The car door closed, and Kolya’s view of the melting wasteland outside melted away as the rickety thundering of the train plunged him deeper in his thoughts. He couldn’t believe it. He was back home in Russia. The Mensheviks had been easy enough to convince. They accused him of defeatism, and he said he merely wanted to eradicate every reminder of Tsarist rule, which for him included the reminder of the Great War.
They had tried to argue, but Kolya had always been a master of persuasion, and with such simple minded Mensheviks, he couldn’t help but feel that getting out of prison was like taking candy from a bunch of babies. And now he was free. At last, after 7 years of exile, he had finally returned to his country. Soon he would be back in Moscow, his home. But he couldn’t help but feel a nagging in the back of his mind that nothing would be the same as it once was. Moscow would’ve changed in his absence, the Bolsheviks had changed. Perhaps his ideals wouldn’t even be considered in this new tango the Bolsheviks were doing with the Provisional Government.
On top of that, he wondered how many of his former schoolmates would have survived the exiles? How many would still be willing to make the trek back to Russia? His mind trailed off as the compartment door slid open for a stop, and he saw, far off in the distance, a patch of ground in the melting tundra, and a man working to plow it with a couple of ancient oxen.
“Hmph.” He snorted as he thought to himself. “The life of a Russian, the life of us all. All trying to squeak out a living, plowing frozen land in the middle of the thawing tundra.”
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