"Her": Part 1
- 29 Posts
- Age 20
Today was the 9th of September, the liberation of İzmir from the occupying forces of WW1. İzmir was filled with celebration and joy. And on this joyful day I met an old friend, a young man whom I haven't seen for months.
But this post is neither about the liberation of İzmir nor my friend.
This post is about her.
After a day filled with flag-waving, chatting, coffee drinking and wandering around with my friend; we said good bye to each other at the exact same spot I welcomed him. He went back into the live crowded streets of İzmir and I headed to the train station.
The train station was crammed with people coming back from the celebrations. Everyone tried to move forward but I decided to stay at the beginning of the station. So I stood next to a family. That was when I first saw her. At first, I thought she was a part of that family too; but now I think about it, I realize she was too tall compared to them. I understood that she wasn't with the family when I overheard her conversation at the phone. She was trying to explain why she was late to her mother, she was laughing but her laughter was weird. She sounded anxious. Her facial expression was like she was trying to hide an emotion with her smile, like an opposite emotion. Her smile was forced and barely convincing, as if she was wearing a tacky mask. She was disturbed.
Then the train came and the doors opened. People barged in, without letting others out. A little tension occurred between the girl and another woman; but her facial expression didn't change, it was like a dam that was withholding a flood of emotions. We stepped in and ended up face to face in that tight cabin. It took a while to train to move but eventually it did. After some time, she just looked me and opened her mouth to say something. As soon as she did that, the dam started to collapse and her tears started to drop.
"May I ask for something?" she said. Due to her disturbed state I made an assumption and asked:" Are you afraid of closed spaces, are you overwhelmed with it?" and stepped back. She kept slowly crying and saying:" No it's not that... Just, you know, there were celebrations and everything today, and I'm very late..", she continued "I think my stepfather will beat me... Do you have a band aid or something, cause I told them I fell down and that was the reason I'm late...". I was startled and millions of things went through my mind. "Was she telling the truth? Why would she lie? How could I help her? How bad was this situation?..." while I was doing my long assessment, another woman there, opened her purse and gave her some tissues and band aids. And I took my keys out so that we could rip her tights to make it look like a fall (taking stuff to the next level, that's me).
She started to tell the story of how her father died and how her mother re-married quickly. She felt the need the explain more, and while she was doing it, I asked: "Where did you fall?". She, with a surprised look on her face, said: "No, I didn't fall, It's a li-", I interrupted and said: "Yes I know. So where did you fall? You have to get your story straight." "Oh" she replied "While I was trying to get on the train." "Good" I said "It was very crowded, you fell and not much damage is done but you still couldn't make it to the train." She nodded. There we were, slowly agreeing on our lie and starting to believe in it so it would become the truth.
Then she asked me if I could call her mom and tell her that her daughter has fallen. I hesitated with this one because I didn't want her mom to know both my number and my name (and also my battery was dying). So I asked her if we could call from her phone, apparently her phone was dead too, so I just figured we can ask from someone else. I gently held her arm and told her that we would get off at the same subway station and that we could call her mother once we make it to the subway (which is above the ground so there is reception).
The train stopped, we pushed ourselves through the mountains of humans and made it outside the train. Once we were out she wanted to give me her mom's number, I told her: "Let's make it to the subway first so you wouldn't lose that one too."
We rushed to the subway station, I kept checking up on her so that I wouldn't lose her.
Once we made it to the station, I thought that I was the luckiest and the most blessed person in this world; because there they were, my friends from med school. My compassionate and helpful friends, the people I can always rely on. I saw my friend "E" among them, the person who helped me adopt my cat and also is my comrade in advocating for human rights. We went to them and I asked for E's phone. I asked the girl her and her mother's name. We dialed her number and waited for her to answer. I expected myself to be really anxious but I wasn't. There was this person I had to protect, this person who asked for help, and I was going to do it. She answered the phone, she didn't say anything but I saw it on the screen.
With my sweetest voice I asked:
"Is this ___?".