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December 18, 2007
Just the Way You Look
It was dark outside when I was sitting in my room hearing the sound of the peace that was dripping. I had been thinking about our last year of spending together in high school and his graduation, remembering what I had told him that I would be there for him. Noticing that I kept my promise well, and still doing so. There was a song playing low.
"Some day, when I'm awfully low, when the world is cold, I will feel a glow just thinking of you and the way you look tonight," I sang.
I've always loved September. Since the day I was born.
I knew about all the things my friends secretly planned for this birthday. The secret conversations, delayed meetings and the smell of hidden places that they planned to arrange...
They were thrilled. I should have been exuberant. But Rafet was still not calling for at least celebrating. In my room I kept hopping with impatience. My orange dress was already ready.
Maybe he is the part of the surprise! I daydreamed. Three minutes later, I was in front of the porch to get going. There I was, at the front gate of the restaurant that I was supposed to celebrate my birthday with some 'few' good friends. As I got to the second floor, the room turned into a rainbow in an instant, balloons were being thrown at my face and everyone was jubilant and singing "Happy Birthday!"
Oh my God!
Now the big cake was there with fifteen candles on it. Suddenly, I started to cry. One drop of joy, one drop of Rafet. I hugged my friends one by one but not Rafet since he wasn't there.
After the fun started to settle down, people went home with content smiles on their faces. I was bubbling with enthusiasm but something was keep popping the balloons of happiness inside me. Soon, no one was left other than one of my best friends and I was going to stay at her house.
"Girls, first we need to stop by at one of my old friends'," told Ece's mother, looking at us.
Soon the car stopped and I looked around. Only a silent scream mixed with shock came out of my mouth. We were in front of Rafet's apartment.
"Is this some kind of joke?" I squeaked my with mouth wide open.
"No, it's only a coincidence, don't make it a big deal," replied Ece, ignoring me. I was already out of breath.
Pull yourself together! Rafet is probably out with his friends!
We stayed at Mrs. TanoÃÂlu for about an hour and Ece's phone rang. She looked at me uncomfortably and went to the other room to talk.
She came back after a while and whispered something to her mother.
"I think I forgot the keys in the car. Ece you know that it's freezing outside and you had not recovered yet." She turned to me, asking, "Honey can you quickly bring them?"
"Of course Mrs.ErtunÃÂ§," I accepted, with a tone that covered my boredom.
That is so the time that I need to be alone anyways. To thinkÃ¢ÂÂ¦ About the past.
"Rafet shoots and goal!"
That's how everyone knew him in the school. Both the talent, and the good looking stuff. When you talk to him in private, you would immediately change universes and see the new "Rafet", different than everyone in school has already know. He was thirteen then, a cheerful, jolly thing. Stubborn, more than anyone could have imagined. Even today, after four years that grew old, when I look at him, I see the old Rafet in seventh grade, darting in the hallway after football for about the entire lunch break. It's hard to make someone to get interested in you if you are one year below him and if he is stubborn, and especially when he already has a girlfriend.
The day I had told him that I liked him, two hazel magical light bulbs were mesmerizing me. Embarrassment, tremulous hands, the laughter, the smile, the comfort, the promise that nothing would be changed between us. Above all, the hidden rejection.
The days passed by and as time dissolved, the conversations between us kept getting shorter and shorter after eventually there were nothing left but the looks. He graduated from the elementary school and went to the next building, to a place where I would not see him for a year. That year everything was different. My grades had dropped. I had run away from lessons, just to walk to the high school building hoping to see him sitting on the desks near the window, wishing to catch a glimpse of him. I hardly completed eighth grade and that summer seemed to last for fifteen years.
Last forty days, thirty nine days, thirty eight days...
I'll see him again! Those eyes that I missed to look atÃ¢ÂÂ¦
If only the looks would be enough. I also looked how we have changed, grown. Saw, how the time has this tremendous affect on tricking on us, on the situations that we are in. Look where we are.
I put on my red coat on and got into the elevator. Ground floor. I opened the door and there he was, in front of me, with his scattered soft hair and two hazel light bulbs, and his familiar smile. And then, there was this belated hug. The hug that I had been waiting for ages, and a "Happy Birthday". His aroma, that scent, was slowly taking over my entire body.
Rafet called Ece, "Dicle and I will hang out for a while so don't worry she's with me."
"Was this all part of the surprise? Because I should tell that I was about to die from not hearing from you." I kept my eyes on everywhere rather than on his. The heat of excitement was slowly reaching that would soon going to make my cheeks a bright red.
"You know that I've always cared about you. How can I forget Dicle? You were there for me every time I needed. You never asked for anything in return. You never hated people that I was with. You actually liked them just because I cared about them," He paused for a second, "Just because I said that I didn't like you doesn't mean that you are one of the most special people in my life." He was trying to find the right word, not aware that the previous ones were already enough. Finally he slowly murmured, "I know that you are different."
One sentence changed my whole story.
My tears were committing suicide. I tried to look up to prevent it, didn't help. Tried to smile, but made it worse. He hugged me again and I never wanted to get separated from him. From that moment on, I knew I had found the person who will be with me as long as my heart beats, even though something special wouldn't happen between us.
"Come on please, let's be cheerful and celebrate your birthday!" said Rafet with a jolly voice. He never gave up on making me feel better.
"Do you remember that I had once a dog called ÃÂam who mated his own sister? And then there was like seven puppies born? Oh by the way, did I tell you how I get punched by some guy in the match? It was really tragic." Soon, both of us we were laughing. He had succeeded.
We ate soufflÃÂ© and after two hours of heaven, we finally returned to Rafet's apartment.
"I want you to know that as long as you think of me; know that there will be no seconds that I won't think about you. Time changes, people change, even we might change but whatever happens, you will be my first and only and I'll be there for you." I whispered.
I took his hand. They were cold from the breeze that was touching our body but couldn't reach our souls. No words were coming out of his mouth. Silence was better. We knew that we couldn't stay as friends. Thus, I knew he never wanted to hurt me. Never.
One last goodbye kiss was all that left behind.
I've always loved September. It gave meÃ¢ÂÂ¦the peace, and the feeling after a good birthday, followed by a good memory.