A loud beep echoed through my otherwise silent room and it took me a few moments to register that it was my alarm clock. I squinted at the clock, looking at the time, secretly hoping that it would have gone off too early and I could sleep in longer. After using ever expletive I knew I groaned and peeled back the covers. Slamming my fist on the clock, I looked at the bundle of letters that lay next to it and began thinking about the day that I started writing to him almost a year ago.
I had been around the back of the school, near the gym when I heard a someone muttering to themselves. Lissa, my best friend who was currently sitting next to me as she shot me a worried look and frantically tried to put out and hide the blunt of weed that she held in her hand. Even in my high, I knew that we were about to get caught and whilst my record was full of misdemeanors, Lissa's was not. Quickly making up my mind I had grabbed the weed and forced Lissa to run while I distracted the person who just so happened to be my least favourite person in the world. Stan Alto, my history teacher.
My father being a well-known, powerful business person was the only thing that kept me from being expelled. Instead I got off on a week's suspension and month long detentions after school and to make it worse, Stan opened his big mouth and said that I should complete the assignment that his class was doing in the year above; writing to a soldier in the war. He said that it would punish me further and discipline me at the same time. Needless to say Headmistress Kirova was thrilled.
I was given a soldier at random, he had apparently not been picked due to not having any information listed about himself, other than his name.
I grabbed my computer and scanned my inbox. Nothing... well nothing important. There was a chain letter, an email from my mother, and the rest were junk. I tossed the laptop aside and bolted down the stairs, hoping that a small envelope would be waiting for me.
Running past the teachers lounge and through the boys corridors, receiving catcalls and whistles as I did, I headed straight for the student vice principal sat at the desk and gave me a very disapproving look as she noticed my attire. I quickly looked down at myself, I had on skimpy pajama shorts and a tight fitting singlet top that left a lot of skin uncovered.
"Rose" She greeted. Before I even had the chance to speak Alberta passed me a letter and gave me a wink.
My face lit up and I took and tore straight back to my room. "Thanks Ms Petrov" I yelled as I ascended the stairs, two at a time. I ran my hand across the envelope and inwardly smiled. Getting letters from Dimitri was the highlight of my week. I sat on my bed and carefully opened the letter and breathed in the smell of Dimitri I had come to love over the months. There was only one page this week as opposed to the three, sometimes four that would normally come. None the less, I unfolded the paper and started reading.
To be completely honest with you, when I first got your letter I threw it aside, you said that it was a school project and couldn't imagine who would actually want to waste their time writing to someone they didn't even know. Then I kept thinking about what you said in it and fuck, I don't think I have ever laughed that much. I didn't, still don't have much in common with anyone here, they are all too into their job, this is it for them, they want to spend the rest of their lives doing it. I however, didn't have a choice. It was either do this or go to jail, clearly I chose this but that doesn't mean I am not going to scream of happiness when I get out of this hell hole.
I swear to fucking God, everyone here is too depressed and emotional, I just want to hand them some weed or something and tell them to chill the hell out. Except for Ivan, in the real world, I could generally see myself hanging out with the guy.
So yeah, I wrote back because you are exactly the type of person that i'd hang out with and right now, without sounding all depressed and shit, I need someone like that. I just thought I'd tell you this so that you know everything and yeah.
But it actually seems like I have known you my whole life. I have never found it easy to talk to people the way I can with you. I have been thinking about your offer and if it still stands I would love to take it. I would love to see my family but I know that I can't go home for a month and leave again, even if I am coming home for good a few months later. I can't go back and see the fucking disappointment in their eyes at what I've done... don't worry though, I swear I'm not a bloody murderer or rapist or any shit like that.
I know that you are still at St Vladimir's, so if it's not cool for me to stay, than I get it. I have a friend in Siberia, Mark, and he is more that happy to let me stay there if need be. I will call on Monday at one o'clock your time, I know it's a bad time to call but it's the only slot they will give me.
I squealed. That's right, I fucking squealed, and then I ran towards my wardrobe, throwing clothes on. Ripped jeans and a Hollister shirt. Before I ran out the door I quickly stopped at the mirror and raked my fingers threw my hairs until it looked somewhat presentable and for the second time that day I was running down to the student desk.
"Ms Petrov, I need to speak with you and Kirova"
"Headmistress Kirova, Rose" She corrected as she finished up her paper work and looked up at me.
"Okay well, may as well get it over and done with now." She said as she stood up and followed me to the office.
Having been sent to the principal so many times I didn't need to be shown where it was, instead I walked straight in and sat myself down on one of the chairs, folding a leg over and making myself at home. Then, I remembered that I was about to ask for a massive favour and I sat up and acted all polite, something that I am really not accustom to.
"What did you do this time Rose?" Kirova asked.
"Nothing! I actually wanted to ask a favour" I fidgeted, sure I'd been here plenty of times but never had I ever asked for something and I wasn't sure what her reaction would be. She raised her eyebrows.
"Okay then, ask" She squinted her beady eyes at me and it took all my will power not to laugh at her. It was times and facial expressions like these that really made her look like an old bird.
"Well, I'm sure you are aware that I am still in contact with the soldier that I started talking to last year and he is getting leave on wednesday. So... I thought that there was no better solution than to bring him here because he really doesn't have anywhere else to go." I finished. Everything was silent and I mentally cursed myself for not asking her and telling her instead.
"Look Rose, unless he is family I don't think I can" She replied looking not all that sorry.
"But I just said that he has no where to go! Besides, my class is learning about war and all that stuff and Dimitri said that he would talk to the class and explain to them what it's like first hand, you know like um.. being a, what is it? Um... primary source, yeah." I fumbled.
She took a deep breath and re-adjusted the glasses perched on the tip of her nose.
"Well that sounds wonderful Rose but we are still faced with numerous issues. I have no where to put him." She huffed.
"I don't share a room with anyone and I have a spare bed. He can room with me." I replied, gaining hope.
"I don't know how appropriate that is Rosemarie. Just how old is this man?"
"Twenty-four" I muttered.
"Very inappropriate. I'm sorry Rose but the answer is no."
Maybe it is a good idea, I mean her class could benefit substantially in receive primary information, as Rose put it. Besides, Rose has been in this office a lot less this past year, especially when it comes to misdemeanor and inappropriate sexual instances." Alberta piped up from her chair in the corner. I always knew there was a reason I liked her, I mused.
"You have a point." Kirova squinted her eyes at me and stared for a few minutes. I tried my hardest to look meek but I'm positive that she saw past it. " Alright Rose, he can stay."
"Thank you!" I jumped up out of my seat and ran to the door before she could change her mind. I had my hand on the handle when she spoke again. Inwardly, I cringed and spun around slowly to face her.
"Rose, one more thing. How long will Mr-" She cut off, looking at me, waiting for me to fill in the blanks.
"How long will Mr Belikov be staying?"
"A month." I whispered. I looked up at Kirova's face, saw it turn purple and took that as my cue to leave. With one last glance at Alberta, I quickly moved out of the office, breathing a sigh of relief when I knew I was safe from her changing her mind. She may be a self righteous old bitch but once she agreed to something, unless it is violated, she never goes back on her word. One thing about Kirova that I actually respect.
Lunchtime came and my friends and I sat down in the Cafeteria at a table towards the side. The cream walls brightened the room but did nothing to hide the ancient structure of the building that lied underneath.
"So, I have some news. You know the soldier I have been writing to?" I asked looking at my friends as they picked at their food. Most nodded and mumbled 'yes', not paying to much attention.
"The sexy forty year old that you have been crushing on?" Christian smirked. This piqued the groups interest and they all settled in, ready to watch the fight that was no doubt about to ensue.
"Get fucked Chris. Since when did you turn gay? I wasn't aware of this, does Lissa know?" I retorted, he rolled his eyes in response but quieted down. "Besides, he is twenty four and he's arriving on Wednesday."
This news got mixed responses like Lissa's and Mia's excited ones, Christian's bored one and Mason's jealous one I headed back to my room.
The weekend went by fast and for that I was extremely happy. I couldn't wait for Dimitri to get here as much as I was dreading Stan's class on Monday. As much as I tried to pretend like i didn't care, I was really looking forward to meeting him. I'm in no way shallow but I like a guy who looks good and it is no secret that it is one of the first things I notice, I won't lie and pretend it's not. What shocks me is that I have absolutely no idea what he looks like and yet I can tell that we will be good friends.
The first three periods flew by and before I knew it I was stuck in Stan's History class. He droned on and on and I rested my head on my desk as I tried to drown out his voice. Stan didn't notice however as he was too preoccupied with the sound of his own voice.
A vibrating in my pocket made me sit up. Grabbing my phone out I saw that it was an unknown caller. Dimitri's letter suddenly came back to me and I looked at the time. It was Dimitri. Not worrying about the trouble I would get in, I answered my phone.
"Roza? It's me, Dimitri" His voice was smooth and velvety and made me sit up straighter and cross my legs.
"Rose Hathaway! Put your phone away right now!" Stan yelled across the room, I mentally groaned, of course now he actually notices I am paying no attention. In my imagination I flip him the bird, normally I wouldn't hesitate but if word gets to Kirova then Dimitri won't. A few students laughed as I replied.
"Stan," I said in a reprimanding tone, like a mother would to a disruptive child. "I'm on the phone."
"Roza? Is that one of your teachers? I'm sorry, I don't want you to get in trouble-" I cut off his rambling and assured him that I wasn't in any trouble and told him to keep talking which only made Stan get angrier. Dimitri had never been anything but polite but his concern for me was different. A good different, one I could definitely get used to experiencing more often.
"Have you spoken to your teachers?" He asked, sounding a bit unsure of himself.
"Yeah I talked to them, you can stay here." I put a hand on my other ear so that I could hear Dimitri's response over Stan's angry yelling.
"That's great news. I can't wait to see you Roza. Look I have to go but I'll see you on wednesday at four p.m?"
"Yeah sure, I'll meet you at the airport then"
"Wait what will you be wearing so that I know it's you?" He asked
"Well," I drew out my words and lowered my tone. "I'll be wearing a lacy black top and a-" Stan then exploded.
"ROSEMARIE HATHAWAY ARE YOU HAVING PHONE SEX IN MY CLASS ROOM?" He screamed. The class lost it, partially from hearing Stan yell so loud but mostly from hearing him scream 'phone sex'.
"Roza!" Dimitri chuckled and I'm pretty sure he heard Stan. I'm also pretty sure that he liked the wild side I was showing and I would bet that he was a lot like me before he became a soldier. Who knows, maybe he still is? I doubted it though, the Army is way too strict to have my characteristics and not be reprimanded.
"Look, at the airport I'll come up to you, okay?" I laughed, acutely aware of the class still fully listening in on my conversation.
"Alright Roza, see you soon"