When Vera appeared in the kitchen, her mother was having tea there, as always.
Vera went to the refrigerator, opened it, took out Dad’s decanter, calmly poured clear liquid from it into an empty cup, and only then frowned at mom.
– Will you?
– What? – Mom, not believing her eyes, froze with a cup of tea in her hand.
Vera, without waiting for an answer, drank the poured, wrinkled up, then grunted, took a cookie from the vase, and began to chew it.
– What was that just now? mother asked, dumbfounded.
“How do I know that our father drinks,” Vera replied calmly. – Something very strong.
– I’m asking, what are you doing?!
– I’m getting ready. I’m going to fight with you now. Before parting.
– Before what breakup?
– Before the usual. Sober, I’ll never tell you the truth. Here, I take an example from Dad.
Mom’s face stretched even more, and she asked again:
– Before what breakup? Something I don’t understand you.
“There’s a lot you don’t understand, Mom…
“What else don’t I understand?”
– For example, you don’t understand that my husband is MY husband, not yours. Dad works as a punching bag for us.
– What kind of pear?
– For whipping. And my Slavik, when he married me, didn’t sign up to be a whipping boy. And therefore you have no right to call him all sorts of dirty words.
– How do I not have? – the mother was taken aback. – He’s my son-in-law, your husband. And you’re my daughter. And I, as a mother, have the right to tell you everything I think about you. She said that your Slavka is a wimp, so it is.
– No, Mom, you forget that Dad has been listed as the smudge in our house for many years.
– Why is that?! – mom was even more surprised.
“How do I know why?” You decided so, and Dad agreed. And Dad often earns extra money as a lousy intellectual, too. Apparently, he likes it that way. And… – Here Vera began to list all the unprintable words that her mother sometimes used in quarrels with her husband.
Horror appeared in the mother’s eyes.
– Wait… – she suddenly came to her senses. – And why can’t I call your hubby the same words? Is he special here?
– of course.
– What makes him special?
– And the fact that he has a different surname. And I have a mother, now also a different surname. And that’s why our family with Slava does not want to hear such words addressed to him.
– But you live in our house! – mom finally perked up, getting ready for a lively scolding with her daughter.
But Vera only smiled at these words.
– So we got to the main thing.
– What have we got to?
– To the main thing. Slava and I decided, before it was too late, to escape from this madhouse with an area of one hundred and fifty square meters.
– Oh, that’s it… – mom grinned. – Well, where will you run away? Do you want to rent an apartment? With your salary? Don’t make me laugh. And here you live in mansions, like Christ in his bosom. So live and… listen to your mother.
– No, Mom, we’re going to visit our mother-in-law today.
– Ha! Do you think she’ll be happy? Where will you survive there?
– Slava has a room in which he lived before his marriage.
– This is Khrushchev, my daughter. And you have a room here – like three rooms of yours…
– And why do we need such a room? The echo is too loud in it. When you start saying your nasty things, they then fly around the house from corner to corner for another half an hour. In general, everything, Mom, that I wanted – I told you. I’m going to pack my things. And Dad will help us take them tonight.
“Come on, come on,” the mother grinned. – I’ll look at you when you come back.
– That’s good. Vera sighed with relief. – Right, a mountain has fallen off my shoulders. By the way, if Dad doesn’t come back, don’t worry too much.
– What? Mom was wary.
– Well, we’re going tonight. While dragging things, this and that. We’ll leave Dad there to spend the night.
– Why is that?
– He’s closer to work from there.
– My mother-in-law is there!
– And good. She is a friendly woman. She’ll be only too happy.
– What will she be happy about?
– She’s been alone for a long time. At least he’ll talk. Yes, and Dad will be happy. No one will eat his bald head before going to bed.
– Vera, what are you saying?! Are you crazy or something? You’re my daughter!
– So I’m not a sober daughter. And anyway, you say what you want, and I have rights too. Oh, Mom, it’s a pity that I didn’t talk to you like that earlier. Now I even feel sorry for you. If the folder leaves you, what will you do?
– And why should he leave me?! – the mother was frightened.
– How do I know. After we’re gone, who else will he hear a kind word from? You’ve forgotten how to say kind words.
– Why is that?
– I don’t know why. You can’t even say goodbye to me in a kind way. You just threaten and mock. Well, okay. You drink tea… otherwise I interrupted you.
Vera got up and went to her room.
– Daughter, wait … – her mother stopped her in a hollow voice. – You are this… Take your time… let me think…
“What’s there to think about, Mom? It’s all settled.
– Wait, I say… don’t leave today… Give me this one… Trial period…
Vera saw how difficult such words were given to her mother, and sighed sadly.
– Probation period, then?
– Can you stand it?
– I’ll try…
Vera and Slavik still live in the same house…