The first morning rays of the summer sun peeked stealthily into the window glass of the room, as if afraid to disturb the sweet moments of someone’s sleep. The women were indeed still asleep. Only the old lady lying by the window had long since woken up. Memories from the past squeezed her heart to the point of pain and warmed her soul. Vera smiled, then wiped away an unbidden tear.
Why did it happen that on the threshold of the ninth decade she became useless to anyone? Most of all, my soul ached for my daughter, for Lenochka. Whatever it was, Vera is ready to forgive everything to her only daughter. She can live out her life in this nursing home. How many years, or maybe months, or even a few days, she has left there. I just wanted Lenochka to come to her at least once. Vera would then ask her daughter for forgiveness, although she herself does not know why. That’s all the old mother wants now. And then you can safely wait for death. And now only God sees how she suffers, how she suffers from the enmity of her own child. He doesn’t tell his roommates anything, because who needs other people’s sorrows. Everyone here has their own story, because they don’t get into a nursing home out of kindness.
Vera lost her mother when she was a six-year-old girl. The older brother was ten at the time, and the younger sister was only two years old. All the troubles then fell on my father’s shoulders. When the war started, the Germans took my brother away. Since then, there has been no news about him. My father also went to the front and did not return. And Vera, then still a child, was taken to dig trenches. Somehow a mine exploded nearby. Who was closer died immediately, and Vera got a fragment in the coccyx. Since then, the problems began. The wound was festering, the girl was treated, but the relief was only temporary. Sick or not, she has to work. You have to live on something. One in this world is like a finger.
At first I got a job on the railway, but hard physical labor took away my strength completely. Then I found a job at a factory. And it wasn’t easy there, because the cripple. Some friends knew about her misfortune and advised her not to tell anyone. No one will marry. But Vera knew that love doesn’t count for anything. And then her fate was found. Roman was ten years older. But good, caring. He held a managerial position at the plant, but never boasted about it. The young people lived in harmony. But for some reason God did not send children for a long time. Vera was very worried that her husband might find another woman. Roman reassured his wife, saying that as it will be, so it will be, he will not leave her, because he loves her.
It is these memories that now warm the soul of the old woman. And Vera remembers with warmth the time when she finally got pregnant. How delighted Roman was when he heard the good news! I even started crying. How worried he was about his wife, how he cared. Soon Alyonka was born. She grew up smart, obedient, studied well at school. I entered the institute without any problems and without any fraud. There she met her fate. Her parents liked her son-in-law Sergey very much. They took him for their own son.
Sergey often had to go on business trips. That’s when Vera began to notice that her daughter often returned from work tipsy. At first, the mother was ashamed to make a remark, but then she decided. Alyonka blushed, burst into tears and promised that this would not happen again. But it didn’t last long. When Sergey returned from a business trip, Elena was an exemplary wife. And somehow, during the next departure of her husband, she got so drunk that she couldn’t stand on her feet. Again Vera began to reproach her daughter, but this time Elena sharply replied to her mother that it was none of her business.
The mother remained silent. My dear daughter, who will you tell this to. I tried not to let my neighbors or my son-in-law notice anything. I hoped it would pass. When Lena got pregnant, everything really fell into place. How Vera rejoiced! I even forgot about my sores. And then a boy was born to the young. A year later, another one. Grandma and grandpa were happy with their grandchildren. It seemed that there was no greater joy in life.
But the trouble does not sleep. Roman unexpectedly died of a heart attack. Vera thought she would not survive such a loss. And after a while Lena started looking into the glass again. I drank more and more often. Sergey forgave his wife every time. I thought he’d come to his senses. But it didn’t happen. Moreover, she found herself a lover, the same alcoholic, and kicked Sergei out of the house.
Since then, Vera’s life has become unbearable. When Lena and her new husband returned home and arranged «concerts», the woman took the children and ran away through the window. It’s good that the apartment is on the ground floor. There’s no getting away from it, the neighbors can see everything. More than once they said: «Vera, call the police, because she has already gone so far that there is nowhere else.» But the mother did not understand how her own daughter could be handed over to the police. But one day, when Lena and the cavalier and the company raged in earnest, the neighbors themselves called the outfit. Although Elena is still sure that her mother did it. Yes, she would be ready to endure everything so that her child would not have stupid fame. I would never have dared, as they say, to take out the trash from the hut.
And then Lena decided to send her mother to a mental hospital. Although she is a drinker, she is literate, and therefore she was sure that she would pull it off without any problems. But it didn’t work out. Then Vera offered her daughter to change the apartment, promised to take two grandchildren to her. «And you live as you know. Maybe someday you’ll wake up,» she said to her daughter. «Why change it? You’re going to die soon enough!» she replied to her mother.
Elena doesn’t work anywhere. Her ex-husband pays her large alimony, drinks with this money. Vera endured for many years. More than once, drunk Lena burst into her mother’s room, scolded, beat the old woman. Then the eldest grandson smashed the lock into the grandmother’s door. More than once it happened that I could not go out to eat, for fear of falling under my daughter’s hot hand. More than once Lena, making her way to her mother, chopped down the door to the room.
And when the grandchildren grew up and began to earn money themselves, Vera herself asked for a nursing home. She feels good here, and after the hell in which she lived, so in general, you can say paradise. But my soul still hurts for my own child. He doesn’t want anything from his daughter, let him live as he knows. The only thing the old lady wants is for Lena not to hold a grudge against her. Vera does not feel any guilt for herself. «I leave everything I have, and this is my apartment with my husband, to my daughter,» the woman says, «although they offered me to find guardians who would look after me to death. But somehow I will take the roof over my own daughter’s head?»
The sun’s rays were already looking more boldly through the window. The women in the room were still asleep, only Vera was quietly wiping away a tear. The old lady hasn’t been feeling well in the last few days, but she’s holding on. Must hold on. Because he really wants to make peace with his own daughter.