He understood why Rebecka Louie--who had been his steady girlfriend all through their years together at University--had moved out of his apartment and rented her own place downstairs, but he was still annoyed.
But just exactly what it was that annoyed him, he wasn't quite sure.
Yuri knew that he wasn't annoyed to have a huge and gorgeous apartment--tastefully decorated by Rebecka--all to himself.
(He could well afford it, since he was well paid at his intelligence job--indirectly working for his mother, who was head of the agency.) And Yuri certainly wasn't annoyed that Rebecka seemed to have left him free to date other women (especially since he had hopes of getting something started with pretty Lilly Thompson).
If Yuri had been honest with himself--or if he'd been more of a soul-searching type of person than he was--he would have realized that what annoyed him was simply that Rebecka no longer regarded him as the center of her universe.
It had been different when they'd been in school together.
Yuri had met Rebecka at the start of their freshman year,
and--though he'd also received lots of attention from other girls (they had been attracted to him to some extent by his confidence and talents, but also by his family's wealth)--he'd been very flattered that Rebecka--attractive ("but not beautiful!", his female friends sniped), sophisticated, and goal oriented--had been so interested in him. By the end of freshman year, Yuri and Rebecka had begun a serious relationship.
Yuri had entered University together with his twin sister, Yulia,
and seven of their childhood friends. Almost to a number, each of them had immediately distrusted Rebecka and warned him away from her--"money-grubbing golddigger" was the somewhat redundant phrase most often used. Part of this, Yuri had felt sure, was just jealousy, at least when such comments came from Brittany Parker and Tosha Go, both of whom had had crushes on Yuri since they'd all been young teenagers.
Both girls had, however, moved on from their infatuation with Yuri--Brittany was living with their childhood friend Alvin Futa, and Tosha had married their childhood friend George McCarthy, and that couple had recently had a baby daughter, Tara.
More distressingly to Yuri, both girls had come around to appreciating Rebecka (even if they didn't completely like her).
Yuri's twin, however, had always been a good judge of character, and Yuri congratulated himself that Yulia still didn't much care for his ex-girlfriend.
Yuri had enjoyed tweaking his sister ("Little Miss Perfect" was how he thought of her) by dating Rebecka, but Yulia mostly kept her disapproval to herself, especially once it became clear that the twins' parents, Yelena Andropova and Kennedy Cox, both seemed to approve of Rebecka.
Rebecka had made a good impression on Yuri and Yulia's parents over the last few years--arranging a splashy reception for the opening of his art gallery,
decorating his family's island vacation home,
always being deferential to his mother (a powerful local businesswoman), being attentive--but never flirtatious--to his father, and most recently by making a growing success of herself with the realty business she had started from scratch.
Rebecka seemed to work nonstop, and was rarely at home. Yuri had stopped by her apartment on his way upstairs, but there'd been no response to his knock.
Yuri checked his fridge and was glad to see that, as expected, his friend Chloe Gonzaga had dropped off several days' worth of freshly made and re-heatable food.
In the mood to talk to someone, Yuri picked up the phone to call Chloe and thank her.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Join us next time, when we catch up with Chloe, Kevin, and Charlie.