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
‘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
The woman was relieved.
‘God, and I had thought..well.’
The man did not worry or wonder about what his wife
‘I would have given up this damn work and gone to
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
‘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
‘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 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
‘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
‘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
‘What is the question-have you any better
suggestion than having the man of the house keep the money of the
‘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
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
‘What did you think ?’
‘Forget it. How could I even think that for you?!’
‘What for me?’
‘Ah, nothing. Forget it. Nothing.’
‘Yes my love. You are my gem, you know ?’
‘Yes, and you are my gem,no?’