REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

OUR SON - Tarık BUĞRA

OUR SON

My wife was sitting by the window that began to get clear. She had spent the whole night there.

"Aren't you going to bed yet?" I said.

She stood up. She was just a shadow in front of the ash-colored window. But, under this shadow there were things from each day of almost twenty years that we lived together.

She murmured: "The azan began."

Her voice gave me grief. He, was as if so far away that she would not be able to reach, and my wife was waiting for happiness that was promised by Koran, as if all in vain.

The window had almost got bright.

Colorless, silent, and cool forenoon: the warmness of the bed, indefinite feelings, escaping from thought. I fell in sleep.

But…

What?

He came…

Well, that's good…

But that was not the matter indeed: my wife thought that I was indifferent and that worried her:

Aren't you going to say anything: this is third. Look! What are we going to do?

How can I know! But I say:

"Tomorrow I'll do something" to her.

Which tomorrow? The sky had already got its sweet blue. Day, the day that we have to be involved in, was beginning. My wife is right. We should focus on this. My son was yet going to bed. I should tell him that this, what he did, was a hopeless revolt. I rushed out of the bed suddenly. My wife got alarmed:

Don't be so rude to him. You know, now that he…

She could not go on. I looked at her: the sense in her eyes was in utter confusion. Oh my pale-faced, gray haired baby.

She put my cloak on my shoulders while leaving.

His room was on the east side. Its windows looked a huge garden. The sun, which was about to leave the house at the opposite, began to turn the walls pink.

And, he was asleep.

He had thrown his clothes on the table; he hadn't worn the coat of his pajamas. I sat on the edge of the chair by his bed. My heart was in a strange mood. I was not able to look at him: but I was filled with him. Just like in the past, this had happened once more: he was little then, he had typhoid fever, he was talking unconsciously. But he doesn't remember this now…

He was born on a snowy night in February. I felt very strange giving him in my father's hands. While searching for a name, the large dictionary had seemed empty to me. I wanted to find a word, which is bright, and as meaningful as the universe for him. In the end we called him Omer. And this was suitable for him. I deemed him, and all Omers in the history… worthy for prosperity.

The first smile. The first tooth. The first word. The first step towards his mother, towards his mother who is young, beautiful, and happy.

And then the seventh age. How much he had cried when I took him to school for the first time: as if he did not want to accept another shareholder to his presence another than his home. However, this was inevitable: he, just like other boys, was obliged to a division among outside, school, and market place, which gets more definite day by day.

And the fourteenth age: obstinacy, lack of appetite. A new partner to us, the most invincible of the shareholders. Proud hurries of my wife and my first anxiety.

He graduated from high school, and then university. Meanwhile, in order to provide him with a better life, my wife sold her 5-lira gold coin from the wedding. And he was destroyed by the ill-fortune of the first love, he made us miserable also.

Thus, we got fully engaged with him and our world became surrounded wholly with him.

"You left us. As our love increased you got more disturbed. I was aware of this: I was partly an attacking to your freedom. But your mother…

I know: You no longer like the furnishing style of this room, even you don't like this house. Just like a baby sparrow that has yet learnt how to fly, you were ambitious of other branches. What you think must be a very nice thing, who knows. You mustn't have forgotten the guest-room for us: I am sure about that. That's enough for us… for me. But your mother. You also feel this and, sometimes, in fact often, talk about how you will maintain the education of your brothers, your plans about us. But no need to hide from each other: while you are talking like that, isn't it a little pain of conscience and rather desperation that makes your voice vibrate? But don't worry about that, what can you do, life is so, you cannot do…

I know what you expect from alcohol; and I am sure that you won't get addicted to it. But your mother.

Furthermore I know what you are looking for outside, and why you escape from home. Maybe a little bitch. I am not against to them: even… but your mother. Poor woman, she is quite afraid that you will fall in love with such a woman. When you spent the nights out, like this, she turns the shiny streets and the casinos into tale inns.

But no need to all these; don't you already know these? Don't I already know how all these things hurt your heart? Your mother, I, don't take care of us. It is us who are foolish. We are as if expecting you to be a bit sick. We want you to be as you were at the times you belonged to us. We cannot comprehend that you can change. Well, I can not turn my eyes to your face, I can not look at you. Either your mother can. Now we can not wake you up. Because, without daring to think about, we know that your sleep also changed. In the past, you used to sleep as if you were waiting for us. Yes, now your sleep also changed. Indeed, the real change occurred in your sleeps; you got far away from in your sleeps also…"

I turned my head; I looked at him. Doing this, I was as if I was using my rheumatic arm. But suddenly I felt relieved; I felt that I found a friend that I have been looking for, for years. I wanted to whistle. I drew the curtains; the sun could disturb him. I slightly kissed his face with hard and black beard that looks like mine and went out.

While we were drinking tea, my wife was a bit plunged in thought. I secretly filled my little son's tea with lemon which he disliked.

Tarık BUĞRA