Favoritism is a bad practice when raising one’s children, but guilt sometimes makes it necessary. When Daria and Evelina were little girls, they were carried away from their mother country, Russia, by their loving parents. The hope was to leave the cold of Novosibirsk for the opportunities of the United States.
Their father, Mark, was an auto mechanic. Their mother, Kira, was a biomedical research scientist at the Novosibirsk Research Institute. It was not her idea to leave Russia, but her husband insisted. Mark had a cousin who had emigrated to the U.S. and settled in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. The cousin had become the very successful owner of a taxi company. It was that cousin who invited the family to come and live in New York City.
When they arrived in New York Daria was seven, and her younger sister, Evelina, was only four. The first four years in their new country went well, but Kira was becoming increasingly unhappy. The able scientist was now a housewife spending her days raising the couples two daughters while her husband, Mark, found himself not only repairing his cousin's taxis, but he also began driving them to make ends meet. Thus, he was never at home.
Eventually, Kira had enough. She planned a trip back to Russia to visit her ailing mother, and she never returned. Mark was humiliated and dejected. So much so that he began drinking vodka as though it were water. It was the only thing that relieved the pain of his broken heart. There were many nights where the alcohol and the devil made Mark say and do things outside of his gentle character. Including somethings so horrible that he could never forgive himself. But he was determined to keep his American dream alive, and he did.
That was ten years ago. Today the girls, Daria and Evelina, are all grown up. Daria is now 21 and Evelina 18 years old. Mark never remarried, but he did hire a series of babysitters to watch his girls while he continued to work very hard to give them a comfortable life. Ultimately, he began his own taxi garage and did very nicely for himself especially since he didn’t need to employ a mechanic to repair his cars.
Most importantly the single father put away the bottle and replaced it with the fountain of hope, which he found in the local Russian Orthodox Church. The girls grew up under the guidance of the church. Something which likely would not have happened had their mother, Kira, remained in the picture. A woman of science, Kira was also a staunch atheist.
The two sisters born three years apart were entirely different in many ways. Daria, the older one was a beautiful 5’ 10” blond-headed extrovert although she barely graduated high school. Daria’s only goal in life was to break into New York’s glamorous modeling industry.
The younger sister, Evelina, is a shorter homelier version of Daria. Although she too is a natural blond, she is not nearly as attractive as her big sister. However, like her mother, Evelina is exceptionally bright. She graduated early and was accepted on a full academic scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania in the coming year. What she lacks in beauty she more than makes up for with brains.
The two sisters have envied one another to the point of hatred for many years. To compound the situation their father, Mark, favors the pretty wholesome one, Daria, and has done so forever according to Evelina. He gives her whatever she asks for, and only she knows why.
What’s worse is that Daria regularly beats her smaller, younger, and less attractive sister mercilessly. She has always enjoyed slapping, kicking, jumping on, and throwing solid objects at her scrawny sibling. Daria is as vicious as she is beautiful. Today is no different.
“Daria please help me straighten up the living room.” Evelina requested of her older sister,” I have company coming.”
“You have a visitor – who’s that?” says Daria with an air of disbelief.
“It’s a boy.”
“You have a boy coming into our father’s house when he’s not at home. Are you nuts?”
“You’re such a hypocrite Daria. You think I don’t know the parade of guys you’ve had in here. Everyone in the neighborhood knows that you’re a nymphomaniac slut. I just hope papa doesn’t find out.”
That was enough to initiate yet another beat down by the “blond beauty” on the “nerdy little professor.” But today Evelina was saved by the sound of the doorbell, ding-dong.
Evelina picked herself up from the carpet and ran to answer the door. In walked Artem, Evelina’s guest. Artem greeted Evelina with a warm hug, as though they were intimately familiar. At which Daria thought to herself “What is this about?” Artem was a handsome young man. He looked like a Greek god. In Daria’s opinion, he was way too cute to be with her nerdy, unattractive sister whom she had mutual contempt for.
“Artem this is my sister Daria. She was just leaving.”
Daria extended her hand to welcome Artem, but she made sure to do it suggestively and seductively. The young Greek-American man with wavy black hair looked into the blond Russian-American woman’s beautiful face and just grinned back at her with a naughty grin as he imagined what she was suggesting.
Seeing their interaction, Evelina began shouting and screaming at Artem “That’s it. I want you to leave now Artem.”
“What did I do?” Artem asked as Evelina began shoving him toward the door until finally, he was out on the street.
Evelina then turned to face her sister and shouted at her “You no good bitch.”
Daria laughed and unleashed a barrage of blows on Evelina’s oversized head which seemed to have connected with significant effect. Evelina fled into her bedroom and locked the door. Daria stood outside screaming at her in Russian to open the door so that she could continue with her beating.
The front door was not locked when Mark turned the doorknob to enter the house. Returning home earlier than expected, he heard the commotion and said out loud “These girls will kill each other one day.”
On seeing her father walk into the house, Daria taunted her sister in a way meant to really get under her skin. “ You may be smart but you know I’m daddy’s favorite.” With those words, Mark shook his head and whispered: “Don’t talk like that to your sister.”
Mark was just about to say something to his youngest daughter when she swung open her bedroom door expecting to encounter her sister’s flawless face. As if possessed by an evil spirit Evelina shouted at the top of her lungs with pure rage “This is for you. You father fucking whore.” As she hurled the contents of a glass jar filled with disfiguring concentrated sulfuric acid unintentionally into her father's face. Mark screamed in agonizing pain as his face melted into his skull, but he knew he had earned this pain for ruining his oldest daughter when she was just 13.
Hi, I'm Lester Patterson,