I lived a shallow and meaningless life, until a brutally honest Russian I met online changed everything about the way I saw the world and my place in it. By effecting an elaborate escape to meet me in Kyiv, Elena unleashed a series of events that had us crossing the the planet, entirely on our own and unsupported. Breaking the rules by refusing to put our fate in the hands of others, we managed to stay together, live as we want, and learned to truly love and trust ourselves. During this unthinkable, year-long run for our lives, I not only rescued the deer-in-the-headlights Russian, who crashed into my life, but found and rescued myself.

Liberation Story

Just because Elena and I happen to have the same gender, this is not an LGBT story, but a story of liberation and doing whatever it takes to do what you know is right for you. To live with *yourself,* essentially. Love story? Of course, I love Elena, but this is really about the love of life and self. Yikes, is that a bad word? Self-love? Loving oneself? If so, you probably don't want much to do with us and our story. This is a story of courage, of strength, of adventure, of growing up, of liberation. There is no sex in it! There is no romance. It's a love story, insomuch as Thelma and Louise or Sherlock Holmes and Watson, or Rosemary and Thyme, happen to be.

Author's Note

This book has gone through a lot of incarnations and incantations. Incarnations being: Convergence, Elena and Meg, and now, Fuck the Rules – a completely new, slimmed-down, rollicking, no-holds-barred recollection of the planet-crossing run for our lives; something sparked by the events my partner, Elena Ivanova, describes in her memoir, Talking to the Moon.

If you haven't read it yet, I am not going to stop you from reading on for the thrills, chills and uproarious hilarity you'll come across in Fuck the Rules, but you'll be missing some of the why in the bloody hell... background.

It took Elena more than a decade to come to grips with what happened before she and I met in Ukraine, and then, to put the heart-wrenching details down in English. Before then, I did my level best to cover what I knew from that dark time in her life. But, take my word for it, I knew very little, and Elena does an infinitely better job of telling her own story, than I ever could. This is why I am not including the events in Elena's life that led to her standing, face-to-face with me, in Kyiv's Boryspil airport, all those years ago.