TE16 Turkish Delight

Burhan Sönmez rehearsal. He stands up. Then he orders a rice pudding from the waiter, who comes up just at that moment. You used to like the rice pudding here, he says, just taste it. He puts his hand on my shoulder. Let’s talk tomorrow, he says, tomorrow everything will be all right. I’m going to tell you something, I say. Go ahead, he says. I’m going to go and see my sister, in Nehirce. When are you going, he says. As soon as possible, I say. Bek remains standing for a few seconds, then sits back down again. How soon is as soon as possible, he asks. He imagines what’s going through my head. He knows me better than I know myself. Bek, I say, I’m content with what I have left from my old life. You, one or two others, and the guitars that I haven’t touched yet. I don’t feel like there’s anything missing. My ex-girlfriend isn’t something that’s lacking in my life. The only person from my past I want to reach out to is my sister. She’s been waiting for me for weeks, years maybe. Every time, I tell her I’ll go and see her soon. What am I waiting for? You tell me, what am I waiting for? Go whenever you like, says Bek, in a soothing tone. You have to start taking your life into your own hands somewhere. But do it soon, otherwise you might change your mind. Okay, I say, you go now, you’ll be late for the rehearsal. I’ll stay a bit longer, we can chat, he says. No, I object, I can’t have you keeping the others waiting because of me. All right, he says, but keep your phone switched on. I will, I say. Otherwise I’ll worry, he says. He smiles, his eyes half closed. He stands up again. He smoothes back his hair. He looks around him. He picks up his bag and goes. I watch Bek walking, I watch his head bowed with concern and I watch him disappear at the end of the street. I drain my cup of coffee. I stub my cigarette out


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