while trying to escape over the Turkish border. Amir was executed. He was always getting into trouble. No one has any news of Davoud. Ahmad Reza decided to become a merchant. He lives in Dubai. I once ran into him on the street. He was wearing sunglasses and driving a fancy car. Farzad Mohammadi was accepted into medical school. He studied so hard that he had to start wearing prescription eyeglasses. He must be working the night shift now. Ghassemi has a boutique and travels to Turkey two or three times a year to buy merchandise. All he does is fool around with women. Mahmoud committed suicide. He was a poet. Once when he was reading one of his poems in a gathering, the guys made fun of him. He picked up and left in the middle of the night. In the snow and cold. He once got into a scuﬄe with Yasser. Kazemipour is in prison for dealing drugs. One day in school the principal found a cigarette in his pocket. All hell broke loose. Nasser became a seminarian. He barely had a few strands of hair on his chin. He used to write in big letters. Now he is the Director of Education for the Eleventh District. Abdollah married his paternal cousin. Their kid has Down syndrome. He looks like Abdollah. Reza Teymouri was in a car accident and became paralyzed. His spinal cord was severed. He has been in a wheelchair ever since. Sadegh Karbalai killed his wife, because he suspected her of being unfaithful. He has been waiting for the court’s final verdict for a few years now. They call it “honor killing.” He may be acquitted. Sohrab was recently on television. I think he is a somebody now. Rassoul and his family are still living in the same house. He is completely bald. One day I saw him in his pajamas, standing outside his house. He was spraying water in the alley with a hose. Mojabatti is still single. He was in love with a girl who moved to Paris with some other guy. Shahsavari has been depressed ever since his mother died. I think he is an alcoholic now. Hassan Ghoncheh drowned in the sea a few years ago. He always used to make the guys swallow water in the swimming pool. Adel and his family got into a car accident on the road to Chaloos. His wife, kid, and mother-in-law died. He only suﬀered a cracked skull. Nima Massoudi became a mystic. By now, his hair must be down to his waist. He had a nice voice. And he only sang Rumi’s poetry. No one can figure out what Yasser is up to. I think he is working for the secret service. Ehsan moved to Esfahan and is working in a factory. When Asghar divorced his wife, she demanded her marriage portion. The poor soul didn’t have 200 gold coins. He is still in prison. Teymour has five daughters. He has two jobs, and at night he doubles as a taxi driver and takes on passengers. Atta became a university professor. But then he was fired. Now he works for a taxicab agency. Rouzbeh works at the amusement park. The guys saw him there a few times. He pretended he hadn’t seen them. Hamid Ghaﬀarmanesh sells dollars at the main intersection of Estanbol Avenue. A motorcyclist snatched his wallet once. Nouri is serving a life sentence for armed robbery of a jewelry store on Sattar Khan Street. Apart from the other thirty counts of theft he confessed to. It was in the newspapers. After Meshkat’s brother was killed at the front, he went to university as part of the admissions quota for martyrs’ families. He, too, had been at the front for a few months. He is a filmmaker now. Bahram is a policeman. He always loved wearing uniforms. Kamran Andalibi went to college and studied electrical engineering. He installs satellite dishes in people’s homes. Saiid became a member of an opposition group. He wasn’t around for a few years, and then he was killed during an operation to infiltrate the western border. Insurgents cut oﬀ Ali Sharareh’s head in Kurdistan and lay it on his chest. I think he was in the Revolutionary Guards. Nasser Moussapour was accused of political crimes and executed. They found plenty of fliers in his house, and a firearm. I think someone squealed on him. Sattar is a television actor. People recognize him everywhere he goes. Morteza inherited a fortune. He had a heart attack last year. . . . I can’t remember the others. . . . Me? I’m one of the guys I just mentioned.
Hossein M. Abkenar is an Iranian fiction writer and screenwriter. His 2006 novel, A Scorpion on the Steps of Andimeshk Railroad Station, received numerous awards and has been translated into multiple languages. His screenplays include No One Knows About Persian Cats, which earned a prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. His books are banned in Iran, where they have been stripped from bookstores and libraries.