Updated: Sep 18, 2018
Love Is All there Is Series
Sample: Excerpt from the book
“I know your father gives you a limited allowance, all of which you spend on travel and fashion magazines. He buys these magazines for you in the black market at exorbitant prices. You are here in body only but not in soul. Tell me I am wrong!” she huffed, full of confidence.
“You may be right,” Rima admitted. “I do confess my dream is to leave my country, which I love on one level, but which has been spiraling down socially, culturally, and economically in the last several decades. Food supplies were scarce, not to mention latest fashions for clothes that could only be seen in foreign magazines.
“I value the Russian culture, and from the books I’ve read, I truly appreciate what it used to be like in our country... But now, I can dream only of having new experiences abroad. That is how I will fulfill my dreams for a life full of wealth and freedom. I will not give up. I know one day it will happen! I imagine myself wearing beautiful jewelry and fur coats and living in a beautiful home with a nice car in the garage. Mainly however, I want to be rich to help those who are in need.”
“I hope your dream does come true, Rima,” Luda said. Rima thought to herself,
Do I know what I really want here? What drives me? Do I care to succeed, and be able to see the world through music or through modeling? To excel in music, I must rely on my inner talent and a lot of practice. To excel in modeling, I must rely on my outer looks and immediate successes. Either path uses God-given assets, so it would not be wrong to check out the one that focuses on outer attributes. Why shouldn’t I fulfill my dreams and live life to the fullest, even if that means moving forward in a way that differs from what my parents may fully appreciate? …
Rima walked out of the agency reflecting on what happened and dumbfounded by the possibilities. During her short walk back to the hotel, she thought, What if they take me on? Am I ready to quit a promising music career? Are my looks a blessing or a curse? Is this opportunity an answer to my dreams, or not?...
“Mother, I am very grateful for your constant encouragement to play, but I don’t think I have the spark within me to become a star in the music profession. I work very hard to learn; it does not come easy to me. I don’t think I’m a natural.
“On the other side of the coin, I also realize that modeling is unknown to me and represents a completely different world. I only know about modeling from the stories I read in the fashion magazines, and from that I am quite aware it is not an easy profession to succeed in either. I know enough not to assume that the models we see or read about in the magazines got to that level of success with a mere snap of the finger! I read somewhere that the percentage of those who make it big is very small. Many end up broken-hearted and go through some serious depression afterwards when they do not ‘make it.’ So modeling is very risky.
“Yet there is a voice within me that is pushing me to give it a try! It is a high-risk, high-reward endeavor, but I am still young and I will know before I turn twenty whether this profession will work well for me.
She imagined there would be a much more sophisticated environment waiting for her somewhere when she became a supermodel. She thought, it may be naïve to think this way, but I feel that the future is holding many new surprises for me, and I will succeed! While waiting, Rima heard someone playing the piano. It sounded professionally good and wondered who was taking lessons. Five minutes later, the sounds stopped, and a gorgeous young man walked out the door. He had light brown hair, big green eyes, tan skin, and an athletic shape. A middle-aged woman was walking behind him, who clearly was the piano teacher…
Before leaving, Rima asked the teacher if she could tell her about the young man she had just seen. The teacher was charmed by her question and smiled back at her. “His name is Alexander Loft, and he’s the son of the American ambassador to the Soviet Union. He is here on a six-month visit with his family. He lives in New York, where he is a student at Juilliard School of Performing Arts. He is taking lessons with me three times a week, and he wishes to become a concert pianist.” …
“Rima, from his facial expression and body language, I could tell how excited he was to see you! If you care to get to know him better, I can ask him about it the next time he comes, which is in two days at his next appointment, and again at the time before yours.
“Thank you. I would not mind, as he seems to be a decent man, besides being so great looking! I usually avoid asking about other men I meet, but this one struck a sensitive nerve within me. I am becoming more courageous I think.”
“Don’t underestimate your own looks, my dear. One rarely comes across a beauty like you,” the teacher replied with a warm smile on her face…
Alex told Rima when they met,
“…When I moved to New York, I discovered that ‘the city that never sleeps’ offered me new scenarios that tested my true character… and compelled me to find out why I was so shy …about pursuing relationships. Of course I was concentrating on my piano lessons and practices, but… there were many evenings when I felt lonely.” He started feeling uncomfortable but decided to continue,
“So I started to accept invitations by classmates… to go out and have some fun. Not to provide too many details, but I… I had three relationships during my three years in the city, two of them with girls. I did have a short one with… a man. I share this with you in confidence… because I trust you as a true friend, and I wish to seek your advice and guidance.” Alex concluded with his hand on his heart fearing Rima’s reaction.
Rima’s face turned pale and she was startled when she heard this, but remained silent. She could not help sliding in and out of her seat though she preferred to freeze her movements and keep an impassive face…
“Rima, you are the first one to …know about this: Even my parents have no clue… that I went out with a man once, and I hope you will not…um… jump to conclusions about me going out with a gay guy… uh for a brief period of time. Try not to have any doubts about me as your potential romantic partner. I like you…the way you think, the way you feel, and… definitely the way you look.” Alex said knowing that Rima was not reacting well to his statements. He took a chance and continued to say,
“Do not let the disclosure hold you back…um from expressing your true feelings about me. But for this same reason, I must beg you… to be patient with me. Allow me, via this wonderful friendship we have, to find out who I am… and what I want from my life.”
The atmosphere in the car became quite tense; the only noise heard for a time was the friction of the wheels on the road. The couple remained silent for about ten minutes before Rima smiled at Alex and calmly said, “I appreciate what you shared with me and… thank you for trusting me. You are being straightforward at this early stage of our friendship...I have no right to judge you or tell you to make a decision about what… um sexual preference you should pursue. It is your job to find out on your own.” Rima felt better saying that. Then she thought to herself before she went to sleep that night,
“Am I so unlucky in love, even when it comes to finally meeting a man I like? How tolerant can I be while waiting for his truth to surface? Is it worth it to keep seeing him as friends, or will doing so torment me? Do I love him already, even though we have just met? How long is it going to take him to find out what his sexual inclination is? Does he already know he is gay, but afraid to admit it?
“I will not allow his situation to impact my self-confidence or self-esteem. I will focus on the task at hand—modeling— and free up my mind from any romantic fantasies with him. I will abide by my faith, and I will succeed in my career so I can work in cities like New York with or without him. I will not shut the door to meeting other romantic partners whom I find attractive. I will continue to be myself with him, and I will not pretend what I am not.”
Finally, Rima got out of bed to write down her numerous thoughts in her journal. Doing so allowed her to go to sleep, and she woke up fresh and ready to go to work the next day…