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Chapter 16: Anastasia

Anastasia was lying in bed, listening to the loud drunken nonsense downstairs.

She was fuming. Vassily should have come to bed with her. He knew she was upset. He knew she hated being here. He knew she should be the most important thing in his life.

She could not understand why he found Cass funny. Anastasia did everything right. She made sure she looked perfect, she was perfect. Their house was perfect. She entertained his friends and colleagues perfectly.

She was submissive to Vassily’s decisions like a good wife should be. She had followed her mother’s example and her mother was happy. Yes, her mother was definitely happy. Her mother had everything. How dare Sergey suggest that her wonderful father’s success was from anything but his hard work.

Anastasia was blind to her mother’s extreme unhappiness. Her mother comforted herself with the trappings of wealth to anaesthetise herself from the reality of her husband’s two mistresses and he found his wife boring. One mistress, who was the same age as Anastasia. Her father told his mistresses, “My wife, at least looks good and knows how to behave at dinner parties. She does me that credit. Like you my darling, I buy her something expensive and she lets me get on with whatever I want.”

Anastasia did not realise that Vassily had not fallen in love with the perfect version of Anastasia. He had fallen in love with the silly dreamy Anastasia, who drew doodles in lectures and could not work out how to open a washing machine. He loved her and her beautiful long legs in cut off jeans and a t shirt at the Dacha picking peas, not the manicured monster she had become.

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