"To sit there and pretend that nothing was wrong would have been lying, and I had been taught to never lie. But, however I tried, I found it was easier to conceal my feelings than to show them. I tried to reveal my anger by spitting out a snide remark (in a conversation which wasn't even mine) but as soon as my little mouth opened I shut it again, unable to make any sound come out. It was all in my head; and as I sat there staring at my hands, smiling occasionally if I thought someone might happen to look at me, I realised how my cheeks were burning - they almost hurt from the heat. Should a hand touch them its fingers would have been singed, I was sure of it. But the socialising people around me, even my friends didn't seem to notice anything was wrong; I was a quiet person, but to sit looking as if I was bored stiff might look a little too obvious. So I looked up from my entwined fingers and scanned the room, moving my head slightly to look at the people on either side of me, or the ones at the far end of the room. Everyone seemed to be so engaged in their conversations that it was no wonder none of them had come to sit with me. My older sister Neodasha was surrounded by more than two people, as the case usually was and no wonder - she was so pretty; she had doll features and the way she applied her makeup! Well, you would have had to see her to believe just how how unhuman she really looked. But she wasn't only a pretty girl - she had brains. A good deal of them too. Most of the words she used talking to me went right over my head, so you can imagine how learned she sounded talking to her equals. Watching her animated discussion take place wasn't enough to cheer me, so I kept observing the other small circles hoping perhaps there would be something to totally take over my mind. Ugh, there was that hideous man who manipulated pretty much every person he spoke to. He was tall, but short at the same time ( I wasn't sure how that could work, but it certainly seemed to in his case) and his mass of reddish brown hair had, again, been style with his boof, but, according to me, he had never succeeded. And if that wasn't enough to creep you out, his name was Boris, which was an unfortunate choice from his parents because it means 'fame'. I can't help to, but I do prefer not to dwell on this person. So my eyes roamed once again and rested on a young man who was, well.... rather attractive. His hair was quite the opposite to poor Boris'; it was neatly styled, and a length, volume and colour that I really liked the look of. Every time I looked at Aleksey my eyes doubled their size, as if they couldn't take all of him in unless they were a certain, which wasn't true. I was training them to behave in his presence. I had only known Aleksey for three years, yet in that time we hadn't had more than a ten minute conversation.
When I took in these few things I had glued my artificial smile to my face, just to be sure that if I was looked at they might not think I was not enjoying myself. If Boris wasn't leaning against the door frame I wouldn't have been sitting there still, but I reasoned with myself that to sit and be bored was better than to walk so close underneath Boris. Not interested enough to take in anyone else in the room individually, I occupied myself again by staring with apparent awe at my fingers, which were now fidgeting nervously amongst themselves. I couldn't stand the hot buzzing room any longer. Boris would have to do. I stood up and straightened my skirt. I took a deep breath to stop my eyes from filling and held up my head. Maybe I was looking a little too obvious in hiding being upset. Easing slightly, I dodged around the scattered chairs, some of which were occupied by chatterers. Holding my hands placidly in front of me and walking a little tentatively, I crossed over to the door. Boris stopped mid word and looked at me with such deliberation that I felt even more uneasy and thought, where do I look? The door handle seemed the safest place. Looking at it I said, "Do you think I might be able to get out?" I looked up at him and he didn't seem to have blinked; without moving his eyes off my face his hand came out of his jeans pocket and encased the handle. He heaved himself off the door frame and opened the door as slowly as possible. I raised my eyebrows (as I always did when I wanted to emphasise my feelings) and said "thanks"; without waiting for the door to open fully I squeezed through and shut it behind me."