Dear readers, tonight we listen in while the protagonist – Anna, a young factory worker – is having tea with her husband’s aunt, Oxsana. All she wanted was a quiet cup of tea, but an unexpected encounter blooms into new-found love that changes her life.
OXSANA: (sitting down opposite Anna and pouring a cup of tea.) Oh, Anna—I’ve been wanting to do this ever since Boris first told me you were the one for him. I feel that I don’t know you at all, really. Could you tell me a little about yourself?
ANNA: (dipping a cookie into her tea) Well, I was born here in Dor. You knew that, right? I wish I could remember it when it was beautiful.
OXSANA: You don’t remember anything from before the war?
ANNA: My very first memory is of Mama making me lie down in the bathtub and pushing a mattress over the top. Because of the rockets. It was dark, and the tub was icy cold. I was so scared—too scared to cry, even. Ilya and Bogdan and Radoslav hid under their beds, but Mama didn’t trust me to stay put!
OXSANA: She wanted you safe.
ANNA: Of course. (Pours herself more tea.) That makes it sound like I had a horrible childhood, but I didn’t. Our house had a big, beautiful back garden, and my brothers and I were always kicking a football around it, or climbing the apple tree and getting onto the roof of the neighbors’ shed.
OXSANA: Well, I’m sure having so many older brothers made things interesting.
ANNA: (laughing) Oh, yes! I was a tomboy growing up—Mama didn’t know what to do with me. I did have a doll , named Ilona after the great-aunt who gave her to me, but as any girl with only brothers can tell you, all the really fun games don’t involve dolls.Continue reading “Anna Belko (of Wrong Place, Right Time, by E.B. Roshan)”