Once they crossed the border, he
reached her and gave her a piece of bread. He has been walking by
her side all the day, watching her. Inside the truck, he was now
staring at her from the corner.
The strong smell of urine and drug was coming from the floor of the
truck. A cool breeze was passing through the opening on the sides
and the big hole on the top of the truck. It was very cold; she
wrapped her skirt around her feet. She was scared. There was a spark
in the man's eyes. Waiting for the right moment, he quickly caught
her attention. She felt warmer. A strange sensation passed through
her joints. She felt as if a hand had grabbed her unripe breasts.
She felt a twinge in her breast.
She pulled her blue headband forward. She hid her head between her
hands and hugged her knees. She closed her eyes and wished she could
sleep like the others... The soldiers were running with their
helmets pulled down. Their boots were landing simultaneously on the
asphalt. The sound of sirens had filled the area... The points of
the bayonets were shining in the sun. The blows of the gun-buts were
painful and knocked one's breath out. They were forcing women and
children out of their homes... The instant a house set on fire, it
Like huge scary mouths, the army trucks were standing at the
entrance of every alley, swallowing the men. They took Father,
dragging him on the ground... He yelled, trying to say something,
but his voice was lost in the uproar.
Grandma said, "Set the house on fire, leave only ashes for
them!" Mother looked at the freshly washed curtains, at the
hand-made rug that was her trousseau, and the canaries' cage... Her
eyes were filled with tears.
With her shaking legs, Grandma could hardly walk; she was unable to
run. Mother was squeezing her hand with her fingers. The frightened,
sobbing crowd was carrying her along like a wave.
She could see the stars through the hole in the top of the cab. In
the darkness of the night, the mountains on the bend of the road
looked like the giant creatures in the stories. She was knocked
against the woman next to her, who was asleep. She felt the weight
of that look on her face. With every turn of the man's look, it felt
as is a bowl of fire was rolling on her face. He touched his thick
mustache and smiled. "Everyone is asleep; can't you
sleep?" He asked her in a calm voice.
She shook her head and hid her face in her hands. With a sudden move
of the car, the woman, sitting in front of her, woke up. She held
the baby in her arms tight and mumbled something. A baby sucked the milk less
breast of the mother and smiled, dreaming of milk. The weather was
treacherously cold. No one had gotten a chance to bring an overcoat.
Some even had not had time to put on shoes. She looked at the
swollen ankle of the woman that was visible through her skirt. There
were cracks on her heel; blood and dust had dried around the wound.
The driver stopped on the side of the road and got out. Everyone
looked at him with sleepy eyes. He told them in Kurdish that he had
to turn left and they could walk the rest of the way to the army
camp by themselves.
With difficulty, they got up on their feet and got off the truck one
by one, without saying a word. When it was her turn to jump down,
the man held her by her waist. He put her down with a smooth twist
of his hands. His breath smelled of tobacco. He was warm and sweaty.
The girl shivered and huddled in her clothes. The sound of a
waterfall could be heard. They crossed the road. The creek and the
poplar trees were hidden in the dark. A sleepy old man suggested
they stay there until morning. The blister on her foot was burning.
She took of her shoes and put her feet in the water despite the
cold. Her toes froze. She felt the cold running quickly up inside
her legs. Hunger was making her stomach churn, making her feel
dizzy. She put her shoes under her arm and wrapped her clothing
tighter around her body.
The children, who had awakened were whining, thinking of food and
warmth... The wind was blowing through the grass and leaves... It
had the sound of murmur of a frightened group of people. She looked
at the silver-colored road, shining under the moonlight through the
trees. She felt someone breathing behind her neck and felt warmer.
Early in the morning. The refugees started walking toward the army
camp. Staring ahead, they were walking in the heavy silence. The
pebbles on the road were hurting their feet. The cold wind has made
an old man start coughing. The smaller kids were still asleep. Their
heads were dangling over their mothers' shoulders. At the bend of
the road, a young man turned and looked behind him for the last
time. Behind the trees and beyond the fields of wheat a blue piece
of cloth could be seen on the thorns of a bush dancing in the wind.
The redness of the girl's skirt was still visible from a distance in
the middle of the field.