Sasha looked at Angelina and could not believe his eyes – she was still good and had not changed at all in the last seven years.
For the first time in these years, he came to the homecoming party and did not regret it at all, because he met his first love.
– Sasha, dear! How long have we not seen each other,” she cooed and pressed her cheek to him in a welcoming embrace: Sasha was enveloped in a cloud of her expensive perfume.
“Hello, Lina, you look great,” he said, feeling the feelings that had subsided rise again in his soul. – How are you living? Married?
– Here’s another one! I’m going to waste my time on this. No, my dear, there has not yet been a man who could tame me. And you’re probably already married and have a bunch of kids?
– Unfortunately, no. Work takes up all the time.
– Yes? And who do you work for?
– You’ll laugh, baker.
– It’s really funny! – Angelina smiled tightly and, hugging even now in farewell, went to other classmates.
Sasha was looking after her when Kolka Snegirev came up to him and slapped him on the shoulder: – What? The old is not forgotten, is it? – A-a-a, – Alexander waved his hand, – as before, so now. Nothing has changed.
– By the way, you know that she lived in America for two years, she had a boyfriend there by correspondence, so she went to him. And then, apparently, she got fed up with him, and she quickly escorted her back. Lenka Semenova told me this, and this one knows everything about everyone. It’s just amazing. During the whole evening, Angelina never approached Alexander again, and he, long before the end of the meeting, went home, waiting only for the general photo.
Sasha didn’t know that just at that time Angelina was talking to that know–it-all Lena: – Well, how do you like our class? – she asked.
– Oh, they’re all miserable. There’s not even anyone to chat with. Engineers, teachers, drivers, bakers… a mortal longing.
– Bakers? Are you hinting at Sasha Akimov?
– Well, yes. As he told me, I almost fell. I wish I was a baker’s wife,” Angelina laughed.
“Oh, so you don’t know anything?” The network of bakeries “At Akim” is famous throughout the region. They also have their own bakeries. All the pastries are delicious, fresh, people are still buying them hot.
– Well, what are you telling me about this? Everyone knows this… even me, even though I don’t eat bread. Wait… – Angelina suddenly straightened up abruptly. – From Akim? Akimov? Sasha? This one that was here now? – Well, yes, here you are strange! He is the owner of the network. Customers are running after him in droves, even state institutions, schools there, gardens… He does not bend the prices either and is always in profit. Lives in chocolate! And you say, fu-u-u, pe-e-kar!
– Okay, thanks, girlfriend, I’ll go look for him! Angelina went around the whole room, but Sasha was nowhere to be found, and then the upset girl, without saying goodbye to anyone, also went home, scolding herself for her short-sightedness.
The next day, Alexander saw a call from an unfamiliar number, answered and was very surprised to hear Angelina’s cooing voice: – Sashenka, darling, well, where did you disappear yesterday? I’ve been looking for you…
– Lina? Here is a pleasant surprise. And why do you need me?
– Well?! We haven’t seen each other for so long, maybe we’ll meet today, have dinner somewhere?
– Okay, choose the time and place. – Angelina didn’t think for long and named the most expensive restaurant in the city.
– Great, – Alexander approved, – where should I pick you up?
Their further relationship developed so rapidly that Sasha himself did not understand how it happened that Lina settled with him, skillfully giving him love and affection. He was over the moon with happiness and willingly spoiled the capricious beauty with expensive gifts. And she melted in his arms, rewarding him for his attention.
Six months later, Sasha proposed to Lina, and she gladly agreed. It was only a couple of days later that Mauricio, a former lover, called her and said that he was coming to Moscow and really wanted to meet her.
– You’re crazy! – Angelina exclaimed, – I’m actually getting married!
– How to get married? No! No! I love you! You should only be with me!
Angelina smiled rapaciously: now she had two men at once, both successful and rich. She thought about it and decided that she would try to get as much out of Sasha as possible before Mauricio arrived, and then leave him, coming up with some excuse.
A week later, having already met her Italian lover a couple of times at the hotel, Angelina started a conversation with Sasha: – Darling, I want children, and as soon as possible.
– Well, it won’t work as fast as you want, – Sasha smiled at her.
– What??? You don’t want me to give birth? Is that what it means? All right! Oh, you, and I thought you loved me. Well, please! And anyway, I’m so tired of you! She grabbed her purse and left, ignoring Sasha’s attempts, surprised by this outburst, to stop her.
She spent the night in the arms of an Italian, and in the morning, after waiting for Sasha to go to work, she came to his house, took all her things and gifts and left the apartment, leaving a note so that he would not look for her.
That day, Sasha had everything falling out of his hands. He did not understand what had happened between them with Angelina, tried to call her and in the end, accidentally crushed his phone by running over it with a car. In the late afternoon, he bought himself a new phone and a SIM card, immediately dialing the number of his beloved.
And at this time, on the other side of the city, a modest girl named Dasha was crying bitterly. Four years ago, she graduated from high school and came to the city, but she didn’t have enough points for the budget, and she couldn’t pay for her studies. In her native village, her mother worked as a cook in a collective farm canteen, her father was a combine harvester and tractor driver, and two younger children were still growing up at home. Therefore, they could not help the eldest daughter in any way.
Dasha decided that she would be able to save money on her own and if she did not enroll again next year, then she would pay for her education. The girl found job ads and came across an invitation to become a maid in a private house. Dasha, without hesitation, went there. She successfully passed the interview with the hostess, was glad that she would be provided with a room and readily started working, even though she was taken on a two-week probation period. Daria coped with her work well, but by the evening she could barely get to bed.
When the hostess’s husband, who had been absent for a long time, returned, dark days came for Dasha, because Albert Valentinovich simply did not give her a pass.
– Oh, what a chick we’ve got here. Dashenka, honey, this is the first time I’ve seen such beauty, and believe me, an old ladies’ man, I’ve seen a lot. Well, don’t be a boogeyman, come here!
– How dare you! I’ll tell your wife everything!
– Just try it, you’ll be out of here right away. And who would she believe anyway? You or me? For two weeks Dasha diligently avoided the owner, and in the evenings she cried, examining the bruises left by his pinches.
She tried to talk to the hostess, but at the same moment Albert came in and took his wife away, and in the evening, when Daria was spreading out their bed, he crept up to her and knocked her over on the bed.
“Oh, you little bitch,” he said, leaning on the girl with his whole body, “you will be punished for your disobedience. And right now, while my wife is not at home!!! Shout, shout, break out, I like to pacify the disobedient.
In the heat of the struggle, they did not notice how the door opened and the hostess of the house appeared on the threshold: – What-oh??? “You bastard!” she exclaimed. How dare you!!!
– He himself, I wanted to tell you! It sticks constantly! – Daria was clutching her blouse torn on her chest with one hand, straightening her stray hair with the other.
– Lyusenka, will you believe her? She’s ready for anything for money, they’re beggars. She constantly provoked me,” Albert cheekily sprawled on the bed, already realizing from his wife’s look that he had won.
She was almost ten years older than him, and he took advantage of this by manipulating a rich wife. – So, – Lucy looked at Daria, – you have exactly five minutes to get out of here. And there will be no calculation, understand? Get out, you bastard! Or I’ll call the police and accuse you of stealing.
Daria, crying, ran out of the room, and Lucy turned to her husband: – Now we’ll talk to you… – But he got up and pulled her sharply to him with a strong hand, and then knocked her over on the bed, and Lucy forgave him everything again.
Daria was walking through the night city, crying and did not know what to do now. She had no home, no money. She walked wearily, not taking apart the road: the city lived around her, people, and she was not needed by any person and did not understand why she was doing all this. There was a bridge across the river somewhere nearby, and Dasha headed there, not wanting to survive in this unfair world anymore. She had already reached the parapet when an old phone rang in her pocket.
She automatically picked up the phone and said through tears: – Hello… – Hello, my love, my dear, I miss you so much, – came from the phone. – Don’t cry, I hear you crying, believe me, I love you very much! And I really want you to give birth to my son or daughter… Can you hear me? I’ll be right there, where are you??? Dasha, hearing an unfamiliar voice and tender words of recognition, burst into tears, no longer holding back.
–On the bridge-uh-uh…– she replied, sobbing. There was silence on the phone. Sasha, who called Angelina, dialed the number from memory and made a mistake with one digit, accidentally got to Dasha.
– Girl, who are you? And where is Lina?
– I’m Dasha. And Lina is not here, you made a mistake. Goodbye.
– Stop, stop, Dasha, wait. Why are you crying? Did something happen to you? Can I help? Dasha, hello! Hello! There was silence on the phone.
Sasha realized that something had happened to the girl and rushed to his car. Ten minutes later he was on the bridge and saw the bent figure of a girl sitting right on the ground. She leaned back against the parapet and wrapped her arms around her knees.
–Dasha,– Alexander called. She raised her head and looked at him with such a look that he, without asking anything else, came up, helped her up, and then took her to his house, fed her and put her to bed, wrapped in a soft blanket.
Now he knew everything about her and was surprised that he had called this girl at the moment when she was standing on the edge of life and practically saved her. Sasha once again looked at Dasha’s rosy face and suddenly remembered that he had not reached Angelina. He picked up the phone, turned it over in his hands, and then threw it on the nightstand without dialing her number.
Two weeks have passed. All this time Dasha lived with Alexander and, in gratitude for the fact that he sheltered her, fed him delicious breakfasts and dinners, tidied up the apartment, and when he opened the closet and saw clean ironed shirts and trousers, he had such an astonished face that Daria laughed.
All this time she was looking for a new job, she talked about it all the time, and one day Sasha thought that he didn’t want to let her go anywhere at all.
But he had Lina and he couldn’t betray his girlfriend either, so he still called her and was stunned when he heard the sounds of kisses and Angelina’s cheerful laughter on the phone: – Hello! Well, Mauricio, wait, I’m getting a call! Hello, hello, I’m listening!
– And I’m listening to you, – Alexander said. – Sasha … – Lina said in confusion.
– And what is this number, why aren’t you calling from your own? Sasha, let’s meet and I’ll explain everything to you. – A dissatisfied male voice was heard on the phone.
– Don’t explain anything, Lina. I figured it out anyway.
– Sasha, Sasha… but he had already hung up, then bought a beautiful bouquet and a ring and hurried home to Dasha.
Now he knew for sure that he would not miss this wonderful girl, whom, without realizing it, he had managed to fall in love with. Five years have passed. Sasha and Daria were married and raised little Alyosha. Once, walking with the whole family through the shopping center, they walked, laughing and watching their son’s pranks. Suddenly Sasha felt someone’s gaze and turned around: a cleaning lady was looking at them, leaning on a mop. Sasha raised an eyebrow in surprise, and then grinned. It was Angelina. She nodded to him, but he did not return the greeting and hurried after his wife and son, not wanting to leave them even for a minute.