Feeling completely helpless, the crying Lily had been wandering the streets for half a day. The fine rain had not stopped since the morning, the cold was chilling to the bones. Why should she have such a fate? There’s nowhere to go, no one to talk to, no place to warm up. Thinking about her misfortunes, the girl completely forgot about the cottage. But this is salvation! The old village house has long fallen into disrepair. But though dilapidated, but still housing.
Having calmed down a little, Lilya came to the station. Fifteen minutes later, the right bus came up. There weren’t many people in it. The girl sat comfortably near the window and, looking at the bleak landscape, began to recall the events.
When the trouble happened and the girl was left without parents, life lost its meaning. Lilya plunged into depression. But fate gave her a meeting. Funny cute guy Nikita swore eternal love, proposed, and soon the young couple signed. The mental pain subsided, serene days came, the future seemed beautiful.
Unfortunately, the quiet family happiness did not last long. Nikita wanted a change. “We go to work every day, but there is not enough money. Let’s open our own business, we will trade. The profit will flow like a river. That’s when we’ll live.”
Fascinated by a new idea, her husband painted the prospects so colorfully that poor Lilya believed and made a big mistake. I agreed to sell my parents’ apartment. But, alas, Nikita did not turn out to be a businessman. After that, the guy’s character deteriorated, he was constantly annoyed by little things. At first, Lilya endured, and then scandals began. A few months passed, and Nikita met another one. Filed for divorce, and threw Lilya out the door. “Never mind, stop crying, you’ll get settled somehow. You’ll find yourself a man with an apartment.”
Immersed in heavy thoughts, the girl almost drove through the station. I caught myself in time, jumped out and looked around sadly. The village seemed lifeless. And this is not surprising! Who will go to the dacha in early spring, and even in this weather?
Lilina’s dacha was very close to the bus stop. “Finally, at least I’ll rest a little, come to my senses, calm down,” the girl thought, opened the lock and pulled the handle sharply. But Lilya was in for an unpleasant surprise – the old door sagged and stubbornly did not want to open. Helplessly sinking onto the porch, the girl bitterly burst into tears. And suddenly a hoarse old man’s voice was heard very close by:
– Let me help you!
Lily shuddered in surprise. Right in front of her stood a real homeless man in dirty, shabby clothes. Who knows what’s on his mind? And there is not a single soul around.
– What are you doing in my yard? Get out of here immediately!
– Calm down, I’m not going to get into your house. I built a bourgeoisie next to it, I come to warm up. You don’t need to be afraid of me, I just want to help.
Limping, a ragged old man walked up to the door, lifted it slightly and pulled. There was a loud creak, and the stubborn door finally opened.
“Thank you, thank you so much,” Lilya breathed out with relief.
Now she realized that she had been completely frightened in vain. The old man, although he was a tramp, looked completely harmless. And his eyes are kind, and his face is friendly.
– You need to get warm from the road. And there’s probably no firewood. Wait, I’ll get some now.
After a couple of minutes, the elderly man returned with an armful of firewood, silently gave them to the girl and left. Looking after him, Lilya sighed sadly. How bitter it is to realize this – she is almost homeless herself.
After taking a little rest, the girl took up cleaning. Then she decided to light the stove, but she didn’t have any matches. “Why didn’t I think of them before? And the nearest shop is probably two kilometers away, at least. I’m going to take a walk around the neighborhood. Maybe there is one of the neighbors at the dacha.”
Lilya went out into the dark street and quickly walked along the houses. But the windows were not lit anywhere. Noticing the smoke, the girl was delighted and turned aside. Soon she found herself near the campfire and saw the same old homeless man.
– You again? What a meeting! – the girl exclaimed loudly, – and what are you doing here?
– As I do, I warm up. That’s how I live! And where should I go now? – the tramp smiled sadly.
– Can you lend me some matches? The stove needs to be melted.
– Hold the boxes! Can you even handle it yourself? Do you know how to heat a stove?
– To be honest, I haven’t had to heat myself before. Lilia replied in confusion.
– Then let me help you. It’s not difficult for me. I’m sitting here, bored with nothing to do.
– I would be very grateful! Tell me, what’s your name? I’m Lily.
– Nice to meet you, Lilya. And I’m Fyodor Ivanovich.
The old man melted the stove without difficulty. Then he told me what to do next and was about to leave.
– Wait, Fyodor Ivanovich. Maybe you’ll have some tea. And I also have sausage, cheese. I’m going to make some sandwiches.
The tramp smiled happily:
– I won’t refuse sandwiches. Yes, and I would drink hot tea!
Having settled down by the stove, the old man warmed himself with pleasure, and Lilya fussed over dinner.
– Fyodor Ivanovich, don’t be offended that I’m so curious. But I really want to understand how you ended up on the street. You don’t look like an ordinary homeless person.
The elderly man sighed bitterly and told the girl the sad story of his life. He got a higher education, got a job teaching at an institute, became very interested in science. I spent a lot of time at work, I didn’t think about my personal life. And only when he got old, he realized what a mistake he had made – he condemned himself to complete loneliness.
Suddenly, a lonely pensioner was remembered by his own niece. She carried delicious gifts, talked, supported, comforted. And then she promised that she would help the old man if he left her an apartment. Not feeling the catch, the gullible Fyodor Ivanovich gladly agreed. And the insidious Irina began to implement her plan. I visited my elderly uncle more and more often, worried about his health, advised him to move to the village, to fresh air. Then she said that she had already looked at the house, it was solid, beautiful, with a gazebo. It remains only to sell the apartment. It was not necessary to persuade the naive pensioner for a long time. He really wanted to live in silence in nature in his old age!
After a successful sale, Irina advised the old man to open an account so that no one stole the money. We went to the bank together. There was a bench near the entrance.
– Sit here for now, Uncle. And I’ll go and find out for myself. Let me take the money, let me have it. Suddenly we were being followed.
Irina went to the bank, and Fyodor Ivanovich stayed on the street. I sat for an hour, then two more. But Ira didn’t come out. “Maybe there’s a queue there, we should go look.” Strangely, there were almost no visitors in the department. Irina disappeared somewhere. The confused man looked around and noticed another exit. Not daring to believe what had happened, I went to my niece’s house. An unknown woman opened the door to him and told him that Ira did not live here. She sold this apartment a year ago.
“That’s how I turned into a homeless man,” the old man said softly and sighed again.
– But you are not the only one, Fyodor Ivanovich. I’ve been unlucky in my life, too. She was left without an apartment because of her husband. Yes, she also left the institute. I regret it very much now,” Lilya replied sadly and told the old man in detail about her unenviable fate.
– Yes, it’s all sad. At least I’ve lived my life. But don’t give up hope. It’s still going to get better. Let me help you with the institute, you will recover, you will get an education. And then we’ll see. I have a lot of friends there, I’ll ask them to take you on a budget. Of course, I will not go to the rector personally in this form. And I can write a letter.
– Thank you, thank you very much! Lilia said, amused. – I really want to study.
– Well, I’ll go slowly, it’s getting late. You fed me delicious!
The old man started to go to the door, but Lilya stopped him.
– Where am I going to let you go, to the street? It’s not good somehow. I’ve got three whole rooms. So stay. And it will be easier for me with you. I don’t want to live alone. I’m afraid I won’t melt the stove. You’re not going to leave me here, so helpless, are you?
– Of course I won’t. You need to help someone. And then I’ve lived my whole life for myself. No children, no grandchildren.
– How great, now I have a grandfather! Lilya said cheerfully and offered Fyodor Ivanovich another cup of tea.
Two years have passed since then. Thinking about the upcoming holidays, a satisfied Lily drove home from the hostel. I passed the exams successfully, and there is a whole summer ahead in the village! I’ll rest, gain strength, and then go back to school!
– Lilya, hello! Finally! Grandpa Fyodor shouted joyfully, “how’s your session?”
– I passed everything for A’s, and they also praised me, – the student proudly reported. – So let’s celebrate! Look at the cake I bought.
– I’m running to put the kettle on, and you rest from the road. Soon I will finish the gazebo, and we will sit in the garden. I’ll also plant grapes. Imagine how cozy it will be.
– What a good fellow you are, Grandpa. It’s good when the owner is in the house!
The old man who had endured so much hardship looked very happy. He was transformed, perked up and did not feel lonely. Now he had his own house and his beloved granddaughter Lilechka. The girl always came on weekends, now she came on vacation. Fyodor Ivanovich became her family, supported her, arranged for her to study. And her difficult life was also filled with meaning.