The little boy on the orange bike

My man’s military service, which started about fifteen months ago, is over. And while he has some difficulty believing that he is really not expected back at the army base, there is something I can’t get out of my mind. That is: the little boy on the orange bike.
My man, H., worked the last few months in the army canteen and supermarket, where family members of professional army men would also come to shop or eat. There were always children around too, one of whom was a little boy on an orange bike. İ guess he was 4 or 5 years old, and whenever H. and I were on the phone and he started to giggle, I knew the boy on the orange bike was passing by. Life around the army canteen was a real adventure for him, and he used to ask H. all sorts of funny questions that seemed very important to him: ‘Abi (older brother), which route shall I take today?’, or ‘Abi, I have 25 kurus, what would be the best thing to buy for that much money?’, things like that. Abi always tried to make the conversation last, because this lively sweet little boy really lightened up his boring and hard-working days.
The little boy must be still biking around there, probably finding another abi to talk to now that H. is gone. And about fifteen years from now, he will be a soldier too. He will come to realise how tough it can be to do your military service. I hope for his sake that he, like my man, will not be sent off to some troubled, violent region in Turkey – or, even better, that by that time there won’t be any troubled violent regions left in this country. And that he will also find something sweet and innocent to lighten up his soldiering days.

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