She was 18. Thin hands, big frightened eyes. Mansur took her from home to a far away Moscow. Before the wedding Yildiz dropped few tears — she was afraid. She had never been in a big city before, how would it be to live there among strangers? Uncle Mirza even got angry with her — from now on Mansur was her husband, he wouldn`t do any harm, she had to obey him and to not irritate him.
She soon got used to her husband. He was kind. He would obtain her a Russian passport, would help her with learning the language, would buy her nice dresses.
She was nervous when he first didn`t return home at night. She wasn`t angry when he didn`t show up for two days, she was just waiting. Then she spent a whole week alone. She got used to eat by small portions so that not run out of food. It was Mansur who had forbidden her to go out. It was dangerous. Once she goes out she will be taken to a police station, she will be raped and killed. And nobody will be looking for her, because she is stranger here, foreigner, she has no passport.
And then Mansur had stopped returning home at all. She was not angry — it was as it should be. She just kept counting the chocolates he had bought her last time — a chocolate for a day that had passed. Then she ran out of chocolates. She didn`t try to go out. Only at night she was opening the front door stealing the leftovers. Her neighbors used to feed a homeless cat, and each day Yildiz left that cat hungry.
It became dark and quite at home. The light and gas were cut off at her flat. Only the water tap was dripping. And one day they came. Two Russians, evil and armed. They kept shouting: “Mansur, Mansur!”. They cursed and beat her. She couldn’t explain that Mansur hadn’t had time to teach her Russian. How long had they been in her flat? A week, a month, a year? What did they need? When would they leave? She couldn’t understand what they were saying.
And suddenly uncle Mirza arrived. Yildiz thought he came after her. He would take her home from this scary city. But he paid no attention to her. He pushed her to the corner and shouted: “Where is your bastard husband? Where is my money?”. But what did she know — she knew nothing.
She cried, covered her head with hands. She didn`t see who was the first to shoot. Sleeves were clinking and pealing on the floor. She was so scared she fainted. When she came to herself there was no one alive in the flat. She was scared near the corps. She dragged them to the balcony. For some purpose she covered them with blanket. As if they can feel cold.
And then Mansur came back. Old, thin, scary. He was so tired he couldn’t speak. She took him to the bedroom and covered with blanket. Then she sang him her grandmother`s lullaby, so that he slept well. She lay down near him, snuggled him and hugged him. And whispered: “How cold you are…”.