|Aug. 23rd, 2030 @ 10:53 pm Ekaterina |
“It was like a Russian party, Arkady thought. People got drunk, recklessly confessed their love, spilled their festering dislike, had hysterics, marched out, were dragged back in and revived with brandy. It wasn't a French salon.”
Are you 18 or over?: Yup
Source work and author: Original Character
Character Journal name: dusha | http://dusha.insanejournal.com
Character Name: Ekaterina Ivanova Stankevicha (Екатерина Ивано́ва Станке́вича), after coming to America, she changed her name to Ekaterina Pietrova Durchenka (Екатерина Петро́ва Дурченка), nicknamed Elya (Эля)
Character Age: 22
Character Played By: Jennifer Lawrence
Character History and Personality:
[Author's note: Extremely dark waters ahead, including domestic violence and infanticide. Proceed with caution.]
"There are a few things you have to know first, da? The vory, the Mafia, they started in Russian prisons under Stalin. In the gulag, these were the men that survived. They allied themselves with the rich and the powerful, but never the government. Never. They hate the government and anyone that works for it. They aren't like your Italian mafia and their omerte, or omertà, or whatever-the-fuck they call it. But they have a code, a Vorovskoy Zakon, the thieves' code. My otets wasn't a vor yet when he married my mother, just poor and desperate.
"So he steals from his boss when he finds out my mama is pregnant with my brother. When his boss catches him, they throw him in jail, and he becomes a vor. He comes home with tattoos and he tells her they can no longer be married, so he divorces her. He tells her he cannot have any more children, and that she must send my brother away, so she does. To my babushka, even though her heart is breaking, da? But she stays with him, because he says that she can, and my mama, she still loves him.
"But she doesn't tell him when she's pregnant with me. It doesn't matter. He steals again, and goes back to prison with his vory before she shows. And when she has me, she sends me to live with my grandmother too and she never tells him. It's better this way. He gets released, he comes back to her, but they can't figure out how to work a fucking condom, da, and my mama, she ends up pregnant again. Only this time, my otets, he beats her until she loses the baby. She tells me this later. She tells me of all the babies she has lost because of my him. Of the one she has after me that he drowns in the bath tub.
"But a few survive. They come to live with us, the ones my otets doesn't know about and can't beat out of my mama, with my brother and I at my babushka's house. There are more out there, this I know, because my otets, he cannot stop fucking women and he tells my mama, but we never know of any children. Perhaps he beat them out of those women too.
"You see, to vory women are animals. Worthless. Like dogs. We are nothing. Our opinions and our lives do not matter.
"But my babushka, she tries to keep us away from that. She walks us to school, to parks, she sings us to sleep with her old-woman voice. And my mama, she stays with my otets until the vory find out about her. They give my otets a choice: her and her entire family, or him. Vory are not allowed to have things like a wife and children, they have only other vory.
"He kills her. My father killed my mama as I hid in the cabinet beneath the sink and watched. My brother, that worthless shit, that suka, he says he will become a vor too, and he kills my babushka's friend at the table. Slits her throat and steals everything from her. Then he beats my babushka to death to prove himself. An old woman and he kills her. I do not know what happened to the rest. It is all screaming, and crying, and heavy feet. When the screaming stops, I do not look. I do not want to see anymore of death.
"When they are gone, I creep out of my hiding spot and go to my babushka's office. We have family, this I knew, and she keeps them all written down in her little book. I call my dyadya, my uncle Pietr, and he does not know who I am at first. My grandmother, she has not talked to him in years, but I do not want to go to an orphanage and that is where I will go if he does not help me. He is far away, in America, and he is only one I think I will be safe with.
"That is all that matters.
"At first he tells me nyet, no, that he will not come and that I am a horrible child for making up such a story. I tell him I am not, and that I will be sent to an orphanage or the vory will kill me if he does not come. Either way, I will die and I do not want to die yet.
"He finally agrees to come. I hide at my bubushka's friend's house until he does. I do not want to stay in the house where they died. I do not want to smell them, to see their lifeless eyes. I do not talk to any of my bubushka's friends. I can not. I do not want to know if my brothers and sisters have made it to them or if they lay dead on the floor of our house like my mama.
"I do not want to know.
"And when he comes, I call him dyadya and I press my dirty face to his nice clean clothes and I beg him to take me back with him. He tells me nyet again but I do not stop begging him. I beg him not to go into the house, and he goes, and he sees what those sons of diseased whores have done. And then I beg him to not stay, to go, and to take me with him, but we must not stay for they will come back for us. I ask him about his life in America, and his job, and what type of music he likes. I ask him if he likes his job, if he likes art. If he has a wife and children, but he has neither, he tells me.
"He finally tells me da. We can go. It is nothing like I expected. At his hotel, he tells me to take a bath and I want to be clean for my trip to America.
"And when we get there it is like being in Moscow, except these people do not speak my language. It is all 'excuse me' when they touch in a line, and 'excuse me' when they have brushed against me, and 'excuse me' when they have a fucking opinion of their own.
"I do not know the language, but I learn. I must learn, if I am to survive here. My uncle, I do not know what he does, but he has money and he hires tutors to teach me English.
"I am living in his house for a year, maybe two, I am almost 12 when I learn why my uncle has left Russia. I catch him with the pool boy, grunting like pigs in the laundry room. My uncle is gay.
"He does not know I was there. I do not ask him about it at dinner. We don't talk about it until I am 14, I think, when I yell the filthiest names I know at him. I am angry because he will not let me go to the fall dance with my podruga. He tells me that my grades are not good enough and I am not allowed to go. I hate him for it. I want only to go with my friends to the dance, to dress up in pretty clothes and have the attention of boys for a night. He does not let me go to the dance, he will not let me have classes at the studio where they blow glass and use their hands to form clay. He tells me nyet, that I do not need these things, and nyet again, and it never becomes da.
"After I yell at him, I go to my room and lock the door. And later that night, he comes into my room, I hear him fumbling at the door and pretend to be asleep, but he is drunk, reeking of vodka, and he runs his fingers down my face and tells me that if I was a boy, this would all be easier.
"He stays there for a couple of minutes and then he leaves. I know, if I was a boy, that he would want to fuck me too and I am glad I am not. I am never more glad to be a girl.
"We do not talk much after that. I have not apologized for what I said and he does not forgive me. When I graduate, he does not say more to me than he wants me to go to college. That is all. What more can we say to one another? He gave his boys gifts, he never told them nyet, and always they can run around the house doing whatever they want. I hate him for loving those boys more than he loves me. And he hates me for the names I called him.
"But it is done now.
"And I go to college, da, as he wants me to. I do not want to be a stupid girl who has not even gone to college. So I go, but I did not know what I want. I am 18, who knows what they want then? I am a teenager; I know nothing.
"I am trying to decide between becoming a teacher, something I know I can do, I can teach Russian, I am sure of it, and becoming a doctor, like many women in Russia do. It is so expensive, but this is what I want.
"My dyadya calls me one afternoon and he tells me that he is moving and that he will no longer pay for my college. I cry; I tell him I am sorry for the things that I said, and he says that he is done, that I am not his daughter, and that he has fallen in love. I scream at him, in English, in Russian, but I do not tell him the awful things that I did before. I know better now. I tell him that he is all that I have of my family and he hangs up.
"I am in my second year of pre-med.
"I do not know how I am going to afford a third year. A scholarship will not pay for everything and I have held jobs before, when I was in high school, but nothing that will support me going to school and pay my bills. I do not know what I will do. I spent more time at the studio, where I can pound clay and make vases and blow glass and forget. My uncle would not pay for me to learn when I was in high school, but at college, I could choose. And now he is taking that from me.
"He stops paying for my apartment in August. I can not afford my tuition for my junior year. I keep thinking that I can get a full time job, loans, and keep going, but I know that having a job all the time meant I would neglect school.
"And that is when the first check comes. At first, I am not sure if it is some stupid joke or something. Ten thousand dollars. But I take it to the bank and the money is good, so I pay my rent for September and began paying my tuition.
"The next week another check comes. Another ten thousand with a note this time. It says, 'I want.' Nothing more. I put the check in my account, but I do not spend it. What do they want? Who is this person sending me this money?
"The next week, another check. This note only has one word on it, 'You.' The next another, and another, and he tells me what he wants from me. Every week for the semester, another check, enough for me to finish school and cover all my expenses, with some left over.
"When I walk out of my final exam that semester, he is there, in his fancy shiny limousine. An American, but his clothes are expensive, I could tell. He is maybe thirty, maybe early thirties, young to have so much money.
"He tells me he had seen me at the studio. That he wants me to be his slave. I tell him nyet. I am no man's slave. I already had his money, didn't I? It is in my account. He has already given me that.
"And then he tells me that he will take care of me if I went with him. That it will only be for a year and then I will have the future I want.
"I tell him I want to think about it.
"He asks me to dinner.
"He already has my address, I tell him he could pick me up at 7.
"He takes me to a beautiful restaurant. A fine restaurant. One that any one of my friends would have been jealous to go to, but it is all for me. His name is [Man] and he tells me such things. Things we would see together, do together, and I tell him I won't do anything disgusting. He tells me no, that I will do as he wants, that I will be his, but he will never let any harm come to me.
"We go back and forth, back and forth. I tell him nyet, he tells me he will keep me safe, that he wishes to see me finish school, that he can provide for me and hasn't he already done this? He tells me about his job, about how he inherited money from his family and how he owns his own company. He is a businessman.
"Then he asks me about me. He asks why I have chosen pre-med. He asks me about home, and my uncle, and my family, what I like most about America. He asks me what I want to do in my future. If I want to travel, where I wish to go.
"He promises to take me to the those places, the best places, the most expensive. And I? I have never had expensive things. Not even my babushka gave us things like that.
"And so I said da. I want these things. And he? He is not so bad. He is handsome and even after I say da, he opens all the doors for me, like a gentleman should.
"That night he takes me home, to my home, and kisses me goodnight. He tells me to pack my things and that he will be back in a week to pick me up and take me to his home.
"When he comes to pick me up, I almost say nyet again. I have taken his money and I know what he wants from me. Does this make me a whore? A very expensive whore? Men do not pay so much for whores, I think. I have looked him up and all he says is true. The company is his. I already know that he has money. And it does not matter to anyone but me. I have given my word.
"I have packed.
"I am ready. I am not afraid.
"He starts slow. He tells me he wants to go out to dinner, then what to wear, and I have a huge closet full of clothes to pick from. We dance. I go to school. He has a car pick me up and take me wherever I want to go. Anywhere. Except for the studio, he does not want another man to see me there. Instead, he gives me a room in his house and turns it into a studio all for me. But I must be home by 5, this is the rule. So, sometimes I come home after my classes, sometimes I go shopping. I have his credit card, he has given it to me.
"And at night, I do what he wants. I do everything he wants.
"But always, I wonder why he does this. He is attractive, da? And he has money. He is a gentleman and he always bathes. He has a house that I live in with him and he is putting me through school. Why did he pay? He could have a woman for less.
"Instead he gives me these things. After a few months, I no longer care. I forget that it will only be a year.
"I tell him everything. About my otets, my mama, and my babushka. I tell him about my dyadya and that night, when I am on my knees, he kisses me and tells me that he is glad that I lived and though he hates my uncle for what he has done, if he had not, I would not be in his life and so he cannot hate him too much.
"I think I am in love.
"I want to be in love.
"On the day of our year anniversary, the day that I moved from my apartment to his home, his car picks me up from school and takes me back to my apartment. All my things are there, the things I packed up when I went to stay with him.
"He has written me a letter, thanking me for my year. He says we will not see each other again. And he says that he has found some people that he thinks I should meet.
"There is a list of people in with his letter. I cannot read the names at first; I am crying. They are the ones he found, other sons and daughters of my worthless otets.
"I walk to his house. I scream at him to answer the door. When it opens, it is his butler. He tells me that [Man] is gone on business and that he will not be back for months.
"What do I do? What can I do? I call his mobile. I call his office. I leave messages everywhere. Screaming at him, crying at him, telling him I want to see him again, that I miss him, that I hate him for leaving, that he is the dirty asshole of a pig farmer not worthy to lick the shit from the heels he has bought for me.
"Never does he call back.
"I spend my days in my apartment, crying. I do not go to the studio. I go to school only because I must.
"I cannot stand it. Everywhere I go, I am reminded of where we have gone. My apartment reminds me of the house I no longer live in and school of the man that paid for it.
"On the list are names of people and the cities they live in. I start at the top. I meet my half-sister in England, but she is married and now has a son. Her brother is missing. I ask her where, that I will help to find him. That is how I end up in Las Vegas and when I come, I am drawn to this place. So, here I am and this place? It looks fucking awful.
"If I die going into this horrible hotel, at least someone will hear my story."
[With appreciation of certain themes from Jasinda Wilder's Alpha. No infringement intended and no profit made.]
Journal/Key: Her key is a house key hidden with a matryoshka doll given to her by her grandmother. The journal is an iPhone 5s in silver.
External Door items: She comes with the money in her bank account and a small apartment in New York City, as well as her past academic achievements.
Blood: Brothers, sisters, Ekaterina has plenty of them and more than a few half-siblings spread out over the globe.
Pietr: Her gay uncle that emigrated from Russia to the United States and loves the young twinks.
Emily: The first half-sister she met. Ronan Xander's skinned sister-in-law.
Marta: The second name on the list. inkonstage
Man: The mystery Man that paid for her and when they said good-bye, left her with a list of possible half siblings.