Copyright © 2016 -2017 X. R. Leblanc
All rights reserved.
Moscow had benefited, for a rare occasion, from a relatively mild winter by Russian standards. The snow had disappeared by early March and an unseasonably warm spring was already settling in. The older generation had concocted some conspiracy theory accusing the Americans of manipulating the weather pattern for some obscure reasons. A few young intellectuals blamed global warming, a phenomenon that had become all the rage of western fringe environmentalists at the end of the century. Whatever the cause, no one in the capital really cared; it simply gave the populace an opportunity to escape a long winter and enjoy the warm spring sun.
Gorky Central Park, the largest park of the capital, was quickly transformed from a quiet cold white desert to a bustling city park. Signs of an early spring were everywhere: green shrubs had started coming out of the ground slowly transforming the landscape into a colorful green carpet. Trees had heard the calling of the warm weather as small buds came out of hibernation. Workers had abandoned their posts in mass on that Friday to take in the much wanted sun razes. Students came out in droves from the surrounding schools to hang out with their friends. Vendors rolled out their food carts in search of clients looking to satisfy their appetite. More ingenious individuals packed coolers with ice and sold soda bottles to the quench the thirst of the park visitors. Spring was here and the city was coming out of its winter doldrums.
Two teenage girls walked from school to the park to satisfy their craving for a cold threat: gelato. As they finished their ice cream, one the girls asked the other, in Russian: “Anna, so where is Oksana?”
“I don’t know Tatiana. She was at tennis practice. I think Valentin was stopping by to see her,” the young teenager replied, giggling.
“Valentin again,” Tatiana said, while just slightly elevating her voice, clearly annoyed, “Why does she want to see that boy all the time?”