TE16 Turkish Delight

Let Me Out Here, Please by Karin Karakaşlı Translated from Turkish by Zeynep Beler

Mukaddes and Sırhupi Arriving at the neighborhood, the elderly woman felt aflutter, as though she were about to reunite with her first love. She leaned against one of the surrounding stone buildings to catch her breath. Then she raised her head and warily looked around her. Time had made its mark on the houses and the streets, naturally, just as it had ravaged her face, but the aura of wholesomeness that made this district special for her, its sense of history, was still there in spite of all the years. Just like a stately old man who, despite his stoop, still commanded respect…she was reminded once more of her friend. Her friend Sırhupi, the reason for her visit to the neighborhood after all these years. Come to think, were theystill friends? Somanyyears hadpassedwithoutcontact, with nothing more than mediated news. She tried to put herself at ease: their friendship was a keepsake passed down to them through generations, it could withstand a few gaps. And it was not as though they’d fought; it had been a while since they had talked in person, was all. Imagine how surprised she’d be. The bell echoed through the entrance hall. For a second she glimpsed the games she had used to play with Sırhupi in that hall as a young girl. She heard the shrill laughter of children before they too were silenced. She stared at the bell, oddly unsettled. 179

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