The Nevsky Wall
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Chapter 17   -  A Lie Told Often Enough

December 27

The news of his brother’s disappearance sent Alex into a state of manic activity. He spent the next few days making inquiries to a succession of officials at the Admiralty. They had nothing new to tell him. He asked for permission to travel to Osinovets, so he could speak to Viktor’s fellow drivers and get a clearer understanding of his last hours. His requests were denied.

Despite the denials and official indifference, he continued to ask questions, going door-to-door along the long corridors, using whatever leverage he could to pry out the smallest bit of information. On the third day, he was escorted from the building and told not to return. Undaunted, he went on to the Smolny, where he freely used the name of Boris Gamerev as an introduction, to no avail.

As her son frantically searched for answers, Elena found it difficult to perform even the simplest of tasks. Alex and Vera came early each morning to get her out of bed and see to the woodstove. They took turns accompanying her to the ration line while the other stayed behind with Vasha. They could tell that Vasha understood much of what had happened, but he showed no outward signs of emotion. He kept close to Elena when she was in the apartment, more as a comfort to her, it seemed, than as a consolation to himself.

Elena was careful not to cry in front of Vasha, but outside the apartment in those first few days she wept quite openly for her lost son. More than that, she wept for all the years when she would not allow herself to weep – for the husband and the profession that had been taken from her.

Days passed, and Elena slowly emerged from her mourning. The heavy veil of grief began to lift. Eventually, she was able to collect the bread ration by herself, and she could tend to Vasha without assistance. Still, both Vera or Alex found time to visit her during the day. By this time, the pipes had frozen in her building, and Alex came bearing water or a bundle of firewood.

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Chapter 17   -  A Lie Told Often Enough

2 Responses to “Chapter 17”

  1. Dutt says:

    robertlula007:voniucii ty vseze ruskii pooodnk.. ty by lucshe zanyalsa delom, kretin, a ne komentiroval polskih idiotov . Mudilo -izza takih kak ty,{VAS TAKIH GADOV -NAZI :1% V RASIJI VSEGO ! } zlostnyh hamov, nevozmozno vostanovit horoshih otnoshenii ezdu narodami. gadenyshy sdelayut vse, ctoby byla rozn, eto vam nuzno kak vozduh: bez etogo velikorusy ,nazisty i drugaya pohozaya SVOLOC davno peredtala by? sushestvovat’. Ponyal suka? ,

  2. Essays like this are so important to broadening people’s horizons.

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