Drawn into your mystery I was just beginning To see your ghost

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“Isn't it lovely, all alone?
Heart made of glass, my mind of stone
Tear me to pieces, skin to bone
Hello, welcome home”

She had just set her laptop down on her work table when her phone started buzzing.

“Merhaba Yigit.”

“Merhaba Sanem. Are you busy?”

“I was just going to sit down to write-”

“Great! Why don’t you meet me at the coffee shop down the road from your house?”

“Well I-”

“I’m on my way now. I have a surprise for you.”

“Oh, that’s very kind of you. I guess I’ll just pack up my notebook and be there in a few minutes.”

“See you soon!”

“Tamam. See you soon.”

She thought her boss had sounded a little odd over the phone, but maybe it was just the excitement. He had been tense since he came back to Istanbul, which was understandable. The one interaction the men had left her on the verge of a panic attack, so she was going to do all she could to avoid that happening again. Even if it meant uprooting from her cozy spot to meet at a coffee shop. She supposed she could work there too, she kind of craved a latte anyway.

In truth it was impossible to avoid him entirely. Aziz Bey had moved in next door, which she didn’t mind, but he was staying there too.

It was only three nights ago that she had run to the pier just to see his boat already set off toward the bay. She whispered his name and kissed his ring, because she couldn’t kiss him goodbye. She watched the ship until it was a small white dot in the dark waters. When her tears came so fast she could barely see, she turned to run back home, tucking the ring back where she kept it, next to her heart.

She had the shock of her life when she saw him standing in her backyard the next morning, a bag slung over his shoulder. Hope surged in her chest, but she quickly stamped it down. He had left and returned twice. She couldn’t trust his fickle nature, it was messing with her balance.

Avoidance was the only tactic she knew to utilize. She tried pretending like he wasn’t even there, but as days passed it was more like he had been there the whole time. He gave her space, didn’t push to talk to her or get offended when she gave him one-word responses. He was just always there . She told herself it was because they were effectively neighbors now, and that’s what happened when you shared outdoor space. But there was more to it than that. She could feel his eyes on her often, and strangely it didn’t bother her. If it were any other man it would feel creepy and wrong, but it was him and it felt more like he was trying to communicate with her, or watch over her. On a few occasions she gathered enough courage to look back. She didn’t know how to feel about what she saw in his eyes.

She felt his eyes on her this morning too, even though she couldn’t actually see him. In a weird way she had grown accustomed to the feeling, it was sort of comforting. She thought about bringing it up at her next scheduled therapy appointment while she packed her bag and took off down the road on foot.

It only took her five minutes to reach the cafe, and Yigit was already there, sitting at one of the small outdoor tables. She sat down across from him.

“Did you order yet?”

“No….”

“What does that mean? You don’t want anything?”

“I wasn’t planning on staying.”

“Oh-”

“Can I tell you about your surprise?”

“Um, tamam. What is it?”

“Do you remember when you were trying to write the first few pages of your novel last year and I offered to make us a camp so you could write without distractions?”

The memory hit her like a ton of bricks. She gulped. She remembered, even though she had actively repressed many memories from that time in her life.

“Yes. I remember.”

“Well… I did it! I set up camp so you can write there.”

“What? Today?”

“Evet. I finished setting it up last night.”

“Wow, I don’t know what to say.”

“Say you will work on your sequel? The publishers in New York that I have been talking to are anxious to read the first chapter.”

She thought about it for a moment. She had every intention to write a sequel to her first book, and of course she wanted it published in New York. But she didn’t like the pressure that Yigit put her under. He had always been anxious to get his hands on what she wrote, but he had been very overt about it the past few days. He called and texted her at all hours with new offers, or even just brainstorming ideas. She felt a little bad for ignoring him lately, and it wasn’t like he felt comfortable coming over to work at her house with him around.

“Can I get a latte to-go first?”

“Yes! You’re going to love it there.”

She got up to go inside to order her drink and she heard him shout out to her to get him one too. She chuckled and rolled her eyes at his excitement.

When she came back out with cups in both hands she expected him to still be seated at the table. She furrowed her brows in confusion when she didn’t see him right away. A honk from a dark colored sedan caught her attention. Yigit was in the driver’s seat of his car waving for her to get in. The lines between her eyebrows deepened. He hadn’t driven his car since he had been injured a year ago.

“Hey. You drove here?” She walked toward the car.

He spoke through the open window. “Yeah. The doctor finally okay'd it. Get in!”

“Here, hold your cup.”

She quickly got in and set her drink in the cup holder while she buckled her seat belt.

“Where is this place anyway?” She took a sip, but it was still too hot.

He started the car and pulled out of the parking stall. “It’s not that far, but it takes a while to get there. All back roads.”

She smiled politely and looked out the window as they took off down the street.

End note:
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