Together we continue the journey to Stepanakert, capital of the self-proclaimed republic, and then to Agdam, Azeri town destroyed in the last war. Images of destruction, streets where no one walks. The city is empty, gone. We decide to go back to Yerevan. On the car, images of Karabakh, Nadezhda's voice off screen.
We came back from Armenia in late autumn 1930. Now I know we were only three years and a half away from the catastrophe, but luckily you can never see the future.
In one of my sleepless nights, I wrote Osip a letter. I had heard of men coming back from concentration camps – very few – only to learn that their wives had been arrested after them. It was a horrible thought. So I decided to write, in the unlikely event he would come back.
He never received this letter. I wrote it in October 1938. In January, I knew M was dead. Today's compatriots of mine, spiritual brothers of those who killed M and millions of other people, will read this letter and curse, biting their lips, that they did not kill a worm like me at the time, and they will blame those who “loosened the surveillance”, allowing the infiltration of forbidden thoughts and feelings.
you will come back and not find me. Then this will be the last memory
of me. Life is long. It must be hard and long to die alone. Did it
have to happen to us, inseparable? I can see every day of yours,
every hour – clear as in delirium. You appeared in my dreams every
night, I kept asking you what had happened, and you didn't answer.
The last dream: I buy food from a dirty buffet in a dirty hotel.
Unknown men are with me, and after I pay I realise I don't know what
to do with all of this, because I don't know where you are. When I
woke up, I told Shura:
“Osya is dead”.
I don't know if you are alive, but I lost track of you since that day. I don't know where you are. If you can hear me. If you know how much I love you. I couldn't make it to tell you how much I love you. And I cannot say it even now. This is me, Nadja. Where are you?