Lonely woman on the street

A long road to the past or a meeting in 25 years

Inna Sergeevna suddenly woke up and opened her eyes. Dawn was just beginning to glow outside the window. The woman picked up the alarm clock, which was not going to ring yet. Then she sat on the edge of the bed and rubbed her temples with her fingers. I woke up again at the crack of dawn.

Inna shod her feet in warm slippers and threw on a bathrobe. Quietly, so as not to wake her husband and children, she padded into the kitchen. Pouring hot tea into a large cup, she noticed that her hands were shaking again. The woman took a deep breath and tried to recover. Her nerves were on edge and she almost burst into tears from her own impotence. The situation took an unexpected turn – she practically stopped sleeping, felt constantly tired and broken.

It happened a month and a half ago. As an experienced lawyer, she provided legal assistance in a criminal case to a rather profitable client. That evening he called after ten o’clock in the evening.

– Inna Sergeevna, I’m sorry it’s so late. I urgently need to be consulted.

It was not an easy task, and the woman communicated with him until twelve o’clock at night.

Fatigue and nervous tension affected. She barely dragged herself to the sofa, and, laying her head on the pillow, fell into a deep sleep…

Inna ran along the winding path of the forest. The forest in the dream was completely different, in which different berries and mushrooms are collected. He was sinister and creepy, like from a horror movie. The moon shone on the path that led to his home. But suddenly the woman realized that she had lost her way and could not find the right road in any way.

The trees ahead grew taller and began to close in a dark wall. The woman screamed and started running in the other direction. Suddenly, a dark silhouette flashed through the trees. From the fear that gripped her from head to toe, she could not move. Her feet seemed rooted to the ground.

The silhouette was rapidly approaching the frightened traveler and began to turn into a blurry, incomprehensible creature. Inna Sergeevna tried to run away with all her might, but her wadded legs did not obey her at all. When the ghost attacked her from behind, she screamed in wild terror and woke up.

So she woke up her husband with a scream. The husband looked dumbfounded, then at her, then at the alarm clock, not understanding anything.

– Scared me to death! What happened?

She shook her head, shaking off the remnants of a terrible dream.

– Go to sleep, I just had a nightmare, – the husband turned away and after a minute he snored again.

In the morning, doing her daily chores, Inna Sergeevna almost forgot about the nightmare.

But gradually the dream began to turn into a real obsession. The unfortunate woman saw him more and more often. And in the last week, he started repeating himself every night. Inna woke up screaming in a cold sweat and could not sleep until the morning.

The woman began to stuff herself with sleeping pills, but to no avail – there was no result. She was afraid to go to bed at night. Constant lack of sleep caused trouble at work. She was losing clients one by one, due to the inability to concentrate and get to the heart of the matter.

The boss has already called her “on the carpet” twice and even announced a serious warning. Due to its failure to assemble, the office suffered unimaginable losses. But even worse in this story was her understanding of her own degradation and worthlessness. She, a high-class specialist, gradually turned into a worthless dilettante. Without rest, the brain was failing and categorically did not want to work.

Inna Sergeevna began to get nervous about trifles and poured out her irritation on colleagues and household members. Her dreams lasted at intervals of five to ten minutes.

– I’m going to go crazy soon! There must be some way out of this situation, right? – she complained to her best friend Tamara, – if this doesn’t stop, I may be left without a job and without a family. – I throw myself, like a sick person, at everyone in a row.

The girlfriend shook her head sympathetically:

– You’ll have to turn to specialists, you won’t be able to cope on your own.

– Yes, I was already at a neurologist’s appointment. I even trusted the specialists of the somnological center, who studied all phases of my sleep with the help of instruments. I slept with them all day, but the diagnosis of some hidden changes in the functioning of the brain did not show. I even have a conclusion on hand. I’m scared, but now there’s only one way to a psychotherapist, and in the worst case, to a psychiatrist. – The woman burst into tears bitterly.

Household members also began to add fuel to the fire. The husband became angry that he was not allowed to sleep. I had to move into the hallway on the sofa. And my daughter gave me a new idea at dinner:

– Mommy, watch an interesting program on my laptop with me. We spend so little time together. And there the psychic performs.

She put a laptop on the table in front of Inna Sergeevna.

– Mom, let’s go to him? Look, and the prices are acceptable. And he also won the last sensational TV show,” my daughter urged me.

The woman looked at her, exhausted. – It seems that she is already an adult, but she is so naive. – That’s just the charlatans and scammers I don’t have enough.

The last straw for Inna was the case when she almost got into an accident. Then she realized that something had to be solved. I fell asleep right behind the wheel of the car when I was driving on urgent business. With difficulty, I opened my eyes already half a meter before the truck. By some miracle, they missed each other, but the driver sent her a long horn in the wake, like a bouquet of unspoken curses.

That’s it! Enough! A direct road to a psychotherapist.

The next day, on the advice of a former client, I picked up a specialist and called. The first session was scheduled for Monday, and the cost of services was also discussed. The doctor’s name was Vadim Andreevich. Looking at her from the photo was no longer a young man of intelligent appearance, with a neat gray beard and glasses.

The woman was very worried:

– What if the skeletons in the closet really open?

But she was already ready for any experiment, just to find out the cause of her painful condition.

Vadim Andreevich conducted a reception at home. At 10.00 the woman was already standing at the door of a modern multi-storey building located in the city center. I found the entrance and the right apartment quickly.

Then what was happening reminded her of a popular foreign film. A short man with gray hair and beard, wearing massive glasses met her at the door and gallantly escorted her to his home office.

– Even the sofa is similar, with green upholstery and dark streaks, – Inna Sergeevna thought to herself and smiled.

Apparently, the psychotherapist tried to be like his foreign colleagues in everything. From the first minutes of the conversation, the woman realized that her doubts were in vain and she really had a sensible psychologist in front of her. Vadim Andreevich unobtrusively asked her ordinary questions, but in the end the woman already shared with him the most intimate.

The patient could not remember how long the conversation lasted. Suddenly her temples began to buzz, her eyelids turned leaden and she fell into the abyss of sleep. Nervous overexertion and constant insomnia affected.

Vadim Andreevich reached out with his hand to wake up the woman and continue the session. But suddenly she spoke softly and unintelligibly. The doctor immediately turned on the dictaphone and began recording the patient’s monologue. He was waiting with interest for a repeat of the nightmare that the woman had told him about.

Sitting next to him, the man carefully looked at the sleeping woman’s face. She slept for about an hour and suddenly moaned and began to twitch restlessly. The woman’s mouth twisted in a silent scream, she abruptly opened her eyes and grabbed off the sofa:

– Sorry, I fell asleep for some reason. I don’t understand how it happened — she looked at the doctor with frightened eyes.

Vadim Andreevich put his hand on the woman’s arm, calming her. He brewed a cup of medicinal herbal tea and handed it to the patient:

– Don’t worry. Everything is already fine. It was just a dream. – And ten minutes later, he was already seeing off the patient who had calmed down:

– I am waiting for you for the next session of psychotherapy and I think that even then I will be able to understand the cause of the disorder and prescribe the necessary treatment.

Vadim Andreevich handed her a coat from the hanger and gallantly took his leave.

He had a difficult job waiting for him. It is necessary to listen to the recording on the recorder again and understand the causes of the patient’s problem. He was sure that the “dog is buried” there.

And the specialist with more than twenty years of experience was not mistaken. For a long time he listened to the unintelligible mumbling, listening to the recording several times. Suddenly his face cleared, he took off his glasses and wiped the fogged glasses. In the kitchen, I slowly brewed mint tea and called Inna Sergeevna.

– Hello. Darling, I’ll see you tomorrow at five sharp. I’ve figured out what the problem is and will advise you where to start.

The woman was intrigued. She was looking forward to tomorrow night. Therefore, ten minutes before the appointed time, I was already standing at the door of the therapist. She almost clung to a patient coming out of the doctor’s office and rushed inside:

– What, Doctor? Don’t torment me, I don’t have the strength anymore.

Vadim Andreevich smiled and invited her to the kitchen to drink a traditional cup of herbal tea, and then led her into his office:

– Yesterday you didn’t tell about your relationship with your father. But I, not unreasonably, believe that the problems of nightmarish dreams are hidden precisely in this area of brain activity.

The woman did not like such words of the doctor. She didn’t want to reopen an old wound and talk about an unforgiven grudge against her father.

– What do you mean by that? She frowned and abruptly put the empty cup on the table.

Vadim Andreevich, looked at her carefully:

– Don’t be angry. Just honestly answer the question: “Have you seen your parents for a long time?”
The woman looked down in embarrassment:

– More than a long time ago. Mom died twenty-five years ago. And my father…” she nervously fingered the ends of her scarf, “Are you saying that I should call him?

The doctor shook his head negatively:

– To go, my dear, the only way is to go.

Inna Sergeevna was returning home in upset feelings. She stopped finding a common language with her father after her mother’s death. He turned into a real tyrant, forbade her to meet with classmates and controlled every step. Her father even forbade her to go to the prom in a short dress, which was a gift from her mother.

Now that she has her own children, she partly understands his anxiety. And when she was a teenager, everything that was happening looked like a betrayal of a loved one. After receiving her diploma, she simply ran away from home — wherever her eyes look.

In the city, I entered the university at the Faculty of Law – fortunately, the red diploma came in handy. After graduation, she found a good job and established herself as a promising specialist. Then life went on as usual — marriage, the birth of children, successful career growth.

All these years she hadn’t even thought about how her father lived.

The relationship ended, and everything is in the past. Therefore, to go to him now for a woman is like a knife in the heart. Maybe he hasn’t been alive for a long time? But, the desire to get rid of the nightmare won.

I wrote an application for a vacation at work at my own expense and began to get ready for the road.

It was a long way to go and with transfers. I got to the district center by train, and then took a regular bus to the village. She didn’t really like to travel, but she noted that she slept peacefully under the sound of wheels on the train.

Inna Sergeevna looked with interest at the village where she spent her childhood. Significant changes have taken place in it over the years. The memories that came flooding back suddenly made her heart ache.

The woman was walking down the street on wobbly legs, and shivered from the oblique glances of the locals. Here is a painfully familiar house. God, it’s scary to take the first step. She stood for a minute, then pushed a brown lock from her forehead and resolutely opened the gate.

Her gaze lingered on the unkempt, overgrown front garden and fallen rotten porch steps. A terrible thought pierced her heart. No, her father was the real owner and could not bring the house to such a deplorable state.

– He’s dead! I didn’t have time! She pushed open the unlocked door and entered the house.

– Petrovna? Help me up, I’d like to go to the wind,” a quiet male voice came from the room.

Inna Sergeevna threw her bag on the floor and hurried to help. There she saw a terrible picture. My father was lying hunched over on the bed, covered with an old battered blanket. Pills were piled on the bedside table next to the bed, and there was a large chipped cup with long-cooled tea. The old man turned his head and looked blindly at the guest:

– Who are you, a doctor? And where is Petrovna?- an elderly man choked on a dry cough.

The woman screamed desperately and rushed to hug him:

– Dad, dear, it’s me! Your daughter Inna. The old man’s face twisted pitifully, and tears ran down his wrinkled face:

– I waited… Innochka, my dear girl.

Inna Sergeevna looked through tears at his trembling dry hands and felt like the last creature.

– How could she forget and leave her own father because of a ridiculous childish grudge? When did her heart become so hard? Conscience stabbed her in the heart like a sharp sword. The woman pressed his gray head to her chest with both hands:

– Forgive, if you can, your wayward daughter. Daddy, for God’s sake, I’m sorry. I can’t see your tears, don’t cry. I promise I’ll fix it.

Inna Sergeevna took her father to the city. I found the best hospital and famous doctors. Only a month has passed, but my father has fully recovered and is stronger. The man did not want to stay in the city. The daughter hired builders, and a month later the village house was renovated. During this time, the grandfather met and became friends with his grandchildren and son-in-law. As they say: “There was no happiness, but misfortune helped!”

They saw off their father with tears, Inna Sergeevna sobbed, grandchildren cried:

– Be sure to come to visit. And we will visit,” the woman handed him a mobile phone, “call, did your grandchildren teach you how to use it?

The elderly father gently stroked his daughter on the head:

– Don’t worry. Now we will always be together and we won’t get lost anymore.

The woman waved her head in agreement. They hugged each other on the path, helped the old man to bring his things and enter the car.
Then they stood on the platform for a long time and watched the train leave. And at night, Inna Sergeevna had her nightmare again.

She was running through the enchanted and shakily swaying forest again. Moonlight sowed across the clearing of a strange thicket. She knew in advance what would happen next and it was as if she was acting in a movie with her participation. The woman saw herself from the outside and suddenly began to understand many nuances.

There were many paths winding under her feet, but she stubbornly walked towards the dark swamp. Suddenly she saw a black shadow that began to transform before her eyes. But today she was not shapeless and quickly took the form of a man. She recognized him as her own father, and the ghost no longer seemed so scary to her.

He was rapidly approaching, blocking her path to the swamp. He found her by an old spreading fir tree, hugged her and dragged her in the other direction. At the moment when they came out of the forest, the woman squinted at the bright light, screamed and woke up.

She ran her hand over her face, wiping away tears with relief, and looked at the alarm clock ringing. The woman realized with relief that the terrible bad dream would never return…


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