Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

1 - Elena

Elena can no longer tolerate the pain of self-betrayal. Faced with imminent marriage to a man she hates she schemes for a way out.

2 - Natalia

Elena discovers freedom and gives it up. Fearing her family's and society's retribution she betrays the woman she loves and heads for her own downfall.

3 - Him

Loathing herself for it, Elena submits to her mothers demands and sets up a date with Dmitry. It will be absolute torture.

4 - Darkness

Having spent an agonizing evening with Dmitry, Elena is flabbergasted to discover that Meg, a head-strong foreigner, reconnected with her.

5 - I love you!

On the phone with Meg, Elena commits an act of treason, telling her the words that in her world can only be said to a man.

6 - February 16

Although she is unsure she will be able to escape Ivanovo, Elena accepts Meg's invitation to meet in Kiev.

7 - Why?!

Following her phone conversation with Meg, then an evening with Dmitry all over her, Elena breaks down in the shower.

8 - Talking to the Moon

Recalling Meg telling her, that the moon is the only object they can see simultaneously, Elena speaks to the moon, as if it is Meg.

9 - Talisman

On New Year's eve, Meg and Elena simultaneously raise glasses on opposite sides of the planet, their connection with each other.

10 - First Step

Elena surreptitiously buys a plane ticket while on an outing with her girlfriends.

11 - Pieces of the puzzle

To prevent her mother from sabotaging her escape, Elena tells her, she is going to Kiev to practice English and visit the opera.

12 - On the Edge

A week before her escape, Elena's mother arranges to move her in with Dmitry. He continues to take advantage of her, mercilessly.

13 - Last Days

Dmitry gives Elena a rose for Valentine's day, it embodies everything she fears about her destiny, should she not escape.

14 - The Eve

Terrified, something will stop her, Elena can't sleep the night before her escape.

15 - Wizard of Self-betrayal

Hours before making her run for it, Elena fears her world will not let her go and she will be right back in her jail.

16 - The Leap

To safely flee Ivanovo, Elena plays the role of Dmitry's girlfriend up until the very moment she gets onto the bus bound for Moscow.

17 - Volcano

Throughout her months with Meg, the transformation Elena goes through, puts her on a collision course with her world.

18 - Moscow

Traveling on her own for the first time in her life, Elena counts on her instincts, crossing Moscow to Domodedovo airport.

19 - Invincible Together

With Meg beside her in a taxi, Elena knows that no force in the world can take away what they now have by being together.

Afterword

Photos