By Nida Işık
The place where he was born had stony roads and his feet got used to the fatigue, but I believed I had the cure for his blisters as we suffered from vertigo after hours of kisses. I plucked the petal of a daisy. "He loves me, he loves me not". He sat across from me and instead of a daisy, he plucked my lashes free.
He said he dreamed about that moment the whole day. He was back from work, tired, and lied on my chest as my silk dress fell onto his shoulders. We enjoyed causing each other's tears, stomach cramps and goose bumps. It started out with a casual gaze, in a drunk train from Brussels. He smiled when I made fun of his life as a lonely boy. I loved the wrinkles in the corner of his eye. I smiled when he quoted Milan Kundera. He loved his voice while singing The Doors. We argued after late-night concerts, we spilled each other's wine on our prettiest clothes, we danced at the Grand Place, danced in the streets, danced on his rustic farmtable, and danced in bars which used to be old factories.
He touched my neck to correct me everytime I tried the Dutch "r" and called me "tatlim", a word for sweeatheart in my mother tongue. He probably never learned how to write it properly.
I hesitated every time I texted him, getting anxious feelings that destroyed me in my bed. They say, being paranoid does not mean they are not after you. However, there was an old, white curtain that hindered me from seeing what I actually felt. He said he couldn't marry me. He said relationships go further and he could not go further with me. We were free, floating up into the air, not soaring, but high enough to shake him up like dozens of bulls. Once, people screamed "I hope you will be happy forever" while we were kissing in the streets, leaning against the walls of other people's houses, he smiled and thanked them. I met his friends at a crowded Christmas party. He tucked my hair behind that night, as he kept his gaze unbroken and told me that God created me for him. He was no believer.
I felt like he carried his emotional history with him with every step, even when we were walking together. The heaviest of burdens that he was being crushed by, was himself. I was sure that they are after me, when I heard of him only hours after midnight on the last day of the year. I wanted a man to give me more than enough to stay. I wanted a man who knew how happy I was when I was with him. I wanted him to pursue my romantic dream and suffer to believe it is real, though he was never weak. "You do not like it when things leave you," I said, "but you have no problem walking away." I concluded that this was a man with very dismissed, disorganized feelings. I reassured myself that whatever he did was not about me or my gatekeeper anxiety. "Do not mess with my head, woman." He said, laughing and pretending to bite me as we giggled. Woman, no one had ever called me that before.
We were standing in front of a painting called "Kiss", made by the craziest man of the last century. It was a landscape painting with a huge slit in the middle. "Like a hole in time." He said. "Wanna try?" I said. We kissed.
I used up all of my courage when I walked away from him, not long after Christmas. We kissed once more. We fought once more. I froze time that night, around the roundabout where we first met, like an enchanted rose of beauty. And just like the Beast, I waited for love's presence to heal me.