Ms. Zinsky sat on a bench on the sidewalk. She continued to reminisce from her days during the war. She was only sixteen, a teenager. Like many Soviet women from that era, she volunteered to take part in the war against an aggressor. After trained as a sniper, she was placed with the battalion marching towards this city. Just outskirt, they entered into the estate of a baron who already had fled with all his family members and the servants. As they were roaming inside the castle, she and her fellow women soldiers walked into the ladies’ quarters, filled with fancy dresses, expensive jewelries, and custom-made shoes. That night each woman soldier will put on her favorite fashion piece over their uniform before going to night’s rest. Ms. Zinsky now realized that she was wearing a silver necklace, similar to the one that being displayed on the store’s window. Next morning, following military’s protocol, they had to take off all of their newly found assets, before marching forward.
Now, she turned around to take another glance, when the post-war memories began to flood her. After victory, they all returned to the motherland. But the heroics of the male patriotism were glorified in subsequent historical documents with scant acknowledgement to female participation in the war. Returning women soldiers were not only shunned, but ridiculed for their low moral characters. She was lucky to get a higher education and resettle in life, while many of her female comrades perished in obscurity.
Ms. Zinsky got up from the bench and walked back to the jewelry story. She entered the store, bought the necklace, and requested the salesgirl to place it around her neck. Ms. Valeria Zinsky then looked herself in a full-length mirror and twirled while drowning in a new round of joy of victory.