Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has always been special to our family. My wife and I would usually plan a trip to escape from the hustle and bustle of life to spend some quality time together. One year, Valentine’s Day fell on a Wednesday, which meant that our family tradition was ruined. Both of us worked, so getting out of town in the middle of the week was not an option. We simply agreed to meet for dinner. Little did I know, I was about to be “kidnapped”.

My wife texted me telling me to stop by the house and change into a suit because our reservation was some place fancy. When I got home, I decided to take a quick shower before heading out. Just as I covered myself with soap, I heard the doorbell ring. Whoever was knocking was very persistent.  I threw on a towel and went to open the door. To my surprise, it was a complete stranger. He handed me a white envelope with a short note that read: “Don’t ask any questions. Don’t bother changing, just get in the van.” For a moment I thought it was a joke, but one look at the serious face of this muscular man in front of me, and I changed my mind. Next thing I knew, I was sitting in the back of a van, heading down a ghostly road, away from the city lights.

My driver wasn’t much of a companion. He didn’t say a word and ignored all of my questions. We left the city behind and all I could see were dark rice fields with lonely farm lights occasionally blinking in the distance. I had a bad feeling about this;

I felt like I was in a scene from Taken. We finally pulled over next to a vintage hotel, and my driver handed me another envelope with a room number and a key. At this point, I had nothing to lose. I was two hours away from home with no wallet, no cell phone, and no idea what I had gotten myself into. I went up to the room and slowly opened the door. The thing I saw took my breath away. The room was filled with candles, rose petals and an elegant dinner set for two. It seemed I was to be a “Valentine hostage”. And there, standing in the middle of the room, was a beautiful woman in a red dress. My beautiful wife. She went to great lengths to turn a weekday Valentine’s Day into an adventure of a lifetime. We both went back to work the next morning with a memory that will last forever.

It’s incredible how easy it is to make someone you love happy by simply thinking outside the box. This issue of Russian Time has lots of fresh ideas on how to make that special person in your life, smile! I hope you find it inspiring. Read it, live it, love it!



Sergey Ivannikov

is the Founder & CEO of Russian American Media, a significant and diverse multimedia company serving the Russian-Speaking community of California, and is a successful entrepreneur well known and respected by the Slavic immigrants of the United States.

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