With the breeze, all the long grasses stretched out to the left. It was evident that nobody had been there for years, judging from their lengths exceeding ankle height. Except for Arthur and Bruno. Arthur came here almost every day to this place, forgotten even by God. A section of the deserted long grasses had been trampled due to him. Every day, without exception, he came here. His brother Bruno was always behind him, not to leave him alone. After getting off the bus at the stop where he would walk to the point where he stopped, Arthur walked at least 3 kilometers inward every day. It wasn’t a short distance. Arthur had already adopted this walk. He came here every day with a sense of faith. However, these repetitions were now becoming difficult for his brother Bruno. He wasn’t someone who liked walking much. He also didn’t believe in the door in the meadow. Yes, the door in the meadow.
One summer day, Arthur went for a walk to his friend’s stop. He was someone who loved meadow grass. He wasn’t a city lover like his brother. He had gone out for a walk. The length of the grass had fascinated him. He kept walking and walking. He followed the rustling sound of the grass along with the breeze for a long time. Then he found something he wasn’t looking for: The door in the meadow.
In the middle of the meadow, between 2 small hills, there was a door frame. Arthur was stunned when he first saw it. He said to himself, “What is a door doing here, which even God has forgotten?” He looked at the door from afar first. After scanning the environment with his eyes and believing that there was no one around, he began to approach the door with small steps. He acted like in movies. He cautiously approached as if the door could respond to him. With small steps, he finally found himself facing this mysterious door.
Actually, it wasn’t even a door. According to him, the door was a rectangular shape with a handle that opened and closed. This was the skeleton on which a door should be hung. He thought it was just an ordinary 3-piece wooden plank at first. But then the door caught his attention. Because there were too many things on it for an ordinary door. Drawings, carvings, writings… He looked at each of them one by one, touched them. What he saw convinced him of one thing: This door could not be an ordinary door.
Since that day, Arthur had been coming to see the door every day. Even on weekends, he wouldn’t go through a day without standing in front of the door or sitting, watching it. But he never went through it. Days turned into months. The warm breeze of summer had given way to the semi-cold winds of autumn. The weather was biting now. Just to be able to sit in front of the door without getting cold, he had bought a special goose feather coat for himself. He also chose rugged shoes. He had almost dedicated his life to this door. He believed there was a meaning behind this patterned door that he accidentally found himself in front of. He believed that he had come across this door for a purpose. He had even convinced himself that he was an envoy. He thought he was chosen. However, despite all his beliefs, he could not go through the door.
He remembered a story from a book he read as a child about a man who fell and died after passing through a magical door that he thought of.
Today is Thursday, October 12th. Arthur’s last visit to the door. He didn’t know it yet, but today would be his and his brother Bruno’s last time seeing the door. They would fight over the door for the last time.
Arthur was standing in front of the door as usual, lost in thought. There was quite a distance between him and the door. Today he had chosen to look from afar. Bruno, on the other hand, was lying on the grass, dozing off. He had fallen asleep while counting the fast-passing clouds. Today the weather was more cloudy than other days. It was a sign that winter was approaching. When the clouds increased, so did the winds. Those winds woke Bruno up from his sweet nap. But all the pleasure he got from his slumber under the clouds vanished when he saw his brother still looking at the door like a philosopher.
“Are you still staring?” he said, cleaning the dirt and grass off himself.
Arthur didn’t answer him. His eyes were still fixed on the door. Bruno approached him, hitting himself with his large palms. First, he looked at his brother’s attentive gaze towards the door. Then, he looked at the door on the other side. After rolling his eyes, he turned back to Arthur.
“For God’s sake, let’s go already,” he said with all his weariness.
Arthur said in a low but firm tone without looking at him, “I don’t want to go.”
“Come on, Arthur… Enough already,” Bruno said hopefully.
Arthur spoke again without looking at him, “You can go; I will stay here.”
Bruno blocked his view by standing in front of Arthur. “When did you see me leave?” he said with fake cheerfulness.
Arthur just glanced at him with his eyes without turning his head. “Then we’re both staying here,” he said and turned his gaze back to the door.
Bruno silently moved away from him, muttering “fuck” in a tone he thought his brother could hear, and started pacing around. In fact, if we asked him, he felt like he was in prison. He was a prisoner of a meaningless belief that he had to come here every day. Bruno was six years older than his brother Arthur. Six years may seem like a slight age difference, but due to the time gap, there was a significant difference in character between them. Bruno and Arthur were not people of the same world. The only thing that connected them was their family bond, which was unimportant to Arthur. The only person who cared about it was Bruno. He couldn’t bear to leave his brother alone in a place where no one was around. But he couldn’t find the courage to yell at him or show physical reactions. Arthur was a much more fragile character. Therefore, he preferred to come with him every day and torture himself instead of breaking the already strained ties. For Arthur, Bruno’s existence was something like being there and not being there at all. When Arthur focused on things he enjoyed, the people around him didn’t matter. Bruno was aware of this, so he used this place as a nap brake.
However, today was the day when the distress that had been building up for a long time was going to overflow. This was because Arthur had become slightly annoyed while circling behind him. The place they had been coming to for months passed before his eyes in an instant, and he became angry with himself and then with his brother for wasting their time. While he was already feeling angry, he also found a little courage and decided to speak up, standing next to Arthur. Bruno started looking at the door. The two of them stared at the door for a while.
“I have been coming here for months. What do you still see that I cannot see?” he said.
“There are so many things behind this door,” Arthur replied, sighing.
“Such as? Please don’t paint me another picture of heaven.”
This comment annoyed Arthur a bit. His tone changed. “Not heaven. That’s the point you don’t understand. There should be a world behind this door that we cannot imagine.”
“Should there? You have been coming here for weeks, and you are still not sure?” Bruno said, trying to be provocative.
“At least, I believe,” Arthur said proudly.
A sly smile formed on Bruno’s face because he had brought his brother to the point he wanted. “Then go in,” he said, with all his irony.
“That’s not so easy,” Arthur sighed.
“Why not? If there is something you believe exists behind the door, then go ahead and enter,” Bruno continued to provoke.
“It is not something,” Arthur raised his voice and left his spot for the first time. “You’re underestimating it too much.”
“I think you’re flying.”
Arthur took three steps and stood in front of Bruno, pointing to the door with his hand.
“So you’re saying someone came here and left this door in a place where nobody ever comes, and it’s a door with drawings ranging from prehistoric times to the Renaissance,” continued Arthur in a high tone.
“Mmmm. Why not?” Bruno replied nonchalantly, not really caring about who put the door there.
“But come on! Have you even looked at what’s on the door?” Arthur raised his voice and then walked towards the door.
“No,” Bruno dismissed the question. “They’re not things I would understand anyway,” he added, trying to clarify that he didn’t care.
Arthur approached the door and began to touch the carvings on it. He looked annoyed by Bruno’s answer.
“Exactly. Look carefully. It has almost the same drawings as the 20,000-year-old ones found in the Lascaux caves in 1940. Milkmaid, Babylon, Africa. The door has even been through the Renaissance, and someone drew something that describes the period on it. Even the lines are very consistent with the artistic style of that time.”
Arthur confirmed the things he had mentioned by caressing them with his two fingers of his right hand. He was showing each one to his brother, who did not care about any of them.
To show the next ones, Arthur knelt down. “Mathematics, French Revolution, World Wars, and recent history,” he said, showing them all to him one by one. Then he stood up, turned his back to the door, and looked into his brother’s eyes.
“Can I tell you something you won’t believe?” he said mysteriously. Bruno felt a minor panic, wondering if his brother had already passed through the door without his knowledge. The fact that the door could really be mysterious was making him slightly shiver. However, he was confronted with something much more interesting than he had thought.
“This door has traveled through the most important moments in history for centuries!”
It was the most absurd science fiction idea he could ever hear. His sarcastic attitude was utterly shattered by the nonsense he had just heard. A look of shock spread across his face, and he asked with that shock, “What do you mean by traveled.”
“Yes, traveled. This door is thousands of years old,” said Arthur. Then he turned back to the door and began to stroke it. Bruno approached the door in astonishment. Was he surprised that his brother believed in such a thing, or could he not comprehend the possibility of such a thing?
“It has seen every age and every person. Those who have seen it have left their signatures on it. Look, someone has described a migration. Here is the Second World War. The door has visited them all,” he said, and it was impossible not to notice the awe on his face. Bruno was also surprised by what was being said, but knowing that his brother was so caught up in it now frightened him.
“Okay, fine. Let’s say it’s as you say. Why now and why you?” asked Bruno.
Arthur looked at the door for a while longer. It was as if he was expecting an answer from it. But it was so obvious that there would be no answer. After all, it was an inanimate object made of three pieces of wood that were standing in front of them.
“I don’t know why me,” said Arthur. He paused briefly and completed his sentence, “But I know why now.”
For the first time, Arthur turned to his brother in a way that showed that he had seen him and looked into his eyes. They hadn’t looked at each other like this for a long time. He believed that he could finally convince his brother. After all, they had never talked in such detail before.
“We are in a time when hope has run out. The world’s hatred for humanity is as great as the fire’s hatred for water right now,” said Arthur. The sparkle in his eyes was so evident that Bruno was left staring at them for a moment. But he woke up from this fairy tale shortly thereafter and regained his composure.
“At least you’re still breathing, be thankful for that. And we’re not in such a bad time,” said Bruno.
What Bruno said disappointed Arthur.
“Are we not? I can’t look up at the sky anymore, Bruno. Because when I lower my head, I’m disgusted to face this horrible world again,” Arthur growled.
“Your expectations from life are too high, Arthur. Lower your expectations a bit and live accordingly,” Bruno confidently replied.
“I don’t have any expectations from this world anymore,” Arthur said, turning his back and looking back at the door. After a short silence, he continued speaking, regardless of whether Bruno was listening.
“Evil, gloom, and unhappiness are engraved in everyone’s hearts. Love destroyed by selfishness and, most importantly…” Arthur said, hesitating. He reached into his pocket and took out a five-dollar bill. After looking at the money for a short while, he raised his hand and released the bill held between two fingers. The bill quickly flew out of his hand and was caught by the wind, passing right by Bruno’s cheek.
“A world where money decides your fate. It’s not very comforting,” Arthur said. Although Bruno heard what he said, his eyes were fixed on the money. He followed the bill as it floated in the air and then got caught in the grass.
“If everything was the way you wanted it to be, this would already be heaven. The balance of good and evil is here,” Bruno said.
“A balance where evil triumphs,” Arthur replied.
Bruno came over to his brother and tried to look at him constructively.
“Not always,” Bruno said. But despite his constructive tone, what he said had angered Arthur.
“Isn’t it? Every day, dozens, hundreds of people die because of war. Hunger, drought, disease. And all of these are caused by human hands,” Arthur said, grabbing Bruno’s collar. He looked into his brother’s eyes. The hope in his brother’s eyes disgusted him.
“Good things are also happening,” said Bruno.
Arthur withdrew his hands from Bruno, but continued to look into his eyes.
“What’s happening? Tell me, what’s happening? No one is as much of a prisoner as those who think they are free when they are not,” said Arthur.
As soon as Bruno heard this, he frowned.
“And we’ve started with the pithy sayings,” Bruno said in a bored tone, then started walking. He seemed to want to escape.
“Everything has a beginning and an end, even freedom,” Arthur shouted.
As Bruno continued to walk, he said, “Please don’t speak to me like in the movies.”
“I just want to get away from here. I’m biologically human, but I can’t accept it,” said Bruno.
Bruno raised his hands and cried out, “God, don’t do this!”
Arthur raised his voice to convince his avoiding brother.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if the world were regretful of what it has done?”
Bruno made “the same gesture” with his hand again. “Poetic speeches! Poetic speeches.”
“It’s hard to hear the truth, isn’t it?” Arthur lowered his tone.
Bruno stopped walking and turned to face him.
“No, I just don’t want to come here every day,” he said.
“You don’t have to come; not everyone is meant to believe,” Arthur returned to the door.
Bruno was getting increasingly bored. He was tired of the wind blowing his hair, tired of fixing them, and tired of his brother’s nonsense. But he had to keep being constructive because he was an older brother.
“I couldn’t leave my brother in a place where God has forgotten, and now my brother is about to lose his mind. He may have already lost it,” he replied, but his tone unintentionally rose.
Arthur’s eyes were still fixed on the door. The argument seemed to have fueled his faith even more, as he was looking at it with even more fervor.
“Even if it hurts, be yourself. Your personality is your most valuable asset,” said Arthur.
Although he didn’t like poetic speeches, he had a point. He was sacrificing himself for the sake of his brother. In his general life, he was more aggressive and temperamental. But he had been willing to stay silent for months for his brother.
“You’re still being poetic!”
Arthur made a sharp turn and looked at his brother.
“I believe, Bruno. There is a world behind this door where there is no money, no corruption, and everyone loves each other,” he said, looking into his brother’s eyes.
“Are you talking about heaven?”
“Perhaps this world is the hell of another world, and this door is opening there?” Arthur said excitedly.
Bruno realized he couldn’t argue with his brother’s filmographic conversation, so he switched to his response language.
“You mean Aldous Huxley.”
He began to approach his brother with small steps.
“Understanding the world is not enough; we need to change it. Karl Marx. Try, fail, try again, fail better! Samuel Beckett. Arthur, nothing in life comes to you on a silver platter. You have to go out and get it!”
Arthur rolled his eyes. He wasn’t willing to be convinced.
“Bribery, corruption, nepotism. I’ll definitely get it,” he said sarcastically.
Bruno realized that he couldn’t convince his brother anymore. In fact, he even thought about pulling his brother away, even if it meant using force. Perhaps, he was the reason why his brother had come here for months. The person before him had an unshakeable belief that couldn’t be fought against. There was a sense of commitment in everything Arthur said, and he couldn’t even look away from the door for 10 seconds. Even during arguments, he kept checking if the door was still there. There could be no winner in this unwavering belief. Therefore, Bruno decided to speak his mind.
“Life is full of evils. Yes! You’re right! I believe you. Not in the door…I believe in you. Yes, life is hard. But you’re a talented man, Arthur. You have a good head on your shoulders. If you’re looking for something to believe in, believe in yourself. Not in the door. Believe in yourself so that you can reach where you want to be in the future.”
Arthur looked at his brother for a short while. He seemed surprised.
“So, when I become the person I want to be, the world will become beautiful immediately, right?”
“No,” Bruno said. “Let’s say it’s like you said. Let’s say this door has been wandering around for centuries. Look, you showed me. There are paintings and carvings on the door. Apparently, all of them were talented men. If they hadn’t stopped here and just stared at the door like you, most of what you’re talking about wouldn’t have happened. If you were useful, if many people like you were useful, then the world would already be a beautiful place.”
Arthur tried to respond, “But–”
“I,” Bruno interrupted, “have had enough!”
A few birds that were standing behind the hills flew away in fear. Both of them watched the fleeing birds for a while. But then, Bruno turned to him angrily.
“You want too much without doing anything. You’re already lamenting about life’s problems without even diving into them. Bad things will always exist in this world. It’s because of men like you, who have a good head on their shoulders but do nothing, that evil will always prevail. You’re the guilty one!” Bruno yelled. The poetry of his words made him uncomfortable. He thought it was like a Shakespearean outburst. But he was happy because he had expressed himself. Perhaps everything became poetic when he spoke his mind. He didn’t have time to think about it anyway. Arthur quickly responded to him.
“I won’t change my mind. I’ve lost my faith in the world,” said Arthur, turning back towards the door. There was a sense of defeat in his answer and tone of voice. Bruno noticed this and continued to push.
“See, it’s your fault Arthur! Smart men like you sit back and do nothing, chasing after their dreams while the world is run by fools. You have a brain; use it to make the world a better place,” Bruno shouted. But this time, Arthur didn’t respond. The argument was over, at least from his perspective. But it shouldn’t have ended like this. This madness that had been going on for months needed to stop today. Bruno approached his brother and looked at the door like he did. He stopped shouting and spoke with all the sarcasm he had.
“Then go in.”
Arthur was surprised by what he heard.
“Go inside. It’s been months, and you still haven’t gone in. If you really believe there’s something behind it, then go,” Bruno continued to provoke him.
“I haven’t gone in because if what I believe turns out to be wrong, it will kill me,” Arthur said in a sad tone.
“And what faith is that? You’re not even sure. That’s the problem. You don’t know what you’re doing. I do. I’m standing on my own two feet. I’m trying, even if my brain doesn’t work as well as yours. Meanwhile, you’re standing here like an idiot before a crappy door. Sorry, but you made me say it,” Bruno said.
Arthur was uncomfortable with what he had just heard. It was evident from his face. He looked away.
“I think you should leave,” he said.
But Bruno had no intention of stopping.
“I think you should go in,” he said, pushing Arthur forward by the shoulder.
Arthur slipped out of his grip and started to walk around. This pleased Bruno, but he didn’t wipe the anger off his face.
“Aren’t you going in?” he asked again sarcastically.
Arthur still didn’t respond. This lack of response was the last straw for Bruno.
“Then I’ll go in,” he said, turning towards the door.
Arthur panicked when he saw his brother heading towards the door and yelled as loudly as he could, “No! Don’t do it!”
But it was too late. Bruno knew he had to pass through the door to end the mess and break his brother’s faith. He was already close to the door, just three steps away from the entrance. He took a step inside and muttered as he went, “Because of this fucking door, for months…”
Bruno’s sentence was cut short. As soon as he stepped inside, he disappeared. With Bruno’s disappearance, silence fell over the meadow. The wind and the rustling of the grass took over the scene again. Arthur didn’t know what to say. His hand was still in the forward position as if he were saying, “Don’t do it .”He couldn’t move for a while and couldn’t decide what he should think. Should he be happy that the door he believed in was indeed magical, or should he be upset that an unbeliever had passed through the door? He couldn’t decide. Instead, he lowered his hand and knelt on his knees. Then, with tears in his eyes, he looked at the door.
Bruno suddenly emerged from inside the door before Arthur could make up his mind. He stumbled and fell to the ground as he walked backward through the door. Arthur had never seen his brother so scared before. He couldn’t decide what to do again. Should he be happy that his brother had come back, or should he ask what happened behind the door? Of course, curiosity got the better of him.
“What did you see in there?” he asked with great curiosity and fear.
Bruno was still sitting on his butt and looking at the door as if he hadn’t heard Arthur. Arthur was determined to make himself heard because his curiosity was overwhelming him.
“Bruno! What was in there? What did you see!”
This time, Bruno heard his brother and slowly turned his head to look at him.
***1 MINUTE AGO***
“We’re coming here…”
Bruno wanted to complain more, but he froze when he saw two people in front of him. A woman and a man who weren’t there just a moment ago were shouting at each other. However, their argument stopped when Bruno arrived. Now they were all looking at each other in shock, and there was a short silence. But then the man spoke up.
“He came from inside the door,” he said.
The woman nodded in agreement, still looking stunned. “Yes, he came from the door,” she confirmed.
Bruno wanted to speak, but his tongue felt paralyzed. His body wouldn’t move either; he was stuck in front of the door like a toy with a dead battery. He tried to escape their gaze, yet he also wanted to look at them. These people weren’t there just a moment ago. Where did they come from? How was this possible? Was Arthur right from the beginning? Speaking of Arthur, Bruno gathered his strength and turned his head slightly to look behind him. No one was there where Arthur had been standing just a moment ago. The grass wasn’t even trampled on. It was as if no one had ever crossed to the other side of the door. The woman startled him with her shout, and he turned back to face her.
“Why did you come here?” she asked him.
Bruno didn’t answer. He couldn’t even if he wanted to. His tongue was still paralyzed. The man spoke up this time.
“Who are you?” he asked.
The woman put her hand on the man’s shoulder and leaned forward.
“It doesn’t matter who you are. Why did you come here? What’s behind the door?” she demanded, clearly and assertively.
Bruno still couldn’t answer. As he remained silent, the woman continued to approach him.
“What’s behind the door? Please tell me that everything is alright there. Please, tell me it’s all beautiful,” she begged.
“If it was beautiful, why would anyone come here?” the man retorted.
Bruno remained silent.
“Why aren’t you answering? What’s on the other side?” the woman shouted.
Her scream startled Bruno, and his tongue loosened.