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Chapter 64

Copyright© 2013 by Banzai Ben

Flashback – Ben – In Moscow

Tatiana started to whine at me, "Ben what do you mean you want another gamburger. You need to be eating the hospital food as it is healthy and nutritious."

I laughed at her and added, "You forgot to mention that hospital food is fucking nasty tasting."

She played the girlfriend card and asked nicely one too many times, "But Ben, I am your girlfriend and I am asking nicely. Please eat the healthy and nutritious hospital food."

I've had my fucking fill of this asking nicely bullshit so I pull out my ultimate weapon against it, "You must understand that I'm your boyfriend and I'm telling you the hospital food tastes like shit and I refuse to eat it. So it's your choice my girlfriend - let me eat the hamburgers Jack brings me or I won't fucking eat anything!"

Flashback – Tatiana – In Moscow

Cукин син (son of a bitch) as Ben would say! He countered my girlfriend asking nicely in a very authoritative way. I should have assumed he would eventually do this but I did not like him eating gamburgers. Then I came up with an idea and questioned, "My boyfriend, would it please you if I brought you meals I cooked at home?"

I could not believe how he next insulted me...

Flashback – Ben – In Moscow

I could not believe the results I got when I simply commented, "Tatiana, I did not know you could cook."

I watched her fight back the tears as she declared, "Sergeant Bennie Blaine (when she used my full name I knew I was in for bad shit! I had no idea what it meant when she added my rank because she had never done that) are your brain dead? I am a Russian woman therefore I certainly know how to cook. You of all men, after knowing so fucking many Russian sayings should know this. I am very sad and I'm leaving. I might be back tomorrow - or possibly not!"

I tried to stop her, but she wouldn't listen. Shit, I was thoroughly fucked this time. I had chased off my personal nurse and I really needed help because I hurt like a mother fucker!!!

I pressed my call button but no one came so I resigned myself to the fact that I had really screwed the pooch on this one and had lost Tatiana forever. So I decided to implement my plan and made a phone call.

I was shocked when the door opened and in walked...

Flashback – Jack – In Moscow

I had a busy afternoon. After the dressing down by Banzai, I figured I needed to do something about my weight (I didn't dare try on my 'blues' yet) so I geared up and went for a run. I really hated to admit it but Banzai was right: My little jaunt kicked my ass! I stopped by Mac and Dees and picked up another hamburger for Banzai, but this time I didn't get the fries since he wouldn't eat them and I sure as hell didn't need to add anything else to my weight problem.

I walked into his room and I couldn't believe how bad Banzai looked! I immediately asked, "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

He looked down at the bed and confessed, "I think I ruined what I had going with Tatiana."

Son of a bitch! This was all I needed before my upcoming wedding. I handed Ben the Micky Dees burger and asked, "So what the fuck did you do this time?

He took the package and answered, "Thanks Jack, this might be the only edible food I get all day since the hospital food tastes like shit. Now to the problem, Tatiana offered to cook meals for me and I guess I made the mistake of asking her if she could cook."

Hells fucking bells! Even I knew better than to ask that fucking question of Masha. How the fuck did Banzai ask such a stupid fucking question? Everyone knows that almost all Russian women were hell of good cooks. I didn't say what I wanted to but instead I counseled him, "Banzai, you should know that most all Russian women know how to cook, it's a matter of pride to them."

I guess I didn't help him because he continued with his sad-sack face and answered, "Shit Jack, she had never cooked anything for me so I didn't know any better. If she leaves me Jack, I'm seriously fucked."

I agreed, nodded my head and came up with an idea, "Banzai, you're right. If she leaves you, you are seriously fucked. However, I will have a talk with Masha, explain the situation to her and see if she can smooth things over."

I finally saw a little hope on is face when he looked up and stated, "Thanks Jack, I owe you."

I thought to myself that sentiment is typical but kept my mouth shut and went to find Masha. She seemed to have a huge amount of influence on Tatiana - I didn't understand but I sure as hell hoped she could fix this problem. I bid farewell to Banzai, "I will see you soon, enjoy the hamburger. And don't worry, even if Tatiana is gone forever I will still bring you hamburgers."

Flashback – Masha – In Moscow

Tatiana ran up to me with tears running down her face (Ben must have done something again) so I asked, "Tatiana, tell me what Ben did this time?"

She continued to cry, hugged me and blubbered, "Ben questioned if ... if ... if I could cook! Of course I can cook I am Russian!"

I hugged her tightly (this was such an easy problem to fix I could not believe it) and replied with a simple question, "Tatiana, while Ben might speak Russian exceptionally well is Ben a Russian man?"

She pulled back from me, looked at me and answered, "No Masha, you know as well as I do he is from America and I am very thankful for that."

I continued with my interrogation (hoping she would soon answer her own question), "So tell me Tatiana, what have we been taught about American women and cooking?"

I watched her think for a few moments then she smiled and answered, "Masha, we have been taught that many younger American women have not learned the fine art of cooking."

I forced Tatiana to make a decision, "So Tatiana, knowing Ben is an American man should he automatically assume that you can cook?"

I was happy to watch her seriously consider my question. She finally replied, "Masha I am ashamed. You are correct and I have just experienced a very large cultural difference with Ben. However, I am concerned I have greatly offended him with my actions."

I questioned Tatiana about her actions and decided she had most likely at least confused if not offended Ben so I offered, "Tatiana, I have dinner already prepared for Jack. I know our cooking is similar so please enter my apartment and take a very large plate for Ben."

As I assumed she would, she questioned, "But Masha, what about Jack's dinner?"

I smiled and advised her, "Ben teased Jack earlier today about getting fat so my Jack told me he is on a diet (I was very pleased with this solution to a potential problem which I did not know how to address with Jack). I will fix him a special salad tonight."

It was Tatiana's time to tease when she questioned, "And as usual you will be the dessert?"

I crimsoned and threatened, "Do you want the food or not?"

She answered, "I certainly want the food but I also want Ben for dessert. Why should you have all the fun?"

I laughed and replied, "Because I'm the boss!"

Flashback – Ben – In Moscow

Thank God Jack brought me the hamburger because I was sure as hell I would never see Tatiana again - and I was hungry as hell. After the bitch Yuliana had damn near broken me in two I needed some food. Jack left and I devoured the hamburger and wished he'd brought the french fries this time because I could tell, my body needed more food after the fucking torture I'd faced from Yuliana. She raked me over once, then she evilly grinned at me and did it a fucking second time for good measure. But after Tatiana left I had a plan for tonight that was going to fix all their little red wagons.

I was about half full from the hamburger Jack brought and then was surprised as hell when...

Flashback – Tatiana – In Moscow

Masha was almost always correct and she did seem to understand American men better than I did (otherwise I would have huge engagement ring like she did, the lucky as hell bitch! I had no idea if Ben would ever give me such a ring!), so I listened to her advice (this time), went to her apartment and made a huge plate of 'French' meat for Ben with many potatoes. I started to cover the plate with foil, and then I looked and added one more thing I hoped Masha wouldn't miss. And if she did miss it, who the hell cared. I had a boyfriend to impress!!!

I grabbed my bounty, took it to the hospital and walked into Ben's room holding the plate in front of me. I was shocked when...

Flashback – Ben – In Moscow

Hells fucking Bells! This was the last thing I expected to see! Yeah, I figured I'd totally screwed the pooch with Tatiana and then she walked into my room carrying a plate of food in front of her like an offering. I was still hungry as hell so I bit my tongue and apologized, "Tatiana please forgive me for my earlier statement. I was being both stupid and inconsiderate when I compared you to American women I had known. Hell, I had to cook for most of them."

She smiled at me and it lit up the whole room when she simply answered, "Sergeant Bennie Blaine, I am not only not like any American woman you have known - I am more importantly not like any other woman you have known! So please tell me when you will learn this?"

I struggled for a suitable answer while I had a hell of a great 'second' dinner and wondered if I was a 'Hobbit'...

Flashback – Jens – At the military hospital

I couldn't believe it! It took for-fricken-ever to fit me for the ballet shoes and this was nothing like I had ever been through before. I was tired of trying on shoes (yes I know that is a shocking thought) and if I never saw an en pointe shoe again, it would be great.

Mr. Betancourt even took the time to specially sew the edges of the shoes that he finally determined fit me the best so that they didn't bunch when I went en pointe. He finished and stated, "For now I will leave you with this pair of temporary shoes. I should receive your custom shoes from Freed in about a week."

I asked, "Why can't I keep the shoes you sewed for me?"

He laughed, "Because I need to send them to Freed as they will use them as a template for all your future shoes. Now I must be going, I have a flight to New York I need to catch."

I was very happy and profusely thanked him, "Mr. Betancourt I don't know how to repay you for this."

He laughed, "Just dance your best when we come to watch you and it will be worth it."

I questioned, "We?"

Katie answered for him, "Yes we. Mr. Betancourt and many others are coming to watch you perform."

Suddenly this all became very real to me and I began to worry. Katie must have seen the concern on my face and advised, "Jennifer, it's time you learn how to sew your shoes and also how to properly break-in your new shoes."

I asked, "But what about your work?"

Katie answered with a chuckle, "My shift ended hours ago otherwise I couldn't be here."

Katie started to teach me how to sew my new shoes and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We were part way through when I remembered and asked, "Katie I hate to bother you about this, but I know Robert and Megan had sex on my bed because he sent me pictures of it in an e-mail. Were you able to get a new bed for me? If not that's fine, I will sleep in the chair or on the floor but as I told you before I refuse to sleep in this soiled bed."

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