STUART Highway made a run for it amid his battle with cancer, leaving his brother Callum behind.
The character played by Tony Clay crumbles after his disappearance in an upcoming instalment of EastEnders.
In recent weeks, tough man Stuart (Ricky Champ) struggled to come to terms with his male breast cancer diagnosis, pushing his wife Rainie (Tanya Franks) away.
But when he finally seems to be ready to face the music, Stuart's denial fails to evaporate as he is also haunted by old addiction demons.
This started as soon as he was told his diagnosis by a doctor, when he stormed out of hospital.
Stuart was then found drinking at The Vic but was asked to leave by Mick.
Sonia Fowler became the first person to learn of his condition.
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Far from willing to face his illness, Stuart eventually made an impromptu exit and his close ones are left desperately confused.
In scenes due to air on BBC One, Rainie is the first one to panic as she continues her search for her other half.
However, Callum soon gets overwhelmed.
While at restaurant Walford East, Callum crumbles in front of Ben (Max Bowden), utterly distraught by Stuart's disappearance.
But Callum's distress turns into exasperation as his husband hesitates to comfort him, after getting back into the closet due to the fear of being attacked over his homosexuality.
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Ben was left traumatised by a recent homophobic attack during which he helplessly saw Callum being beaten in front of him.
However, Callum's patience is running low as he snaps at Ben.
Yet there's another reason for Ben to shy away from Callum.
Little do Callum and Rainie know that Ben is behind Stuart's escape.
When Stuart turned to him, Ben encouraged him to leave Albert Square and his troubles behind.
Ben has yet to admit this to Rainie and Callum.
And he could be set to finally come clean about his responsibility in Stuart's disappearance in upcoming scenes of the soap.
How will Callum and Rainie react to the news?
Will Stuart come back to Walford and continue his cancer battle?
Or is Stuart's denial too strong for him to overcome?
All that and more on EastEnders.
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