Status: Renovation in process

I Left My Heart in Moscow but My Love Waits in Pittsburgh

My All

I quickly texted back my reply: “Sure, what time?” I felt giddy with the thought of seeing Jordan again and soon enough he texted me back.

“How about now? Practice is over. Are your roommates there?”

“Now is perfect. No.”

“Great, I’ll come up.”

“Don’t come up I’ll meet you outside. Text me when you get here.” I wanted to meet Jordan outside because I was afraid of what Robinson would think and what he would tell Mr. Orr. I changed into something a bit more presentable than my tattered Metallurg Magnitogorsk shirt. I decided to wear a simple black skirt and a grey tank top with some casual flats.

After I had changed and grabbed my purse, my cell started to ring it was a text message from Jordan, “Outside. Waiting.” I grinned and dashed to the elevators and made my way down the stairs in record time. I noticed that as I left Robinson wasn’t at his usual post, he wasn’t outside either and I let a sigh of relief, knowing that he wasn’t watching.

“Sveta! Over here!” I hear the familiar voice that was unmistakably Jordan Staal call from behind me. I grin from ear to ear as I jog to him.

“So where are we going?” I ask curiously.

“Oh this place a few blocks away and that is why we will be walking. Don’t want you too get spoiled now,” Jordan joked.

“Oh yeah, between the bus and the taxi, I am much too spoiled for my own good,” I add sarcastically as we start to walk to our destination.

“Are you sassing me?” Jordan asked with mock offense.

“Sassing?” I asked confused, saying sassing slowly and deliberately the word feeling foreign on my tongue, “What is sassing?”

“Sassing is like talking back,” Jordan says scratching his head, unsure of how to explain it, “It’s something more colloquial.”

“Oh, okay. Then yes I think I am sassing you.”

Jordan laughed, “So would you like to explain to me why I had to wait for you outside?”

I scrunched up my face before responding, “I think my doorman thinks I’m a курва.”

“A what?”

“I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t know the word in English.”

“Try to explain it,”

“It’s a girl who likes to, well, you know,” I explain blushing at the thought, “A girl who likes to sleep with a lot of men.”

“A slut,” Jordan said flatly as if the word was plain as day. Jordan wrinkled his nose, “Why would your doorman think you’re a slut?”

“Slut, is that the word? Robinson thinks I’m a slut because he saw me with you last night and he saw me with one of the male dancers today when I was coming home.” Jordan laughed but he quickly stopped when I gave him a sharp look.

“Don’t be offended but two guys? Really, you think the doorman thinks you’re a slut because he saw you with two guys. That’s nothing, it’s not like you have this harem of guys waiting on you.”

“Yeah but I’m just worried about what he’ll say to the Company.”

“Sveta, don’t worry about it, two guys is nothing compared to other people.” I nodded taking some relief in what he said. We continued to walk till we came to a small but homey looking coffee shop with dark red accents and in large, gold letters read: “Nicholas Coffee CO.” “This is it. This is the best cup of coffee-and peanuts- in Pittsburgh, the world famous Nicholas Coffee Company.”

“It looks nice,” I add taking in the quaint exterior.

“Well, the coffee’s fantastic come on,” Jordan said as we walked into the coffee shop. The first thing that I noticed was that one, long wall was taken up by jars and jars of coffee beans and the aroma was incredible, the air was redolent of rich, roasting coffee. We made a beeline for the counter to order, I was overwhelmed by the large selection ranging from plain to exotic, from standard dark roast to the unconventional chocolate raspberry flavored coffee.

“What’s good here?”

“Everything,” Jordan joked, “I’ll order for you, don’t worry.”

“Hey Jordan,” the cashier said, his name tag read ‘Jeff,’ “Who’s the lady friend?”

“Oh this is Svetlana, she’s a ballerina, she’s gonna be a star,” I looked down and blushed a light pink; by the look on his face he seems to enjoy making me blush. “Sveta this is Jeff, I guess you could say I’m a regular.”

“Hi,” I said shyly.

“Nice to meet you Svetlana, now what’ll it be?”

“Two Amarettos and a bag of roasted peanuts,”

“Sure thing,” Jeff said as he rang up our orders, I tried to pay but Jordan insisted that he pay citing that he invited me so he has to pay. We settled into a cozy, little table in the back of the café.

“So, was my Russian correct? Or do I have to pound on my teammates?” I thought back to his text, ‘Вы хотите прийти на вечеринку в моей штаны?’ and I couldn’t help but laugh at how his teammates joke. I laughed so hard I couldn’t even answer. I merely shook my head, no. Jordan’s eyes grew wide, “Well, what did it say?”

I blushed, again, and managed to calm down, “Umm, you invited me to the party in your pants,”

Jordan’s eyes widened, “Wh-what?”

“You invited me to party in your pants,” I say as calmly as I possibly could.

Right before my eyes, Jordan went from shocked to anger, “Damn you Geno and Gonch!” Jordan cursed.

“Geno and Gonch?”

“My teammates they’re the ones who gave me the translation,” Jordan says his face darkening.


I was sitting in the locker room getting dressed after having finished another grueling practice. Despite having been worked like a slave, I couldn’t help but think about Sveta. Her dark brown hair which contrasted against her smooth, soft skin, those large, doe eyes of liquid gold only enhanced her innocent, sweet demeanor. Her slim, toned body and those legs that stretched for days on- Stop it Jordan. Stop it. She’s just a friend; don’t fuck things up by getting in her pants. Think of sweaty hockey players, sweaty hockey players. I checked the clock, 3:35 PM. A cup of coffee won’t hurt, right? I mean, it would be a shame if she didn’t get a chance to taste Nicholas’s famous coffee. I held my phone in my hand unsure of what to text her, I had all these ideas floating in my head but all of them seemed to forward. “You, me, coffee?” I typed, no to demanding, I deleted it, “Coffee for two?” ugh, that one’s just lame.

“Jordan you okay?” I looked up to see the familiar face of Geno and Gonch.

“Yeah,” I say slowly, wait Geno and Gonch are Russian and Sveta’s Russian. I should text her in Russian. “Wait, can you guys help me out?”

“Sure,” Geno said in his trademark choppy English, “With what?”

“Can you translate something for me,”

“Okay,” He seemed apprehensive as he and Gonch shared a look.

“How would I say ‘Do you want to come get coffee with me?’ in Russian?”

“Вы хотите приехать (Do you want to come)” Gonch started slowly, so I can type it, “Получить ко-” Gonch continued.

“Стороне, в мои штаны,” Geno finished with a smirk, “The whole phrase is Вы хотите прийти на вечеринку в моей штаны? So who is this for? New girlfriend?”

“The girl I went out with last night, and she’s just a friend. She came just arrived in America yesterday, so I want to make her feel welcome.” I respond quickly, defensively. I think responded almost too quickly, making them both look at me with suspicion in their eyes.

“Whatever you say Gronk, we need to go, see you later.” Geno said as he and Gonch left the locker room laughing before quickly speaking to each other in Russian.


“Hmm, never met a Russian named Geno before,” I comment absently, as our coffees are set in front of us, steaming and hot.

“Oh that’s their nicknames. Gonch is Sergei Gonchar and Geno is Evgeni Malkin.” My eyes widened at the sound of his name. I felt years and years of memories that were stored in the back of my mind rushing to the forefront. Our first conversation, our first date, our first kiss, our first time, all of them came screaming back at me, losing myself in each memory, each emotion.


“Okay, Alicia let’s see what we have so far,” Charlie said as he pressed play on the boom box, filling the air with the trademark sound of Gotan Project. Alicia danced to tango rhythm, taking on the character of the music, sexy yet classy. Showing off her gymnastics training, Alicia used cartwheels and turning leaps with interesting shapes, even doing a chinstand split showing off her back and leg flexibility, to make up for her lack of turning ability.

“Hmm good job Alicia, I like the tango feel to it and the Latin-inspired choreography. I like how you replaced some of your turns with more leaps. After all, that is what you’re good at, show ‘em your strengths not your weaknesses. Personally, I think you could do without the stag leap, it’s a bit superfluous and I think you are explosive enough to do turn jump combination. If you want to keep the stap leap try doing a double pirouette to a stag leap.” Charlie said demonstrating the double turn, rebounding into a stag leap, “But overall I think it’ll get you a good role in the showcase.”

“Thanks!” Alicia beamed as she tried the new combination a few times before running off stage and sitting in one of the theatre chairs waiting for Anna’s turn to show her solo to Charlie.

“Okay Anna, let’s see what you can do,” Charlie said as Alicia flashed a thumbs up to Anna who nodded and took a deep breathe, as she took her starting pose, her legs in a slight lunge and her body bent over her front leg, placing both hands on the ground. She waited for her music to start, the slow, tinkling of the piano started. Moving her arms with such precision in time with every accent, rising from her position delicately, pirouetting and dancing with such an ethereal quality, then the strings came in strong and fast, creating a feeling of chaos as the music picked up in tempo. As the rhythm picked up so did Anna, leaping into the air with such height and extension. Then, the music slowed back to the soft piano and Anna became elegance personified as she rolled out of her jeté back attitude and rose to her ending pose.

“That is just beautiful Anna!” Charlie exclaimed, “Such a wonderful combination of turns and leaps. But, the music is so expressive and emotional that you must be able to express that in your face. Full range of motion, is not just in the body but in the face, as well. If you feel it will just flow, it shouldn’t look or feel forced.”

Anna nodded and letting the criticism sink in, as she and Alicia walked out of the theatre to make the bus.

“You did great out there, Anna, you’re bound to get one of those solos.” Alicia said as they waited for the bus to pull in.

Anna just stared blankly, obviously disappointed with the critique. “Yeah, thanks, so did you.”

As the bus pulled in and they took their seats towards the back of the bus, “So what do you think of Svetlana?” Alicia asked, “She seems nice.”

Anna’s eyes narrowed at the sound of her name, “Ugh, what is there not hate about Ms. I was handpicked, Ms. Perfect turnout, Ms. Beautiful work?! Who does she think she is! Coming in here all big and tall, making everyone fall in love with her. I’ve been here since I was 6 and I paid my dues, so what gives her the right to have everyone fawning over her. She’s been here two days and she’s already had dinner with Jordan Staal and she gets one of the few straight guys as her partner. Ugh, did you see the way Charlie and Madame Stiefel were all over her during class. “Oh, I can’t wait to work with you!” “What a lovely turnout!” I wanted to slap that stupid grin off her face today. Everyone thinks she so perfect just because she comes from a family of famous ballet dancers. Who cares? Ugh, you know what I can’t even talk about it right now,” Anna practically yelled, fuming.

“She’s okay,” Alicia whispered to herself, shocked at Anna’s outburst. Sure Anna had a temper but she had never seen her go off on someone like this before, not even when Mr. Orr had talked to her about how she wasn’t the right body type for dance. The rest of the ride was silent, save for Anna’s cursing under her breathe. Alicia couldn’t wait to get back home and just relax. She was still elated with the possibility of getting a good role in the showcase.

Anna, on the other hand was angry, about Svetlana and frustrated with Charlie’s critique. She had heard it so many times before, “Relax your face! Aren’t you enjoying what you’re doing?” she just was so focused on dancing and the steps, she always forgot about her expression. Besides, if they watched her amazing footwork and technique then they wouldn’t need to look at her face, Anna rationalized.

“Svetlana we’re home!” Alicia yelled into the empty apartment, as they walked in. She noticed the note on the coffee table. She read it aloud: “Gone out for coffee, be back soon -Svetlana. Hmm, she went out. Does she even know where coffee is?”

“Who cares?” Anna yelled from the bathroom, over the sound of the shower.

“I do and you should to,” Alicia grumbled while she went to her room, flopping onto her bed.

After showering, Anna stared at herself in the foggy bathroom mirror. She could see the dark circles under her eyes, the gauntness of her face, she looked at her body, Leah and Georgia have always deemed her lucky for having curves. If only they knew. Anna could still hear Mr. Orr’s words, “You’re a lovely girl but you just don’t have the right body type,” “You need to work harder,” “Don’t you take pride in your work and body?” She had started purging a couples weeks ago and she was already seeing results her ribs jutted out of her body and her hip bones sharply stuck out unnaturally. Anna knew it was dangerous, she knew it was unhealthy but she was doing what she had to succeed. She was going to succeed even if it killed her.


“Sveta? Sveta are you there?” Jordan asked waving his hand in front of my face, jolting me out of my reverie.

“Sorry, kind of got distracted there.” I say looking down at the coffee, blushing. That was when I noticed the song playing on the radio, "I can see you clearly/ vividly emblazoned in my mind/ And yet you're so far/ Like a distant star/ I'm wishing on tonight/ I'd give my all to have/ Just one more night with you," The poignancy of the song washing over me, as I take in the beauty of the lyrics and the music. “What song is this?” I ask abruptly.


“The song, what is it called?”

“Sounds like Mariah Carey, I think it’s called My All. Why you like it?”

“Yeah, it sounds nice,” I pause taking in Latin chords and the Latin percussions and guitar, the then an R&B beat kicks in, then it hits me, this is it, this is my song for my solo. “I think I want to use it for my solo,” I say slowly imagining the choreography.

“You want to use Mariah Carey for your audition piece?” Jordan asked with a laugh.

“Yes, do you have a problem with that?” I say with mock offense.

“No, its just I thought you would use Mozart or something,” Jordan said with a chuckle.

“Just because I’m a ballerina doesn’t mean I can’t use something contemporary,” I point out.

“Well, to be fair this song is over 10 years old,” Jordan noted with a cheeky grin which quickly left his face when I gave him a sharp look. “So how was your first day?” Jordan said changing the subject.

“Okay, met a lot of new people and my teachers seem nice,” I say furrowing my brow.

“Why do I get the feeling that you’re hiding something?”

“It’s just that I can’t seem to escape my family’s legacy. The director, Mr. Orr, danced with Mama when she was a “Guest artist” with ABT and my ballet teacher, Madame Stiefel, danced with my mother when Madame Stiefel was at the Bolshoi. It’s just I can’t help but feel that they only chose me because of who my parents are and not because of my talent or work ethic.”

Jordan’s eyes softened, “I’m sure it’s not like that. They must’ve seen something in you, beyond your last name. They can’t just choose someone who isn’t talented because of their family,” He said comforting me.

“Yeah, I guess,” I say as I slowly drink the last of my coffee, savoring the taste.

“It’s good right?” Jordan said smugly.

“Yeah, you weren’t kidding when you said this is the best coffee in Pittsburgh,”

“This is my favorite place to go for coffee,” Jordan agreed as we began to head out and walk back to the apartment. “We should make this a regular thing,” Jordan mused.

“What? Going out for coffee?”

“Yeah, we should go out for coffee every Monday after your rehearsals and after my practice.” Jordan offered with a smile.

“Sure, that’ll be great. We can talk about our week and just hang out. It’ll be so cool, it can be our thing,” I say beaming. “You know, I can’t explain it but being with you makes this strange city feel like home,” I say more seriously, as we continued to walk to my apartment.

“Aww, I don’t know what to say, I didn’t know I meant that much to you.” Jordan joked, but he became more serious, “But, I know what you mean, when I came here, I didn’t know anybody. But, my teammates made this place feel like home, if I can be that for you, than I’m really flattered. Well, I guess this is it, till next Monday?” Jordan said as we reached my apartment.

“We don’t have to wait that long, I’m off Sunday and Saturday is a half-day for me,” I say with a smile.

Jordan chuckled, “Well, till the weekend then? See ya, Sveta, I had a good time.” Jordan said.

“Me too, bye Jordan,” I bid before giving him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I waved goodbye as he drove off and I rushed inside of the apartment building.

“Be careful, Svetlana,” I heard Robinson say as I entered the building, “He’s a heartbreaker.”

I nodded, “Don’t worry, we’re just friends.”

“That’s good news for Alex, I guess,”

“What? Alex and I? No, we’re just friends too. I just met Alex today.”

“You met Jordan yesterday,” Robinson said dryly.

“So? We’re just friends, we can’t hangout together? Besides, Alex was just being nice by taking me back to the apartment. We have to be close; Alex is my pas de deux partner.”

“Whatever you say,” Robinson said as he scribbled something down on a notebook. My eyes narrowed and I started to walk back to the apartment.

“Guys, I’m home!” I yell.

“Yeah, don’t have to scream it,” I heard Anna mumble as she walked from the bathroom to her room. I walked in to my room to listen to the song.

I laid on my bed, Mariah Carey playing over and over again, “I am thinking of you/ In my sleepless solitude tonight/ If it's wrong to love you/ Then my heart just won't let me be right/ 'Cause I've drowned in you/ And I won't pull through/ Without you by my side/ I'd give my all to have/ Just one more night with you/ I'd risk my life to feel/ Your body next to mine/ 'Cause I can't go on/ Living in the memory of your song/ I'd give my all for your love tonight/ Baby can you feel me/ Imagining I'm looking in your eyes/ I can see you clearly/ Vividly emblazoned in my mind/ And yet you're so far/ Like a distant star/ I'm wishing on tonight/ I'd give my all to have/ Just one more night with you/ I'd risk my life to feel/ Your body next to mine/ 'Cause I can't go on/ Living in the memory of your song/ I'd give my all for your love tonight/ Give my all for your love/ Tonight.

The song reminded me so much of Evgeni and I’s relationship, and where we are now. He was so close, yet he was so far away. I’ve given up everything I had in Russia for just a chance with him. I’d given my all for his love.
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Short, kind of a filler again, but life's been hectic with school starting last week. Experimenting with perspective, so tell me what you think of it. If you prefer the third person or Svetlana's point of view. Alicia's music if you were wondering and Anna's music. Tell me what you think! Comments are loved.