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Surprise - a completely fantasised story

by Trudy (8/7/2008)

Surprise - a completely fantasised story

Lazy as I can be at times, I’m laying on my couch, reading an Istanbul thriller by Barbara Nadel when the doorbell rings. Grumbling softly I get up slowly, it’s only nine o’clock in the morning. Who can this be? When I answer the intercom, I hear a dark voice say ‘parcel delivery’. I think ‘Parcel delivery? I wasn’t expect anything. But wait, it must be the delivery from the online computer store.’ I open the outside door and wait until I think the postman has come to the third floor archway, where my apartment is. Then I open my front door and I see the smiling face of a handsome, tanned, dark haired man in his mid-thirties. He is gasping for breath, apparently his condition is not as good as it should be. He looks familiar though I don’t know him. Not so strange, since I work with a lot of immigrants. When he speaks, I know for sure he was not born here; his accent is too thick. He hands me a piece of paper and points to where I need to sign. Giving back his pen, I thank him, he walks away and I close my door. Memories of the past are instantly in my head. Not only was his appearance was typical Turkish, but this man reminded me of a lost love. I sigh and go back to my couch, dreaming about the sun in Turkey, adventures I experienced and the delicious food. ‘Stop it,’ I say to myself, ‘the past is gone.’ With some effort I push away the melancholically feelings and I return to my thriller. ‘The body was covered with blood, a knife stabbed through the chest when it was found in a dark alley in Balat, a quarter of Istanbul…’  


Three days later, again at about nine in the morning, my doorbell rings. And again a parcel. The postman is the same as three days ago. He smiles when he sees me, he recognizes me too. I am curious so I ask him where he is from. ‘I am from Turkey, madam,’ he says. I thought so,’ I answer. ‘How come that you think that, if I may ask’, he responds. I start laughing a little and say ‘well, your looks and your accent made me think that‘. ‘Is my accent that bad?,’ he asks frowning. No,’ I say, ‘but as a teacher I recognize different accents. ‘ A teacher? Then I understand’. He smiles again and says goodbye. I thank him and close the door.  


Many months go by and I forget all about the postman, but many times the unwanted memories appear. Until another parcel is delivered. Yes, it is the same man who delivered packages before and instantly those memories come back. He sees me looking at his face, his in surprise. I can hear him thinking ‘Why is this woman looking that way at me?’ He doesn’t recognize me, that is for sure. Understandable. He probably sees hundreds of people every day. It’s raining hard outside on this cold November morning, and the postman is dripping wet. A thought occurs to me that it is almost time for a coffee break, and I wonder if I should invite him in? In this weather a cup of fresh hot coffee must be nice for him too. ‘Would you like to have a cup of coffee?,’ I ask. He looks surprised, doesn’t anyone ever offer him that? ‘Yes, please, that would be very nice but I don’t want to bother you,’ he answers. ‘You don’t,’ is my short reply, ‘come in, but please take your shoes off.’  


Inside I offer him a chair but he refuses. ‘My clothes are too wet, madam, and I am afraid I will ruin your chair.’ No big problem, if he thinks that, I will give him a towel to sit on. He accepts it, sits and takes the cup of coffee in his hand which looks red from the cold. Silence then. Oh my god, what did I do? Why did I invite him in, what should I say? All kind of thoughts are going through my head. Suddenly he breaks silence with a sound of delight. ‘Yummy,’ he says, ‘this doesn’t happen much to me.’ A little shy, which is not really a common feeling for me, I start talking just to avoid this awkward silence. Happily for me, the postman is not that shy and he answers at all my questions and asks several questions as well. Then, after about fifteen minutes, he stands up, saying ‘I need to go back to work, I have many parcels to deliver. Thank you for the coffee.’ I show him out and with a last look at his disappearing figure, I close the door. Strange, we talked about many things, his village in Turkey, my travels, we even exchanged a few words in Turkish. He had to laugh about that, this time it is my accent that is funny. But, in spite of all these questions and answers, I do not know the name of this handsome man. Well, no big deal, my personal life is a bit of a mess so for anything more than a cup of coffee, I don’t have time nor opportunity for romantic stuff.  


Two weeks later, on a Saturday, when I am shopping for groceries at a nearby supermarket, someone taps me on the shoulder. When I turn around, I look in the face of ‘my’ postman. ‘Hello,’ he says, ‘how are you doing?’ ‘Hi,’ I answer, ‘I am fine, and you?’ ‘Ben de iyiyim,’ he replies, waiting to see if I understood him. I smile and I say ‘Are you testing my Turkish?’ He grins. ‘Yes.’ Then he adds: ‘I need to take my groceries home. Some of it needs to go into the refrigerator, but do you have time to have a cup of coffee with me after that? This time it is my treat.’ I hesitate. Is that a good idea? Then I say ‘Yes, that sounds nice. Do you have a place and time in mind?’ ‘In one hour at Sedir?,’ he asks, pointing at the new Turkish restaurant opposite the supermarket. ‘Great, I have not been there,’ I answer, ‘now I can see their menu.’ ‘Okay, I will see you then.’ And with a waving gesture he is gone towards the pay desk. 


A little nervous (after all this really does look like a blind date since I don’t know his name), I go to the restaurant. Looking through the door window, I see the postman sitting at the corner of table, which is partly hidden behind a pillar. I go in and walk towards him. When he sees me, he stands up, smiles and says ‘My name is Metin, and may I introduce you to my boyfriend….’

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