September 8, 2006
Long legs, short denim shorts, white T-shirt, decisive walk.
‘I said get away from the entrance,’ was her way of greeting.
‘I don’t play by the rules if I don’t understand them.’
‘Ooh wee, Corleone!’ she said scathingly. Then, most unexpectedly, took him by the hand and pulled forward, ‘C’mon.’
‘Where’re we going?’ he asked curiously. ‘And why Corleone?’
‘To your room,’ Milana replied tonelessly, ignoring the second question.
Too good to be true.
‘You wanted to talk. If Kamila sees us together, she’ll turn my brain inside out, but guys don’t like to think.’
‘I don’t get it, but I like where it’s going,’ Arkadiy grinned.
Milana didn’t reply and kept a chilly silence that contrasted strangely with the warmth of her palm. Finally, they entered his room.
‘So?’ she leaned against the door, looking expectantly at him.
‘Why do you write Russian words in English letters?’ Arkadiy asked, stopping at a considerable distance from her.
‘I like it,’ she replied simply. ‘Is that all you wanted to know?’
Let’s get to business.
‘Milana, I’ve heard you help people with essays.’
‘You have to listen better,’ Smolenskaya said with the most daring smile so far. ‘I write essays only for very special people.’
‘I’m special. Very special.’
‘Novikov, everyone’s special in this school. That’s not enough for me,’ Milana turned the door handle.
‘Wait.’ He covered her hand with his.
‘Step back,’ she said firmly.
He made a step backwards. She glanced at her watch. Rolex?
‘The rules are simple. You study, you socialize, you don’t annoy me, you go out with Kamila. Got me?’
Boss. She’s so funny.
He approached her for the second time, pulled her close and kissed her. Milana stiffened but didn’t resist, and a moment later she hugged him. Awesome.
‘I’ll go out,’ Arkadiy said, breaking the kiss. ‘With you.’
Smolenskaya drew back and smiled.
‘Thank you,’ she replied in a polite dismissive tone commonly used when addressing hotel porters or waiters, or someone helpful whose service you no longer need.
‘A person needs eight hugs a day to be happy.’
‘I don’t understand.’
‘We won’t date. And this,’ she touched his lips with her index finger, ‘is our big secret. Welcome to school.’
Milana left his room, closing the door behind her. Some pleasant perfume lingered in the air, adding confusion to his thoughts.
Arkadiy went to the window. Smolenskaya was walking towards her dormitory, and did not look back.
What was that about? Welcome to school. Awesome welcome, thanks. Does a person really need eight hugs a day to be happy?
She was lying on the bed, looking up at the ceiling.
What was that about? Never before did I say such utter nonsense. But he was the one who started it! Who does he think he is? And why should I write him essays? Pfft. He’d better date Kamila. Seriously.
Milana rolled over and pulled the MacBook closer to herself.
Press play to continue watching? Damn, it got interrupted on the most interesting part!
New text-message. Novikov. Ha ha, now he’s writing Russian words in English letters too.
‘Thnx. You too.’
Fucking awesome, I’d say, but not my type.
‘Go to Terry’s bday tomorrow?’
Pause. Then the phone rang.
Novikov. Too much of him for today. Got tired of transliteration, obviously.
‘Milana, what should I give him?’
‘Cough up the cash.’
‘The club. Family party’s for daytime.’
‘Awesome! How much?’
‘Ask George, OK?’
‘Will you go to the club?’
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Previous episode: 5. Friday evening. Kamila talked about Novikov. All day long
Next episode: 7. Castle in the air? Can't she buy it?
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