"Dreams are very important to me.
I have good recall of them and I record them,
and I know I am in a good place to write when my dreams
become big and transpersonal. I am very curious about
the nature of time and the boundaries of our individual selves."
Translated from Turkish by: Begüm Berber
An inglourious desire was awakened in me. I jerked myself up from the bed.
-How are you, sir?
A male voice was heard from the street. Who knows to whom this menace question was asked? What a poor soul had that morning, whereas my lips were hurt at one of the nights of that street.
After that night whenever someone asked me how I am, it resonated in me once more as I asked myself: How was I? I was fine. “I am fine” then I say. I believed in this fine lie more and more with each passing day. Nobody cared how I was. They asked it only to be asked. How they were? What is important was that.
I bolted shut the window and sat at the table. The enthusiasm boiling in me, turned into a serenity wrapped with determination just as I picked the pen into my hand. I stared at the blank page and watched it for minutes. Didn’t effected me…wished it had. Oh my, wished it had touched me for once… I belonged to him, to it. Maybe, he knew that, maybe it knew that and was that because? Just occurred to me, the paper is under an oath to like not its very supporters.
Although it was hard, I started to write a letter to him under the haze of my eyes. As soon as I managed to finish it, I was startled. I winced back. Then, instead of putting aside everything that I can afford, I put it in an envelope and throw myself out the street immediately. It was September, The first leaf that falls off of autumn.
I had posted the letter to his business address as usual; he was at home this time, which means I had posted it to his wife. I had calculated it neatly. First, she was going to find out our relationship then a strong fight and she was going to leave him! He would come back to me. Maybe he would be angry at first but certainly… Certainly he would come back. No, No! I didn’t even need to think otherwise.
I returned home in an extreme pace and started to wait as if all these things would happen in a moment and I was no longer allowing myself to leave here. I had already taken my annual leave.
I was on the window sill and the street was under my restriction of limits. The day was heavy as if it is made from lead. The letters that the postman delivered were either from a friend in long distance or from my mother. I couldn’t call him, though my hand was kept slipping towards the phone. I couldn’t place the things within me. I was alone. I was the calling faith of waiting. I was the pain of the faith. I was anxious. I steered the day to fears, the night to hopes… I waited. “He is coming!” I said. On my window sill, I was keeping myself busy with a silence of a shape shifting shadow. “Maybe tomorrow” I said “Maybe the other day…”
In my nights sleepless dreams, I tore the sky with my eyes by which I gave birth to the other day. I swaddled it by the curtains. Warmed on my left breast both its anger and its compassion. However, my window had no news. He wasn’t coming. For weeks there were no calls, not even a word… O! I was the fallacy. The fallacy of the devastating nights.
I wrote another letter incase the first one had gone missing. “Maybe he got it before his wife” I thought and wrote once again. It was apparent that she was kept in a cage by his words, then again… I couldn’t help myself. I had been subjugated by a force beyond my will. I was constantly writing. My loneliness was widening between the narrowing distances of letters. During the dawn and the dusk, I was still standing behind the same bars. I only heard from my mother. The wind was blowing cold. I was finishing up the bottles one after the other. I was like poison! It was like poison whatever I had taken in my mouth. I was throwing up. I was throwing up the fear within me, thinking their togetherness. However, it was obvious that they gave no thought. As a fact, the crimson red circle of the sun was suffocating my heart. Nevertheless, I was living obstinate.
The worst is the – one day more-. Although there was nothing to legitimize my waiting, I was writing the same things over for the 40th time, but this time I was unable to write things until it reaches a closed-end. My pencil became blunt and my palms were sweaty. To mention my fingers, they were trembling as the quivers seen on the surface of a water that is about to be boiled. The tears falling down from my eyes suddenly possessed my neck completely. I had filled with his existence to the point of overflow. I was being suffocated. I opened the window. There was a nipping frost outside. After I hid a deep breath within me and pulled the covers off of my suppressed feelings, I picked up the phone. My heart was if on the other side! How it was pounding! Yet, although I have dialed the number many times, I couldn’t reach him. Then the compass of the road pointed him. To the point of no return, I encouraged the anger and the life in me. I was going!
I arrived at his office with a nervousness, travelling between steps, about that I am going to see him again. They said that he quitted the job about two weeks ago. But why they were telling this as if I had done something bad and with looks angry and waiting for an apology?! Of course I couldn’t stand there and ponder over it. However, I couldn’t help to ask myself when I was walking away with long and heavy steps “Had I done something that necessitates me to be pardoned?”
It was the first time my feet stepped to his door. They couldn’t go further anyway. The house was abandoned. I swore at the void of the windows without curtains! Which shit hole had they gone? Where had they moved? Maybe they had left the city. I had knocked out myself. God knows now which… No! God didn’t know anything. God must have shut of His eyes while all this was happening. Maybe I was okay with this attitude of God. Weird and tired, I returned home.
No matter what I had done, I couldn’t get to the bottom line of the things. They were disappeared. In time, my being late and his untraceable escape felt like liberation. I was feeling that foggy happiness of all liberations carried within and now I got into the everyday routine of the former order. When I got home from work, I was opening the window, even for a short time, I was standing there to watch the state of the street. However, I wasn’t expecting anything. This was how I pay my debt to the window which offered me light in times of faith and torment.
On such a day, despite the harsh cold cauterizing my face, I was watching the street with my elbows leaning on the sill. There were two bus stops. The tram line was in between them. I saw the postman on the corner. When I saw him approaching to our building, I pulled myself in and stood behind the tulle curtain. He stopped after a few more steps. He looked up at my window. At that exact moment, I stuck out my head to look at him. He waved his hand to indicate I had got a mail. “Mother it is” I said. I stuck the letter that he slipped to my hand to my pocket and returned again to the window sill. I wasn’t wrong. It was from my mother. However, there was another letter behind it. That moment my heart pondered at my hands! It was him! He was telling me that I had been writing letters to a dead woman, his wife had a car crash on the fourth day of our break up and that he was writing this letter to me from the station. In the meanwhile, two busses come to stop on each bus stop and take two people staring at each other for minutes. I watch them go. The tram goes by in between them. A bird flies splitting the sky! When the ember that blazed the clouds of the sky is saying its good-byes to the roofs of the city it wondered above, a woman whose face is unknown to me is emptying the cinders of the heater stove on the snow. Her little daughter is pulling her skirt as if she was trying to tell her that she is cold. Suddenly, I don’t know how it happens but the woman tilts her head up and looks at me!
I wonder when I am closing the window;
“If I could turn back in time, would I take another road in order not to encounter with him this time? No! I wouldn’t. What was lived has lived with him and some stories are meant to be short.”
As for my little girl, she was still pulling my skirts.
Şeyma Koç was born in a district called Yahyalı, Kayseri in 1994. She completed higher education in Akdeniz University, department of Political Science and Public Administration. Her short stories have been published in several magazines, including Varlık, Evrensel Kültür, Dünyanın Öyküsü, Sincan İstasyonu, Güncel Sanat, Kasaba Sanat, Tmolos Edebiyat, Çıngı, Aşkın E Hali and Bireylikler. Her first short story collection Küllerin Şehveti was released in November, 2015. Her stories have translated to Greek, Kurdish, German and English. Apart from literature, she is actively engaged in NGO projects and workshops concerning the education and the rights of women.