The father of Borris & Tatiana Petrokov.
How it seems.
The story goes that their father was a great man, that of a war hero injured in combat.
He served in the 40th army during the soviet Afghanistan war in one of the motor rifle divisions stationed there.
Mother always spoke and told us the stories he had once told her about his time in Afghanistan, the skirmishes between his division and the Mujahideen.
Tatiana was to young to remember him or his face in person, let alone the stories mama would tell us.
I eventually would have passed the stories on to Tatiana when she was older, and has showed her the photo from his war time.
He was my inspiration, the man I would call my hero, the one who would subliminally drive me into my career.
Despite his passing at our young age, I believe I was 5 and a half around the time he died, I remember his face quite clearly, even without a photograph.
His passing was a result of liver failure, I recall when he first passed that mother simply said he was sick, that had to go away for a long while but one day we would see him again.
I don't recall the funeral for some reason, yet somehow I feel, remember, the sorrow that it would have brought from the time.
Mother would have raised us the rest of our life, eventually telling us the truth, though from my recollection of life, I eventually found it out before she even told us.
Looking back, I once asked papa himself how he got hurt, he had been drinking that day. Something ever so common, which of course lead to his demise.
Mother believes he did it out of guilt and for his comrades, a way to dampen the ever lasting phantom pains of the war.
Anyways, he got pretty mad at me, kicked me off his knee, and told me to leave the room in a thunderous yell, told me he would hit me with his belt if I ever asked that...
Mother says he was shot in the foot by a sniper, I don't understand why he would be so defensive over it, it was out of his control.
I still don't understand to this day, maybe it was just the alcohol, perhaps it just triggered a mood swing?
Mother once told me how they first met, she was working at a local grocery mart as a side job to her clothing factory one, our mother helped make clothes and other things during the war times.
She said that one midday, a tall handsome man with a limp, walks in to purchase some milk, sunflower seeds, as well as a loaf of bread.
He approaches the counter with a smile, the rest of the store was seemingly empty, beyond that of this man, she was nearing shift change.
Striking up a conversation with our mama he would drag on for a while, cracking jokes, and meaningful talk.
Mama mentioned she would soon be changing shift and getting off work, so papa took the opportunity to ease his way in, and suggest that she meet him at a local park after her shift.
He would say his goodbyes wondering if she would actually show, and so he waited at the park.
Eventually the shift ended, mama took up his offer, she would meet him at the park, where they would sit in the grass, drink the milk, eat the bread, and throw the seeds to the birds.
They would have dates like these from time to time, revealing bits of their past to each other, the things they did during war times and as kids.
One thing lead to another, and now here we are, Tatiana and I.
Truth be told, Ruslan wasnt exactly a hero, to an extent he did his service, won a few minor skirmishes.... with local angry farmers.... their sheep and the few Mujahideen mixed in.
Ruslan was never wounded by a sniper during his time.
Instead the company he was part of got new orders to move closer to more heavy combat, which scared the piss out of most.
But very much so Ruslan, so much for being named after a lion....
Ruslan would shoot himself in his own leg with a handgun, from point blank range, the round passing very much through his leg, fortunately for him.
He would be medically discharged, being shipped back to mother Russia where he would be called a hero for his service.
His alcoholism happened a little before, yet much after meeting his wife, he drank out of guilt, not post traumatic stress, but of all the people he abandoned, so he could live his little happy life.
Very many of his friends and comrades would die shortly after his departure back to Russia.
The truth would die with Ruslan, his picture of "Heroics" he painted would subliminally drive Borris to join the military as an officer, out of love to be like his "Heroic" father.