2 months ago,
It was a beautiful April night. Even though he had left his exhausting school day behind, Uras had no sleep. He had pulled his comforter halfway to his waist in the bed covered with a clean blue linen and was watching the glistening sky through the wooden windows. As he watched how the moon light infiltrated through the window and lit the dresser, he found himself in the middle of an intermingled thought storm. How hard it was to be a high schooler, he thought. Never-ending courses, challenging exams and stubborn teachers waiting for his best ... The school was still beautiful. Perhaps he could not ignore the privileges of his school being a college; yet he felt like a stranger there. Who could feel stranger in the town where he spent his childhood? As if he occupied a place that he should not; he could not save himself from this feeling.
The house he lived was nice though. He had been living in a three-story white luxurious villa surrounded by a very large garden with trees and flowers. He lived with his stepmother, father and sister in this flashy and resplendent home. Uras liked his stepmother. Ilayda was a pure-minded and compassionate woman. She usually collected her blonde and long hair with a rubber buckle behind her head. He could call her a beautiful woman with a slightly long face and constantly smiling hazel eyes. But he did not feel the same feelings towards his stepfather Uygar. Uygar had a serious personality that did not like expressing his feelings, and made him appear to be a stranger by always maintaining a distance to others. Uygar was the stepfather of Uras’ sister Maya too, and he was the second husband of Ilayda. The curly black hair was in an interesting fit with his curly beards. His hair closed the half of his nape in curls and gave him a strange outdated look. He was tall, had normal body lines and would not be regarded very handsome. Uras always had a hard time to comprehend how a nice woman like Ilayda might like such a man. Something that he was not able to understand was missing between himself and Uygar.
Suddenly, he remembered what his teacher Okan said. He thought of the trio of Tunç, Burak and Mert. That saddened him even more. His teacher Okan, however, told him:
“Go on”. Someday, everyone you have will go away from your life, and you will be left alone. Don’t worry about people, Uras. Experience your own freedom, and continue to become just yourself. Until you reach at where you want to be, just do what you think is right, and make a beautiful day for tomorrow”
But what about Melis? What was Melis doing at the moment? Was she also watching the immaculate sky from a window like Uras had been doing? Or was she asleep already? He thought of her long, bright black hair, and her smiling face with her little black eyes. Melis transferred to the school this year. She thoroughly changed the atmosphere of the whole school. Indeed, Uras didn’t get a chance to speak with her other than several words. Inevitably, there were always ones around her to keep her busy. All Uras knew about her were a few words came to his ear: From a friend of his, Uras heard that she’d had to leave her old school due to her father’s appointment, and that she and her father settled to this town. Nobody had seen her mother. He only knew her father came in front of school to pick her up with a large car carrying a trailer behind. There were many things he wanted to talk to Melis, but in no way, would he dare approach her. Whereas they were in the same class and their desks were side by side. Uras had unintentionally built invisible walls. While she was so near to him, she was also so far away. When he saw her, he got fascinated but was scared to death to touch her. Melis was a flame next to him, to keep him warm. Her looks were making him sweat, and almost burn anywhere they touch in his face. Every morning he saw her, he got happy but felt sad at the same time.
Then, he turned his attention again to the sky he had been looking at. So many stars were out there, too many to count! Perhaps even more than the stones on the beach of Derin Koy. They winked at the earth with their dim and faint lights, and as if they wanted to mean they too were alive. They were far away, very far… Yet, they were able to extend their lights down to Uras’ window. He felt warmth in him with the sparkles of the stars. The stars sparkling and fading away in front of his eyes gave him a strange peace he had never experienced before.
He thought of his mom and dad suddenly. He missed them so much. He did not hesitate to keep their memories in his mind, even though he knew he would never see them again. He was always thinking of the full of compassion-voice of his dad, her mom’s warm cuddles and full of love-smiling face.
He was little then. He remembered how he secretly watched his dad busy with his personal works, behind the glass door. He was constantly writing, talking on the phone, and taking-placing back things from his cabinet, in the wide wooden table of his room lit only with a desk lamp. The smoke of the cigarette coming out of the ashtray was rising in waves in the light of the lamb, and slowly diffusing into the room. He was sipping his cold coffee from time to time, and then he was resuming his work. Uras always loved his dad’s big framed black eyeglasses. His brown beards completely covered his whole chin. His medium-length, dark-colored wavy hair was always tidy and slightly combed backwards. Thus, hairless parts on both sides of his forehead emerged. Uras used to innocently watch his dad, with whom the time was never enough to talk and play as much as he wanted, for a while before going to bed, and then he would run and hug him before going to bed.
One day his father had told him, he remembered: “Create little things and learn how to be happy with them, son. Little things grow as you grow, but it is hard to digest big things at once.” He had no idea at all about what his father was trying to tell him then. He was just listening to his trustful voice and approving him with a smile.
Later on, he remembered the tales his mother used to tell him before he slept at nights. ‘Magic Pebble’, ‘Green Lamp’… And the one he loved the most? ‘Robert’s Flying Castle’. A flying castle! How fantastic it was! He listened to his mother’s telling of the tales with her thin and soft voice. A dragon flying toward him, in his shiny armor the crazy Robert who does not know fear and who points his long and sharp sword toward the dragon” used to revive like a film strip in front of his eyes. His mom was as beautiful as a princess. It seemed as if her eyes were the gate to the heavens. Her light brown straight hair extended to her waist. And her smile … was invaluable. He remembered as if he saw it today when she played the piano in front of the flower-embroidered curtains of the living room. She sang too. Her elegant and harmonious voice, accompanied by the piano tunes, was heard throughout the wooden scented house, bringing a unique serenity to the hearts listening to it. Sometimes he pulled a stool near her mother, watching how her elegant fingers touched the piano keys. Uras too had learned to play some pieces thanks to her. For example, he could play a few simple pieces of Mozart and Beethoven.
Uras found himself smiling for a moment while imagining all these. While the cuckoos, singing behind the window, were telling their lullabies with their husky sounds, the wind blew the half-open window’s curtains. The mournful silence of this warm night caused Uras’ eyelids to become increasingly heavy, and Uras involuntarily surrendered himself to sleep while contemplating his deceased mother and father.
-Time to wake up! Come on lazy boy, get up! Come on!
This was the voice of his stepsister Maya. The clock was pointing six thirty of morning. Uras was deeply wondering how this annoying sound came out of such a sweet and lovely 15-year-old girl. He loved her as if she was his blood sister. The communication between them was great, but he was too sleepy to get up this morning, yet he had to get up again without enjoying the sleep as in every sunrise. To wake up with such an annoying voice was the last thing he would want. Uras got angry and threw the first pillow he grabbed on Maya’s face. Maya, shaked by the impact of the pillow, looked at Uras and took the pillow just struck her face from the floor and handed it back to Uras with her full strength. When Uras answered her with another pillow, a funny pillow war happened to start.
“Reveeeeeeeng!” shouted Maya.
Although it was too early according to Uras, Maya was long before ready to go to the school with the burgundy sweatshirt worn over her white shirt, the navy-blue school skirt with the burgundy pattern and the white socks she pulled up to her knees.
Maya jumped up on the bed like a squirrel, and hit the pillow she lifted over her head with all her strength on Uras’ face. After this brunt, there was no trace of Uras’ previous sleeping stupor:
“Maya, I give up. You won. I am getting up right away.” said Uras. He may well prefer preparing for the school immediately to messing with Maya.
Maya, calming dawn with a conqueror act upon this surrendering:
“Then be ready downstairs in ten minutes for breakfast!” said and jumped down from the top of the bed, left the room throwing her blonde hair to the other side of her head with the pride of the war she just won.
Maya was an extremely ordered and disciplined high school student. Although her room was spacious, it was always tidy. Books in her library were placed just like pearls. She carefully organized her study desk, fixed her bed every day and placed her clothes neatly in her wardrobe. How and where she acquired these nice habits was exactly a mystery for Uras. Although her mother and father were rich and wealthy, she never spoilt, yet she was not very modest about her physical appearance. Every morning she meticulously shaped her hair, dressed in colorful ornaments, and certainly be ready before breakfast in her school uniform. Maya was successful in her classes as she was in her daily life. They were studying in the same college with Uras, but because they had different divisions and courses, they could not meet each other outside the home. She did her homework on time and was often praised by her teachers. At every semester end, she returned home with a full grade scorecard and had a great pleasure listening to her appreciation.
Uras prepared his school bag, wore his uniform, shaped his black and thick hair in front of a mirror, and headed the stairs to go down stairs. He quickly walked down the steps and took his watch from the cloakroom as soon as he got down to the crutch, and put on his wrist. He was about to enter to the kitchen to make breakfast, that he overheard whispers of his stepmother and father in the side room. Inside, he noticed that a secret debate had been ongoing. Although his mother was careful to talk without raising her voice, her father acted like he did not care about it.
“Don’t you see Ilayda? Maya has grown up.”
“I know Uygar, but aren’t you exaggerating?”
“For God’s sake, stop telling me I exaggerate!”
“Hush! Can you be quiet? he will hear.”
“I don’t care if he hears. Maya is my daughter too, and I am telling you about the dangers”
“I am aware of the situation too, but you don’t understand that…”
Uras approached the slightly open door and began to watch them.
“He is a child who is well-trained by his mother and father. Also, I don’t need to remind you how much we owe Gencers economically and spiritually. Don’t you remember how helpless he was when we picked him up? How did you become such a stone-hearted man, Uygar? I cannot make sense.”
“He is no longer a child Ilayda. He is a big guy. Moreover, he is an adult now…”
“What should we do then? Will you throw him into street? Are you able to become that cruel?”
“I have a different idea. I will tell you. Listen to me carefully.”
“Not now. He is about to come.”
What he heard was more than enough for Uras. When they caught each other’s eye with his stepmother, he quickly moved away from the door, took his shoes, and left the house. Ilayda, who heard the closing sound of the outer door, got worried, stepped away from Uygar to the garden. Noticing Uras quickly walking away from home:
“Uras, breakfast!” She called, but Uras had already disappeared.
Life was hard enough for a young man whose mother and father died painfully. He knew that life was not fair. He was mature enough to think about it and was also aware that he had to live with the identity he had. Or did he do something wrong to deserve all that? I wished”, he thought, the tears filling his charcoal black eyes sliding down the edge of his gentle nose. He wished he had some power to change things. He felt himself so weak that if someone touched, he would break like a glass and spread around like a dust. Uras was not wanted. He packed his fists.
Their house was far from the town center. In this half of the peninsula, there were usually luxurious villas with gardens adjacent to each other, and since the villas were situated at a high altitude compared to the sea level, Uras had the chance to see the panorama where the blue met the green from the perspective of the cove. Uras lifted his eyes and focused too far on the white lines that appeared on the surface of the sea. He entered the first footpath he saw and started running with his full strength. The road was filled with stones of various size. Uras did not care how dangerous it was to run fast on such a road. He even wished he had been hooked to a rock and fell down. He did not fall. Damn!” He yelled.
He stopped running on the footpath and dived into the forest. This time he was heading down on a sloping ground full of high pine trees. He jumped over the broken trees on the ground, jumped from one rock to another, clinging to the trees and sliding through them. He had no idea where he went nor where he came from. Yet, he did not care. The thorns of the forest were scratching his arms like a knife. A few twigs had already scratched his face just below his eyes. Uras was not paying attention at all. If someone saw him, they might think he was insane. He was so upset and heartbroken that he could not feel any pain.
In an unaware moment he got caught on a tree root extending out from the ground, and he began to roll over the ground. The stones were heavy and hard. Uras finally began to feel that he was hurt. He did not see and could not hold anywhere. Whenever he lifted up his hand to stop, he regretted in even more pains. Eventually he realized that there was nothing he could do but to watch the world turning in front of his eyes. He was feeling the rocks hitting his back, shoulders and waist, and he was just waiting for his helpless rolling to come to an end as soon as possible.
Suddenly, he felt that hard soil did not rub his body anymore. His pains diminished for a moment. The sweet cool wind passed through his hair and stroked his skin. The trees were gone now. It was just the blue sky. The refreshing smell of the sea could already be sensed in his nose. He handed himself to the sweet coolness that caressed his body and he closed his eyes.