Keep Smiling – Ayse Bayiryüzü


Have you ever tried to think back and grasp your memories? I am sure right now you are trying to visualize a particular past event. Well, then we are not really different from each other.

Here I am, stuck in the middle of Lawrence, feeling isolated from the rest of the world. I am over 4,000 miles away from London, but it feels more like four million miles. I can’t stop gazing at this gloomy-looking fountain. The siphon has stopped pouring water into the basin. Not only is the fountain dried out, but the plants and trees also seem withered and brown. Butterflies lie on the ground, and squirrels hide from the people and heat in their burrows.

My dad used to talk about what a romantic and dreamy person I am. I could be physically present at a certain place but mentally in a different universe. That is why he used to call me Luna, which means moon in Latin. I believe that names have an impact on your personality, and I guess that is the reason for me living in a different world in my mind.

As I sit by the dried-up fountain, it seems to transform into the glamorous fountain in Regent’s Park, London. All the shades of the rainbow are mirrored through the water streams. The sunshine lets the leaves of the trees sparkle like thousands of emeralds. Butterflies are gliding with their majestically fanned out wings and lead me to the Queen’s Mary Garden, my favorite place. The essence of the roses always take me back to the times me and my dad spent with my mom. I can smell the different fragrances: apple, lemon, or even honey. They have the most extraordinary names like Princess Alice, Song and Dance, Remember Me, and my favorite one, Keep Smiling. If you think I made all of it up, go and see yourself. The flowers are dancing and splashing rain water. Squirrels are dangling from Oak to London Plane, and everything seems lively. One day before I came here to KU, my dad and I spent the whole day here.

“You’ll go there and make me proud!” were his exact words. “Don’t make the same mistakes I did.” All of a sudden something ripped me out of my thoughts.

“Luna, Luna!” It was Isabelle. “I have been trying to catch your attention for a really long time now, but you kept staring at this fountain.…”

“I’m so sorry!” The fountain still looked the same, but at least I knew it could take me to my home and my dad, whenever I wanted. I just have to remember the smell of the roses and everything seems to be colorful again.

“Are you coming or what?” she asked me. “Have you been in your own little world again?”

“I’m coming. Wait for me!” She was already at the other side of the campus, but I closed my eyes one more time to give my dad one last hug.

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