The next morning there was an envelope under our door.
“Eviction?” I mouthed
“Embassy,” He stated as he ripped open the envelope. ‘As a citizen of the …. You are being strongly urged us to leave Ukraine.’ It says: ‘If you choose to stay, your embassy cannot assure your safety Please be advised the last flight, leaves tomorrow at 10am.’
“Should we call someone?”
“We were told.” I mouthed to tell no one.
“Let’s call granny and tell her we have decided to stay.” My husband said in an intentionally loud voice.
Anything else we might need? I wrote on our notepad.
“Yes, courage.” He wanted to shout.
We called granny.
“Hi mom. Yes, we are doing great. We are staying to do more writing. Oh, it’s completely safe. When you talk to your grandchildren tell them we are staying in a nice old hotel. You are so right it’s the perfect place to inspire writing.”
The funny thing was I realized that we hadn’t done any writing since we had arrived.
“Yes, we will talk to you soon…”
‘That was a big fat lie. When was the last time you lied to your mom?’ he scribbled.
‘”In another century,” I replied.
‘We have no clothing for the children.’ I wrote on the pad. ‘Let’s go to that used clothing store and see if we can find a few things.’
As we walked out of the hotel, I noticed a man paying too much attention to us. I snuggled against my husband and whispered in his ear.
“We at least have a face.” My husband gestured toward the stores nonchalantly. “Walls have ears…”
We were able to find just what we needed for the children and a few things we hadn’t thought of. There had been an old kerosene lamp in a store window. Light would be important.
I also asked Marina our shop clerk friend if she had anything that no one would buy.
“That makes no sense.” She raised her hands.
“I want to buy something so the money will help you and your family.”
“Oh, now I understand. We were sent too many matching ugly t-shirts. Pay me whatever you wish.” She made a face as she held one up.
“Yes, they are a unusual.” The t-shirts were a waste but money would help Marina.
“Dmitre, how are?” My husband sounded concerned.
“We will be overtaken in a day no more than two. My friend we did not expect Mariople to be vulnerable but they have already sighted Russian ships. My mother must leave.”
“That is a wise decision. We are ready for them.”
“You are?” The strain in his voice lessened.
“Okay. They are packed and ready.”
“What about you?”
“We would never make Odessa. We will go west to friends. We will hope…”
“And pray” the two men said in unison.”
“They will be safe here, my friend.” My husband said with assurance.
“We will keep in touch for as long as we can. We told the women to pack warm layers of clothing and to leave all else.”
“We hope for their safe arrival.”
“Yes, let us hope for the safety of many. Please have them call when they arrive. My mobile is the only way to reach us.” I could see the moisture around my husband’s eyes.
“Thank you, my friend.” Dmitre ended the call.
Reader: have you ever purchased an item or items with no usefulness to help another person?
We recently purchased a hat from a man in Uganda. So many people had been out of work that we knew any amount of money helped put food on the table. The hat hangs on my bed post as a reminder.
Thank you for visiting Penned in Moondust aka Moondustwriter. if you are visiting from the A to Z challenge, thank you for your time. here is the story in order – it is a fictional story about what is going on in current time in Odessa, Ukraine. Believe it or not this was originally written in Odessa during my stay there in 2007.
Links to the beginning of the story: