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A journey of love - Bir aşk yolculuğu

by mariana_q (7/27/2007)


It is almost one year ago now when, I met the man who transformed my life. For him it was clear from the start, as he later, when our relationship developed, explained to me in his limited English: he had felt his world change and was no longer himself. Like a thunderbolt, a surge of love from the heart, something never encountered before and he was dumbstruck. He could not explain it to the friends he worked with when they ask him what had happened. All he could tell them was that he had met me!


My heart was sceptical, weary of his advances in the beginning, not only because I was older, but because I let my head rule my heart. True, he was charming, very caring to my needs during my two week stay in Northern Cyprus, but that was part of his job: he was a barman and waiter and so I knew he looked after people: the various guests coming and going, some easy to please, others demanding, yet he would be there, taking care of their wishes and needs and served them with a smile and a joke. Never complaining! I had also read many sad stories about those who fall in love for a Summer, only to be left heartbroken. Like so many, I would be forgotten after the journey back to the UK. Then, there was all the other rational thought: differences in culture, background, religion and, for both of us, English would not be our first language. If anyone would place a bet on a relationship with those factors as odds, then the odds were stacked highly against us!


My man persisted, and one day, in his shy way, he asked me out. After I had addressed the various concerns, he was still there and had not given up: so I went out with him! We talked, about life, our families, the countries we're from and about what his ambitions are. His face lit up when he talked about one day owning his own bar! I was touched by his honesty, humbled by his generosity and the fact he could show such happiness in talking about his dreams. I am used to men trying to impress me with stories about moneymaking schemes or the next car or house they would purchase. Not that I ever fell for that, but I was so aware of the contrast of values and how I began to admire this man, I was with, more and more. From coming to Cyprus with no formal English tuition, to learning it by asking people and repeating it for himself until he was able to speak it and have a conversation.


Only in hindsight do I know that it was that evening when I fell for him, but I did not reveal this till later. My head still ruled my heart. There are moments when I reflect on certain things and wonder: would our love have developed this far without the aid of a mobile phone and the fact that we started sending daily text messages, soon to be replaced by several a day, plus emails and the occasional phonecall, just to hear each others voices: so close, yet so far away! If we would have lived centuries ago, would our love have been like those of old times, with love letters travelling far and wide and taken long to arrive? Maybe, because I have come to understand that, what we have is not for everyone to encounter. I ran away from it for a long time, despite his persistence, his determination and faith in us. We met again in October last year and I never forget the sweet passion encountered to see my dear man again. I had longed for him and missed him and he had felt the same. He had left romantic gestures in my room: a rose with a ribbon on my pillow, there was a platter of fresh fruit and a cool bottle of wine awaiting me. My heart melted and was bursting of love for him, but I was still scared, afraid of the odds against us.... We talked a lot that time: about the future, about how it could work, he wanted marriage, I made him aware of the possible problems we may encounter.


The parting, once again, was hard and we said our goodbeys, continuing once again with the many text messages and occasional calls. Christmas came and went, it became 2007 and he was informing me about his one month holiday when he would go back to Turkey and visit his family. I suggested meeting up and he was thrilled: we arranged a long weekend in Istanbul. My darling drove, together with his brother, for 18 hours from the South-East of Turkey to meet me there. Although he had expected me to be there before him, it turned out to be the other way around and again he had bought me a rose, wrapped and tied with a ribbon, waiting on my pillow. In early March, Istanbul was cold, yet we enjoyed the city with its mosques, bazaar, winding city streets and shopping trips to Taksim Square. We took in the sights, the sounds and the scents, tasted delicious food and enjoyed each others company. Sometimes we realised we were thinking of the same things, realising this as we spoke and I became aware that we were connecting at a level not encountered by many. Our love grew and I no longer ran away....


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