I could hear the engines of the cars starting up and carrying their passengers to the beyond. I had been woken up by the sound of cracking and spurring branches. The smell of ash and smell of a blend of proud Turkish and common Ceylon tea the wafted into my room. Every morning he was woken up by the signature blend of stress and by the relish of a new day. The stress of a migrant with promises and dreams of a better life, with the temptation of a brighter future, for his mother and himself. Oh her mother, she would light the Samovar, lighting the fuse on a new day, a new beginning, a new chance. Praying for her child for a test or assignment, having sacrificed everything for him, a loving family, a mediocre job, and her country.
As I wake up, school and all of its assignments, homework’s and tests flood my mind like tea floods around then on top of cubes of sugar. But just like sugar melts by the touch of hot tea, my worries melt by the waft of tea. The sun is rising and the day has started. With the worries at bay I pack them into my bag to transport them to where they belong. With my glass of tea, beside the Samovar I spend the few precious minutes of the morning I can spare gazing up at the sky, wondering about the day. My mother gives me a wrapped dry loaf, everything we can spare, and I am off.
I, the focal point of suspicion and hope. My class suspicious, my mother hopeful, I enter my class with all the other students all neatly dressed and ready to talk with their friends and get the day over with. Me, savouring every moment, trying to churn every second into results. Why, I have no other choice, either put in the effort or lose. The suspicion, a migrant in a room with the wealthy. One comes in with sleepless ours the other with the hours of their parents. As I envelop myself in the science, math and economy presented, my mother toils at work, long hours, little money, the horrific ratio. As life passes specific points are fixated upon, the ends. The end of internships, the end of spread of a disease, the end of a stressful situation. My mother fixated upon the end of my school, where fate might change the world might expand.
For me that end is everything. Everything I do is for that. The hours of memorising, the hours of listening, interpreting, answering. All I have done, is for that. Success is not an option, but a must. That moment of the ultimatum is not far, for me it’s like it is in a moment, for everyone else, 3 months away.
After the day of processing the very things that will separate between success and failure, life and… oblivion. Not in a literal sense but a downfall, of hope and dreams. A waste of toil and tears.
As I emerge from the thoughts that almost drown me, I am on the bus, emerging from the smooth, kind road to the rough gravel, with all its sharpness and jagged movements. Back to reality I come, weighed down by the assignments, home works, projects, lessons. As I enter my home, all that lifts from my shoulders as if by a power mightier than me has shown mercy, and the waft of tea soothes me. The Samovar boiling by the branches. The clouds dark, life dark, the world dark. The only drive is survival. But all that dissipates by the Samovar. Then a dribble begins, next to the Samovar I watch a droplet fall down shattering into piece on the ground and melting away into all the other droplets, losing its identity. The tea is strong and bitter but laced with sweetness, my representation of life. Although life seems dark and unruly at times, when looked closely a hope shines, success was my hope.
With another day awakening and the pages of studies from Biology, Mathematics, English, chemistry from the night in my head, I go into the void. I awaken with the smell of birch wood smoke and roses, as I arise from the concoction of nightmares and terrors, my mother wakes me up from the dark into hope, with her tenderness soothes me from my endless recounting of possibilities, ones with brightness and some with darkness. The only thing of value to me, her smile, her existence. Even my hopes are for us, after a life of hardship, to show her that her only investment, me, was worth the struggle.
The rose smell, and the loving smile, take me away from the worries of the future, into the brightness of the present, presenting another day with hope. With this I sit on my bed in thought, of my mother, she nurtured me, supported me and carried me onto the days of dreams. Starting up as a child with hopes, I grew up to be a person with dreams. The road may be daunting and worry will not end, but passing another mountain into the valley of opportunities, life carries hope. As I get ready for another day into the dark, the soothing of my mother deteriorates into the darkness, and then to the light again with my bag at the Samovar next to my mother, with the touch of bitter sweet tea and a smell of roses.
Just before I leave for another day of proving and justifying myself in this world, I get the invaluable love of my mother with her encasing me in her hug, protecting me from the worries, and her voice reassures me from the monsters, “No matter what, there is always hope, and love for you”.
As the smell of dark black tea from my homeland dissipates, another day of wondering begins. The white bare walls, and whiteboard with the marks of countless words, numbers and symbols in an unexpected harmony stare at me, I see the teacher and only the teacher, immerse myself into the lesson, ignoring the countless other pupils in their gleaming uniforms, with the privilege of half listening half immersed in their own conversations. I sit on the polished desk, spending many an hour listening, writing, and understanding.
Another day ended, some may say I am isolated, I would say I am dedicated. As I enter the house, I directly start the fight, me against the mountain. The minute’s flow like seconds, immersed in another world lacking in nightmares but full of curiosity. After toiling I am satisfied, the hours were spent well, with the Doppler effect, Calculus, complex creative writing and many other topics.
I finish the day, having climbed the mountain without falling. As I let sleep carry me away through the tunnels of darkness I wonder about the future. Today the sun greets me not with its usual smile, but with its smirk, as it is high, I am late. As I get out of bed there is a piece missing, no smell of birch or roses, no waft of tea. As I enter her room to wake her up, a shiver greets me with suspicion, as I approach her, her dark hair conceals her open eyes, slumped on a chair, the cold impaling me. No emotion floods me, no tears well up, her body is cold. Like the wind, like the Samovar.
I go call our neighbour, as an ambulance comes in silence, and as my hope and dreams go past, I stare at the Samovar, golden like the smirking sun. I stare until dark, with no sleep, the nightmares threaten being too much.
As the sun rises, the same smirk on its face, I go to light the Samovar, but even as I take a glimpse at it, my heart pounds and memories fly past. I cannot.
I stuff my books into my bag and head to the only place I know. In a state of hypnosis, I listen to the lessons go by, no bad memories, only me and the teacher. But as I return to reality, to the house which I once knew as home, it comes to me, the tears. As I cry through the night as the moon flies past, the emotions recede, leaving a hole. I never enter the room of the Samovar.
As months fly by as subjects go past, I leech on the emotionless coffee with its bitterness, like life. Leaving aside the hopeful tea.