the first thing would be that she was sort of supposed to be a boy. her mother wasn't exactly thrilled by the fact that she'd gotten pregnant but when she told her husband ivan, he was over the moon. his mother and her aunt both predicted that the baby alexandra was carrying would be a boy - so the name had been picked out long before she ever actually met the world, sometime around when alexandra first started showing, the women were guessing by the shape of her stomach. of course when she gave birth and ivan was holding a small pink girl rather than a wailing boy, that didn't really change his stance on the matter. the baby would have whatever he could possibly give her, given that his occupation (muscle, driver, bodyguard and sometimes right hand to some shady characters in upstate new york) afforded his wife to do just about whatever she wanted (though later there was a lot of arguments over the higher-ups wives and mistresses having it better than her, but again, such is life) - his daughter wouldn't want for much of anything.
having what she believed to be a fairly a-typical childhood, yes, her mother liked vodka martinis before 3pm, but a lot of her friends' mothers did, too. yes, her father got home at all hours and sometimes not for months at a time, lots of people had this issue. there were a few fights she'd gotten into when she was younger, but just about each time they were swept under the rug from something said by one of her parents to the faculty. ivan talked to her about these things, but each time it was something that made him smile just a little - a boy made fun of her, someone tried to kiss her, they got a pounding around the jungle gym. it was balanced out by the fact that she did really very well with her classes and studying seemed to be no problem at all, once she was interested in something, once roman could define a value from information even at a young age she understood the idea of squirreling things away for a later date. but after one too many little outbursts, somewhere around 5th grade her mother decided that she needed a little more culture in her life, her daughter wasn't going to be a thug. and thus, roman was put promptly into ballet lessons, both public and private (which she'd kept up with until she was about 23). this was also around the time when her father decided she needed to learn how to use a gun, and while roman didn't quite understand all the things surrounding why she was getting these two vastly different sorts of extracurricular lessons, she enjoyed both.
middle school is hell for almost everyone, it wasn't any different for roman. high school brought a bit of a change in all the dynamics, filling out and filling in - becoming heavily depressed that she wouldn't be any taller than she was just then at 17. it was around this time that roman started to notice how often her mother had her lunch time martinis and how absent her father was through the holidays and weekends and how much fighting was actually going on - it'd always been there as a back drop and for being so keen to pick things up everywhere else, there was a sort of wall that she never had any intention of trying to pull apart when it came to her family. though constantly coddled and being told to look the other direction as a teenager wound up having the opposite effects that neither of the parents really wanted.
legal drinking, that's what it was about for a few years. as soon as roman turned 21, despite how she saw her mother drink like a fish - there were parties. there were parties with djs and live bands and her friends and people who pretended to be her friends and guys, guys that her dad didn't like, guys that her mother couldn't stand, even a few of her friend's boyfriends (just the ones that didn't matter). eventually this became problematic what with her getting in late and blowing off the idea of even touring a college - but the real last straw was the night that she stumbled home a little drunker than normal - expecting everyone to be asleep when she saw people fighting in her kitchen. expecting her mother and father to be knee deep in another row, she was a little less than sneaky but managed to get half way up the stairs without making any noises - watching adjacently to the open kitchen. she didn't see her mother, but they were bringing her name up an awful lot, along with several other names - by a man who was waving a hand that was bandaged and soaked through with what seemed to be a few missing digits.
the carefully orchestrated wall that she'd had up around her family and what they did - how they acted and why was going to start to crumble a bit after the fact, the longer she stayed there, the more she was starting to see things for what they were. she was still spoiled and she still got her way, but a lot of these things were brought about to keep her attention elsewhere - sometimes out of love, mostly the other. besides, it wasn't as if bad intent was really what paved the way to hell, and ivan did love his daughter very much. everything came to a sort of head when she was 24, taking her birthday money each year prior to the incident in the kitchen and setting it aside to go. she wanted to leave sooner, but she knew what kind of life she was accommodated to and leaving with, essentially, an empty pocket was not going to be the way to go.
first there was new jersey where she lied and batted her eyelashes and wore a skirt that was too tight and got a job as a secretary for a law firm. that lasted for roughly five months, four months longer than she'd anticipated and that was fine - living meagerly and looking around online to see if she wanted to actually go to school or if she thought she could pass or float by on whatever residual charm she had going on for her, but then there was this man with a long white beard in the middle of july just looking at her. she saw him twice, different days of the week, different times. and then roman decided it was time to move. next was pennsylvania where she did a very short fly-by-night course on cosmetology and wound up working out of a girl at school's basement for a little while (and found a studio where she could go in the very early morning to practice her ballet stretches at the very least). somewhere between philly and washington, there was a guy who caught her attention for all the wrong reasons. a very quick ceremony and a tiny apartment later, roman found herself married - though for not very long. eventually figuring out that he was running around on her and she had no interest, there was a divorce, but she kept the his name, it sounded better. she'd been a dog groomer, walker, assistant director at a children's theatre, graphics designer and several other things that she'd forgotten along the way on purpose as they weren't exactly the nicest or best things that anyone could have done with their time - up and down the east coastline. there were two more secretary jobs and almost very nearly convinced someone that she knew how to work on vintage cars before finding herself in boston.
it wasn't exactly home, but there wasn't any reason not to stay. roman had found a nice little office studio apartment that she could afford from her overly thrifty ways over the years and while it was sparsely decorated, it didn't look half bad for just one person (though over time it had changed into several rooms full of soft things, pillows and very large posters that tried to occupy all the white spaces on the walls). eventually she'd thought to call in her favors at her temp job to weasel her way into a secretarial position at a law firm where she wound up giving more attention to one of the partners than she'd intended to. but it was reciprocated - and after a while, they began a very involved affair turned relationship. though the fact that he was still very much in love with his ex girlfriend at the time -- though that is still very much up for debate, after a year and a half she turned in the other direction. her reasoning was that if they were in love, she didn't want to be in the way - which was when she noticed that there was a club and they might have been hiring. for all the complaining that could be done, she really enjoyed working there, she got to dance, people watched - there are small moments when she's on stage that she doesn't even realize that there's anyone else in the room with her, now whether that was through practice or not remained to be seen. but she liked it, besides there would always be worse things.
Then there had been another year and maybe half of her life - spent with someone who, for a very long, long time she tried her level best with and who she loved very much, but as most people are very happy and ready to point out, sometimes those things just don't work out the way you plan or the way you thought they would. It was trying at the best of times, sadly. And when it was finally over, much as Roman had moments of relief, there was the expected amount of grieving involved - it was, after all the things that had happened, a significant relationship that she wasn't going to just usher away. it had been important, like all things it had changed her, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse - learning process, that's what she'd called it, that's all that she could call it. there had been too many things that went strange or soured for her to recall any of the immediate, legitimate good things that she knew were right there, waiting to be pondered and poked at when she had the time, but for now, it was what it was. and she was and continued to be thankful for the support group that she, admittedly, was quite shocked that she'd managed to build up around herself in that time.