Chapter 1: My Beginning by Cloud2036
My name is Olga Gurlukovich. I was born 1955 in a small town called Otradny in Soviet Russia. Much of my childhood is still a blur to me. I do remember that I lived with my Aunt Gurlukovich, though we called her Gurlu for short, and her son Egor Titov. We were all close with each other. My Aunt taught us because we could not afford school, she told us all she knew from when she was a child. Her stories fascinated me and I’d listen eagerly wanting to hear more; but she would shoo us away to go outside so she could nap. And we went.Egor and I would play soldier “shooting” each other with rocks and fighting with sticks like the French, mocking them is what we were really doing, and that may be the only reason Aunt Gurlu let us do it. One day Egor broke Gurlu’s broomstick so we could have better weapons to fight with. I knew it was a bad idea, even though Aunt Gurlu never beat us she had a quiet sternness that caused me to tremble. She was nearly blind and her eyes were usually shut, but when she was speaking to Egor he stood there quaking. She never raised her voice and ended simply saying: “I could place this broom across your back and you would learn your lesson, though I’d prefer you to learn unharmed and grow to be a man full of wisdom with no scars to show for it. Heed my words Egor and you will live a life, well.”I never forgot the look that Egor had in his eyes when he walked away, but it would be a long time before I saw it again.The years went on, Egor and I grew older, and so did Gurlu. When I was 19 my Aunt lay dying. We didn’t know what to do. During that time my Aunt took her last breaths teaching us everything about the world around us. We listened and didn’t interrupt her because we knew she felt she had to tell us this before her time. In her last week to live Egor came to me and told me to go to Moscow and make a life for myself.“I’ll stay here and take care of Gurlu-““AUNT Gurlu,” I always corrected him, “show some respect Titov!”“Sorry…it isn’t easy to see her go for me either. She is my mother, my only mother, by blood, I’ll ever have.” We stayed in silence for a moment in respect.“I’ll go, but I want to see you again Titov.”“And you will” We hugged, and for a long time. Neither of us knew that it would be the last time we saw each other for many years to come.
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