Otkuda Vy


abby_icon.gif tania_icon.gif

Scene Title Otkuda Vy
Synopsis Tania and Abby steal a few hours to keep up with Russian lessons and concern about each others welfare.
Date February 1, 2011

Brooklyn Public Library

\\The central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library was designed to resemble an open book, two wings stretching out along the bordering streets, with the main entrance located at their hinge. Inside is the heart of one of the nation's largest public library systems; the Central Library alone contains over 1.5 million books, magazines, and other materials. It also contains the Brooklyn Collection, an assortment of references and ephemera that chronicle the history of the borough, and a Multilingual Center for non-English speakers and linguistic scholars. A cafe on the first floor sells coffee and snacks, while a restaurant on the third floor (open weekdays only) sells cafeteria-style meals. Internet access is freely available throughout the building\——

Libraries are good places for people with little to no money. They provide a shelter from the elements, internet access and plenty of books. During a week it's also stuffed with families, children, teenagers and college students all seeking something from it. In this afternoon, it's Tania Kozlow and Abigail Caliban who are parked at a table in a far corner in the bowels of the stacks, russian dictionary opened, pencils and paper everywhere and Tania is carrying on her promise to help the older woman learn Russian.

Jackets shed, hats, mitts scarves in a pile to the side and one of Abby's sweaters shed, the brunette is tucking a stray strand of brown hair behind her ear, the tip of her tongue peeking out from the side of her lips as she absorbs a sentence from the teenager and attempts to answer the question asked of her but back in Russian.

«My favourite color is blue. My second favourite color is green. There's a quilt on my bed that is purple and green, that my mother made for me.»

"That was much better," Tania says to Abby, her smile slight, but encouraging. The girl sits in her chair, one of her legs curled under her butt, the other hooked over that leg and swinging lazily as she looks over their collection of books. "I think the Russian, it wants to come out, da?" She says, the smile turning a little crooked.

But when she looks up from the books and over at Abby, she frowns just a little. "What happened? You are hurt. It was not… Did someone hit you?" Tania folds her arms on the table, her brow furrowed over a concerned expression.

Abigail's hand strays to her cheek when Tania expresses her accented concern. Nose is still tender, she might not have the splint anymore but it's still fragile. Crooked slightly, but fragile. There's the still healing cut across her cheek that promises to fade to nearly nothing or even nothing if she's careful.

"Too much Vodka one night, and the other… I had a run in with a bird. Life on the run does not make for the proper medical care, or for even a safe trip wherever I go. I think I've nearly gotten frost bite a few times" Abigail folds her arms, leaning into the table and to Tania.

"Don't worry, that bird got what was coming to it. And my nose? My nose got me tons of sympathy. I bet Robert will still love it either way. If he doesn't, when all is done I can go get it fixed. Okay, what next?"

"Ah, yes. Vodka does this, I have noticed." Tania smiles a little, but that concern is still there. "I am lucky, while I have been on the run, there is always someone to look after me. You have someone who can help?"

Glancing back down to the book, she flips a few pages before she speaks again, "Otkuda vy?" It's a question they went over earlier, where are you from, but the girl looks to Abby without explanation, seeing if she recognizes the phrase, and if she remembers how to answer. "I promise, we will get past the, ah… the small talk soon," she comments with crooked smile.

"People have helped. Money, a place to stay if I need it. someone got me some ID's and I'm waiting on better stuff for the ID's. It could be worse. At least I can sit here and keep up my Russian classes" Silver lining. "It's winter. Come summer, if this is still going on, I can at least go camp out and save on hotel bills"

But back to small talk. "I don't mind small talk. You have to start somewhere" and she's past the kindergartner stuff. «I am from» Louisiana « in the United States. I was born in Butte la Rose. What where you born?»

"That is good. Good to have people who will help. And until camping, I will gladly continue Russian. If you are going to leave, sometime, let me know, I will give you… ah. Ah… work? Practice work? Like this." Tania smiles as she answers, and she nods a but, repeating her answer to correct grammar a little here and there. "«I was born in St. Petersburg, in Russia,»" she answers, adding, "Ya russkaya. You would say… Ya amyerikanka, to say you are an American woman."

"Ya Amyerikahka" Southern accent for the loose. But she's writing it down, scribbling it in a notebook the phoenetics so she can practice when she's out at Pollepel Island soon again. "I'll be going away in a few days. I got a nook color for my birthday from a friend. I can try and find some Russian childrens books and read them while I'm there. And I can do homework. I can't bring a laptop, I learned Italian from a program and from Teodoro. I can't exactly do it with Russian, it's a lot slower"

Abby wrinkles her nose at that, but scribbles down a reminder to buy and download a few books. "Give me as much homework as you dare. I can find someone to help me with Russian where I'll be."

"Da, homework, that is the word," Tania says with a quiet snap of her fingers. "But I did write you out something," she says, turning to dig around in her coat, "It is not homework, but more… like dictionary. But for sentences."

What she pulls out is a little notebook that looks like it's been thumbed through quite a bit, but she passes it over the table. "I think, if you end up on the island, you can study this. I wrote out some rules and some phrases that are used the most? English, Cyrillic and then in Russian, but with English alphabet." And it is full from first page to last, with Tania's tight handwriting. "But I will work on homework for next time."

That Tania says Island throws the brunette off a bit, she's been careful not to talk about it. The notebook that is passed over is taken in Abigail's hands, thumbing through the worn pages. "I'm having a hard enough time speaking it the Cyrillic really throws me off" Unlike Italian which is just a rearrangement of letters, a few accents and just changing how they sound, Cyrillic is completely different. A is a wildly different symbol.

"I could write you letters. It'll look strange, probably be as good as a kindergartners, but I can do that." She can write to Eileen, she's sure Eileen knows Russian, who else knows Russian? Cat's a given. Elaine maybe.

"You could be my Russian penpal"

"Oh, I'm sorry. I am not supposed to mention. I assumed… I have been hoping Mister McRae and the others made it— to safety," Tania says. She's still not very good at all this. But she is trying. "And the children. I was to go with them, but I went another way." And something about that, about her going another way, makes her look away, down to the books again.

"It can be hard, to learn it. But I think, if you see it enough, maybe you will recognize the phrases if you see them." There is a small nod for the idea of letters, though, "Da, it would be good practice. And I like letters."

"There's things even I'm not supposed to mention. Probably because you were at his place that you knew" Abby nods. "You'll forgive me if I don't right tell you where this place is, my hide would probably get tanned by more than a few people. But the kids at least are safe. We haven't heard from Mr. McRae. We know at least that he's not been kidnapped nor killed which means the bald Buddha is probably parked in a cabin somewhere in the middle of the Adirondacks and making these storms and laughing at the government and thanking the lord above"

Are you safe where you are Katya?" She's never been told Tania's real name, doesn't know of her last name. "I mean, if you need to, I can bring you back with me, if you're not some place safe. It's not the greatest place but it's good enough and you'd fit right in. The light house kids are there. Kasha is there too. I pilfer her from Brian and her little portable crib and I let her sleep beside me. But promise me that you're safe?"

"No no, I understand. Please, do not get yourself in trouble. The less I know the better, probably." Tania frowns, though, over the news about Mister McRae. "I hope he is alright. He was very nice to me." It's not she measures good guy from bad guy, really.

"Oh, yes. I'm safe. I promise. I'm looked after. And I'm careful when I go place to place. Miss E— Martha, you do not need to worry." She, too, though, seems to be keeping her secrets about exactly where she is and who is looking after her.

Probably keep secrets far better than Abby does or is rumored to. "I can pass along a message, if you like, to others you knew. There's no rules against that" The EMT offers up to the teenager, not pressing about where and who is taking care of Tania. So long as the teenager is healthy, fed, clothed and not complaining, she won't. "You're getting your medication? I can see if we still have contacts and such to make sure, if you need it" She's mother henning Tania, knows it and a fraction of a moment later she's flipping her palms up in apology. 'I'm sorry, habit"

"No, please. Do not apologize. I… am very touched that you care," Tania says, her small smile peeking just before she leans over to give Abby a hug. It's brief, and a little awkward, like she's not sure she's doing it right, but the intention is genuine. "I have my medicine. It is good. I will tell you, if I need it later?"

"Now see, that, I'm sure you will." Abigail grins, a rare sight these days but something she seems prone to doing around the Russian teenager as she accepts the embrace, no matter how awkward and brief it might be. But brief might be the wrong word because Abby lingers, a fraction, glad that something at least, remains the same in the topsy turvy world. That Tania is safe, can teach her Russian still even if it's in obscure libraries and quietly. A few hours away from being hunted for her, and from being ensconced wherever it is that Tania holes up.

«We should go have pie in restaurant Katya. I am Hungry» She spills out the words careful, working around the accent, trying painfully hard to say it properly. «Come we get apple pie. I know a restaurant»

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