Touch: Chapter 6
by, Aug-20-2012 at 20:23 (129 Views)
The next Monday, Nadia stepped into her Copyist office.
"Nadia, there you are! I was wondering if you would come late," her boss stepped up to her from his own desk.
"No, I wouldn't come late. I'm not going to give you the trouble of that worry."
Nadia's boss turned his head to the side. "What do you mean?"
"I'm leaving, sir. I am... moving on."
His eyes went wide. "Now? But we are in the middle of a project, and we need your expertise. Why of all times are you leaving now?" his voice grew edgy and irritable.
"I have to. Something has come up."
"A new position elsewhere, one that I'm more comfortable with."
Nadia's boss screwed up his eyes. "I can't afford you to leave. If it's hard work that's making you quit... fine, I will decrease the load. But take me seriously now, Nadia, we can't find a replacement for you that quickly. We need you."
"You didn't talk like that to me before."
His eyes flashed. "There are many who are perfectly able to take your place! But..."
"But what? You like treating me as your inferior, that's all."
"Well as to that, what position would it be different?"
"Where I'm going to!" Nadia snapped. The next moment she thought against it though. She wasn't really sure if she was going to be treated so well with Gavrilov after all.
Her boss sighed in a frustrated manner, but didn't speak for some moments.
"Nadia, I don't want to end our relation in a negative light. If you really feel like it's the right thing, then go. But I'll always welcome you back here, and no doubt you will return," his smile was rather sly.
Nadia's boss was named Nikolai Karazov. He was a rather handsome man in his late 30s, with dark eyes and well-combed brown hair, and a ruthless attitude to getting through life. He was a bachelor as well, something that made Nadia keep especially cool contact with him. She suspected that he took up his position as manager here only because he liked to be considered a superior. Anything that would make him feel powerful, and good about himself. And this made him repulsive to her.
"Let us part on good terms then," Nadia held out her hand to Karazov for him to shake it. It was a bad idea.
"Yes, that's all very well," he suddenly grabbed her hand with both of his. "But not an ending of our acquaintance I presume?"
Nadia froze. He was all geniality, but it lasted only for a moment as he then showed disapproval at how mortified she looked back at him.
"Sir, we have only known an official acquaintance, and that I wish to remain as it is. Good-bye," taking her hand out slowly from his own, she walked past him out of the office, gritting her teeth. Karazov remained standing there with a slightly disappointed look on his face.
Nadia immediately headed home, flustered. She had suspected it all, but now that it was revealed, it disgusted her beyond anything. She finally admitted to herself the real reason she wanted to leave that place.
"I'm never going back there," she thought to herself. "A perfectly treacherous man..."
Now that Nadia had nothing to do in the day, she pondered her next plans. After some errands, she decided to take a walk in the city, as it was a beautiful morning.
Going to the park, she sat down on a bench. The sun was bright, and she closed her eyes for a moment, just to absorb its warmth. It was now May, and indeed a very beautiful spring day.
She opened her eyes up rapidly and looked around. She knew that voice anywhere.
It was her older brother, Sergei, standing about 20 paces from her. Nadia immediately ran to him, and fell into his arms.
"Seryozha! I was wondering for so long when you would come!"
Sergei was a 4 years older than Nadia, very tall, and had cropped hair. He had been in military service for a time in the Artillery, although he wasn't wearing his uniform at the moment but a regular civilian's outfit.
Together they walked arm in arm through the park, catching up on the latest events in each others lives. They barely knew where to start, because it had been over 9 months.
"I just came into town this morning," Sergei began, "I have some great news to tell you. I'm going to be promoted to Major very soon."
"Oh how wonderful!" Nadia exclaimed. "I knew that would happen to you!"
"And not just that," Sergei continued, his eyes shining, "Something else happened when I was at Kemerovo... I met someone..."
"A... a lady?"
"Yes, she lives there with her family... so far away," Sergei suddenly frowned. "It was painful to part with her, we had become, as it were, quite close."
"She's from a military family?"
"Yes, her name is Katerina. She has some extended family here in Moscow, so that may be how I will get contact with her in the future."
"Did you... propose to her?"
"No I didn't. I have been conflicted over it..."
"Anyways... how have you been?"
"Oh just great..." suddenly Nadia faltered. "But something happened today. I quit my job."
"Did you now? Why?"
"I couldn't take it anymore. It was boring me to death, besides being outrageously tedious."
"I understand... is that how I came to find you now, isn't it?"
"Yes, I would be at work now otherwise. But now I have a new job..."
Nadia hesitated. She remembered what she had said to Gavrilov, promising not to tell anyone about it. But how could her brother be an issue? He was no threat.
"I'm working for a composer. I'm his copyist."
"Fascinating! What a truly unique position!"
"Yes, and it's been exciting so far, but very hard."
"I imagine. Having to write out his scribblings into more coherent stuff, eh?"
"Not exactly... he dictates what I write."
Sergei stopped in his tracks. "He can't write? How old is he?"
"Oh he's not old, he's just... he's blind."
"Oh... I see..." he furrowed his brow.
Nadia ended the topic there, and they went on to further ones. Nadia and Sergei talked for hours and went to lunch together, talking further into the afternoon. Eventually Sergei had to leave though to find lodgings and other acquaintances to meet, and Nadia parted with him to go to her own apartment.
That night, Nadia went to Gavrilov's home once again, and found him this time laying on his couch as though sleeping.
"I did it today, sir. I turned down my position."
Gavrilov nodded his head in approval, although he didn't say anything right away.
"I hope we will work well together," he finally said.
"Me too. And I... I want to apologize for my behavior on Saturday. I was ungrateful. Really, thank you for this position. I never have had a more... meaningful position."
Gavrilov furrowed his brow and turned his head to Nadia, who was still standing in the room. But his expression relaxed again, and he went into deep thought so it seemed.
Nadia had a mix of sympathy but also simple curiosity for Gavrilov. He was a very mysterious man, and he quite baffled her in some ways. She was eager to get to know him better, but felt that as a professional acquaintance that it wasn't in her place to ask those questions.
"Are we going to begin, sir?"
"Yes we should, and..."
"Please don't call me sir, it's not that kind of officiality here... call me Andrei," he smiled.
"Oh... alright," Nadia said with some surprise as well as relief.
It was a sign she made a right decision working here now.