Natalia and I can’t be called close friends, we just work together. Our team is large, the work is not easy, so communication takes place mainly at lunchtime in the nearest cafe.
I have noticed for a long time that my colleague walks around looking gloomy, as if she is thinking about something all the time. That’s why I sat down with her today.
– What’s the matter, friend, – I asked her a direct question, – what happened? You haven’t had a face on lately.
Sighing heavily, Natalia began to tell
– Life has turned out so that I am raising two sons alone.
They are my twins – Vanka and Sanka. Their father left us when they were 3.5 years old.
At one point, my ex-husband announced that he was leaving us. He packed up his things, and we never saw him again. They say he left town.
For more than 10 years we have not known anything about him, and during this time he did not even ask how his sons were growing up, whether we had enough money.
– Doesn’t he pay alimony? I threw up my hands.
– What kind of alimony? What are you talking about? Natalia waved her hand. – I was young – stupid. We weren’t even signed with him. And in the children’s birth certificate, there is a dash in the father column. He insisted on it.
– So, Natasha, – he says, – you will receive benefits as a single mother. And as soon as we get on our feet, I’ll give the children a patronymic right away.
«I was stupid,» Natalia repeated, «I loved him, I believed him.
Then it was very difficult
– Only thanks to the help of my mom, I was able to raise the kids. She was engaged in the upbringing of grandchildren, replacing their parents.
Well, I had to work very hard in order to provide children with a decent life. Thanks to this, they were no different from other children, they were always fed, well dressed and neat.
I wanted to spend more time with the kids, but work took up all the time. In addition to my main job, I always had a side job. When I came home, the children were already asleep.
In the morning, Vanka and Sanka hung on me with a roar, not wanting to let me go to work. And every time I had to tear them away from me, hand them over to my grandmother, since there was nowhere to wait for help. It was possible to forget about games and walks with children.
Time passed. The children were growing up. Now they are already 15 years old
– They grew up to be beautiful, intelligent boys, – Natalia continued her story. – They study well, always together. They «stand like a wall» for each other.
– And so, a year ago, I suddenly felt acutely that they didn’t need me, – a tear flowed down Natasha’s cheek. – I realized that they don’t like me. They love their grandmother very much, who raised and brought them up.
We don’t have quarrels and conflicts
But there is no understanding and warmth in our relationship. I offered them my help with homework several times, suggested going to the cinema together or just going for a walk.
– Mom, – I heard in response, – don’t strain yourself, we are already adults. Why do you need this, because you’ve never been interested in how and what we live.
– And how many reproaches in these words, – Natalia burst into tears. – In the evenings, I go into their room to talk to them or just wish them good night, and in response I hear:
– It’s too late, Mom, we should have been engaged in our upbringing earlier, and show our feelings.
Natalia was already crying so hard
I calmed her down as best I could.
– How can they not understand that I wanted them to grow up no worse than other children? I put all my strength into it. Why is my grandmother more precious to my sons than my own mother? When they were growing up, I had to work for two, at two jobs to provide for the family, because they didn’t have a father.
But they refuse to understand me
– And how I want love, warmth and mutual understanding to reign in our family, – Natalia said wiping her tears. – I hope when the boys grow up, they will understand and forgive me.
I didn’t know how to react to this story
Dinner was coming to an end.
«Everything will be fine,» my friend said, trying to smile. – I’m sorry that I «loaded» you. So I talked it out and somehow it immediately became easier. Thank you for listening,» and she moved to the exit.