❝You’ll lose your name, your title, you job and you wife. You’ll lose everything you thought that belonged to you, but indeed didn’t. You say you love your life, but life is not only about your job or other similar things. Just like your id and your body is not who you are.❞
This story has waited for a long time in a dusty computer folder and is now in daylight! Thanks to Övünç Yaşar for the translation.
“Good morning love!” said Soner, to his wife Serra.
“Good morning!” trilled the woman. Her blue eyes were fairly sparkling with joy.
Soner admired her more and more each passing day. Her frizzy, wavy hair, her deep blue eyes contrasting her black hair, her smile, joy, her way of taking the life easy… He held his Serra firmly in his arms.
Serra responded with her killer smile. She gave her husband a big hug as well.
Soner was almost like detached from the life. He would feel like dying at the tiniest attention of Serra. He would die and catch the bird of happiness.
He returned to reality with her wife calling out “We should have breakfast now”. He was about to be late for work.
He was working as a sales manager in a small construction business. He lived with his father till his marriage. He didn’t know of a mother’s affection because he lost his mother, who was told “to have become an angel”, when he was four.
On the verge of his graduation, when he thought he would never fall in love with anyone, till he came across Serra, his own special medicine. At first sight, he gaped her beauty till she scolded him “Sir, why are you staring at me for minutes?”
“Uhm…” said Soner, “I just wandered.”
Serra just passed by that day saying a simple “huh!”, but then again didn’t rejected Soner’s dinner invitation three days later.
When he couldn’t talk at all and then drop his plate to the ground, he saw the eyeful laughter of his wife-to-be for the first time. He wasn’t offended, to the contrary, his love peaked even more. That day, they talked, agreed, and had their marriage ceremony right after their graduation.
If one asked Soner “What is your characteristic you are proud of?”, he would say “I wouldn’t fall under the spell of love and take wrong a marriage step”. Marrying Serra, it was also him who made the most detailed research. He knew the temporariness of such feelings; he couldn’t take a wrong step and rely on the possibilities.
Closing his office door gently, Soner took his seat. The moment he turned on his computer, he sighed. So many emails had piled! “Come on big man, get to work” he said himself and began answering his mails.
By noon, his eyes, hands and back were hurting. He must have finished the three-hundredth mail too. Thinking he would reply the remaining twenty-seven, he got to the dining hall. While drinking his after-lunch-tea, his boss called him out right at the end of his lunch break.
“Mr Soner, you have a lot of files that you have to check immediately.”
“But Mr Deniz…” he wanted to say but rushed to his office with the answer “I wouldn’t call you out if it wasn’t urgent”.
“Ah!” he said seeing the files. He couldn’t finish them till the evening, in fact it would take about two days. Mr Deniz said all these files had to be handled by the end of the shift on his way out; a note was attached to the envelope carrying the files.
The work was work, he would have to do them anyway. Sat on his chair and began to read the first file.
As if it was not enough with the density of the workload, now they would also call in a translator? Soner began to shout silent swears to the sending firm, though there wasn’t a clear firm name on the envelope. Which enterprise would be so frivolous?
“Well!” Yes, this was written by Latin alphabet, but whoever had written it must have just walked over the keyboard. Making of no meaning from the randomly typed letters, Soner thought he was about to lose his mind. What the hell was this? Some sort of encryption?
Losing his hope, he grabbed the third file as well. If this one also involved meaningless writing, he would throw them all to the trash! Fortunately, his guess was wrong this time. There was one sentence in the entire paper and that sentence was the first meaningful one of the files:
“Do not try to make sense of the previous files.”
“Well, I didn’t!” said Soner, wondering why he left his hot tea behind and read these. He grabbed the next file.
“I meant do not try to make sense of the Russian one. There is no Russian words there, it is just random letters.”
Soner had a trembling moment. He indeed intended to call in a translation for the first file. He put this one too among the ones he had read and checked the next file.
“You may be surprised but this does not mean that every file has only one sentence.” He thought what this meant, but then he understood. It meant that he should check back of the previous file as well. Then something hit him; whoever had written these, they knew, or had guessed, that he wouldn’t check the back of the fourth file.
He lifted the paper as if it was a bomb.
“I am happy that you understood that I understand.”
Soner was talking to either a master oracle, or a wizard, or a psychology genius. “If they know what I can think at each step, they can only be one of these three.”
Then he immediately flipped the back of the fifth file.
“I am not an oracle. I am not a Wizard either. I am not a psychologist, and no at all a genius.”
At that moment, the only think in Soner’s mind was to set all the files on fire.
What was written in the next file was this:
“If you damage the files I sent, you can never find out what will happen to you.”
Soner thought he has gone mad, and if he had, he had to continue the game, right?
“Well,” he said, “Then tell me what will happen to me.” He grabbed the sixth file and threw it away quickly. In the seventh file it said:
“You’ll lose everything you have.
Note: you are not crazy.”
“Everything I have?” What the hell does it mean now? The only think Soner knew was that he was not ready to lose. He loved his life. Slowly, he grabbed the eighth file.
“You’ll lose your name, your title, you job and you wife. You’ll lose everything you thought that belonged to you, but indeed didn’t. You say you love your life, but life is not only about your job or other similar things. Just like your id and your body is not who you are.”
Soner tried to make sense of these words. Yes, he was not talking to an oracle or a wizard, the man he was talking to could only be a wise man who understood the deep secrets of the life.
“Leave your prejudices behind and come to the address written on the envelope, and I’ll teach what you really are and what your life really is.”
“No, thanks!” shouted Soner. The fact that he was impressed did not mean that he would go to an unknown address alone. No one could guarantee him that a mental wouldn’t be there waiting for him.
“Shame. You’re afraid of the things to be harmed that already don’t belong to you. You see them your purpose, Soner. But know this: …”
The sentence was left unfinished. Soner checked the back of the file, it was empty. “He can’t blame me because I didn’t want to go there. If he is that wise, he could teach me who I am here.”
“… what life is cannot be taught, only you can find it. By searching. You’ll lose everything one by one Soner.”
“Oof!” said Soner, “Enough with you! When I have numerous emails to answer and a lot of files to handle, I read this crap. Can’t deal with it, I have work to do, goodbye!” He threw all the files to the trash.
Other work that made him feel very tired normally began to become pleasing. By late afternoon, all the work was done. Soner got out to the balcony, lit his cigarette. Soon, he would say goodbye to Mr Deniz and leave. Reach home, to his Serra.
Before leaving the work, he sighed finding out that Mr Deniz had left for home in the afternoon. “One should be a boss in this life” he said. “He is his own boss, of course he’ll leave whenever he wants… And what do we do apart from spending the half of the day to modern slavery?”
Mummering, he began to wonder. He got back upstairs, checked the trash and found the address on the envelope. It was the address of a village cemetery about half an hour far from the city centre.
Sighed and “He just made it up thinking I would go and check it…” he thought. However, if he had taken out the last page which he never read, he would see that it read: “You will regret not believing in these writings and not reading this file.”
He left the building, got to his mid-class car and began to drive in the north-south direction highway. If he wanted to go to the village, he must have gone straight ahead, but he took a right on the third turn as he wanted to go home. Seeing a peaceful light traffic instead of the rush hour intensity, he felt joyous again. He stopped in front of the florist shop on the side of the road.
It had only been five minutes since he hit the road. If he had decided to go to the village, he would still be on the highway, going on the same direction.
The possibilities… they were the breaking point of the ordinariness.
“Can I get a single red rose for my wife please?”
“Sure!” said the florist. Carefully tied a bow to a fresh rose and gave it to his him and sent this familiar customer whom he had seen a few times before off. Soner felt like a king after this attention.
Dreaming about the face of Serra, a warm smile flew around his lips. So, he drew his car at the highest speed possible not exceeding the limits. When he entered the parking lot of the site he lives in, it had only been 20 minutes since he left his workplace. While taking off his licenced pistol which disturbed his back and put it into its box in the car “Good that I didn’t go to that village” he thought. “I would have just seen the city border sign.”
He didn’t ring the bell not to ruin the surprise. He opened both the building door and his apartment’s door where the lift reached in seconds. He got inside quietly. The house was quiet, apart from the hoarse, indistinct laughter and conversation sounds coming from behind a closed door. “The bedroom” he said for the source of the sound, listening carefully, “My love watches series again in the bed.”
He placed his hand on the door handle of their private room. Took a deep breath and counted to three. Opening the door shouting “Surpriii…” his vocal cords stopped working. The letter “Z” ran back to his throat. The rose in his hand fell on the ground.
Serra… The beautiful Serra blushed with remorse; hugged the naked body of Deniz a little more.
“Explain” Soner could only say. His tongue was refusing to move inside his mouth, his eyes were crying out to blur this disgusting image. “I am ready to believe!” he shouted. “Make an excuse no matter how stupid it is, tell me you didn’t cheat on me Serra!”
Even though he had a mocking expression on his face, Deniz was afraid that this furious husband could shoot him. He stood up and began to get dressed saying no words. Meanwhile the husband was looking with his bloodshot eyes and the wife was covering herself with the blanket.
When Deniz got dressed completely and was about to pass through the door, Soner held him on the neck and pin the stocky guy to the wall. Upon this, a scream came from the bed: “Don’t!”
“Shut up!” said the man going crazy. “How could you do this to me? Not ashamed to smile at my face, sleeping with me? I still love you, still can’t put the blame on you!”
He felt dizzy. The letters on the broadsheets were wandering around in his mind. When he felt he lost all his power, “do what the hell ever you want” he said and slammed the door. Getting of the lift, his knees were trembling.
Reopening the driver’s door he opened half an hour ago, he now knew where he wanted to go. If he had thought on the address, he would remember that it was the cemetery where his mother rested. If he had gone there directly, he would have arrived in the cemetery at the moment he held the door handle the second time. He would have seen a guard shack there. He would find an old computer, keyboard and printer there. If he had checked carefully, he would find the empty envelopes in the dusty drawer. He would understand that those random letters, weird messages were prepared here.
He would linger around for half an hour. When he checked the keyboard, the colour of which became invisible due to the dirt, he would see some Cyrillic letters. He would try to remember whether or not keyboards were produced in Old Soviet countries and then pass it as he had no idea. Half an hour later after he arrived the cemetery, he would hear a high-pitched engine sound. He would get out of the shack and see his own car in shock. Thinking it was an auto-theft, he would look inside the window and see himself: a Soner whose collar fell apart, face swollen and eyes crimson red… he would first be scared, but then his curiosity would take over. He would approach to the idling car and demand for himself to open the window.
“Explain” would say the normal Soner to the devastated one.
“It is over!” would shout the man in the car, “Your wife is cheating on you with your boss, they are all dirtbags, your life is over!”
The Soner outside would try to understand these words, he would leave the side of the car with no reaction because of the shock and enter back into the shack. He would notice that he had even lost his name. “If the other man is Soner, then Who am I?” he would ask himself. First, he would believe that he has gone mad, but then he would understand. The possibilities… The possibilities had torn him into pieces.
When he would enter into the shack the second time, he would move the mouse of the computer. He would notice that a saved file came out and he would be surprised. When he would open the file, he would see that there were random letters, writing and messages there.
Maybe Soner would come to the village not today but yesterday, before getting the envelope. To visit his mother… then he would notice the empty guard shack. Noticing that the computer is on, he would be surprised like today, and create a Word file and begin writing thinking “How would I react?” First, he would notice that the computer was set to work with Cyrillic alphabet, press the letters randomly, then correct the settings, type randomly with Latin alphabet, then in the third page, explain that the first two pages have no meaning, and so on…
After printing what he wrote, he would hide his ID and post it to his workplace, to himself without a name on it. Wandering what would happen, he wouldn’t go back to his house that night. He would inform his wife and spend the night in the cemetery with no guard, next to the soil covering his mother’s body.
He would wake up late afternoon the other day. With the dizziness of sleeping for about twenty-four hours, he would sit up, look around. He would relax seeing his car. First, he would crawl a little, then he would stand up and walk, and anger would replace the comfort seeing the stranger in his car.
He would feel backpain, so he would notice that his pistol was still there. The well-educated Soner who had never even got involved in a street fight would sleepily grab this killing metal. Seeing the man across also going for his gone, he would understand that he is in an armed conflict. He would use this device for the first time.
The one next to the gravestone would kill the one in the car. The one in the car on the other hand had already killed the one by the gravestone. The one in the shack would come out, see the deaths and kill himself taking out the gun in his waist.
Soner could not go back home. Soner had not gone back home. Soner would not go back home. There also wasn’t a body there because the possibilities had killed one another.
The other day, Deniz woke up yawning. He kissed his Serra, his second spring he could meet after years in the cheek and got ready. On his way to work, he was thinking about setting a meeting with HR department. He wanted to renew the ad for the manager post as there hasn’t been a convenient candidate for a long time.
Entering his workplace, he noticed an envelope on his desk. On top of it, there was a note that read “To be responded today!” There was no sender. Deniz walked through the envelope and torn it open and saw a lot of files.
Took one out. “A lot to do today,” he thought. “Wish we had hired a linguist here, now we’ll have to call in someone speaking Russian?”