Tatiana looked out the window at the rain and the mostly empty street below. She had never before seen so much rain, but finally there were signs that it was about to clear. It hadn’t stopped all day, so it would be about time. But this was Ireland, and she couldn’t pretend that the locals hadn’t warned her. It was one of the first things that they had mentioned to her. She couldn’t help but smile thinking about the friendly welcome. The warm smiles and friendly handshakes.
It was such a relief after coming from a warzone. It had all happened so fast. She had always thought Russian and Ukrainians were brother peoples. Not anymore. She had seen and heard the talk about the military build-up but had dismissed it.
“What will we do if they attack?” her aged mother had lamented over the phone from Kyiv.
“They will not attack; it is just for the cameras!”
But then it happened. She remembered hearing the air raid siren for the first time and how it had sent a chill through her.
She was in Odessa and people feared that it would fall within days. Before, it had even really sunk in, she was on the Polish border. There was confusion about where she should go next. But, when the option of Ireland came up, she took it. Of course, she had expected to be in a big city like Dublin, not Killarney in a rural setting on the west coast.
But she was happy here. The peace and quiet took her mind off the happenings back home. And there was a lovely coffee shop just down the road. Now that the rain was easing off, that’s where she was going now.