Only a few chapters left, and the last ones are the hardest. I’m not sure how much falls under the difficulty of concluding a complicated mystery and how much resides in the events of my own life. I guess it doesn’t matter. Ivan’s Wife has been a wonderful, frustrating, heart-wrenching experience to write. The characters are multi-dimensional and, at times, disturbing. Still, I love the characters and want to do them justice. Although Pages in the Wind was challenging, Ivan’s Wife has been my biggest challenge.
In this chapter, Dimitri, the main character, learns why he was coaxed to Russia. The secrets are life-changing; he must reach into whatever strength he has left to handle what lies ahead.
I stepped across the austere room to the only window and pulled back the red linen drapes, coughing as dust exploded like dirty snow in my face. The narrow casement window overlooked the fountain and swung outward. Outside, the mist and wind were breathy and smelled like gardenias, so I cranked the handle to invite clean air into the misery. It wouldn’t budge. I glanced at the steel vault door and realized it would be hard to escape. It was on the third floor, and the window was stuck and had thick glazing bars. My heart quivered for a few seconds before regaining its rhythm. Without the roar of water spilling into the fountain and soothing wafts of fresh air, there was no way to let the gloom out. I felt trapped and garroted by the insanity that breeds from isolation.