The Day My grandfather Died

CW: Sexual assault

The Author comes up on the stage and addresses the room.

“We will require your assistance during the show tonight. We need you to remember the phrases you’ve heard in your childhood. Has this ever happened to you: you didn’t want to do something, but your parents still made you do it? What did they tell you in the process?”

People in the audience respond: “No buts”, “Do it”, “Quick”.

Write your answer here:________________________________

“Has there ever been a time when you’ve been told to hug or kiss a grown-up, and you didn’t want to do it? What kind of things did your parents tell you then?”

People in the audience respond: “Be a good girl, go give your uncle a kiss”, “Don’t be a brat”, “I’m ashamed of you”.

Write your answer here:________________________________

“Now let me ask you a question about your adult life. Was there ever a time when a man accosted you on the street, and you tried to explain that you’re not interested in talking to him? What did you tell him? And what did you tell him if he didn’t understand for the tenth time?”

People in the audience respond: “I’m married”, “Sorry, not interested”, “Fuck off!”

Write your answer here:________________________________

The Author leaves and the Actress comes up on the stage and starts to read her lines.

The day my grandfather died, Anton came to visit me. I was going to night school at the time, and usually nobody was home during the day. I put on panties with straps shaped like big black bows. It was impossible to wear them under regular clothes, but they were not meant for regular wearing. Anton didn’t give a shit about what panties I put on, but I liked the fact that I have sexy lingerie, like a grown-up. I masturbated before meeting him, because my orgasms during sex  are more colourful when I’ve already masturbated. He rang the doorbell, and I opened the door in these bow-panties and a matching bra. His neck smelled of cologne. It must have looked silly: he’s fully clothed, and I’m in these panties, but I was digging it. And well, he didn’t stay clothed for long too. 

We went to my room, as always. When we’d just begun sleeping together, I used to spread out the sofa every time, but then it turned out that you don’t really need a big bed to have sex. We fell down on the sofa, not spread-out. He ignored the bow-straps and took the panties off like they were regular ones. I put my legs around him like liana hugs a tree. I wanted to cross the boundaries of physical being and to merge into one with Anton, I wanted him to fill me up inside. We kissed and we fucked on the sofa, and then on the table. Our bodies shook the table, my copybooks, printouts, pens and pencils fell on the floor. Then I kneeled. This pose had always been my favourite. I stopped thinking about how I looked because the only thing he saw was my back. I stopped sucking in my tummy and came. Anton came at the same time as me.

Then we were lying on my green sofa, sweaty and happy. We talked about what we would do on the weekend. We talked about how much we loved each other. We almost fell asleep, but I looked at the clock just in time. I buried my sex panties deep into the underwear drawer and put on regular ones. We put back the things that fell down from my table, so it wouldn’t raise questions with my parents.

Anton gave me a ride to the institute. The car was filled with our smell, and Stevie Wonder was playing on the stereo. We kissed and kissed, and then we said “goodbye” to each other. We agreed to meet the next day. Anton couldn’t give me a ride home in the evening, because he had some things to do. On my way to the class I was thinking about his eyes and kept smiling.

My second class was nearing its end. The sun was blazing through the windows behind Mikhail Viktorovitch’s back, the air was stuffy, I was hungry and sleepy. My phone lit up. I covered it with the copybook and read the text: “Grandpa died today. I’m going to Mikhailovo. Dad”. For a brief moment I stared at the table in front of me, then bolted from my seat. I went to the bathroom to cry, but started crying in the corridor. Tanya from the parallel group asked me “What happened?” with a concerned voice, but thankfully didn’t follow me. When I got to the bathroom, I saw three girls smoking. They were laughing. I caught my breath and called Anton. “I’ll be there in a second”, he said. I watched the trees out of the window and picked at the glass with a nail for a little while. When the class was over I went back to the empty classroom, picked up my things and left. 

Stevie Wonder wasn’t playing in the car anymore.

— But you had things to do, — I said.

— You get a pass on things to do at a time like this.

— I love you, — I said. He squeezed my hand.

At home I got out a photo album. I was telling Anton about my grandpa he will never get to meet. Here’s him fishing. He loved fishing. He could fry up a really good carp. Here’s him cutting hay. Here’s him sitting on a bench in front of the house, Malysh stretched out near his feet, black and flap-eared. Malysh was his dog, and Sharik was Grandma’s. Malysh died last year, got hit by a car. Village dogs have this bad habit, you know, chasing cars and barking at them. There’s no Malysh anymore, and there’s no Grandpa. And there is nothing left.

We got down on my sofa, not spread-out, I cried into his collar, and he held me tight. And because he held me so tight, he listened to me so closely, because he was there, my tears dried up. “Thank you”, — I said to him. And he kissed me on the lips.

He kissed me on the lips.

And kissed.

And kissed. 

And kissed. 

Then he started to kiss my neck. 

The Actress addresses the audience: 

What should I do?

Actress: What is that word you should say in situations like this?

Audience Member 1: “No buts”

Audience Member 2: “Do it” 

Put your answer #1 here:________________________________

Actress: What’s the word?

Audience Member 3: “Be a good girl, go give your uncle a kiss”

Audience Member 4:  “I’m ashamed of you”

Put your answer #2 here:________________________________

Actress: I thought I remembered it.

The audience members start to speak faster, the phrases overlap.

Audience Member 2: “Do it” 

Audience Member 4: Don’t be a brat”,

Put your previous answer #1 here:________________________________

Audience Member 1: “No buts”


Audience Member 5 shouts: “Fuck off!”


Actress addresses Audience Member 5: What if it hurts him? What if it makes him leave?

Audience Member 1: “No buts”

Actress: I don’t want him to leave now, I really need his support.

Audience Member 3: “Be a good girl, go give your uncle a kiss”

Actress: I kissed him back, I gave him a sign.

Audience members start talking simultaneously, they repeat their phrases non-stop. Their voices get louder. You can start repeating the answers you wrote at the beginning of this text aloud.

But then the voices stop as the Actress says:

But I love him!

I agreed to do it. I took off my turtleneck. I took off my regular panties. I kissed his lips, his neck, his chest. I turned my back to him and kneeled. “Give it to me”, — I said. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw Grandpa in the photos. So I didn’t close my eyes. I watched the green sofa’s upholstering moving up and down, and thought about how in ancient times burial rites finished with an orgy. How it was really important for people touched by death to feel alive.

I started moaning a bit louder to give Anton the right to come. I wanted him to come quicker. I started contracting my vaginal muscles. And then the orgasm hit me.

I closed my eyes. My body shuddered and quivered. I screamed. I wasn’t crying anymore. Anton came at the same time as me.

We laid down again, me on his chest. He held me again. Everything was back to normal. The photo album was lying on the floor. There was a paper ball stuck in my chest. I tried to swallow it, but it didn’t want to go away. 

“Did you like it?”, — asked Anton .

“Yes”, — I replied.

Sveta Lukyanova (she/her) is a writer, and co-founder of writing courses and community for women* WLAG (Write Like a Grrrl) Russia. Sveta is convinced that a creative person can use different artistic mediums to tell stories. She writes short stories, poems, songs and plays. Everything she does is autobiographical in one way or another, because she is convinced that the real world has not been fully described so far, especially from the point of view of people from marginalized communities. She is working on her debut autofiction novel about growing up queer in a small town in Russia and a later-in-life lesbian coming out that will be published by No Kidding Press. Find her online at