Hours of waiting and hiding in the last car of the train – the one full with suitcases and other stuff – finally ends; we are now in Istanbul. 'We're here, Fatmagül,' I whisper. She clutches my hand as we sneak through the crowd of people in the station, trying not to get noticed.
Out of the station, I wander around not knowing where to go. Then I see him. Those eyes, that look… Fatmagül holds my hand tighter seeing him. He looks back and runs toward us.
'Run!' I exclaim. We run as fast as we can, trying not to get caught. I can feel my heartbeat getting quicker by the minute. Then I come to the point when I can't do it anymore. I stop in the middle of a bridge. 'Stand back, Fatmagül' I say, 'let me handle this myself.'
'So it looks like someone's brave enough to face me. Remember what I did to your family?'
'You killed them. People thought you killed me too.' Silence. Even the wind stops whispering. As if I stopped time itself.
'I was about to kill you. But your mother got in the way!'
'I thought I killed the family. But then people saw you, then there came the rumours about the Karabulut girl who survived the killing, then I started searching you. Apparently I don't have to; you decided to come here and face me. Now's the time to do what I've been wanting to do for years. I'll kill you!'
'Why? What did my family ever do to, well, yours?'
'No need to ask, Ayşe.' He takes an old newspaper with the headline THE GREATEST ROBBERY OF THE YEAR. I skim through the words and found a name that I seem to remember. Aydın Karabulut – I think I know.
'But there's bound to be more than one Aydın Karabulut in Istanbul! What were you thinking?'
'He looks like your father.'
It all starts falling into place. The memories. I was in my room, then the murderer came. My mother rushed in to save me, and she sacrificed herself. He shot two times; the first one hit my mother and the other one hit a wall. I ran away and I became homeless ever since.
'Now it's the time to kill you!' He takes a gun then points it at me. But then a woman runs toward me and stops in front of me. 'Over my dead body!' she shouts.
'Hatice? I thought you were dead!'
'No, your bullet missed me and hit a tree. I ran away just like Ayşe, but we didn't run away together.'
'Who are you?' I ask her.
'You'll know later, Ayşe.'
'How do you know?'
She doesn't answer. He is ready to shoot me. But this mysterious woman who might be my sister – Hatice – moves his hand, pointing it to the strait. When he shoots the bullet, it hits the water and makes a splash.
'Come with me,' she says.
'What about Fatmagül?'
'She can come.'
We arrive in a small, one-bedroomed apartment and apparently a man has been waiting.
'How do you know your sister's here, Hatice?'
'I have a feeling.'
'So that's Ayşe, the girl you've been talking about?'
'Yes,' she replies, 'and you know she's my sister.'
'Sister?' I exclaim, surprised.
'You don't know?' All right then, now you know, don't be shocked. And he,' she points to the man, 'is my husband, Yıldırım.'
'Then you wouldn't be Hatice Karabulut anymore.'
'No, I'm Hatice Deniz now.'
'Times have changed.'
'What about me?' Fatmagül asks.
'This is Fatmagül, a girl I met on the streets. We're friends now.'
'So, aşkım,' my sister says to Yıldırım, 'can we let them stay here?'
'Well, I think it's a good idea. But what about the little girl's father?' he points to Fatmagül.
'He's being cruel to her, almost beating her to death for getting paint on his shirt,' I explain.
'All right then.'