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I walked into the museum room and spent time there before I could connect with my memories of Mihail Arkadiyovych Pavlocki; in fact, I was looking at the cabinet at his photo and documentation, but it was not until I looked into his eyes that love hit me all at once.


I knew him more than I knew myself. What does that mean? Exactly? It means I had to remember him to remember me. I saw him, and through his eyes, I saw me.


It isn't easy to talk about an experience like this because it's so easy to speak as if it's now; it's in the present when the fact is that this is in the past in 1942. Time, it doesn't matter. It could be past, it could be present, it could be future, but it doesn't change how I know him.


We were young. I was younger than Micha, but I was an old soul. He was so thin, so funny, and so in love with me.


Our relationship wasn't in the outside world; it was in the inside world, in my bedroom. There were so many nights Micha came to visit, so many days he came.


I knew everything about his body. 


I knew how he would take so much pleasure in touching me. I was very sensitive about my thick waist, my thick calves, and my strong arms, and with his skinny, slim body, he took so much pleasure in being with me.


I remembered his smile immediately, the gap in his front teeth, how he didn't sleep in the night in the day, somehow when we were together he didn't sleep, and how he caressed the scar on my face and watch me sleep. He loved every single part of me,


When it was time for him to leave, I broke his heart, and I couldn't bear the idea of him leaving because I was stubborn and emotional. I refuse to look at him. I refuse to speak to him even though he begged me to lay with him.


In my bedroom. It's the last time I ever saw Micha; in my soul, I think I knew this was our last meeting,


I understood, or it was my purpose to forgive him and, ah, at the same time, forgive myself. Misha went to military school. The boy that I knew turned out to be a man, a celebrated war hero for the Soviet Union, who died at a very old age and is buried in Kyiv, Ukraine. We managed to live parallel lives for a short time. He died in the late 80s. I was alive, a teenager living in America. 


It's impossible to say that it was just young love or a fleeting romance because, in this life, he was my world, in my short life. And I know for Micha, even though his life on this earth was so much longer than mine. He held me close when he was on the battlefield fighting the Germans, the Germans who took everything from him and took everything from me.

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