The Lost Diary of Anastasia Romanov
June 13th, 1918
I caught a soldier watching me earlier today. He is very handsome. He has sandy blond hair and the most beautiful shade of blue eyes I've ever seen. He is about 6'4. When I locked eyes with him, he quickly looked away. I cannot help but be excited with this attention from an older man such as him. But then, wouldn't any girl be?
Got to go for now. I'll write as soon as I can.
June 16th, 1918
It's been a few days since I first saw the soldier. Today he handed me a letter from him, bowed his head, and with a smile walked off, but not until after I'd blushed ten thousand shades of red. I couldn't open the letter fast enough. He told me to meet him tonight at ten o' clock. His name is Ivan Belikov.
I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.
June 17th, 1918
He is so wonderful! Words cannot describe. I plan to meet him every night from now on. It's not like my family will know any different. What with all of the others problems—such as Alexei's hemophilia- they don't pay attention to me. They simply don't have the time anyway. My eldest sister, Olga, acts as if she knows more about the outside world - unlike me and my other siblings, who know nothing of it- than she lets on, but we're too afraid to ask.
Sneaking off to see Ivan again tonight. He is so funny, charming, and elegant. I cannot help but be amazed by him. I love every moment that I spend with him. Last night we were walking by the river and he kept teasing me, making as if he were going to push me in. I told him jokingly that he wouldn't dare do that to such a sweet and innocent girl. He laughed and said, "A girl you are, but sweet and innocent? Not so much." I conked him on the head, which made him laugh harder."You know you love me!" I said with a smile both on my face and in my voice, and then I joined in on the laughter. He pulled me into his arms for a kiss. It was incredible to say the least. We are falling for each other the more and more time we spend together.
Counting down the hours till I see him again.
June 19th, 1918
Alexei was bleeding again. I went to his room and sat with him, telling him jokes to cheer him up. I am the only one who can make him feel better at times like this. It takes a lot of strength not to cry when he's going through this. It doesn't get any easier. Every day is a challenge for us, but of course it's even harder on poor Alexei. He is trying his hardest to get some rest at the moment. I had to run off outside to gather myself together. Despite how hard I tried not to, I started crying. I'm helpless to stop it. I hate that there's nothing I can do to save him, that I have to sit there and watch him suffer like that. I would do anything for that kid. I love him so much.
Ivan was approaching behind me while I was sitting there sobbing. He put his arms around my shoulders, sitting down beside me.
"Ana, what's wrong?" he said gently, brushing my hair back from my face.
"It's Alexei." I sniffed. I'd told him about my brother's hemophilia. It's a very well-kept family secret, but I trusted Ivan implicitly, not to mention the fact I really needed someone to talk to about it besides my family. It felt nice to have someone outside of the family that knew, someone I could vent to. "He was bleeding again. I don't know what to do. I can't stand seeing him in pain. It's so horrible. I wish I knew how to cure him. But there's nothing I can do except watch and see him go through it over and over again." I clenched my fists, digging my nails into my palms as if that will help ease my sadness.
Ivan pulled me into his embrace. I don't know how much time passed while he did so. It could've been five minutes or five hours for all I knew. Being in his arms was the only time I ever felt truly safe and loved.
There was not a lot he could say to comfort me when it came to Alexei's illness, and in all honesty, there wasn't anything he could say that would magically make it all better. I was just grateful he was here for me in my hardship. I had desperately needed a shoulder to cry on.
He's always so loving and compassionate towards me, the world, and everyone else in the world. He is a great listener and always knows the right thing to say. He's one of those people you can tell they're listening just by the expression of concern or emotion on his face.
Since my family is caught up with their own problems, I have never had anyone listen to me about my own troubles. It is a refreshing change to be able to have Ivan. He is unlike anything I've ever seen in a person. Sometimes I think he is too good for me. I'm not sure what he sees in me, but obviously he sees something special if he's using what little free time he has by spending it with me.
June 27th, 1918
I have never been the academic type. I prefer to avoid school at all costs. I will often climb into a tree and stay there. I won't come down unless father tells me to. I admire him so much. He is my idol. My father is such a strong man, and a good person. He means the world to me. I can't imagine what I'd do without him. That goes for the rest of my family as well. Despite our problems, they are still my family, and I love them all very much.
Right now I am sitting in a tree, writing to you, diary. School is so boring. What is there to learn really? It's all the same every damn day. I'm never going to need this in life anyway, so what's the point? I want to travel the world and see everything. An explorer of sorts. Wouldn't that be exciting?. I hope someday Ivan and I can do that together. It would be more fun with him, with anyone really. It seems it would be lonely if I went traveling alone. Ivan and I would have lots of fun.
Perhaps I'll mention it to him someday down the road. We shall see the Taj Mahal, the Eifel Tower, the pyramids in Egypt—absolutely anything and everything there is to see in this wonderful world.
Damn. Father's ordering me to come down.
Until we meet again, diary.
July 15th, 1918
Ivan came to me earlier today to give me a note. He told me to meet him an hour before midnight. He hasn't given me any indication as to why we have to meet, but I will go see him because I truly love him. I trust him implicitly. I will go to him because of these reasons, which is more than enough in my opinion. Love is always worth it. Ivan is my whole world, my everything. I can't imagine my life without him now.
I better go get ready. I'll write as soon as I can.
Conclusion by Ivan
I knew of what was going to happen that dreadful night. The other Bolshevik soldiers murdered the Romanov's. I was afraid of telling Anastasia because I didn't think I could get her out of it. She of course would have had to tell her family about it if I did so. She stayed with me for about a year and then decided to leave. I didn't know she was going to leave me until it was too late. One morning I woke up and saw a note on my nightstand. She told me she was sorry and that she loved me, but she had to get out. She explained that she was so traumatized by the event, and since I was associated with that time, it was too much for her.
I believe she stayed as long as she possibly could. I understand why she left. I still love her very much, and always will. I hope that she feels the same about me as well. She also told me that she went off to the Americas in order to move on with her life instead of being stuck in her tragic past. Wherever she is there, I hope she's as okay as she can be under the circumstance. I hope that her new way of life brings her some form of happiness. She is progressing forward, and for that I applaud her. I wish her the very best.
Her diary is with me now. I found it the day I received her note. I believe she meant for me to find it. I will cherish it forever, and shall always keep it safe. She is a beautiful woman in mind, body and spirit. She had a certain spunk to her, something you don't see in a girl that often, especially given the time period. She was intelligent and very witty. Not only that, but she had a way of seeing things no one else did. I will never forget my princess.
Ivan Belikov, 1925.