– Hello, Mouse! – I heard my father’s voice on the phone, and my soul immediately warmed up. – I have great news! Can you come home for the weekend? I really want to introduce you to someone!
– Dad, do you finally have a beloved woman? I was delighted.
My father had been living alone for quite a long time. My mother died when I was only twelve years old, and since then he has not been interested in anyone but me, and nothing but his business: he has a small meat processing plant and a restaurant. After graduation, I went to study in Kiev, and he was left all alone in a big empty house.
I tried to persuade him more than once to find a good woman for himself, but he just laughed and said that all the good ones had been sorted out long ago, that there were no more people like my mother at all and could not be…. That’s why today’s call surprised me so much.
– Her name is Marina, she is a widow, – my father told me with enthusiasm. –
We met when she came to get a job at my restaurant as an administrator…
– That’s it! So you have common interests,” I stated. – Is she beautiful? Although I’m sorry, this is a stupid question… If she were ugly, you wouldn’t pay any attention to her, would you?
– I hope she instills good taste in you… my father chuckled. – In general, see you later!
Of course, I was looking forward to the weekend. I was
wondering what kind of lady had won the heart of my unapproachable father. Maybe she looks like my mom…
And so on Saturday morning , for some reason , I was at home and shouted joyfully:
– Ow! Daddy, I’m already home! However, instead of my father, a blonde beauty five years older than me floated out of the living room to meet me.
– Excuse me, but what are you doing here? I was surprised.
– Are you Masha? She was looking at me unceremoniously.
– I’m Masha, and who are you and what are you doing here? I asked the same question again.
– I’m Marina. Didn’t your father tell you anything about me? she chuckled.
– Yes, I think he said something like that, – sighing heavily, I went to my room. – By the way, where is he?
– He went shopping. She was calmly sawing her nails.
“Some kind of nightmare! I thought. “The father must have either gone mad. or blind! Who did he bring into the house?! — dad’s lady of the heart immediately aroused my dislike. – Oh, we’ll cry with her…”
After unpacking my things, I went to the kitchen, where Marina was diligently painting her nails blood-red.
“I’ve already managed to get used to it!” – I was angry, while still silent.
Then I made myself a coffee and decided to talk after all.
– I heard you’re a widow. What happened to your husband? “I wasn’t too ceremonious. Marina studied her nails carefully for a minute.
Then she blew on them, examined them again, and finally answered:
– Died of a heart attack.
– It’s terrible when such a young man dies of a heart attack, isn’t it? – I did not express my condolences.
“He was fifty-five years old,” Marina clarified.
– Yes? I see you like older men…
– You could say that. I’m simply not interested in youngsters who don’t know anything about life,” she grinned with a sense of superiority.
– Besides, they still have no money … – I added maliciously.
“You said it, not me,” she pretended to be innocent.
“It looks like you’re trying to make the best of your life,” I continued.
– What are you talking about? She fluttered her painted eyelashes resentfully.
– About nothing. I’m just trying to find out more about you. I want to understand who my father trusted. I have only one, and I have to take care of him!
– Don’t worry, now I’ll take care of him myself! Most of all at that moment I wanted to pull her by the hair. It was impossible to believe that my dad could fall in love with this predator!
Then the front door opened, and Marina and I raced into the hallway. This kikimora, of course, turned out to be faster… She hung on otia’s neck, kissed him on the cheek and purred:
– My beloved! We have a guest…
– A guest?! I chuckled derisively. “I didn’t know I was in your house, Dad… guest!
– Mouse, what are you talking about? “This house is yours too, and it will always be yours!” Marina had something completely different in mind… Well, say hello to me, or something…
Having dismissed this infection (very unhappy with it, by the way), he opened his arms to me.
– I missed you terribly!
– I missed you too, Dad…
– Seryozha, take the bags to the kitchen, – Marina ordered hiding her irritation. “I’ll get on with lunch now…
“I wonder what she will serve on the table? I thought sarcastically. – Probably he’ll warm up the soup and cutlets from the restaurant”
– Can I help you? – It was already said out loud, although, of course, I didn’t want to run into her in the kitchen.
“Mouse, you’d better rest,” my father intervened, apparently noticing that there was not even a smell of mutual understanding between me and his theft.
I was wrong about lunch – it was quite on the level, but at the table Marina, like a cat, fawned on her father, kissed him, stroked him, which brought me to the gnashing of teeth. I felt that there was not a penny of sincerity in all this, but how could I tell my father, who was obviously head over heels in love?
– Mouse, I have something to tell you, – the father smiled shyly. – Marina and I decided to get married. The wedding is in a month…
“He’s gone crazy!” – The news literally stunned me.
– In a month? Why the rush? — I looked suspiciously at Marina.
“No, I’m not pregnant,” she answered the unspoken question. — Not yet… — she added pointedly.
– Well, congratulations.
Barely holding back angry tears, I got up from the table and wandered to my room.
– Can I? – Three minutes later, Dad knocked on my door, came in and sat down next to me. – Mouse, Marina is a wonderful, gentle, wise woman…
“Who’s interested in your money,” I interrupted him.
– Well, there! – my father was offended. -Do you mean to say that I myself am nothing, and you can love me only for money?! Thanks!
– Dad, I didn’t mean to say anything like that, I’m just worried… Besides, she’s old enough to be your daughter! – I tried to appeal to his mind. “How long has she been widowed?”
– Half a year ago…
“You see how little she mourned for her husband!
– You’re wrong! – he was indignant. —
Marina felt his death hard. She needed a man’s shoulder. She’s so fragile… Don’t worry, Mouse, she’s a wonderful girl! And what
he wants to arrange his life somehow, so this is normal… My father sighed heavily, and I suddenly felt ashamed. Maybe I’m just jealous?
“I’m sorry,” I said apologetically. – Maybe I’m really picking on you for nothing. I just really love you, Dad.
– And I love you…
And a month later Marina became my stepmother. However, my attitude towards her has not changed. In order not to upset my father unnecessarily with our conflicts, I began to come home less often.
For obvious reasons, she didn’t miss me either.
Therefore, one morning when I heard her voice on the phone
On the phone, I was alarmed. “Did something happen to Dad?” I asked, forcing myself to say hello with an effort.
– Masha, your dad just had a heart attack. He’s dead,” Marina sobbed.
– What?! But he was perfectly healthy! – I couldn’t believe what I heard.
– He died this morning, at breakfast. The ambulance arrived too late. She burst into tears. and for a moment I even felt sorry for her.
“I’ll come immediately,” she replied as gently as possible.
Nothing had changed at all in my parents’ house, except that my father was no longer there…
— Lately he has been complaining about his health all the time. for that. that the pressure was jumping, but I didn’t want to go to the doctor. He said everything, it will pass by itself. – Marina told me. – He was still with me, eating breakfast with an appetite, and suddenly he felt sick… She touched her dry eyes with a napkin. — This is the second time! It’s just a curse hanging over me!
“A very convenient curse!” I thought angrily. and asked out loud:
– And the first husband? How long have you lived with him?
Instantly ceasing to feign bitter grief, she looked at me coldly:
– What are you implying?
“No matter what,” I shrugged. – Or is it a secret?
“There is no mystery,— she replied. – He died three months after the wedding…
“A curse?” Or maybe you killed him? Both his and my father’s? – I had more strength to pretend. – For the money!
– Aren’t you ashamed?! Marina started sobbing again. but her acting talent failed her this time: her eyes looked unkind and wary. – I loved him!
“A comedienne!” I thought with disgust.
– Do you think I’ll believe in these fairy tales? I snorted contemptuously. – Did your father leave a will? And how much did you get?
“He didn’t hurt you,” she said. – The company, of course, will pass to me: I’m on my first day in the industry and I understand everything, and you will be transferred part of the income… And the house is hung for both of us. It’s always nice to see you here…
“I don’t think you’ll see me here,” I wanted more than anything to tear her to pieces.
– There’s no need to quarrel, – she showed friendliness, which, of course, I absolutely could not believe: I had no doubt at all that Marina was to blame for her Father’s death. — To whom and what do you want to prove?! She smiled indulgently. – It is established that he died of a heart attack!
Locking myself in my room, I fell on the bed and finally gave way to tears, realizing the irretrievability of my loss: I have no one else left in this world…
The funeral took place two days later. The stepmother very naturally portrayed a grief-stricken widow, and I tried to stay as far away from her as possible, afraid not to stand up and make a loud scandal. The wake was organized in my father’s restaurant.
– Seryozhenka was a wonderful person, and I will remember with great gratitude the time we lived together. These few months have changed my life. I was happy and loved. My husband will always remain in my heart! – Marina picturesquely put a lace handkerchief to her eyes, interrupting the funeral speech, and I, unable to stand this cheap performance, jumped out from behind the table and hid in the toilet.
I didn’t want anyone to see my tantrum. Somehow calming down, I washed my face and was about to return to the hall. But suddenly I heard a voice
Marina: she was smoking right under the toilet windows in the company of some dressed-up girl.
– I’m surprised at you! You’re acting like a complete fool… – It looks like my stepmother taught the girl to live. – Why the hell are you messing with a client, having nothing from this? Your husband sleeps on money, and allocates you a pittance! Get rid of this idiot!
– I wonder how? — the girl chuckled. – Yours died of a heart attack, but mine is healthy as a bull!
– And mine was also quite healthy, –
Marina lowered her voice, and I had to hold my breath. so as not to miss a word.
– I know how to speed up the process … – after these words, the stepmother switched to a whisper, and I couldn’t hear anything at all.
– I don’t want to go to jail! the girl gasped at some point.
– Don’t yell, you idiot! Marina shushed her. — Everything will go smoothly, like mine! So let me know if you do…
My heart was pounding like crazy. From the restaurant I went straight to the police, where I told them about the conversation I had just overheard and about my suspicions.
After that, events developed very quickly. Marina was detained on suspicion of murder. I demanded the exhumation of my father’s body to do a toxicological analysis, and I was right! Studies have shown the presence in his body of a lethal dose of a substance widely used in meat processing. By the way, the same substance was found in the body of Marina’s first husband…
The first hearing of the case will be held very soon. I hope that the court will show as much pity for this reptile as she does for my father..