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Vera.

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Vera was hushed from the Russian streets, and on the few occasions where her timid feet hit the gravel stone she was dressed in layers, not only to prevent her body from freezing but also to give her a plain drab appearance where her newly found body’s curves would be hidden by trench coat and sweater. As Vera walked she stared at the ground and only heard voices of the slums. By the light of the sunset she made her way down the row of houses and into the hutch.
“Vera! Your other had just stopped in, I was told to tell you that he went to the club.” The store owner stared at her figure as she nodded and made her way to the breads.
Paper bag in hand Vera walked with haste, remembering the warmth of the fire that awaited her behind her closed and safe doors. She walked by the line of men waiting to be welcomed by their newly paid lovers; they talked of their checks, wives, and work. A few houses down Vera tip toed up her stairs and leaned against the inside of the door. A breath later she walked across the fire lit living room and into the kitchen. Vera took off her ankle length coat and heard the door click shut.
Bryson didn’t know his wife before the wedding day, but their silence and respect towards each other held them in a greater arranged marriage then any of Vera’s friends. Bryson was the only one at his work without a woman on the side or his hands in dirty money. She felt his light beard on her cheek as he leaned in to say hello; his dark brown hair brushed her forehead and she smelled the after club musk that followed every Friday evening.

A knock sent him away; he opened the door to the cold only to step back and fall to the ground as two men in black jackets pushed their way through the house. Vera heard the forceful steps and hastily hid herself in the back corner pantry. As the footsteps reached the kitchen she held her breath and started to cry. The men started breaking dishes and throwing food around the kitchen.

At that moment she heard a baritone scream of her husband, she shuffled over and peered through the keyhole while Bryson, wielding a cricket bat, shouted bloody murder and puffed out his chest. Then in a single moment, one of the criminals was thrown against the pantry door and Vera fled once again to the back corner, softly sobbing. She listened as Bryson hit one of the men over the shoulder and the loud thud of his back hitting the ground seemed to make the whole house shake.

Then both of the men fled out of the kitchen, and the last thing she heard was a sigh from her husband before the house was stricken with silence. Vera could hear herself crying, and even though she tried so hard to hide it, Bryson heard her cry. He opened the pantry door and for the first time since they had met he held her close as she sobbed. He would not let himself move or break a tear; he was a freestanding rock and a monument to their commitment.

And for a moment Vera found herself in love in the most tragic occurrences.





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