Ardalion Ivanovich: A Short Story

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“What arrogance!” Liza muttered with disdain as she scanned the papers later that day when she returned from a date with a friend. “That man, Ardalion Ivanovich, was always arrogant. With an ego bigger than an elephant, no, bigger than even the moon.” She took a bite out of a vatrushka pastry. “So frail his ego was! So weak, so frail, and so easily fractured. So many in the army are like this.” Grabbing the rest of the paper as she sat down at the dinner table, she nearly tore part of the first page in excitement as she devoured the story of Ardalion Ivanovich’s life and death. The paper, of course, being biased as it was as the organ of the Party from which Ardalion Ivanovich had been cast out in disgrace, did not cast the man in a positive…show more content…
She thought she was so intelligent, didn’t she? So unlike myself, so much more socially aware, so much less likely to be negatively influenced by ‘scoundrels’? “I don’t want to hear about this any longer,” I begged of Liza, my voice hoarse. “Please, just stop.” “You’ve always been like this,” Liza sighed and grabbed my hand, partially to comfort me but also to prevent me from leaving. She knew me well. She knew I was going to bolt out of the room any second now—I’ve always been so cowardly! “Always been trapped in this cycle of self-hatred and self-imposed isolation. I know what you and Kuzma Ardalionovich have been up to lately: why, the two of you have been at each other’s’ throats, ignoring each other just for the sake of it! How long are you going to put up with this? How long are you going to continue on with this foolishness?” “Stop spying on us!” I howled at her, unable to hold back my emotions any longer. I was so sick of Liza—so sick of her self-righteous, judgmental bullshit. She always wanted to position herself as morally superior, some sort of vestal virgin looking down on me, the fallen, syphilitic woman. Why was she always shoving it in my face that I was stagnant while she was not? “We come from the same parents, went through the same shit,” she always reminded me, “but why are we so
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