The next day, Nadia nervously stepped into the Conservatory, waiting at any moment for Maxim to come to her. Sure enough, 15 seconds in, he found her.
"Nadia, hello. Are you able to talk now?" coming up to her from across the hall.
Maxim walked with her and said nothing for a minute. Instead he wanted to take her to another place, outside in a courtyard next to the Conservatory. There, it was secluded.
Days turned to weeks, and soon a month was past. Andrei has succeeded in composing the first movement, and was touching up the second by the end of May. Nadia kept a cool attitude to it all, although certainly less cheerful than before. Whenever she went to Andrei's house, that cheer she had in working with the composition was gone. But rather than being bitter, Nadia kept quiet, and worked as obediently as she could. Andrei didn't know the difference. So she thought.
Nadia stopped. "How are you so sure?"
"There's something he hasn't told you."
"He's using you."
Nadia grimaced. "Well, of course he is using me. He is helpless otherwise."
"No, I don't mean that way..." he sighed again. They were walking in a hallway, and he led Nadia again into a more secluded area, where no one was walking.
"As a dear
The next evening, Nadia returned to Andrei's house, in lesser spirits than she was before. But she did notice that this evening Andrei wasn't wearing his blindfold. He was "staring" at the wall when she walked in.
"So," Andrei spoke up immediately, with a slightly sarcastic tone, "How was your little excursion?"
"It was wonderful," Nadia replied. "I really enjoyed it for the most part, except for one thing that happened."
In a few days, Nadia's brother Sergei came to her home for a visit.
"I would like to invite you to a ball tomorrow night. A lot of my comrades and some other families from society will be there, but mostly young people. I think you will enjoy it," he said.
"I would love to come!" Nadia smiled. "I work in the evenings but I think my... employer will allow me to go."
"You mean the blind guy?"