The Choice

Ayşe had kept count of how many days Seyit had been gone. He had been gone for thirty days. Thirty days in which Mürvet lived as before. Ayşe observed her as she woke up at the crack of dawn, drew the fire in the kitchen, went to fetch water and cleaned every inch of her home. When her mother returned from the market she would offer her tea and make small talk, no sign of sorrow on her face. When she could Mürvet would return to her room and come down stairs only to prepare dinner. She would play with her food, taking small bites to avoid being reprimanded for not eating by Emine. She would be the first to start cleaning the table, the first in the kitchen washing dishes, Ayşe suspected that in these short moments when she was alone she showed her grief. She was resilient but she wasn't made out of steel. Any person would be hurt if they had been left by their spouse two days into their marriage


Mürvet did not need to examine what went wrong with Seyit, for she knew and Ayşe always reminded her. He yearned for another and every time she looked him in his eyes she was sure she would see another love. She had to determine where she went wrong to never again find herself hurting herself and others. She determined it was making him the protagonist of her stories, it was staying up at night wishing upon a star for his love. It was believing Ayşe when she said that woman was just a woman in his company, it was believing he could love her, it was naivety.

She had been naive enough to believe her own fairytales, she had been naive enough to trust her hope, and now she was going to learn the hard way not to believe her own mind. He dearest baba came to her mind every time she sat alone in her room, he used to sleep with Mürvet on his left side and Mehire on his right. Usually Mehire fell asleep first, Mürvet would stay awake, her eyes wide as if waiting to detect any moving figures in the dark. Baba would tell her he could see different worlds in her eyes, for she was an old soul with a young heart. She now understood what he meant, she was naive enough to believe, to love someone who did not love her, but she was wise enough to learn and to find a solution out of her pain.

No mistake is irreparable, her mother had told her. So she would start the healing now. As she wrote to Seyit she asked him to return so that they could both find their freedom. A divorce would be the best solution to all of this pain, shame and guilt. She chose her words carefully, she needed him to know that she did not hate him. She had been willing to go ahead with this marriage, therefore she held herself equally accountable for how this had imploded. She only needed him to return as quickly as possible to ensure freedom.


Mürvet did not mistrust him because she had no trust to begin with. Ayşe would try to irk her with comments about how Seyit was probably roaming the streets of Anatolia without her. When those comments did not work, she would insinuate Seyit had left with his lover, essentially cheating on Mürvet. However, Mürvet figured he could do as he pleased, he could not cheat on a stranger. That is what they were, two strangers connected by only a promise, one that she had collected the papers necessary to break.

For the first three days she kept rereading his only letter to her, he was leaving for them, to give them time, to fight for their country….

"…to have a marriage we will first need to have a country…" he had written words that were soothing to her nerves, that once again planted the seed of hope in her heart. As the days went on the flame dimmed, with only one letter to keep her afloat, her hope began to burn out.

The rational part of her brain told her that divorce was the only solution, the irrational part of her brain told her to trust the words in his letter, to trust his heart. A heart, unknown to her, it had been so easy to leave her… Did Seyit not realize how hard it was to build trust from a distance?


He was an expert at taking out the enemy. Gun loaded, aimed, pull the trigger. Turns out Mürvet was also an expert too. Words loaded and sent, drilling holes right in the heart. Her words hurt because he thought that with time her anger would lessen, instead he was killing her slowly. His silence left blank gaps which she filled with her own assumptions of what she imagined Seyit was thinking. She had acted on these wrong assumptions. He did not want a divorce not then and not now when she was finding a home in his heart.

As his horse galloped through wooded areas he scrunched up her letter in his hand. He would not accept defeat, he would not accept her goodbye when she was beginning to live in his dreams. Her last words to him would not be goodbye, not when he dreamed with her voice. His time away was to grant them a new beginning not an end to their relationship, she had to understand this, he could explain it so. He had woken up far from his future, from his bride, for many days now, but from now on when the night filtered through their windows he would wake next to her. He would arrive armed and ready, with his affection and devotion, ready for her. This time she had to believe him whether she was ready or not. He would buy the most beautiful diamond necklace that the finest jeweler in Pera could find and hoped that this time he and his gifts would not be rejected.

"Nice necklace. She'll love it."

A voice, he had not heard in months, a sight his eyes could not believe. He had faced Mürvet's pain after the wedding but he had yet to face Şura's. He knew the hour and day he ended their story. He did not realize the eulogy to their heart-wrenching story awaited him. It was as if his decision to marry ripped open every wound in his past and his choice to go home to his wife was forcing him to face every crevice of every wound. Here he and Şura faced a love that destiny did not allow to live out. A love that was witnessed by and would tremble under the streets of Pera, but a love they both had to release.

"Do you still love me?"

He had to write out every word of their love's eulogy. They had been a torrid passionate affair, with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. They had lived in pain, lust, destruction, and with passion. They swam in blood and murky waters. They loved greatly but were desolate. During an eulogy, one tries to preserve a memory and a life. One risks idolizing their lost ones, but his and Sura's love need not be idolized after death. He would much rather remember it as good love. A love that wholeheartedly took his breath away.

"When I told you that I loved you a hundred times your heart did not believe me. It doubted me. It still doubts me. Now the words leaving my lips, would kill that innocent woman. We're on different paths now. Goodbye."

This was the end to a young love. A love that blossomed as many do without knowing what the future holds. This was the end to a young love to make room for mature loves. It was that first love, the first waves of euphoria that come with walking by your loved one, the echoes of that euphoria he'd feel on a lazy afternoon decades from now. A love that they had failed to preserve and left it to be tested and doubted in the hand of many others. A love that that made him a better man for he had the good fortune to be loved so bravely, so fiercely, by a good woman. It was that goodness in her that he sought to preserve, she belonged to other and better worlds.

As he always knew it would always have to him, it had always been him who left her. He knew that it had to be him to say the final goodbye. For the world she would leave behind, the world he lived in, the stormy torrents wold end the very moment his compatriots emerged victorious, but until then, more agony was sure to come to this land. She need not live in more war. For in this world he would continue to live in, he would do so with the woman he had chosen to marry. It was clear who his actions were choosing as his feet carried him out the jewelry shop.

With Şura a part of his youth was departing, they had gone through all their growing pains together. As the distance between them grew, as their branches grew apart, their roots would always be tied together. As he grew closer to his new home, he felt wiser. He was going back to their start, he was still on time, to prevent any more pain, to reverse the pain he had caused. He had opened a door for her to enter through. He was not falling in love, he was walking towards love, eyes wide open with experience, choosing what streets to take, what steps to take, whose hand to hold.

A Diamond Necklace.

She was a sight for sore eyes, porcelain skin as bright as ever. Eyes shocked as his fingers brushed against her preventing the water tumbler from falling and spilling over her. As he smiled at her he knew his grainy memories had done her no justice. They found themselves once again by the fountain where they first laid eyes on each other. The water in the fountain sprinkled under the sun's rays much like his wife. She resisted his jokes and walked away as quickly as she could. As he carried the tumblers of water, he hoped that they'd soon be like water. Water does not resist, may one day his wife laugh openly at his jokes and not resist him. He wanted to plunge into water and feel her caress. Water is adaptable, running through rivers, canals, and ocean deep, he would need her to flow with him everywhere he went. A source of life, he'd need to breathe. Water is patient, he would need to be patient, for her heart needed time to open up. When it does, he'd treasure it in his hands. He knew this would not be easy but he knew that they could make it. Because even when one cannot cross obstacles, water does. Water goes through them.

"I want a marriage which will go on forever with love. I want us to be a happy family. We have a long path ahead of us. We'll get to know eachother while walking on that road. We won't turn back. We won't stumble this time. No matter how big or how strong it is… no obstacle can bar us from our path."

As his finger tips delicately skimmed the skin on her neck, he could sense her nervousness. He never wanted her to be afraid of him so he moved slowly, always meeting her eyes. Tonight, was just for them two. She was going to know him, not just his body, he would speak with his eyes, he would embrace her with his soul. He pushed her hair back, as he did her hair soft like feathers, slid through his fingers. Every single one of his touches held purpose, she need not hid away from him with her hair, she need not lower her eyes away from him. He would love her tenderly, in every way, physically and emotionally.

He kissed every part of her beautiful face, the face he had began to miss, out there in the middle of nowhere. He kissed her gently and slowly as if they had all the time in the world, because he knew they had. He kissed her with curious delight. He kissed her like this was the first time his lips touched another's. Shyly she ran her hands on his body, over the dents and scars of his heart, painting his heart different colors, colors he could not replace. She touched his skin, skin which she'd write new stories on. Her soul laid pressed against his heart, as he reached out to caress her, she was taking him whole. She was smothering his thoughts, in his heart flowing with affection, entering through one of his senses and overtaking them all.