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That night everyone goes to the opera, which back then was the place to see and be seen. Natasha is losing her mind that Andrei isn’t there, daydreaming about how she’d make out with him if came back right then.
When they get to their box, all eyes are on Sonya and Natasha, who are both new and really pretty – especially Natasha. The girls check out the scene, noting who is at the theater. One person they see is Dolokhov, who is wearing a Persian outfit. Apparently he just recently came back from the Middle East.
They also see Boris and Julie, who are clearly talking about Natasha. (Remember, when they were much younger, Boris and Natasha had a thing.)
Helene sits in the box next to theirs, and there is much mutual admiration. Count Rostov knows her and goes over to say hello.
The curtain rises and Natasha watches the performance.