Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s, when almost-19-year-old NYU freshman Igor Konev saw a pair of incredibly beautiful feet under a library carrel. Though he came to the library to pick up a few more books to pad out a bibliography for a paper due next Friday (his birthday), he decides he has to meet this woman before taking care of business.
Part of the interior of NYU’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, Copyright Marilyn Cole
Igor turns around and retraces the path past this row of carrels, keeping count of how many carrels he passes after the one occupied by the woman with sexy feet. That way, he won’t make a mistake, and will know for sure just which woman he wants to talk to. For all he knows, she might already have a boyfriend or date lined up for the weekend, but it can’t hurt to at least ask.
On his way to the seventh carrel from the right, Igor passes three men in various military uniforms, a woman in a yellow dress with white polka dots, a woman in a dark peach dress, and his cousin Luiza Eristova. When Luiza sees him out of the corner of her eye, she turns around and opens her mouth, but Igor shakes his head.
“I want to speak with the girl on your left,” he whispers. “We can meet later if you want.”
“Oh, good, you’re finally taking an interest in women. It’s high time you got a date. If she says yes, you can quadruple with Ilyushka and Mila, me and my weekend date, and Zoyechka and her weekend date.”
I didn’t originally have any plans to do much with Luiza (now a sophomore at NYU’s Washington Square campus for women), but since she’s at the same school as so many other important characters, I figured I’d finally elevate her beyond a minor character. She and Igor are actually stepcousins, but Igor and his siblings have grown up considering their mother’s stepsisters their full aunts, and thus their children are their real cousins. Towards the end of the third book, Lyuba finally granted her belovèd stepfather his dearest wish and began calling him Papa instead of Ilya Nikolayevich.