BUTTERFLY FEET – A Story About Hope

Thanks to Enes Talha Coşgun for the translation.

When she looked at the giant clock of the terminal, she realized that a ten-minute slumber was enough to dream. The woman raised her head from the jam-packed small suitcase and blinked her eyes as if she wanted to distract from sleep. She coughed a few times before she got up from the bench. She pulled her scarf up to her nose to soften the steel cold of the air. She hid her left hand in her pocket and gnawed at the toast hanging on the other. Her suitcase which is strikingly pink in the whiteness of a snowy March morning was swinging like a swing on the shoulder where it was holding on with a strap.

She spent the other night on one of the buses that passed through the wide road behind her. According to the author of the book, whose corner came out of her suitcase which was not fully closed, this was the beginning of a magnificent story. But Ada did not seek such glorious adjectives. A simple and peaceful life was enough for her. 

The iced air which was mixed with the smell of exhaust filled her lungs. Anxiously, she put her hand on her belly. She wonder if her baby was breathing this filthy air? She turned her head and looked at the terminal. She thought that this place was some kind of heart. It was connecting the roads on itself, collecting those who wanted to go, and dispersing those who came to the city.

She bowed her head and stroked her belly. The blood that fed her was in her heart to get through the cordon. The black fumes of the exhaust looked like grief that had once hurt her left side. She promised. The air she breathe was always gonna stay clean. She was not gonna break a heart, nor throw her own before the sharp tongues.

Nine months ago, when she said goodbye to this city, she never noticed these black fumes. It was summer. Ada was as jolly as the temperate climates. She had the flowers of laughter on her face, she had the hands of her beloved on her hands. The pink of her suitcase was brighter. 

No one had come to see them off. Because their marriage hadn’t been approved by their parents. No one could seize the will of the adult people, but it was nice to consult experienced minds, to make peace with the elders, and to take firm steps. However, Ada was so blind that she did not hesitate to chew all the customs in one move.

Who was the man she was holding his hand? Who was the man she marrying in a surprise wedding in a distant city where is five hours away by bus? She thought she knew, and she was wrong. Because no one would recognize another person under the influence of a drunkeness called “love”.

As a matter of fact, she and her husband started fighting the first week. From bills to food, from cleaning to television, every object could cause a fight. Their baseless marriage was crackling in small tremors. Which slum was quakeproof?

If they weren’t passionate about each other, they would divorce easily. However, their love continued and the young couple wanted to save the marriage. They thought having children would solve their problems. Their hearts were leaping and their hopes were like the wings of a butterfly.

When Ada got pregnant, the storm calmed down. A temporary tranquility dominated the house until the mood of the woman changed due to pregnancy. It was always the man who lit the fuse of the previous fights, and after that, the woman would tie the knot of the problems. Because the fruit she craved was taken late, because the TV was loud, because the man was late from work, because it was raining that day…

Ada was shouting and throwing little things against the wall. The husband, who used to get angry and burdened his anger on his interlocutor once, didn’t know what was hitting him now. He was answering for everything he caused and everything he didn’t.

The days went by like this. Winter came. The sky and the city were covered with thick clouds, clothed themselves with white, and mourned the autumn. 

Ada was eating an orange when she saw a braking news on the TV in the living room. She thought that every bite she ate fed her child. The reporter was talking about an accident that happened on a main street just two hours ago.

Ada heard a familiar name on the news. Despite the blanket she covered her legs with, she stood aghast. Her belly hadn’t come out yet, so she could move freely. She took a taxi and went to the hospital. Her husband was lying in a bed in bandages.

They talked about something, something that Ada never quite remembers when she thinks about it later. They forgave each other. “I’ll be fine,” he said. “We’ll be fine, our baby will be fine.” 

He didn’t. He died a week after the accident.

It was December when Ada ran out to the street and called her mother from a pay phone. She didn’t know why she didn’t prefer her cell phone. Maybe she was afraid the phone wouldn’t pick up. Her nose and eyes were red, her lips wet with tears and boogers.

“Come and get me,” she said. “I’ve run out of power.”

Her first return home was in December. She had her mother and father with her. Just like her husband, they had forgave Ada. They didn’t say anything about the past. 

When she came home, she retired into her shell for a while. She sat on the balcony at night and slept during the day. Her face was mostly expressionless. This was the harbinger of depression. When her mother could not convince Ada with sweet words, she took her hand and took her to the psychologist.

After a few sessions, she got better. March came, and although spring did not show its face yet, its festivities surrounded the society. Just in those days, Ada said that she wanted to go to the house where she lived with her husband. Although her mother offered to come with her, she said she would move faster on her own. Her excuse was to pack up the rest of her belongings, and the main reason was to change places and relax spiritually.

People would influence and be influenced by their environment, just as plant roots adapt to the soil and at the same time shape the soil. That’s why they connect with their city, and every city they live in leaves a mark on their memory. 

Ada read a book about these marks once. In the municipal building called the brain, ideas were flying, decisions were made about the infrastructure; traffic was flowing through the veins, messages were circulating in the neural network, and trade and industry were continuing in the digestive system. 

The city of “Ada” now had a resident. 

She walked with those thoughts. She thought that the way she must walk for the rest of her life what a long way was. She was ready for the way. She was gonna take a deep breath, speed up her steps, and leave her fatigue at the beginning of the road. The only thing she would give up was the act of “giving up.” Just as the butterflies tasted with their feet, she was gonna taste the flavor of life on foot.

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