“Nika, sitting in a cafe, gazed absentmindedly out the window. ‘Is this seat taken? Can I sit here?’ asked a man in his thirties, placing a cup of coffee on the table.
Nika nodded automatically and continued to stare out the window. ‘I’m Stas. My name is Stas.
And what’s your name?’ he asked. ‘Nika,’ she replied without taking her eyes off the window.
‘Nika, do you have a husband?’ he asked directly. ‘Yes. We’re separating next week. He has a mistress.
And I’m pregnant. I don’t know what to do next. I’m thinking about having an abortion.
Is there anything else you’re interested in, Stas?’ she asked, looking him in the eyes with a hint of defiance.
‘Do you work?’ Stas inquired. ‘Yes, in my husband’s company. But I’ll have to leave soon.’ ‘Come work for me,’ Stas offered, handing her a business card. ‘In my travel agency.
You’ll fill out travel vouchers for clients. The work isn’t complicated, and the pay is good.’ ‘Why?’ Nika asked. ‘Why are you interested in helping me?’
‘Honestly? I’m not sure. When I saw your reflection in the toy store window, it suddenly felt like my wife had passed by me. And your face troubled me.
My Anna died two years ago in a car accident. She was eight weeks pregnant. Nika, I see and understand very well that you’re not Anna, even though you resemble her.
But… maybe it’s fate? She took away my wife and child, and now she has shown me you.
With a child as well. I liked you immediately, and you need support. I have a spacious apartment, five rooms, I live alone, there’s plenty of space.
I’m offering you a place to stay and a job. I’m not insisting, I’m not trying to make decisions for you. I’m simply offering help.
At this stage. And for what happens next, we’ll see,’ Stas said.
Nika looked at Stas with a mix of surprise and fear. What she saw in his eyes remained unknown, but she accepted…”