— Where are you hanging out again? Only to send you for death!
Masha shrank in fright. Well, what did she do wrong? I went and brought what I was ordered.
— Lydia Karlovna, I gave you everything, showed you.
— Are you really stupid! I told you you bought the wrong thing. Blow back!
Masha sometimes felt that she was in a fairy tale, but not in a fairy tale where good overcomes evil, but where evil has firmly taken its place and now good will never win.
She’s Cinderella. That yes. The father is kind, but characterless. The stepmother is a classic example of a bitch who hates the daughter of a henpecked husband and adores his own daughter. Only Masha understood that her fairy tale would not have a happy ending, where Cinderella met her prince, and Masha did not even have a fairy friend. That’s how she lived, a downtrodden, downtrodden girl dreaming of a miracle at night, and getting up in the morning at the first call of her witch stepmother. Besides, she had to do household chores even before school. Only at school the girl had a rest, gave herself up to study with all her passion, stayed for electives with understandable pleasure, and in the evening the order was given again:
— Where are the peeled apples for compote? I told you to prepare everything in the morning. Where’s the blue dress? Did you forget to stroke or are your hands growing out of the wrong place? Why is the pantry in the dust? You should have cleaned it last week! Why did you turn on the dishwasher, you can’t wash the freeloader yourself? Do you want your father to overpay for electricity?!
And so it is always wherever Masha is: in her room, in the garden, in the greenhouse. It seemed to the girl that her stepmother had set a goal not to give her a minute’s rest, to find her everywhere and force her to do at least something, even if it was useless. The father, a soft, characterless man, pitied his daughter, at times quietly put some money in his hand and asked her to hide it, as if afraid that his wife would see the manifestation of attention and love for her daughter, and would throw another scandal.
So Masha lived up to graduation and immediately left her village for the city without asking anyone’s permission, where she easily entered a sewing school. Finally, the girl began a free life, in the full sense of the word free. No one ordered, forced, dictated what to do. She was happy to live in a room with another girl and decide for herself what to do, what to wear, where to go, and most importantly, the scholarship, though scanty, but allowing Masha to buy the food that she loved and cooked only for herself. The girl, without constant humiliation and bullying, seemed to wake up, looking at her neighbors, she began to take care of her appearance, became prettier. I started paying attention to guys.
One day, a friend with whom they lived in the same room asked her to take a walk somewhere for a couple of hours while she met alone with her boyfriend in their room. Masha agreed and went to the park, where she often spent time sitting near a pond with swans, admiring nature, and enjoying solitude and silence. After looking at the clock and deciding that enough time had already passed for a neighbor to love, the girl got up and left the park.
As soon as Masha stepped on the road, the brakes screeched and, as if in a fog, the girl saw a car rushing at her. At the last minute, the driver managed to steer to the side, but he touched her a little, but even that was enough for her to fall to the asphalt and scream in pain. A young guy jumped out of the car. He ran up to the girl in fright.
«Are you all right?»
— No, — Masha said with tears in her eyes. — Not all of them. My leg hurts…
— Don’t worry, I’ll take you to the hospital now, — with these words, the guy picked up Masha in his arms and gently sat her in the back seat of his car.
He took off abruptly. At the hospital, the girl’s leg was examined and a closed fracture was found, the bone was set and a cast was applied. All this time, the guy was nervously pacing the hospital corridor, looking impatiently at the operating room. When the girl was already in a cast taken out on a gurney and taken to the ward, the guy rushed to her.
— Well? Anything serious?
Only now Masha saw that the driver was young and very good-looking. She smiled.
— Fuhhhhh… Thank God,» the guy sighed with relief and immediately corrected himself, «that is not what I wanted to say. This is very bad, forgive me, my car’s brakes have failed.
— Come on, — Masha waved her hand, — this happens unfortunately. It’s not your fault.
— Thank you! What’s your name? My name is Sasha.
— And I’m Masha.
The young people laughed at the rhyme.
From that day on, Alexander came to Masha’s hospital every day, brought fruits, flowers and spent several hours at her bedside. They were very interesting together. Sasha talked about his studies at the university, Masha about the sewing school. But when Sasha talked about his family, Masha tried to get around this topic and the guy did not insist, feeling that this topic was unpleasant.
When Masha was discharged from the hospital, Sasha drove her to the hostel and turned off the engine, said:
— Masha. I’ve grown very attached to you over these months. Maybe we can continue the acquaintance? I can’t imagine how I will live without our meetings and conversations.
— Well, of course Sasha. I agree!
Masha herself felt that she had fallen in love. This is the first strong feeling in her such an empty and dreary life, it absorbed the girl completely.
As expected, after long dates, Sasha confessed to girl a about his feelings and asked her to marry him. Maria agreed without hesitation and flew as if on wings of happiness. She didn’t even dare to dream of such a thing: a handsome, rich groom. Both she and he love each other.
However, when Alexander told his mother about everything, an unpleasant surprise awaited him.
— Over my dead body! — the mother reacted violently. — What are you suggesting that we get related to this uncouth bumpkin? To us, respected and wealthy people? Does she even know which hand to hold a fork in, and which knife to hold? I’m not talking about education, dressmaker! No!!! This is my last word! No, no and no!
— Okay Mom! Since you insist so much, we will not invite you to the wedding,» and the son turned around and left the house.
The mother realized that it was useless to argue with her son and decided to act with cunning. One day, an unknown girl with a clearly noticeable pregnancy burst into the dorm room where Masha lived without knocking. Masha was alone in the room and the girl immediately attacked her with accusations.
— Is it with you that my Sasha is walking around, that’s what a parasite is. How many times have I already made a scandal for him, and he still does not repent?! Everyone is trying to go to the left. Soon a son will be born, and the future father will not calm down in any way. Aren’t you ashamed to take the guys away?
Maria whispered in confusion:
«But I didn’t know anything. He asked me to get married…
— A familiar story. Every time you need to persuade him to get into bed, he offers to get married. Now you see that my Sasha will never marry you. We have a wedding in two weeks, we want to sign before the birth so that the son is born in marriage. I warned you!
The girl turned around and left the room, slamming the door loudly.
Masha sat stunned by the news, tears were streaming down her face, but she did not notice them, how so. After all, he confessed his love to her, he was so sincere, so caring and loving. What’s wrong with her? Why are all the troubles falling only on her head? Such betrayal of a loved one was the last straw. Masha indifferently collected a few things, wrote a farewell note to a neighbor and went to the train station to catch the last bus to her village.
The village where Maria lived was quite large compared to others. It was very close to the city. A textile factory was built on the edge of the village a few years ago, and almost all the girls, after graduating from school, went to enter the cervical college and returned to work at their factory.
Masha, though she did not graduate from college, but also got a job at a factory. She knew the basics of seamstress work, and she had the ability to do this, since childhood she loved to cut and sew. At my favorite job, all the hardships were forgotten, at least for a short time, the pain of Alexander’s betrayal was erased. It was only after work that the real hell began. The stepmother completely washed her down, there was a feeling that all the time while Masha lived in the city, Lydia Karlovna was accumulating anger and irritation in herself, and now she is throwing everything out on the girl. The woman did not leave her stepdaughter for a minute. All the time he is forcing something to do and coming up with more and more insults and humiliations. It is not surprising that Masha tried to stay at work as long as possible, took new shifts, part-time jobs, helped in the social life of the factory.
One morning at breakfast Masha suddenly felt very sick and she ran out from the table, when she came back she realized that hell had not happened yet, it would start right now. And so it happened…
She brought it in the hem — it was the mildest of the stepmother’s insults.
— How dare you disgrace us for the whole village?! It’s clear what you were doing in the city. Now you can’t walk down the street quietly, everyone is pointing, laughing and spitting in the wake! As soon as you give birth to your bastard, get out of our house immediately.
The poor girl’s life has become quite unbearable. Endless humiliation at home and hard work at the factory, constant nausea and breaking of the whole body in the end exhausted Masha. And then the news about the change of leadership flew around the factory. It was rumored that a young unmarried man was appointed director. The women’s collective seemed to wake up from hibernation. Girls and women blossomed, began to dress smartly, build unthinkable hairstyles and constantly whisper in all corners.
On that day, Maria was particularly unwell. At lunchtime, all the workers were invited to gather in the courtyard to meet the new director. When Masha saw a man getting out of the car, she seemed to experience deja vu. Everything swam before my eyes. She almost fainted.
The new director stood in front of the women and said:
— Hello, dear workers! Let’s get acquainted, my name is Alexander Igorevich. I’m your new director. I hope we will become friends.
Suddenly the man’s gaze stopped on Maria and he fell silent in confusion. Masha, no longer able to restrain herself, ran out through the crowd into the entrance and ran home. At home, unable to calm her wildly beating heart, the girl leaned against the wall. Lydia Karlovna came out of the kitchen and looked suspiciously at her stepdaughter.
— What did you do again? Pale as death! Don’t try to give birth at my house and go to the hospital or have you been kicked out of work?! Keep in mind, I’m not going to tolerate freeloaders at my place!
At that moment, there was a knock on the door and Alexander appeared on the threshold.
— Hello Masha! Don’t you want to explain yourself?!
«Who else are you?» — the stepmother was indignant. — Mashkin’s boyfriend or something?
— Lydia Karlovna, this is our new director. Alexander Igorevich, — Maria answered the woman wearily.
Lydia Karlovna was instantly transformed.
— Oh, what an important guest. Please come in ,» she fussed. — What has my stepdaughter done again? There is no sweetness with her. Don’t worry, I’ll find a solution for her right away. She’ll fix it right away.
— Stop it, dear, — Alexander grimaced. — I came to Maria on a personal matter. Please leave us alone.
— Okay, okay, I’m leaving, and if you need anything, just call, — Lidia Karlovna left the room, but curiosity overcame her and she left the door ajar.
— Maria, is there anything you want to tell me?
Masha took a deep breath and sat down on a chair trying to calm the trembling in her knees.
— What can I say? I have nothing to reproach myself with.
— That is, as nothing? I’m getting ready for a wedding with my girlfriend, and she suddenly disappears… And I don’t even know the address… Do you think this is normal?
— And how else could I do, — Masha began to cry softly. I didn’t mean to bother you. Your fiancee was due to give birth soon, how will a child grow up without a father? She told me everything.
Sasha looked at the girl dumbfounded:
— What are you talking about, Masha? What bride? What child?
Here Maria, sobbing and wiping the tears flowing down her face with her palm, began to tell her whole conversation with a stranger.
Alexander suddenly realized: Mom is a pest, after all, and laughed with relief.
— My beloved, I did not have and do not have any bride, and I still love you!… Lydia Karlovna, come here! Masha is ill!
Masha suddenly turned white as chalk and began to slide off the chair. The stepmother , who had heard everything , ran in and shouted:
— Well, what are you looking at? Call an ambulance, your love is giving birth!
Alexander looked in horror at the moaning Masha, without saying a word, picked her up in his arms and carried her to the car. Having arranged a confused girl in the backseat , Sasha joked softly:
— I have a feeling that all my life I’ve been doing is taking you to the hospital urgently. Be patient, my love. Now I’m going to the hospital quickly.
Masha gave birth for several hours. All this time, Alexander was agitated and nervously walking from corner to corner, unable to sit down on a chair. Finally the midwife came out and said with a smile:
— Congratulations, Daddy! You have a healthy, beautiful son born!
When Sasha was allowed to visit his young mother the next day, the man bought fruits and flowers, just like the first time, only this time he also collected toys for his son.
— Masha, can I look at my son?
Maria laughed happily:
— And why are you so sure that this friend is not your son? She pointed to the cot next to her. — Just be quiet. He recently ate and fell asleep. Alexander looked at the sleeping baby with emotion, touched the arms and legs. He looked back at Maria lovingly watching him.
— Yes, you can’t find fault with that. We’re the same person. Will you marry me now?
— Of course Sashenka! As your supposedly fiancee said, a son should be born in marriage, although we were a little late.
Immediately from the hospital, Alexander brought Maria to his apartment. Masha breathed a sigh of relief when she learned that they would live only three. She, the beloved and the son.
Masha did not want to celebrate the wedding. They quietly signed at the registry office and marked the houses in the kitchen.
From that moment on, all the hardships in Maria’s life ended. She was happy next to a loved one who would not offend or betray, always protect. She made one conclusion for herself, never trust anyone again and always find out what is true and what is false.