WHIRLPOOL my late grandmother In memory of Fethiye Aysan.. Some loves are immortal. First of all, to my wife, who is my biggest supporter in every decision I make, to my father Erdal Eser, to Büşra Türksoy, who contributed greatly to the editing of the book, to my mother, Gönül Aysan, to my friend Hatice Subaşı, who saved the world with her little baby, to my editor and friend Büşra Kanoğlu. thank you very much to my childhood friend Çağla Güçlüçavuş living in London and to everyone who contributed to the book… PREFACE Whenever I left home to go to work, my mind was always on my aunt. He had been battling lung cancer for about a year. My brother-in-law, on the other hand, had lost interest in my aunt since he was ill, leaving her helpless. However, how much they loved each other. At that time, my aunt challenged my grandfather. I love this man because I'm going to marry. Since my brother-in-law was not Muslim and was going to take him abroad, no one in the family except my mother approved of their marriage. Still, my aunt insisted. The heart of my who couldn't stand it when he said he was going to commit suicide. Who knows, maybe it was even good for my grandfather to be away. Long live you, I will not see. They said that they really loved each other very much. My uncle Paul has done such things that such a man in love for my aunt has never been seen until today. But once your foot stumbles, the man you love leaves your hand slowly. Unless it's true love. Pike Palace was pretty full today. Even Mary the florist and John the hamburger were doing well. Even though there was more time for Christmas, I could not understand the reason for this abundance. Emily followed me as I put my things in the closet; “Çağla, the boss will fire you one day because of your lateness.” “I have nothing to do, honey. You know my aunt's condition." “Sorry to remind you.” I said to myself. My life was abandoned. I knew my aunt was going to die. The only thing I didn't know was what would happen to me. I was taking orders from customers, trying not to think. My phone was vibrating in my pocket. When I got the chance, I found a secluded corner and answered it. “Your aunt is not well. You must come to the hospital immediately.” I ignored my boss, who threw off my apron and yelled not to come back after me, and hailed a taxi. My heart was beating like it was going to explode while I was praying all the prayers I knew. When I finally arrived at the hospital, I saw my Uncle Paul apologize repeatedly to my aunt, whose face was covered with a white sheet. My aunt was dead. From now on, nothing could bring him back, I knew that. The last eight years have been spent wondering if anyone has lost as many loved ones as I have. After the loss of my family, I could not grieve the familiar death of my aunt. They were saved, I was the only one in the pitiful situation from now on. After that, I had to live to die. I was going to carry all my memories and leave a part of me in Seattle and return the other parts to my country. EPISODE 1 Home-coming How long had it been since he'd been here. After the bad memories, how could I do that… I hope time hasn't changed everything. I felt tired and weak. It's unbelievable to have to travel fourteen hours by plane and three hours from the other side to the house. What kind of traffic is this! You live in a place like Seattle, then feel like a fish out of water in Istanbul. Will this work? I really don't know how to continue. Living in this city again is scary from my point of view. If I could, I would like to get on the plane I came from and come back. But there is no life waiting for me there. My new life was here, in my homeland. When I got out of the taxi in Bostancı, I had to give half of the money in my pocket. When I landed, I was vaguely remembering these places as I looked around. Easy to say, I lived in Washington for eight years. The images that came to life in my memory with the address I held in my hand dragged me to the door of that building. The building was so worn and aged that it probably waited for me to collapse. When I walked in, I felt like there was going to be dust everywhere. I wasn't ready for a new hit yet. I didn't come for revenge, I came for a bit of room to curl up. All this because I had no other choice. I was afraid. I was very afraid that I would not be able to do it alone, that I would not be able to digest what I had been through, and that I would not be able to digest my future tomorrow. Someone dies all the time and I have to be tossed from place to place. This is my unchangeable destiny. I was at the stern of a ship sailing into the unknown. I was either going down or going out. When I came to the door of the apartment with No: 2 on it with the key I took out of my bag, I felt goosebumps. Holy Apartment. My childhood that I lived with my family, that I can't get enough of. Good memories of my yesterday... I had my shyness and my cries behind the door. My mother, father and sister who are no longer there. What I've had with them and what I haven't been able to live with. There was no one to welcome me. When I closed the door behind me, the white-covered seats greeted me. Again, the same old-fashioned items, a fatherless father's chair and a motherless dining table. Hello everybody! “You have nothing to do! You have to. WE'RE [I'M] GLAD TO BE HERE." CHAPTER 2 Half Old - Half New Life When I got home I was so tired that as soon as I lifted one of the covers, I literally leaked. While traveling through memories, I succumbed to my fatigue. When I awoke, it was not yet dark and I could feel myself getting slightly hungry. The same nightmare continued. Everywhere was filthy. I think it's going to need a solid clean up here. I don't know if I was too lazy to go out or if I was afraid. Before boarding the plane, I had no choice but to take the pretzels from Tacoma out of my bag and eat them. But I couldn't get over it until the evening. I had to go out and buy something. The interior of the house was so full of dust and cobwebs that it was impossible to walk. I opened the door of the apartment and knocked on the door of the neighbor who lived next door and whom I did not know. As a woman in her sixties who opened the door felt that I did not belong here, "Who were you looking at, girl?" “Hi, I'm new to the apartment and I'm looking for someone to get the house cleaned. I just wanted to ask if you know of anyone." “But that house has been empty for years.” "I know." Judging by the expression on the woman's face, I think I was about to move into a haunted house. As if it was possible to think of anything else in a house where three people died. “Of course, girl. It would be number one on the refrigerator. I'll go and bring it. Well, old age. "I'm in trouble, sorry." The 'known old age' part, I guess, was a stone thrown at me. You're young, you're holding hands, it was like saying why don't you clean it. But if he had a chance to see the state of the house, I think he would have given up on thinking that way. I don't remember how long it was when the old woman came to me with a piece of paper in her hand. At that moment, old memories came to life in my head, and I remembered the days when I ran and hugged my father. One day, when my father was coming home, he brought me and my sister some sweet apples that my mother never allowed me to buy. Even though my sister said, 'I'm grown, I don't eat such things anymore', I knew that she would eat in her room at night. I, on the other hand, was buried in candy apples without waiting for my mother's approval. My father's smile was because he was going to get a brush from my mother soon. As a matter of fact, it happened. I ate the candy apple, and my father ate his brush from my mother because he bought painted things. Oh my dear father, how much he sacrificed himself for us. The delicate sultan's brush was not like that. He was the kind that regretted what he had done. My father said, “They are children, don't be so strict!” Even if she said motherhood, she wouldn't make any concessions. He was afraid that we would be poisoned, that we would get sick. They were both sweet people. One of the wonderful parents who have built their lives on their children. When I entered the house and closed the door, I was trying to reach my backpack through cobwebs to find my cell phone. Before I got my line, I had it opened for international use. But if I was going to live here, I had to buy a new line and call my friend Emily, who is the legal owner of the line, and ask her to cancel the line. Getting a residency permit in Seattle wasn't easy, so there was nothing on me. All I did was live like a parasite and come back like a fox. Although it was a summer day in Istanbul, it was quite cool and 14 July would go down in history as the day I returned to my past years later. As I was walking down the street, I could feel everyone looking at me. I wanted to be comfortable with my Converses on my feet, white t-shirt and blue jeans. The hat on my head was because I wanted to camouflage myself. It was obvious that it wasn't working. All I wanted was to find an operator dealership and dive right in. When I saw the operator dealer ahead, I quickened my steps, I arrived at the dealer after a short time. I couldn't ignore the customers who were staring at me strangely. 'I'm Turkish too!' I mean. From the outside, I couldn't understand what was different about me. I also had two legs and two arms. I checked in the mirror to see if I had a piece of paper on my back that said I had just arrived from Seattle. I guess what I saw was the mirror of my timid gaze. They were me, I was afraid of them. When a superhero candidate, who realized that I was uncomfortable there, approached me and asked how he could help me, I got rid of my pessimistic thoughts and remembered my purpose of coming here. I immediately completed my transactions and handed over the filled form to them. As I was going out with my new line, I was startled by the voice of one of the employees: “Ma'am, take our card. If your line is not open in half an hour, you call us.” "Not necessary. I don't have another line to call anyway." How I looked at the young man's face now, “Well, I am immediately interested in private.” "Thank you." Walking home, I was thankful I could find an operator dealership nearby and avoid the risk of getting lost. My line was opened before I even entered the house. I dialed the number of the cleaning lady I took out of my pocket and started talking. "Hello, my name is Cagla." “Here you go.” “I just moved to the Holy Apartment. The house needs cleaning. I got your number from the lady next door.” “Is He Aunt Love?” "I do not know your name. When can you come?" "Is it tomorrow?" “I will ask you to come as soon as possible. The house is not habitable. Please don't worry about money." “Okay, I'll be there in ten minutes. Have a nice day." All over the world, 'money' was a word that had the ability to solve problems. I've experienced this many times. Even though I don't like behaving in this way, when you see what people do for money, you find yourself in that vortex. Some of my gloom had dissipated. At least the house would be cleaned. She was at the door of the building ten minutes later, as she said. The curiosity in her eyes had reached the level of discomfort as they walked towards the house together. I would have looked at his face meaningfully when his eyes on my body were fixed on the ground. When I opened the door of the apartment, a voice came from the woman: “Abo, what is the state of this house? Sister, I can't get out of here in two days." It was weird for someone older than me to call me sister. "Look, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't call me sister. My name is Cagla. I know the house looks awful and it's not an easy job. You better at least get me out of those cobwebs. You do what you can. There is only one room inside that is locked. You don't need to clean it up. Like I said, money doesn't matter. As long as I can sleep cleanly in the evening.” I decided to plug in the fridge, take a breather and something to eat on the way home. By writing my number on a piece of paper; “What was your name?” “The sapling.” “Look, sapling, my number is written here. If you need anything, if you want to reach me, you can call me at this number.” "OK it's possible." “I'm going out for a bit. Which way is the sea?” “Get down from here. It smells of the sea. It will take you there, my lady. Are you new here?” "Yeah. Shall I bring you something to eat on the way home?" “No, my lady, I ate and came. It's a shame to ask where you came from?" “Seattle.” "Pardon?" “I came from abroad. As long as I'm standing here, you won't start. Come on, take it easy." "Thanks ma'am." As I started walking towards the beach, the sun was starting to fade, and my hat was still on my head. Indeed, as the woman said, it was impossible not to smell the smell of the sea. Seagull sounds were inviting people to the sea. Actually, I remember it vaguely, but I couldn't tell which side he was on. When I went to the last doctor's visit in Seattle, my doctor Sarah told me that I can't remember the situations related to my past most of the time, my subconscious covers the heavy traumas with an invisible veil. That's why, even though I don't have many memories of my childhood, I was trying not to forget what I could remember by thinking over and over again. I didn't ask my doctor why. Because no one would know me better than me. I was afraid. As I got scared, I shut myself up and kept silent. I didn't have the cure to talk about my silences. Most of all, I was afraid to listen to myself. That's why I haven't told anyone what I've been through. I especially avoided the deep-seated friendships that had always seemed to lead a normal life. When an ex-boyfriend asked about my family, he said he had a headache and said he didn't want to talk right now, and I texted him the next day saying that I didn't want to see him again. He couldn't make sense of it, and neither did I. But to talk about these issues, I had to trust and feel that trust in my heart. Since I had not met such a person yet, I kept my experiences inside me and did not even share my thoughts with myself. I'll never forget when I was living in Seattle with my aunt, when I was in college, forcing me to work in a gift shop at Pike Palace Market. This is exactly what he said: “You keep shutting up at home. You have to go out in public. I don't see the ending well." My aunt was one of those who could see the future. He always put me in the place of his missing children. Even though he saw undeserved behavior from my brother-in-law, he did not give up on the loyalty he promised to me and my mother. My uncle's condition was quite good. At first, they talked a lot about how much they loved each other. Over time, my brother-in-law's interest in money and I think my going there broke the balance between them. One night I caught my aunt crying. They found out that my brother-in-law was cheating on him and they had a fight. After that night, my aunt always cried. The result is a death from cancer. Some people are born mothers. My aunt was one of them. Some have children, they cannot be mothers, and some are very good mothers, the only thing missing is a child. If he's watching me from the sky, he's saying I told you so. Now that I could see the sea, the excitement I felt inside was indescribable. It was the moment when you didn't see the man you loved for a long time and then saw his eyes for the first time. Where I lived there was also the sea. But the sea in man's homeland was a love. Speaking the same language, living the same religion and looking at the same sea with these people… There was no recipe for it. Only those who lived abroad would understand this. Finding a less crowded place on the crowded beach, I took my place on an empty bench. Today was my lucky day, as I was able to find an empty bench. This was surprising as I'm not usually so lucky. While I was thinking about this, the person who had given up my enthusiasm had already taken his place. "Would you like?" "No thanks." “You haven't even seen what I've handed out yet.” When I turned and looked to my slightly right, there was a bowl of ice cream and two scoops. I hesitated to look at the face of the person next to me. I usually couldn't look at men's faces. My father used to say when I was little, any man with those blue eyes would fall in love with you, so use it carefully. At that age, it seemed like a scary thing. But I always listened to my father and was ashamed to look at men's faces. At that moment, I could feel the person next to me watching me intently. Despite this, I continued to watch the sea without taking my hands out of my pockets. "No thanks. I don't eat ice cream when I'm hungry.” “I just went for a walk. I didn't take that much money with me. I'm sorry, I can't order a meal or something. Look at this, we said hello, we went out of debt.” I didn't realize I was smiling. "Don't worry, I'm not going to eat with a man walking around with a bowl of ice cream and two scoops." “If you want big talk.” After he ate his ice cream hungrily, he walked up to me, fixed his eyes on mine, and extended his hand. "Kerem." "Unripe almond." My hands were still in my pockets. "Are you always like that?" "How?" The man, who was older than me, looked quite attractive in his sporty form. I tried my best so that if I made him feel that I thought that way, I would go to the ground with my embarrassment. He wasn't normally the type to treat any girl like that. Either he was bored or he was really impressed with me. “Grumpy, grumpy and cocky.” “If your insults are going to be long, the bench ahead is empty.” “But you look like that. It's like you don't like people very much." “I like people who don't talk more. I'd better go." “C'mon don't! I didn't mean to upset you." “I am really hungry. Not about you. I'm not going to fight someone I saw half an hour ago and know nothing about." "Okay, buy me dinner." Now that I was completely out of patience, I forced someone to look at his face and understand from my facial expression, who couldn't understand the conversations. I knew I was making a mistake. I could not talk. We both stopped and just started walking. I'm in the front, he's in the back. I don't remember how much time passed while I was walking along the beach. It was obvious that the person behind me couldn't stop talking. But this time he began to ask questions in a calmer and more understanding tone: "Are you a foreigner around here?" "Is it too obvious?" “Anyone who knows this place doesn't go that way very often.” "Why?" “Thinner beds are there. They infiltrate on the rocks.” His words made me stop abruptly. When he started laughing after her, I knew he was making a joke of his own. “Don't worry, I was joking. What is the thinner doing here? Your accent is a little different, that's why I asked. Though so are you, but whatever." I just had to look at his face. There was no end to this love. I knew myself, he was right, but what he couldn't understand was that he didn't know anything about my past. I didn't trust people, yes, but there was a reason for that. "Which way is the market, I have to take home something to eat." "Come on, let's go together, it's getting dark in the air." Where I came from, there was no such application. What a man can do, a woman can do as well. You're a woman, I've never been treated as incomplete. But when I thought about the fears inside of me, I let him come with me without saying anything. After completing my shopping, I wanted to go into a small liquor store and buy Hardy's Nottage Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, the owner's recommendation, to toast my new life at home. After completing my shopping, I turned to Kerem and stretched out my hand to say goodbye, this time I was the one with my hand in the air. “Is your house far away?” “A little higher. I can go myself, thanks.” “No, it's dark. These things work against me.” I think the fact that we had taken a forced walk together gave him a sense of ownership. When we walked by talking, it made us a little more sincere. I must have liked his answer, because this time I was the one asking the question. "Where do you live?" “I'm close to the beach. But there is not much distance between us.” When I got to the front of the house, the cleaning lady was waiting in front of the building. It was obvious that he had been waiting for me for a long time and that he had to go home. “I have to go now, my lady. I'll come back tomorrow and continue, there's only a little bit of work left." We kept talking as I squeezed the money into his hand. “You don't have to come tomorrow, I'll take care of the rest. Health to your hands." We had forgotten that Kerem was behind me, and when he suddenly turned around, we stopped when we realized that we were about to collide at a very close distance. I had to say something to break up that atmosphere. “Are you hungry too? You're so tired because of me. You don't walk for a week anymore. You deserved at least a meal.” “I thought you would never ask.” The house was really quite clean. She had swept away even some of the pessimism I felt. There was only one room not cleaned. I knew where the key to that room was, but I didn't dare touch it. Our private room. After that day, I never entered that room, and I never let anyone in. There was inviolability of privacy. I had to live that special moment alone, face it alone. Maybe I didn't want a cleaner to make the first entry. After having a snack with Kerem, we decided to sit on the balcony. The outer door of my house opened to a large hall after a short entrance and ended with a long balcony. Since it was the first floor, you could see people up close and live as if they were together. As a child, when I sat on the balcony, I felt like I was sitting in the middle of the road. I was afraid of people stepping on me. I would throw myself out into the street, to the game, desperately. Of course, that wasn't the only reason for my mischief. I think it was in my creation. I don't know who I took. Although my parents always blamed each other, I was different from them all. The only daughter of a sedentary family. With a somewhat masculine stance and clever mischief added to it, it was inevitable not to fight. For example, I wouldn't let foreign children I don't know into the building. If he was much older than me, I would spit and run home. There were times when I was caught until my mother opened the door. Maybe that's why my right ear is a little long. Although I was successful in this action most of the time, I could enjoy this victory until the families of those children came to our door. I was never a child who was beaten by his parents. Although they talked at first and tried to understand why I was doing this, they gave up on it after a certain time. So they said that this girl should be accepted. At that moment, I declared my freedom. We lit our cigarettes and watched the crowd returning home from work. Even though we couldn't see it very clearly in the dark, the burning light of the balcony was enough for us to see the silhouettes of the people. We were just keeping quiet with Kerem. Was it normal for two people who didn't know each other to be so quiet? It was nice to share the silence. Who knows, maybe Kerem needed to be quiet too. We were startled by the sound of the doorbell ringing. Whatever thought was in our minds, we got rid of it and came to ourselves. The knocking on my door on my first night was not a good omen, especially at such a late hour. That's why it was a great luck for me to have Kerem by my side. "Hello welcome." "You're welcome, here you go?" “Of course I will.” The young woman standing in front of me, no, the most comfortable person I've ever seen in my life, was already sitting in the living room of my house, ignoring me. The word 'here', which I used metaphorically, was enough to drag her inside. But I still didn't think he was faceless. It was due to his funny and overly friendly nature. I don't know if I ever wanted to be someone like him. Even so, people should know how to behave according to their place. It's like breaking into someone's house he doesn't know and knowing that he can't do it... “Sorry, I didn't know you had a boyfriend. What a shame what I did. I'm leaving right now." It was nice to realize that one made a mistake, even if it was late. It's a different thing to realize after it's too late. Kerem's voice brought me back to myself. “I was getting up too. The welcome visit shouldn't take too long, I must have been over my time." Judging by Kerem's smile, the boyfriend part pleased her, and I was about to go crazy. After Kerem left, my obligatory neighbor, who lived on the third floor, whose name I learned was Sinem, sat in the private corner of the balcony that I had reserved for myself and asked me my story. You'd think it was him, not me, from Seattle. “I guess to tell you that, I need to get to know you a little bit.” Realizing that I politely declined his question; "You're frank, I like that." After a short silence, he suddenly moved; “Tell me what you do.” “I am a writer.” “A writer in our apartment. Wonderful! I'll tell you before you ask. I am a student. I know I'm not the type to be a lawyer, but I think I can get into that mood over time. Would that thing called time really erase everything? Was it possible when all these years had not erased my pain? Maybe we needed a reason, to throw away the bad past. A reason to take shelter in the memories and not be afraid of my fears. SECTION 3 I'm not alone When I woke up in the morning, I found a crate of colorful flowers in front of the balcony and a note that matched the flowers on it. When you get up, call me at the number below. Making breakfast! Kerem I did what you said. The flowers were so beautiful that I had to. My mind was literally gone. Although we didn't talk much about flowers yesterday, it was an issue that was not opened. It is possible that he felt that I loved flowers so much, that he understood the female soul, though not quite realistically. "Thank you. They are beautiful.” “I'm glad I was able to put a smile on your face. I'll be there soon. A cup of tea will suffice.” In less than five minutes the bell rang. “Were you waiting at the door?” “No, but I was very close. I was buying donuts from the bakery downstairs when you called. We're going to have a tramp breakfast today." "What does that mean?" “This is the name we gave to a breakfast of pastries and tea with a friend at school. People don't have much money in their pockets when they are students. When you eat the same thing every day, you miss an olive. To us, living like vagrants meant doing the same things over and over.” "I see, but hobo doesn't mean drunk, what does it have to do with it?" “Drink was indispensable at that time, of course. It has a big impact too.” "Understood. Did you see me in your dreams this morning?" “We didn't have a chance to talk much yesterday. Maybe it's better for us to keep quiet. I thought we'd continue today. Besides, it's not masculine to leave a woman who doesn't remember her country very well. Of course, if you have another plan, I'll take my flowers and go, it's okay." “When it comes to flowers, the flowing water stops.” While we were drinking tea and eating our pastries on the balcony, I had the opportunity to examine Kerem. At first glance I thought he was a talkative ox, but I think he was a nice guy. At least it's fun. “Tell me, where did you come from?” “Is it that obvious that I come from somewhere?” "You don't talk like us and you obviously grew up in the wetlands." However, we used to speak Turkish with my aunt all the time at home. I don't think my speech has changed much, but I guess it's because I haven't adapted yet. “I think this is the Turkish equivalent of saying tall. Yes, you're right, I came from Seattle. And then I came back here.” "What do you mean I'm back?" “When I was a kid, I lived in this house with my family.” As the subject got deeper, my sentences got shorter. “So where are they? So if you don't mind…” He realized that he had asked the wrong question. I could tell from his facial expression. It wasn't hard for me to guess who was coming this time when the doorbell rang. I could even thank him for his great timing. “Hi, you just moved, maybe you didn't get a chance to go out and get some food. I brought you breakfast.” "You're so kind, come on." “This time with your consent, of course…” "Yeah. We were having breakfast too. It was good. We got rid of the hobo breakfast.” We looked at each other and laughed at the same time. We even had a secret prank tool now. Of course, Sinem did not understand the incident. If Hoş Kerem hadn't told me, I would have been in the same situation. Realizing this, Sinem was slightly upset, but she answered the time-out question to change the subject. “I had breakfast. But I wouldn't say no to tea." “I arrive late to the balcony.” When I got back, Kerem and Sinem had met and had already started laughing at something.” "Wonderful. You've even met. She looked so cute while she was trying to laugh with a mouth full of grace. Like a child who never grows up. “This girl is very funny, Çağla. Let's tell her too." “What could he have said in such a short time?” “Come, my dear, sit down, and I will tell you. There is a boy in our faculty. His name is Abidin. He has such beautiful eyes that all the girls are after him. Except for me of course. I recently noticed that one of the boy's eyes is blue and the other is brown. Turns out the kid was wearing contact lenses. The lens has fallen off. I said to the boy, I think your own eyes are much more beautiful, why do you feel the need to use them? The boy is not leaving me now. What am I going to do now?" “It was really funny.” I started laughing without realizing it. These two people I just met were able to make me laugh. After ten years… I owe them a thank you. For not letting me be alone. “Look what I'll say. Can we drink the wine I just bought in the evening?” “I'll buy another one on my way,” Kerem interrupted. It was clear that he was happy about this event. On the other hand, it was clear from the expression on Sinem's face that she did not like wine.” "Okay okay. Don't grimace. We'll buy you whatever you're drinking." “Vodka please.” After contracting for the evening, I wanted to send them both out of the house and do whatever was on my mind. Checking my emails first and then typing like crazy. Write whatever comes to my mind. Writing has been my favorite thing since I was a kid. When you are not an assertive person like Sinem, your life will be based on writings or you will have trouble with a very close friend. Unfortunately my friend was not there. But I had texts. Whatever comes to my mind, I write immediately. You can't do this while talking. If meaningless words come out of his mouth, those around him may even think that he is crazy. Writing was freedom for me. The definition of commitment and a ladder to my dreams. A constant effort to see the savings you get from the environment in your own way. I'm thinking that if I were a person who watches TV all the time, what I see and hear might make me nervous or fill my brain with too much useless information. I think it was essential to clear one's head in silence. Thus, he would give a more meaningful direction to his life by weighing right or wrong. I grabbed my laptop and opened my email account. There were dozens of emails. A few coworkers I couldn't say goodbye to, an e-mail from a magazine, and the rest were all from the same person. Unknown person. 'The Contemporary Arslan.' "Welcome." In the first email it was just that. There was no one I spoke to in Turkey. Since my arrival, I haven't met anyone other than Kerem and Sinem. I dared to open the second e-mail. “I've been waiting for you for a very long time. Finally." I guess I'm a pervert now, I have reason to be afraid. Without looking at other emails, I turned off the computer and started to think. No, I didn't know anyone like that. I was sure of that. I decided to turn on the computer again and reply to the e-mail. "Who are you?" As if he was just waiting for news from me, I received an immediate response to my e-mail without waiting. "Do you need to be so distant?" “How do you know me?” “I have known you for years. I follow you even from afar. I know about everything.” When I turned off the computer again, I was now completely afraid. A man who speaks like a puzzle, unanswered questions brought by uncertainty. I have to find something to distract my mind. But what? Yes, I should write. I took a piece of paper and started writing. I was typing quickly and meaninglessly. I listed all the words that came to my mind. I was in a panic and didn't know what to think. Then when I finished a paragraph and read it, I realized that everything I wrote was about fear. No matter what I did, I couldn't get away from these thoughts. It should be evening soon and I shouldn't be alone. I decided to go outside and get some air. Sea air would do me good. When I went down to the beach, there was hardly anyone. Even the shopkeepers selling wraps were catching flies. I sat on a bench first, and as the grass pulled me in, I took off my shoes and lay down. I chose the blue of the sky as my target. I was begging them to calm me down. Either take me with you or let me calm down with your whites. Either I get a chance to go as far as you or I can shapeshift so beautifully. Maybe then I would be a different person and I could change what's inside of me. As if it were possible. No matter how much the prayer of the poor is accepted. Then I was startled by my own scream. A gypsy selling roses next to me; “Won't you buy alam for your beautiful face. It's the same you, my friend." I was surprised at what happened. While watching the sky, it was impossible not to notice a rose in my eye. I was about to faint with fear. He was still after selling the rose. As I was afraid now, the reason for my anger was that I started shouting at the woman. "No, I don't want to, go away." “If you don't take it, don't take it. Something different. I looked carefully and you weren't pretty at all." While the woman was gossiping, I couldn't help but wonder if I did the right thing by coming here. I had no other choice. I couldn't live alone in Seattle. That was my aunt's will. It was like I was scared. People were taking revenge on me for leaving my country. “I have been away from my homeland for years. I was with the man I loved, but the love of the country remained inside me. If something happens to me one day, go to your homeland. Your destiny is there." My aunt's words never left my mind for a second. Your destiny is there, he said. Couldn't it be wrong? I don't own anything here. Other than a house full of memories and a few people I've just met. As it started to get dark, I decided to go home and prepare something to eat. I have always loved to cook. It's like therapy for me. There were a few recipes I learned in Seattle. I thought I could remember them and offer them to Kerem and Sinem. When evening came, everyone was content, and I was completely at peace because of someone whose name I did not know. At a time when Sinem goes to the bathroom, Kerem; “Cagla, are you okay? It's like a part of you isn't here. You disagree with most of the conversations.” Although I did not know Kerem very well, I wanted to trust him unconditionally. I wanted to get rid of the loneliness I was in and open myself to him, but I couldn't. “I'm fine, routine stuff. Forget the annoying.” The fact that Sinem couldn't help her laugh because she had too much to drink had already interrupted our conversation. At least he realized that he had to go. With the fullness of her voice, the sound of the old aunt's walking stick in the next apartment started to create a rhythm. “I will go now. There's school in the morning. Thanks for tonight, let's do it again." After he said and left, we were alone with Kerem. I had nowhere to run anymore and there were things that had to be talked about. Of course, Kerem was the first to speak, as always. "You're a different person, you know?" “Good or bad?” "Both of them. Besides, you love to answer a question with a question, don't you?" I just had to smile. It was part of my character. “Will you tell me what happened?” “Well, I think I have a pervert.” “Is that what makes you think so? You're a pretty girl, of course you'll have fans." “This is not so. The state of admiration is too simple. I guess it's more about my inside than my outward appearance.” Kerem suddenly got serious and pulled his chair towards me. This closeness scared me. When a person is filled with fear, he is sometimes afraid to trust even the closest one. It was such a feeling. “You are serious. Do you want to talk about it?" “You know I just came to Turkey. We met you the day I arrived. So I don't know anyone. When I looked at my e-mail today, I saw that someone had sent me an e-mail saying they knew me. Welcome, I've been waiting for you. "Spooky, you're right." “I have no idea who he is.” “Maybe someone is playing a joke on you or something.” “Well, who will? I don't know anyone." “It's true, you don't even know me yet. I said I wrote it or something.” "You're so funny, but I can't laugh right now. Then tell us and let's listen. Who are you?" I threw the ball to Kerem just so that this topic would be closed so that we could talk about other things. “This was a bit of a harsh question form, like a question, but okay. Let me explain. Kerem Dilbaz. I'm 32 years old. I am an editor for a large magazine. I live in Bostancı. My family lives in Bodrum. I'm an only child. I am fun and cute. I wish the competitors good luck.” I started laughing uncontrollably. This man looked like he had stepped out of a TV show. It was a great chance for me to meet Kerem. He was very handsome, well-educated, and was able to amuse me, even if some of his speeches were really silly. When it was your turn to look at me, I started to answer the question without asking. "I'm 25 years old. Cagla Cavusoglu. When I was 17, I lost my parents and my older sister, so I had to go to Seattle with my aunt. I worked and studied there. I am a writer. I released two books while I was there. My publishing house is waiting for another book from me right now, but I can't give myself away. When my aunt died, I had no one left there and I had to return to Turkey.” "So you don't have a family?" "Yeah. I lost them.” Kerem was upset. I could feel a sting of pain inside me. It was as if he had experienced something similar. He immediately asked another question to change the subject. “Don't you like Turkey?” “My best days were spent here. Also the worst days of my life. I don't know what to think these days. This house, these items always remind me of the worst. Doesn't a person love the place where he was born? In addition, I have visited so many places, I have never seen a country as beautiful as Turkey. Trust me, this is an unbiased review.” “Why are there bad memories?” “Because my parents were found dead in this house.” I couldn't believe I said that sentence out loud. I felt as if I had just thrown out a piece of bread that had been stuck in my throat for years. I witnessed how tons of weight on me suddenly turned into feathers. I was so relieved that I didn't know that one sentence would change my life so much. Kerem looks at me with eyes full of fear; “It is not right for you to stay in this house. If you want, let's go to me. If you're uncomfortable, I'll go to my friend, you stay at home." Kerem said this so eagerly and confidently that I would accept it, that he would not like to be rejected. Even though a part of me said I should go, it just didn't feel right to me. The way my parents raised me prevented me from staying at someone's house I had just met. I could trust Kerem. Something inside me was saying that. But in terms of not knowing me wrong, and since we have just met, such a situation was not very possible from my point of view. But if I tried to explain this to her, she obviously wouldn't understand. “Thank you very much for your invitation. I can't stay with you forever. I have to learn to be alone somehow and get used to it.” “Well, there is an offer, no insistence. I'll get up, too, then try to get used to it." It was clear that Kerem was upset by this situation. But there was nothing I could do. As long as my aunt lived, she argued that the line of intimacy with strangers should be thick. According to him, this was a scale that kept the mind and heart games in balance. “If you constantly act with your mind, you will be unhappy. If you always act with your heart, you will be stupid and people will use you,” he said. According to my aunt, unfortunately, not everyone was well in this world and the possibility of hurting me was very high. “Whether I am or not, you have to take care of yourself, because I don't want to see an unidentified or unclaimed child in your arms in this world or the next,” he would say. He was right. I wish a system could be developed to measure whether people's credit scores are reliable as learned. But there wasn't. In that case, I had to believe that scale. Even if it's sad at the end. After sending Kerem, I decided to gather around, relax a bit and find something to do myself. What did I really want? What was I doing here? I guess I was asking myself questions I knew the answer to. I was here to delve into my past. I had to be here to figure out what had been bugging me for years, to account for my sleepless nights. It's not a lonely life that I want, but there was no restful sleep for me without resolving my family's death. I was aware of this. There was a room in this house where I had to live, and that room scared me. When I turned on my computer, I saw a few more new mails. Same person but different addresses. I think he was doing it so he wouldn't be exposed. “Where have you been? I was curious about you." “Do you even see an answer to me too much?” "Doesn't it matter that I've been waiting for you for years?" These three e-mails brought to light my suppressed fears. But I had to be brave. There was no end to it. I was either going to kill myself out of fear or be as brave as I could and go after it and did what was necessary. "Who are you? What do you want from me?" I waited for a long time but no answer came. I was no longer falling for it. I took paper and pen to write the sequel to my third novel, Vortex. I am in the most fearful place. The timing wasn't very good, but I have to do it. I've never been a true horror writer. I couldn't be. This was not for me. More love, crime, adventure... Would it be a novel if I wrote my own life as said? How could the fears I felt be transferred to paper? CHAPTER 4 I am neither in the ground nor in the sky A week had passed. Although Sinem stopped by from time to time, there was no news from Kerem. Two days ago, I took a pastry class near my house just to clear my mind. I was aiming to get out of the depression I was in by making different cakes. I hope it works. I made my first cake at home and by myself. Mixing what I knew with what I learned, it was a not-so-bad cake. I gifted this cake to myself. Today is my birthday. Even if a person says that he doesn't care much for some reason, from the moment he wakes up in the morning, he has an expectation. All he wants is 'Happy Birthday'. No one did this except for Sinem. However, I expected Kerem. I woke up with the message I got this morning: “My dear, happy birthday, I'm with you tonight. Sinem.” Well, at least someone was thinking of me. While my cake was in the cupboard trying to recover, I decided to tidy up my house and read some books. I had not had the opportunity to read the book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, whose real name is Love and Prejudice, until today. It was unbelievable that I was this late reading a book that was so popular with people. By the middle of the book, I had fallen in love with Darcy. I wish every man would take care of his love as much as he does and run after the impossible... It was not easy to find this today. Wherever you are in the world, there is always an interest in relationships. Ended relationships lose their importance and the person you died for suddenly disappears from your life. Though arrogant for Elizabeth, Darcy had loved her uncompromisingly for her truth. In current relationships, I always saw people trying to change each other. The way they see and love each other for the first time is the state of adapting to the life of the other person after a while. A struggle to live and change like him. It must be because of the darkening of the grapes by looking at the grapes. In the evening, I saw Kerem sitting alone on the balcony and watching the passers-by. He entered our building with flowers in his hand. I immediately ran to the door and wanted to greet him. But he went up the stairs. It didn't even hit me. Okay, maybe he didn't see me, but where could he go? Sinem! Yes, he went to Sinem. While I was waiting for him here all day, he took his breath next to Sinem. This was unfair. Something definite happened between them. Of course he's right. Sinem is a younger, bubbly girl. Someone who doesn't have taboos to give them what they want. It's more fun, isn't it? Because, like me, he doesn't take his past on his shoulders and darken his future. I closed the door and went inside. I gave up. I begged for forgiveness, whoever I offended. When a bad impression was left in one of the past relationships, it would turn into a curse and one day he would find you. I'm thinking, assuming I haven't had many relationships in my life, who might I have hurt, which seemed right to me? Okay, maybe I wasn't completely in love with Kerem, but I was the one who spent more time with him and shared something. I don't know if it was the fact that my family had died in this house that scared him away. Maybe he didn't talk thinking the same things, but when the feelings were different, the bodies changed. How could I have been deceived by my loneliness in such a short time and claimed its existence? It is not right to judge people because of their choices. To sit and cry just because he didn't choose me. This is not true. I turned off my lights and lit a candle on my cake. I blew softly and spoke to myself: "Happy my birthday." It is customary to taste the cake on birthdays. I dipped my finger, left the cake to melt in the hall. I went to my room and slept. Alone, only me. At the age of twenty-six, I faced another reality. No one is anyone in this life. Nobody cares how you feel. Unfortunately, people did not have the freedom to get whatever they wanted and I had my share of it. Ten minutes later, I was startled by the sound of the bell ringing. I had no idea who it might be. Or was the pervert in my emails at my door now? If he knows me well, which is scary, he might know that I'm alone right now. If he suddenly opened the door and walked in, it was a suitable environment and time to commit murder. I don't know what I did to piss him off, but if he's waited this long and he knows me, my birthday night might be a good night to face it. I slowly made my way down the dark corridor towards the door. Clinging to the walls with trembling hands, I walked away. While my heart was in my mouth trying to look through the hole in the door, I was very surprised to see Sinem in front of me. I think he was going to tell me about the good memories they had. I should have wiped my tears mixed with fear and sadness and stood up straighter. Because I didn't have an answer to give him. When I opened the door softly, there was Sinem with a cake in her hand and Kerem with a huge bunch of flowers next to her. “Happy Birthday!” they both said in the middle of the night. When he shouted, warnings came from the floors above and they had to dive inside. Simon looked so beautiful. It was obvious that it was prepared with great care. While he was still trying to control himself, Kerem was the first to speak: “Sorry, we were going to come sooner, but Sinem just got ready.” So they had not yet found a suitable word to address themselves. As if Sinem wanted to make amends; "How is it, isn't it beautiful?" Before I had the right to answer, Sinem's cell phone started to ring at the highest level. “My boyfriend is waiting at the door. It is very new that we met him. It's our first time out for dinner, you know, first dates are very important. So I don't want to wait too long. I need to leave." After he finished speaking, he gave me a kiss on the cheek and left. I just stood there. Kerem was waiting for a residence permit from me with wine and flowers in his hand. I no longer cared about my birthday, but what had happened in the last hour. It was the possibility that everything was not as it seems from the outside, and that there were different reasons behind it. How we tend to get it all wrong. This was all due to people's prejudices. It's like setting up what's going on and putting it back on the market... Then let's drink to all the misunderstood and all our justified delusions: 'CHE!' CHAPTER 5 Strange Sounds When I told Kerem what I was thinking last night, he laughed a lot. It was not unfair. I filled my head with nonsense and believed it and even upset myself. The happy part for him was the feelings I had towards Kerem. All my foya was exposed. I don't know if I did this on purpose, but after my fears last night, knowing about it and acting accordingly would have changed a lot. Thanks to Kerem, I had an unforgettable birthday last night. I've never seen this side of him. I believe there is something seriously budding between us now. While I thought that there was a relationship between Sinem and Kerem, knowing that Kerem also had feelings for me wiped out all the negativities and fears in my mind. The defeat I felt suddenly turned into screams of victory. My feelings were reciprocated, and I enjoyed being special. We kept quiet all night and just danced. I felt like my heart was going to explode when he touched my hands. It's the most special feeling I've ever had. It's like being the first. Or to discover unattainable happiness. We discovered each other without speaking. We opened the windows within us through our eyes. We got hot and cold in climates that will never come. Maybe we made love from afar. However, how much we wanted each other. Kerem, who looked at me with meaningful and piercing eyes with the effect of the wine we drank, was me who bowed my head in shame every time. Every time I was embarrassed, Kerem would say with a kiss on my forehead, "Don't be shy, you are not doing anything to be ashamed of". He did this with his eyes only. It was as if we were speaking mute. It smelled like heaven. It was reassuring, he said, come on, nothing will ever happen to him here. It was such a beautiful scent. He was really pulling for himself. It smelled of passion, love and fatherly firmness. There are smells in your life that you will never forget. For example, the smell of mother or father. It smelled like that in Kerem, maybe the name of this scent was love. Maybe if it hadn't penetrated my senses so much, I wouldn't have been so impressed. Now I am experiencing something that I have never experienced in the past, fear gripped my body as I saw their beauty. I was shaking. Love was to experience happiness and pessimism at the same time. He was afraid of not being accepted while praying with his hands up to the sky. It was to be happy when a dagger pierced his heart, going deeper. To be happy by suffering. If you're in love, a heart that belongs to one person would squeeze to make room for the second person. It was to fit a huge heart of two people into the body. It was to feel the dagger in his heart with every eye contact, every glance. This is how I felt love for the first time in my cells. It was like listening to the most beautiful music in the world, even though there was no sound. I wanted that moment to never end. But all good things had an end. We both knew that. He said goodbye at the end of the night with a small but fragrant kiss on my forehead. It was so sweet. The wine was magic and the effect was great. Something strange happened after Kerem left. I heard a voice in my sleep. A sound like a scream. Then Sinem's face came before my eyes. I went out to the balcony and looked outside, but I couldn't see anyone. I guess I was just under the influence of what I went through. My endless fears. No matter what I went through, they never let me go. My nightmares were the most frightening hero of a life adorned with loneliness. It was like the dirt on the bottom of a rug you were trying to clean. The day would come when they were able to get to the surface of the carpet. I say they succeeded because I fit three people in my heart. Three different people, three separate lives. All individually, all as a family. There was longing involved, maybe a little selfishness. Because I would never be able to share with them again. There was compassion, reminding me of my mother. I had mischief with my sister and I was spoiled for my father. I deliberately went in and out of my mouth, I had a childhood, the end of my adolescence, the beginning of my adulthood. The next day, I spent time making good meals. I also read some books. Then I heard a knock at the door. I thought they were cleaning the stairs. Just after that, the doorbell rang. When I opened the door, there was a red box on the floor. Kerem was the first thing that came to my mind. Maybe he bought me a present as a token of what happened last night. In fact, it was the best gift for me, even if it was just himself. But hey, it was a great gesture too. It had such an attractive packaging that it was the most beautiful form of bright red. This pleasure could not belong to anyone else. I picked up the box and looked around. But there was no one. I closed the door softly and leaned my back against the wall, and began to untie the ribbon of the box in my hand. My eyes widened when I saw what came out of the box. My mind went elsewhere. to my childhood. It was the bowtie teddy bear my father bought me for my fifth birthday when I was little. I had no idea where this toy, which I could not understand, came from. Until I find the note below. “Hello, I'm glad you're back. I wanted to give you a memory of your childhood. I hope you like it." I don't remember how much my hands helped to close my open mouth. It was the person who sent me emails. Here it is again! He knows me, he knows my house. Moreover, this is someone who even knows my childhood. Someone who broke into my house and stole my life. He doesn't know who this man is, and I shudder when I think about it. What could a person I don't know have to do with me? I was so scared. While I didn't know what to do and how to act in a panic, the first thing that came to my mind was to call Kerem. Kerem had picked up the phone the first time it worked. “I was just thinking about you too.” “Something has happened.” My voice was cracked. I was also surprised that the fear I felt reflected so much in my voice. "What happened? Cagla, are you okay?" “The person who wrote those emails left a box on my doorstep. Kerem knows my house. Can you believe it?" “Okay honey, calm down. Did it come by courier, do you have an address on it?" “No, it has been abandoned. It was the first thing I noticed. The man was one meter away from me, Kerem. What if we go to the police?" “I don't think he can face you. He may have let a child go or something. I didn't expect it to go this far. The most stable pervert I know.” “I understand what Kerem is trying to do, but I am not in a position to laugh. I called you because I had no one else. I'm scared, you understand?" "Okay okay. Take it easy, okay? I'm just getting out of work and coming to you right now. Let's sit down and talk first. Then if it is necessary to go to the police, we will go again.” "I'm waiting." My hands were still shaking when I hung up the phone. I was wandering around the rooms, staring blankly. Had he entered my room? He must have done this before I returned to the country. Otherwise I would have known someone had entered the house. I had the feeling that at any moment someone would come out and harm me. I was animating the doors that stood still with my imagination, and shaking the non-moving chandelier with the same imagination. I was thoroughly depressed and could not recognize myself. I was tired of using genetically modified sentences. I was a hostile stranger to myself. My palms were sweaty. Waiting was the worst cruelty for me. Time does not pass, Kerem still did not come. I immediately closed the open window on the balcony, the half-open window of my bedroom. It was a summer day, it was difficult to explain this situation to anyone else when the weather was humid and scorching hot. I'd rather die of the heat than be beaten by a pervert. When I heard the bell, I felt joy and fear at the same time. The high-pitched cries of my heart had a drum effect as I slowly made my way towards the door. The possibility of Kerem's coming was just as gratifying. The person at the door was either Kerem or he is a maniac. I looked through the hole, considering both possibilities. Yes, finally. It was Kerem. I just wanted to hug him. Maybe get rid of my fears with an injector. He was the only person I could trust. The man who made me stay sane. I couldn't hug because Kerem was holding a box in his hand. When we both looked at the box at the same time, he explained: “Another new box has arrived.” This time I was starting to think about the possibility of something alive coming out of it. Something a little more terrifying each time, and always worse. Human thought is not very prone to good, it calls evil more easily to the subconscious. From there, it would have a direct impact on our lives. As Kerem slowly opened the box, our eyes were locked together and our foreheads were sweaty. The two small cufflinks that came out of it surprised Kerem more than me. “But these are mine.” "What do you mean mine?" “These are cufflinks from my grandfather with my first and last name's initials on them. It even has the date on the bottom, look.” When Kerem turned his cufflinks, I saw the date underneath. It really belonged to him. I had no idea what this man wanted from Kerem. "What does that mean now?" “This means that the man broke into my house as well. He went all the way to my bedroom and found these cufflinks in my closet. I think he's doing this so we can understand how dangerous and serious he is. Despite everything, Kerem was more cold-blooded than me. It was a reaction of being a man. But deep inside I could feel that he understood the situation and that his fears were growing. "Well, what are we going to do now?" “From now on, neither you can stay in this house nor I am in my own house anymore. First of all, we have to find ourselves another place to stay.” While Kerem was talking, I started to examine the box. Inside the box was a piece of paper. I took the paper and handed it to Kerem. “I think this is our new note.” I didn't have the courage to read it. That's why I wanted Kerem to read it. “You didn't realize how serious I was. No police. If you want Kerem alive, I think you should go. By the way, you got prettier as you got older." While Kerem and I were looking at each other, we both gave up and sat on the sofa at the same time. I was about to lose my mind as my tears fell on the wood flooring. I likened my soul to a rotting apple. My feelings were devastated and tired from waiting for which wolf would come out of it. I was afraid that if I stood up, my feet would shake. If I looked at Kerem, my tears would flow from a faucet that would never be closed again. It was a battle in which my body succumbed to my soul. The winner is not clear, the loser is always me. "Who is this man, Kerem?" "I do not know honey. All I know is that we're being followed." "What will we do then? I'm about to go crazy are we going to sit like this?" “Of course not. But we have to act rationally. Let's search all over the house first. Let's see if there is a hidden camera or sound system in the house. He may even be hearing our voices now. I don't understand how he can be aware of what we do, what we talk about, or even what we think. Either this man has mystical powers or he's literally living inside us, we can't see it." "You're right. First we need to solve this. I always feel like my breath is on my neck. It's scary to live with that. The feeling of being watched is tense. I feel like my privacy has been taken over. I'll start in the back room then." We searched the house. We looked around the windows, between the doors, at the ceilings and even inside the chandeliers. But we found no sign of being watched or listened to. How he does this watching and listening job, he has to be completely professional. When we got back to the living room, we were both out of breath. Kerem, who can hardly breathe; “Get your laptop, darling. And those things he sent. We're going to the police." When we entered the police station, I felt a chill. It was a very cold and gloomy place. Considering the criminals inside, I had good reasons to be afraid. I could feel those scars. Violent bars and uniformed guards. An officer waiting at the door led us to the commissioner's office. We took our places in the two chairs in front of the commissioner and started to tell our troubles. Although I have repeatedly said that I do not know anyone in this country, I did not think that the commissioner who told me to think well could help us. Why then, when I saw the fear in my eyes and started acting more understanding, I started to trust him. We had to give all the necessary information and just wait in the next process. Waiting for news from them! I don't know how we were going to endure this. I also showed the e-mails he sent while we were there. Researched. It doesn't count as a clue since they're all sent from different IPs. In desperation, we decided to leave the police station and go home. The emptiness inside me was getting bigger and bigger. All our efforts were in vain. There was nothing we could do without proof. When I put myself in that officer's shoes, I understood him. The problem is that something needs to be done so I prefer not to understand. The magnitude of what the police had experienced and struggled with was completely different. Perhaps their comfort was an underestimation of our plight. When we got to the gate of the police station, I couldn't hold back my tears any longer. It wasn't just fear, I was getting on my nerves now. I looked at Kerem with helpless eyes and said, "I don't think it will help either." "Come here." When Kerem hugged me, I felt so safe. It was the only branch I could hold on to in such a short time. I literally ruined his life. Instead of walking away from me, he hugs me tightly and never lets go. It was like I lost a piece of my past and found it again with Kerem. We were being thrown into different times and lives, hand in hand. I didn't know if he had the strength to fill the void inside of me. But even in his weakest moment, he was in the heart to use all his efforts, his last breath on me. Before leaving the police station, I wanted to wash my face and go like that. Kerem checked the women's restroom first. Then he asked me to enter. I knew Kerem would be waiting right in front of the door. So I was very comfortable. I was expecting it to be a shock as the cold water hit my face. I tried many times but nothing changed. When I looked in the mirror, I was met with that white face again. I was now afraid of my own silhouette. While the tiny bruises under my eyes were noticeable, my head ached as if it wanted to leave my body. When I came out of the toilet, Kerem was not in front of the door. When I went to an officer at the entrance of the police station and asked about Kerem, he said that he went out to smoke in front of the door. I went out and looked. But Kerem was not there. I went to the parking lot and checked the car. I was even more worried when I saw that the car was there. I looked around the entire police station and asked a few people walking around to describe Kerem and see if they had seen him. I called her cell phone but got no answer. I thought Kerem was playing a joke on me again. Now he would come after me and scare me. I waited, but no one came. Even though I didn't want to, I now understood the seriousness of the situation. In that case, I couldn't think of any other possibility. He had done what he said. He took Kerem. I went back to the bathroom and fell on my knees and started crying. I really didn't know what to think or how to act anymore. What does this mean for my experiences? Thousands of questions were running through my head, I couldn't make sense of what I was going through. I was so tired of waiting with my hands tied and not being able to do anything. Who was this man and what did he want from me? I went to a police officer and asked him to help me. I explained the situation in detail. He took me back to the room of Commissioner Mesut, where we came from. This time I didn't have time to talk. I felt like I was about to take my last breath. Tired and lonely. I could no longer control my anger. When Mesut Bey pointed to the chair with his hand, I sat down. The officer who brought me to the room told Mesut Bey about the situation and I couldn't stand it any longer. “Mesut Bey, Kerem has been kidnapped in front of the police station right now. Are you still waiting for proof?" -I am aware of your sadness. We are already looking for the environment we are in now. Talking about this issue with you here does not contribute to Kerem or the course of the event. On the contrary, we are wasting time. Let friends drop you off at your home, we'll keep in touch with you on the smallest thing. They sent me to my house with two bodyguards with me. The house was in shambles. While we were looking for the camera and microphone, we were not aware of what we were throwing where. Ah Kerem, we were here together not long ago. Now you're not with me You hugged me in front of the door, you said it will all pass. It does not pass, on the contrary, everything is getting worse. I was constantly praying and trying to stay afloat. I couldn't sit. It was out of my hands. I was constantly running around the house, waiting for news that Kerem was alive. I called home again and again. If there is a camera in a place that we cannot see or overlook, and if he can see me, I could fall at his feet to let Kerem go and pick me up. This was the worst. Someone's life being ruined because of me. I called. I looked again and again at the places we looked. I looked everywhere in the pantry, the kitchen, the balcony to see if there were places we missed, but I couldn't find anything. I should have gone to the balcony. I couldn't breathe. I watched people walking outside. How happy they are. We could be just as happy. I started doing things I've never done at home. For example, watering the flower that the cleaning lady watered last. Before I approach the flower and pour the water, I wanted to clean the leaves. I spoke to him as if to console a small child. Then, as I was about to take a glass of water and pour it into the flower, I noticed a tiny protrusion. A tiny microphone was hidden. Here I finally found it. I spoke to him: “I beg you, let Kerem go. Your problem is with me. I'm here, you know my house, why don't you do anything to me, hurt my loved ones? What kind of person are you!” I shouted, I shouted so much that I wanted to be heard. I didn't know if he heard or not. I just tried. My voice was hoarse now. The officers waiting at the door were knocking on the door and asking me to open it. I went and opened it. They were not in a fussy mood. “Ms. Çağla, we bought ourselves something to eat. We brought it to you in case you didn't eat anything. Here you go.” "Thank you. My soul does not want anything.” “Look, we need your help to reach Kerem Bey. It is very important for you to be able to stand. Please." I took the package and left it on the dining table. I wasn't in the mood to eat anything right now. I wanted the world to collapse and I wanted to be under it. All I wanted was to be with Kerem and hug him tight. As I lay in my bed at night, I heard a voice again. The sound I heard last night. Yes, the same sound was not a dream. It's the same high-pitched female cry. I got out of bed. I started walking around. The sound suddenly stopped. I confidently opened the outer door, knowing that officers were waiting outside. “Did you hear a sound too?” "No, we haven't heard of it." Both officers were watching videos with cell phones in their hands. “I heard a voice, it came very close. Will you take a look at my next-door neighbor, is he alright?" After a long knock on the door, the old lady who lived in my next apartment sleepily opened the door and her eyes widened when she saw the police in front of her. "What's going on boy, no?" “Sir, sorry to disturb you. Ms. Çağla, who lives next door, said she heard a noise, so we wanted to check if you were okay.” "I'm fine, son. That woman who is not good. Ever since he got here, bad luck has haunted him. It's cursing our apartment. He's going to bring the building down on us in the end." “Why, sir? Has something happened before?" “When my child is at home, his friends always come. They drink, they make the building groan. I'm an old person, so I'm tired of the noise. A man comes in and out of the house all the time. I don't know what era we live in. Stones will fall on us. Now who knows what happened that put you here. Let him go, let him not disturb our peace. May God give you an idea, what should I say? After witnessing my next door neighbor's conversations, I slowly closed the door and started sobbing. I couldn't stand it anymore. Everything was piling up and I couldn't bear it anymore. It made me sick to my stomach that people were so prejudiced, that they could criticize someone they didn't know so easily, that they were talking so impolitely even though I was careful not to be so noisy. With the sound of my mobile phone, Kerem fell into my mind. In case of any news from him, I ran and picked up the phone immediately. "Sorry?" “Ms. Çağla, we found Kerem Bey's mobile phone in the container next to the police station. I guess we won't be able to reach him that way. I've never talked. I did not say anything. I couldn't tell. I shut up and shut myself up. Maybe, maybe he had already killed Kerem. I lost her just as I lost my family. I am the cause of everything. My God, it was all because of me. All of this wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been in his life. I felt like I was cursed. Whatever I put my hand into was drying up, every branch I held was thinning and breaking. “Are you there, Ms. Çağla?” I noticed that the loud voice from the phone in my hand was still waiting there. What could he say after this time? "Well yes, I'm not okay right now." "I understand. Be careful too. If you think of anything, please share it with us.” The phone was still in my ear, I was looking around aimlessly. I was thinking how pathetically lonely I was in this house that belonged to me, where I was the only one in it. My soul was bruised. Maybe whatever was good in my soul was buried with my family. At that moment, a package caught my attention on the balcony. A red packet. This must be new. It wasn't there when I got home. “Officer, wait a minute, I have a box on my balcony. There may be an important note in it.” “Don't touch that box, Ms. Çağla. Wait, I'll send a team. Maybe something will come out of the fingerprints.” "OK, i am waiting. But please hurry." As the box stood there, I was madly wondering what was inside. He was definitely writing something about Kerem. I was so afraid that something would happen to Kerem. If something happened to Kerem, my next life would be full of guilt and suffering. When the police arrived at the door, a few gloved hands approached the box and waited for a while. They started talking among themselves. Although someone said that the box should be exploded, he argued that there might be an important note among two people who knew the other subject, and it would not be right for them to explode. Finally, it was decided to open the box. The note that came out of it included the following sentences: “Your life is in my hands. You will pay with your life for what you did to me. For this, I can start with the loved ones. For example, Kerem. Send the cops at the gate from there or you will have to say goodbye to Kerem.” The superintendent, whom I spoke with on the phone, turned to me, telling the officer next to him that he wanted his fingerprints examined; “We will do as you say. Don't worry, Ms. Cagla. We will follow you from afar. If you are alone, he will find the courage to come to you. We also intervene in the smallest thing.” "I don't think you're that stupid." “Not yet. That's why I'm getting my men through the door. Every branch we've ever tried to reach him has broken. It is clear that he planned everything. Your home will have a panic button. If you press it at the slightest thing, the signal will go to the station.” "OK it's possible. I have nothing left to lose anyway.” “Please do not despair.” After the police left the building completely, I called Sinem. I have called many times before. I couldn't reach his phone for a few days. Last time she stopped by on my birthday, she went out with her boyfriend. I don't know anyone around him. I do not know what can I do. Maybe his family is here. Or maybe she's still with her boyfriend, I thought. It was not possible to find such a cheerful and funny girl at home. I'm sure he didn't know what happened. Kerem should have lived. If anything happened to him, I wouldn't be able to live either. I was breathing heavily now and not eating anything. My cheeks were sunken, my eyes were dry from crying. I did not understand the reason for this disaster that had befallen me, I wished that I had never come to Turkey. I so needed to talk to someone. There was no one I knew other than Sinem. I couldn't reach Sinem either. I couldn't even step outside the door because of fear, I lived in fear that a disaster would happen to me at any moment. But I had to hear from Sinem. I should have gone to her apartment today and see if she was home. It's better than eating myself up like this. At least he will give me some support. My way of protecting was stupid, yes. I didn't know how to protect myself from someone who even sneaks into my house. I knew this man didn't do anything to me on purpose. I guess its purpose is to make me die. If he wanted to do it, he had many opportunities by this time, but he did not want to take advantage of it. There had to be a reason for it. I usually use my computer as I normally have to send long emails. But now my life was turned upside down and I was installing an e-mail application on my mobile phone due to the danger of the incoming e-mails and I was making sure that the incoming e-mails reach my phone and then to the inspector Mesut. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw Kerem's face. His smiles at me, his jokes, his endless conversations… I missed him so much. Nothing happened to Kerem. If so, I would feel it. It's a different feeling. My bond with him is nothing out of the ordinary. You know, when someone you love hurts, it hurts too. Here is such a thing. I was hurt, yes, but if something happened to Kerem, I could feel it. I didn't know how long this would last. I was about to lose my mind in a quiet, lonely house. Watching the walls come down on me, half-sleeping with terrible nightmares and screams, hearing Kerem's voice when I'm not sleeping. These were disasters. It was the worst thing that could happen to a person. I was talking all the time. In order not to lose my mind. If he had seen an eye from the outside, he would have thought that this had already happened since I was already talking to myself. But no, I was still partially sane. It had to be. Even if I constantly force myself to remember things, it just wouldn't work. I was resisting in this vortex. I was talking about my silences, trying to produce a clue that would never happen. It was as if Kerem would die if I slept. I convinced myself of this so much that I nudged myself every time I closed my eyes. No, you cannot sleep. If you sleep, something will happen to Kerem. As if I could save him that way. I was nervous. I was angry because there was nothing I could do. I did not know what evil I could have done to someone who approached a person step by step in order not to take his life immediately. He should have taken me. He could have betrayed me. Maybe he would rape or cut my meat piece by piece. No, he didn't do that. He took the man I love to hurt me even more. Did it hurt him too? I was rebelling against every bad day of my life. Every minute after I'm 17. My loneliness, my desperation, my motherless and fatherlessness... Whatever I put my hands on, instead of gold, it was running out of sand. Was life trying to earn from the herd with every bit of happiness? I didn't want collective happiness anyway. Mine was one happiness. To start my own family instead of my family. I already created happiness. Because the female bird made the nest. I couldn't stand it any longer. I went into the middle of the room and started yelling. "I am here. Leave Kerem, come and get me. I know you heard me. Why are you doing this to me? God damn bastard. Come here. I'm not afraid of you!" In response to my shouts, I listened to the aunt next door hitting the wall with her walking stick. “Shut up you old nut!” That voice never came again. I cried. This time I cried like I've never cried before. I hated everything that upset me. I was vomiting for the last time the hatred inside me. I can't stand it, take this life away from me. I was unconsciously having a tantrum. As a matter of fact, I even held up well. The blood in my veins should have flowed. I couldn't do this. Kerem was alive, I believed it. Or what I wanted to believe, I don't know. Maybe I was just kidding myself. I felt Kerem, I saw inside of him, without telling anything. We are silent together. There was even a song we liked. 'My heart will go on.' We danced to this song. This was our song, even though we didn't say it officially. Because it was the only song we listened to together. After we put our hands together, I could smell it before I left. Don't I have the right to be happy and die happy? Do I have to leave my homeland or the one I love? Can't the two be together? I wasn't doing well at all if I didn't talk to someone right away. The only way to get rid of my depression was to share what was inside me. I was afraid, but I had no other choice. I had to find Sinem immediately. He was the only friend we had in common with Kerem. I quickly opened the door and started running barefoot towards the top floor. As my bare feet touched the marble of the stairs, I shuddered and unconsciously climbed one or two at a time. When I got to the third floor and reached number 27, I pressed the bell. And multiple times. But it didn't open. All I heard was the melody of the bell. "Sine, where are you?" I don't know how many times I repeated this short sentence. It was said many times, some loudly, some in a low tone of exhaustion. All I could hear was my own voice again. Number 28, which I thought was disturbed by my voice, opened the door and asked who I was. The man looked quite scared. I let this man in his forties, with gray hair, get to know me, even though I didn't know what he was going to do. “My name is Cagla.” Not even aware that I was sitting on the ground, I immediately got up and asked for a hopeful Sinem. “I am Sinem's friend. I can't hear from him. Do you have any information?" “I haven't heard the door open for a few days. His family also called. Since he was a student, his family wanted us to take care of him when he had a problem. We called many times but his phone is switched off. His family is coming here today. Now we are starting to wonder. We are thinking of going to the police station when they arrive.” “Let me know too, please, I'm in the flat on the left on the bottom floor.” "Alright. You don't look well, is there anything I can do?" "No thanks." When the man forced his way in and closed the door, I was still on the ground. I could feel my strength running out. I looked at my feet. It was pitch black. I thought to myself that they don't clean this apartment at all. Since Sinem is normally a floppy girl, she used to go around with her boyfriends. I couldn't help but wonder if I was making a mistake by wondering. But no, he would definitely stop by me no matter what. I had to get up now. I just couldn't find the strength to stand up. As I was getting strength from my knees and straightening up, an envelope whose tip could be seen from under the mat caught my attention. It's red again. This color was the color of that maniac. Everything he's sent so far has been red. That envelope helped me stand up. I immediately opened the envelope. When I saw the text inside, my eyes widened and I started to vomit nervously. When what I had been going through for a while reached an unbearable level, I first felt a pain in my stomach and then I started to vomit nervously. My head was smelly. I couldn't help my nausea any longer. I never cared about my top. The new note was: “Sine is with me. We spend pleasant moments with him.” What kind of scumbag is this guy? What is its purpose? What is he trying to tell me by taking people around me? That's why Sinem has been gone for days. How is that cheerful, chirpy beautiful girl now? I should have made a plan. This is not the case. Someone has to do something now. Sounds. Yes, I'm sure I've heard of them. Here it comes again. From somewhere downstairs. I followed the sounds, running from the third floor to my own. These were high-pitched screams. It was more of a woman's cry. When I got to my floor, the voices stopped suddenly. I should have called Commissioner Mesut immediately. It occurred to me that my cell phone was at home, when I walked through the door, I saw that my phone was on the dinner table. I immediately called Commissioner Mesut. "Sir, I'm Cagla." "Here you go, Ms. Cagla." “As I said before, I hear screaming sounds. I want a search around the house, even the entire building. That pervert is out there somewhere.” “Ms. Çağla, you haven't slept for a long time? Are you sure?" “Mr. Mesut, it is true that I am not well, but I have not lost my mind yet. I had a friend named Sinem who lived on the third floor. Thanks to a note he left on his door, I just learned that that pervert took Sinem as well. If you don't come and call now, I will do it alone, and you will be responsible for everything that happens to me." “Madam, please calm down. Who is Sinem?" “Sinem is a friend of mine who lives on the third floor of my building and whom I keep in touch with. He is also a mutual friend of Kerem. I just went to Sinem's house to look at her. I found a note in front of his door. That's how I learned that you took it." “Okay, you wait at home. I talk to the prosecutor and arrange the permits.” “I'm waiting, but please hurry up a bit. I don't want anything to happen to anyone." I talked about all this in silence. If there was a microphone or a hidden camera in the house that we couldn't see, he would know everything from moment to moment. This was the reason why I covered my mouth with my hand and gave a controlled speech. About twenty minutes later, there was a knock on my door. It was Commissioner Mesut. We both just looked at each other with fearful eyes without speaking. Yes, we were afraid, but it had to come to an end now. “I have obtained the necessary permissions. Crews are at the door. The entire building was surrounded. Starting at the top, all apartments will be searched thoroughly. If he's around, we'll find him today. All I want from you is to stay at home and sit with your doors and windows closed. Never, ever open the door until I call you. Even if it's the police. No one can come to your door without my order. We're looking for someone very smart and dangerous. Don't forget this." CHAPTER 7 Kerem While waiting at home, time did not pass. I was afraid that the door would suddenly open and that maniac would stand in front of me. On the other hand, I was burning with the hope of finding Kerem and dreaming of meeting him. I don't think it's the end of what we've been through. Our feelings couldn't be over before they were even experienced. We had to complete all our incomplete feelings. It's strange to be able to feel a good feeling, even in the midst of such bad things. What was Sinem like? He wrote in his note that we were having a pleasant time. I hope that animal didn't do anything bad. The guilt I experienced was in my bones. The guilt I felt was making me sting like I was walking on embers. As I stood at home, the walls were against me. It was like I was drowning. While I was walking fast, I wouldn't leave my phone for even a second, I was trying to hear the voices from the inside of the outer door. The voices of the police came from afar. I think I was imagining they were on the top floor. I read all the prayers I knew, hoping to hear good news. Inspector Mesut was giving me the news as he came down. Giving me information in this way made me feel like a commander and was encouraging. Even though I couldn't make it very clear, my voice came out harder, giving me the courage that I didn't have. Armed police officers surrounded the entire building, and entry and exit from the building was prohibited. Curious eyes formed a large crowd around the building. The flashing of the red and blue lights of the police cars conveyed the seriousness of the situation. It was really annoying to be the reason for such a situation. Now people would be more biased towards me. No one would care about my taboos, they would show me the reason for every bad thing that would happen to them. Especially my neighbor next door. Before the operation started, the doors of the flats were knocked down one by one, and no one was warned not to open the door. It was only Sinem and the old woman in my next apartment who didn't open her door. Their reasons were already clear. Now I could hear them descending towards the lower floors. As the voices got closer, I got excited unintentionally, and I couldn't fit in. A little while later, Commissioner Mesut called me and asked me to open the door. -The building is clean. There is no one. The last group is going down to the basement now. Can't figure out exactly where the sound is coming from? I know it came from somewhere near my flat. But I can't tell exactly where it came from. A sense of despair came over me. The light of hope I felt at the beginning of the operation was slowly fading. Not being able to see Kerem and Sinem again, oh my God, I couldn't even think about it. While I was trying to get rid of these thoughts that were gnawing at my mind, I heard the sounds of the police going down to the basement. - Commissioner, they are here. I had run down before the commissioner. Mesut Bey grabbed my arm and gestured for me to stay behind him. As he descended into the basement with the gun in his hand, it was clear from the calm demeanor of the police that that maniac was not there. That's why I ran down past Mesut Bey. Kerem and Sinem were blindfolded when I went downstairs. They both looked awful. I was wondering how Kerem would react when he saw me while the police were slowly removing the rags from his eyes. But both of their eyes were closed and they were not themselves under the influence of the torture they were subjected to. Especially Kerem's face was not visible from blood. Even the chairs they were attached to had a broken leg, which I guess was deliberate. There was no trace of Sinem's ornate form. His hair was disheveled and his face was pitch black. Even though he didn't hear me running, I hugged Kerem first and then Sinem. Sinem's family had just arrived at the end of the operation. They waited outside for a while because they did not let anyone into the building, and when they saw this state of their daughter, they cried out. Especially her mother, thinking that her daughter was dead, had fainted and taken her to the hospital along with Kerem and Sinem. Kerem had no one but me. I was happy. Even though they were in this state, the fact that they were breathing was a reason for me to be happy. Mesut Bey had told them that the maniac who did this to them was not there. He fled as soon as he realized the situation. Even though the danger was not yet over, it was a miracle that we were able to save them before they died. On the way to the hospital, I did not let Kerem's hand go for a moment. When we got into the ambulance, one of the paramedics said, "What's wrong with you?" he had asked. I proudly said that I am his girlfriend. "You don't look good either, let them take care of you when you go to the hospital." "I'm not important. If Kerem is fine, I am fine too.” The woman just smiled. That smile was a symbol of our commitment to each other. My fears were finally over. My nightmare was over, and that scumbag couldn't achieve its purpose. I was grateful that my feelings did not deceive me. If I hadn't heard those voices, maybe Kerem and Sinem wouldn't be alive. When we went to the hospital, after the controls, I learned that Kerem had a few fractures and bruises, and Sinem was injured both physically and mentally because she was raped many times. This was the worst. There was no remedy for this situation. I was the only reason for this disaster that happened to them. I made a decision for myself. After they were both fully recovered, I should have gone completely out of their lives and never seen them again. So they could lead a normal life from now on. I would have to live with the guilt I carry. Maybe returning to Seattle was the right decision. Doctors said that both of them had been fasting for a long time, so they lost a lot of weight. He added that they would need good care from now on. After their treatment was completed, they took Kerem and Sinem to the normal room. As the situation was very delicate, they were both assigned a psychologist. Their lives were not easy. Especially Sinem's experience was the worst thing that could happen to a woman. They were sleeping all the time. Even though Sinem wakes up with screams from time to time, she falls asleep again with the effect of the antidepressant they gave, and her family was devastated when Sinem was in this situation. My only fear was that that maniac, who was still walking around, wouldn't give up and take their lives in the hospital. For this reason, I would not sleep again after 5-10 minutes of sleep, I would wake up angry with myself. Since Sinem's family did not know that I was the cause of this terrible thing that happened to their daughter, I could go and see Sinem. They even thanked me for it. If they knew that, they could even take me to court, let alone thank you. Kerem started wiggling his fingers the next day. He felt my hand in his hand, that was enough to make me happy. He didn't realize he was in the hospital right now. That's how I felt. When I tried to talk to him, he answered me with a slight smile on his lips. He heard me, or I wanted to believe it. While I was careful not to leave Kerem's side for even a second, I was able to clean his body, which was not visible from the dirt during his stay in the basement, with the help of a cloth and a bowl of water. I never thought I would see your body like this. I was afraid of her reaction when she woke up and saw me. He could say that all this happened to me because of you. He was right. Even if I only followed the decisions he made, nothing would change the fact that I was the only reason this happened to him. When I saw Kerem's eyes, he had a smile that I missed so much. It felt like I was warming up. How I dreamed of this smile. Then he grabbed my hand tightly, "Are you okay?" he said. I just cried. I cried and vomited the grief that had accumulated inside me and was a fist in my throat. Then he started laughing, and when the two of them mixed, happiness turned into tears. My efforts came to an end and Kerem finally heard me. “Are you thinking of me then, my love? Look at you.” Kerem smiled at first. I said my love to him for the first time. Normally, I should be ashamed of that. I kept it inside me so much that the time of that word had already passed. “I was so afraid he would take you, too. I was afraid he would do something to you while I was there. If you only knew what you did to Sinem in front of my eyes…” He speaks slowly, not realizing it because of the long absence of speech. I started to speak slowly to him as well. Just so she doesn't feel bad. "Be completely calm. What you're going through isn't easy. Let's not talk about this now." “How is Sinem?” “He is sleeping in the next room. With his family. You both had the worst days of your life because of me. I am solely responsible for them.” “What are you talking about, Çağla? Did you do this on purpose? Anyone around you would have experienced this anyway. I didn't leave you alone of my own free will." “I call it that too. If I hadn't known you, maybe you wouldn't have experienced this. That scumbag is still out there. If you stay away from me, it will never infect you again.” “Yes, it cannot. But then it will waste you more easily.” “I don't know what to think anymore. After all, he was talking to me. It will happen to me eventually.” “Look, you're right to blame yourself. If it were me, I would think so too. But neither Sinem nor I think that all this nonsense that has happened to us is because of you. Don't blame yourself anymore. There is a criminal out there and he will eventually be caught and punished. Think like that too, please.” “I don't even know what I did to him. I don't know the man, I don't know his name. However, I let it ruin my life. I can't do anything, I just succumb to my fears." Kerem squeezed my hand even more this time. “Forget about them. I was so scared just for you. I miss you too much. Do you remember the night we danced? I never felt that way that night.” I asked that question as if I was involuntarily courting, as my smile broke into the folds of my lips. "How so?" “So yes, I liked you, I can't deny it the first time I saw it. But something happened that night. You're etched in my head and heart every time I look into your eyes. I didn't know it could have such a big impact on me. I think what I'm feeling is pretty big. When a person is worried about someone else's life when he should be doubting his own life, it's called love. I don't know how you felt, but you know I had a lot of time to think. We both smiled. "You're not going to propose to me, are you?" I asked this question because that's where the topic was headed. "No. At least not right now. If I was going to do something like that, I guess I would prefer to be more stylish and clean.” "You're right, you stink a little." He grabbed me and pulled me towards him. Saying I smell bad, he made me breathe that smell. It was the most beautiful scent I've ever heard in my life. It was good to see him smiling again. Of course myself. BACK TO SEATTLE It was great to see Kerem well, and the fact that he didn't give up on me. Now that Kerem is well, I had to go home, take a shower and change. "I'm going home, I think I'm the one who stinks now." "Can't you take me with you?" “No, you haven't recovered yet. Listen to the doctors and be a good boy.” "Okay, don't delay." I took a taxi in front of the hospital and went straight home. I was so tired... A shower would have brought me back. I walked in through the apartment door and locked the door twice. Considering that maniac was still out there, I wouldn't be very safe. I immediately took off my clothes and went to the bathroom. I remembered when I was in the shower that I didn't take my bathrobe with me. It's too late now. Even if I got wet, I couldn't go out like this. When I got out of the shower and opened the bathroom door, I felt like I was going to faint with fear when I saw my robe on the floor by the door. This was his job. He had come to my house. I knew I had locked my door. After I put on my bathrobe immediately, I went to the balcony and checked it. The sliding window of the balcony was half open. I immediately closed the window and the door and went inside. I couldn't believe it was one step away from me. He left a note on the television. “It's a lot of fun to be a spectator to certain things. You should watch this.” There was a CD on the TV stand. Should I insert that CD into my computer and watch? I didn't know what would come my way. While Kerem was waiting for me there, I was afraid that something would happen to me here. My concern was not to lose my life, but to never see him again. If he was going to do something nice he would have done it already, but… I couldn't help but turn on the computer. I waited, not knowing what to expect. Kerem and Sinem were present in the images. I saw Kerem first. The scenes where he tortured her and then raped Sinem. Attacking that girl who was screaming with no mercy. Sinem's kicks into the void out of desperation, Kerem's fall from the chair he was tied to in hopes of saving her... The crazy guy had placed a camera in the basement where he kept them hidden and captured the whole thing. I was so sick to my stomach that I couldn't watch any more and turned it off. I sat on the couch with my bathrobe on and started to sob. I understood that this man would not leave me alone. As long as I was in Kerem and Sinem's lives, he would always hurt them. I don't know what other disasters could have happened to them, but without me at least they would have had their lives safe. I had no other choice. I had to go back. I didn't want this at all, but I also had to. For Kerem and Sinem. I immediately called Emily. “Emily is my Cagla. Look, I'm in a mess right now. I'm coming there. Can I stay with you for a while?" “Of course you can stay Cagla. What's the problem, will you tell me?" “We'll talk when it comes. Goodbye." I took a small bag with me and left the house. I would arrange my ticket on the phone and take the first flight back to Tacoma. At least I tried. I wanted to start a life on my own. Being apart from Kerem was a terrible feeling. But I had to do this. If he tries to harm her again, this time he will succeed, and it was a great happiness for me that he even lived. I know he'd hate me for walking away like this. That I don't want him or maybe I don't like him. I didn't care what he thought. I can't let any more harm come to him. When time intervenes, everything is forgotten. He will be consoled as I console myself. We have no other choice. I thought of Kerem the whole way. When I arrived at Atatürk Airport, I took the first plane to Seattle and went. I completely turned off my phone and broke my line. I would never pick up that phone again. If I opened it, I would involuntarily call Kerem. No, I didn't want that to happen. “Goodbye, Istanbul. Goodbye My Love." The fire inside me was so great that it was enough to dry my tears without burning my eyes. The pain in my head was taking over my tired body, I couldn't control myself. When I got off the plane, it was half gone. A part of me remained in Istanbul. I missed him so much already that I really didn't know how to handle this situation. The same foreign people became even more alienated to me. Despite all my bad experiences, the homeland was well remembered. From the love inside me, from the black eyes, from the smiles... Now we were all free. Maybe there was no one to hurt. But the pain inside me grew even more. I'm sure Kerem was sad too. Which was more correct? The human soul or the pain inside? If you love someone, your life is your life. It was sacrificing herself to him. I had no regrets for that. As long as he's good. I knew I would always love her and would never look at anyone else. He was the master of the emotions I experienced for the first time. He's the only man I can get along with without speaking. The person whose heart is clamped in my heart, who makes my black white. Hadn't he done the same thing? Hadn't he sacrificed himself for me? He would have done the same if he were in my place. Even when he got rid of that maniac, wasn't my health the first thing that came to mind? Being a man made him so strong and self-sacrificing. No, it's just her love for me that does it. Now is my time. His life for mine. I take to the roads knowing that I will never be happy. I go back to my old darkness and turn off my lights a little more. So that no one can see or find it. It didn't even occur to me to leave a letter to Kerem. All I wanted was for him to hate me and forget it without pain. I wouldn't want him to mourn for years, lest he die. How long does he even know me? In a forgetful way. He should forget. He is strong my love, I know he does. After a long journey, my deteriorating psychology and my increasing fatigue made it difficult for me to stand. By the time I got to Emily's door, I could barely stand. I felt hungry, tired, lonely and exhausted. Emily was one of the kindest hearted people I've ever met in Seattle. We worked in the same cafe for a while when I was a waitress. We never broke up after that. It's the only reason I could fit in here. Without his help, I couldn't do without knowing the language and the trace. He was one of those people who didn't smile about love like me. Any branch he held would break in his hand. Too white, well-intentioned ones. From those who are ashamed to give and ask for themselves. Now we have found our match. We had a fateful friendship to spend together. When I knocked on the door, I could hear Emily's footsteps. He had a paper house. Thin walls and creaking laminate flooring. When he opened the door, his happiness was read in his face. I was glad to see him too. But I was not in a position to show it. That's why I just hugged my old friend without speaking. I hugged him so tight, so lonely that even he started to cry. "What happened to you? Who made you this way, Çağla?" “Believe me right now, I can't talk. I want to take a shower and relax immediately. Don't be mad at me. I'll tell you everything tomorrow." "Okay, honey, let me get you a towel." My thoughts were gnawing at my brain. I couldn't help thinking about Kerem's current state. Alone in a hospital room. I had to, my love, please forgive me. BACK TO SEATTLE-2 The next day I told Emily everything. He sat down and cried with me. Even though he didn't think I was doing the right thing, he could understand me. According to him, I made Kerem worse than dying right now. Maybe he was right. But I couldn't let anything happen to him because of me. I couldn't even push him to death. I wish circumstances had been different. If I was going to make a life here on the same day, I had to find a job for myself. Whatever it was, it didn't matter. As long as I don't sit at home and think about it all the time. I went to a few places Emily mentioned and interviewed them. I found a cashier job where I could start the next day. I didn't care about the money I got. My only concern was that it was a job that would make me think less of Kerem. We didn't even take my computer with me. I set out with a small bag and took whatever I could get my hands on at that moment. I did not want Kerem to reach me in any way. So I had to close my e-mail account as well. I logged into my account by borrowing Emly's computer. I saw two e-mails from Kerem. “I know you're back. I felt it. Otherwise you would have come already. Since his phone was turned off, I had no other choice but to think. You didn't even think about how I would feel when you left. Cagla is not like this. You can't go without talking or touching. I don't care about that maniac. I can't live without you. I'd rather have that maniac take my life than die every day. Your effort to protect me is in vain. We could have fought, we could have died if necessary. Why are you doing this stupid thing to us? I love you so much, please call me. I need you." I couldn't read the e-mail clearly from the tears in my eyes. Having Emily in the bathroom was my luck. Then I started talking to myself. “I love you too, Kerem. I had to do it. You will understand this in time. For us, for your survival." My hands were shaking as I opened the other email. I promised myself this is the end. After that, I was going to close my account and my computer completely. “I thought everything would be alright when you left, didn't I? Last night that man came to the hospital to see you. I recognized him by the tattoo on his arm and saw his face for the first time. He probably came to hurt me. When the doctors entered the room, he could not complete the work he left unfinished. Not finding you will drive him even more mad, and you will be the one who killed me, not saved me. I'm not forcing you for anything anymore. If that's the life you see for us, you're right. Goodbye. Kerem." I was crazy when I read the last email. I never thought it would be this way. Would he really do it anyway? Would it hurt Kerem and Sinem? Oh my God, please don't let Kerem do anything. I immediately took Emily's cell phone and called Kerem. While he was in the hospital, we brought him his old phone from home and unplugged it. I waited, hoping it wasn't closed. Kerem did not pick up the phone. I was starting to get really worried. I was gnawing at my cuticles as I stood up and wandered here and there. No matter how many times I called, Kerem did not pick up the phone. Obviously he had a job. While I was thinking about it, how things had suddenly become like this. It wasn't supposed to be like this. He had to live. I went to my room and cried until morning. I knew Emily heard me. I didn't care what he thought. I had made a big mistake and I would pay for it by dying and crying every day. I knew no bounds in ruining people's lives. Whoever I loved, whom I touched, I was burning with my fire. I had to pay for a crime I didn't commit with the deaths of my loved ones. There was no point in my living as long as Kerem did not live. I took a few boxes of medicine that I found in the refrigerator, which I did not know how to use, and went back to my room before Emily came out of the bathroom. I had no hesitation while swallowing those drugs without water. I had neither family nor Kerem anymore. My life had no meaning either. Even though I knew it was a terrible feeling when the ceiling started to spin, I thought of it as my last pain. I was cold. I felt like I was in the middle of the snow. I knew the medicine box in my palm had fallen to the ground, but I couldn't make a move to hold it. Now that my reflexes were gone, death was near. It was a short time before I reunited with my family and Kerem. I could feel. I would be warm in the warm arms of death now. Even my death could not be in my homeland. I had never thought of the idea of death before. Just so that Kerem would not be upset and not see this situation. Because I was strong. I had never oppressed anyone. But it turns out that everyone has a dead end. I could feel myself reaching for the clouds. Push me towards your whites. Let me open. The shapes are even more beautiful up close. I couldn't even say one last goodbye to Kerem. Would we actually meet there? What a shame to go where one does not know. Forgive me whoever I hurt or hurt. Kerem in the first place… Let it be my last word, spilled from my lips. "I love you very much." Two days later When I opened my eyes, I was in a hospital room. Kerem was at my head. At first, I thought I died and reunited with Kerem. I had it in my hand. She had obviously cried a lot and her eyes were red. I was seeing blurry. Was it really him? I turned my head to the other side and saw Emily. No, I wasn't dead. It was Kerem who spoke first, as always. "What do you think you're doing?" “How did you get here? Shouldn't you be in the hospital?" “Look, he's doing the same thing again, don't you, Emily? It always answers a question with a question.” Emily smiled and went outside to leave us alone. I took the opportunity to interrogate Kerem to understand what was going on. "What's going on Kerem?" "I'm going to tell you, stop. Emily broke into your room and immediately called the ambulance because she thought you had committed suicide. Thank God it wasn't too late, otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation right now. Then while you were in the hospital, I called the number I assumed was yours. Emily opened up and told me about your situation. I didn't pick up on purpose when you called. I wanted you to understand what they did to me. Of course, I didn't think it would end like this. Sorry." "Later?" “I got on the first plane and came here. Emily picked me up from the airport and brought me to you. We chatted a lot when we arrived. She's a very good girl. He loves you too.” "Me too. How is Sinem?" “Sinem is still in the hospital. He doesn't talk much. The doctor said I could go out because my condition was better than his. Of course, I still have bandages everywhere. It wouldn't be a problem if I was careful." "It was a lie that he came near that maniac, wasn't it?" "Yeah. I couldn't reach you any other way, you understand? I have no regrets. I'll do it again though. Look, Çağla, does it matter which one of us something happened after this time? We live together. No other way is possible. Please don't be stubborn and go home with me." “I don't know, Kerem. I am the cause of everything that happens to you. Besides, I really didn't have a mind to go back to Seattle. When I went home to change, that maniac sent you footage of his torture. After watching them, I suddenly decided.” “I know we've been through bad things. And that we can't get over it easily. But even if we get through it, we can only do it together. If we give up, we're already dead. Do you understand? Doctors said that after an hour, when the serum is finished, it can come out. Let's get our ticket and go right back. We also move to another house. We will stay in separate rooms. What about?" "Alright." One word was enough to make Kerem laugh. I wanted the serum on my arm to never end. It was priceless to chat while looking into his eyes during that time. Life was full of miracles. I believed it now. At a time when I thought I was dead and Kerem was dead, I started life as if I had been reborn. Life, you are so strange. You are the one who gave disasters one after another and rebuilt with a miracle. After I was fully prepared, I hugged Emily tightly. I owe my new life to him. “I owe you a life now. Thank you for everything, my friend.” “This man is in love with you. Know your worth. Every time you are happy, you will be paying your debt.” “I love you bye bye.” After hugging Emily again, we went straight to the airport. I got on the plane to our new life and saw the same clouds this time with Kerem by my side. My fears were still inside me. But it was a great feeling that that maniac couldn't reach us right now. So is making our first trip by hugging Kerem… 3 months later I could no longer live in that house. Of course, Kerem is also in his own house. That's why we rented a house near my old house again. This time, the idea of staying in the same house was mine. After all that had happened, I couldn't imagine a life without Kerem. I would break my taboos for a man who gave his life for me no matter what was going to happen to me and never regretted it. But that is no longer necessary. Even though we live in the same house, he stays in separate rooms and said that this has nothing to do with me, that we should behave like this out of respect for my dead family. I was proud to have given my heart to such a person. I'm sure if my family had lived, they would have been happy with my choice. “Toasts are ready!” "It looks perfect." “Trust me, that's how it tastes. Let's try it." “I think it's a lot for men to be able to cook…” "What?" "Sexy." “Well, when people are hungry, they can't think in that sense. When you live alone, you learn something not to die. All tradesmen in Bostancı became rich thanks to me. Maybe I can't make a kingfisher, but you can use your imagination while eating the toast.” I really looked like Kerem. Maybe it wasn't a good sign that I started laughing with food in my mouth, talking too much like him. But I was happier than I've ever been in my life. We had a good time together, we could still laugh despite everything we went through. He preferred to be with me instead of leaving me alone with a maniac. I was grateful to him for thinking and acting this way. After all the events we went through, the bond between us did not break, on the contrary, it became even stronger. I felt more peaceful than ever before in my life. I was sure that Kerem shared the same feelings. Kerem was a very strange man. An outsider might find him harsh, rude, or even repulsive. This repulsion was due to the awareness of his handsomeness. Because he was aware of it. But when he was with me, he was a fun, insightful superhero. “Did you talk to Sinem today?” “Yes, he is sleeping at home, and when you leave, I will go to him.” “Say hi for me too. She gained a lot of weight, eat a little less. In fact, let the evening come, let's do something." "I don't think he'll come, but I'll tell you." Although Sinem seemed to have healed physically, her wounds were more fresh in spirit. At first, he was able to stand on constant antidepressant medication. Later he started to say a few words. Her family did not want to leave their daughter alone in this situation and settled with her until she got better. I was visiting Sinem every day and doing my best to improve. Now that I could make beautiful cakes, I used to bake a cake once a week and take it to her. He smiled once in a while but didn't speak much. After the events, there was an invisible curtain between us. Although I felt that there was a strange coldness, Kerem was comforting me by arguing that there was no such thing. Since her family still did not know that Sinem's experiences had anything to do with me, they were very kind to me and attributed the reason I went to them every day because we were good friends. Although this made me seem like a nice person, it was a situation that bothered me because they did not know the truth. Even though I wanted to take Sinem out from time to time, she refused to come with me and wouldn't go out of her room. Since his family was in good health, he didn't really care if he didn't talk. Every time I asked a question and couldn't get an answer, a dagger was stuck in me. The most important problem was that the pervert could not be caught even after all this time. Since that day, he had vanished, sending neither a box nor an envelope. Although we attributed this to her not knowing about our new home, we knew she could find it if she wanted to. Although Sinem still sat in the same place, maybe she had not contacted him because she was not alone. Our only hope was that something had happened to him. When I went to Sinem, she seemed more resistant than other days. "How are you today?" “Aren't you tired of coming here every day and asking the same question? I'm alive. The only reason you come here is to ease your conscience… You don't think about me. How would you know what I'm going through? Your asking me how are you doesn't bring back my virginity, my youth, my trashed future. You do not know anything. I don't know if doing these things makes you a better person, but they certainly can't bring me back to my old self. Let me tell you something? You have a branch to hold on to in your life. You are lucky in that sense. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky as you. I am more beautiful than you, younger, more cheerful. But look at me. Which of us do you think deserves to be in this situation more? “Sine, what are you saying? Would I want this to happen to you?” As Sinem vomited her anger, all her anger was filling me up. However, I couldn't raise my voice. It was because of me, he was right. Maybe he was making his wounds bleed because I was the reason he saw me every day. Wounds that will never heal. I was guilty, yes. Unknowingly, unintentionally, an innocent criminal... How could he cause harm to others without even knowing what he was doing? It was happening. Even though he couldn't hurt me, he managed to kill me every day. He used to put his works in my eyes every day and say to me. Sinem's anger did not subside. I waited, if it would put him at ease, I'd agree to it. I just kept quiet and listened. “You don't understand, do you? You don't understand anything about what I've been through, my pain, my doubts, my inability to look at my family. You Polyanna! Or stop is not clear from afar. Do you want me to tell you one by one what I went through? He sat me down first. Then he tied my hands. Then he brought Kerem. He did the same to her. Every time you shouted in the house, we heard your voice, and every time that maniac heard your voice, he got angry, first smashed Kerem's face and then raped me without untie my hands. He was wearing a mask when he opened Kerem's eyes. The ugliest mask I've ever seen in my life. Scary and nauseating. When I was in that state, he was coming up on me and raping me in front of Kerem's eyes. I don't even know the number. Repeatedly…" Sinem had stood up and was telling me this, I was feeling nauseous. At that moment, I wanted so badly to sink into the ground. I just stayed where I was sitting. Sinem, who never spoke, suddenly lost her language and poured everything that was bad in her to me. I couldn't stand it anymore. Before I could finish, I yelled louder than he did. "Enough! It is enough! Do not do this to me. I can't stand it. I couldn't do anything, yes you are right. It was because of me, yes you are right. But since you heard my voice, you also heard my pleas to leave you and take me. I didn't want it to be like this. I didn't want it at all. No, I didn't want to." I couldn't hold back my tears when I hurried out of the house. I talked aloud to myself along the way. I didn't care for the curious looks. I kept saying the same things. I didn't want this to happen to him. I wish that bastard would take me. If he had killed him, if he had cut him in pieces. If no one got hurt because of me, if his life didn't get dark. Sometimes there's nothing he can do. You just wait, as if tied by a magic string. But no, I didn't want it to be like this. When I got home, I threw myself on the bed and started sobbing. Maybe for the first time after everything that had happened, I cried in comfort, loudly, and vomited. As one side of me relaxed, the other side was filled with sadness again. When you throw your poison, does the poison fill up? It's happening. My head ached, from crying from thinking, my hands were numb. I was feeling tired. I had my life back on my shoulders, I tried against all odds. I wanted to jump off the cliff inside me and get lost in its darkest place. I could not do it. Kerem held my hands every time I was lost. I couldn't do him a second harm. Maybe Sinem would be happy, but I had no right to upset Kerem. I've always had unsuccessful suicide attempts. If they lived once, I was living it every night in my sleep. With the guilt I felt, thousands of people were raping in my sleep. They were killing my mother, father and sister again, this time in front of my eyes. I was motherless every night. Sinem didn't know that either. I couldn't tell. I kept quiet, I sighed, maybe if he vomited his anger, they would be relieved. I was scared too. I was defeated, I had not eaten or slept while they were away. Who should I hold accountable to? To the one above or to my dead family who left me? Which would be more ironic? I was cursed. I couldn't get this bad luck out of my head. I spent my best times in pain. Who had the right to do this to me? If God exists for everyone, why didn't he see me? All my life I've felt like a daisy tossed aside. Unnoticed and stepped on every time... As the white leaves on my side were falling one by one, I was still alone and lonely. It's not used to that. I don't remember how long I cried and shouted and talked to myself. When Kerem came home, I wiped my eyes and tidied up myself. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I realized that there was no way I could fix it. My eyes were red, swollen, and my voice was hoarse. Every time I cried, I was telling Kerem the same lie. I missed my family. It might not be a lie, but I couldn't even find a chance to miss my family. I couldn't even get rid of the pain that was gnawing at me and live my own pain. I was very good at aggravating the suffering of others and making trouble for myself. I wanted to rush out of the room and say welcome to Kerem. As soon as Kerem sees me, he looks at me with amazement and panic; “What the hell is this! What happened to you? Or is that maniac…” "No no. I just got on my nerves. Sorry." Did you miss your family?" "Yeah." “But I have never seen you like this. Something else happened, tell me. Or did I do something without knowing it? Did I forget a special day or something?” When Kerem hugged me, instead of holding myself back, I cried even more. He was so good. What could I have done to deserve a man like him? It was the best thing in my life, Kerem. Despite all he's been through, I haven't even seen a hint of his look that never blamed me. I think Kerem was a wingless angel specially sent for me. "No never. You are very good. In fact, you are the most beautiful thing in my life. It has nothing to do with you, I swear." "You're not hiding something from me, are you?" I had given up now. Although I did not give details, I offered a spark of fire that burned me inside. “When I see Sinem, I blame myself. I felt like I was suffocating because he couldn't fix it." “Come here my sweet bunny. Don't do this to yourself. You cannot do anything bad to anyone. Not in nature. My pure darling. Don't worry, Sinem needs some time. It will get better in the future and you will be left with the one you are sorry for.” “I wish Sinem could understand this too.” “He's been through difficult things. I know this best. It won't be easy to get over. Maybe it will take years. He will blame you from time to time. You better be ready for this. But he doesn't even do that on purpose." “Perhaps you are right.” “Would you like to watch a movie together today and sneak in on the couch? "Accepted." Kerem knew me better than I did. He always knew what was good for me. It was like he was reading me. Maybe the magic between him and me was what made it happen. The only place I found peace was in his arms. After Kerem found my favorite movie and placed it on DVD, he wanted to pop the corn himself. When he returned with a huge bowl of corn, we took our seats. He wraps his arm around my shoulder and pulls me towards him, starting the movie. I was watching him while he hungrily ate the popcorn and kept his eyes on the movie. I was so lucky. While I was loving her inside, I was afraid that she would always turn her head towards me. Unfortunately, as always, it happened to me that I was afraid. “Are you watching me?” “Am I caught?” “You know he won't run from me. If you're bored, let's do something else." "Actually, I'm not bored, but maybe I'd feel better if we chatted." I cried so much that it was hard to focus on anything because of the puffiness in my eyes. I was getting nervous as I pulled my nose. Kerem, on the other hand, wiped my nose like a little child every time. "Tell me. Do you continue to write your book?" “Sometimes I try. But you know it's hard to write after all this. I can't concentrate. Even though I can't give myself too much, I try." “Can you bring me some to read what you wrote. Maybe I can give you some ideas." While Kerem was reading the papers, I took the opportunity to lie on his lap. When he put on his glasses, he was in a completely different state. Attractive and cool. I think Kerem was the person many men wanted to be. Knowledgeable, funny, hardworking, thoughtful, very understanding and a gentleman... More women love it. This makes the man seem out of place, which is not nice. I was one of those women. “I think you are doing great. There isn't much left anyway.” “Then shall we write together?” "How so? But that's your job." “My job is to edit, but if you want, I'll set it aside for later and we'll have a book where we talk about what we've been through. What about?" "It's possible. Okay, let's go after work in the evening." My writings were the only port I took refuge in. I never thought that one day I would fall in love with someone so much that I could share them. It was exciting to share common feelings with Kerem and let everyone see it. I was afraid of not being able to write. Every time I picked up the pen, my brain stopped and I couldn't produce anything. Even though Kerem did his best to keep me from writing, I knew that I couldn't write without clearing my head. Only when I was with Kerem, I could get rid of the knotted thoughts. I felt comfortable and at peace with him alone. If I'm going to continue with this, I could never do without him during this transitional period. It was my only salvation, as always. CHAPTER 8 Coups in My Past 15/07/1998 I was not a very bright student in my student life. He doesn't study much, but I used to listen to the lecture in class. When my teacher said there is a verbal next day, I made a promise to myself on the way home from school. I was just going to study today. There was no going out. I would get the best grade in the oral and I would surprise my father and make him happy. That's what I did. That day, I sat down and studied. Until my friend upstairs came home and tempted me to go out after I had worked out half the stuff. New clothes suitable for our age have arrived in the boutique below. Süslü Nermin, whenever new clothes came, wanted to go before everyone else and dragged me along. Again, I could not resist him and went with him. She's supposed to be the most stylish during the holidays. Usually my friends would agree, but it has always been the character of the people that mattered to me. I didn't care much about my appearance, I used my natural beauty wisely and gave importance to simplicity. The next day, I wanted to get up first in class. Even though my teacher had tears in her eyes, she chose me in surprise. Even though I was bullied by my friends when I got to the blackboard, I managed to concentrate on three questions asked by my teacher, who was not very present. All the questions came out of the place where I was working and I got the highest grade on the oral as I wanted. My school wasn't far from my house, so I commuted on foot. The road was not ending that day. I wanted to go home excitedly and tell my mother and father the good news. When I got to the door of the building, I was out of breath. Sümeyye Abla was the first apartment worker I came across. “Oh Cagla. Good to see you. Boğaç is still not eating anything. Come to the backyard, you came from school and have something to eat. When he sees you, he will eat too.” “But Sümeyye Abla was my job. If I come soon…” “The table is ready, come on, my beautiful girl. He doesn't eat at all, I'm afraid he'll get sick again." I had accepted, albeit reluctantly, so as not to offend Sümeyye Abla. We were like family here, even though we were our apartment attendants. My mother had tuberculosis for a while. We had very bad times and our biggest supporter was Sümeyye Abla. So it was of great value to us. That's why I didn't want to upset him. When I went to the backyard, Boğaç was sitting at the head of the table with his face on the floor. He went crazy with joy when he saw me. We sat down and started to eat our food. Sümeyye Abla had spilled it again. As I ate the last bite on my plate, three gunshots were heard very close. I immediately ran home. A man was running out of the building's outer door. I fell to the ground when it hit me. I quickly got up and started running towards the house. When I got to the door of the house, I noticed that the door was open. I was very surprised by this situation. Because it was the subject that my mother paid the most attention to. He was particularly careful. There was no one in the hall when I entered. As I made my way to the bedroom, I was faced with the terrifying truth. My mother, father and sister were lying on the ground covered in blood. The place they were in had turned into a bloodbath. Sümeyye Abla, who came running after me, screamed and collapsed to the ground, then she collected herself and closed my eyes and took me out. I just remained. Silent, lonely. When I was just seventeen years old, when I was about to enter adulthood, this disaster that happened to me caused me to be dragged into a whirlpool. I no longer had a family. Not one but all of them were gone. I've never felt so alone in my life. All my truths were wrong, my childhood and youth were lost, I went back to the moment I was born. She was crying like a baby and I couldn't speak at all. I felt helpless and helpless. I felt motherless and fatherless children living on the streets in need of holding on to someone. Time had stopped. I should have been in that house too. I should have died too. I shouldn't have let them die alone. I was offended at life in my best age. An elephant sat inside me and couldn't get up. A fist wouldn't go down my throat. It was the sound of three bullets that darkened my life. The one who took my family from me... Relatives of my family came and took care of the funeral. Meals were distributed and prayers were recited. They were showing their pity by patting my head or trying to love me in every house. They were right. I was pathetic. My parents' families wanted to take me with them because I was alone. Both sides showed their strength and started a war. Aunt Sila, who lived in Seattle, had won the war. I only remember my Aunt Sıla from the different toys she brought every time she came when she was a child. Although he did not come very often, he would meet with my mother and ask about us. It was decided that I would go there because I would have more educational opportunities. After all I went through, I was forced to live in a country whose language and religion I did not know. Although my aunt's wife Paul was not very happy with my progress, my aunt managed the situation and mobilized all her resources so that I could get a good education. Life wasn't fair for someone my age. I had loads on my shoulders that I couldn't handle, a past I couldn't even trace. I felt completely empty, unable to find a branch to hold except for my aunt's outstretched hand. It was while I was in school, while I had to work at the same time. Because Paul and my aunt were in a relationship because of me, I didn't want to be a burden to him anymore. One day, my aunt confronted me and said that I needed to learn the truth about my past. Even after all this time, I had no chance to find out who or who murdered my family. Even though my aunt recounted the same story, little by little, the child they told was no more than deception. That was the day I realized this. My aunt began to tell the same story again, this time a little longer. Sinan Çavuşoğlu was the name of the enemy of one of the former bullies in Istanbul. He was a bully who was famous for his countless murders and brutality. One of the men with that bully gave your house address, saying that he found the trace of Sinan Çavuşoğlu. However, our people did not even know about such a thing. The bully also sent one of his men home and ordered that anyone who was in the house be taken. In short, as a result of a false report, your father was targeted and the whole family was shot except you. "Okay, my father's name is Sinan Çavuşoğlu, but didn't the person who came to shoot him know his enemies?" “Men like that don't do the dirty work themselves. They do it to the people next to them. Finally got caught.” “I lost my family for nothing? And who was the person who gave that name to that bully?” “We still don't know him. The men were caught. They confessed everything, but did not give a name about it.” “Is this fairy tale finished here, aunt?” "What does that mean?" “Look, Aunt, you have fooled me with these tales for years. Okay, I was not well at that time, I was being treated, you're right. But I'm fine now and I don't believe them. I think you should write a book. You will be very successful in this job. I want to know what happened to my family. This is my most natural right.” My aunt looked at the ground. Whenever he did this, he would admit that he was lying. Even though he wasn't much of a liar, sometimes he could get away with the white lies he told to protect me. “Do you really want to learn?” "Definitely yes." I stood still. If I wanted to know what had happened to my family, I had to be strong and prepared for what I would hear. If I collapsed at the slightest blow, I would have proved my aunt right and I would not have learned the rest of what she was going to tell. Even though something inside me told me not to do this, my decision was firm. I was not a child and I had to do this to pull out the lost child inside me. "Okay, so I'll tell you." "I am listening." “Your father owned a stationery store when you were younger.” “Yes, I know my mother would tell.” “He had partnered with someone while opening that shop, because he couldn't afford to open it alone, so he was compelled to do so.” I was listening to her without taking my eyes off my aunt's. Since I knew him so well, I could tell that he was lying at the slightest mistake. “Your father had an affair with his ex-partner's wife. So it actually doesn't exist. Cagla is so complicated that I don't know how to explain it. In short, that woman's husband killed your father. He also killed your mother and sister so that there would be no eyewitnesses.” "I did not understand how that is. Who is my father in a relationship with?" “An obsessive woman has a crush on your father. As I mentioned, she's your ex-partner's wife. The woman fell so sickly in love with your father that she did her best to break up with your mother. He has separated. Then your mother believed your father. I learned that much at the funeral. Believe me, I don't know anything else." My aunt didn't lie this time. I didn't know what to say or what to comment. As I drilled, such strange events were taking place that I understood better now that my aunt had been deceiving me all this time. My father is the man I trust the most in my life. No, I don't think my father would ever look at anyone but my mother. While telling all this, Kerem was listening to me carefully and did not think that these events could be real. "Do things like this really happen?" “It means it does. At least that's what happened to my family." “So how are you holding up? What you're going through is really tough. It's not a disease or anything bad has been done. Totally pissed off. Losing your family because of someone's ego…” “Do you think I have another chance? I had a good childhood, yes, but what happened afterwards took my childhood back from me. I always had to experience the feeling of needing someone. Throughout my education life, my friends' families were always supporting them in every way, while I was forced to watch.” “Fortunately, I am here now. That means your luck is turning." I started laughing, albeit nervously. “How do you do this?” "What?" “To be able to make me laugh even though I'm a mess. To be able to bring me back every time I step off the edge of the abyss.” This time Kerem continued his speech seriously: "I do not know. Maybe I want to add myself to his past, to his past, in short, to a part of his life.” When our eyes met, this time our lips did not deny love. After a little bus; "So glad I have you." “You too, my little bunny.” Kerem was my miracle. I had relationships before, but Kerem used to pick up the hurtful ones one by one with tweezers. He had a mystical side that could heal people. I liked this. I felt safe and owned with him. True love made a difference. Maybe Kerem wasn't like that in his previous relationships. If that were the case, I wouldn't have thought that any woman could leave him. Love allows me to see its pros and I think it complements its shortcomings as well. That's why he was fortunate and fortunately my man. After a long conversation, Kerem's yawns increased, as if he was waiting for me to free him. I was not getting any sleep. I felt like I had been slandered or punished for a crime I didn't commit. When Kerem decided to go to bed, the bell rang. It was 02:00 at night. We looked at each other at the same time. After the nightmare we had, this was an ordinary situation for us. We were afraid of every click, because we did not know what could happen to us. It was not possible for us to sleep comfortably while that maniac was walking around waving his hand. Kerem was still bouncing in his sleep with the effect of what he had been through, and Sinem's condition was deplorable. It was clear from his reproaches that he would have difficulty adapting to his new life. Kerem and I were officially tied. Kerem was the one who untied the knot, as usual. “I'll look. The thief would not ring the bell if he was a sinister or perverted person. There is reason, there is logic.” It was an answer he gave to console himself rather than me. Still, as I made my way towards the door, I could feel the fear in him. Doors and telephones ringing at night were not a good omen. Since the day we changed our address and phone, we were partially comfortable. But we knew that this too would come to an end. He slowly approached the door. He looked through the hole for a while. He waited for movement in the dark corridor of the building. Because only then would the light turn on and we would be able to find out who was at our door. When the bell rang again, he said that the person he saw through the small hole was Sinem. “Sine? Are you sure?" Kerem couldn't understand how shocked I was because he didn't know what I was going through today. I couldn't say that the woman was the reason for my crying. "Yeah." “Is it really Sinem? Let me see. Come on, go to bed." Even though Kerem didn't understand why, while I was going to bed, I thought that the bad words Sinem had accumulated were not exhausted. Apparently, his involuntary aggression continued. Even though this time he kept the watch at midnight, I had no chance of escaping it. I took a deep breath and opened the door with a smile. "Welcome." “Can we talk for a while? I see you couldn't sleep like me." “It is true. Come in." As Sinem walked in, I saw her softened a bit. I guess there would be no continuation of these insults as I thought. Maybe he was just looking for someone to talk to and his feet had brought him to my door. Maybe he was a reliable person he was looking for. It was unbelievable that he blamed me completely for what had happened to him and again saw me as the only person to be trusted. I couldn't help but wonder how his family had sent him out at this hour. I couldn't believe that I could think of so many things together as I passed between the outer door and the living room. The human brain must be a very interesting structure. "You wanna drink something?" "No. Sit down here.” I wasn't quite sure what kind of conversation awaited me when Sinem pointed right beside her for me to sit down. When he said his first sentence, my heart warmed. “Look, I know I said some very bad things to you today. But what I've been through is so heavy that sometimes I have a hard time carrying it. Even though I want to give some of those burdens to someone else from time to time, I can't sleep well because I know it's not your fault." “You should be comfortable because you are right. All this happened because of me. If you didn't know me, you wouldn't have experienced this." "You may be right. But in the cycle of events, just because something happens to someone on occasion is not a sufficient reason to blame that person. I am a person who has defended this all my life. Now that I think about what I've done, that's not me. I don't understand what's happening to me. Sometimes I feel like I have two or three characters inside me. I wasn't like this before. You know that too.” “It's good to know you think so. I thought you couldn't forgive me for the rest of your life." “Maybe I couldn't forgive. But it just couldn't be your fault. The biggest mistake is still mine. Do you remember? I told you my boyfriend was waiting at the door the night of your birthday. He was it.” "How so?" “I have met him before. A few days ago, on the way back from school, we had the opportunity to chat. Then he invited me to dinner. I confirmed too. You know what kind of build I normally have. I'm one of those people who trust people quickly and get very upset. The day after I accepted his offer, that is, on your birthday, we went out to dinner with this man whose name I know is Semih. We ordered our meals and started chatting. He started asking me questions. When I mentioned Kerem and you, his movements got weird. “Did he behave badly?” "No it is not. A tic began to form on his face. The longer this topic went on, the more involuntary muscle movements began to increase, and he was still unaware of it. I was scared. I said I wanted to go home without touching my food. It was not strangely welcomed. He said ok and left my house. I knew he understood that I didn't like him. That's why he told me that we could be friends and chat every now and then. I accepted that too. But of course I had no such intention. I thought I'd make excuses and get away with it, like I do with most guys. “How could you have known that this would happen to you?” “When it came to my door the next night, I was suspicious. When he knocked on the door, I opened it without hesitation. He guessed I was going to peek through the hole, so he was smiling. I can't think of anything bad. Oh Çağla, I'm so naive. When I opened the door, he immediately jumped in and closed the door. He covered my mouth with his hands. His hands were bloody, flowing a lot of blood. He had obviously punched something and his hand had been smashed. He covered my mouth with duct tape from his pocket. He wrapped that tape over and over. I couldn't even raise my voice anymore. He was constantly apologizing, but still doing what he was supposed to do. At night when everyone was sleeping, he dragged me down to the basement and tied me to a chair.” “You scumbag. How could he do this to you? What kind of person is this?" “In short, it has nothing to do with you. I just wanted to blame someone. It was you. I was so scared. From what I have lived, from what I will live. I was swept into a vortex. My life was ruined. Believe me, I was in no condition to think of anything. Something was happening to me and I was just watching it in horror. He stole my future from me. Do you understand my greatest treasure? He didn't touch me until Kerem came. When he brought her with him, every time he looked at Kerem, he wore a mask and raped her many times. He stole my future from me. I didn't think that these could be the consequences of my floundering, my trusting everyone right away. I've lost my joy, Çağla. However, I used to laugh a lot. Remember. I couldn't look at my family's face. I can't even look in the mirror, let alone my family. I can't comb my hair. My heart is so broken that I want to die every second. That man stole my will to live.” "Ok darling. Calm down, come here." It was the first time I had hugged Sinem so sincerely and felt so close to myself for the first time. That hug took all the guilt out of me. I didn't feel sorry for him. No never. That's not what I felt. It was understanding his inner world and finding a piece of myself. I did not experience what Sinem went through, but I could have been in her place. I owe him a life debt. He accidentally ruined his life for me. He had hugged the master of his nightmares because of me. I should have treated him more warmly. I wish I had the chance to exchange your soul for mine. If I could wrap your wounds, they would never heal. “Cry my dear. All the dirt in the axle.” Even though Kerem heard everything that night, he never came to the hall. Sinem fell asleep on my knees like a little child. I stroked her hair. That beautiful silky hair. My motherhood took hold all night. He told me about our problem. Our endless troubles, unaware of what we will experience... I was no longer angry with myself. The only thing I was angry about was coincidences, coincidences that came to the wrong person at the wrong time and targeted innocent people. I talked to him until the morning, as he cried, my heart emptied. There was no fear left in me. Sooner or later, that scumbag would pay for what he caused Sinem. He will pay the price for extinguishing a young life, for destroying his future. I want that scum's grave to be watered with every tear Sinem sheds. For the first time, I had thoughts that tasted like a curse for a person. This wouldn't be the end either, I knew that. One day he would come out again and continue from where he left off. Until you take my life. All I knew was that I would no longer succumb to my fears. Even if I died of fear, one day he would be avenged and everyone would go to their rightful place. SECTION 9 I am the only memory of my family "Good morning." “Good morning my dear. Didn't you sleep again?" “I wrote some.” “If your pattern lasted until morning, you've had enough orgasm with your writing.” "Kidding. I am relieved as I write. I'm emptying myself out." “Okay, don't be mad. No work today, what should we do? Or if you want, get some sleep.” “I feel like I slept for days, believe me. We can chat after breakfast if you want.” I loved that Kerem prepared breakfast for me. Watching her, kissing me every time she leaves the plates on the table, accidentally getting a kiss on my cheek to land on my lips. I loved every moment I spent with Kerem. It was interesting that the desire inside me increased day by day for a person I never had. I was so lucky. I was with a man who had all the criteria for a man. my man. Jealousy inside me made me adore him. After breakfast, unaware of the foam I made, we took our coffees and went out to the balcony. The balcony of our new house was much larger, resembling a terrace. It was so big that we used two loungers instead of chairs. We were letting the sun warm our bones and enjoying a sea-free vacation. I took a swipe from the mud pile, which didn't taste much like coffee, and returned to Kerem. This was Kerem's worst feature. Asking irrelevant questions in our most enjoyable times. “I noticed you never told me about your family.” “I don't usually talk about it, it has nothing to do with you.” “Does this bother you?” "No. They may be dead. But I have good memories that I keep inside me.” “What was your sister like?” “She was a different girl. He was constantly improving himself and discovering new things.” "Very nice." “Good, but he could hardly put what he learned into practice.” "Why?" “He was very introverted. He didn't go out much. She was three years older than me, but she was an antisocial girl. I don't even know he has a friend. He was not incomprehensible, but he believed that every person was self-sufficient and tried to prove it to the world.” I smiled when he mentioned my sister. How I missed him so much. To secretly read what she wrote, to make up a new lie every time I got caught, to help with my essay homework if I helped with the housework. Most of all, I felt sorry for my sister when she died. He still had so much time to live. He had dreams that nobody knew. How I missed him hiding behind his endless philosophical talks. I was angry with Kerem, but I'm glad he asked me this question. It felt good to remember my past, which I had covered with a linen curtain, and to throw some dust away. I hoped he found what he was looking for on the other side, I thought to myself. Is he mad that I'm not dead too? Is he eating away at himself just because I'm alone? He only gets worried if something happens to me. Sisterhood is like that because it's a substratum of motherhood. I miss them so much that they put unnecessary maternity and chase after my soul. Especially when my mother was not at home, she tried to be a mother. There weren't centuries between us, but still, I would imitate my mother, whether I was hungry or sweaty, maybe it would fall on me more than a sense of responsibility. Oh my sister, who smells the smell of soil at 21. He loved the seas like me. I spilled some sea water before I went to his grave. I had not forgotten him from my past. For the first time after those deaths, I had the right to do something willingly. My family was deceased and that's why they asked me what I wanted. This was the first and last. Afterwards, my life was guided by decisions I didn't make myself just so I could live well. “And your mother, what was she like?” “My mother was beautiful, very much. Every mother is beautiful, but the inside was even more beautiful. Docile, loving and smelling like a mother… He was someone who built a life on his children. My children, who do not buy a rag for themselves, are young people who say they should wear them. When you look at him and get to know him, he would love everything. She has always suffered the loss of not being able to give my father a son. Although my father did not complain much, my mother used to worry about it. Some people love either their husband or their children more. My mother was one of the few people who could achieve this equality. He just didn't love himself. Even their decorations were for my father. So that he would be happy and not look at anyone else. My mother was unaware of herself. No one else would have taken my father apart from him. Not because of my father's bad temper, but because of the misunderstanding, he worked hard. If it was another woman, he would say why can't we go out. But my mother knew that my father was tired for us. He felt embarrassed. I'm saying it was very good, my mother Kerem.” “I wish I could think like you.” "Why?" “My mother is not much like yours. Not everyone can be a mother. Your mother built her life on her children, mine was worried about throwing me off at every opportunity. It's not because I'm angry with him, your words. But I've never been able to experience that feeling that you feel." Kerem was getting smaller as he spoke, his eyes looking like an innocent child. I've never seen this side of him. It was clear that childhood was deprived of some emotions. There were so many children who could not live their childhood like Kerem and who were condemned to live as if their parents did not exist while their parents were alive. These were the reasons for early marriages or not being able to carry that feeling. Child welfare institutions were full of children. There were hundreds of children who had to live outside. Besides, don't ask them when giving birth, then give birth and throw it away. Motherhood was something different. You don't even have to have a child to be a mother. If you feel that way and if you truly love yourself, if all the children in the world are doing nothing but good for them, you are already a mother. Priority is the child. It is to cut yourself down and do it to him. There were children who were thrown out when the priority was selfishness. Maybe that's why Kerem was so funny. It was his way of expressing his pain. A friend of mine said that very happy people always end up with a lot of pain or sadness. I paid attention to that. It really was. Today I discovered another side of the man I love. “Yes, I was lucky. But if we think about the future, maybe her being such a good mother makes me miss her even more.” “I don't think anything like that will happen. Although the situation is different for mothers, this rule does not change for children. No matter how old a child is, if he is left without a mother, he will be sad. A lot. That pain is a constant pain. While some live, some experience that pain when they die. That's the only difference. Anyway, let's close this issue now. That's enough for today. I'm going for a little walk." Normally, we went for a walk with Kerem. This time he didn't even ask me. I guess that meant I needed to be alone. It was clear that he was going to call the past to account. Even knowing what the result of the account he asked would be. Everyone has a problem with their past, but the pain that leaves a permanent mark affects your whole life and comes to light in your most sensitive moment. There is no such thing as permanent happiness. It turns your past unhappiness into multiple pains in such situations. Kerem had not yet returned home. So I was browsing through the magazines I just bought to distract myself a bit. As I walked into the kitchen to get myself a cup of coffee, I heard the doorbell ring. I knew it was an early hour for Kerem. When I looked through the hole in the door, I was surprised to see Sinem in front of me again. The gloom on his face was gone, replaced by peace. Today was better than ever. It made me so happy to see him like this. "Welcome." “I came to you for coffee. Sorry for not informing you. It just blew my mind." "It's okay honey come on." I think after last night, our friendship had made strides. His behavior towards me was very warm and sincere. "I'm pregnant," she said as we lay on the balcony and sipped our coffees. This short sentence Sinem made caused me to spray the coffee in my mouth. It was something we would have fainted from laughing under normal circumstances, but we were both very serious. “Do you realize what you are saying? Is this a joke or something?" "No. I've known this for a while. I learned it while I was in the hospital. I told them not to tell anyone. My family thinks my bloating is because of the drugs I'm taking.” “Even I think so.” “So when are you going to get it? It's pretty big now. Or have we passed the time?" “Who said I would get it?” "Sine, you're not thinking of giving birth to that scumbag's child, are you?" “I know it looks disgusting from that angle. But the life I carry inside is a part of me too. Çağla, I can't get rid of this whirlpool otherwise. I disappear. I always have to live with my past. I've been thinking about this for a long time. This means a new life for me. Please support me. Do you understand that I can't add my baby's death to what I've been through?" "I really don't know what to think." “I no longer have a family. I convinced them that I was fine and sent them home. No one knows about this but you. Please don't leave me alone in this situation." “Okay, I understand, but what will your family say next, Sinem? Won't they ask when the child is born? And how are you going to take care of this kid?" “Believe me, I don't know anything. All I want is to hold my baby in my arms. Cagla, this is something else. You can't understand how I feel when it stirs inside me. He is the most sinless among us. I can't let him down, you understand?" “You have already made your decision. There isn't much to say anymore. Okay fine.” I was very angry with myself for reacting to Sinem in that way. It was her baby and her decision. No one living on earth had the right to sever the bond between them. Of course mine too. And how could I say anything with a face? But if only there was a child born under other circumstances. If only everything would go according to plan and the baby had a chance to choose its father. But there wasn't. Which of us do we have? I would like to have the same father again, but I knew that Kerem would not think the same about it. The birth of a new soul was exciting. It was worrying me. Being the child of a pervert who took a stab at our lives would inevitably upset her for the rest of her life. The obstacles he faced would be too heavy and big for him to carry. Maybe he wished he had never been born. But the decision authority was only with Sinem and she had no other choice but to respect me. I don't remember how many hours we talked with Sinem, how long we kept quiet. We were able to come to ourselves with Kerem's return home. Unaware of everything, Kerem looked better. His state when he was leaving was gone, and he put his problems on the shelf for a while. Of course it would break out again. Such things left a mark on people's lives. Indeed, that's what happened. Maybe all we needed to heal our wounds was each other. Or it was best to stop time forever and live as if nothing had happened. "Welcome." The world stopped when I hugged him. I often wondered if he felt the same as me. Or was it just my heart that went crazy whenever I saw him. He wasn't the type to express his feelings very easily. He couldn't talk much, especially about love and affection, and his eyes met on the ground. I was able to speak and express myself very comfortably in every field. He gave me the world with a touch. He was a man who could seduce any woman with his magical touches, facial expressions and warm smile. Maybe it was a matter of taste, but it was not possible to understand women who said they want someone with understanding, polite culture and followed a macho. Kerem was my family now. Officially, deep down, I wanted this like crazy. Sometimes he talked like my father and gave advice like my mother. Sometimes he would try to protect me like my brother who never existed, become my friend and become a fun person. He has so many roles in my life that losing him meant losing my family for the second time. Moreover, my mind is more clear than before. While Sinem was asking for permission and leaving, I decided to extend this period a little longer since it was difficult to explain the situation to Kerem. The later he finds out, the better for me. After all, I wasn't the one who got pregnant. I was more or less predicting his reaction on this subject, I did not want to bring the same issues into his mind and disturb his psychology again. Just when I was about to make an excuse, Kerem said, "Let me take a look at those newspapers." said. I think he needed a little more time. I've never seen him like this before. In such cases, walks were useful to clear the mind. But if the problems are deep, it won't help if you travel around the world. I understood it. When we find out what is going on in the world, we often rule out our inner troubles, albeit a little. Bigger problems do not make the little ones forget, unfortunately. My problem always remains my problem. “Of course, dear, I was going to do research on the internet.” It was amazing that we were able to create private spaces for each other and spend time. We didn't have to worry about doing everything together like other couples. We were careful not to step on our red lines and cared about our privacy. It has been 8.5 months since the events experienced. I don't know if our relationship with Kerem was so passionate because it gained meaning with a tough struggle in the beginning. If the conditions were different, I have no idea if we would have held on to each other so tightly. I had long conversations with Kerem and I trusted him a little more every time we spoke. I no longer looked back for a long time. From now on, all I could think about was my today and my tomorrow. “Friends at work are throwing a party tomorrow. Shall we go together?" "Will you go if I don't come?" “You know the answer.” I would not go anywhere without him, nor he without me. He made more sacrifices than I did in this regard, because I had no acquaintances in Turkey. He had his circle, but he wouldn't see anyone unless I wanted to. There has never been anyone I've ever wanted. His friends were always cultured and level-headed people. But at least I knew you could if I wanted to, and that was enough for me. "We can go if you want." I thought it would be good for you too. Gradually you should have a circle around here. You know our lives hang by a thread. There is no guarantee of what we will be tomorrow. “Don't talk nonsense Kerem. Where did these words come from now?" “You must have forgotten quickly what we went through. What I experienced was not something to be easily forgotten.” "You're right." I resented Kerem saying it this way. Could he be blaming me for all that happened? I've been through it too, although it's not the same. How worried I was for him. Even though he knew all this, it was difficult for me to talk like this. I got up and went straight to the kitchen. Re-opening the issue would perhaps cause our discussion. This was something I never wanted. Just to pass the time, I peeled the apple and re-washing the two washed glasses was not enough to relieve my distress. I was starting to fix the inside of the kitchen cabinets. Usually, I wouldn't do these things when Kerem was at home. Since I was at home during the day, I would take care of my work, and when Kerem returned from work, I would devote all my time to him. When I put my hand on the cupboard above, I felt two hands on my waist and I did not turn my back knowing it was Kerem. I would cry if I saw your eyes. "Sorry babe. I did not mean that." I just turned around and hugged him without looking into his eyes. I was grateful to him for knowing me so well. "We're going to the party, aren't we? I'm informing." "Of course." It was my first time going to the party. So I was excited and didn't know what to do. First we went shopping. We bought some clothes for the party and a few things that Kerem should have in my closet. I didn't know what to do with such fancy clothes, but if my circle would expand, I could use them in the future. The next day, I prepared well and waited for Kerem to come home and pick me up. We didn't have much time to talk during the day. That's why I chose an outfit for her that matched my outfit without asking her advice. I don't remember being this careful in a long time. The last time I think it was my aunt's birthday, I wore a long black velvet dress. "Sweetie you are so beautiful. With your neck long, this dress suits you very well. Let me take a picture of you." I still keep that photo in my treasure box. Everything that belongs to my family is in it. I got rid of my memories with the sound of the bell, and carefully wiped my tears and opened the door. “I called Çağla Hanım, though.” "Here's mine." "You can't be my girlfriend. Tell me, what have you done to my darling?" "Kerem, don't be a donkey." “My life, you are so beautiful. Should we talk about this taboo thing again even though we're not going to the party?" I could guess what was going through his mind when Kerem said that with his hands on my waist. "You know, Kerem." “Okay, we get it, not until we get married. I'm human too, but how can this young man resist this beauty?" “Look at the lad.” "You're so beautiful, you shouldn't like us anymore." “Is there such a thing? You are the most handsome man in the world. Most importantly, you are mine.” "Girls with parents don't think about it that much, you know that?" "The way I am." "I love you for this reason. You look perfect. I'm the luckiest man tonight." When we went to the party, everyone's eyes were really on us. Everyone who greeted Kerem did not miss me either. That's exactly what I wanted. If I was interested, I would have the opportunity to meet. “Welcome to my dear friend, did you miss a girl from the beauty contest? "How are you Kerem, who is this beauty?" Such sentences were heard in every meeting chapter. I was quite happy with this situation. Kerem, the night was fun, even though we were having mild fits of jealousy. I really liked these friends of Sinan, Tuğba, Yeliz and Tuğra. We were even promised a breakfast at our house for Sunday. The fact that I was Kerem's girlfriend showed that Kerem was also very popular among his friends because of the interest they showed me. It was getting crowded now and most importantly, I didn't feel alone. This meant a lot to me. Now I understood very well what Kerem was saying. He had fears, but not like mine. These were more owned fears. It was an attempt to think of me in case something happened to him. It was the desire to entrust me to someone. I should have even thanked him for thinking that way. CHAPTER 10 To be a family We had long conversations with Kerem about Sinem's baby, and as far as I can tell, it didn't help much. "I can't believe that guy is having a child." “This is Sinem's life, baby. I don't think we have anything to say." “That's why I keep quiet anyway, but it doesn't bother me that you get up and support Sinem on that issue.” -What would I do, my life? Should I just watch him fight a disaster that befell him because of me?” "You're still blaming yourself, aren't you?" "Is it a lie? Look, I thought the same as you before. Then I said her baby and her life. If she wants to give birth, no one can prevent it.” “Oh, whatever you do.” The excitement of Sinem's baby surrounded us all. Except for Kerem of course. He never approved of it. A doll made before your eyes. Maybe he thought so because he had to witness the construction phase. We couldn't expect him to think like a woman. It had its merits as well. He was less than a month away from birth. We bought beautiful clothes and tiny booties for the baby. I was praying that his luck wouldn't be bad. I hope he would move on to become a decent person like Sinem. A baby. A new hope blossoming. It was amazing to be able to carry a life in one's stomach and feel those movements. I couldn't believe people who didn't believe in miracles were ignoring it. A piece of soul made up of chromosomes in the womb. He will have his brain, his feelings and thoughts. He would have a say in his life. A life that he will suffer before he is even born. I was sad, but of course Sinem didn't think like me. He believed that everything would be fine. It's a fair point for him. Because it would be a pillar in his life. He would be able to forget what he had experienced more easily, maybe he would be able to erase what he experienced from his body, as he forgot the pain of birth the moment he took it in his arms. He might even think he was experiencing something good if he saw what was in his lap as the fruit of rape. It was a short time before the birth and the harder I tried to change Kerem's mind, the more it backfired. One day when Sinem came to us, while preparing something to eat in the kitchen, I witnessed Sinem and Kerem arguing. I did not intervene. This was an issue they had to resolve. Kerem was saying: “I'm Sinem, even the best person about what she went through and the weight of it. What if your child looks like that monster?” “Kerem, I don't care what he looks like. She is an angel that I have raised inside me. I can't hurt that kid just because his father is like that. If God has given him a life, it is not for me to take it from him. Believe that there is good in everything. Maybe I will have a reason to be happy in my next life.” Kerem was silent. Because he had never thought of it that way. He was just thinking about adapting to the baby's life. Kerem was a born father. He could think like a father and defend a child who did not exist. After a long silence Kerem; "Well, if you want to give birth, what can I say?" “Will you look at my belly? Do you think it's possible to have it removed from now on?" They both started laughing. He was obviously nervous, but that was all they both needed. The melting of the ice between them made me smile too. Will I ever have a baby? A cheerful baby running around the house. Kerem and my baby. Oh dreams. Sinem's labor pains increased, heralded that the birth would be soon. We had been going to a pregnancy course with him for a few months. I tried to be there for you as much as I could. So even though he said he was grateful to me, I couldn't suppress my guilt. One day while we were in the course, the officer who taught us said that my hand was very prone to babysitting. I knew all about babysitting now and thought it would be helpful if I had a child of my own in the future. When Sinem called me in the morning, she said that we had to go shopping after the class today to buy the baby's last missing items. I knew Kerem would come home early. It was annoying not to be home when he arrived. But I felt compelled to do so. Sinem's requests were like orders for me because of my guilt. While Kerem was having his breakfast quickly, he was already involved in the conversation. "It's okay dear, you go. Can't leave the girl alone. At this rate, this is what will give birth on the way.” I smiled and accepted. So I had no choice but to go. This time, the little one's tub, aspirator, organic fibers etc. We had completed everything necessary for his life. It was around 8 PM when I left Sinem at her home and walked towards my home. The lights in our apartment were not working. I was so surprised. Kerem would never go anywhere without telling me. I thought he should definitely be home at this hour. Unless something bad happened. When I struggled with these thoughts in my head and quickly climbed the stairs, I realized that there were no shoes in front of the door. I had to go home and call Kerem right away. When I opened the door with the key and entered the hall, it was a dim environment with the effect of the lights of the neighboring buildings. That was enough to scare people. I did what I do every time I was scared and called Kerem. Kerem came out of the balcony. It looked so elegant in the evening. I could fall in love with him for the second time. I, on the other hand, resembled street children in my rush to finish shopping quickly. My hair was messy, and my outfit that I wore in the morning was screaming for an iron-on. “No, honey, are we going somewhere?” "No my Darling. Come on, let's go to the balcony." “Is it my birthday or something? I'm confused on the day of the bear, what's going on?" "No, there's still October 8th." "My love, it's nice of you to be so detailed, but..." When I saw the table and candles set on the balcony, I would swallow my little tongue. It was such a meticulously prepared table that all of my favorite dishes and visuals were magnificent. I understood what Kerem was trying to do now. I wished I had something better on me. Kerem must have felt this because he said, "You are so beautiful, as always," and kissed me on the cheek. Obviously, I was in the middle of Sinem and Kerem's plan. That's why Sinem's slow penguin walks. Not liking anything. Gain time. Ah Sinem ah, if only we had taken something decent on me. I'll ask you about this. “Sit down, you have your favorite wine.” While I couldn't speak, Kerem was almost directing me to breathe. I think he knew that I was about to die of excitement. While Kerem had a snack and while I was examining the environment and him, Kerem took a velvet-covered box from his pocket and started walking towards me. I knew what was going to happen to me, but I had no idea how to act. It was almost frozen, I could only manage to breathe forcefully. I wanted life to just stand still when he got down on his knees and handed me the diamond ring in his hand. What I wouldn't give to capture that moment. But this was not possible. Kerem started to speak with the ring in his hand, and I was trying to silence my beating heart. “We did not experience easy things. Especially considering the beatings I took. But don't feel obligated to marry me for that, of course. I don't regret it. I would live again though. (smiles) Just kidding. You are the most beautiful and childish woman I have ever met in my life. That's why you're like a big family by yourself. I want to have this beautiful woman whom everyone admires. I just want a woman who is mine, who loves and thinks about me. We are very good with you. Our thoughts are the same, our common tastes. Besides, no one laughs at my jokes but you.” This time we both started laughing. At the same time, I couldn't stop the tears flowing from my eyes. It's like I've been waiting for this moment all my life. I was so sure that Kerem was the right person. As Kerem continued his speech, I had already started shouting yes from within. "Now I'm going to ask you a question, but giving a negative answer is prohibited." I was crying and laughing at the same time. I couldn't stop crying, I was crying even more when I saw Kerem's tears. That's what it means to die of happiness. “Will you sleep with me every day? Will you belong to me and have sex with my only one and be the mother of my children? Will you love me more than I do and cook the food I love every day? Will you put up with me for the rest of your life and give me your life?" That was the best marriage proposal I've ever heard in my life. I had to say something too. But I could not. Instead, he said, “Yes. I love you so much,” I said. After the proposal, as Kerem's future wife, we planned our future together, where we could eat comfortably and spend time together. Kerem immediately brought up the child issue. First he wanted a boy and then a girl. As if it could be made to order. Neither of us had any intention of prolonging it. We were going to have our wedding as soon as possible and celebrate our marriage with a meal among friends. Kerem said that he wanted a child as soon as possible. Since I was always spending time with Sinem, I had a desire to give birth to my own child. A week later, I woke up to the sound of my cell phone ringing at around 02:00 at night. The caller was Sinem. When I told him that his water was coming, I immediately got up and woke Kerem. Kerem was more nervous than me. He had taken the keys to his car, leaving me behind in his pajamas, and was on the road sluggish. We ran to the hospital and took Sinem with her. That night Sinem had a daughter and her name was Ece. Ece was a black child. However, Sinem was white-skinned. Since the way the child was born was strange, there were no comments that the baby looked more like my mother or father. The next day, we left Sinem and the baby at their home and gave them time to get used to each other. A month later, Kerem introduced me to his family, saying that it is customary. His mother, who lived in a magnificent house in Etiler, did not welcome us warmly. I loved his father very much. But his mother was a bit arrogant. The type who looks down on everyone who doesn't like anyone. Good thing he looked like his father. His father was happy when he heard that we were going to get married, while his mother was in shock. I could tell from his face. Realizing this, Kerem bent down to my ear and said; “Even if a registered princess sat next to me, my mother would still have the same reaction. Do not take it." I had a hard time not laughing when he said it. When all the preparations were completed, our wedding took place and we were now officially husband and wife. I didn't want to wear a wedding dress. That's why I became a bride in a white toilet. Because my family wasn't with me, and without them it meant nothing. Therefore, although my heart was a little sad, it was very exciting and happy. When we returned home, I had dreams and Kerem had achieved everything he wanted. I couldn't believe my life had changed so much in one year. I literally had a family now. Not much has changed in our lives. We just slept together in the same bed now. We didn't buy any new items either. Kerem had made such an offer at the beginning, but for me there was no need for such a thing. He said that you are a new bride and cannot be done with old furniture. Our stuff wasn't that old anyway. He took them all very fondly, and a bond even formed between us. It's not like I can't live without seeing my nightstand, of course, but they all had a memory now for me. Six months later, when my nausea started, I took a test without telling Kerem and yes I was pregnant. I realized the situation very early. He's just 1.5 months old. Now, constant doctor checks and shopping were waiting for us. When I told Kerem that I was pregnant, she first remained unresponsive for a while, then took me in her arms and spun around in the house. He immediately called his friends and gave him the good news. I didn't know a baby could change a man so much. Kerem, who was already interested in me, increased his interest to the point of overwhelm. Every now and then, I went to Sinem and helped her and helped her breathe. It was really hard work. The whole order in the house had changed according to the baby, and it had also changed Sinem. Her old fussiness was gone and replaced by a calmer and more patient Sinem. But it was as if he had lost his warmth as well. We weren't the same as before. At first, I cared too much about it, but now that I'm going to have a baby, I didn't want to bother with such things. I didn't tell him I was pregnant because of the coldness between us. It would be absurd to think that a person who treats me this way would be happy for me. After she learned that I was pregnant, she started to come to me with Sinem Ece. Although at first I thought that she was doing this in response to what I did, later on, when her behavior and behavior started to become the same as before, I thought it was the effect of puerperium. He was very warm to me in a way I couldn't understand why. Thanks to Kerem, I also had a circle of friends, and we were in frequent contact, especially with couples. “My dear, Sinans are going to come to dinner with us tonight.” "Okay, I'll prepare something." "Do you want me to help you?" “I am not bad, Kerem. I am pregnant.” Women often get emotional under the influence of hormones when they are pregnant. I, on the other hand, became an angry person due to Kerem's over-interest and the effect of hormones. For this reason, I started to receive psychological support besides obstetrics. My doctor attributed this to the trauma I had experienced in the past. He said that this was a temporary period and that it could be fixed when I hold my baby in my arms. As the baby grew in my womb and I saw him on the ultrasound, my nerves were gone and I was back to my old self. This time the crying started. 8 months passed and I was able to hold my baby in my arms in a healthy way without much pain. I was proud of giving birth to a boy. I had a peaceful marriage, I had a beautiful child. Joy had come to our house. Sinem was with me every step of the way. Since she had a lot of experience, she helped me raise my baby. The smell of my baby was the best smell I've ever heard in my life. Our friends who came to see my son would not leave him for minutes. Of course, the happiest person in the house was Kerem as a father to a man. He was already making a list of things to do when his son started walking, and he was spending the night watching his son at the expense of sleeplessness. I was so happy that the presence of Uras added meaning to our lives and we had a much more cheerful home. It was unbelievable that a baby who can't talk or walk yet can fall in love with himself with a smile. His yawns, tiny hands and feet, the ability to even open his eyes, were enough to admire him. I was trying to be with Uras every minute, and when I got some sleep, I started to have bad dreams. When I told this situation to Kerem, he gave it to my puerperium. But I don't know if it's because of too much love, I was very afraid that something would happen to my son. Time passes quickly, my son was growing up. Putting her in the stroller and going for a walk was her and I's favorite activity. We were now taking family walks and enjoying everything we did more. Every time his father went on a trip or came back from work, he brought my son a new toy and they played together happily. I was watching them and thinking that I was the luckiest woman in the world. As the years passed, Uras became a completely different child, with his facial features more like his father. It was already clear that it would hurt a lot from that point of view. In my opinion, the boy was more troubled than the girl. I was afraid to share his circumcision and military service with another woman. Towards Kerem Uras' 3rd birthday, he decided to go to America with his colleagues. I wanted him to leave because he had been working too hard for a long time and was sleep deprived. This trip would be good for him. Even though we miss each other a lot, such longings were always good for the relationship. On the way back from America, he bought a Star Wars toy for Uras and when he saw Uras, he was crazy with joy. After all, it was the only toy he never took out of his bag. By now, Uras had grown well and had turned 4 years old. He was a more well-behaved and detail-oriented child than other children. His worst habit was spending a little too much time on his tablet. He was constantly coming to us, taking Sinem Ece with him. Uras loves playing with Ece and we were enjoying the conversation with Sinem. When I stop and think about what we've been through. But now I had a family and a son who got through the hard part. How quickly time passed. It was really a drug effect. One day, while we were drinking our coffee again, Sinem asked me a question; “Ece learned a lot at school and socialized. Do you realize that you can't get enough of Uras anymore? He also needs friends. Do you plan to send it to school?” “I don't know, Sinem. It seems earlier.” “I respect your decision of course. But look how happy they are while playing games. And now you have to devote yourself to your work. Uras takes all your time too. As the child gets bored in the house, you cut yourself off and give all your time to him. “I continue my writings from time to time. I want to continue, but when Uras calls, I have to deal with him.” “I understand that you are too fond of him. But it cannot grow in your shadow all the time. He is a boy.” Sinem was right, I knew that. I think I was shaking too much on my son without my help. “I will talk about this with Kerem.” I didn't understand why, but a strange smile appeared on Sinem's face. I had known him for years, this smile was not normal. It was the I made it smile. When Kerem gave a positive answer, we started to research the schools. In order not to be too far away, we have taken the private schools close to us under investigation. When Sinem came into our minds, we registered with Ece's school. It really was as much as Sinem said. Uras woke up happier in the morning with the excitement of going to school and spent less time with his tablet. He was learning new things with his activities. Seeing him happy made me happy too. I was also taking care of my unfinished book, and in my remaining time, I was preparing food that Uras would love before he came back from school. When he came, we were talking about what he was doing at school and we were having a nice meal. After Kerem Uras was born, he became even heavier and entered the father mode. He was doing his best, even though his interest in me wasn't the same as before. Since a new blood has entered our lives, I did not dwell on this subject much. Because I knew that I was not the same as before against Kerem. All our attention and love was in Uras. We used to sleep with him. One evening when Kerem came home from work, we sat down and chatted together. Uras was well-spoken and came to the point where he could sit and talk with us. I always wondered about his tone of voice when he was in my stomach. Now he was not silent at all. Son was a very different feeling and I don't think there was any other love on it. When we chatted with Kerem, we always kept our eyes on Uras. We were studying his movements and doing our best to make him a decent human being. Thinking that I was bored after Kerem Uras was born, he always invited our friends to the house and helped me to distract myself a little. Because if you have a child, your whole life will be based on it. During the speech Kerem; “My dear, shall we invite Tuğba and her husband to dinner? Besides, Uras plays with Tunç.” "It's possible." While we were talking about this with Kerem, Uras had already taken my phone and called Tugba. He made us listen to the speech by keeping the speaker on. He had threatened that if they did not bring Tunç, he would not take them home. While Kerem and I were laughing at this situation, Kerem's cell phone rang. Kerem didn't want to answer because it was a secret call. After what we've been through, it was best not to answer secret numbers. A few days passed, I didn't send him to daycare because Uras coughed a few times. I wanted to devote all my time to him and keep him under control before he got sick. While I was preparing soup for him in the kitchen, I heard Uras talking to someone on the phone. When I went inside, the phone was suddenly turned off. "Who are you talking to son?" "Dad called mom." "Why didn't you call me?" "She missed me, she called me mom." In the evening, when Kerem came home, I brought up the subject while I was eating. “You called me again today after I spoke to you, darling.” “No, I didn't call. After talking to you, I didn't have time to scratch my head at work." “Uras said you called, but. He was talking to someone and he hung up when I arrived. He told me that you called too." "There is no such thing. Now I'm surprised too." “Uras, will you come here son?” "Sorry?" “Your father didn't call today. Who were you talking to, mommy?" Silence… "Can you answer my son?" Uras' head bow was normally a sign that he was up to something. We couldn't understand why he lied. We were wondering what he was hiding. "Okay son, go play with your toys." After Uras entered, Kerem and I could not understand what was going on. Kerem said, “We should take Uras to a pedagogue tomorrow.” "You're right." When we went to the doctor, Uras was acting a little shy. He knew we were there for him. Although he was normally a very sociable child, he knew he had made a mistake. Even though we always told him that lying is a bad thing, there were places where we couldn't get enough. That's why we had to get support from an expert. That's what we did. The doctor showed Uras a place to sit. A small table for its size and toys on it. On the one hand, the doctor chatting with me, on the other hand, was following Uras, who played with Kerem, with his eyes. After examining them, he was finally able to speak. “Actually, his behavior is normal. He is even considered good-looking compared to other children. Has he lied before? Or have you sensed some other strange gesture or something?” "No. Uras was never a liar boy. That's why we were worried. I think there's something he's hiding from us." “The lie he tells may be based on fear and threat. There is a way to find out. It's something he's obviously afraid of. I'll have a little chat with him, maybe I'll learn something." What the doctor did and said made sense. But what could he be afraid of? We would never speak out loud to Uras even if he had done something bad. Looking at Doctor Kerem and me; “Mother and father, you go and get us some water. Let's have a little chat with Uras. Say what." When Kerem and I left the room, our minds were on Uras. After a while we knocked on the door and entered. Uras was mingling with the doctor and playing games. Uras said, "Mom, I'm very thirsty, you know, bringing water?" He was right, we went out to get water, at least that's what we told Uras. While Kerem was going to find water, the doctor lady approached me and said, “She spoke to someone she didn't know. Whoever that person is, he scared Uras badly. She threatened to hurt her mother and asked her not to tell anyone about that conversation. Who do you think this could be? "I'm thinking of something, but I hope it's not that." I told the doctor what we had experienced so far. He listened to me in amazement. “From now on, keep your cell phones away from Uras. It also means that you may be in custody, too. I think you should go to the police and explain the situation.” On the way back, Kerem dropped us off at Sinem's house because he wanted to see Uras Ece. While chatting with Sinem, I explained the situation of Uras. When Sinem, who is more experienced than me, gave a different reaction, I got angry. “Oh boy, such things happen.” “No way, Sinem. How you get used to it goes. If you see that you are stealing money from your wallet, the child will become a thief. Even if you don't mind her lying, she's a liar. I don't want to raise my child this way. Uras does not lie.” “I don't think it's that big of a deal. Not a doctor, at least. You probably make money easily.” “I can't believe you can actually say that sentence. Everything we earn is for him anyway. I would sacrifice everything so that he could be in good mental health.” I was very angry with Sinem. I promised myself I would never go to him again. If I leave it alone with Uras, it might even fill the child's mind with nonsense. While she was afraid that she would look like her father, Ece had to be afraid of Sinem. I understood this more clearly today. Later, when Kerem and I talked about what the doctor had said, it was the same thing that came to our minds. "I think we're going back to the beginning." We had set a strict rule not to allow Kerem and Uras to touch our phones, and we would never pick up confidential calls to our mobile phones. I started to spend more time with Uras. I used to be more careful when explaining what he did in the kindergarten, and when I saw the slightest different movement or thought, I immediately contacted his pedagogue. There was nothing interesting about what you said that caught my attention. His pedagogue warned us that the behavior and behavior of children of this age may change from time to time. But when it comes to bad habits, we should have passed it on to him. The more Uras fell on him, the more irritable he became. I didn't know what that maniac was telling him on the phone. I think there was also a change with age. So I was going to examine it now without revealing too much to him. He no longer hugs me like he used to, he wipes his face with his hand when I want to kiss him. We were being dragged into a situation that we could not get out of as a family. Although I tried to show my love as much as I could, Uras was pushing me away from him. He didn't tell what he was doing in the nursery, as he used to, and he was completely alienated from Kerem and me. After a while, stuttering started in Uras. As soon as we heard that he started to stutter, we immediately called the pedagogue and he said that we had to come. After chatting with Uras for a while, I asked the doctor without waiting for his answer. “You see. I don't understand what's going on with this child, whether it's a buddha or a sign of growing up." "You should be glad that your son is stammering, Ms. Çağla." "Why?" “Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to run a few tests on Uras. If that's what I thought, your son is a genius." Doctor Uras and I went to a different room and we were waiting for Kerem and Uras to return. After a long wait, the doctor came with Uras; "As I thought. Uras' stuttering is not permanent. Because it does not extend the syllables at the end of the words too much. During his next life, you should teach him in schools where children who have passed these tests like himself. Although these schools are a little financially burdensome, you will have used your child's intelligence correctly. Sometimes our fears can cause good things.” “But when will this pass?” “You can think of Uras as an eye now. He has a mechanism that instantly places everything his eye sees and ear hears into his brain. The bad side can immediately take the good or the bad. It's almost time for school to end. He will start first grade next year. You can research the schools I will give you for the next year and choose the one that suits you. When we got home, we were relieved. Now we had to pay more attention to our behavior and do what was best for Uras. SECTION 11 Worst Day of My Life I got up early in the morning and dropped Uras at the nursery. Actually, the kindergarten had a special service, but I could not trust anyone and could not entrust my son to anyone. I came home and did my routine work. I had a big problem today. It was like someone was squeezing my heart with their hands. It was so tight that I had trouble breathing. There was a feeling of pain and restlessness. I tried various ways to get rid of this problem, but it just wouldn't go away. I listened to classical music, read books, cooked, rested, but no matter what I did, I couldn't give myself to what I was doing, on the contrary, I was getting more restless. I took a shower close to Uras' check-out time. Maybe it would be good for me. I left right away in case he showed up early. I was going to prepare the table well and go to get my son. Now the time has come. I missed him so much. Being a mother was one thing. No matter how tired Uras made me, staying away for an hour was enough for me to miss him. While I was browsing the schools that the doctor told me, I learned that the enrollment to those schools was earlier. Prices were also quite expensive. Therefore, it was already clear that we would have some trouble. Maybe I might have to work and support Kerem. But I would do everything in my power to ensure that my son receives a good education. I forgot to bring water to the table. As I picked up the jug from the kitchen and carried it to the table, my cell phone buzzed. The caller was Uras' teacher. Phone in one hand and the jug in the other I answered the phone as I walked towards the table. “Here you go Ms. Asli.” “There is no Ms. Cagla Uras. I've been looking for him a lot. I looked everywhere but couldn't find it. You or your partner didn't get it, did they?" Boiling water was poured over my head. The jug in my hand fell to the ground and broke into a thousand pieces. Something broke inside me, I couldn't speak. "Do you realize what you're saying?" I could say. My voice was cracking. I could understand how frightened he was by the teacher's tearful voice, but at that moment I didn't care about the world. All I could think about was where Uras was. “I'm getting there right now.” "Okay, I'm going to the cops..." I hung up the phone without letting him finish his speech and called Kerem immediately. When he learned about the situation, he had uttered unspeakable curses. It was the first time I heard Kerem swearing. He was right. They could not have a child. I was very curious about the use of the attendant waiting at the door. Kerem said he left immediately. When I left the house, I was not aware that I did not have shoes on my feet. The nursery was a few blocks away. While walking, I was constantly talking to myself and being exposed to the curious glances of the people around me. “My son is my little baby. You hid in a certain place. Oh my god, please don't let anything happen to you. I can't live if something happens to him. My son is younger, he is afraid. My God, be well. Don't get burned. I beg you whatever happens to me. Don't worry son, your mother will find you. When I arrived at the nursery, I called Uras. I searched everywhere, ignoring the people running after me. I don't remember how long this situation lasted. As I ran, the people following me were trying to stop me. “Call me instead of blocking me.” The moment I stopped, it all stopped. I didn't want to waste time. I looked in toilets, rooms, under beds, everywhere I could think of. But I had no son. For the last time, I felt my feet were bleeding, my eyes were dark and I couldn't breathe. When I opened my eyes, Kerem was on my head with bloodshot eyes. “Where is my son? Kerem, where is Uras? Who did you leave it to? You found it, didn't you? No, you couldn't find it. Why are you here, find my son for me!” “Calm down, Cagla. He is my child too. It hurts me as much as you. Look, you need to pull yourself together, okay? We won't be able to find him if we stay here." "Okay, I'm fine, let's go." I pulled the serum out of my arm. I got out of bed, ignoring the blood dripping from my arm. While Kerem was pressing gauze on my arm, it never hurt because it hurt.” Kerem grabbed me by both my arms and turned my face towards him and said, “Look, his teacher is here too, with the police. We'll talk calmly and try to figure out what's going on. Please calm down! I am also a father. It hurts me. But we have to act rationally. If you yell at that woman, she'll get scared and won't tell us anything. No one will help us if you yell at the cops. Did you understand?" said. "Okay, I got it. I am calm." I wanted to go to the police and the teacher and kill them all. I was struggling for this. But Kerem was right. There was no one else we could get information from. I wonder if they fed my son? Was he hungry now? Would Kerem be angry with me if I asked this?" I was completely silent. Kerem was talking to people, trying to learn something. On the other hand, he wrapped his left arm around me, holding me so that I wouldn't fall. “When was the last time you saw my son, Ms. Asli?” “I was trying to get the kids ready for the debut. I was constantly counting the children inside of me. I swear I was doing this every 5 minutes. Uras was behind me. I had seen him. He was stuffing his toys in his bag. On the other hand, the guard at the door was coming, and his guardian was taking the child out. He was doing the same thing again after handing it over to his family. Then I looked at Uras again, but Uras was not there. Uras was different from other children. He could prepare himself. Normally, I wouldn't have prepared it. When I saw that Uras was not there, I called you, praying that you had taken it from me at that moment. I couldn't find him anywhere. He didn't have a bag either. There is no possibility of going out alone. He's not tall enough to unlock the door." “And where is that attendant waiting at the door?” “The problem is already there. We watched it from the nursery's camera. She went out with him." "Who is this guy? Where does he live? Don't you have an address or something?" “I gave the information to the police. They're investigating." When Kerem told me to calm down, he went crazy. Turning to the officer behind him, he said, “What are you doing here? Don't you need to find my son right now?" said. “Other teams are looking. We are here for anything you can think of. That man is our only hope.” “What do you know about it?” “It's been a week since I got the job. The register is clean. We have an address. We have directed a team there now. We are waiting for news." I was struggling to stand. The whole hospital was spinning as they talked. I was struggling not to lose myself again. I didn't want my son to see me in this state when he came. It was killing me not knowing what condition my son was in right now. I wanted to take the pain out of me and stand strong. I wanted to search the whole city, even the country, for my son, running street by street. The sedative they gave me hadn't lost its effect yet. My son, whom I had carried in my womb for nine months, was not with me. Its smell, especially that smell... God give me strength. A police officer approaching us came to the other officer with quick steps and whispered something in his ear. I couldn't contain myself any longer. "What's going on? Haven't you found my son yet? You whisper. Or did something happen to him? Did someone do something to him? Kerem, they are hiding something from us.” "Wait, honey, we'll find out now." “No, calm down. The team we sent has arrived home. But a woman and a child lived in the house. They said that no such person was sitting.” "What do you mean the man gave the wrong address?" "It seems so." “So what are we going to do now?” “You go home. We will continue to search. I promise I'll call you for the smallest thing." "I can't go, Kerem. I go crazy at home. Let's do something. Let's find my son." “Look, ma'am. You have to stay at home. It is said that your son is a very smart boy. He may find a way to escape, or the kidnapper may have kidnapped for ransom. They may want to contact you by calling your home. Or if he is a conscientious person, he can bring it home. These are the things we experience. Let's be in touch. Please don't make things difficult. Look, I have children too. I really understand you, I put myself in your place and struggle like that. Trust me and help me.” We had no choice but to say ok. My only hope was to wait for my son to come back. The weather was quite dark. Was she crying? Would I feel it? What if the organ mafia kidnapped it or something. Oh my God, protect my son, please. Before I left the hospital, something occurred to me. I immediately went back and spoke to the cops. “Wait, something just occurred to me. My son had a tablet in his bag. Maybe we can reach him.” "Okay, this might work for us." “We made the adjustments in case it could disappear. But its location is not clear and there is no internet. He was usually tied up from home.” “This complicates our work. If you have the tablet box, bring it to us. Let's see what we can do." When we got home, we sent pictures of Uras from the computer to many places. We shared it on social media. We wrote our numbers below in case anyone sees and hears. Our friends Sinan, Sinem, Tuğba, everyone who knew us had arrived in front of the building before us. Although everyone was saying something with good intentions, I was not in the mood to listen to anyone. Everyone called and explained the situation. When I saw the picture of my son, my eyes hurt and my heart broke. It was like they had taken a part of me alive. All of our friends were doing their best, but it was not helping. Not knowing how my son is right now was the biggest death for me. I felt like my heart was going to explode every time the phone rang. I wish I could know at any moment with a phone call that my son was found and that he was fine. We finished that night without any sleep. In the morning everyone had gone to work, Kerem, Sinem and I were left. Kerem was taking a shower in order to be able to stand up all the time, but my arm and wing wouldn't rise. Even though Sinem repeated the same topics to give consolation, nothing was giving me any relief. “Nothing will happen to Uras, trust me. He is such a sweet boy that no one can beat him. Don't wear yourself out anymore." “I suppose you never watch TV? It's as if they are looking at the beauty of the child, those thugs. What are they doing to the puppies? Ugly boy? Look what you console me with.” “Look, I understand you're nervous. It's not an easy thing to live. But you have to be strong.” "Where is Ece not?" “Ece is at home, don't worry. I left it with the caretaker.” “How long have you had a babysitter?” “He just got into business. He's very good. Let's get over this incident and you'll meet the best one." They couldn't take care of my son in the whole school. How did you trust a person you don't know? Just recently, you were saying that you earn money easily, what happened?" Simon was silent. Any answer he would give would not be a balm for my wounds anyway. At that moment my cell phone started to ring. It was Tugba. "Sorry…" “Dear, I took the box of the tablet to the police station and waited in case they could find it. They found the tablet, but it was at the end of a dead end.” “Is her bag there too, Tugba?” “No, they just threw away the tablet.” "Understood." My eyes hurt from crying. All hope was rotting in our hands. After the momentary excitement, we were more upset. But we were still in a position to risk anything for a new hope. 30 hours had passed and we had not heard from my son. I was no longer alive. I was where words ran out. Could a human live without a heart? I was sleepless and hungry, but I couldn't breathe when my son was not with me. My phone and computer were always with me, burning for a little news. What about Kerem? Oh my dear husband. What happened to us? His growing beard covered his sunken face, but he could not find anything to hide his sleepless eyes. He was a father. I am as much a father as I am a mother. While he was in a hurry to not find his only child, he could not move his arm. The man I loved was melting before my eyes, even though he was a man, he couldn't watch them cry until the morning. He was the best father in the world. The reason why I'm holding on to life. They plucked our fruit from the branch. Quiet and cruel. You have always supported me. Life has brought a good you. It would be better who helps whom now. I ruined your life too, Kerem. I mean, I'm cursed. Isn't it a smile, my face? You killed me life. You killed it and you couldn't find a place to bury it. We were waiting for a hope. We could have moved the world if there was a sign, but it wasn't there. While Kerem, me and our friends were waiting, a message sound was heard. Everyone checked their phones and eyes met on me. There were no messages on my phone. I just checked my mail. The incoming e-mail doubled our fears and at the same time made us happy. Those perverted years later managed to steal our lives again. “I know you can't forget me. I don't think you missed it either. So I didn't feel the need to make a loving introduction. Your son is a very smart boy. We're having a lot of fun. Now read carefully what I wrote. You know very well that I have nothing to do with money and stamps. If you want your son to live even if he's not with you, get the cops off me. Besides, his son is bored, poor boy, we can't even go to a park. Besides, don't look for a clue nearby, we're far away." I don't know how many times I read the mail. Each time my voice trembled a little more. Every time I read it, I was more and more happy. More sadness at the end. “Our son Kerem is alive.” Kerem was not happy. He was just looking at the ground. It was as if I had told him that something bad had happened, not news that our son was alive. "What happened Karim?" “I was the one in the hands of that maniac. I know how dangerous it is. Don't be happy right now. Maybe our son is alive, but what if he did something like that to him and makes Uras and us worse than death. Have you ever thought about that?" My joy was gone. He could be right. He was such an unscrupulous and careless person. Considering what he did to Sinem and Kerem, having Uras in his hands was bad news enough. But my son was alive. Nothing could be more important to a mother than this. It was a hope again, a stepping stone so that I could be reunited with my son, with or without an end. “Let's look at the parks then. Let's call the police now. We have to do what he says. I don't know, let's do something, don't sit down." Everyone rushed out of the house. The news was sent all over the city. Everyone mobilized to search for Uras. Over and over again. Me? I was losing hope now. Especially after I learned that he was in the hands of that maniac, I was more afraid, I was now pushing the assumptions. I wish I knew in the first place what he was talking about with me. If he had taken my life if necessary, if nothing had happened to my son. Even if Uras came back, I did not know how he would live with that psychology in his next life. I missed him so much. He was just a baby in my eyes. Every time I close my eyes, I think of her cute face. It never even came out. I missed her everything she did for a chocolate bar, the way she lay on my lap to redeem herself and saying I love you so much, her saying "I miss you so much mom" every time she came back from school. Especially the smell. The smell of a son was something else. God, why does every disaster have to happen to me? Why can't I live a life like normal people? I was rebelling, maybe yes. But I couldn't do anything else anymore. I definitely thought I was cursed. Since I was 17, nothing in my life has been going right. If I tried to be a little happy, my happiness and smiles would fall like branches that dry in autumn. I don't know where it came to my mind, but I thought of the room in the house where my parents live. I guess I was selfish again and wanted them with me. Maybe I expected support from my absent father and compassion from my mother. The room with the locked door that I never dared to enter. Maybe I could find something about my childhood that would make me feel good. A picture or a toy… Maybe I would be like Uras again, my whole life would be rewritten in that room. I would relive the times when I was holding my father's hand and walking around. I would never worry. I was always a child with my family. If only I could turn back time, I would like to be buried with them. Then I wouldn't have to deal with all this alone. Three hours had passed since everyone had gone looking for Uras. No one had any intention of letting me know. We were always calling Kerem and having the same conversation. "I'll call you right away if I find a trace, darling." I was saying ok and hung up, but I couldn't stand it and called again. I had to find something to occupy myself. I haven't been to her since the day I got angry with Sinem. I guess I overreacted a bit. He was always there for me in every difficult situation. Anything else would be ungrateful. I had made up my mind that I was going to go to the house where my family lives today and enter that forbidden room. Then I thought I'd stop by Sinem and have a coffee. I even had a nervous tic from thinking all the time. All I wanted was to end this whole thing without being neurotic. No one was asking. The meaning of waiting is no longer. I grabbed my bag and left the house without thinking. I called Sinem while I was on the road. "Hello." "Sir Cagla." "I'll drop by if you're fit. There are things I need to get from my own house. We'll talk a little while we're there. I do not feel good." “I am not at home right now, my dear. Will there be another time?" "Okay, see you." Sinem's voice sounded very strange. It was obvious that he was lying in every way. I understood this from the sound of his exhaust fan working with a loud noise. I wasn't in a position to listen to Sinem's troubles or talk about what she was doing anyway. That's why I decided to move straight to my old house. While walking down the road, I realized how much these places had changed in a few years. We walked there with Uras. We sat there and ate simit. Oh boy oh where are you? I was devastated to think of my son whenever I found free time, and to wipe my tears whenever I thought of it. It was as if a dagger was stabbing into my heart and someone was constantly looking for ways to inflict more pain on me by turning that dagger. I was a little girl when I entered the building. When I was only 4 years old, I was running in the garden of the building in my tiny frilly skirt. My mother bought that skirt at the market. I loved it so much that I could never take it off. The frills turn as I turn, which I really liked. My sister had come, dressed more sedately. She was the sister because she is. Even when he was 7 years old, he used to give the message that he had a sibling or an older sister. When my father said we are going to the amusement park, he only took it out of the sisterhood. As it was that day. I inserted the key and opened the door. There was a damp smell in the house, which had not been visited for a long time. I wanted to open the windows and get some air right away. I didn't want my memories to be moldy. As soon as I entered the house, my feet dragged me towards the cellar. I shouldn't have forgotten my purpose of coming here. I had to get the key to the room and do that thing I was late for. Who knows, maybe if I could find what I was looking for in that room, my curse would be lifted. I knew I couldn't think straight anymore. But the more I do it right, the more wrong a life is, the more absurd the person can act without realizing it. It was fixed by experience. I took the key and slowly walked towards the door of the room. It was a room that had not been entered for years. It was the room where my mother and father slept and every item that could cause us pain was in the room. I couldn't make that move for a while after I put the key in the lock. But I had to, at least I knew that. There was no giving up this time. Today was the day to face the past, to get rid of the darkness. When I turned the key, there was a clicking sound. When I opened the door wide, I was met with a room that was tidy but full of cobwebs like the original house. There was fear in the room. It felt like someone was going to pop out at any moment. A hum like horror movies in a room with no sound. If I accidentally stepped on something at that moment, my heart would explode. The room, which had not been entered for many years, aroused mystical feelings in me. There was a double bed, a nightstand and a wardrobe. The bed was tidy, but the cobwebs seemed unlikely to reach the closet. I tried to disperse the cobwebs by taking the long-handled broom from the entrance of the outer door. Now I had access to the closet. A picture on the nightstand caught my attention. It was a family photo. I vaguely remembered that day. My sister was 6, I was 3 years old. We were in front of my father's newly opened shop. Dad bought us both toys. A plush rabbit to me, and a squirrel to my sister. We slept with them for years. It was important for a child back then, a sleep companion. Children did not have tablets or cell phones as they are now. My rabbit, with whom I shared the same bed for years. I even gave it a name. 'Long ear' was very meaningful, but it was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw it. I left him with my past when I left. Because it belonged here to my childhood. I left the picture in its place and opened the drawers. The first drawer also had a cable and a remote. In the bottom drawer is a deck of paper tied with string. I wanted to take the papers and open the rope, but the rope was tied so tightly that I could not open it. I wanted to take him with me and read what he wrote. On the one hand, my mind was still on Uras. My cell phone was with me and if Kerem found the slightest trace, he would let me know. I had no choice but to trust him. As I thought of Uras, I wanted to end my life. I tried that, but the possibility that he was still alive stopped me. I worried what if she was left without me, if she had to live her life as the child of a mother who committed suicide. That's what motherhood was like. You don't think it hurts yourself. As long as nothing happens to him. Even when Uras had a minor flu, my prayers to God were always the same. I used to say, "God, give me what he has to go through, I'll endure it." I thought he wasn't strong enough. However, I knew that children were more resilient than adults. A son was something else for a mother. Thank goodness I wouldn't die without experiencing this feeling. As I walked towards the closet, my fear increased even more. I felt as if the lid would open and a dead human body would fall to the ground. Fear was of no use. I opened. In the closet were my parents' clothes. Mine and my sister's were downstairs. My jeans that I bought at the age of 15 by saving my pocket money. There was zero chance of it happening to me now. As I rummaged through the closet, I found my sister's squirrel and my long ear. My father's favorite tie, my mother's old pencil skirt… Those were the good days. I wished we could stay kids forever. While I was looking for other things in the closet, I saw through the gap near the window that it was getting dark. I should have left right away. Kerem might have thought that something had happened to me. Besides, remembering my past did not make me forget my present. I locked the door, taking the toys and the stack of cards with me. When I came to the door of the building, we met with Sinem. He had just come home, apparently. "I'm only done with my work, my dear." "No problem. I have to go home too.” “Oh yes! I wish we had a coffee. Anyway, if you're in a hurry, I won't keep you. I'll come tomorrow then." "It's possible." Ece was my son's best friend. I hugged him tightly. Wherever I saw a child, I could no longer hold back my tears. I deserved this much. While I was trying to talk to Ece, she was constantly looking at her mother's face. Sinem was warning him to go up the stairs, giving her a suggestive look. When Ece was leaving, the toy in her hand caught my attention. Uras also had the same toy. A man's toy. Did he buy it when he came to us? But Uras would never take it out of his bag. Could it be the toy Kerem brought from abroad? “Where did this toy come from?” While Sinem was directing Ece towards the stairs, she panicked. Finally, he felt the need to make a statement. “The boy saw it somewhere out there. Even if I said that my daughter is a boy's toy, I couldn't explain it. He took it for me. Well, see you later, dear." "See you." The thing that caught my attention in the toy was that there was a blue paint on the foot of Uras' toy. Same thing with that toy. Uras even did this on purpose. One day, she said, "I'm doing it so that my toy won't get mixed up at school," said the mother. While I was applying nail polish, he asked me to apply it by pointing to the foot of his toy. Maybe I was exaggerating my sensitivity. After all, the toy was like a toy. Now, if I say that he is Uras's toy, it would be nothing but frightening Ece and making her hate me. So I had to put them aside and go home as soon as possible. I didn't know if Kerem had returned home yet. When I got home, I found Kerem trying to hide his swollen eyes. It wasn't there again. He couldn't find our son. Asking him the same question over and over was only painful. I was aware of this. So I just pressed his head to my chest and kissed his hair. This was our most effective method of communication. 'I understand you.' We cried that night, not separately, but hugging each other. Kerem put aside his masculinity and I, my motherhood, and wept like children. CHAPTER 12 Paper Facts I wanted to lock myself in the room and read the papers I had brought. Some are worn, some are discolored. Although I tried to break the strings with my hand first, I realized that I could not open them without the help of a cutting tool. Picking up the little scissors with which I cut my eyebrows, I parted the threads of the past. Some of the papers had my father's handwriting. I recognized him immediately. I think a few pages belonged to my mother. I had no idea who the other post belonged to. Pages were arranged and linked in chronological order. I don't know who made this and why. It was not difficult to guess that there was something important written inside for the person who kept it. I carefully picked up the worn paper on the top and began to read. 21/08/2003 I know you're angry with me and maybe you'll never forgive me. Because I know you very well. Behind that innocence and patient character, when it gets hurt, you have a petrified heart. Even if you die of love, your pride does not allow to show it. But one day I will prove to you that I am innocent. You are the most loving person I have ever met in my life. Mother of my daughters, you are the reason why I hold on to life. How could you give up on me so easily? Don't do this to us, to our children! Don't blame us for such a disgusting woman! You're ending our 25-year marriage for a lie, a slander. With no tangible evidence, you're giving leverage into the hands of those who try to tear us apart. I miss my children so much. Please write to me. At least let me see them. I'll tell you everything. Just listen to me. All this is not my fault. The woman obsessed me. She does these things to us even though she has a child and a husband. I can't believe that Sedat didn't suspect his wife. This woman's acting talent is very high. She tells me different things and shows a special interest in her husband. Don't you understand that this woman is a psychopath. A demon whose life is built on lies. I will talk to Sedat as soon as possible. He should know about this situation. Maybe he won't believe me, like you, but whatever. There's no point in living without my family, anyway. Let him misunderstand and kill me if necessary. I'm tired of living like this. Goodbye." When I put the paper down, I saw my father's struggles in a letter my father wrote to my mother. My father and mother had come to the point of separation. When I look at history, I remember. My father had gone abroad to work at that time. I mean, that's what my mom used to tell us. So everything my mom told us was a lie. It all started when my mother sent my father away from home because of her pride. Who knows how my poor mother suffered, but she didn't show it to us. What about my father? Did he really cheat on my mother? If he did such a thing, even if he died, I will not forgive him for the rest of my life. This is the worst cruelty that can be done to a woman who has devoted her life to her husband and children. Sedat is probably that woman's husband. Oh my God, they also have a son. Undoubtedly, the man has no idea what's going on. Two deceived people and a child. How could you do this? Oh my mother. I wonder if I was doing well by reading these papers. It only served to mess up my already messed up life even more. Take a look at what I learned when I thought that maybe I'll find good memories about my past, even if it's a small chance, I'll distract my mind. With my son's pain inside me, no matter what I was busy with, I could not get rid of the lump in my throat. The pain was hitting my ears now. How is he now, my dear son? How we had come to the breaking point when we were such a happy family. I put down the paper in my hand and left the room. Kerem had not been to work for a long time. His face was now unrecognizable. The agony he was going through had made him have completely different facial features. His handsome, cool demeanor was gone, and his son's abduction made him aged twenty years in an instant. Even if he was a superhero in his son's eyes, he couldn't afford it this time. Clearly he was secretly blaming himself for all this. However, I am the only cause of every disaster that befalls us. Yes, he was our protector. Our father, our husband. It wasn't something he could have prevented. Because he was not a normal man who kidnapped Uras. The man whose problem is only with me, whose problem I do not know. Kerem was in the kitchen. I think he was trying to eat, his tired body slumped on the chair. "Are you okay?" “How long… you?” “I am trying. Are you hungry?" “I feel my hunger, but I also know that one bite will grow in my mouth.” “Well, you should eat something. You must stand. For our son.” "Look who's calling me." “Let me prepare something and have a snack together, shall we? I don't think starving will do us any good." Kerem was silent. But this time, I was determined to make him eat something, even if it was by force. I immediately made a soup and poured a bowl for both of us. I started talking with Kerem. "Do you know? I went into that room." He just looked at me without answering. I knew you understood what I was talking about. "Didn't you think that might be dangerous?" “Is it danger? This is my middle name.” We both smiled at this. First time in days. I think we've gotten to the point of getting drunk now. Our brains collapsed from the weight of what we had been through. “So what was there?” I told Kerem about the letters I found. It was a surprise to her that my mother and father had experienced such things. I was happy to see you eat a few bites. I believed I would find my son, and on the other hand, neither of us wanted him to see us finished when he came. Kerem should have found something to console himself. That's why I came up with the idea of reading the letters together. “I have nothing to lose. The time I live is no longer mine, and so is life.” It was perhaps the last word to be said before throwing oneself off a cliff. Every syllable was finished, every letter had pain. I wouldn't give up trying. I had to keep him up. I wasn't going to give that man what he wanted. My son was fine and I was feeling it. Because if that happened, I would die too. After Kerem ate something, I took the letters in the room and went to the balcony. I read the first letter to Kerem again. The first thing he said to me was, “And what did your mother say?” it happened. I loved this character of Kerem. He was not like me. If there was an event, he would listen to both sides and express his opinion, he would not be prejudiced and immediately criticizing. Thereupon, I took the letter written by my mother and began to read it aloud. 24/08/2003 I am not wrong in my suspicions. Didn't you feel ashamed when you cheated on me and your children? You're the one who destroyed our marriage of all these years, not me. See what you have after that. Live next to your mistress. I saw the pictures and the letter that woman sent. I don't want to see you again either. If you have any pride, don't write to me again. This is my last letter to you. Your Old Wife.” After reading this short letter, we were silent for a while. I could hardly understand that Kerem was thinking of my letter or something else. In my opinion, would the pain of being cheated go away? But if my father had really done such a thing, my mother would never have taken him home again, I knew that. I remember my father lived with us before my parents died. Before, we were deceived by the lie that he went abroad for business, but then he came back. So my mother forgave my father. Kerem, on the other hand, approached the event from a different angle. “Are the pictures your mother was talking about in the papers?” “I try to read in order. The papers are already very worn, but let's see." I slowly took the papers without fraying and placed them on the other side of the table. A thickness was felt between them. “Yes, there are two pictures here.” There was a room in the pictures. Pictures of my father and that woman on the walls. But they were always separate pictures. It was clearer in the second picture. “There is nothing in these pictures to prove that your father cheated on your mother. They are always separate. I couldn't understand how your mother believed that. But she was a really obsessed woman. It's really brave of her to reserve a room just for your father while living in the same house with her husband and child. This woman must have a disease or something.” "You're right. My mother mentioned another letter in her letter. I think that not only the painting, but also the letter was very influential in my mother's thinking like this.” “Then find that letter.” Inside the letters was a letter still in the envelope. The address of our house was written on it. I started reading without wasting any time. 03-09-2003 Hello Sinan; It's okay to think I'm a bad person after what we've been through. You obviously can't digest that I'm living with my husband. You are right too. But remember, you have a family too. If I can put up with your wife, you have to put up with it for a while. One day it will be just the two of us. I believe in this. The flowers you sent are really beautiful. But I wish you hadn't sent me one of your wife's favorite roses. Sometimes you forget that I knew your wife intimately, too. I saw you the other day. I watched you for a long time, even if you didn't realize it. I wish our lives were different. For example, if we had children. I am so tired of Sadat. He always has an unnecessary interest. I don't think he felt we were together. Don't worry, no one can enter that room. It's always locked and the key is in a place only I know. I deserve you more than your wife. I can give you more than you want. I know you are waiting for me with passion. I guess we'll have to be patient for this one. But if you still say let's go, you know that I will give up on my child and my husband. I've been distracted by your pictures for a long time and I want to see you as soon as possible. Goodbye Nalan" When I put the letter down, I felt hatred for that woman. It was normal that my mother really believed them. She was such a sickly woman that she made it seem like she had things that weren't there. “Do you think your father sent that woman flowers?” "I do not know." "I think no. I think every gesture he made to your mother was taken on that woman.” "Where did you get that from?" “I don't know, that's how I felt. A wise man would not give another woman the same flower he bought for his wife.” "You're right." “And I couldn't see anything absurd in those pictures either. They don't even have pictures of each other together." “The letter that woman sent is so realistic that I think I would think like my mother if I were you. Such is the psychology of women.” I still couldn't believe my father would do such a thing. Kerem's thoughts were a big factor for me to think like this, but I was the one who knew my mother. My mother could not easily give up on my father. She was not that kind of woman and she trusted my father endlessly. "I'm curious now, what does the other letter say?" "Let's see." Between the pages I found the second letter my mother wrote to my father. What happened to my mother who told me not to write to me again in her previous letter, so she wrote a letter to my father again. 10-09-2003 “Sinan; I am sending you a letter and two pictures with my letter. Your mistress sent it to our house by mistake. I think these are yours. You have nothing left to prove to me anymore. I just want you to stay away from my children and me. You can do this for the sake of all our years of marriage. You have proved everything to me with the letters you received and showed me that my thoughts were right. Your Old Wife.” “My mom still hasn't forgiven my dad. What I don't understand is that they reconciled?" “I think that woman is sick. This is evident from his writings.” Kerem was lighting a cigarette after a cigarette. Although he normally smoked a few a day, the number of cigarettes he had smoked had increased considerably since Uras' disappearance. He smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, yet he never ate. While I was reading the letters, I could not remember how many cigarettes he had lit. On the one hand, I was worried that he was sick, and I was afraid to react. At the moment, we were both detached from the world, only breathing for a news from Uras. There were only a few letters left. I wanted to read them and reconnect the threads of the past. 15-09-2003 Delicate; You will understand everything in these letters I send you. I will prove that that woman did this on purpose, in my other letter that I sent you with this letter. I have not sent that woman a flower or a letter until now. He is trying to tear us apart with the scenarios he has completely created in his head. I sent him a letter so he could confess the truth on the letter you sent. I am sending that letter to you right now. After reading it, I think you will forgive me. I have never loved anyone but you. I didn't send flowers to anyone but you. Sinan. Nalan; I am no longer at home. My family is torn apart because of you. I don't love you and I don't know what you want from me. You are happy that you achieved your goal. Sadat is my friend. How can you imagine such a union? You have no honor or pride. Come on, I'm over your husband, don't you ever think about your child? Now read this carefully. I would never leave my wife and children. And my wife will see your true face one day. Get rid of these obsessions now and tell your partner before it's too late. Let's close this issue before it gets any worse. Sinan." 20-09-2003 Hello Sinan; You think I'm a bad person. You are right too. This is what we're going through, maybe you don't care. But I don't even do this on purpose. I love you, Sinan. Is it that hard to understand? That woman doesn't deserve you. She couldn't even give you a son. Besides, he can't love you as much as I do. I don't understand what you find in this woman. Do you think it suits you at all? We should be together. I think no more resistance! I bought what I wanted so far, I will buy again. You can't imagine what I can do. You will come to me eventually. Do not forget it! Nalan.” It was that woman. The woman my mother thought had an affair with my father. In this letter, it is understood that my father is already innocent. I could not understand on what basis my mother did not trust my father. What disgusting people there are in the world. How cruel it is to break up a family and take the blame for the children. I was sure that my mother would forgive my father after reading this letter. Everything was clear now, and my father had proven his innocence. Little by little the pieces in my head were coming together. Everything my father said was true. The woman was obsessed with my father. So when did my mother forgive my father? I only have one letter left, and it was written for my parents. 30-09-2003 “My Sinan, I got the letters you sent. And what that woman sent you. I'm so sorry I didn't believe you. But there must be a way to stop this woman. If you want, we can talk and work it out together. Go home. The kids miss you so much. Well me too. I hope you can forgive me too. Delicate." Everything was tied up. We had happy days when my father came home to us. What a beautiful family we were. I wish we didn't end up like this. We had a bumpy life. In general, one would expect a sun to rise after every dark. We had never seen that sun as a family. Kerem made no comment after the letters were finished. After all, it was clear that my father was innocent. Kerem's thoughtful expressions and sad face were the expression that his mind was on our son. I went back to the balcony, taking the long ear, as I went into the room and put the letters in the closet. It wasn't just a toy. My past smelled, I felt even closer to my son. When I entered Uras' room, I wanted to die and was only consoled by this. When I went to the balcony, the long ear in my hand managed to attract Kerem's attention. “What is that in your hand? Your Uras?” “No it's me. I said I was going to the old house today. I found him in the locked room too.” "I'm glad you dared." “Let's just say that while I wanted to die these days, I didn't want to go with my eyes open.” “There must be a solution, Çağla. We didn't do well to pull the police." "At least we know you're alive, Kerem." “How can you be sure of that? How much can you trust that man?” It was the first time Kerem had raised his voice at me. Our nerves were so broken. We couldn't take what had happened anymore. I started yelling at him too. “Tell me, would I want to lose my son? Would I want to damage a strand of his hair? I am his mother. I carried it in my womb for nine months. I think and worry more than you, okay?" "Yes, it's obvious how upset you are. We don't know where our son is or what his condition is. But you go to your old house and chase your past in that mysterious room. Is this sad? Then you get up and tell me I'm not upset?" “How can you think like that, Kerem? The people who lived there were my family. As if my son was kidnapped, I went for a walk. What a thought!” “I don't know, Cagla. I don't know what to believe or what to think anymore. I'm going out to get some air." Kerem slammed the door and left without saying anything more. Don't go Kerem! What came out of my mouth was something said in anger. Frost! I mean. But he was gone. It was the first time we had shouted in such big letters. We couldn't recognize each other, we were defeated by our anger and pain. I had to do something. There was no end to it. I wanted my son with me now. Every breath I took without him was giving me hell. I lit another cigarette and started thinking about what I could do. I was thinking of facing that maniac as a last resort. Now that I could break Kerem's heart, I had nothing to lose. At this rate, I had to put an end to this before the bond between me and my husband was completely broken. Yes, I should have done that. I picked up my computer, found that maniac from the last address he emailed me, and started typing. “Hello, whatever your name is; I don't know what he wanted from me and why he waited for me for years. What harm could I have done to you, I have no idea about it. You've always hurt my loved ones. I struggled not understanding what he was doing this for. Now you have taken the most precious thing in my life from me. Please don't touch my son. I beg you for this. Your real problem is with me. I'll be at my old house in half an hour. Come over there and end this torture. Unripe almond." I clicked SEND without thinking. If I was going to lose my family a second time, I had no reason to live from now on. I remember the day Uras was born, it was exactly the size of Kerem's palm. 2500gr was born. Our lives changed in an instant, and sleepless nights began. A constantly crying baby. Kerem and I both sat and cried with him, unable to calm down his tiny gas-filled body. Whatever he did to us, no matter how sleepless he made us, he would fascinate us with a smile. I quickly got ready and left the house. I never expected that I would meet Kerem at the door of the building. We both looked at each other in astonishment. When he saw me, his eyes changed and he slowly approached me and kissed me on the forehead. "I'm sorry my love. I didn't want to tell you this. But now I'm so tired that I want my son back. Hearing her voice, touching her skin, her smell…” He covered my mouth with his hand and hugged me. I started to cry. It was nice to know that I still have tears in my eyes. He grabbed me by the waist and pulled me towards the elevator. I had to tell him. Maybe that was the last time I saw him. I put my arms around his neck and told him that I always loved him. "I must go." “Where to at this hour? Look, I'm back, it's okay, okay? Let's go home." “I have to face that maniac. I can't take it anymore Kerem. Let him take me and let my son go. His only concern is me.” "Don't be silly Cagla, you can't do that! And how do you know where he is?" “I sent a message to the address he last e-mailed me. I told him to come to the old house." "You can not do this!" “I have to do it, for our son.” “I will come too.” “If you come, he will understand and he will not come. I must go alone.” “Look, let's do this then. I will inform the police, I will wait at the door with them. If he does anything to you, keep your phone on so I know right away. Wait." Kerem called the police next to me and explained the situation. They said they would come right away. On the other hand, he called me on his cell phone and turned off the ambient sound on his own phone. Whatever happened to me, he would know by now. “Now you go ahead, I will follow you.” Just as I turn my back; I called out, "Cream". “Ece had the same toy as Uras's toy. The Star Wars toy you brought from abroad.” “But Uras never takes it out of his bag.” “I suspect something. I wonder if Sinem cooperated with that man... No, no, I'm being ridiculous. I am going. Don't forget that I love you." Walking down the road to my old house, I didn't know what was going to happen to me, so I was breaking out in a cold sweat. Maybe I would die today or be reunited with my son. When I went, plainclothes police were stationed at the beginning and end of the street. I knew them. I've seen a few of them at the police station. In order not to be recognized, some were reading the newspaper, some were covering their mouths with their hands and talking on the phone. Kerem must have realized the situation, because he started walking towards the inspector Mesut. Everyone's eyes were on me. I was aware of that. Fear took hold of me as I walked towards the building. It was the fear of death. Who knows, maybe I would die in this house where my family died. I felt like my heart was going to explode as I walked to my apartment and inserted the key into the hole. I was going to see that pervert's face for the first time and ask him to account. Maybe I would die. If I didn't do that, I would have to think about what disaster could happen to me for the rest of my life. I walked into the apartment and left the door ajar. So that Kerem can enter comfortably, and so that I can escape from the slightest thing. The hall was empty when I entered. There was no movement around. I guess my Azrael hadn't arrived yet. I sat in the chair and put my head in my hands. That's when I heard his voice. "You are late." "Where are you?" "Does it matter? Here I am." “Come out. Here I am. What do you want from me?" "Avenging my father." I didn't know the extent of my scream when I came out from behind the curtain. Let it be. This was my biggest and last fear. "Do not be afraid. Let's talk first. I don't want you to die curiously." I was unaware of the trembling in my body as he walked towards me. The same tremor was reflected in my voice. “Who is your father too?” “Sad. You know, that man who got a life sentence because of your father.” “You are that man's son.” “So you know the story.” “Yes, I just found out.” I was suddenly relieved. Because my father was innocent. That's why he couldn't kill me. He didn't know that he was innocent. If I told him about it, maybe he would give up. “There are letters…” "Shut up. At least now you know why you're going to die." “Even if there is such a thing, which does not exist. What's my fault?" When I uttered this sentence, he suddenly went crazy. It got stuck in my throat. “So what was my fault? When I was a little boy, I was left without a father because of you. I don't want any of you to live. Do you understand? You don't know what I went through. They made fun of me for years. His father is in prison, they said he is the murderer's son. However, no one knew the truth. My father had cleared his honor. Your father was solely responsible for this, and everyone who bore his blood." I had narrowly escaped. He grabbed my leg as I ran towards the door. We were both on the ground now. He realized that the phone in my pocket was unlocked when it fell to the floor. Seeing this, he got even more angry. He picked up the phone and threw it against the wall. As I stared at the shattered phone, he got even more angry, and it was certain that he was going to kill me. That's when I noticed the gun in his waistband. "You won't need it anymore anyway." He got on top of me and started slapping me. At that moment, I saw it open slowly. In the future, I had Kerem and my son in his arms. I think I'm starting to hallucinate now. “Let him go!” cried the old woman who lived in my next apartment, pushing the door with her cane. The man suddenly stood up and straightened himself up. Kerem came running after the door. Uras was in the hands of the police. The maniac, who saw Kerem running, took the gun from his waist and pulled me to himself by wrapping my neck with his other hand. I could feel the cold barrel as I held the gun to my head. "I told you to let it go!" The woman shouted harder this time. “Mom, what are you doing here? Go away!" The grumpy woman living next door to me turned out to be this crazy mother. So that's why he kept asking me to move out of here. Now only the woman was speaking and everyone was listening to her. “First listen to me, then do whatever you want.” Everyone around, including the police, Kerem, Sinem and me, were waiting for the words to come out of the woman's mouth. After a long silence, he finally spoke. “I was married. But your father was a very jealous man. He was constantly giving me life. Over time I started to dislike him. Sinan's marriage was very beautiful. He was the man who was attached to his home and kept the peace. That's what I wanted too. I was smitten with him when your father was partners with him. The gun he was holding on my head was starting to tremble, I could feel him going mad with anger. I was sweating because I would pull the trigger at any moment and not hug my son at the door. The woman continued her speech. “Even though I talked and wrote letters many times, he didn't want me. I was very rich though. I wanted to live a life with him. Sinan was a father. Your father has never been a father to you. He was greedy for money. We could get everything we wanted, but we didn't see love. He always wanted to make more money. I was tired of it. I just wanted Sinan. He always loved his wife. I him. It had become my obsession. I had prepared a room just filled with pictures of him. The feeling of rejection made me angry, I had to do something to erase his wife from that life. I wrote letters as if we were together with Sinan. I sent these to his wife. But she still chose to believe her husband. No matter what I did, I could not succeed, I could not separate them. I couldn't control my anger. I even thought of harming children. “The locked room in that house. Is that where you said you kept your jewels?" "Yeah. It was nobody's fault. Without me." The man holding a gun to my head started to sob like a child, and I couldn't stand it any longer. “So why are you saying this now? Do you know how many lives you've ruined?" "I could not do it. I did not anticipate that my husband would suddenly go and kill your family. I say because I can't take it anymore. And I know I'm going to hell." “Mom, you couldn't have done this. You're doing this to save this mess. You are lying." “No, son. These are correct. I am the one who left you without a father for years, who broke up a family, and made all of you experience this. It's all my fault. Now put that gun down." Within seconds, we saw the mother and son lying on the ground covered in blood. The man behind me had shot his mother in one go, and one of the policemen had knocked her down with a single bullet. It was an event that I could not erase from my memory for a long time, when two people were covered in blood and shot. I don't know if the real criminals got the punishment they deserved. I wouldn't want it to be like this. The medics, who were already waiting at the door of the house, immediately went into the hall and began to take care of the wounded. As Kerem grabbed me and pulled me towards him, I thought that I would never see my family again. My son, my dear son, Uras, was at the door in the arms of a policeman. I immediately grabbed her and hugged her tightly. We missed each other so much. We were hugging and crying. The tears this time were for our happiness. I felt his body with my hands. Had he harmed her? Was it hurt? I wanted to learn all this. Is the nightmare really over now? It's hard to believe after all we've been through. I closed and opened my eyes a few times, yes my son was in my arms and he was perfectly healthy. As Kerem's tears descended on his elongated beard, he hugged his son and me tightly. We were tired, sleepless and hungry. We could hardly stand. But a single sentence of my son was enough to make him forget all this. “I missed you so much, mommy.” Things were slowly starting to unravel. The nightmare that started with my mother and father first ended with my son, thankfully even his hair was not harmed. I learned that this man, whose real name is Fırat, and who introduces himself as Semih even to Sinem, finally learned about his problem with me, even if it was dangerous. There were lives lost, bad fates and an unknown future all because of one woman's fantasies. The old woman, who introduced herself as Love to those in the building and whose real name was Nalan, was dead. Perhaps the only culprit was serving his sentence. I wish none of this had happened and my family could have been alive. That person, called Firat, had escaped with injuries in the incident. I didn't think he would ever recover from the blow he received from his mother. As they were taking him to the hospital, I looked deep into his eyes and said: “The world of meat-making.” When I saw her in that state, the state of Sinem while she was in the hospital came to my mind. Although they did not have similar experiences, one of his own souls had also left him psychologically damaged. Have you ever thought why children always suffer the punishment of parents? His child, Ece, would also be condemned to the same fate. Sinem and Ece were still in our lives. Even though he infiltrated us and leaked information to that man called Fırat, we did not complain about him. Because he looked at Uras like his eyes. We sat and talked on the evening of the day the gun was put on my head. What he told me was a sign of his desperation. “After my baby was born, Semih knew he had a child. He came to my house one night. I couldn't open the door for fear of going through the same things. Then he sent a note under the door, and then I opened the door. In that note it read: “I will not harm you or my daughter. I know I've done bad things to you so far. But she is my daughter too. If I want, I can take it from you too. But that's not what I want. Open the door and let's talk." He settled into the living room and began to speak. “You think your family will never forgive you. You are right to think so. But I can fix all this. I can have my child. I'll do all that, but I'm going to ask you to do one little thing. "What do you want?" “Infiltrating the lives of Çağla and Kerem and constantly bringing me information. I want you to do whatever I ask about it.” Tears were flowing from her eyes as Sinem talked about what had happened. I waited tirelessly for his speech to be over. I had no other choice. I agreed. I didn't know you kidnapped Uras when you brought him home. I don't know if I would have let it happen if I had known. They had such strange ways that I was afraid that he would do something to Ece and Uras. Have peace of mind. I looked at Uras with my eyes. Besides, you know it's no different for me than Ece. Uras begged me every day. He told his mother that he wanted to go. I sat and cried with him. Because I couldn't. You saw us when you took Ece Uras's toy and went out. I knew you understood. I explained the situation to Semih. He hit me with the gun in his hand. I was unconscious for a while. When I came to, he was not at home. That's when I realized you were cheating on me. I immediately took the kids and went downstairs. I did not know that neither Çağla nor Semih were at home. Afterwards, I already delivered Uras to Kerem. What I did is unforgivable. So I have nothing more to say to you.” "You delivered my son to me safely, the rest doesn't matter." We hugged for a long time with Sinem. It was the gratitude of two mothers to each other. Not everyone can be a mother. They were the mothers of all children. At the Çengelköy Cemetery where my family is currently lying, while Kerem and Uras pour water on the cemetery, I look at my parents and my sister and think. I knew that these people, whose lives were ruined for nothing, were watching me from the sky. I could see that every time the sun rose on Uras, they loved him, and every time the sun disappeared, they felt sorry for me. I was talking to them. I promised to be happy for the rest of my life so that they would know that I would be happy, that I had a family. I was finally able to finish my book. More precisely, we wrote it together with Kerem. The title of the book is 'The Vortex.' It was a powerful novel. We had learned that it would be sent to an appropriate publishing house and published. Now that we've settled everything, it's time to leave this city. Kerem received a job offer from Izmir and we set off without thinking. Although it was difficult to leave our friends in Istanbul, we had to get rid of the bad memories here. Again, we found a house close to the sea, at a distance where I could smell it. Small but cute. Uras was a little upset about leaving Ece. But they were already looking at the girl next door. Kerem, on the other hand, was not happy with him because his family was with him and he was safe. Sometimes life takes more than people, but you experience such an explosion of happiness with the bonuses it gives that you can't even believe it.