5. Friday evening. Kamila talked about Novikov. All day long

September 8, 2006

Friday evening. Kamila talked about Novikov. All day long. And the previous day too. A lot. And Milana thought about him. Silently.

It’s better to think than to speak. That’s the main rule in this school. Everything you say will be used against you. Not a single word passes unnoticed, not a single mistake is forgotten.

I feel sorry for Novikov. Life here needs getting used to. This is not a normal school where you come in the morning, sleep through several lessons, and return home to your private affairs. This is a small world where relationship issues are a great deal more challenging than schoolwork, and where lessons get less attention than scandals and gossip.

Still, you certainly get some useful skills while learning to live with a pack of vigilant vultures. There’s no relaxing here. You’re always in the game, always wearing a mask. Only in your room you can finally be yourself, but not until you endure another one of Kamila’s intrusion into your privacy. First week after the holidays is always like that.

Kamila Volkova loved sudden attacks. Her dream was to catch Milana off her guard, without make-up, metaphorically speaking, to get into her soul, to uncover her true thoughts and feelings. Kamila enjoyed digging up truth, finding other’s soft spots and weaknesses, and then using her trophies to play with her prey. Milana’s private life was Kamila’s favourite digging patch.

‘Milana, how do you like Archy?’

Ta-dam! Action!

‘Who?’ Milana was watching a movie on her MacBook, but Kamila never considered other people’s occupations to be of any importance.

Just like Novikov. They’re made for each other.

‘Novikov, of course!’ Kamila said impatiently.

‘Not bad,’ Milana put her headphones back on.

‘I think he likes you,’ Kamila was watching her attentively.

Dig up the bullshit, baby.

‘Not likewyse,’ Milana replied calmly.

‘Why not?’

‘He’s not my type… Besides, it’s you he likes.’

Piss off. Go, screw with his brain for a change. Why can’t Leyla return earlier?

Kamila seemed satisfied by what she had heard.

‘What’re you watching?’ she asked.

‘The «Godfather», Milana answered darkly.

Get the hint. Please. Or I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.

The Godfather
«The Godfather»

‘Eww!’ Kamila wrinkled her nose. ‘I hate thrillers.’

It’s not a thriller. It’s the school of life. On the second thought, it’s good that you don’t like it. Didn’t ask your opinion anyway.

‘I like it. And Dany likes it,’ Milana said indifferently, ‘Everybody normal does.’

Kamila huffed, ‘If that’s what you call normal.’ She flipped through Vogue for some time, got tired of being ignored, and, finally, left the room.

Subject not closed, it’s pending. Kamila will dig until she breaks her shovel. Or teeth.

A text-message from an unknown sender flashed up on the screen of Milana’s Vertu, and she read: «Let’s meet. I want to talk to you beautiful.’

«Talk» is the silliest pretext of all. There are no simple talks. Everything is done for a reason. Kamila, for example, talks because she needs to satisfy her curiosity, to discuss someone, to gossip, to annoy. It’s different with other people, but everybody has a purpose. So…

‘Who’re you?’


Well, his needs are pretty obvious.


‘Can you come out?’

‘I’m lazy.’


‘Get away from the entrance and wait.’

Milana got up from her bed and approached the mirror.

T-shirt, denim shorts, loose hair. No. The hair has to be tamed. Loose hair, loose thoughts. With him I need total control.


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Contents. Part 1