“No matter where he was or what he did, he was tormented by thoughts of Elizaveta Bestuzheva and the fear of losing her forever…” – A SIMPLE SOUL
Her present lover she had forgotten completely. He was baffled and called daily, feeling hurt and mumbling something or other, but Elizaveta was always extremely cold to men in whom she had lost interest. They stopped existing for her, as if they had been put behind a transparent wall that repelled each and every word. She didn’t waste her energy on explanations of any kind and refused to reply to protests – not because she was heartless, but because conversations like these were intolerable torture.
As for Alexander, he had known no peace since their last meeting. He mulled every moment of it over and over in his head, desperately trying to understand the reason for the misfortune that had befallen him, but he couldn’t identify a single disquieting detail, nothing noteworthy or out of the ordinary. Yet the misfortune was obvious; his living space was rapidly decreasing in size, and it seemed the whole world was crumbling around him.
They hadn’t seen each other again, which was not odd in itself. Their meetings occurred infrequently; that was typical in a city that allowed no one to breathe freely. Now, however, he heard the threat in every sound, saw its footprints, sensed its smell – and was beside himself with panic. Between him and Elizaveta the link disappeared, some frayed thread was severed – that was irreversible and permanent. Frolov slept little, ate nearly nothing, and couldn’t think of anything else. Among his acquaintances a rumor spread about his sudden mental illness, which was not far from the truth. Inadvertently, he threw fuel on the fire by speaking mostly in interjections, breaking off conversation and hanging up abruptly – though just moments before he had rushed to the ringing phone across the room at full speed. Even at work his bosses started to regard him dubiously: he had become inefficient, which the administration could not help but notice. He thought distractedly that a conflict could arise soon with the company, followed by dismissal, the collapse of his career, and the loss of his source of income. This didn’t bother him in the least.
No matter where he was or what he did, he was tormented by thoughts of Elizaveta Bestuzheva and the fear of losing her forever. Their romance had drawn out for more than half a year, and he was convinced this woman, like no other, gave meaning to his monotonous life. Now that meaning was slipping away, sinking into sand, leaving an emptiness in its wake, and the sight of this emptiness was so frightening that Alexander’s mind refused to believe it. Only an extreme exertion of will prevented him from cornering Elizaveta at the door of her residence or calling her more than once a day. At times, the despair receded for a brief instant and Alexander surveyed the world with a more or less sober view, even planning actions that could put an end to the humiliation to which he had subjected himself. But it didn’t last long; very soon his sullen nerves took the upper hand again. He rushed about the apartment like a sick animal or ran outside and roamed the streets until weariness dulled the pain inside… – A SIMPLE SOUL
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“I read this one from cover to cover in one sitting without wanting to be disturbed” – Readers’ Favorite
His crafty plan results in a deadly threat. Her hopes keep her locked in a vicious circle. They parted ways, supposedly forever. But will they be able to live apart?
Winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for Fiction
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