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Black Rose (Chapter 13-End)

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13

“Demir, I found her! I’ve been looking for her in all the wrong places all these years. She is back in Halfeti, working as a –”

“As a what? Where?” Demir asked with obvious impatience. Aker stopped himself from saying anything further.

“Well, my dear Dr. Polat,” he continued with a fake yawn, “I’ll call you first thing in the morning. When we are both wide awake. I’ve been driving all day long, and you certainly sound like you’d need a good night’s sleep also.”

Feeling as excited as a child on Sugar Fest, Aker couldn’t fall asleep. His imagination took him on a joyous ride, where Melek and Demir joined hands. Their Melis next to them – no longer a secret to her father.

14

Huban took her medications from where she had hid them. In fierce pain, she got up. Almost stumbling over her feet with each of her steps, she walked to the bathroom. She threw all pills in the toilet and flushed. For a while, she followed the twirling water – her head feeling its heaviest. She turned around. Her face was glancing at her. She hadn’t noticed before. A small, square mirror hung above the wash basin.

15

Remember the day, Butrus, when we met at our new retreat, ‘Yeni Halfeti Café’? How I nagged the owner for keeping our town’s old name? I still think ‘Karaotlak’ fits it better. The home of black roses should strut ‘black’ in its name. Do you remember, how, after my lecture-filled fit, you distracted me in your usual sweet manner? Teaching me our song, my very first English song? The only one I could ever memorize...


When you're down and out

When you're on the street

When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you

I'll take your part


Oh, when darkness comes


And pain is all around


Like a bridge over troubled water

I will lay me down

16

“Good morning, Mrs. Güven.” Huban’s mother always received a friendly welcome from the nurses. Her now well-known routine was to arrive at the hospital before the doctors began their morning rounds. “She should be about to wake up now,” the youngest added in a low voice. They all watched her go in to her daughter’s room in quiet steps and close the door behind her in the same careful way.

Huban wasn’t in her bed. Her mother knocked on the bathroom door: “Good morning, baby! Do you need anything in there?” The lack of any sound made her panic. She tried the door. It was locked. She ran out to the hallway, asking for help. One of the male nurses shouldered the door. Huban was lying on the edge of the shower. Her wrists, her robe, the floor, the hand basin were all in blood. Her useless hands were still wrapped in gauze. On the left side of her head, lain a shiny piece. Her mouth was filled with blood, pieces of her lips dangled away from it...

17

“I loved her so. God, I loved her so! As if she were my own.”

“My dear Mrs. Güven, believe me I know,” Aker spoke in despair. His feelings of guilt were suffocating him. Yet, he was grateful she broke the adoption agency’s code for secrecy. He wrapped his arms around her. They stayed in tight embrace for a long time. He then helped her outside, inch by inch, afraid she might fall, losing her balance from the heavy sedatives. He had just seated her in his car, when she turned to Aker – her face distorted by sorrow, and asked:

“Can we say her night nurse goodbye? She treated Huban and me with such caring respect all this time. I never learned her name. I don’t think my Huban did, either.”

Aker’s heart ached beyond consoling. ‘She requested a transfer,’ he had overheard the head nurse tell the others that morning, while waiting for everyone to clear Huban’s room.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Güven but she no longer works here,” Aker replied, sad to disappoint her. Much sadder to have lost Melek by a few hours...Yet, comforted to know she was saved from finding out her Melis’ tragic fate.

18

Back in the hospital, an attendant was called in to get Huban’s room ready for a new patient. His first stop, per strict instructions, was the bathroom. When he left it, the space was showing no trace of the horrifying scene many witnessed earlier that morning. That the bed was made took him by surprise. The head nurse had told him it was untouched – exactly how Huban had gotten out of it. He reached over and pulled open the covers to start with the fresh linens. He let out a big moan, thinking what he saw on Huban’s pillow to be a violin spider. Jumping back, his elbows hit the side bars. When that jolt didn’t make the thing move, he felt safe to take a closer look at it. His teen eyes were witnessing the most beautiful sight he had ever caught: a black rose.






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Copyright © The copyright of all stories, poems, non-fictional essays and any and all uncategorized writings under the user name "hopeful4" belongs to hülya yılmaz.

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