September 4, 2006
«She doesn’t want to be liked,’ he thought, ‘to be beautiful, captivating. She despises this side of a woman’s nature, feeling guilty for being that pretty. And this proud hostility towards herself makes her ten times more irresistible…»
‘I’m in front of you.’
Milana looked up and saw a handsome black-haired guy.
New Russian1. Novikov.
‘Simple as two roubles2.‘
‘What’s two roubles?’ he asked, taking a seat next to her.
Lunch in the canteen. Smolenskaya, you were so naive to think this is a suitable place for serious reading.
‘Milana, where are your manners?’ Arkadiy asked in mock surprise.
‘The same place where your brains are,’ she replied softly, returning to Pasternak.
‘What’re you reading?’ Arkadiy inquired.
She hid her face behind the book, showing him the cover.
Stupid question, stupid talk.
‘This is a must-read for everyone,’ Milana explained drily. ‘For everyone intelligent, that is to say.’
‘I’ll sit with you then, okay?’
‘You’re already sitting,’ she turned a page. ‘I’ll continue reading, if you don’t mind.’
‘Have we met before?’ Arkadiy made another attempt at gaining her attention.
Doesn’t he read? Doesn’t he know what it’s like when your thoughts and feelings are completely captured by the book?
‘I don’t care. Totally,’ Milana answered flatly.
‘Speak Russian,’ Arkadiy flashed her a disarming smile.
‘You don’t understand Russian, so I use English.’
Read my mind and fuck off!
‘Arkadiy, there you are!’ Kamila aproached their table.
Puppy, there you are! Typical Kamila. She’s talking to Novikov the way she addresses her Russian Toy. You’re doomed, bro, totally.
‘Too bad for you,’ Milana said from behind «Doctor Zhivago».
Arkadiy looked at her, wondering.
What wrong have I done to her? And why «too bad»? Some weird doctor… Blond hair, distant emerald green eyes, indifferent tone, and a critical shortage of clarity. What’s all this about?
Most unhelpfully, Milana got to her feet and left the canteen without a backward glance.
Model walk. Mixture of Russian and English, attractive and annoying, cute and cold. Who does she think she is? …Come to think of it, who is she?
‘What’s her family business?’ Arkadiy asked Kamila, who had occupied Milana’s seat.
‘Construction,’ Volkova replied readily, ‘and my dad’s a banker, just like yours.’
‘I’ve had enough of my dad in Moscow, thanks,’ Arkadiy said grimly. ‘So, you two have been here since the first grade?’
‘I’ve been here since the third,’ Kamila answered slightly resentfully, ‘and Milana’s here from the start.’
That explains the Russian-English mix. Bloody detonating mixture.
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Previous episode: 2. Long legs, model walk. Awesome, thanks dad!
1. New Russian (pun) — Noviy Russkiy (lit. «New Russian») is perceived as an arrogant nouveau riche with poor taste, modest education and social background. The term «New Russians» is used for describing the newly rich business class in post-Soviet Russia.
2. Simple as two roubles — Russian idiom meaning simpleton. Arkadiy jokes (or not) saying he does not know what two roubles are, and thus making it clear that he is unfamiliar with coins and small money.
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