The courtyard was bitter cold, and the acrid dust picked up by the gusts of wind was the kind that sticks in the nostrils, hardening to concrete as you breathe. It didn’t matter; my comrades and I had noble work to do.
We were nearing completion of the bronze statue of our Atatürk; everyone else was in a merry mood. Everyone but me.
While the entire country admired the living legend, I alone harbored a grudge against the man. He was responsible for the death of the one true love of my life, Fikriye.
True, it has been ten long years since I lost her forever, but my heartache has not grown less. Indeed, if anything, it has intensified with this time apart!
I know Fikriye and I were never an acknowledged couple. I understood when she had to make a show of her affections for Atatürk. No, I encouraged this! I wanted only the best for my Fikriye, and knowing that I could not provide it, I pushed her away and watched from afar the twists and turns of her life that led her to him.
Him. He who refused to value her as she deserved. He married another in her stead, and allowed this woman to push my Fikriye away, out of the life she had built with the work of years!
My Fikriye killed herself because her life was gone, and that woman who replaced her didn’t even go the distance with him.
I will never forget; I will never forgive.
I love you, Fikriye. This lock of your hair that I hide inside Atatürk’s bronze head will serve as my memorial to you, forever.
Disclaimer: for my Turkish readers, I mean no offense to your national hero. This is a work of fiction, and should be taken as such.
And tnkerr, thanks for encouraging the research!
And this title is to be sung à la Henry the VIII, I Am. On a roll today, kiddos!
Ian and I went shopping on his break this afternoon.
And purchased, among other items, a pair of socks.