Katya Cengel | Longreads | December 2019 | 10 minutes (2,513 words)
I punched a series of numbers into a cordless phone, waited for a prompt and then punched a dozen or so more. Before Skype there was PennyTalk. The phone card saved you money, not time, requiring the input of a long account number, followed by an equally long password, and a no less extensive foreign phone number. At present I was using the cumbersome process to my advantage, trying to figure out how I would break the news to my Ukrainian fiancé that he would be joining me not in California, but in Kentucky.
Dima was from Kyiv. He photographed news and fashion in the Ukrainian capital. He was sweet, funny — and a snob.
The voice that picked up on the other end was distant and distracted.
“Hi Dimka,” I said, hoping the use of the further diminutive of the diminutive of his name would somehow make up for what I was about to tell him.
“Katiushinka!” His voice softened in recognition. “How are you? How is the job hunt?”