Part 5, Mail Order Romance
Stan and Raya learn to communicate, both through her drawings and through the language of love
Stan’s brother Manuel had invited Raya into his home, planning to spend the rest of their lives together. But then Cupid struck and Stan kissed Raya. Where would this lead? A chance encounter with Stan’s ex confused Raya. Would this blight their budding romance? Stan receives an invitation to his brother’s wedding. Will Raya comply and and become his wife? A dark secret emerges from Russia as it turns out Raya is already married. What will this mean for them?
“Hi, I’m calling for my roommate. She lives with me here in the UK, but she’s looking to divorce her husband in Russia. Would it be possible to do that from here?”
Stan was on the phone with a divorce lawyer who specialised in international law, according to their website.
“A year? She will have to have lived in the UK for a full year? My God, that’s a long time.”
“No, she’s staying with me, that’s fine. What was that? No, she came here to get married to my brother, but things didn’t work out. Yes, she turned out to be already married. Messy situation, huh? Her visa? Okay, that’s good to know. Yes, we’ll do that. Thank you for the information.”
Stan quickly made some notes on his phone, so he wouldn’t forget before he brought Raya up to speed.
She came in a little later.
He translated the key phrases on his phone and showed her the report. Her eyes went large when she read his text.
“Polnyy god?” According to her phone, this translated to ’a full year?’
“Da,” Stan replied. “But don’t worry, it’s going to be okay. No problem.”
“No problem?” She huffed and began to pace the room.
“Raya, calm down. You can stay here.” He mimicked the house they were in and himself.
Raya muttered angrily, and Stan thought he picked out the name ‘Aleksei’ once or twice.
“Is Aleksei your husband?” Stan asked carefully.
“Ex! Ex husband,” Raya spat at him.
“What did he do to you? Chto?” he urged her.
Raya shook her head vehemently from left to right.
“Okay, okay.” Stan held his hands up in defence. This was a challenging time for her. Now was not the moment to push for information. “Come here, calm down.”
He opened his arms, and reluctantly she accepted his embrace and placed her head on his shoulder.
A few minutes later, Raya tore herself out of their embrace and left the room without speaking.
Stan stared after her at the closed door. What more could he do? She needed to be a resident of the UK for an entire year before she could divorce her Russian husband, and they would need to get her a new visa in about three months’ time. They would need to find a way to procure one, but he was confident that wouldn’t be a problem. And he was still in love with her. It flared up at the most inappropriate times, but it was still very much alive. How would they deal with all these issues?
About an hour later, Raya reemerged. She sat beside Stan on the couch and gave him a stack of papers.
“What’s this?” He asked.
“Ya narisoval eto dlya tebya.”
He shook his head in confusion. She took the phone out of her pocket and showed him, she had said: ‘I drew it for you.’
The top drawing was probably a quick sketch, judging by the simple lines and lack of details, but the scene was both vivid and chilling. An angry man had overturned his plate of food, and a scared woman stood next to him, holding her head down.
“Is this you?” Stan asked and pointed from the drawn female to Raya.
“Da,” she replied and nodded, “Is Aleksei.”
“I’m so sorry, sweetheart. Was he mean to you often?” This question was too important not to translate, so he too picked up his phone and looked up what it was in Russian.
She nodded regretfully when she read his answer.
“Aleksei mean,” she said before chewing her lip and staring away.
Stan stroked her cheek. “I’m so sorry. He shouldn’t have done that.”
It was pretty much what Stan had guessed, but seeing how much she still suffered from the man’s treatment broke him.
He turned to the next drawing on the pile. Here the man figure stood yelling at the ‘Raya’ figure next to the washing machine and a pile of laundry. Most pictures showed similar situations, many inside the house, some on the street or someplace public.
Stan shook his head. “I’m so sorry, Raya. It’s good you went away. No more Aleksei.”
He had stopped looking at the drawings and handed the stack back to the woman.
“No, look,” she insisted.
Stan frowned. Why would he need to look at all these troubling depictions? Raya’s composure was both sad and almost curious about what he would think. She was a complex woman, after all.
After three more unsettling scenes, the following one was different. The background was an almost complete copy of the mural she had made for him, and a couple in a tight embrace stood before it.
“Raya, what? Did you draw me?” He asked softly.
She returned a slight nod.
“Ty mnogo znachish’ dlya menya,” she whispered and showed him her phone. “You mean a lot to me,” was the translation.
“Oh, Raya, you mean a lot to me too.” He could not believe she made this declaration and had made such a lovely picture of them together.
“Only one more,” he announced, but before he could turn to the page and look at it, Raya snatched the papers out of his hands and stepped away.
“What’s this? Come on, Raya, now I want to see.”
“No. Is secret,” She replied coyly as she held the stack of paintings to her chest.
Stan rose and approached her. “Please show me, or I’ll have to tickle you.”
“No, no tickle,” she replied, already giggling.
Stan closed his arms around her and began tickling her sides. She squealed, laughed and tried to get out of his grasp.
“Then show me, or I won’t stop,” he threatened her.
He continued to tease her until they were both out of breath.
“Are you now ready to show me?”
“Yes, yes. Look.” Without meeting his eye, she handed him the bottom drawing.
Stan gasped as he saw what she had drawn. It was a couple making love, there was no doubt about it, and they looked suspiciously similar to the two of them.
“You angry?” She asked timidly.
“No, not angry. This is special. It’s good.” He didn’t know what to say, how to ask this, and taking up his phone to look up translation seemed too wrong almost.
They stood in silence next to each other, both unsure of how to proceed. A notification on Stan’s phone broke the silence, making them both giggle.
Stan pulled Raya into his arms. Their lips found each other, and their tongues began their dance. Stan could not get enough of her sweet taste. He needed to taste her every day, in every way.
Raya’s paintings rumpled and were forgotten entirely. Stan was overwhelmed Raya shared his feelings and was willing to communicate them and act upon them.
His need for her grew with every touch they shared. He pressed her body unto his, needing to feel her closer, wanting to connect in every way. Their frequencies connected, and this time too, their kiss flowed naturally.
He hardly knew what was happening when Raya’s hands began to explore his body, first stroking his ass before rubbing the front of his jeans. He nearly buckled over from the sudden touch but succumbed to a smile.
“You need more, don’t you? I’ll give you more, all that you want, follow me.”
His cheeks still red and breathing heavily, he pulled his lover to the bedroom. He wanted to make love to her properly; that’s what she deserved.
Raya wriggled out of her pants and underwear and pulled Stan unto the bed.
“Lyubit’ menya, teper’!”
Stan didn’t know what she said, but it was time to let the language of love take over. He followed her example and also got rid of his jeans and underwear.
His body yearned for her. Their heat was exploding. He struggled with the condom, but once sheathed, their connection was finally complete.
Stan felt whole. The world around them vanished. Time no longer existed. He was one with her, and she with him. He drowned in her sweet smell. He continued to stroke her soft skin. Like when they kissed, they moved as one.
Raya’s throaty moans added to the sounds of his lovemaking. It was perfect harmony in every way.
Together they rode through the landscape of lust until, at the zenith, they gave over and plunged into the depths of pleasure.
Deeply satiated, Stan collapsed on the bed, slowly allowing the world to seep back in. “Thank you, Raya. I love you,” he stated as he drowned again into her azure eyes.
“I love you, Stan. I love you.”
They repeated their lovemaking many times, both that night and in the weeks and months that followed. When two soulmates meet, nothing can keep them apart; not a different country, not a different language, family ties, or a fiancé. Their love drove them together, nothing and nobody could force them apart.