August in Munich

art, Europe, Germany, Leila Mekhdiyeva, Munich, photography, summer, travel

IMG_08091 IMG_08041
IMG_07801 IMG_07921
IMG_08841 IMG_08731
IMG_08191 IMG_08141
IMG_08401 IMG_08621

Summer 2017 definitely was one of the busiest in my life. The month of June I spent doing my summer course in the Art of Storytelling at uni; July completing my internship; and finally my August was all chill and fun, so I booked myself a ticket to Munich and went there all alone to finally enjoy summer vacation. Well, almost. I actually had my camera with me, which was there to capture Bavarian urban life.

I eventually forgot about these pictires because of how busy my last semester was. It was my last one so I was focusing more on my classes than my hobbies/passions (creative writing and photography), but it’s better late than never, right?

Hope to be back here with some new travel photos or a new story of mine soon.

Love Leila.



art, Leila Mekhdiyeva, story


Story by Leila Mekhdiyeva

Illustrations by Mila Khan

Veronica looked at me once again, opened the door and left the car. I was looking at how she was opening the door of her house and couldn’t believe that I had finally gone on a date with the woman of my dream.

Suddenly, I noticed that there was one small black thing left on the front seat of my car. I took it and saw that it was a lipstick. It looked like a bullet. I thought how ironic it was that such a petite woman would carry a bullet with her. Did she need to defend herself? I opened it. But of course, it wasn’t a bullet, it was just the lipstick. It was a dark color, the same as her lips that night. It reminded a dark chocolate. I sniffed it. It smelled like chocolate too. Or maybe even like caramel, sweet and tempting. I imagined her sitting in my car with her lips so close to me, as this bullet-looking lipstick. I closed my eyes, and kept sniffing the lipstick. I remembered her eyes – dark brown eyes. They were sad and melancholic for the whole evening when we were together.


“… So, I really love Italy, you know. Every single city I’ve been to seemed too lovely for me not to stay there.” I said it and looked at her; she looked bored. I was running out of the possible topics for the conversation, so I started talking about things that did not even have anything to do with our date itself. Whatever I was trying to tell her that night she almost completely ignored. Only sometimes, she would smile, looking at me probably thinking I was a complete idiot.

“What about you? Where would you want to move one day?” I asked her.

“I don’t really want to move anywhere. I love Berlin,” she said.

“But why do you want to stay in Berlin? Is there anything holding you in this city?” I asked suspiciously. For a second I had a doubt: What if she had someone in Berlin, whom she didn’t want to let go?

Veronica had been divorced for the last two years. And you could see that with her unhappy marriage she had almost completely lost an interest in her love life. Or maybe she just wasn’t interested in me. Maybe I am just a fool who fell in love with a woman who doesn’t care if I even exist.

“There are too many memories that make Berlin so special for me. I was born here; I grew up here, studied here and…”

“And what?” I asked her, wondering what the reason that wouldn’t let her leave Berlin was.

“I got married here, Ben.” She said quietly.

Of course, that was the reason. How could I be so stupid, not to realize that even though she had been divorced for the last two years of her life, she still remembered him. Frankly, I didn’t know a lot about her past, and I didn’t even want to. Her past didn’t belong to me, and it didn’t matter. So I tried to change the subject of the conversation.

It felt like she didn’t even want to be there, sitting with me in the restaurant, not understanding how long it had taken me to finally invite her on a date and how hard it was for me. How I would think about her every single day, ever since she started working at our office. After six months I was sure I was in love with this woman. Whenever she would be around, I couldn’t help but stare at her, but of course, as a real gentleman, I had to hide my feelings. You never want woman to know that you are obsessed with her, before you even invite her out. But the problem was that she did not care.

I opened my eyes. I felt the deep sorrow. Sometimes, in life you don’t get what you want. I felt the anger. I wish I never knew her, never asked her out, and just never met her. But now it was too late to feel bad for what was done and for what was felt. I was in love with the woman with the dark brown eyes, bullet-looking dark lipstick that smelled like caramel, who probably had zero interest in me.

I looked at her window, the lights turned on. There was a temptation to open the door of my car, to go upstairs, to tell her I loved her and to keep fighting for her love. But I didn’t. Instead I opened the window of my car and threw her fucking-dark-bullet-looking lipstick as far as I could. As if it wasn’t just her lipstick, but were my feelings that at that moment made me feel pain. And I didn’t want pain. I wanted to forget her and that night, and to drive as far as I could from that heartless and dangerous woman, who would never love me. At least, that was what I thought at that moment and how I truly felt. So I started the engine of my car and drove away from her.



Turkish Morning

art, Leila Mekhdiyeva, story


Story by Leila Mekhdiyeva

Illustration by Mila Khan

I woke up that morning from the sound of someone’s voice singing. Second later I remembered where I was, and that song wasn’t a song at all. It was Azaan, the Muslim call to prayer. I looked at the time – it was 04:51 AM. I still had not gotten used to it, even though it was my second day in Istanbul. I tried to fade off to sleep, but I couldn’t. I was too fascinated with the sound of the call to prayer that morning. Of course, I didn’t understand a word, it was in Arabic. And as an Englishman, of course, I didn’t speak either Turkish or Arabic, but I still could differentiate them.

Two minutes later I got up from my bed and opened the curtains in my hotel room. The hotel itself was close to the main touristic places in Istanbul – Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia museum, which for the centuries of its existence used to be both a church and a mosque, depending on who was in power at that time and whether the city was called Constantinople or Istanbul.

It was the time of the sunrise. The city, which during the day was full of tourists and locals convincing tourists to buy this or that, was now very calm and almost silent. And magnificent Istanbul was lighting up in a new way for me.

But what drew my gaze that morning was the sea, the Bosphorus strait to be clearer. The sea looked calm and friendly. I knew it was waiting for me.

How can I describe and tell what makes the sea so special to me? I simply can’t, as some things simply belong to us. Make us feel complete. Make us feel alive. For me it was the sea. Wherever I was I needed it. Wherever the sea was I had to be there. That was the reason why I came to Istanbul for a week. This city with its rich history, culture and the unique mix between Europe and Middle East, of course, also hypnotized me. But frankly, my special connection with the sea was always greater than any other aspects of traveling somewhere.

I kept staring at the horizon separating the sea and the uprising sun that early morning, the call to prayer already stopped and Istanbul was quiet and calm now. I didn’t want to wait anymore, as I had a plan for every single day of the trip. That day I was going on a boat tour to cross the geographic line between Europe and Asia. Thinking how ironic it was for Londoner to cross the line between two different worlds, on a boat somewhere in the Bosphorus strait.


One Of The Letters I Will Never Send

art, Leila Mekhdiyeva, story


Story by Leila Mekhdiyeva

Illustration by Mila Khan

I keep running. Keep running away from my pain, from my past, from my love, and from you. You are My Only Daughter. You are the only light I had in my life and I lost you. If I were brave enough I would come to you and ask you for forgiveness. And I know you would forgive me, I know you would.

My pain inside is never silent. It makes me keep going, keep running, keep hiding from anything that might make me want to stay. But I can’t. I simply can’t. I’m empty. I’m too empty to love, too empty to give, too empty to stay. I know you have so many questions and I wish I had a chance to meet you, talk to you, become your best friend, your support, but all I am is a woman who is unable to love.

When I met your father, I was only nineteen. I was going to college and I was broken-hearted. I loved a guy, who, I believed, was my soul mate, my best friend, my lover, my partner, my life. Until one day he betrayed me and left me, and I felt like I was dying. It was as if someone opened up my chest, took my heart with their dirty hands covered in dirt, and threw my precious little heart to the darkest hole full of knives, and each of those knives kept piercing my heart. And after that they put that heart back to my chest with the smile on their face, saying: “I hope you will survive.” But I didn’t.

And that was when I met your father. I believed that someone with such a huge love for me would save me. I believed that his love was enough for both of us. I believed that his kind heart would make me feel alive again. It all happened so fast: the engagement, wedding, our honeymoon, the day I knew I was pregnant, and of course the day I gave a birth to you, my only baby. I thought it would work. I thought I would feel what every woman was supposed to feel, but I didn’t. I knew that being a wife and a mother was not for me. I knew that I wasn’t good enough. Especially when I saw how much love and connection you and your father had. He was so in love with you; you were the center of his Universe. And I knew, I knew, I was not good enough for you two. So I left. I saved some money and left. I didn’t know if I would ever come back, but I knew I could not stay there anymore.

You were seven when I left you, my green-eyed love. You may ask why I waited for so long, and frankly, I can’t say why, because I don’t know. I think, I wanted to believe that it will come with time. And by “it” I mean the enjoyment and fulfillment from being a mother and a wife. But as “it” didn’t come even after all those years, I decided to leave as I couldn’t live like that anymore. I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought someone like me is not good enough to be called a mother. I was an empty woman, I had no love inside and I couldn’t keep hurting those who loved me.

I think, that some women are not meant to be tamed. They will never be good wives and mothers, because they belong to no one, neither their kids nor their husbands. I know that I made a mistake by marrying your father, in the first place. Believing that he would be able to change me was a mistake. And still I went further and thought that maybe motherhood could save me, but it, as you already know, couldn’t. And maybe if I was braver I would have admitted that simple fact earlier, but I kept trying to convince myself that I am good enough to be a wife and a mother. And I know that your father always saw that in me, but he didn’t want to acknowledge that. I guess we both were playing our roles, one because of love and another one because of the fear of being judged.

But I have to be honest, no matter what I write here, it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t because I will never send it to you. I never will, as I never did with other sixty-three letters. You only got those odd and empty postcards instead, as odd and as empty as me, Your Only Mother. I wish, My Love, I wish I was different, I wish I was something that I couldn’t be, I wish I was full of love as your father, full of light as you. But I am an empty woman with no heart inside.

I cannot let you know who Your Only Mother is. It’s better if you think of me as a mysterious woman who keeps sending you all those postcards from the places she’s in, but you will never find her. You know that, I know that, we both know that.

Still I keep writing all these letters to you, My Love. And if there’s a chance that one day I will be bold enough to send all my letters to you, My Love, then there’s a chance that one day I will be bold enough to meet you, My Love, and tell you my whole story.


Love, Your Only Mother