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, as Igor Konev’s cousin Luiza Eristova has put in a good word for him with the girl who caught his fancy. Luiza said he was a very good boy, and Igor felt obliged to correct her and say he’s a man, at almost 19 years old.
Luiza’s follow-up comment is meant in good fun, not meanness. In my other WIP, my character Csilla says something very similar to her new boyfriend Imre after his defensive overreaction in explaining Old Spice is cologne, not perfume.
At any rate, the girl with sexy feet and exotic hair obligingly goes with him to a part of the library where they can talk more. On the way there, Igor notices something unexpected.
Luiza smirks. “You fellows are all alike, imagining yourselves as strong, mighty men when you’re barely more than boys. Will the world end if your manliness isn’t constantly validated? All that talk about being the stronger, superior sex is just insecure posturing.”
The woman with sexy feet and exotic tresses packs up her art supplies, pushes back her chair, and stands up. As she walks with Igor to a table in an area of the library without such a severe quietness policy, Igor notices her limping, particularly in her right leg. Wanting to be a gentleman, he says nothing, but wonders if perhaps she’s gussied up her feet so much to compensate for having a limp.
“My name is Violetta,” she says when they’ve taken their seats at the far end of the closest empty table.
It’ll take Igor till near the end of the book (about three and a half years later) before he discovers the true reason for Violetta’s limp. Keeping the secret of being a polio survivor is no easy task, as a number of Igor’s New York relatives and friends are well-aware of this, as are his two oldest siblings.