Snowflakes hit the window and run down the glass with tears of rain. A boy of about eight years old sits on the windowsill of a hospital ward and watches their sad dance.
He himself is very sad and wants to cry. The boy got brown eyes and dimples from his mom, hair and a snub nose from his dad. The pretty, fidgety and not assiduous patient was immediately liked by the staff of the children’s department of the hospital where he was lying.
The nurses fed him and pitied him. And Mom hasn’t shown up in three days yet. But Deniska is sure that she will come soon.
Mom often drinks and disappears somewhere, it lasts a couple of days. Then he comes back again, becomes kind and affectionate, buys sweets and something delicious.
The boy was taken to the hospital by other people’s aunts. They said they would treat him and promised to let him go home. Deniska did not know then that he had a long and difficult road home ahead of him.
Irina is the boy’s mother, was born in a large family. It was not easy to raise five children to their parents’ feet. She was just average. Besides her, there are also an older brother and sister, and two younger brothers.
The girl grew up hardworking and kind. By adolescence, she had learned all the feminine wisdom. She cooked well and tinkered in the gardens, put things in order in the house and washed. In a large family, everyone had a job.
“Someone will get a good wife,” the neighbors said about her.
Irina did not delay her marriage for a long time. Already at the age of 17, true love came to her. The guy was older than her. 25-year-old Roman did not look at the young age of the girl who was just finishing school, did not pay attention to the fact that the chosen one was from a poor family. I just brought her to my family one day and told my parents:
– Here’s a daughter-in-law for you, and a wife for me.
We got married. Although the groom’s parents were categorically against such a relationship. They were not satisfied that their sons had a wife without a dowry, that there was no education. After all, both his father and mother were in office, had good wealth and respect in the city, and his daughter-in-law was uneducated. It’s a shame in front of people…
No matter how hard Irina tried, she never became a native in this rich, intelligent family. No one appreciated her abilities as a hostess. It was not customary for young people to walk around pots and stoves here.
Grandma is still a healthy woman, she cooked and cleaned. And when Ira came into the kitchen to help, she looked at her sideways, and in the evening she complained to her daughter about her naughty daughter-in-law.
One day the girl couldn’t resist. When grandma went to the market, she decided to please the family with her signature cookies – from brine. She always baked this at home and everyone liked it. The cookies turned out delicious, crunchy, just melted in my mouth. This made the mother-in-law very angry.
“The hostess should be alone in the kitchen!” she shouted, calling the girl various bad words. Where did that cookie go, Irina didn’t dare ask, but it was never served to the table. Most likely thrown in the trash, disdained.
Soon she became pregnant. And the boy Deniska was born in the family. Irina’s life began even more difficult. Her mother-in-law and grandmother constantly reproached her – it’s not how you swaddle the baby, it’s not how you feed it.
And then my husband started coming home late from work, tipsy. The mother blamed her daughter-in-law for everything. And she called her son to her room and talked for a long time, taught him so to speak the mind of reason.
The only one who felt sorry for Ira was his father-in-law. Sometimes he came to her defense, but the women got the upper hand. And he fell silent. Irina kept silent, waiting for everything to change sooner or later, and she would finally be accepted into the family.
Years passed, and nothing changed. Ira tried to hold on for her son’s sake, hoping. But one day, she couldn’t stand it. the last straw was that Roman raised his hand against her. Just like that, probably in order to assert myself. It hurt not from the blows, but from resentment that she was not respected at all, that even a loved one did not understand her.
The son was only a year old when Ira quietly, when no one was at home, took the child and went to her parents. She realized that she would never be accepted here, and she had nothing to do in this strange big house.
The mother looked anxiously at her daughter with her grandson in her arms. Perhaps even then she felt, after running away from her husband, everything in her daughter’s life would go awry.
– I’ll put the boy on his feet myself. And I can’t live like this anymore,” Irina said confidently, crossing the threshold of her home.
Roman called in the evening. He did not ask, but ordered to return, threatened that he would regret if he disobeyed him. Irina silently hung up the phone, assuring herself that she would never cry again, and would not allow anyone to trample on her.
And a week later, the commission came to their house. Officials were checking the child’s living conditions. At that time, two younger brothers and an older sister lived in the family with their parents, plus Ira with a child.
The officials looked with discussion at the old faded wallpaper, at the ceiling covered with fungus in the corners. We looked into the half-empty refrigerator, in which there was a jar of pickles and potatoes in a uniform that was left over from the evening. The last straw was a large debt on utilities.
– Conditions are not suitable for a child. It is impossible for the boy to stay here, the Commission for the protection of the rights of the child stated, and ignoring the tears of the young mother, who fell to her knees, grabbed their legs and begged them not to take away the blood.
Then the trial took place. The husband’s relatives found witnesses who claimed that their daughter-in-law was unreliable, drank alcohol and did not follow the child.
The court made a decision without thinking twice: since there are no living conditions for a young child in the wife’s large family, the boy stays with his father. When they left the walls of the court, the satisfied mother-in-law looked at the former daughter-in-law with an evil prickly look:
– Well? Are you left with nothing?! And don’t you dare come to us. No one will give you the child!
And so it happened. Irina tried to get justice so that she would be allowed to at least see Deniska, but their connections and money turned out to be stronger against the tears and persuasions of a beggar, a young mother.
For several months she cried and suffered. And then she pulled herself together, went to work at the factory in two shifts, at night she washed the stairs in the entrances. She really wanted to earn money, put her house in order, fill the refrigerator with food, and try to take her son home.
And six months later, the woman met a good, as it seemed to her, person. Sasha recently appeared in their town, was engaged in his own business. The man was sympathetic to the grief-stricken young mother, and promised to help with the purchase of his own home.
– But it’s impossible, – Irina was surprised, not believing that she had the right person to rely on.
– Perhaps, – Alexander smiled mysteriously. – I’m in real estate. There is an opportunity to buy a small dilapidated house in a village forgotten by God and people for pennies. I will help with the repair, we will make a candy out of it in half a year, we will sign it, and then we can safely sue for the restoration of maternal rights.
Irina was over the moon with happiness. She tirelessly thanked God for giving her a meeting with Sasha, who took all her problems into his own hands, and in a moment found a way out of a seemingly hopeless situation. She breathed this man, and believed that from that moment on her life would change for the better.
Soon, Sasha, as promised, bought her a dilapidated hut in a remote village, but the young woman was happy, and rejoiced like a child at her new home.
And just a few days later, the ex-husband himself returned Denis. He explained dryly that he had a new wife, a new life in which there was no place for his son. They say his beloved does not like children, and in any case it will be better for Denis to be near his mother, he also promised to help with custody and documents.
Irina jumped for joy, thanked Roma for having come to his senses and returned her son. And by spring, Sasha, and Deniska and Ira moved to live in the village.
The man worked in the city, and only came home late at night, often left for a week or two on business trips. Ira never reproached him for not paying enough attention to his family. She rejoiced in her cloudless happiness, and believed that everything would be fine with them.
And now, Sasha drove up to the old fence, and signaled. Ira ran out of the house with her son to meet her beloved
– Well, finally! – she rejoiced. – You’ve only been gone nine days, and it feels like a year has passed.
– What can you do, my beloved, work, there is nowhere without it, – Alexander smiled.
At that moment, a beautiful foreign car drove up to their house, from which a spectacular, confident woman came out. Sasha instantly drooped and blushed, lowered his shoulders, as if he was trying to sink through the ground.
– That’s what I thought! the stranger shouted, casting a withering glance at the couple in love. – I got a girl on the side, and even managed to fix a kid. And do you know, slut, that my husband has three children and a wife whom he loves no matter what?
– Tomochka, this is not my child. And Irina is just a friend of my friend, I’m helping her while he’s away,” Sasha stuttered, justifying himself.
At this moment, Irina’s earth went out from under her feet. Though with difficulty, she realized that her fairy tale was over, and a new cruel reality and the truth of life had begun. She was brutally betrayed again, trampled on.
Sasha immediately got into the car and left for his lawful spouse. Irina entered the house on wobbly legs, put her son to bed, and taking a bag of groceries that Sasha had forgotten, took out a bottle of cognac.
She had never drunk strong drinks, but now she swallowed the scalding liquid without feeling the taste. Of course, it did not become easier for her, but the pain went somewhere into the background, leaving a void in her soul.
After leaving the house, Irina walked unsteadily to her neighbors, lovers of a good and frequent drink. They had fun, music was loud in the yard, and cheerful cheerful laughter was heard.
Irina returned home two days later. She just woke up from a drunken stupor, and remembering that Deniska was waiting at home, rushed to her son.
A little time passed, and the woman learned to live with her grief, her beloved baby helped her in this, only for his sake she tried to keep herself in hand and live.
Over time, Irina became friends with her dysfunctional neighbors, often dropped by to visit them. And Deniska was still waiting. He already realized then that his mother needed to leave home for a few days, and after that she would come back, be cheerful and cheerful again.
Somehow unexpectedly, Sasha arrived late in the evening. Ira was just visiting the neighbors. The man turned pale when he heard from Denis that his mother had gone to drink again, and would not return soon.
He immediately followed Irina, took her home, and already in the house he knelt in front of his beloved woman.
– I’m sorry, dear, if you can, I can’t do without you and Denis. Yesterday I had a serious conversation with Tamara, I plucked up the courage, and for the first time in my life I decided on a bold act. I’m divorcing her, and I don’t care if I lose my business and my job. I want to be always with you, and nothing else matters.
– You have children, – said Ira, looking at him with a misty look.
– These are Tamara’s children. She’s a real beast in a skirt. I didn’t notice myself when she took me in and married me.
– OK. I forgive you, Ira said with a slurred tongue. Let’s have a drink, so to speak, celebrate our reconciliation.
– Good, – Sasha agreed, noting to himself that if this continues further, then Irina may need the help of a specialist. After all, it was obvious that the woman was too addicted to alcohol.
The next morning, Ira woke up from an incomprehensible noise in the house. Opening her eyes, she immediately grabbed her aching head, dropping the heavy insidious poker from her hands. There were a lot of people gathered in the house, people in uniform were walking important back and forth.
– What’s going on? Where is Sasha? – Ira whispered, looking at her frightened son, who huddled in the corner of the room.
– Why did you treat him so cruelly? The man in uniform asked sternly.
– Irka, really, why did you decide on a good man? – asked the terrified neighbor.
– Does this item belong to you? – the policeman continued the interrogation, pointing to a beautiful poker with brown spots.
– no. Where would she come from here. I’ve never had such beautiful and expensive things in my house,” Ira muttered, not fully realizing that from that moment her life was divided into before and after…
Seeing Tamara, the widow of the late Alexander, grinning at the court, Ira understood everything. Most likely, she snuck into the house at night, and got even with her husband by framing Irina. She tried to tell the judges that she was not guilty, that she could not go to prison because her son was waiting for her. But no one heard the unfortunate.
Everyone was guided by dry facts, not wanting to understand and look for the real criminal, Tamara, in turn, hired a lawyer, with the help of which the woman received almost the maximum sentence.
Years later, Ira walked out of the gates of the colony where she spent the best years of her life, and was confused, not knowing where to go and what to do next.
Arriving at her parents’ house, she met the disapproving gaze of her older sister, who dryly informed her that her parents were dead, and the house no longer belonged to Irina, and closed the door in front of Ira, making it clear that she no longer wanted to communicate with her.
Irina went to the same village. She had the idea of trying to find an adult son, but did not dare. I couldn’t dare look into his eyes.
In an old house, she often had the same dream: here she was standing alone in the middle of a white field strewn with snow. There is not a trace anywhere, nor a road in sight. The blizzard sweeps, howls, the cold chills to the bones. Where to go is unknown.
Waking up one day from another nightmare in a cold sweat, she felt her heart fly out of her chest. Looking out the window at the snow-white field, I saw a lonely figure in the distance. The man was approaching her house at a fast pace.
Going out quickly into the courtyard, they met eyes. Irina did not forget these brown native eyes for a moment. She dreamed about them every night, year after year. And so, her son stood in front of her, an adult, handsome, with a kind smile on his lips.
– Hello, Mom! Denis said, and approached Irina uncertainly.
“I’m sorry, son,” Irina whispered with trembling lips, and hugged her son tightly, still not believing that this was not her son, that she was at home, but next to the dearest person on earth, who most likely would never offend or betray.
– I have nothing to forgive you for. Many people have offended you in your life, but now I won’t let anyone do it. Everything will be fine with us mom,” the guy said confidently, hugging his mother…