KIRA REFUSED HER FATHER’S HAND as she stepped out of the carriage. Reluctantly, she followed him through the large archway of the clock tower train station. She remained quiet with a scowl as he exchanged their tickets for space on the 9:00 a.m. train to Moscow.
The sound of a light rain thrummed atop the metal roof as they walked onto the platform. Alexander opened the car door and ushered his daughter inside. The small private compartment held two leather seats facing one another. The baggage handler placed their bags overhead and Alexander handed him a few coins.
Kira sat cross-armed, scrunched tight against the window as far away from her father as possible. Her thoughts returned to the argument they had had earlier in the morning, regarding Roman. Her father had forbid her from seeing him after someone reported spotting the two of them at the garden party in an embrace. She was thankful he had not heard about the kiss or he would have sent her packing back home to her mother in Minsk where she would be selecting her trousseau. Her father reminded her of her fiancé, Colonel Vershinin, an arrangement her parents had made when she was fifteen. She had met him once, but even then she was vexed by his domineering manner, reminiscent of her father.
Alexander opened a box of Zhorzh Borman chocolates sealed in a golden wrapper that displayed the imperial coat of arms. He offered his daughter one but she shook her head. He unwrapped the sweet and bit down then sucked in the soft center from its lair. “Delicious,” he said. “Your mother would be jealous.”
Kira stared out the window vowing never to speak to him. She thought about making her escape. Where would I go? She thought for a moment. Auntie Masha! The train pulled out. I still have time. Her fingers slowly reached for the the door-handle.
“It’s going to be a long trip if you refuse to speak,” Alexander said.
She withdrew and sat back in her seat. Her heart ached to know what Roman was doing at that moment.