Anatoly's eyes traced the patterns of the ceiling restlessly. The couch was comfortable enough, and he was so tired, but he couldn't sleep. He didn't know whether it was the absence of someone beside him (whether it was Florence or Svetlana, there was almost always someone beside him at night) or maybe even the different climate that Russia had compared to England, but it was almost three in the morning and he hadn't slept a wink.
He slid off the couch and padded quietly into the hallway. The rooms were familiar, but these feelings he was experiencing were not. He passed through the kitchen and wandered towards his – well, his used-to-be bedroom. He lingered at the door for a moment, listening, for any sound that would tell him that Svetlana was just as lonely. He was met with silence.
Sighing, louder than he expected, he walked to the kitchen, rifling through one of the bags he had brought home. There, hidden in a small, well-concealed pocket was his gold wedding band.
Anatoly sank into a chair, holding the ring in his hand, considering it. Even before England, before Florence, he had never worn it when traveling, when playing chess. He had kept the two worlds separate; he had played two different parts in two very different plays.
Now, he realized that he had very little chance of that philosophy ever succeeding. He needed to start making serious decisions, ones that he would stick to. Ones that he would use to mold himself into the man he truly wanted to be.
Well, he thought to himself, what better time to start than three in the morning on a nondescript Tuesday? He took a deep breath and slid the ring onto his finger where he vowed it would remain for the rest of his life.
It was just a circular piece of metal. Why did it mean so much to him? Why did it seem like that small piece of gold jewelry opened a door to another life, a life that he was deciding to live?
An object holds only the significance that one places inside of it, he mused. And he was deciding to place his loyalty, his fidelity, his love inside his ring and wear it for as long as possible as a symbol of all of that.
Yes, he decided. It was a good a place to start as any.