I’m out in a rooftop bar on the European side of Istanbul. I’m with two male friends, American and French, who I’ve no reason to think fancy me. It’s nearly midnight.
My phone rings.
A rooftop bar on the European side of Istanbul. Two male friends, American and French, who I’ve no reason to think fancy me. It’s nearly midnight.
My phone rings. One, two…
My stomach clenches. Three…I scrabble for the phone, it’s always within easily answerable reach. I catch it before the problematic fourth ring. It’s my boyfriend, Yilmaz, calling from his hometown in Artvin, near the Armenian border.
I’m out. I’m in a bar. I’m with two male friends. It’s nearly midnight.
I step away, so they won’t hear me explaining why I’m out, where I am, who I’m with, when I’m going home.
“…yes….not late…soon….Yes, as soon as I get home.”
An icy wind rolls in from The Black Sea. I return and jitter in my seat for a few more minutes, and then make my excuses and leave, night ruined. It wasn’t worth coming out.
I locate my phone somewhere in my bag and answer. It’s a friend wondering if I’m free to meet before I leave town. I step a metre or so away to hear more easily. A warm breeze from the Bosphorus flitters across my skin. We chat briefly and the night carries on as before. It isn’t worth mentioning.