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Пресс-портрет Митрофанова





TA TU COME BACK
My warm, comfy thoughts are suddenly interrupted by a turn of the doorknob. Someone wants to come in. How could it be?... Oops! Maybe it’s Vanya! And here I am, I’ve got some nerve lying around on his bed, hanging around in his bedroom. He's not gonna be pleased... or maybe... maybe he will be pleased. I'm not sure I want to...
I jump up from the bed, nearly knocking the wine bottle over. While I make my way to the door I try to come up with a good reason for being in the room in the first place, without making anyone upset.
“Mind if I come in?” Ed looks into the room
Phew! It’s not Vanya!
“Sure, come on in.” I’m so glad to see Ed. It's the first time I’m this glad to see him.
“Sorry... I was outta line. I don’t know what happened…”
Ed looks really guilty. His black eyes look at me in total seriousness. I’ve never seen such a cutie look so serious.
“Yeah,” I take a sip from the wine bottle. “Well I seem to be getting on without the Cristal.”
“I just had too much to drink then… I’m sorry for it… please don’t be hurt,” he sits down on the bed and takes my hand.
Is this Ed? Asking someone for forgiveness? Well this is new! He’s acting strange, that’s for sure. Not at all like normal…
“So you’ve gone all bright-eyed and fluffy-tailed on me because of what happened tonight?” I ask, looking into his eyes.
Inside I understand that has nothing to do with it. He’s slept with all of the party girls, but he's never said he's sorry to any of them before for his shitty behavior... Although, I really don't know him that well...
“Is that really what you think?” his expression becomes even more despondent, more serious.
“I don’t think anything,” I say, taking a swig of the wine.
“That has nothing to do with it,” Ed says. He gets up and walks out of the room.


Message 70
I don’t understand why he’s acting so weird… I don’t understand anything at all… but what’s it to me, anyway? It’s Ed’s problem. I should go check out how things are with everyone else. What’s Lana up to? I'll just lie here another ten minutes before I go in there.
Ten minutes isn’t up before someone else comes in the room. This time it's Lana.
“Hi. What’re you doing in here?” Lana, already a few drinks in, smiles at me.
“Nothing. Just lying with a bottle of wine and suffering from various bullshit,” I smile back at her, stretching out luxuriously on the bed. It’s so comfortable here.
“Right.” Lana stretches out too.
"Join me if you want, I’ll move over and give you more room."
“My pleasure,” Lana says, flopping onto the bed.
I almost drop the wine bottle on the floor. That's the last thing I need, wine spilling everywhere. They’d probably kill me instantly. I’ll have to cover it up somehow… but how?
“Gimme some,” Lana reaches for the bottle.
“Here, just leave me some,” I say, holding the wine out to her. Lana takes a few swigs and gives the bottle back. I drink some, too, and start to feel better.
I move towards those strawberry lips of hers and kiss her. I love her so much. It is just unreal how good it feels to be together, and it's going to be that way forever. We're just lying here, hugging and kissing. What could possibly be better?
The bedroom door opens yet again. It's Ed.
“Am I interrupting?” He’s totally drunk. He can barely stand.
“Can't you see?” Lana asks in an irritated voice.
“Well excuse me! I can see I'm not needed here! Except..."
Ed starts to sway back and forth from side to side, and I think he’s about to fall. His eyes go dark. I’m afraid of those eyes. There’s something savage about them…
“Except that’s not what you thought last time. Wanna try it again?” An evil grin appears on his face.
“Last time was last time!" Lana growls, annoyed. "Get out!"
“You’re telling me to leave?” Ed is growing more and more tense. “Why the big change all the sudden?”
“Get out! We don’t need you here! Are you deaf?!”
Lana is getting really mad. I'm not too thrilled about Drunk Ed's presence either. Why'd he have to stick his nose in here, anyway? There's clearly something wrong with him.
“I’m not talking to you. Who are you anyway?” Ed turns to me. “Cat got your tongue? Are you always in your girlfriend's shadow? Don't have your own opinions?"
What is he talking about? I mean Ed gets drunk a lot, but to start raging at me like that? Who the hell does he think he is?
“Lana and I share the same opinion. Especially about you,” I say.
Will Ed ever get it through his head that he is not wanted here right now? The apartment is filed with other people, why doesn't he go hang out with them, the drunk jackass...
“Lana and I, me and Lana!” he mocks. “Aren’t you sick of it? You have your own brains, or do you both share one? What is it about this Lana, anyway? You know how many there are just like her? A dime a dozen! All got the same face, too. All airheads!"
Ed is really losing his shit. I’m starting to get scared. Just what does he think he’s doing, anyway? Who gave him the right to give my girl shit?
“What about me, what type am I?”
I’m so sick of him! He thinks all girls are the same. All just pieces of meat!
“You? You’re… you’re not like everyone else…d-damn."
He stumbles out of the room. What the hell is wrong with him? Freak.
We stay there on the bed, but the mood is gone.
“Don’t worry about it. He’s just a class-A jerk. Forget about it," Lana kisses me and puts her head on my shoulder.


Message 71
We left Vanya’s bedroom right on time. He came back literally ten minutes later. He didn't pay any special attention to us. Too bad... But never mind, there's plenty time to change that around. Later...
I can’t find Ed anywhere. Guess he’s lying around drunk somewhere. We’re lying on pillows, hanging out with the others. There are some new faces tonight, I don't even try to remember their names. I used to try, but I don’t really care anymore…
Lana gets up and goes somewhere. “Be right back,” she says. Strange, Marina’s not here… I mean it’s not like I care, it’s just strange. I thought that she partied all the time, everywhere… She's really something… There are always so many different people here, and some of them spend practically every night either at Vanya's place, or at someone else's place. What do they tell their parents? My parents barely ever let me go out to clubs, only on holidays...
All of these thoughts are interrupted when Lana returns.
“Let’s go,” she says, lifting me up.
“Why? Things here are chill,” I ask, confused.
Where does she wanna go now?
“Let’s go, it’s boring here.”
“Fine then.”


Message 72
There’s not too many people in the stairwell, at least less than there are in the apartment. Seems strange somehow (I feel as if I’ve lived here my whole life, even though this is only my second time here, and I’m already making this huge conclusions). Lana sits me down on a bench next to her. Someone’s drinking, someone else is getting high. Basically, it's the same old shit (again, with the "like always" stuff!). Lana takes a drag. Vanya is also out in the stairwell. He’s smoking and passes it to me. Of course I take it. Maybe because Lana already smoked, or maybe because I feel like having some fun, like last time at Ed’s apartment. Or maybe it’s because Vanya’s the one passing it to me.
Then I’m sitting there, laughing like an idiot. Just like last time… They’re all so funny! The bottle is hilarious! I mean just look at it, it's so long! Long bottle! It’s not even square! Soooo funny… I gulp down the rest, and it's empty...


Message 73
I barely made it to the toilet on time. It's official: I am dying. My insides are on their way out... I'm so nauseous. These little green squares keep flashing before my eyes and my head is spinning… where is Lana? Just gotta throw up, if I don't choke... I have never felt so bad in my life... my head is so heavy, I can't feel anything in my arms or legs.
“Get up. Come on, come on now,” Ed has appeared from out of nowhere.
I can’t see him. I can only hear his voice. I try to stand up, but I can’t. He takes me by the arm and carries me out of the bathroom…


Message 74
It’s getting late out. My head hurts so much. I look around for a while and try to figure out where I am. This doesn’t look like the living room or Vanya’s bedroom, and it’s definitely not the kitchen. I’m lying on a small bed, there are some kind of pictures on the ways, I can’t really see them in the dim light. There’s a dark blue rug on the floor and curtains on the windows. I don’t know this place. I'm thirsty. I try to get up, but my head is spinning too fast. Where am I? And how did I get here?
Ed… what’s he doing here?
“Are you awake?” he asks, leaning over me.
What the hell? I don't remember anything...
“Where am I?” I can barely speak.
“In my bedroom,” I answer.
Holy shit! What's going on, how did I get in his bedroom? I stare at Ed stupidly, I don’t understand anything at all.
“You got sick, so I took you home. My parents called, they said dad broke his leg and they’re staying at the dacha. It’s far away, better for them there. And for me, too. Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to mix weed and booze? You were totally falling apart…”
“Where’s Lana?" It’s all I can say.
“I don’t know. Probably still at Vanya's."
I close my eyes and lay back into the pillow. My head hurts and I want to sleep. I want Ed to go away and let me sleep.
As if he were reading my thoughts, he gets up and leaves.


Message 75
It’s Monday. I need to go home and get some things and some money. Lana… where is she? I’ve got to find her. I wonder where Ed slept… I’ve got to get up and get some breakfast. What time is it? I gotta get home before my parents come back. Three days have passed. Bad news…
I get up and move towards the bathroom. Only a cold shower can get me going. I hope Ed is still sleeping. Things will be easier without him. I don’t want to see him…


Message 76
Nothing wrong with dreaming. He’s here. He’s making breakfast. Who would have guess this dumbass could cook. God, he gets on my nerves. Someone would have helped me if he weren't around. I mean, he left Lana there on purpose. He can’t stand her. But then, why did he sleep with her? But why even think about that? He did it because he’s a slut. Just like all men. Why did he bring me here? Does he think I’m going to full of gratitude for him? Keep dreaming, Ed! It’s not like I already forgot how he acted yesterday, the asshole.
“Why did you bring me here?” I ask from the entrance to the kitchen.
“You were in bad shape, so I took you home," he said, not looking away from the brewing coffee.
“People there would have helped me without you,” I snapped.
“You so sure about that?” Ed turned away from the coffee to look at me. “Who cares about you over there?”
“Lana does,” I say, wounded a bit.
But he’s right. Besides Lana, no one would give a damn about me... and I wouldn’t give a damn about them, either.
“I doubt it… your Lana didn't seem to care about anyone at all last night. She was having quite a wild little time. She didn’t even remember about you. Do you know how high she got last night?”
Ed’s coffee starts to boil over the top, but he doesn’t pay any attention. He’s looking straight at me.
“Well…” I say, turning to leave.
I can’t stand the sight of his face.
“Where are you going. Come have something for breakfast. I made everything,” Ed takes me by the arm and brings me back in the kitchen.
“I’m not hungry. It went away,” I say.
“Eat something. I’ll go,” he sits me down and then leaves.
Well, if it’s like that then I’ll have a little to eat… What’s going on with Ed? He’s not himself. But who cares? I don’t like him either way. But today is weird. I’ll eat something and then go home. Or maybe I should go find Lana first? Gotta call her. If only my cell phone were turned on…


Message 77
“Hi. Where are you?” It took her forever to pick up the phone.
“Hi,” a sleepy Lana answers. Her voice is completely hoarse. I don’t think she knows who’s calling her, or what’s going on around her.
“Did I wake you up?”
“Yeah, who is this?”
She must have had a great time last night…
“Have you gone out of your mind? It’s me!” I say, a little hurt. What, now she doesn’t even recognize me?
“Sorry… can you talk a little quieter? My head really hurts…” she says, her voice even more hoarse.
“Fine,” I try to lower my voice. I know how much it sucks to hear loud sounds when you’re hung over. “So where are you?”
“Where do you think? At Vanya's,” she says.
I can hear some weird sounds in the background. Sounds like Lana has gotten up and is trying to put herself together a little.
“Where did you disappear to last night? I didn’t even see you leave. Where are you?”
“At Ed's… I’m not surprised you didn’t notice.”
My voice sounds hurt. But there is a good reason for that. It’s not that I’m really offended, it’s just, you know, a little unpleasant… but I can understand Lana. We’re all like that there…
“You’re upset?” she asks. “Damn!” I hear some weird noises in the background and Lana disappears for a bit. “...what jackass left his backpack right in the middle of the hallway?!"
“What happened?" I ask, concerned.
“I tripped. Are you going to be at Ed’s place? I’ll come over.”
“Let’s meet in the metro. I’m gonna go home today to get some stuff… I need to do it before they get back.”
I “I'll be there in twenty. Where are we meeting?"
“How about right there? Taganskaya on the pink line, center platform. Can you find it?”
“Yep.”


Message 78
It worked out without any complications. There’s no one home. I have about an hour to get stuff together. It feels like a hundred years since I”ve been here… Lana walks around the apartment, as if lost in thought. I go into my room and start shoving things into a bag. I go up to the wall and take down all of my posters. I won’t be coming back after this. I get some notebooks and a folder with articles about t.A.T.u. from the lower shelf. I shove those in the bag, too. Now I've just got to find some money...
I go into my parents’ room and dig around in mom’s wardrobe. Just like I thought, there’s a little box with money in it. I take it all, and leave. I’ve got to hurry, what if they come home early?
"Let’s go,” I say to Lana.
"Don’t you want to sit for a bit, look at stuff for the last time?”
“No, I don’t,” I say, bearing my teeth.
There’s no looking back. I can’t change my mind now. The bridge has been burned…
We put our coats on and leave. That’s it. It’s over now, for sure…


Message 79
It’s evening. We’re sitting at a cafe. I’ve got a lot of money now, so no worries. Lana is holding my hand. We’re sitting in a dark little corner, eating ice cream with syrup, sprinkled with cinnamon…
“Everything’s going to be OK. You did the right thing,” Lana says. “We’ve got everything ahead of us. We’ve got money, and when it runs out, we’ll get jobs. I just need to get my passport…”
"We’ll get it, just not now… you’re probably right - everything will be OK. As long as we’re together, it’ll be OK…”
Lana looks at me lovingly. I did the right thing. Everything’s going to be OK. It has to be. I believe her…
“Let’s sit here a little longer, then go to Ed’s place. We can change there and go to a club, OK?”
"OK.”
How can I argue? How?!
“I love you,” Lana says and kisses me softly.
I don’t care that people are staring at us, giving us dirty looks or just curious, I don’t care. They aren’t there. It’s just me and Lana.
“I love you, too. Tell me you’ll never leave me," I whisper.
I don’t know why, but suddenly this feeling of fear wraps around my heart. I look at Lana and I’m scared. I’m scared she’s going to leave. She’ll leave me for someone else, and I'll be left alone. Alone. Forever.
“What’s the matter with you?” she smiles.
“I don’t know. Just say it. I need you to say it…”
“You know damn well. I will never leave you. We’re going to be together forever. No matter what happens…”
We sit there for another hour drinking coffee. Then we have some more ice cream. It feels so good to be together. And we don’t need anyone else…


Message 80
It’s hot in here. Really hot… Ed is with us, too. I didn’t invite him - Lana did. What does she want with him? It’d be a lot better here without him. He’s practically clinging to me. His expression is freaking me out. His eyes… so big and black. But I don't like them. They’re scaring me… Except what’s there to be afraid of? I’m just scared for nothing. Lana likes his eyes. She says that they drive her crazy, in a good way. She says she could drown in his eyes…
Lana and I are dancing. Our bodies are intertwined. As always our lips come together, making one whole… only there’s that icy stare. I can feel it behind me. Ed’s stare. What’s going on with that boy, the boy who smells of cinnamon? This is not the first time I’ve asked myself this question…


Message 81
“Let’s go dance, Lana,” says Ed, drinking a cocktail.
I thought he didn’t like Lana…
“Sure, let’s go,” she says.
Fine, let them. Even if I don’t like Ed. They get up and go to the dance floor, and I’m left with Pasha, Stas, Masha, Kristina, Dima and a glass of tequila. We’re just sitting around and talking about nothing. Just like always… I can’t relax, I keep thinking about Ed and Lana. I throw a tense glance in the direction of the dance floor. They’re pulled close against each other. Ed has his arm around her, and she’s smiling at him. Then they kiss. A long, passionate kiss. Damn! Why is she doing this?! Didn’t she get enough, already?! Lana is showing off, and I’ll forgive her. Always. That’s just the way she is. She can’t belong to just one person. I’ll just have to be happy that she love me, and me alone. And forgive her. It can’t be any other way, not for me, not for her.
Having danced to their heart’s content, Lana and Ed sit back down at our table. Lana smiles and kisses me. What can I do? Ed seems gloomy, and takes a shot of tequila, chasing it with a huge piece of pizza. What else is this jerk going to take next?! He’s kissed my girlfriend dozens of times now, and it’s still not enough. Ed keeps looking at me. His expression is so cold. It’s so cold it burns. I can’t stand him any longer.
“What’s the problem?!" I bark at him, annoyed.
“Nothing. What are you talking about?" he asks, looking me straight in the eye.
“What’re you staring at me like that for? I’m sick of it. What’s the problem?”
Ed lights up a cigarette and doesn’t say anything for a while.
“Nothing. I have to look at someone, and there you are.” he says.
“Well, stop it. I don’t like it.” I say. I know there’s something he’s not telling me.
I am so sick of him.
“Settle down, darling,” Lana interrupts us.
Right on time, like always. Only Lana can’t calm me down. She sits me on her lap and strokes my neck… Ed gives her a hostile look. You’d never guess he was playing tonsil hockey with her a mere two minutes ago. Idiot...
But my talk with Ed has come to and end and I sit quietly, blissfully on Lana’s lap.


Message 82
It is so hot in here. It’s like a steam room or something. I reluctantly get off of Lana’s lap and go to splash my face and freshen my makeup. I just can't sit here any longer. And it's so smoky in there.
I’m halfway there when Ed catches up to me. He rudely grabs me by the elbow and turns me to him.
"Some nerve you’ve got!”
His eyes are on fire, he looks crazy. His palms are burning hot. He's had no small amount to drink. What does he want with me, anyway? What’d I do to him?
"Me!? You’re the one with all the nerve!” he yells.
I look at him, scared. I don’t have any idea what he’s talking about.
“You don’t notice anything besides your Lana! You’re just a blind fool!”
“What should I be noticing besides the girl that I love?!” I scream back at him, trying to pull away from him."
"You’re an idiot! You should at least notice that Lana of yours is the biggest slut in town! She’s practically slept with everyone by now! I mean I was just all over her, right in front of you!” he yells at me, holding onto my arm even more strongly.
“What’s it to you? It’s none of your business! Lana loves me, and all those guys don’t mean anything to her! She’s just having fun. It doesn’t mean anything,” I say.
I don't want to think about it… My poor elbow!
“And you? What’s wrong with you? Following her around like a sheep, agreeing to everything she says?! You can't see anything going on around you!”
“What difference does it make to you? Who else am I supposed to see?!” I ask for the thousandth time. “Lemme go. You’re hurting me…”
Ed lets me go, but he’s not done yet. He’s clearly lost his shit. I’m getting scared, actually…
“Everyone.” He says. “Everyone can see what a whore your girlfriend is! Unlike you, she’s not a lesbian. Lana is sleeping with you just for fun, and she’s got me for her soul…me, and a dozen other guys!”
I slap him in the face.
“What right do you have talking that shit?! You think you can do anything you want?! I scream. “Now I know what's really going on! You’ve just fallen for Lana! That’s why you’re so angry. I mean you’ve had all the other girls!”
“Not all of them…” he says, pushing me against the wall suddenly. I can almost taste the cinnamon he exudes.
“You are so stupid," he whispers.
Ed is so close to me. So close. I am so stupid…
“Let me go!” I try to twist out of his grasp, but it's no use.
“You drive me crazy,” Ed whispers, and his breath envelops me, he kisses my lips.
“Let me go!” I scream, pushing him back…


Message 83
What an asshole! All men are the same! Rude-ass dogs, all of them. That's all they are - dogs. They only want one thing, and if they can't get it, then they do anything they have to. What a jerk! I hate him! He doesn’t give a shit about what I feel. No one does… Now I really understand that I can only have a relationship with a woman. Only a girl can understand another girl. We’re not rough and gruff like they are. We just love, and that’s all.


Message 84
“Let’s go somewhere else,” I tell Lana. I returned to the table. I had gone to cool off after Ed's little explosion.
“What’s the matter?” she asks, like a child.
For a second, Lana looks exactly like a little angel. A sweet little angel; God knows, she’s no angel…
“I’m sick of it here. I’m starting to tense up. This place is so dull,” I lie.
But why am I lying? I’m just not telling her exactly why I'm starting to tense up. That's all.
“Fine. Let’s go…” Lana says, thinking. “Shall we head off to Vanya’s? There’s no way you can tense up there…”
“Let’s go,” I say, ready to leave.
I’m always up for going to Vanya’s place. And I don’t even know why…


Message 85
Just like always: people smoking up in the stairwell, weird-ass people inside the apartment, and everyone’s walking around in a daze, without paying much attention to the people around them. And Vanya at the center of it. It’s just so awesome here, and I don’t really even know why…
We slip into the apartment and say hi to everyone (we already know lots of them, now - awesome!!). Then I go into the kitchen so I can see if there's anything to drink in the fridge. Lana goes out to the stairwell. It's a good thing Ed isn't with us.
I find some OJ in the fridge. My favorite - and it’s nice and cold, too. It just doesn’t get better than this. Some girl comes into the kitchen and starts looking in the fridge, too. I don’t know her.
“Damn. It’s empty. There’s nothing in her at all,” she drawls out unhappily.
“There’s nothing ever in here,” I say, finishing the last of the juice.
"Yeah, I know. I'm just starving," she says flatly.
She sits on a chair and looks out the window. It’s like that for about fifteen minutes, and then her cell rings. She lazily gets her phone out and turns it off after saying “I’m sleeping…” Then she pulls her knees in towards her chest and goes back to staring out the window. The light is dim, and the girl’s hair looks magical in the light from the window. She's actually really pretty, I want to take a picture of her like that, in that position. It would come out beautiful. It's girls like her who have portraits painted.


Message 86
Lana is sitting in the stairwell smoking. Vanya is next to her, also smoking. They’re talking about something. I sit near them, just like last time. Vanya offers me a joint. This time I say no. After my bitter experience from last time, I know I should not mix alcohol and weed. Too bad… I’m just sitting here now, sipping wine and listening to Vanya and Lana.
“Who are lunatics?" Lana asks, looking at Vanya questioningly. She takes another drag.
“Lunatics, lunatics,” Vanya says.
Damn! What the hell kind of stupid conversation is this? I mean I understand that they're high, but still...
“You’ve never ‘lunaticked’ before? Never got up from bed at night? … are you a lunatic?" Lana asks, looking askance at her joint.
I try to imagine a lunaticked-out Vanya. Hilarious! Ha ha ha!
“I don’t know. I’ll look now,” he says pensively, then sits quiet for some time. "Lunatics are followers of the moon, fans of the night."
My God! What a load of garbage! That must be some good weed. But it sounds pretty… “followers of the moon"...
“That doesn’t help!” Lana laughs.
I put my head on Vanya’s shoulder. He looks at me and keeps thinking (if you can call it thinking).
“What doesn’t help? Do they need help?” He asks Lana.
“Yes,” she says.
The thread of their conversation is totally lost to me. Whatever...
“Is something not working out for them?” Vanya asks again.
OK: Vanya’s warm shoulder, his voice and Lana's voice, my eyes closed and these crazy, nonsensical conversations.
“They want to get to the moon, but they're not getting there, are they?" Lana continues.
“Lunatics - fans of the night, that want to go to the moon,” Vanya pronounces seriously and takes another drag.
“It’s a tragedy! They can’t get there,” Lana sums it up and also takes another hit.
It’s a pretty little definition: “lunatics are fans of the night who want to get to the moon but can’t…” I’ll have to remember that…
“But what’s the tragedy? I mean they don’t want to go to the sun. Did you ask them?” Vanya asks.
“I was walking around once at night,” Lana recalls, not answering the question.
I didn’t know about this…
“I walk around a lot at night,” Vanya smiles. “I don’t see that. I feel it.”
“Were you asleep?” Lana asks.
Their conversation is interrupted when Olya comes out into the stairwell and takes Vanya into the apartment. Lana still can't figure out if Vanya ever went walking in his sleep...



Message 87
I scoot closer to Lana. She puts out her joint and hugs me. Everything is so calm, so right…
“It’s so much fun here,” I say. “Are we going to spend the night?”
“Probably,” she says. “The metro’s already closed. We won't make it to Ed's place..."
“I don’t like Ed’s place. I don’t like Ed. Let’s look for another place," I suggest, giving Lana an unhappy look.
“What’s not to like about him?” She asks, surprised. “Ed’s a great guy. He’s easy going and fun to be around. Besides, where else are we gonna live? At Vanya’s? Right…” Lana argues.
“Why? It wouldn’t be so bad at all… Only he won’t let us live here.” I say, thinking about the situation.
“Exactly… although…”
Just looking at Lana’s face I can tell that she’s brainstorming up some new idea. I don’t even ask what it is. Let Lana figure everything out. I’ve trusted her for a long time to make all the decisions. Lana always thinks for two... It's more convenient for me, finally I have someone I can trust completely with my life...
“We’ve got to stick around here,” I say thinking out loud.
“That’s for sure. And we’re going to stick. I guarantee it,” Lana says.
And I believe her.


Message 88
It’s already four AM, or something like that… people are starting to straggle off slowly. The next series of wine bottles and a cup of coffee keep me from falling asleep. Vanya and a few others are going to a club, and we go with them. “We’ve gotta latch on here, let’s go with Vanya,” Lana says, and I agree. She’s probably right. Besides, going clubbing without Ed is going to be way more fun. I never would have thought that I would be partying with people like this. It’s crazy!
We get in Vanya’s car and go. Lana and I are in the back, and some 20-year old olive-skinned brunette is in the front passenger seat. She’s wearing an outfit in camouflage, real stylish. I lean on Lana and admire the view from the car window. I’ve lived my whole life in Moscow, and I never even suspected how beautiful it can be. There’s no better place than Moscow at night. I only recently realized this, once I escaped from my parents' prison…
I look out the window and remember the t.A.T.u. release party and the after party, dubbed ‘t.A.T.u Come Back!’ That’s the very moment my life did a total 180. That is when Lana and I got close... It scares me to think about what would have happened if I didn’t go there. Right now I would be lying in my cold bed, in my dark room, dreaming about Lana, dreaming about another life… About the life that I’m living right now. No, I don’t regret a thing. Not one thing.


Message 89
Looks like an expensive club. I don’t remember what the name is, but those details aren't important to me. Vanya and the brunette already know this place well, but I was a little lost at first. I mean, I’m just not used to it. Vanya’s stopped paying us any attention. I’m not Lana. She knew what was what immediately, and started to act like she’s been partying since she slipped out of the womb.
We’re all sitting together, drinking drinks that Vanya bought us, but the conversation wasn’t all that great, so in about a half hour, Lana and I went off to dance. I guess all this time lately, I’ve been partying away from Vanya.
I don’t know how long it lasted, but after a while, Lana got tired of it all. "Let's go back to Vanya, we've got to latch on," she says. So that's what we do.



Message 90
Everyone’s having a great time. Everything is becoming so easy and simple. We’re chatting away. Everyone’s talking together. Lana is shooting some desperate glances at Vanya. He likes it... makes no difference to me. Let her do what she wants, she knows better. That’s just how our relationship has worked out. Moreover, we really do need to figure out a way to stay here, and Vanya is not too shabby at all… I love it here. I love these people. Nothing else means anything to me...


Message 91
Lana went to the Ukraina Hotel with Vanya. He dropped me off at his place, and the brunette ended up staying at the club... It's Lana's business. She knows best. The little girl just wants to spend the night with a grown man in a big hotel. Why not, I wouldn’t turn him now, I’m not totally monogamous myself… Once someone said that I’m like an angel, and Lana’s like a little devil. A light-haired devil with piercing green eyes and strawberry lips...
The apartment is quiet and nearly empty. There's just a couple of girls who have fallen asleep in front of the TV. The bedroom is empty. Everyone else left. Just like always…
I slip into the bedroom and fall onto the bed. It feels so good to finally lie down… I didn’t have even one dream that night. I haven’t slept that well for a long time…


Message 92
It's morning... Lana... Vanya’s voice in the kitchen. I open my eyes. I look at my cell phone (I put a new SIM card in), it’s 4 o’clock. The sun is shining brightly. Lana is sitting on the edge of the bed, fresh and energetic. She's wearing dark green baggy pants and a dark blue hooded sweater. Her hair has been gathered into a ponytail. Lana is so pretty. She smiles at me.
“Hi,” I say sleepily.
“Hello,” she says.
Judging by her voice, everything is A-OK.
“How are things?” I ask looking at her.
I already started to miss her. Lately Lana’s been hanging out with everyone but me…
“Never better,” she smiles.
‘Never better’? Is that when I’m not around? So nice to hear it…
“Congratulations," I say, annoyed.
Everything that’s going on is starting to irritate me. I mean I don’t care who Lana sleeps with, but still… What about me? What about us? I need attention, too. I need her warmth, too.
“Don’t be angry,” she says, crawling towards me.
“I’m not,” I say. “Just I need some attention, too, now and then. I'm your girlfriend, in case you forgot... or have you changed your mind?"
“I didn’t forget…” she whispers in my ear, wrapping her soft arms around me. “I didn’t forget. I love you. And only you.”
Damn… Just those words and I’m ready to forgive her everything…
Again I taste the strawberry of her lips. Again that sweet drug. That strawberry-flavored poison. That sweet, sweet craziness... Lana comes under the blanket. Her fingers are so soft… She pulls up my shirt. Her kisses cover my entire body, every inch of it. I forge about everything... I forgive her everything... I forgive her everyone... My neck feels her soft lips. My naked body feels her rough clothing. Her hands move lower and lower… Oh, my God… Her fingers slip between my legs. Her lips caress my chest… Just don't be too loud, just don’t let anyone hear…


Message 93
We’re sitting in the kitchen. Me, Lana and Vanya. Lana’s watch shows that it’s 6:30. Vanya has already managed to go somewhere and come back. We’re eating cherry pie with cream - the only thing that was in the fridge. Yummy!
“What do you like to get at CoffeeTune?” Lana asks suddenly, shoving a piece of cake in her mouth.
When was she in CoffeeTune? Although she has been in Moscow before this. Maybe she went back then...
“Chicken sandwich. I mean I don’t love their chicken sandwich, I don’t want one right now. But that’s what I’d get. It’s crunchy,” Vanya answers.
“And what about CoffeeMania?” Lana continues the inquisition.
Is he planning to feed us somewhere?
“Shall I list it for you?” Vanya asks.
Even I’m starting to get interested now. What are the preferred foods of this “genius of social provocation” - as they called him on some show once?
“Yeah,” I egg him on.
“Everything! They’ve got great vanilla pies with whipped cream..” Vanya’s face seems to fill up with sweet memories, his mouth might start watering any minute now. “I didn't get anything today - now that was tough!"
Right, then. Not CoffeeMania. He was already there today. I want a vanilla pie with whipped cream, too!
“Why didn’t you get anything?" I ask, taking another piece of cake. It may not be vanilla pie, but it's not half bad.
“Too much to choose from!”
“Well if you want something, then there can’t be too much, can there?” Lana asks in a childish voice, fluttering her eyes.
“Maybe…” Vanya says.
Who would have doubted…
“Just fear…” she says, trying to be subtle.
She’s taken on Vanya’s mannerisms. We all have. What can you do?
“Of what, eating till you barf?” he asks.
“The fear of eating too much, and that’s it.” I say slowly, summarizing everything that's been said.
“The desire to eat until one is full results in the fear that one will overeat,” our friend concludes. Logical…
“What do you like to get at Chocolatnitsa?" I ask.
As it happens, there is a Chocolatnitsa quite near by. I used to love going there with Kristina and my other friends.
“Let’s go and find out,” Vanya promises.


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