Yeah, that's my love She hides away, like a ghost

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“I'm here again
A thousand miles away from you
A broken mess, just scattered pieces of who I am
I tried so hard
Thought I could do this on my own
I've lost so much along the way”

He had only been back for a few days, and he was already in the thick of it. CeyCey and Deren had roped him back into agency business and his father and Emre had pulled him back into family affairs. That’s not what he was really interested in, but it worked as a way to stay close to her . He did miss everyone, he didn’t realize how much until he had them all back, but she was the only thing on his mind. He was going to win her trust, somehow. They were meant for one another. He was done ignoring it, done running away from it. After all, you only have one love in this lifetime.

Everything changed when he opened her book to a random page to read her beautiful words. Words about him, words she couldn’t say to him because she had poured them all out already. He felt like he understood her for the first time in over a year. That was the moment he decided to sabotage his boat instead of sabotaging his life. He ripped out that crucial piece of equipment and threw it out into the water like it was the knife she stabbed him with when she refused to believe him. He was still bleeding, but he could never heal with the weapon still inside, poisoning him.

He was far out into the bay at that point, but he looked back at the dock he left minutes before. He swore he saw her, just her shadow. The image of her gauzy white dress fluttering in the breeze like a ghost.

He spent the whole night reading her book. He needed to know, her love, her pain, everything in between. The yacht bobbed like a cork in the water, driftless just like he was before he found a renewed sense of purpose. When the sun came up he packed a bag and set out toward land on the emergency raft. He’d never used it for a more important emergency than this.

He told everyone his boat was broken, which wasn’t a total lie. His father decided to rent the available house near her place, and he just assumed he would crash with him. He suspected his father had ulterior motives in living there, but he had ulterior motives of his own so he said nothing. It was actually nice living with his dad again, and having her as a neighbor wasn’t so bad either. They didn’t purposely bump into each other, she was still avoiding him like the plague, but he appreciated every glimpse he got.

She limited her interactions with him, speaking to him in a perfunctory way, only when necessary. Still, he had observed enough to have a rough idea of her daily schedule. What he didn’t already know he pieced together from CeyCey and Muzafer. He didn’t want to frighten her, but wanted to make it very clear that he was staying, not because of his boat or his father, but for her. It was hard to communicate when she avoided being alone with him, but they had always said more with their eyes than with their words anyway. She had caught him staring several times, but she didn’t say anything about it. Sometimes she even looked back. It gave him hope.

He had seen her this morning, watering the plants like she liked to do before it got too hot. She made tea and set out snacks for the boys who were working on their produce selling strategies. Normally she would then make herself comfortable somewhere, her special table outside, or sometimes curled up on her white couch, to write. He assumed that was what she was doing now, but he wasn’t currently watching her. His father decided to help the boys out on their project as a way out of boredom, and had asked him to bring him his old briefcase. It took him a while to find it, digging through suitcases and boxes that had been brought from the storage locker. When he found the old leather thing he casually walked into the communal backyard to hand it to his dad.

The three men tried to get him to join in brainstorming, but he was preoccupied. At first he was nonchalant about it, just casting his eyes over to her house to see if she was enjoying the sunshine. But when he didn’t see her right away he looked in earnest. From where he was he couldn’t see her inside the house either, but waited a few minutes before looking again. She was probably in the restroom or tidying something. After ten minutes passed he decided to be more direct about it.

“CeyCey?”

“Efendim?”

“Did, um, did Sanem go to the bazaar this morning in your place? I was just wondering who was watching the stall if both you and Muzo are here.”

“No. We decided we needed a day to strategize. We weren’t going to open the stall today.”

“Oh. Tamam, sounds good.”

He hoped his casualness didn’t sound too forced. In truth, he was starting to panic. He knew it was absolutely none of his business how she spent her time. She’d managed for a year without him. He knew his concern was was hypocritical, but he couldn’t scrub it away. His gut was telling him something was wrong.

Helping with the lemon stand and the foundling agency wasn’t the only thing he had been up to since deciding to stay. He’d had a whole year to think about what happened and where he went wrong. He took full responsibility for what he did to Yigit, the guilt ate at him every day. He knew he hadn’t treated her right, constantly making the wrong moves even with the right intentions. But there were other forces at play, he just knew it. He still didn’t trust Yigit, and he never would. He had to have been the one to throw her notebook in the fire, and he had a few ideas as to why. Even though this same behavior had contributed to their undoing, he decided to make a call to a private investigator.

He refused to see his mother, even though she had been calling him, and Emre, and even their father trying to get to him. She had been horrible to her , but he turned a blind eye to it when they were together. He wanted to pretend like they were one big happy family, he wanted the fairytale. But time made him realize that she would never be the Queen Mother of their story. Was she really the Evil Queen who turns into a witch just so she can slay the beautiful maiden? Only time would tell.

He should have felt ashamed of himself for what he was doing, having two people followed, snooping in their business, but he didn’t. They made it his business when they decided to interfere in his relationship. He was here now. He wasn’t going to run away, he needed to heal them She was the most important thing in his life, he’d even told her as much, way back when. He just hoped the end would justify the means.

The private investigator had only had a few days to work. He didn’t have much information yet, at least that’s what he said over the phone. He was still establishing their routines and patterns, so he could more easily identify anything out of the ordinary. He tried telling himself that the man would call him if anything bad had happened to her . Surely he would be the first to know? He was reputable, and he paid him well.

Darkness fell and she still wasn’t home.

The sick feeling in his stomach intensified to the point where he couldn’t eat. His father noticed that he was acting strangely, but didn’t push the issue. Aziz Bey put himself to bed an hour later, but he stayed up. He was sure this qualified him as a stalker, but he couldn’t not wait for her to come home. No one else in the vicinity seemed concerned about her disappearance. Had she done this before? When she got so bad that she had to be institutionalized? Was she somewhere alone having a panic attack? He ran through every scenario in his mind, and in every single one she didn’t want his help.

He fell asleep on his dad’s back porch just before dawn.

She still wasn’t home.

End note:

This will have at least four parts. I hope to get one out a day so this story is complete before the episode airs on Saturday.
Let me know what you think down in the comments!

And if I only could, make a deal with God, and get him to swap our placesRead this story for FREE!