Vladimir looked at his mother with a lump in his throat. A frail old woman, neatly dressed, sat motionless in the waiting room, where her adult son left her, saying that he would return soon and they would go home.
It was obvious that when she was going to go to the city, she had dressed up: a dark blue skirt and a plush jacket. Outfits that have been stored in a chest for ceremonial occasions for decades.
This moment was a turning point: to return and pick up the mother or…..
The phone rang insistently. Wife Lenochka.
– How long are you still? Now the cameras are all around, let’s move!
The long-standing habit of obeying her implicitly pushed her out of the station doors. The man walked briskly to the car, where Lenochka was eagerly flashing a menacing look.
Vladimir believed that family life was a success. His wife is brisk, calculating. If she really wanted to achieve something: she will turn mountains, but she will not miss her own. “It will go over your heads,” they said about her. Life in an orphanage made her tough, so her husband forgave her rudeness and unscrupulousness in achieving goals. After all, if he hadn’t met her, he would have languished as an engineer at the only factory in their town with a meager salary. And now they live in the regional center, my wife has her own business, a nice apartment.
Vladimir was brought up by his mother alone. The father drowned when the boy was 6 years old. In Soviet times, it was difficult for an ordinary milkmaid to raise a child on a collective farm. And there’s nothing to say about the 90s. But his mother coped. And even my son graduated from the institute. For five years I took food from the garden to the city and gave my pension. She herself lived on small side jobs from the village people. And she wore this blue skirt and a plush jacket when she came to his graduation ceremony: she was proud of her son. I wanted to show off next to him.
That jacket again!
– Well, don’t worry, – Lena encouraged, – everything will be as planned. I have no miscalculations! And this money is just right for us now! – and winked victoriously at Vladimir. He again habitually remained silent.
This idea came to my wife a year ago. It took money to expand the business. And I didn’t want to live in the apartment anymore. Lenochka dreamed of a country house. And then a classmate of Vladimir stopped by and said that an elite cottage village was being built near their native village. People sell their houses for good money. Lenochka caught fire. For the first time in 12 years of living together, I went to visit my mother-in-law. She looked at everything busily, even praised the cooked dinner and affectionately thanked for the hospitality when they left. I left a gift: a woolen shawl. Vladimir has not seen his mother so happy since the graduation ceremony. I did not immediately understand why such changes.
At home, Lenochka told the plan as an already resolved issue. Vladimir’s opinion, as always, was not asked. The mother sells the house, gives the money to her son, she doesn’t need it.
– Is Mom going to live with us? In a new house? – he was delighted.
– Here’s another one! I’ve been missing a granny here. There are a lot of different nursing homes and shelters now! Only a problem: they won’t take her for free, she’s not lonely, and we have nothing to pay for her upkeep there. We need the money ourselves. Therefore, when she arrives in the city, you will leave her at the train station in the waiting room, say that you will come soon, let her wait. And then she will be placed somewhere as lost and lonely.
Seeing the outrage, Lenochka lowered her tone. The main thing she said: it remains to squeeze out her husband’s consent. And she had no doubt that his mother would sell the house and want to move in with them.
– We’re not leaving her forever, – she urged him daily, – then, when we earn some more money, we’ll “find” her. And we’ll buy a house next to us.
– Maybe while she’s still with us, she won’t interfere, – Vladimir weakly resisted, realizing in his heart that he couldn’t resist the pressure of his wife.
It didn’t take long to persuade the mother. Everything went as planned: the house was sold profitably, the money has already been transferred to Lenochka’s card. The mother arrived in the city and was sitting in the waiting room. That’s just this plush jacket! I went to my son as if for a holiday, dressed up in the best.
A lump rose in my throat again. Vladimir sighed loudly and put his hand on the steering wheel.
“We’re going back to the train station now,” he prepared a phrase and even took a breath to make his voice formidable.
Lenochka removed her husband’s hand. I turned on cheerful music.
– That’s it, the issue is resolved! – she said imperiously.
The prepared phrase remained unspoken.