(This post was written in the Vienna airport on my way home.)
Where do I even start?
This trip was not at all what I had hoped for. The last ten days have been such an emotional roller coaster, I don't know what I am feeling. So far this morning I have been wanting to alternate between crying and spewing all over the place.
I arrived in Minsk and didn't see Alyosha anywhere. Then a man who looked to be from the Caucaus region said "Katie?" I said "Yes." He must have seen the confusion in my eyes because he said "Alyosha?" I said " Yes, where is he." The man said that he was outside smoking. He called Alyosha and then I saw him.
I immediately thought, oh my god, something has happened to him--he looked like he'd been in an accident and no longer had all of his faculties. Then as we went out to the car I could smell the alcohol. I thought to myself, well, maybe the shock that I was coming was just too much for him, but he was really drunk. I couldn't look at him, to be honest. It was such a shock. Bless his heart, he was super emotional, and at one point he asked why I didn't want to look at him.
So, our driver turned out to be his neighbor, Grigorii. He looked at me and shook his head and said, "You poor thing." We stopped for a minute so that Alyosha could smoke and I realized he had a bottle of wine in his coat, which he apparently spilled while he was smoking. We stopped for gas and he kissed me, well tried to kiss me, but ended up just kind of sucking on my lip. We got to his house and his mother called. She asked to speak to me and said she would come see me. Alyosha kept hugging me and saying he couldn't believe I was here.
His mom came and just started crying. Then she started scolding him. So, she went to go get some food and said she would come back and we would all have dinner. Alyosha asked me if I had money to pay Grigorii and I said all I have is dollars and gave him a twenty. I laid down for a minute and must have fallen asleep because then his mother was standing over me saying "why did you give him money." Apparently, she had already paid Grigorii and Alyosha had taken the money and gone out to buy even more alcohol. He was really drunk now. I was like, how was I supposed to know.
So, after arguing with his mother, he went to sleep on the couch. We agreed that I would stay there that night and then the next day we'd figure things out. Little bugger was slightly frisky that night, but I schooed him away. I thought, tomorrow is a new day, things will be different in the morning.
Different, yes. Better, no.