Carefully putting things in boxes, Anya did not notice how her mother came up to her from behind:
– Well, why didn’t you close the door again, daughter? So after all, strangers can descend.
Lifting her shoulder, Anya replied:
– Yes, no one will come here, Mom! I have no one to be afraid of. Here, when Seryozha was alive, then every day was almost the last. Now everything is in the past, so I decided to sort out all his things and take him to the dacha.
Looking at what was in the boxes, Irina Petrovna pointed to the tools:
– Leave it, you’ll need them again. You never know, suddenly the repair will begin, and you have nothing at hand. Yes, and to call a locksmith, too, a whole hassle: he has a broken tool, then he was not given out at all. Anyway, these things are necessary in the household. But the clothes will definitely take up space, and take fishing accessories too.
After thinking for a moment, Anya said:
– Maybe I’ll give them to Leshka, he’s a fisherman, right? Do you think, Mom, he won’t refuse?
In response, Irina Petrovna smiled slightly:
– Tell me too, when did your brother refuse someone else’s goods!? He will definitely take it, he will also take other things. You tell me this, how are you going to live on? As for money, there are no questions here, but here, personal life is in question.
Anya frowned, but found the right words to calmly answer:
– Mom, it’s only been two months, and you’re already wooing me again. And Seryozha, to be honest, was not the worst man. Look at the Light, she’s been suffering with Borka all her life. So they also have children who see it all. And you want to say that Seryozha and I were not happy? No, Mom, although he kept me in constant tension with his work, but I was glad that my husband was always there.
By the way, Anya’s late husband worked in the police. And, naturally, at times he had to do such work, from which the hair stood on end. But, as he himself assured:
– It is my sacred duty to protect people.
So one day I stepped on the wrong rake…
On that day, Sergey, together with the staff, went to detain the gang, from where he did not return alive. Anya remembered about that case because she believed in her husband and thought that no bullet would take him. Therefore, the mother’s words that it is necessary to somehow arrange a personal life did not come at the right time. Anya decided that she would live for herself, because nowadays finding a decent man for a serious relationship is a whole problem. Nodding in agreement, Irina Petrovna said:
– Well, yes, daughter, maybe you’re right: you won’t find a good man who wouldn’t be afraid to take responsibility now in the daytime with fire.
After loading the boxes into the car, Anya drove her mother to her house, and then turned the car in the direction of the cottage. On the way, she called her brother:
– Lyosha, I have something interesting for you here. If you have free time, then drive up to the dacha, you will see everything there.
Alexey turned out to be quicker and arrived before his sister.
– Anya, you made me really happy. After all, I love fishing, and it’s a pleasure with good gear. Wait, what happened to your face? It seems like you’ve been scolded all day, and you look like a naughty schoolgirl.
Anya silently walked into the courtyard and only then answered:
– Yes, it’s just a little hitch at work. A new head of production will come to us one of these days. They say that he is very strict and too principled. And I just got used to the old management. So I’m thinking, won’t he start cleaning the frames?
Alexey laughed all over the street:
– Sister, well, you amused me: yes, you have such a track record that one can only envy. Don’t worry, the new boss won’t do anything to you. Well, if there are problems with him, then you know who you can contact.
Anya did not doubt this for sure, her brother, if necessary, would turn mountains and turn the earth over. Opening the front door in the house, she showed Alexey the boxes:
– Take them to the second floor. I’ll cook dinner for now, as soon as you’re done, come down, we’ll have a snack together.
Half an hour later, my brother finished dragging the boxes and came to the kitchen. Sitting down by the window, he said dreamily:
– I would love to settle here, but my Lida doesn’t want to. She’s used to living in the city, you can’t lure her into your house with any cakes. Tell me, what do women lack?
The question turned out to be very sensitive and at the same time, deeply emotional, so Anya pulled a handkerchief out of her pocket and closed her eyes with it. My brother realized that he had asked the wrong question:
– I’m sorry, An, I completely forgot that you buried your husband. It just seems to me sometimes that it’s hard to please women.
Wiping her face, Anya sat down next to her:
– Eh, you, little brother, are a New Year’s miracle, but you need to pray for your Lida, and not look for reasons to clarify the relationship.
Alexey did not quite like his sister’s moralizing, but he tolerated them because he respected her opinion. In addition, Anya was four years older than him, which gave her an advantage in terms of life experiences. After finishing the meal, the brother and sister decided to put things in order at the dacha. Mom didn’t come here often, because her health didn’t allow it, and it was just right for them to unwind and work a little. In the late afternoon, they began to gather for the return journey.
– Yes, come on, sis, everything will be fine. Well, he will show his character a little, and then calm down.
Anya looked at her brother questioningly:
– What are you talking about, Lesh?
Waving his hand at her, he said:
– I’m talking about your boss, who will soon work with you at the same enterprise. Don’t be afraid of him, he’s not a monster, really!?
Anya got into the car and answered:
– Yes, we definitely never had devils at the factory. I hope this boss doesn’t have horns growing on his head, otherwise I’ll go crazy.
While driving, Anya suddenly remembered a conversation with her mother and decided to consult with Alexey:
– Listen, do you think Sergey and I were a good couple?
It seems that the brother was caught off guard by such a question:
– I guess I’m not an expert in this field. For me, if a wife cooks on time, washes and does not refuse love, then this is the top of what she wants.
Realizing her mistake and the fact that the question turned out to be too difficult for her brother, she turned the topic in another direction:
– Okay, let’s stop by, I want to see Lida.
While Alexey was bragging to his friends on the phone about what gear they had fitted him, Anya managed to talk to his beloved. Lida listened to her very carefully about her personal life and made this conclusion:
– Don’t rush to give up on yourself, wait a bit. If you feel that you need a man’s shoulder, then all the cards are in your hands. And so, if you manage yourself, then there’s nothing to think about it.
Anya wanted to insert her five kopecks, but Lida interrupted her:
– And here’s what, your mom is a wise woman. And it’s clear that she will only wish her daughter happiness. Do not forget about this and take care of your mother, so that you do not have to seek advice from a stranger later. – At that moment, Anya looked at Alexey and Lida, understanding the course of her thoughts, added. – And you can not count on him, he only knocks the doors with his forehead. There is power, as they say, there is no need for intelligence. Here, you can turn to him for physical support, but you will not be able to get good advice.
Maybe Lida was telling the truth, but judging by the way Anya talked to her brother at the dacha, he was by no means a stupid person. It’s possible that he just didn’t want to show off: they say, here I know this and this, so contact me, I will always help. No, Alexey was more modest in this respect than a young maiden. But he could take revenge on anyone for his sister, regardless of personality and physical data.
After Anya stayed with her brother, she returned to her home. And she was overcome with such longing that it was simply unbearable. I wanted to howl like a wolf, looking at the moon, but Anya found the strength not to lose heart. Ahead was a life full of interesting events.
In the morning she woke up to the doorbell ringing. Getting up with difficulty, she went out into the hallway:
– Who’s there so early?
A rough male voice was heard:
– I’m your neighbor from below, you flooded me.
Anya immediately opened the door:
– But how, I don’t leave the taps open. You can see for yourself, everything is in perfect order in my kitchen and bathroom.
And as soon as they got there, they immediately got their feet in a wet puddle.
– And this is what you call order? You’ve got a whole Atlantis here, lady. Well, what are we going to do?
In this situation, Anya offered to call the emergency service:
– Let them eliminate it, especially since it’s in their line to change pipes.
Water really accumulated in the kitchen during the night, and it also leaked on the floor below.
It turned out that the radiator leaked and all the liquid that had accumulated in it spilled onto the floor. However, the owner of the apartment, who got this disaster, instantly smiled and said:
– Yes, well, I can see that you are a responsible hostess. You don’t even have taps running, and I have just a small spot on the ceiling. It’s okay, I’ll paint it over, and it will be like new. Only you will make sure that the plumbers put a normal radiator in place of the old one.
Interestingly, my mother’s instructions about tools came in handy. Within an hour, two locksmiths arrived to her. But, as luck would have it, they did not have a second pipe wrench, there was nothing to pick up the valve with. And it’s good that Anya didn’t take the box of tools to the dacha. Having given everything that remained after her husband, she added:
– Here, get to work and see that you don’t have to redo it later.
The locksmiths nodded and began to eliminate the cause of the flood. Suddenly the phone rang.
– Anya, dear, hi, how are you?
This worried her colleague, who would also have a day off today.
– Yes, it’s fine, I’m doing repairs. My morning started very cheerfully, it turns out the neighbor was flooded, and he is glad that everything happened like that. Wait, why are you calling me so early, do you have news, and they are very important?
A colleague almost burst out laughing into the phone:
– Well, you give, you hit the nail on the head. That’s right, the news concerning the new head of production. They said that his arrival was delayed, and today they reported that we would see him tomorrow. So, Anya, prepare yourself for an interesting meeting, we will evaluate and admire.
Indeed, they truly say that women’s logic is invincible. Anya did not listen any further and simply replied:
– Okay, we’ll find out tomorrow.
After disconnecting the phone, she continued to observe the work of the plumbers. Housing and communal services workers worked hard and two hours later eliminated all the problems. Anya adequately appreciated their efforts and paid generously. When she went downstairs, she wanted to make sure once again that the neighbor had no more complaints against her. He confirmed this, however, tried to ask for a date, but Anya refused him, citing serious employment.
She spent the rest of the day at her mother’s, where she arrived shortly after tidying up the kitchen. Irina Petrovna sat her daughter down at the table and put a plate with a piece of apple pie in front of her. Pinching off a little, Anya said ruefully:
– I was invited on a date today, but I didn’t agree.
The mother became interested, and she decided to ask who this man was who had his eye on her daughter. Restrained, but in the smallest details, as if she was drawing a portrait, Anya gave a full description of her neighbor. After listening to her speech, Irina Petrovna happily threw up her hands:
– Well, here, daughter, you have a unique chance to start from scratch. Don’t tell me you didn’t like him.
Anya tilted her head to the side and answered:
“I thought you wouldn’t miss the opportunity to marry me off again.” Stop it, Mom, I’ll decide how I’m going to live. And if I decide to, I’ll find a man for myself, but in the meantime there is no need for this.
That night she stayed with her mother, and in the morning she went to work from her. And no sooner had Anya crossed the checkpoint, than she immediately heard a familiar voice:
– Hi, how are you feeling, ready to look at the new boss!?
Anya only shushed her colleague so that she would not be disgraced. After changing her clothes, she went into the workshop and immediately ran into the technologist:
– Good morning, Anna, you remember what we talked about last time: strictly according to the instructions, and no bold experiments.
Anya nodded, and a little later an engineer came up to her:
– Let’s go to the office of the head of production, he wants to talk to you.
After passing through three passages, they found themselves in a spacious room. There were doors everywhere, behind which the company’s employees from among the engineers worked. Finally, stopping in front of the door, where the sign “Head of Production” was emblazoned, Anya knocked, but did not hear anything in response. The engineer shrugged his shoulders and said:
– Maybe he’s out, then you wait here for him.
But Anya couldn’t wait to find out who this new boss was. Opening the door, she entered the office and was almost stunned when she saw a familiar framed photo on the table. Her eyes did not deceive her: in the picture she recognized her husband, whom she had recently buried. The surprise made her feel uneasy, and her legs instantly gave way. But it was at this moment that the owner of the office himself appeared:
– What’s wrong with you? I’ll help you now.
He sat Anya down on the sofa, and he sat down next to her on a chair. After waiting for her to come to her senses, the boss asked:
– Do you have any health problems?
Anya waved her hands and almost screamed at the whole office:
– You? Nooo… how? It can’t be, you’re dead.
Not understanding what was the matter, the boss already wanted to call an ambulance. However, Anya stopped him by showing him the photo:
– This is my husband, whom I buried.
Raising his eyebrows, he again did not understand anything:
– No, really! You made a mistake, my photo is here.
And then Anya took out a notebook from her purse, in which she kept a picture of her husband:
– Here, take a look, this is Sergey my husband, if you don’t believe me.
Looking at the photo, the boss turned pale and somehow said:
– Did he really exist, and I was deceived all my life!?
The question turned out to be rhetorical and the boss said that there was no need to answer it. On the contrary, he began to speak himself:
– My name is Maxim Fedorovich, just by name for you. My parents… in general, the people who raised me didn’t tell me about anything like that. Maybe they had some secret from me, but it doesn’t matter now. It’s a pity that my brother passed away so early in life, we could have talked about a lot with him.
After work, Maxim Fedorovich volunteered to accompany her, and at the same time to see other photos with Sergey. In addition, he needed to take some personal thing, which he often used, in order to determine their relationship for sure.
The examination confirmed that they were brothers, although it was clear that they were not strangers. Maxim suggested that they were separated in the maternity hospital, but you won’t know this anymore, because the parents are no longer alive, and Sergei didn’t leave any traces at all. Anya, from his words, only knew that an aunt was engaged in it, who then went missing.
In general, a connecting thread with the past has not been found. But there was a person who, although not quite a relative, is closer than just a friend. After Maxim got used to the company, Anya was promoted. And soon her mother found out that Sergei’s own brother had been found. Now they often gather at her house to maintain at least some kind of family relations.