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, from Chapter 55, “The Streets of the Future,” of my WIP A Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University. This chapter, which closes Part I (to be published as Volume I), is mostly set over Orthodox Christmas 1950.
Twenty-year-old Bogdana Sheltsova, who survived two horrific, life-altering events six weeks apart, is now living with her aunt Fyodora in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. She didn’t expect her friend Achilles to visit with roses and a heart-shaped rose quartz necklace after their awkward last encounter in the underground clinic where Achilles assists.
They went to another room to speak privately, and Achilles asked Bogdana to be his girlfriend. As mutual as the attraction is, and as much as Achilles keeps insisting he doesn’t see her as damaged and unworthy, Bogdana won’t let herself believe this is real. Now, finally, she consents to let Achilles put the necklace on her.
Bogdana begins sobbing even harder. “Before I was attacked, I would’ve laughed at this as childish, cheap, and insulting. Now it’s the sweetest, most genuine thing in the world.”
Achilles rubs her shoulders. “You don’t have to be my woman if you don’t like me, but I’d be the happiest guy in the city if you say yes and take my heart.”
“Are you absolutely sure you want a vile whore like me?”
“I keep telling you, I don’t see you like that at all. I want to heal your heart, your mind, your soul, if you’ll have me.”
Bogdana slumps into a chair and lets Achilles fasten the necklace around her. She sobs from deep in her soul as Achilles kneels beside her and takes her hands.