A Prose by METİN KAYA BİR
BRIDE WITHOUT HENNA
“The weather is as heavy as lead”, knife-edge frost, a cruel winter. The nights, freezing the winter, smashing whiplike on the doors and windows. The White gauzed face of earth mother takes place in memories as if a deep, shapeless, cracked and galled lake base.
The people trying to warm under very fine mattress and cannot fall into reveries… She has recalled his inner circle and the family members under the quilt. Then, she has thought on the possible options to get rid of her destiny that feels like hump on his back. Within the tufty snow pile outside, lifeless and hazy bodies set up. The nature seemed to breed everything in same color.
They have had life that force to them to make a choice in between to freeze in a one-eyed home or to warm in a barn by the heat of the animals inside. The days passed by the crowded population, stuffless house, torn and patched clothes under poverty. Nevertheless, she was aware that she was growing. Her appearance was resembling to her older sisters while her clothes start to fit tight and her body getting in womanish shape. The conversations at the fountain and marriage ceremonies were her best moments.
She more often looked to the mirror on the wall andrecalled her lover. And then she stared at his friends that just passed by her house. Like everyone else, she has desired to be recognized. She has looked for her lover where he returned on the weekends from the city center. In the meantime, she has been in conversations with her friends on how and what a forbidden love is.
She has run to her friends while leaving her destiny at her home. At the meetings, a panoramic shot was taken on the village news. She heard that women from other villages coming to her village to see marriageable girls where her warm body frozen into ice. Her eyes got blank; her palms sweated. She returned to her home in silence to finish her knitting and found herself dreaming while sticking the needle of her kitting to those she even does not know.
The women from other villages gathered in tradesman’s home. The pedigree of the village girls was announced out from one of the house’s rooms with chimney on top. When dark has fallen the families negotiated ulteriorly. Prior to the family with right conditions is determined, negotiations were completed after several rounds. Then, they gathered up to visit the bride candidate. Titters were served to guests along with cracking tea. Discussions held on brooded felts and grass pillows.
The same story happened to her following her friends. Her unfortunate was explained to her with a few words. The northwester dropped frost into her heart. Two drops of tear became words on her lip. She has thought of her flower smelling love master.
Her father and mother walked on the way to the road routes to the center of city in the morning. The weather was hazy, it was full frost. They were very cold while they made to the center on back of a truck. Within a lazy mood, they jumped off the truck onto the warm ground. They tried to warm up in a bakery while enjoying their hot bread and halva. It was the time for shopping with the bride price. Her father has bought a hat and one kilo of illegal tobacco. He was happy that eventually he could have got rid of his dirty old hat. A shawl, a pair of socks and nylon shoes were purchased for her mother. They were planning to get a radio. After a short ended looking around, they managed to buy one along with the spare batteries. A Persian carpet with deer figure on was also bough to hang on their home’s wall. They were glad. One final purchase left to execute which was to own a cow for the home.
Everybody except the eldest girl of the family with money driven fate cheered up with the Kurdish music listened from Erivan Radio FM from Erzurum. The process for marriage was speed up hurry-scurry. Bulgur Soap, rice and grape compote were served to co-in-laws. The tobacco was rolled to smoke. The eagles of Plato silenced, the doves quarreled, the crows were frozen. All livings got angry on her money driven fate! Her plan was to give herself to her love after washing in flower smelling water. In fact, with no henna on her hands, her parcel was handed with a few belongings bought with the bride wealth. She sledded to tantivy with two foreigners in the morning at dawn. A jug of water was poured onwards. The wedding music was the ring of horse hack and snow creak.
She saw pack of crow on the way. They seemed to imitate the sound of rescue all together. She watched two eagles flying at distant as if they were dancing. One of the eagles perched to crywhile bagging to the other one. She then watched two hunterfoxes as if she was performing a farewell to them. Her heart could not anymore stand on this dramatic game and wiped her tears with the brouded napkin which she couldn’t deliver to her one’s and only. She listened the whistle of the wind with the pain on her toes by the cold. Eventually, she headed to an unknown place while accompanying tall the colors and voices of her homeland.
After a long journey, she finally became a “bride without henna” in a place where she doesn’t even know the language they speak. When dark has fallen, they made it to village home. The heart throbbing with fear, wayworn, wamble and sleeplessness… She sat on a chair after walking throughout faded light. People walked in and out of the room with no chance to recognize their face in the darkish room. She was puzzled. She heard of voices from a language that she does not even understand. She woke up to ash grey morning with the rooster’s crow remembering the same happened just before she left her own homeland. She found her thyme smelling body in bed with a man that is around her father’s age.
She whimpered in between the cold walls: “Now, I am very cold Mom!”
Metin KAYA He was born in 1956 at Göle/Ardahan. He is currently retired after long years of working as a teacher. During his teenage and academic years, he has been in charge in democratic mass organizations, non-democratic governmental organizations and Eğitim-Sen in order to find solutions and to facilitate the life. He began writing at his early student life. And he also worked as a volunteer teacher in ACEV which is an establishment for father support education program. His poems, essays, narratives and conversations were published in various national and regional magazines and newspapers. He is an author for three Turkish and one Kurdish books of poems. Two of his Turkish poetry book was rewarded as well. His poems were placed in readers such as “Şair Kapıları”, “Kömür Yarası” and many others. At the same time, he is grant holder in literature and culture magazine named “Göle’de İmece Zamanı”. He is currently working on his new book of narratives that will be published soon. At the moment, he lives in Istanbul/Turkey.
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