To celebrate, here’s another chapter!
Twenty-sixth of January, 2012
Olyas mother died suddenly. After her coffin was lowered into the earth and the families had departed, Olya was left to herself when she got home.
In her heart, she knew he would come home as he had done countless times before. When she heard the front door being opened just after midnight, it, none the less, presented itself as something of a bad dream.
«Olya, are you at home?! »
She lay with her eyes closed and hoped he wouldn’t come into the room. Was the door locked, was the door locked, was the door locked…
«Why don’t you answer, you cheeky little piece of shit?! »
She opened one eye and peered out from one edge of her quilt. He reeked of Stolichnaya.
«You’re drunk, papi, go and lie down. »
«What, are you talking back to your papi?! You fucking whore! »
He tore off her quilt, lifted her up by the scruff and threw her into the wall.
«It’s your fault that she’s dead, you know? She had heart trouble from taking care of you, you ungrateful … »
She assembled what little she had of powers and butted him headfirst. He staggered a bit before falling, hard. She ran as fast as she could through the hallway, into the kitchen and tore up the nearest kitchen drawer. Panic stricken, she grabbed a bread knife. Then she heard that he had come into the kitchen – with the knife in both hands she turned to face him, horrified.
«What are you going to do?! Come and take me, » he sneered.
Unable to move, she could only stand to see that he approached with unsteady steps on the tattered kitchen rug on the floor. Finally, his face was less than a meter from hers.
The next thing that happened should be seen in light of her mother’s bruised and swollen eyes. Anyone who saw her knew, but no one said anything, not even at the funeral. All the years of beating, name-calling and shit stirring were discharged at the moment she drove the knife into him. A few seconds of silence followed before he whispered;
«Help me, Olya, help me! »
Her thoughts disappeared back to her mother again, she saw her lying in a pool of her own blood in the morning while he slept in in their bedroom. Her beautiful golden hair was sticky and disgusting; she had to help her into the bathroom, undress her, shower her and massage her. All without saying a word – «silence said more than any of us could have formulated by opening our mouths, » she thought.
Her five-year-old self went around him; her twenty-year-old self pulled up the carpet before closing the door behind her.
Among Moscow’s population is whispered a proverb: «Man has not felt cold on his body before he has experienced winter in Moscow. »
Midway between several meter-high snow banks on either side of Tverskaya Street, she was now facing what amounted to miles of shop facades. A few meters beyond the block she lived in some of them were still open, even with thirty degrees below zero outside. On a stand she noticed a newspaper front page with a picture of Putin and his wife. At the top she could read «Divorce» typed in screaming letterheads.
She picked up a copy of a newspaper and went into the little grocery store behind the stand.
«Olya, right? »
She nodded meekly to the bearded giant behind the counter, showed him the newspaper and left a ruble in front of him.
«Condolences! Greet your papi from Oleg, he must be absolutely horrified now … »
She smiled and muttered «Thank you, I will, » before she went out again. No sooner had she closed the door, before she stopped. How was it he had looked at her, the old pig? She tore off a piece of newsprint and wrote down her address. Then she paused for a few seconds, before she adding “30 minutes”. Finally, she went back in, handed him the note and disappeared again without saying a word.
Back in the apartment, she opened the kitchen window onto the side street and aimed at a rubbish container she had opened. Olya summoned superhuman strength, eased her father’s body onto the kitchen counter and pushed it out the window. The fall from the twenty-second floor was spectacular. If he wasn’t already dead, he was guaranteed to be as he landed headfirst far below. She let out an involuntary shout of joy as she slowly became filled with relief over the fact that that as someone found the now dismembered body below, she would be far away.
Soon, a knock could be heard emanating from the front door. No matter how much it filled her with disgust, she forced herself to down a glass of Stolichnaya before she went to open it. In the hallway she walked past a mirror: the dark curls she had from her father were bursting in all directions, but there was nothing she could do about it right now. Her verdigris almond eyes were her best feature, she knew, so she took a little eyeliner from the dresser before she applied a coat of lipstick to her voluptuous lips. The red color matched with the hair and eyes.
«You are one fourth Spanish, » her mother had said one day Olya came home from school. Somehow, she had always known it. «My papi was Spanish, » her mother said with a smile and winked at her. She’d never mentioned him before, but it explained the golden color of their skin. The night had been particularly hard, which was probably the reason she mentioned him now.
«Did he die … » before I was born? »
«He probably did. He lived in Málaga, you see. My mami brought me here just after I was born. She was homesick, but never forgot about papi. »
«Come, » her mother said and pulled her into their bedroom. She sat down onto the bed and patted beside her. «Here, » she said and handed her a faded picture from her wallet. To the left of her mother stood a man with almond eyes, a nose that was slightly too big for his face and an utterly charming smile parked in the middle of a forest of a beard. On his head he wore a sailor’s cap slightly askew.
«He could have been my papi, » said Olya. They smiled at each other for the first time in a long while. With the image of her grandpa fresh in mind, she went and opened the front door.
Oleg was even larger than she remembered. Before he could open his mouth she enunciated an insane sum. He opened his wallet, gave her cash and stepped over the threshold.
A few hours later she stood in one of the counters at Sheremetyevo airport.
«Do you have a ticket to Malaga for eight thousand rubles? »
«Hmm, not until well into the next month, at least … » but you can get to Trondheim, Norway for five thousand in a few hours! »
She thought about it. Norway was a rich country, wasn’t it? » Her papi had said so at one point, he had been fishing there with a buddy. Apparently, they had really big salmon there, too.
«All right, she said finally. I’m going to Norway! »