Turkish Delights and Hot air balloons

We lay in our bed. Anjana and I had known each other for a few years now, but she’d never spoken about her childhood or about her family before. She’d been with other men before me, that I knew, but nothing about the circumstances of her childhood, and nothing about the members of her family. I do not know what it was that got her talking today, the cool daylight of a lazy Sunday morning, the sound of footsteps and the noise of carts making their way through the narrow cobblestone path below, I could not figure out which of these prodded her to open up. The noises were just beginning to grow as the clock struck seven.

She was 23 years old, many years younger than I. She was one of the most sensible women I’ve known. She was generally calm, but would stand up for the things she felt were important like a tigress would, for her cubs. ‘Beautiful’ was not the word that would describe her and I imagine that is not something she’d prefer too. She was graceful in her motions like a trained dancer, but clumsy with pencils, which only made her more human. I’d always wanted to know what kind of circumstances gave raise to such character in someone so young. As far as I knew, she was from a very well to do family and had stayed abroad for a few years as a child. But, that was all I knew, everything else had been like a puzzle, with a thousand pieces, of which only half were with me. I was standing at the door and to my surprise five men walked in carrying oversized gift-wrapped boxes, each a perfect cube with sides equaling two feet. From their faces, I could tell that each of them weighed approximately fifteen kilograms. Surprised as I was, I let them place it on the ground, in a two by two matrix with the fifth one sitting on top. The men left without a word. Anjana was already there, opening the box on top. As she tore open the cover, the floor around the box was filled with Turkish Delights of assorted kinds. There were pistachios, almonds and the plain colored ones, orange, pink, yellow and brown. A few seconds later the other four boxes burst open under the weight of the Turkish Delights and soon the room was filled with them. Thousands of Turkish Delights of all the colors one could find on a shade card. Anjana and I grabbed a few and went at them like kids in a toy store. The green one, then the orange one, then the ones with the almonds, and all them sailed through our throats like branches being carried by a stream.

The room shook violently with such noise that all the sounds from the streets below were drained out and all I could hear was tic-tock-tic-tock. I just stared in disbelief as the walls were ripped apart and the floor was lifted off from below where I stood, and all I could do was marvel at the beauty of Istanbul and my Anjana who stood in the foreground smiling serenely waving her hands as if to say good-bye. I looked around to find myself amongst hundreds of colorful hot air balloons floating towards the sky. When I looked below again, all I could see was a deep gaping canyon and then it went dark.

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