(Quick note: This is one of the fonts I downloaded, so it might not show up as such for everyone. My one pre-existing K font using Roman letters, Kino, was too crowded and hard on the eyes to read for extended periods.)
Chapter: "Katrin Discovers Anastasiya’s Secret"
Book: The Twelfth Time: Lyuba and Ivan on the Rocks
Written: 28-30 June 2011
Computer created on: 2008 15-inch MacBook Pro
File format: Word 2004
This is the 10th chapter of my second Russian historical novel, one of the summer vacation chapters. Every summer since 1923, Lyuba and her friends have stayed for two weeks at Coney Island (to coincide with the paid union vacations of Ivan, Aleksey, and Nikolas), and then gone to a rented five-story house on Long Island until Labor Day. Katrin pays for the rental house.
During Summer 1925, Anastasiya has settled into the top floor, instead of as usual staying with her best friend’s family. Everyone is wondering about this, and why she so rarely comes out or interacts with anyone. Katrin and her little sister Viktoriya decide to finally investigate, and discover Anastasiya’s trip to Paris in February involved more than just her first fashion show.
Anastasiya has always been so fun to write, over the 20 years I’ve been with her. She’s the secondary antagonist of the first two books, but she’s not a mean-spirited person. She’s more of a delusional, meddling hypocrite. And her reactions are so predictable, they’re comical. Even when she’s caught in a potential scandal, she continues with her hypocrisy and unintentional comedy.
"I’ll be up to her room later to make her come," Katrin says. "She’s deluding herself if she thinks she can take a vacation on my dime and barely do anything with us. I’m sure there are some good spas around here where she can start feeling normal again."
"Do you think Nástya’s been having a love affair?" Katrin asks. "Perhaps after all that talk about how she’s better-off without kids or a man because it’d ruin her fashion empire, she felt embarrassed when she found a man anyway. Sure we’ll laugh at her expense and say we told her so, but we’ll be happy for her if she has found a beau. Though I can’t imagine how she’s been sneaking him in and out of the house if she has."
"Are you hiding a boyfriend?" Viktóriya demands. "Or are you dying of cancer?" She pulls the bag away from Anastásiya in the hopes of finding some kind of proof of an affair or a disease inside.
"I’m about twenty weeks too!" Katrin says. "You got pregnant around the same time I did, and you never even told your own best friend so we could enjoy being pregnant together?"
"It’s not supposed to hurt unless you have a thoughtless and brutal lover or a medical issue, like a very thick hymen," Katrin says. "Can you please stop using the silly word ‘maidenhood’? That’s an abstract, male-defined concept, not a membrane."
Katrin goes over to look and sees Iván getting out of the car. "I guess Konev wanted to spend the vacation weekend and his birthday with his family. I hope his mother is having a sobbing fit about it. She should be embarrassed at herself, forty-six years old now and thinking her grown son is still a helpless little boy."
"Oh, well this is one piece of gossip that’s not going anywhere," Katrin smirks. "I’d say you’ll still have ample time to see the proof for about twenty more weeks, and any time thereafter, in another form."
"I’d never deny myself breakfast. I never fast before Communion anyway. I usually just make something up in Confession so I can be cleared for Communion. Since when do I ever sin?"
Anastásiya takes the lift down and strolls along the street. As much as she’s grown used to the Upper East Side, she’s at least thankful she’ll only be going back to the Upper West Side and not the Lower East Side, where she started her life in America. There’s not much difference between the two sides of Uptown Manhattan. As she’s passing by an alley, she stops in her tracks when she sees two people having relations under a fire escape. Her eyes widen when she realizes the man is Borís.
"Are you sure you didn’t already lose your maidenhood earlier and just didn’t know it, or were in denial about it?" Borís asks. "God made the female body in such a way that women would feel devastating pain upon being deflowered. It lets the man know she’s a pure, untouched virgin. Only sluts and whores enjoy their first coitus, let alone actively seek it out."
"Don’t pay any attention to her, Ksyusha," Borís barks. "It really should hurt when a girl first has coitus. Perhaps she was just too drunk to remember the pain."
"You’re a complete dog, Malenkov. I’m not even going to ask why you were doing that in public when you have your own house."