Probably you think I couldn't want anything in the world, being a grand duchess and living in splendid palaces and on yachts. But there are some things I wish for.
1. I wish Alexei could be cured. Recently he was sick again, and it was horrible. He curled up in a little ball, his hip swollen from the inside and so painful. He could hardly open his eyes the pain was so terrible. At times like that I don't even try to make him speak, let alone laugh. We all kneel and pray. Mama stays with him around the clock and has to be reminded to eat.
2. I wish I could have more friends. I love my sisters. Mashka and I are inseparable. But sometimes I really wonder what it's like out in the world, the real world, where the peasants live and where people are concerned about money. How do the children learn? Do they have tutors like ours?
3. I wish I could be kissed—a real kiss—before my sixteenth birthday. Then I would beat Olga.
4. I wish I didn't always have to wear hand-me-down clothes. They're lovely, certainly, but sometimes I think Mama and Papa dress us all the same because then they can think of us as one. But then, we are in our way. OTMA. I wouldn't want to give that up.
5. A puppy of my own. Tatiana has Ortino, Alexei has Joy. I'd love to have a puppy to love me best.
So now you probably think I am the most selfish girl ever. With all those wishes granted, life would be perfect. And nothing can be perfect, except for God. That is what Mama says. So I guess I'll just be content with the way things are.