Each city is famous for its attractions, restaurants, parks and beggars. They are the first to appear on the streets and the last to disappear.
Each of them has its own place, style and methods. Some prefer crosswalks, others – large shopping malls, and others – cars standing in traffic.
One elderly man stood out especially among the beggars. He was kneeling near the church, but did not press on the pity of passers-by and did not ask for help for children or for surgery. His ordinary face was lined, and his outstretched hand trembled slightly.
Passers-by often did not notice him, occasionally they only threw coins, and the nuns took out a piece of bread.
Local teenagers often mocked him, threw stones, scattered the change collected during the day, but every day, in any weather, the man came to his place again and again.
On one of these days, a parishioner noticed the man, who was very surprised at the absence of posters and appeals for alms. The girl handed him 500 rubles. With grateful eyes, the elderly man looked at her, took the bill from her hands and said “To my Son.”
She was about to leave, but decided to talk to the beggar, it was too painful for him to stand out among the crowd of the same destitute.
– My name is Asya, I often visit this church, you mentioned your son, maybe you need some help?
The man sighed.
– Nice to meet you, granddaughter. My name is Alexey Gavrilovich. Will you walk home with me? It’s not far at all. I’m afraid these kids will stick again, I’ll just get ready.
Asya nodded and went to the monastery shop, decided to buy bread for a new acquaintance.
The road turned out to be a little longer, I had to stop often, the man often had sore knees. Nevertheless, his house was really nearby. The high-rise building, which had seen the best of times, was dilapidated and did not inspire confidence, it was very damp in the entrance, but the biggest surprise of the girl was caused by the apartment.
The completely empty dwelling did not even have a floor, instead of linoleum or parquet there was concrete covered with some dirty film and remnants of construction debris, the wallpaper was covered with a layer of dirt and some splashes, there was no furniture in the apartment.
– You come into the kitchen, As, you see how everything is here … – said Alexey Gavrilovich.
In the kitchen there is an old Soviet refrigerator, which made noise like a tractor, a sagging, falling apart cabinet, a stove that has not been washed for a long time and a small sink, that’s all the decoration.
The man refused bread for a long time, but eventually succumbed to persuasion and took it to the refrigerator. Asya was horrified, except for a couple of eggs, half a pack of pasta and a few cloves of garlic, the refrigerator was empty. It seemed that her new acquaintance did not eat at all.
The atmosphere of dullness in the apartment was oppressive and maddening. The man apologized for the lack of chairs, explained that he rarely eats and then on the bed. The “bed” was an old, battered mattress lying right on the floor in one of the rooms.
Next to the makeshift bed was an old radio, that’s all that was left in the apartment. The only stool was found there.
Alexey Gavrilovich said that he used to live with his son Alexander, who was very eager to divide the property and put pressure on his father in every possible way.
Every day began and ended with the hysteria of the offspring, he shouted that the father was already old, he could be deceived and take away the apartment, and in general he was obliged to provide for his child. Regular quarrels and scandals finished the pensioner, and he signed off half of the apartment. The son immediately calmed down, cheered up, once even brought a cake, and then disappeared. For several months there was no news from the guy, old acquaintances said that they had not communicated with him for a long time.
From that moment on, life turned into hell. Overdue receipts for a loan secured by an apartment began to arrive regularly. The man went to the bank, where he was told that his son had taken an impressive amount, and in connection with his disappearance, his father would have to pay, or to pay off the debt to give the apartment.
No one was interested that the pension would not be enough for half of the payment, as well as that the man had nothing to do with the loan. So Alexey first had to sell all the property, starting with sets and clothes, ending with furniture, and then remove the expensive parquet. When it turned out that there was nothing left to sell, the pensioner had nothing left but to go out with an outstretched hand under the church. The son never showed up.
– There are still 10 years left to pay, but I don’t know if I’ll last.
On the way from her new acquaintance, the girl could not think about anything, all thoughts ran back to the injustice of the current situation.
Asya came home and told her husband everything, Mikhail worked as a lawyer, together they decided to do everything they could to help the pensioner. So, the man connected all his friends and the case moved forward.
The most difficult thing was to find my son. Thanks to the connections, it was possible to find out that he was carousing at some resort. Proceedings began, one process was replaced by another. With difficulty, but still managed to reissue the loan for the negligent offspring, who continuously lied, denied and cursed his father. When they happened to see each other in court, Alexander attacked Alexey Gavrilovich with his fists, shouting that he was not his father and had no right to hang debts on him.
– Yes, you never loved me! You can’t even provide for me! How dare you even call yourself my father?
Asya and her husband arrived in time and took the man away, and the prodigal son was taken out by security. The pensioner sat and almost cried, trying to understand at what point his own child turned into such a monster. What did he do wrong? Since childhood, the boy was well-mannered and obedient, and after the death of his mother, he was replaced.
New acquaintances helped Alexey Gavrilovich to come to terms with the loss of his only son, after the successful completion of the trial together they made a modest but beautiful renovation in the apartment, bought the necessary furniture and regularly went to visit each other.
Over time, the couple began to consider the pensioner part of their family and call him grandfather. The man often helped them with the housework, taught them to fix sockets and bake pies.
Alexey Gavrilovich finally felt needed and loved and gave himself to his new family to the last drop. At the end of the renovation, everyone celebrated the housewarming together, each of them wanted to quickly forget the old look of the pensioner’s home.