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  • Dmitry rang the bell at the front door of the New York brownstone. It was New Year's Day, January 1 , 2015 and he was paying a social visit to his old friend from Russia, Anna Karin.

    Their families had been closely associated dating back to their respective great uncles. Uncle Leo and Uncle Fyodor had admired each other's superb writing and their families had been connected through them.

    Dmitry was looking forward to Anna's company. They could converse in Russian and share common interests reminiscing and nostalgic for their families and the old country.

    Anna answered the door and hugged Dmitry tighty in a warm embrace. She pulled him into the foyer out of the cold. Holding both his hands, she leaned back to look at her old friend. His bulky coat was shabby over his thin frame and his eyes were sunken into his pale face.

    Dmitry looked at Anna. She was a dark haired beauty,petite, and fashionably dressed. Her brown eyes sparkled with health and her face was flushed with excitement at anticipation of their visit.
    Anna was 35, younger than Dmitry who was in his late fifties. Nevertheless, they were like brother and sister to each other.

    Anna took Dmitry's coat and ushered him into the well appointed living room. Two comfortable chairs were set before a roaring fire. The samovar and tea service was already prepared. Delicacies of delicious foods lay on the table. Anna poured the tea for them both and handing Dmitry a plate urged him to help himself which he happily did to sate his hunger.

    Soon, they were engaged in animated conversation. They talked of the politics of the day proferring opinions on Obama and Putin. They both agreed that perhaps Plato was right and his idea of a benevolent dictator actually was beginning to seem attractive. They feared that both systems of democracy and communism were failed experiments which had morphed badly from their original philosophies.

    They talked of books they were reading. Dmitry was reading "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell, a social scientist. Gladwell describes in this book how the subconscious mind makes decisions quickly based on an individual's prior experiences that appear intuitive. Anna had read the book too and postulated that perhaps we really do have 6th sense that subtly guides us through life

    Anna was reading " The Brain that Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge. The subject fascinated both of them as the old ideas that the brain cannot repair itself were dismissed by Doidge proposing that the brain can actually rewire itself to recover from injury and diseases.
  • They passed a pleasant afternoon in this way flitting from various subjects of interest. They talked of art and music, religion vs atheism as it affects society today.

    Soon, they were comfortable enough with one another to confide their deepest, troubling thoughts

    Dmitry confessed that he was obsessed with the idea of revenge against his personal financial planner who had invested his life savings badly bankrupting him in the process. He was now reduced to taking odd jobs since his retirement savings had been decimated. He explained to Anna that he was trying to rise above it all, to be noble and philosophical and to move on in his life. He did not want to dwell in anger and hatred.

    Anna confided to Dmitry that she was having an affair with Victor, a wealthy entrepreneur. She was filled with guilt and remorse as her husband loved her and was kind and generous. How could she betray him like this? It was unthinkable and she struggled to forget Victor.

    They consoled each other and resolved to meet each other in two weeks hence for another tete a tete.

    Alas, this was not to be! In the intervening two weeks, both Dmitry and Anna were dead. Dmitry carried out the murder of the investment banker and then turned the gun on himself.

    Anna threw herself onto the subway tracks in the path of an oncoming train. She was killed immediately

    ( based on Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky and
    Anna Karenina by Tolstoy)
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