The first time I truly felt the sun heating the Meditterenean sea in my skin, or at least the first time I can remember now, the water evaporated and rose into the blue sky. Our lucid dreams of finding partners in crime turned into white stunning clouds. We cooled each others fears down and became droplets, transparent and vibrant. Yes, sometimes things got a bit too heavy. There were times we fell to the ground, together or apart. But we always found our way back up, united within the blue sky as a cloud of love, hate, boredom and fun, lots of fun.
I am one of those lucky people who stayed best friends with her first friends. It all started in the year 2000, sixteen years ago from now, when my best friend and I were just ten years old. I changed schools and kind of had to steal her from someone, but that someone found her way back to our cloud soon enough and stayed with us, just like many other drops of rain or particles of air I’ve met through the years.
Like Filip, one of my latest best friends. I’ve met him one and a half years ago in a bar and we moved in to this house that we are sitting in right now. He moved back to Sweden after a few months but we always stayed in touch. And now, he is visiting Berlin with his girlfriend Sabina. If anything, they are a lightning storm together. Filip had evaporated to Sweden and came back with her, with an engagement ring and lightening. He was my first real friend in my new life and he showed me how to be brave in a way that neither me nor any of my friends back home knew before. He wasn’t scared of things that I didn’t even realize I was until he said “Let’s do it” and made us do it before I replied.
Like Judith, who turned her conservative family who didn’t want to accept who she truly was into the biggest supporters of her marriage with a wonderful woman in the last six years I’ve known her for. I met her at a Church choire concert in Southern Germany. She took me to Berlin for the first time, showed me how many ways there are to live a life and helped me with all her faith and power while I tried to create mine the way I want.
Like Anastasia, who was supposed to be my party partner in Erasmus but fell in love with her friend-with-benefits after only a few nights of dancing in our cheap dormitory bar. She showed me how one should embrace special things when they come. Not to push things because it isn’t the right time. While I kept changing form every year, she and her man Andi stuck together and now they are married, living in Hamburg together, happy and in love as ever.
Like Emre, my ex-boyfriend, ex-best friend and friend forever, who showed me how I have the power of changing another humanbeing with my story in a good way but more importantly, how upset I could get someone with my words and actions. I was so focused on how he made me feel that I didn’t even think about how I made him feel until years passed and I could look at the time we had together from a calmer place.
Like Melih, whose way of seeing is the base of my moral support system. Who I met when I was twenty but never had to explain why I was the way I was to. He is one of the best people I’ve met so far when it comes to empathy and I owe him a big part of my confidence in myself and faith in my friends, even though he probably doesn’t realize.
All of these people and actually many more, changed me in ways I couldn’t even imagine before I met them. Even if they didn’t stick around at the end, I showed what they taught me to as many people as I could. And when they broke my heart and trust, I went back to my cloud and started over.
Living in a city where most people come to find themselves, make their ways into your life, make you love and trust them and tell them all about your past, then say “Ok, I’m out” and move back to their home towns can make you feel lonely sometimes. But once you remember they are now a part of your cloud, you can feel them next to you when it rains and feel the warmth as time makes everything evaporate again and again.
Photography by Megan Doherty
Nazli is a writer and dreamer based in Berlin. It’s very likely that you will run into her while she is writing in the train or reading at Spoken Word events around Rathaus Neukölln. If you live in a city far far away, you can read more of her stuff at rhnk.tumblr.com