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Bay Boy


After dinner I grabbed my Mac laptop and signed into Skype. It was eight thirty here, so it would be early in the morning there. Babushka, meaning grandmother in Russian, would be up. Babushka was Mam's mom and she and I were incredibly close. The last time I had seen her had been when I lived in Moscow, when I was an infant, but we Skyped once or twice a week. Ever since Mam had died we'd become almost inseparable and were very close friends. When Mam had first moved to the U.S she had written letters to Babushka. Then, when I was around five Mam started calling Babushka. I continued calling Babushka after Mam's death. When I was seventeen I had bought Babushka a laptop and since then we Skyped regularly. I waited until Babushka came online. Soon, her sweet, wrinkled, lovable face filled the screen. She crowed hello in Russian, telling me how lucky she was to have such a beautiful granddaughter. I asked her how Sveta, my Mam's younger sister, was and she told me she was well. I had last seen Sveta when I was an infant, she and her family lived in St. Petersburg. Baba and I talked for around half an hour and when I told her I was going to Pittsburgh she wished me safe travels before ending the call. I did some biochemistry homework and then slipped into bed.

I woke up in the morning at five, I was leaving for Pittsburgh and I had to pack. I'd already booked my hotel, I'd be staying at a Holiday Inn. I was a med school student; my budget was tight. I ate a quick breakfast of yogurt with granola and grabbed my huge black Adidas duffel bag. It was small enough to be a carry on but big enough to fit everything I needed. I packed a set of workout clothes, two pairs of jeans, a pale green crew neck T-shirt, a black tank top and a grey knit cardigan. Then I threw in the essentials-undies, toothpaste, toothbrush, camera. I zipped the bag up and gingerly placed it on my bed. I'd bring my plain canvas shoulder bag as my other carry on.

After a grueling lab in biochemistry I walked home briskly. It was two thirty and my flight left at five thirty, I had to hurry. I grabbed my bags, careful not to forget my passport, and took a taxi to the airport. The taxi fare was eighteen dollars. Oy, this trip was bleeding me dry. I quickly went through security and sat in the terminal lounge waiting to board my flight. I'd brought some Anatomy homework so I worked at it while I waited. Finally they called Flight 569 and I boarded, getting a window seat. The flight was short, just an hour long and I had Anatomy work to keep me busy. The time passed quickly.

I stepped out of the loading dock and into the Pittsburgh airport. I walked around a bit and then saw Jordan,holding a huge sign that said MOSCOW GIRL. I ran over and he gave me a hug, bending over to do so. He was so adorable. He looked perfect in khaki slacks and a grey polo. His put together outfit was a far cry from my comfy airplane outfit, jean shorts and a Georgetown hoodie. "I'm gonna kill you for that sign Bay Boy." Jordan just smirked. "Yeah right, you wouldn't hurt the Pens star player before a game."
"You're right, I wouldn't hurt Sid." Jordan feigned hurt. "Ouch, that one hurt."
"Well Bay Boy, as much as I love standing in the Pittsburgh airport and getting stared at, do you think you could drive me to my hotel so I could check in?" Jordan looked confused. "What hotel? You're staying with me." Now it was my turn to look confused. "What? But I already made reservations! And I don't want to intrude." Jordan shook his head. "You're my guest, you're not staying in a hotel when I have a perfectly good guest room. Seriously, I even cleaned it for you."
"Well alright, I guess I can't say no now since you cleaned for me. Are you sure though? I booked a room at the Holiday Inn. If you change your mind just let me know." I'd put my duffel down on the floor when we were talking and Jordan proceeded to grab it. "There's no way you're staying at a Holiday Inn. C'mon, we're going." I followed Jordan out to his Range Rover and hopped in the passenger seat. When he turned the key into the ignition the radio started up, blaring some godawful rock song. I quickly switched it to a classical music station and tapped the dash in tune to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Jordan stared at me. "What? I like classical music. That a problem, Bay Boy?" Jordan shook his head, looking amused. "No, not a problem. Do you have this thing memorized?"
"Kinda, it's Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. If you weren't such an uncultured hockey player you probably would too. It's pretty famous." I loved how Jordan and I could joke around and tease each other. "You know, it's not a good idea to insult the driver. I could just drop you off at a street corner," he warned. I playfully swatted his arm. "You wouldn't," I said. Jordan rubbed his arm. "Ouch Milena, that actually hurt." I blushed furiously, I'd forgotten about how freakishly strong my arms were. "Sorry, I'll go easy on you next time," I said. "How'd you get such strong arms? Normally when a girl smacks me I barely even feel it. But you're strong. You have power in your hits." I laughed lightly. "So girls smack you a lot? Well I see why, you're kinda annoying," I joked, "But I got strong from doing crew at Georgetown during college. Last year, since I wasn't a college student anymore I couldn't be on the team, so I helped coach. And I lift weights every once in a while." Jordan nodded and looked impressed. "That's cool. Crew is rowing right?" I practically fell over laughing, Jordan had that effect on me. "Yes, you big dumb hockey player, crew is rowing." The song changed and Vivaldi's Spring came on. I loved the violin in Spring, it was my favorite of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Jordan and I sat quietly, but the silence was somehow not awkward, as I listened to Spring and he drove. Soon, we pulled into a large driveway in front of a massive stone house. My voice caught in my throat. "Y-you live here?" Jordan smirked at my awe struck expression. "Yup, one of the perks of being a big, dumb hockey player. Stop staring and let's go in." I went to the trunk and grabbed my bag and as I took it Jordan snatched it from me. He held it high where I couldn't get it. I jumped for it but still couldn't reach. Damn him and his tallness. "I got this Mila. You're my guest, it's my job to get your bags." We walked into the foyer of his beautiful house. Wow. There definitely were perks to being a hockey player. It was huge and well decorated. Jordan led me upstairs to a simple white guest room, before putting my bag down. "I'm right next door, if you need something, just yell. Make yourself comfortable. Mi casa es su casa." I changed into my running shorts and my grey Georgetown T-shirt, the one I usually slept in. I found Jordan's kitchen, which was beautiful. Granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. I looked in the fridge and pulled out salad mix, ground beef and some veggies. I found a frying pan and got to work.

Around ten minutes later Jordan yelled "Mila, do you want to go get dinner?" I smiled, he had no idea I had cooked from him. "Sure, come downstairs." I heard his huge feet tromp down the stairs. "Mila something smells really good. Anyways, I know this great Italian place. . ." He stopped dead in his tracks when he saw me standing over his stove. "Hey Jordan, so I made some salad and katletkee, they're like this Russian meatball kinda thing with veggies. I hope you don't mind." Jordan looked shocked. "Mila you're my guest, you shouldn't have cooked for me." I shook my head, "No, I love cooking and I'm betting you eat out way too much. It was the least I could do after you offered to let me stay here. In Russian culture, you never go to a guest's house empty handed and I came without anything, the least I could do was cook. C'mon, dinner's almost ready. Can you help me set the table?" Jordan obliged and layed out plates and silverware before grabbing a bottle of wine and two glasses. I drained the pasta and served Jordan and myself, giving us both generous helpings. Jordan took a bite and I watched for his reaction. "Mmmm, this is so good Mila. Thanks." I smiled, the katletkee where a recipe my mom had taught me. "No problem. Thanks for letting me stay here." Jordan jumped up from his seat. "Wait, I almost forgot the wine,"he said, pouring me a glass. "Jordan I've gotta say, I didn't peg you as a wine kind of guy. This is very classy of you. Are you trying to get me drunk?" Jordan choked, almost spitting out his wine. I quickly got him a glass of water and he gulped it down, his face tomato red. "Mila, you kill me. Literally." Dinner was pleasant and Jordan thanked me over and over again for cooking for him. "Hey Mila, can I ask you something?"
"Sure Jordan."
"You talk about your Dad a lot and I know you live with him. But what about your mom? How come you never mention her?"