Not long ago, she had her life all under control. Her priorities were set. Her daily schedule was immaculate. Her work was number one. Until he showed up. He called her every day. They talked for hours. She was slowly but surely falling for him.
Three months later, her phone was ringing less.
One cold Friday afternoon, as she was leaving her cubicle, her phone gave a faint toneless vibration. The words on the screen read, “I’m sorry but I have not yet finished work. I will call you later.”
Her heart skipped a beat. She left the office feeling thankful for having extra time to pick up her favorite dress from the dry cleaner. She was looking forward to spending quality time with him. Date night was one of his great ideas. Their date was going to be dinner and a movie. She had spent a good part of her afternoon looking up movies and restaurants that he would love.
The phone gave another faint vibration: “I underestimated the work at hand. I will not meet you tonight.”
The thought of taking herself to a dinner and movie sounded depressing. She disliked science fiction and she thought that French food was overrated. The bar was a sweet place for people who have been let down. She thought as she grabbed her purse and slammed the door behind her.
If you want to break up with me at least have the courage to tell me. He fell out of love.
Only losers have time to love anyway. There were too many thoughts racing in her head and silencing them was an exhausting endeavor that could only be relieved by the liveliness of the bar.
She ordered a Bloody Mary. A charming man approached her. “Are you saving this seat for someone?”
“No. You may take it.”
“You have a cute accent, where are you from? Let me guess. You’re Turkish.”
“Is that your guess?”
Her smile was misleading. So he kept going.
“You might have left Turkey but you will always look Turkish.”
The closest she has ever been to Turkey is when she flew the Turkish airline last summer to Cairo. But who cares about identity on such a moonless night at the bar? His name was too hard to pronounce. He had recently lost his mother, after his divorce, and recently moved to town for new beginnings.
“Let’s go bar hopping,” he suggested. She agreed.
“I live a couple of doors down this block. Would you care for another drink at my place?” he asked.
She welcomed his charming advances.
“This is my humble abode,” he said.
This is an arrogant understatement, she thought. His apartment was pretty large and well decorated. It had a balcony that overlooked the park. “Nothing is visible in the night,” he said. “Let’s go back inside.”
On the stands in his bedroom were too many Christian icons, on the wall a big wooden cross right by the top left side of the bed.
“Would you like another drink?”
“Thank you. I’m good.”
She followed him with the high spirit of a gold fish. She wanted to ask him about all the relics that filled his room, but he told her that his mother had died and they belonged to her.
“I’m sorry for your loss.”
He invited her to his bedroom.
“Nothing hurts more than the sudden loss of loved ones,” she added.
The charming man did not say a word. He showed her to the bed instead. He was not in a very talkative mood. He was rather in a trance that lasted the entire night. She listened with her body as it was being ravished.
As the charming man was busy undoing his fears inside of her, she was busy undoing her loss, when he suddenly blurted out, “You Turks killed my people!”