DISCRETION STRONGLY ADVISED 

 CHAPTER ONE LIES, THREATS and COVER UPS

November 9, 1968 HOSPITAL MATERNITY WARD, GATCHINA RUSSIA

The moment she held the tiny baby girl Stefanya Bousbouras knew she was destined to be a mother. She smiled at the wisp of hair and wiped away a tear. “Your Father would be so proud.”

Her thoughts were interrupted by a stern-faced nurse. “Visitors!”

Two somber Navy Officers in ankle-length great coats darkened the room. One growled at the nurse. “Leave now, close the door!” She scurried out. The other man held out a document then slowly tore it into several pieces. Stefanya recognized it was the birth certificate registration she'd completed a few days earlier. He handed her a similar document.

She read it. “It says Father unknown, but I do know who the father is.”

That is a lie. The Navy has no record of such a person.”

It is not a lie! He was ordered to sail on submarine K-129 a week before we were to be married.”

Both men shook their heads. “The Russian navy does not have nor has it ever had a submarine with that number.”

All Russia knows the story. You can't hide the truth.”

Shut your mouth woman.” He leaned over the bed and gripped her jaw so hard it hurt. “Or your baby will be found frozen in a snowbank.”

The other officer said. “You will be charged with child abandonment and end up in a Gulag.”

They paused at the door, one said. “Your neighbours are watching.”

The other said. “And listening.”

Stefanya hurled a glass at them.

The door closed with a resounding slam. 

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DISCRETION STRONGLY ADVISED