A fierce want filled her then, she wanted to see him in person, though she had no idea of what he looked like, she wanted him to be here and to put this necklace on her with his own hands. At that moment she felt impatient to see him, the months before their wedding seeming to stretch out endlesslessly. At that moment she knew, that though she had never once laid eyes upon him, though she did not know whether he was fat or bald or short, though she did not know his good or bad habits beyond what the letters had told her, his words and actions had already won her heart.
In the week that followed her receipt of the gift, she spent majority of her time reading through the book and the accompanying scrolls. The book was interesting in a way that she had not anticipated at all. The writing style was different from any other history book she had read before; each chapter detailing a different period of time. The author made the the writing engrossing by including stories, first hand accounts and political analyses. The chapter about the rein Sultan Selim, Mehmed father was the longest and most engrossing, because it touched upon current politics and situations. She made a lot of notes and had many questions, her latest letter getting longer and longer, the further she read.
Finally, after a week of obsessive reading she had gone through the entire book, having accumulated about five feet of parchment worth of thoughts and questions. She sent off her letter with the awaiting rider, who had been instructed by Mehmed to await her response. She had agonised about whether or not to send a gift to Mehmed in exchange for the necklace, and ultimately decided to wait until she had time to find the perfect gift.
While she awaited his response, the wedding preparations were going full steam ahead. Because she had shirked her duties in order to read, the previous week, this week she was extremely busy. She was dragged from one dress fitting to another, to a luncheon with the court ladies, to welcoming the guests which had started arriving. It was in this hectic atmosphere that one guest arrived who she had been awaiting impatiently. Her elder brother Ahmer and his wife Afshan were here. Ahmer, being the crown prince had been touring the nation for the last two years, building alliances and gathering support while also getting to know his people. His wife Afshan, Gul’s dearest friend had of course accompanied him.
To be continued…