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 a bit after last week’s, when Inga and Yuriy got into a taxi going to Yuriy’s grandmother and aunt’s boarding house in the Russian neighborhood of Hamilton Heights.
On the drive up, Inga asked Yuriy if he were married and had children, and was very surprised to learn a 23-year-old man has never had a real girlfriend. Yuriy has had a few dates here and there, but nothing leading to going steady. He claims women don’t like red hair, though Inga thinks he’s rather attractive.
Yuriy taps her on the shoulder when the taxi stops in front of a five-story wooden building. “This is my babushka and aunt’s boarding house. I’ll make sure you get a room.”
After Yuriy helps her out of the taxi and pays the chauffeur, he lifts her onto her luggage again and wheels her towards the door. He turns her around and wheels her in backwards, then takes her to the desk. Inga immediately knows why Yuriy’s aunt is a spinster when she sees how fat this woman is. Yuriy’s grandmother easily looks about ten years older than Inga’s grandparents, though perhaps some of that is due to the turmoil of surviving the Civil War.
“Babushka, Tyotya Zina, you’ll never believe who this is. Ginny Kharzin had a child with Georgiya Savvina when she was here for Tyotya Lyuba’s wedding. She just hurt her knee pretty badly, so she’ll need to relax and maybe have some pain medication before she does anything else.”
Zina was engaged in her twenties, but her fiancé was murdered by the Bolsheviks. Though her older sister Valya finally married at 39 (to a man thirteen years her junior) and had three kids before time ran out, Zina never had another relationship. Her life is running the boarding house with her mother.
Zina is well aware of how she’s a large woman, and likes to say she had too many pelmeni (the Russian version of pierogi) when she was a girl. She was the one who helped Yuriy escape to North America when he was a baby, after his mother was taken to an orphanage.