Vasily left school together with his classmate Vadim. They were going to go to the snow slide together, but halfway there, Vasya suddenly stopped.
— Sorry Vadik, but I’d better go home. There’s a grandmother alone, who knows, maybe right now she needs my help…
Vadim shook his head and replied with displeasure:
— Oh, you…and also a friend is called. Yes, if I had known that you would refuse, then I would have gone to the skating rink with the guys. Okay, then go ahead and say hi to your grandmother.
Vasily was not offended by his words, realizing that Vadim did not say them out of spite and in a day, two at most, he will calm down. When he got home, Vasya looked at the windows of his apartment, there was no light in them, which meant that his grandmother was either sleeping or feeling unwell and waiting for her grandson to return from school. After opening the door with the key, the boy felt a breath of cold air, he felt uncomfortable, at the same moment he ran into the hall and saw his grandmother lying on the sofa with her eyes closed. As he approached, he ran his hand over her face and realized that she was alive. However, rapid breathing indicated that something was wrong with her and medical help was needed. Having dialed 03 on the phone , he spoke convulsively to the attendant:
— Come quickly, my grandmother is unconscious, she is ill…
Then he just as smartly dictated the address…
The doctors had time in time and brought the old woman to her senses. Her blood pressure jumped sharply and she lost consciousness for a while…
Opening her eyes , Zinaida Petrovna first of all said:
— Granddaughter, I’m so glad to see you.
By force, she stretched out her arms to him and pressed him to her.
She was offered hospitalization, but she refused it.
— I can’t chill in the hospital, I have to look after my grandson. He will be lost without me, because he is still a child. Thank you for bringing me back to life, but I’d rather be at home.
In response, the doctors shrugged their shoulders, wished good health and left the apartment.
Vasily snuggled up to his grandmother again and almost cried.
«I was so scared I wouldn’t see you alive again. All now no friends after school, straight home. I’m sorry, Grandma, that I was late. I love you very much!
Zinaida Petrovna could not restrain herself and began to cry.
— My God, how kind and sympathetic you are. Fate itself gave you to me…
And this moment Grandma thought:
«And if it was meant to be, then I won’t leave you for anything. I will definitely put my grandson on his feet, no matter what it costs me.»
She was engaged in raising Vasily alone, because his mother disappeared five years ago and they still didn’t know anything. It was rumored that Marina, that was the name of Vasily’s mother, was no longer alive. But Zinaida Petrovna did not believe in this and continued to hope that her daughter would be found soon. However, the initially organized searches did not bring any results, over time they were curtailed and spread their hands, making it clear that they had done everything they could.
As for Marina’s son, he, too, like his grandmother, lived in hopes that he would see his mother again. He went to bed every day and woke up with this thought.
So they lived together, grandmother and grandson. It’s not rich, of course, for my grandmother’s pension and for the tiny allowance due to Vasya.
And now, when there was no one else to take care of his grandmother, he took on this responsibility. The grandmother who raised her grandson almost single-handedly taught him the most important thing:
— Vasenka’s love does not end, it will always be, and with it there will always be care, sympathy and mercy.
Vasily easily gave up almost all the joys of childhood for the sake of caring for his beloved grandmother, who was weakening before his eyes. Because of severe pain, Zinaida Petrovna had to lie stealthily wiping away tears and at the same time she fervently asked God not to take her away until her grandson grows up and gets back on his feet. Zinaida Petrovna understood that Vasya was still a child and it was very difficult for him, so every time hiding his weakness and illness, she persistently asked him not to sit in four walls, but to go outside with friends. The grandson nodded in response, but found various reasons to refuse. So today he did not go with Vadim to the snow slide, as he felt that he needed to return home as soon as possible. Rising from the sofa, Zinaida Petrovna took her grandson by the hand and led him into the kitchen. There Vasya saw a stack of fluffy pancakes on the table.
— Grandma, when did you manage to bake them? — opening the lid of the pot, he almost whistled to the whole apartment. — I also cooked my favorite borscht!
Smiling in response , Grandma said:
«Am I really going to leave you hungry?» Go wash your hands. We’re going to have dinner now. By the way, there will be condensed milk for pancakes today.
Vasya’s joy knew no bounds. He quickly washed his hands and sat down at the table and began to eat a rich borscht. Watching him, Zinaida Petrovna supported her face with her hands and smiled slyly. Noticing such close attention , the grandson asked:
— What’s wrong, Grandma? Am I holding a spoon wrong?
Waving her hand at him , she calmly replied:
— No, I just remembered the words of my friend. It’s been a long time…well, before your mother disappeared…she said that you would grow up like your father, even gave arguments: they say Andrei was a slacker, insidious and soulless person. But it hasn’t been long, and I see that her words turned out to be empty chatter. Yes, you eat, there are pancakes waiting for you. I was really wound up today, so I didn’t notice how the pressure jumped. It’s good that I have such a grandson who feels problems a mile away.
After having dinner with him, Zinaida Petrovna washed all the dishes, and then sat down on a chair and turned on the TV. Vasya, after a hearty meal, went to the room to do his homework, but he did not have time to take a couple of steps when he saw that his grandmother took a purse out of the pocket of her robe and began to count the rest of the money with trembling in her hands. Apparently there were not many of them, and there are still two weeks before the next pension. Carefully, so that she wouldn’t hear anything, he walked through the hall and closed the door behind him. The thought was just spinning in my head:
«I have to help my grandmother, but how do I do it?»
Vasily didn’t know yet and the only thing that came to mind was to look for a side job on the Internet. For teenagers, however, at his age of 13 it was difficult to find something worthwhile, and then Vasya remembered that one of the students at school who studied two grades older once told him that he sometimes worked as a car wash, but it was not just a job for hire, but helping his father. He owned several car wash complexes and thereby taught his son to work, and he did very well. Moreover, Timur, that was the name of that student, always had enough pocket money. Vasya caught fire with this idea and the very next day during recess persuaded Timur to put in a good word for him in front of his father. The high school student agreed, especially after Vasily told him why he needed money.
After school, they went to the car wash together and already there Vasya met Timur’s dad. Looking at him , Evgeny Olegovich winked and said:
— Well done for deciding to help your grandmother. This is commendable, because it is so rare to meet purposeful and caring children among the younger generation. But make sure that the study does not suffer from this!
And on the same day, Vasya earned his first money. He was beaming with happiness when the crisp bills were handed to him. Not seeing the roads, the boy rushed home to buy something tasty for his grandmother on the way. Out of all the abundance of sweetness, he chose chocolate truffles. They were the ones she loved and bought when money allowed. Without thinking that his grandmother would ask him where his money came from anyway, Vasily came home and proudly handed her a whole bag of sweets. Tilting her head to the side , Zinaida Petrovna said:
— Well, you give, as if on some holiday. Did you celebrate someone’s birthday at school today?
Vasily took a couple of steps back, as if he was afraid that his grandmother would notice his excitement from a close distance:
— No, I just helped one of our teachers and he paid me for it. Just don’t swear, because I wanted to do something nice for you so much.
Crossing her arms over her chest , Zinaida Petrovna replied with restraint:
— I didn’t think to swear, especially since you didn’t do anything wrong. Helping other people is always a good thing, we also went to the elderly when we were just as young and helped with the housework. True, we were not paid for it then, they handed over diplomas for that. Which was also very nice.
Exhaling sharply, Vasya immediately happily took out as many as a few truffles.
— And let’s eat them together, after all, this is my first payday.
He pronounced the words payday in such a way that Zinaida Petrovna barely restrained herself from crying again. After all, this is not what she expected from fate, a grandson should not work at such an age. It is she who needs to find funds so that he does not need anything, and it turns out that Vasya instead spends his personal time to earn some money. On the other hand, she herself understood that she would not live forever and there would come a moment when her grandson would have to decide for himself in this life. Zinaida Petrovna believed that she should turn inside out, but surround her grandson with warmth and care. Besides, as she thought, you can’t give yourself any slack, there’s a daughter who seems to have stumbled and disappeared, and it’s still unknown under what circumstances it happened. Vasily was lucky and granny didn’t ask any more questions about money, especially since he didn’t want to talk about the fact that he earns money washing cars of rich people. Yes, that’s right, because most of Father Timur’s clients were wealthy citizens.
Combining studies and infrequent part-time jobs, Vasily increasingly noticed that he was becoming more independent and responsible. And if earlier he somehow did not pay attention to prices when he went grocery shopping with his grandmother, now he studied in detail the cost of each item on the shelf. That’s what innate economy means, and granny correctly said that she did not look at all like her rogue father in character. As for Grandma, she was still wary of the fact that her grandson sometimes earns after school.
Zinaida Petrovna felt like an infirm person. Although, if you look at it from the other side, it’s even good that the grandson is now not just a native person, but also a real assistant in the house. Once they were sitting near the TV and grandma suddenly asked him:
— Vasya, maybe you won’t work part-time anymore? After all, I receive a pension, albeit a small one, but we don’t sit hungry.
Her grandson’s answer struck her on the spot:
— I want to be needed by society, and for you a support. There is now a man in our family who is able to provide for her.
Pride was bursting, both Vasily himself and his grandmother. Both of them realized that these were not empty words. And despite the time spent washing cars, the grandson studied pretty well, at least without twos and threes, besides, Zinaida Petrovna has never been called to school. And this indicated that Vasya was a diligent student.
Helping his sick grandmother, Vasya felt responsible for her. And if earlier she most often went shopping, then after these changes Vasily himself took the money and a list of what needed to be purchased. Moreover, Zinaida Petrovna agreed with a friend in the housing department and she calmly accepted receipts from her grandson for utility bills. In general, Vasya began to grow up by leaps and bounds, as they say, but by the hour. And interestingly, he practically did not ask his grandmother about his mother at all, it feels like he has stopped thinking about her or has lost faith that she will ever be found.
Zinaida Petrovna sometimes asked herself the same question:
«Isn’t his soul hardened?»
It seemed to her that in trying to study tolerably and earn at least something, Vasya could lose all good emotions and in the future he would no longer be able to smile sincerely, because he would forget how to do it or just his heart would not react to joyful moments. This was what worried Zinaida Petrovna most of all, and she decided to choose a day to have a serious talk with Vasya.
The weekend was approaching, which means that the grandson will be at home during the day. But as for evil, a neighbor came to visit them on Saturday, she liked to have fun, and at the same time collect city gossip. Grandma jokingly said about her that she had no bones in her tongue. I had to postpone the conversation with my grandson until Sunday, especially since Vasily was in a kind of depressed mood. All night Zinaida Petrovna could not fall asleep normally, she was thinking about how to gently hint to her grandson so that he would give up this idea of his earnings and like a necessary and useful thing, but only adults should do this. Thinking about it and imagining herself in his place, Grandma quietly cried in the dark. She was uncomfortable for the fact that now the grandson can be said to drag the family, and not she with her small pension. But again, it was his decision and he consciously went for it. In addition, the studies did not suffer and the teachers did not complain about him.
The long-awaited Sunday came, the day when it was necessary to talk frankly with my grandson. Zinaida Petrovna even checked in advance what mood Vasya was in. He was cheerfully humming some song in the bathroom while washing his face. Getting ready for a conversation, grandma even brought mugs with compote and custard rolls to the hall. But the doorbell rang quite suddenly. Shrugging her shoulders, the old lady went to open it, not understanding who could welcome them to visit. She opened the door without a second thought, and at the same moment she was almost knocked down by a seizure. Just as the grandson came out of the bathroom, and he was dumbfounded. After all, Marina was standing in front of them quite alive and unharmed, also in expensive clothes, even smiling, though somehow strained and, as it seemed to Vasily, not sincerely.
— Hello, my good ones, why are you so scared? Aren’t you glad to see me?
Zinaida Petrovna, taken aback, took Vasya by the hand and pulled her back into the hall, whispering some prayer along the way. Marina followed them and sat down in a chair.
— You meet me strangely, and I was in such a hurry to see my own son and my beloved mother.
She prettily applied a handkerchief with her eye, allegedly blotting non-existent tears while trying not to touch her heavily made-up eyelashes.
Finally, the numbness passed and Zinaida Petrovna quietly asked:
«Where have you been all this time?» The whole city was looking for you, and what can I say, even the regional rescuers were connected. We thought you were completely lost or dead.
Laughing, Marina said something that made Granny and her grandson feel cold inside.
— This is how I arranged my personal life. You wouldn’t have let me do it anyway, so I had to disappear for a while to get back on my feet. Well, Vasenka, go to your mother. I’ve missed you so much.
Instead, the son glared at her angrily and also spoke in a hostile manner:
— I don’t want to see you! Go away! We live well without you! Am I telling the truth, Grandma?
Zinaida Petrovna nodded in response.
— That’s right, granddaughter. We’ve been through a lot with you, and I don’t think we need some kind of vertikhostka. Let her roll back to where she came from! This is final, Marina, don’t expect any other decision from me!
Flashing her eyes, she snorted under her breath.
— Well, we’ll see who will be in chocolate! — slamming the door, Marina jumped out of the apartment and didn’t even say goodbye.
No one doubted that she would get nothing in any case.
The news of her return quickly spread around the city and soon Marina was interested in the guardianship staff. They have a lot of questions for her, and first of all, where she has been missing for so long. Naturally, Marina did not tell them anything else but the same fairy tale that she told her grandmother and grandson. The guardianship staff were shocked and could not believe that a woman, a mother, finally did this to her own son, it’s another matter if the mother really found herself in a difficult situation and could not get in touch. So no, I had fun to the fullest for my own pleasure. As expected, at the insistence of Zinaida Petrovna, the guardianship staff prepared documents for the deprivation of Marina’s parental rights.
As for the conversation that was to take place between them, Zinaida Petrovna decided not to rush things. She thought that let her grandson study quietly, and now there will be no problems about the money, because the guardianship staff will oblige Marina to pay alimony for her son, moreover, they will recalculate all the years of her absence. Especially since she did it intentionally. In addition, they will still have to figure out how Marina managed to hide so skillfully all these years.
After all these events, Vasily temporarily stopped working part-time. He gave his grandmother all the money he had saved up and said:
— We have enough for now, and then we’ll figure something out.
And that’s true, because the boy needs to finish his studies in order to get a good profession in the future. In general, the long and tedious expectations of the mother are over for them, and even if not quite in a pleasant way, but now there will be no need to worry about her. Vasya declared at all that he has no one else besides his grandmother and she is the only native person for him. That’s right, Grandma said:
«Love does not end, does not take vacations and does not take breaks, if of course there is one!»