BEHIND THESE (IMAGINARY?) WALLS…

How do you know that a person means so much to you? After they have left, you find yourself saying this with a sigh:

“Oh, well. Time to go back to the real world.”

That’s just exactly how I feel right now. It’s kind of weird. I mean, I’m aware that I work in a place with quite a turnover – one way or another. People come and go, just like that. So far, I’ve been doing a pretty good job not to get myself too emotionally-attached to any of them.

I guess he’s just…different. He’s one of the special ones.

I know, I’ve got to find a way to move on somehow. This is not healthy; he’ll never be mine. His love belongs to her forever; I know that for sure.

Well, it’s not like I can do anything about it. I don’t even want to think about it. Moral code of honour, remember?

We’d still talked on Whatsapp that Saturday afternoon before his 10 pm flight.

On Sunday, I’d planned to stay home all day and write when Gigi texted me, asking me to meet up and hang out with her for an early dinner and a cup of coffee. (She’s one of my best – and oldest, not in terms of age – friends. We’d met at work three and a half years ago before we moved to different companies. We occasionally hang out for a karaoke session, a movie, or anything fun we can think of.)

Over sushi (and coffee after that), Gigi reminded me about how I really am:

“You’re a Scorpio. You may open up and smile at the world, yet you also remain a mystery. You also know how to convince people you’re okay, even when you’re actually not.”

How true.

“Only a certain few – like closest relatives and friends – can understand you. Or the most perceptive and sensitive souls. You’re not going to be the first to reach out when you’re in pain, unless you feel compelled to. Usually it’s other people you silently expect to do that to you first.”

Touche.

Deniz came up to me at work between classes. (He’s a sweet, 24-year-old Turkish-British lad sitting close to me.) He looked worried.

“Are you alright?” When I just smiled and nodded weakly, he looked even more worried. You see, Deniz is so sweet and caring that it feels like having another little brother at work. “Would you like some tea or water? Would you like a massage?”

Oh, dear.

Before I said anything, he towered behind me and started massaging my back. (God, that felt so good!) I didn’t know why he felt he had to do that, but I was glad he did.

“Oh, my God!” he gasped as his eye caught a sight of a thick book on my desk. He picked up Nikolai Gogol’s “Dead Souls” – which I borrowed from Tony B’s amazing collection – and winced. “You should stop reading this!”

“Uh, why?”

“Because it depresses you!”

I’d wanted to laugh…and cry at the same time. ‘Never judge a book by its cover’. How true. (In this case, I should add: ‘…and its title’.)

It’s a dark humour in Russian literature (but that book is an English translation version of the actual novel.) It’s about cheating on taxes using dead people’s names, that’s all. It’s not even a horror story.

He’d be surprised if he started reading that too.

Uh, did I say I’d wanted to cry too? Yeah. Sad but true. Right there and then, I’d wanted to impulsively collapse in his arms and just…cry. Bawl my eyes out, completely forget that I’m not a young teenager anymore.

I should pull myself together, as always. I’m 32, for God’s sake!

Deniz is so sweet. I know it’s always difficult for me to lie to his dark brown, innocent eyes. I just don’t have the heart. He’s such a good friend. He’s a sensitive soul…

But I know I can’t tell him this. I don’t want him to feel sorry for me.

I know he’s silently wondering if I’m really okay. Maybe I’ll tell him; maybe I won’t. We’ll see.

Maybe I should just put on a much braver face next time.

Yes, I’m back to the real world. Back to work, building my writing career more seriously, and the rest of the same old drama…

R.

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