(Quick note: This post is bolded because this font is a bit light on the eyes in plain format.)
Font: Footlight MT Light
Year created: 1985
Chapter: “Facing the Music in Minnesota”
Book: The Twelfth Time: Lyuba and Ivan on the Rocks
Written: 30 October-1 November 2011
Computer created on: 2008 15-inch MacBook Pro
File format: Word 2004
This is Chapter 43 of my second Russian historical novel. Like Chapter 41, “Union with a Snake,” it just came flowing out of me, after all those years of keeping it memorized in my head. This was one of those chapters I’d had planned out in particular detail for so many years. And it was really emotionally hard to write, just as I always tear up reading what Ivan thinks is his farewell speech to Lyuba in the first book.
In Chapter 42, “Lonely in Their Nightmares,” Ivan received the letters Boris sent him bragging about the “affair” with Lyuba, including the letter Boris pretended was from Lyuba herself. Now Lyuba finally arrives in Minnesota, after having written a letter explaining everything. Boris has also been forced to write a confession, decidedly non-apologetic, from jail. Her hopes are crushed when she realizes Ivan hasn’t yet received those truthful letters.
He turns on her and says he wants a divorce and is taking all four of their children from her. Her one small hope is that she’s left her baby Igor, whom Ivan believes died at birth, in the heated garage. If Ivan does divorce her, she’ll still have one child left he doesn’t know about.
In the letter Lyuba wrote, she says she loves Ivan so much she’ll let him divorce her if he doesn’t believe her innocence. Just as he told her when he thought he was saying goodbye forever on the eve of their wedding, she’d rather let him go so he can be happy than force him to be with her if he’ll be miserable and doesn’t love her anymore.
Some highlights, so to speak:
Lyuba pushes the stroller over to a corner and parks it there. She covers him with a blanket, leans down, and kisses her baby before leaving the garage. At least she’ll still have her youngest if Iván does greet her with anger. She’ll go back into the garage and take off with him, Iván none the wiser.
“So you’ve finally come,” he says harshly. “I suppose it would be overly cruel to make you stand outside in the cold. I’ll say my piece to you, and then you can get the hell out of my sight.”
“I didn’t deceive you about anything. I’ve always loved you. I’ve loved you since I was eight years old. You’re the only man I’ll ever love. I wasn’t in command of all my senses when this happened. Please give me a chance to explain.”
“What’s wrong, cat got your tongue? You sure had plenty to say in your shameless letter! Our marriage is over. Now that you’re here, I can file for divorce and try to forget I ever got mixed up with such a whore. How could you attach horns to me after you swore so many times you’d never do that? And with our worst enemy!”
“Go the hell back to New York and leave me alone. Don’t even try to go upstairs to see my children. You’re lucky I’m even letting you see them a few times a year after how you’ve stabbed me in the back. After everything I’ve ever done for you over the last twenty-one years, you do this? What was going through your mind? Was it really worth it?”
Tatyana stands up and looks in Iván’s direction accusingly. “How can you be so mean? We all moved out here because we were having so many problems. This was supposed to solve our family’s problems. Don’t start problems all over again when our family is finally all together again and supposed to start over. Mátushka loves you very much and would be very sad if she had to leave you.”
Before you make any rash decisions, please, please, please remember everything we’ve been through together over the last twenty-one years. Remember everything we’ve done and felt about one another. Even if Borís has told you I don’t love you, you can’t honestly believe that. You have no heart and soul if you could ever believe I faked the last going on twenty-two years. I know I was confused many times in the past and ran away from you, but you were always the only man I carried in my heart.
“Why should I believe you changed your mind so quickly? You said you hated me and never wanted to see me again, and said I didn’t deserve to have my precious children!”
“My sweet Lyubashechka is not a whore, no matter what happens to you. And God knows, I pushed you far past the breaking point. I should be honoring you for holding out the entire time, and having a negative reaction when you found out you were involved in that scandal. I guess if you’d really wanted to be unfaithful, you would’ve done it long ago and not waited till we were almost ready to reunite.”
“Now every time we look at them, we’ll be reminded of how happy and in love we were when we finally became husband and wife,” he says as he turns the box upside-down on the bed to get his wedding ring. “They do say that a couple in trouble should look at their crowns to remind themselves of how much they really love each other.”