The tale of the Turk: pt 1

"Meet me at the sunset point at 6"

I imagined it would be like our first rendezvous when we watched the sunset together while clinging onto each other, giggling like teenagers who could not be torn apart not caring who was watching us. Looking each other straight in the eyes, and not even needing words to describe what we were feeling. Thinking about nothing other than this very moment.

"Where are you? I'm coming now" he replied.

No, wait, I need time. I need time to mentally prepare myself for what was bound to happen.  I told both him and myself that this was over seven months ago... and it WAS over. After all the arguing, the tears, the difficulty with communication, and the lies, I ended it. But here I was a year later in the very place where it all began, and somehow I knew that I couldn't spend the weekend here without making an attempt to make amends... and of course recreate that movie like romance.

I imagined this moment for months. In my fantasies I would be at the airport. We would link eyes at baggage claim and I would run to him. He would embrace me, look me in the eye and tell me how much he missed me. It'd be the perfect summer romance part two... but I should have known better. This started unexpectedly, during a time when I promised to swear off (Turkish) men. But then this man just wandered into my life when I least expected or wanted it.

Flashback one year prior. It was my second day in Cappadocia. I had failed to book a hotel before arriving in the small, but busy town of Goreme. Halfway through my journey across the country, I had an anxiety attack realizing that I couldn't just walk around Goreme at midnight looking for a place to sleep when I arrived. A man at a ticketing agency in Konya, a city halfway between my departure city and destination had kindly called his friend who owned a hotel in the town. The friend would pick me up at the bus station and bring me to his hotel that night when I arrived. If it wasn't for this man I would've been shit out of luck my first night, but I knew that if I wanted to keep my budget for the rest of the trip I'd have to find a cheaper hotel for my remaining nights in town.

Earlier that day, I had been hiking in one of Cappadocia's many famous valleys surrounded by rock formations known as "fairy chimneys". I hadn't seen too many people on that blaring hot day, but eventually I met a young French guy around the same age as me. We hiked together for the rest of the afternoon and by early evening decided to go back into town. Upon arriving back at his hotel to gather his friends for dinner, I took a look around the hotel. I immediately found it much more appealing than the hotel I was currently at. All of the hotels in Cappadocia are "cave" hotels with rooms carved into rocks, therefore they're not all that different from one another, but this hotel was more of a hostel than a hotel. After all, I was a solo traveler and hostels are the best place to stay on a budget while making new friends.

Sometimes we remember the moment we met a special person in our lives. And sometimes, whether it be negative, positive, or neutral-- we make immediate judgement on them. But it's impossible to predict the future events that will happen between yourself and this person. I never would've guessed that I would end up having a year and a half long love affair with the man who greeted me that evening.

A short, but handsome, young bearded man (oh wait that's a description of nearly every Turk), appeared as I admired the hotel. He happily advised me that they had plenty of rooms available and would save a place for me if I decided to switch to his hotel. I figured he was just doing his best to make money for his business, but what the hell? It seemed like a fun place to stay for a few more nights.

Flash forward one year.

"Alex, I love you"

I didn't know what to say or feel as I watched those words appear on my screen, from this man who I hadn't seen in a year. This man who had only spilled the answers to all of his lies because I found out on my own. It made my stomach lurch knowing that at that very moment he was sitting with his friends, or maybe even his wife and kid just across town. My stomach somersaulted again at the thought of standing face to face with him in just two more hours.

My fantasies of a happy couple being reunited were gone at this point. I had no idea what to expect or what I wanted out of this, but I knew I had to see him again...