The man arrived home in an unexpectedly good mood. The woman was suspicious. 

‘Any particular reason for feeling so high spirite?’ she inquired. He did not answer. He was not only in a good mood, he was also elsewhere in his mind.The woman insisted with a nervous lack of tolerance : 

‘I am asking you !’ The man stared at his wife if he had just woken up.


‘The reason for your cheerful mood.’

‘oh, that. Nothing.’


The man also failed to hear this question and wlaked up to the table dreamily. Dinner was already served.They started eating. The woman was intently watching the man from the corner of her eye and was trying to  make out something from his manners and from the mood he was displaying, a mood unlike his every other day’s. Many different possibilities passed through her wondering mind.Something different had to have happened to this man today otherwise he would have returned home like any other day, with shoulders drooping and a face no less than a dramatic mask of unhappiness.

The man suddenly put his fork down and straightened up in his chair. 

‘Oh dear, oh Dear’ he murmurred. He started staring at his wife with bright green eyes smiling. He didn’t start talking. Obviously he was not in hurry to say what he meant by ‘oh dear, oh dear’.

The woman lost finally lost her temper.

‘What is the matter for Heaven’s sake?’

‘Not much. I don’t ask for much. Just fifteen thousand. Yes,fifteen thousand only, to give me back 15 years from my life. Yes,that would be good enough.’

The woman felt her heart pounding.

‘Fifteen thousand what ?’

‘I bought a lottery ticket’


‘So I was thinking, if we get fifteen thousand from it.....’

The woman was relieved.

‘God, and I had thought..well.’

The man did not worry or wonder about what his wife had thought.

‘I would have given up this damn work and gone to Istanbul.’

The woman was startled.

‘You  mean,like,to live in Istanbul?’

‘Yeah , of course, what else?’

‘And what do you reckon you would do there?’

‘What would I do there?My, what wouldn’t do there ! Open a nice little restaurant,for instance,wouldn’t I ?’ 

The woman gave it a thought.

‘Well, that wouldn’t be very  wise,would it? I am against your quiting. I mean you shouldn’t. Not right away. You should take some weeks off and go and check how things are over in Istanbul first. Maybe, then..’

‘C’mon. I am talking of fifteen thousand. Fifteen thousand. Get it?Once I ‘ve got that sort of money, I mean ,hell, what do I care for this rotten old job and the rotten old people that come with it.’

‘Yeah, but you listen to me now. If you should have that sort of money..’

‘Yeah, if I have it?

‘You’ll blow it all.’

He was annoyed.

‘Stop talking nonsense. As if I ever did have that sort of money and did blow it all..’

‘True. You haven’t, still you can.I mean you are an easy spender. The best would be ..’ she did not go on. She wondered whether she should even say it out loud. The man was staring at her, curious to hear the rest of it. She took her chances.

‘Well, the best thing would be if we took thousand of it.’

‘And ?’

‘And deposit it in the bank, in my account. Then with the remaining we shall gert ourselves some proper clothes to wear. My shoes are all wasted,my lingerie would certainly appreciate renewing and my coat is....’

‘Mine too.’

‘Mine are really in worse shape than yours, you know. Maybe we should actually get the material and I could sew the shirts all right. A dozen for you and a dozen for me.’

‘Boy I need some new suit. They must be of real good quality material. Probably two or three of them. Also two pairs of shoes. And shirts. Six, maybe more. The more shirts you have the less they wear out.’

‘You have quite right. See,if I had three coats,right?’

‘The suits must  be of different colour, a grey one and a brown one of course. Pure cotton shirts and shoes of best leather. Anyway you know what, we’ll take the boat to Istanbul. Best thing to do. Yes ,fresh breeze, open air.We could spend a few days in Izmir.’

‘A few days would be unnecessary, a day will do.’

‘A day will do? And why is that ? One can hardly rest enough after tiring journey. We will surely need more than a day.’

‘Well, if you were to ask me, we shouldn’t even stop by in Izmir.’

‘And why is that ?’

‘Cause it is money spent for nothin’. We can take the train as  second class and soon enough we shall arrive Istanbul. After all, what is Izmir next to Istanbul. Since we are going to see Istanbul, we might as well skip Izmir. By the way, you will let me wear make up as I please when we are in Istanbul, won’t you?’

‘Provided that you don’t lose your head over it and over do it.’

‘They have real expensive stuff for make-up in that city you know.What I ‘ll do is, I’ll buy two lipsticks and put them away, save them for future days.’ 

They finished eating. He got up and lay down on the sofa. He lighted a cigarette, started staring at the ceiling. The woman cleared the table ,quickly did the dishes and came by him.

‘Well actually one lipstick will do. We really shouldn’t spend away the money, also two coats instead of three and two pieces of garments is more like it.’

‘It is better to run a bar,better business than running a restaurant you know.Three-to-four hundred turnover a day. With a restaurant there is the danger of unsold food that would have to be thrown away, well the bar does eliminate such bad consequences, see?!’

‘I am right, no ?’

‘Right about what ?’

‘About two coats and a garment instead.’

‘Yes and what about  my idea?’

‘About what ?’

‘The bar of course !’

The woman rose.

‘I would like to say something’


‘But promise me first you won’t get mad at me for saying so.’

‘OK, promise.’

‘See, you’ve spent a whole life as a dignified clerk in government offices. You don’t have any idea of private business and anyway free enterprise and trading are...’

She couldn’t finish. He was furious :

‘Are you telling me I will do undignified, cheap ways of making a living? Look at you, suddenly you are high up there sitting next to Almighty. Big deal, your status.You’d rather be the dignified wife of a five thousand Lira clerk than the wife if a five thousand Lira trading man-not sophisticated enough ,ha!?’

‘True enough. It is nothing to be proud of- to be the wife of a man who trades.’

The man gave her a disgusted look. He was starting up when she asked:

‘So anyway, where does the money go into , your account or mine?’

‘Mine of course !’

How come of course ?’

‘I said mine and meant mine and that’s that.’

‘And just who do I happen to be in this house, o noose?’

‘What is the question-have you any better suggestion than having the man of the house keep the money of the house?’

‘No, it is not that, but if you had trusted me at all, it wouldn’t have been a matter for you and you wouldn’t make such a fuss about it and we could go on and just as well deposit it in my account.’

The man did not reply.

The woman was further insulted by his not answering.

She went to the other room, stood by the window, started gazing into the darkness. That he hadn’t bothered to respond proved one thing; He did not trust her. He did not trust his wife ! Why ? Why wouldn’t  he trust her? Was there some one else he trusted better?Who ? She would make a case out of it and if necessary demand a divorce. Yes, she would. She would finish it tonight. Right now. Before she coud say a word, he got up, murmurring :

‘Yeah, that’s it, that’s a much better idea. That’s right. A bar, yes, a bar.’

He hugged his wife and kissed her happily. She forgot all about her anger. Still she remembered to ask :

‘And where do we put the money ?’

He did not even evaluate the question.

‘What’s the difference, my account, your account. We ‘ll make it yours.’

A feeling of lighthearted joy releived her and a sparkling look settled in her eyes. She embraced him.

‘Darlin’, my darlin’ love and to think I had thought......’

‘What did you think ?’

‘Forget it. How could I even think that for you?!’

‘What for me?’

‘Ah, nothing. Forget it. Nothing.’

‘Darlin’, sweetheart.’

‘Yes my love. You are my gem, you know ?’

‘Yes, and you are my gem,no?’  

                                                                                Orhan Kemal