November 10, 2006
He crossed the threshold of her room.
«No, Kesh, it’s a teddy bear,» Milana took the big plush creature from him. «A Me to You.»
«I know,» he said, grinning.
Come on, Smolenskaya, do the maths. This is a present. Two plus two equals…
Milana gave him a suspicious look, then switched on to the bear with the same mistrust. And then, for reasons unknown, she sniffed the teddy.
«Why does it stink?» she gave Arkadiy a sharp poke in the chest with her index finger. Caught off guard, he made a step backwards. Milana’s «soft» touch felt unpleasant even through his tough leather jacket.
«What d’you? Why’re you poking me?»
Milana drew closer, continuing to sniff the air, much like a hound.
«Smolenskaya, what’s the matter with you?»
«You’ve been smoking.»
Not a question. A statement. Milana was looking at him with a strange emotion in her bright green eyes.
«Yeah,’ he said, having no idea where the conversation was going.
«You idiot!» Milana flumped down onto her bed, hugging the teddy, and added more quietly and less hostilely, «You’ve made my bear stink.»
«Not funny, ok?» She was glaring sternly at him.
He also sat down.
«Because. Firstly, it stinks. Secondly, why? Why’re you doing it?»
He shrugged his shoulders. «Because I like it.»
Smoleskaya gave him a long inquisitive look. Bloody scanner.
«If you think smoking is a sign of coollness, then please accept my congratulations. You’ve just fallen two hundred feet lower in my eyes.»
«Wha? Two hundred? Where’re you burrying me?»
Milana supressed a smile.
«The further the better,» she said crossly, moving away from him.
«Come of it,» he moved closer.
She put the teddy between them and gave Arkadiy another serious look. «Better you «come of it». Kesh, it’s a sign of decline, a flaw. Got it?»
«Don’t call me Kesha,’ he said, oblivious to the main idea.
«Well, you’re not acting like Arkadiy,» Milana got up from her bed. She was hugging the bear again.
She likes it. Cool.
He stood up and approached her. She stepped aside, shielding herself with the teddy.
«Stay away, please, stinky. Smoking’s an addiction, Kesha, an illness, a weakness. »
«Me? Weak? What’d you know about it?»
Kesha again. Hate the way it sounds.
Milana’s eyes narrowed dangerously, and she gave him another poke with her rebuking index finger.
«Much more than you think. Ask Smirnov about the modern tobacco. His dad’s got a share in «Philip Morris». Check out the details, come on, move!»
She was pushing him out of the room. The nerve of her!
«I’m not going anywhere. That’s not what I wanted to talk about.»
«I won’t talk to you while you stink like a low class night club.
«Smolenskaya, you make my teeth itch.»
«It’s not me, it’s the cigarettes,» she smirked. «Off you go.»
«How ’bout a kiss?»
He tried to get closer to her, but got another poke in the chest.
«You fucking stink, understand? I don’t kiss ashtrays.»
«Oh piss off.»
He tured her back on her and walked towards the door.
«Thanks for the bear,» she called after him, laughing.
Great. Give the girls teddies, and get an anti-smoking campaign in response. Thanks, Ministry-of-Health-Smolenskaya.
«Why does he choose such infantile ways to adolescence?» Milana asked the bear. It responded with a silent and somewhat reproachful stare.
«It’s just that I’m worried for him,» she said, justifying her harshness. «Such an idiot. Sex, cigarettes. Grown up for sure.»
It was a cold grey November Saturday. No classes. I can do whatever I want, with Novikov as well. But… It’s better this way for both of us.
His new tactic amused her. Nobody ever gave her a present that way: so insolently, daringly…
«Vanil’?» Milana looked at the Me to You, sizing it up. «Yup, that’s your name, sorry. You’ll have to live with it.»
Sum up. I’ve got a teddy bear called Vanil’. Novikov has something to think about. Both of us have gained something, even if he’s offended. I just hope he’ll quit smoking.
Cigarettes are cool when you produce them, although I never considered tobacco a cool business. Anyway, what’s really important is that Kesha doesn’t get carried away by these middle class habits. No, not middle class. It’s not the rich or the poor who smoke, it’s the troubled ones. Troubled, or fucking stupid. I really hope Gena will help.
Previous episode: 23. Flowers? Teddies? Diamonds? What to give her? Fucking trouble!
Next episode: 25. Milana continued to ignore him, and so did Kamila
*Vanil’ = Vanilla
Contents. Part 1
- 1. Summer in France tastes of freedom. September, UK, dive into school
- 2. Long legs, model walk. Awesome, thanks dad!
- 3. «Have we met before?» «I don’t care. Totally.»
- 4. They’re so different. One’s attractive, the other’s annoying
- 5. Friday evening. Kamila talked about Novikov. All day long
- 6. He was waiting for her. Smolenskaya appeared ten minutes later
- 7. Castle in the air? Can’t she buy it?
- 8. You try on someone else’s life for a second, and then you feel so empty in yours
- 9. Welcome to London, welcome to life. And Smolenskaya, my guide to life
- 10. Novikov, I’m with you now only because we’re a diaspora
- 11. I behave according to my status, Novikov
- 12. So prim and proper, but there’s something in her that I like. What’s that?
- 13. Kamila can be distracted. You know what? I’m gonna help you, bro
- 14. Smolenskaya, Arkadiy Novikov has got serious plans on you!
- 15. Boss in a tee and shorts, testing the limits of her power
- 16. I’d rather give in to the waves than lose a fight with Kamila
- 17. She likes to rule millions and millionaires
- 18. Smolenskaya, you don’t mean what you do
- 19. I’m fifteen and I want my vanilla romance!
- 20. He’s not the man with whom I can cheat on myself
- 21. French manicure, shining diamonds, victory
- 22. At the end of October Smolenskaya changed her status on Facebook
- 23. Flowers? Teddies? Diamonds? What to give her? Fucking trouble!
- 24. Tenth of November, time for decisive actions!
- 25. Milana continued to ignore him, and so did Kamila
- 26. Let them resist, I’ll get what I want! Like with Novikov.
- 27. The Smolenskie are having a Christmas party. You’d better think of a present, if you know what I mean