“I hope Ulrich and that doctor person like chicken sandwiches.” She [Havah] limped to the icebox and pulled out a plate of leftover chicken.
After she set the plate on the table she searched the many drawers for a knife. Before she could cut into the crusty bread on the counter, a masculine hand reached around her and took the knife. “Allow me. You’re liable to slice off your fingers.”
“Must you always be so rude?” She whirled around and glared at Dr. Nikolai.
With surgical precision he cut the bread into even slices and stacked them on a platter. He peered at her over his spectacles with one raised eyebrow. “Or so gentile?”
~~Taken from Please Say Kaddish for Me by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Havah dislikes the dispassionate Russian, Dr. Nikolai Derevenko, Ulrich’s housemate. Nikolai returns her feelings and makes it clear to her that he has little patience for most people, women in particular.
As the story unfolds she learns that he’s an accomplished flautist who chose medicine over music and his aloof demeanor masks the grieving heart of a father who’s lost his only child.
In Dr. Nikolai Havah will find a true friend and champion.