“Be Planned” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2017 written by Aleyna Yalçın, Turkey.
Her family was living in Istanbul whilst she was living in Israel. She was starting to miss her family and wanted to visit them. So, she started packing a suitcase. She put everything into her suitcase, including all her clothes and books. However, amidst all the rush, Izmir had forgotten to inform her family about her arrival. Instantly, she dropped everything and rushed to the telephone to call her mother.
“Mama, I will be arriving in Istanbul in a few days to visit you!” she informed her mother, while hurriedly packing all her things in her suitcase.
“WHAT?” the voice at the other end, shrieked. Izmir flinched, momentarily stopping her hassle. “Young lady, how in the world can you just say that so unannounced! You need to learn how to plan things properly!”
Izmir shrugged it off, chuckling. This was her mother facing the world in two sentences. “Mama, I’m 23. You do not need to teach me anything. Goodbye Mama, I’m afraid that I need to pack my things.” she replied.
“But-Never mind, honey. Goodbye!” sighed Mama.
She forgot to buy a plane ticket. To her embarrassment, that only crossed her mind when she arrived at the airport. She bolted towards the ticket counter and asked frantically, “Do you have a plane ticket, which is scheduled for today, to Istanbul?” Her mind was racing and she felt lightheaded. To think that she had worked so hard, just to be blocked by such a silly mistake!
“I am very sorry, Madam, but no place is left on the flights to Istanbul today,” the employee said, looking very apologetic. Izmir pleaded, “What is the earliest flight to Istanbul? I will pay ANY amount!” The employee’s eyes lit up and although there were still some Economy seats left on the next flight, he said, with a smirk, “Miss, I am afraid only First Class seats are left on the next flight and it would cost you 400 pounds,”
Izmir hesitated. As a cashier, money was important to her. If only I had gotten ready for this, she thought. But her family was more important. “I will take it,” she whispered.
First Class flights were amazing, according to Izmir. Scrumptious food, in-flight movies and flight attendant ‘slaves’ were wonderful. She doesn’t usually have such luxuries, so she chose to savour it.
“Mum, I am afraid to say that I will be arriving late because of my flight,” she informed her mother. “Oh, Izmir. Even after all these years, you still haven’t learnt the meaning of the word responsibility,” her mother chuckled.
Izmir hung her head in shame. However good this flight was, she would take a long time to make up for all the money she had spent. “Mother, I have decided to turn more responsible, as I have faced the consequences of my actions,” Izmir replied, feeling shameful. Her mother chuckled and informed her how proud she was of her change and told her that words should also be turned into actions.
After Izmir hung up, she felt a burst of happiness in her. As the dark clouds departed, she stared lovingly at her beautiful Istanbul countryside, with a light and happy heart.
And, coincidentally, right at that moment, the glorious sun awoke, creating beautiful folds of golden shimmers and lighting up the whole countryside.