When his wife went away on a work trip for a couple of weeks, she thought, or better yet hoped, that everything would be alright. He had always been a good father with good sense.
But when she came back and saw the photographs of what happened while she was out of town, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Something had happened that she could have never imagined.
Marat Ca was a Russian photographer based in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was married to Ivanka, a geologist who taught and researched in university.
The two of them shared a sweet and wholesome love story. They had met while Ivanka was completing her Ph.D., and they fell in love from the first moment. However, their romance hadn’t been all that easy.
Marat was the carefree artist type. This, and the fact that his job placed him around many beautiful women (most of his income at the time came from working for fashion magazines), had made it hard for Ivanka to trust him initially.
As much as she liked Marat, she had some doubts at the beginning about whether he would be a good long-term partner and father.
But in the end, they turned out just perfect for each other. Ivanka saw that Marat had only eyes for her and that work was just that: work. She also understood that she was in no position to say anything about Marat’s income, as her job in academia didn’t pay too well either.
So after reflecting on it for some time, she made her final decision. She committed to him. And she brushed away all the doubts that she had about whether it would work out fine.
And since then, it had been a blast. Everyone that knew them thought that they were the perfect couple. After several years of marriage, they still had the energy of a new, young couple.
And even though every relationship has its skeletons in the closet, it would be hard to imagine that those two would have any. They were just a match made in heaven.
And after all those years and all of what they went through together, it’s safe to assume that Ivanka placed a great deal of trust in Marat. It couldn’t be any other way.
That’s why she had no problem leaving him and their daughter alone for two weeks while she went out of town for an academic conference.
This conference was really important to Ivanka. She was going to present a new paper she had authored; actually, the first one she had ever written all of by herself, without any collaborators.
She just had to be there. And although at first, she didn’t feel great about having to leave her family for two weeks, she trusted that everything would be alright.
What Ivanka didn’t know was that Marat and their daughter were up to something that she could have never imagined. And when she came back and saw the photographs, it blew her mind.
But in the meantime, she didn’t even have time to think about it. She was too busy worrying about the conference’s outcome and how her paper would be received by other academics. But something unexpected happened.
Due to the unforeseen absence of some academics, the conference was way shorter than initially expected. So Ivanka came back home a few days before she was supposed to.
She didn’t phone her husband to tell him about it. She just took the first train to St. Petersburg and went home straight ahead. And when she opened the door, she saw something that left her completely bewildered.
Marat was taking a bath in the bathroom with their daughter present and one of his cameras and his laptop on the floor! What the heck was that?
It was an absolutely baffling scene, and Ivanka could have never imagined finding that on her return home. But when Marat explained it to her, everything started making sense.
It was all a prank photography session that they had been preparing for Ivanka! The pair had spent all week working on some photographs that showed Marat and his daughter engaging in several outrageous scenarios.
But all of the photographs were edited, and all of them showed an inscription with the words “Mom, everything is O.K..” It was all a joke.
Aside from the bathroom bit, these were some of their other photographs. One of them shows Marat sleeping on his daughter’s bed while she sleeps on the floor.
Probably not the most comfortable sleeping situation for either of them. Imagine what Ivanka would have thought if she saw that picture with no context?
In this one, Marat is chilling and watching TV on the couch while his daughter takes care of the chores. It almost looks real.
In any other circumstances, a child with a piping hot iron in her hands would be enough to warrant an intervention by the social services. But here, it was all under control; it’s just an edited pic.
Another one shows Marat’s daughter sitting on the kitchen counter and frying eggs on the pan while Marat cleans his shoes in the sink.
The kitchen is all raggedy, and there is a sign saying, “Mom, everything is O.K.” despite the whole situation’s poor health and hygiene conditions.
One of the things that Marat promised his wife was that he would take their daughter to school every day. And in this picture, we can see him sleeping while she leaves the house on her own.
It would have been an alarming scene if it wasn’t all set up. Ivanka probably wouldn’t have reacted well if she didn’t know the context. But when she knew it was all a prank, she had a good laugh out of it.