Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bodrun, Turkey, 1918: Always Your Darling



Atlanta Constitution headline, 1918


I gave him the cufflinks the night that he left me forever.

It was past time for him to go, and he was dressing hurriedly, after leaving our bed in the tiny shabby room where we had been meeting as often as we possibly could for the past three months.  The sheets were still damp with the sweat from our lovemaking when I handed him the tiny box.



Antique 18K Gold Art Deco Cufflinks 6 Point Black Star Sapphire

"My love?" he said, taking the box from me and kissing me gently.

"Please, just open it," I said, and the tears I had been dreading and fighting for the last few hours came then.

When he saw the cufflinks, his eyes glistened as well. He studied them, and I studied his face as he did so, knowing that after tonight, I would not see him again for a very long time.

"They are lovely," he said, and then his voice caught in his throat as he turned them over to read the words I had asked the jeweler to inscribe:

Antique 18K Gold Art Deco Cufflinks 6 Point Black Star Sapphire
            Sevgilim daima senin.  I love you always.  Always your darling.

The tiny black star sapphires caught the lamplight and glowed against the engraved gold of the cufflinks as I fastened them carefully into each of his cuffs. I looked up into his eyes, his dear dark intense eyes, and then I stood on my toes and kissed his mouth, inhaling his scent as if I could hold it in forever.

"I had them made for you," I said.  "They will remind you of our love.  And if you need to, you can sell them, for they are very valuable, and I would not have you penniless in a strange country."

"I shall be fine," he said firmly, pulling me to him again.  "My uncle is there, and will welcome me with open arms.  I shall have no need to sell these tokens of your love, my sweet."  And then there were no more words, only our mouths and bodies pressed together as if there were nothing that could pull us apart.

"I must go," he said finally, haltingly, breaking the embrace.  "The ship sails in less than an hour, and I must be on it."

"I know, my darling," I said, and I did not know what inner strength possessed me in that moment to make my voice sound so calm, so normal.   "And when you are safely in America, I'll be ready to come as soon as you send for me.  I'll be waiting."

"You must be strong," he said.  "Your father will be watching you now more than ever.  The other members of the Hearth will be questioned, but they will have no answers for the Sultan's men.  Do not lose faith, my sweet love, for I shall send for you, and we shall be together again, with no talk of parting."

"Yes," I said.  "Yes," and I kissed him one last time.   I watched as he left, closing the door carefully behind him.  "Yes," I said once more to the empty room, my voice suddenly sounding absurdly loud to my own ears, and then I wept myself dry on the lonely bed, not knowing that the ship he left me to board would not reach the shores of America, not knowing that I would never see him again, except in the face of the child he had given me this night.

Sevgilim daima senin.






10 comments:

  1. FABULOUS! Love the story, looove it!

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    1. Thanks, D - that means a lot coming from you!

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  2. wow! this is fantastic, Cynthia!

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    1. Thanks so very much! It's always been difficult for me to put my writing out there, and I'm working to change that, so your kind words are very much appreciated :-)

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  3. I have goose bumps on my entire body - amazing - I am crying a little ... x

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  4. Very nice setup. The mushy stuff was almost too much, but then the twist at the end made it perfect. It leaves me wanting to read on.

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    1. Just close your eyes and cover your face with a pillow when the mushy stuff starts - I'll holler when it's over :D

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  5. So are the cuff links for sale or did they go down with the ship? When did he send that post card? I don't see any water damage. Did you write Casablanca, too? OMG I love your writing. <3

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    1. The cufflinks are totally for sale - the captions are links to them in our etsy shop :) This snippet is actually doing its best to nag me into turning it into something much longer... And I <3 your writing too!

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