There, I open my eyes. The scenary looks radically different: all I can see is an endless empty yellow land, without even a tree on it. I realize, we are almost there. My feet feel as if they have curled up, become two thick dead plastic balls attached to the end of my ankles, and I can hardly move my toes inside my shoes. After 24 hours of sitting in a bus, swollen feet are to be expected. But I have been lucky: I had enough batteries with me, and my walkman and headphones worked perfectly, which was all I needed.
With my mother, we are just arriving in this city, near the Turkey-Iran border, Ağrı, a place where I never felt more alien in before. The issue isn't only that I cannot walk on the streets in simple trousers and a rather conservative top without my mother accompanying me, but unlike the other city nearby, called Van, it is the lack of character, culture or maybe lack of composure that made this city look so unattractive and forgotten.
In the next three months in summer, I will have to entertain myself here and my Metallica albums may not be enough.
One of the colleagues of my father, who lived in the same building as my father does, has two girls that I became friends with the previous year. They were also foreigners to the city, and stayed there for a limited amount of time, and then left. Like many professionals who hold a governmental job, my father too got assigned to this city randomly, and will be assigned to another place after the minimum amount of time is reached, or later. This makes it the 8th city that my father is transferred. Unlike previous times, this time it was decided that my father should come here alone, while my mother and me continued to stay in Antalya, still to visit regularly. This way, my education would not be interrupted since after a nationwide test at the end of my primary school I had just made it to the most prestigious high school in Antalya.
Three months pass quietly, as I fall more into myself with music, books, sleeping and daydreaming. In the meantime, after my mother's suggestion, which is offered very excitedly, we do one remarkable thing: we go to the public library of the city, the existence of which surprises me greatly. Shelves filled with books having the same old library hard cover, I don't feel
much intrigued, but nevertheless pick randomly one book. The book is by a foreign author, and is a translated version into Turkish. It is a love story, starting with this aura of isolation and intensity with a lack of external varieties, somewhat similar to my situation. It carries me away; and I am surprised at how a random book from the library of this forgotten city where nobody visits could make me feel. I finish the book eventually even though I don't want it to end, which is followed by me throwing myself to my bed and sobbing and sobbing for this man in the story.
It's the beginning of the spring semester next year, and I love school even more, since it is the place I can socialize with other people that are my age, and certainly more fun than what I have done all summer. In English class, we are supposed to read and analyse a classic this semester. The teacher starts to tell us a bit about the story, and I realize what I haven't realized from just hearing the book's original name first, that I read this book. She then asks if anyone has read it before, and I raise my hand. She asks:
Who was your favorite character?
My answer somehow baffles her, and she asks me, why? As a 13 year old, I cannot put my finger on it at the time, nor I remember the whole story in detail. But I know that I do have strong, vivid feelings about Heathcliff.
As the semester continues, and we dive more into the book, and one thing becomes clear: Heathcliff is sick.
Somehow, the things I found so beautiful about him before, including him digging the grave of his dead lover, Catherine, whom he misses dearly, just to hold her in his arms one more time, are being criticised immensely in this lecture.
I do not participate much in the class anymore, and let the semester pass; and put Wuthering Heights somewhere special in my heart far away from my English course.
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