Marina was 45.
Some of her friends looked several years younger. They took care of themselves: they visited a beauty salon, a swimming pool, a fitness club, followed the nutrition. Appearance was in the first place for them.
The same could not be said about Marina. At the age of 18, she married Nikolai. She didn’t have strong feelings for the guy. Six months later, he proposed to her and the young people got married. At first, the girl did not notice that she and her husband were different. Nikolai preferred to spend his free time having fun in the company of friends, such events could not do without alcohol, he was bored at home, and Marina was well-mannered and educated, she did not fall asleep without a book. After graduating from the Institute of Culture, I got a job in the library, the salary was small. My husband worked at the factory, but when there were interruptions with orders, the bosses of the workers sent them on vacation. Then it became difficult for the young family in which the daughter was growing up. Nikolai spent more and more time in the garage. Marina noticed that money was disappearing from her wallet. She tried to talk to her husband to find a side job.
— Kohl, why don’t you work as a taxi driver while the factory is not working.
— What else was missing, I won’t.
Marina was crying bitterly, money was sorely lacking. Daughter Lyudochka was often ill. It was necessary to buy expensive medicines. And there wasn’t enough for a family of three to live on. A friend arranged for Luda to be a cleaner in the store.
Years passed, and the situation only worsened. Nikolai left the factory and began working on a construction site, the team worked for me regularly, respectively, the money went to the family budget as well.
Marina did not even allow the thought of divorce. She was afraid of what people would say, endured, cried at night.
— Kohl, are you going to get a normal job? I’ve been working in three places already. Aren’t you ashamed?
— And who makes you, don’t work, and in general, so that I don’t hear such conversations anymore.
Marina realized that she could not change her husband…
When Marina turned forty, Luda got married. I had to borrow money from Marina’s friends for the wedding.
Very soon she bitterly realized that Luda was repeating the fate of her mother. Egor also began to drink, was rude to his young wife. Marina had an even harder time, her son-in-law did not work, and the young people took an apartment on a mortgage. My daughter continued her studies at the university, and studied at the paid faculty. The poor woman had no time to take care of herself. The thought of where else to earn extra money was constantly sitting in my head.
Marina was 45 when her life changed dramatically. As always in the evenings she went to the supermarket, she had to buy groceries. Having typed a full basket according to the list, Marina stood in line. Suddenly two girls of 16 years old tried to pass without waiting in line. Marina who had been standing for 30 minutes was indignant:
— Girls, aren’t you ashamed? Look, everyone is standing. Are you the smartest?
One of the girls turned around:
— A woman would be silent. You pensioners can at least stand in queues all day, but we have no time. Here you have nothing to do in retirement.
Marina was offended by these words.
Returning home, she went to the mirror, began to examine herself carefully with a critical look. When was the last time she gave herself time? When she had time to smear her face and hands with cream, and she didn’t do it regularly from time to time. I did not dye my hair, gray hair began to appear among the strands of gray. Wrinkles on the face also added age. The woman bought cheap cosmetics, sometimes she even left the house without makeup, but she did not see the point of coloring.
From morning to evening, like a squirrel in a wheel, she worked. In clothes, I preferred things of gray, brown, and black shades, so that dirt was not so much visible on them. There were no beautiful dresses in her wardrobe. With shoes, too, everything was difficult, mostly Marina bought ballet flats and shoes without heels. A woman dressed in thrift stores and second-hand shops.
Marina caught herself thinking that she lives the same way as the heroine of the movie Princess on Beans. According to the plot of the film, the heroine dragged a pensioner mother who gave her entire pension to one of the political parties, a young son, an adult daughter, an egoist and a parasite ex-husband.
Marina kept pushing away sad thoughts from herself so as not to fall into depression. I came home so tired that I had enough strength to cook and take a shower. Sometimes she fell asleep at the table.
Marina looked at her hands: from heavy bags, daily washing, she had not bought a washing machine, veins swelled on her hands. Of course there was no manicure, the nails were broken. The woman thought:
«Are the girls right and I can be mistaken for a pensioner? How did it happen? After all, I was once the first beauty of the class, the boys fought over who would carry my briefcase. What happened to me? How did I launch myself? I had golden hair, blue eyes, beautiful pink skin… What’s wrong with my appearance? Maybe the girls are right, I look like a pensioner.».
Marina began to cry…
Suddenly she decided that she would not let herself be offended anymore. She will not be a man anymore, she will work for three, pull two families on herself without resting. By the age of 45, she had acquired a bunch of diseases. What can I say, I slept four hours a day. Dark circles under the eyes, gray complexion. Nothing good. Who of the men will pay attention to such a woman, but no one. There is no trace of the former beauty left.
A plan has matured in my head.
«We need to change our lives urgently. I deserve the best!»
Marina looked into her wallet, there was a large amount of money lying there, and began to reason:
— I won’t buy any wallpaper. I’ve had enough!
The woman woke up the next day elated in the hope of positive changes. She decided to live for herself, called her daughter:
— People, of course I understand everything. You didn’t get married well. You need money for school, for an apartment, but I can’t plow like a horse anymore. And I’m offering you a job, that’s how I am. And you can study in absentia. And if your husband doesn’t suit you, get a divorce, don’t take an example from me. You can’t not appreciate your life so much. To sacrifice yourself for someone who is not worthy of you. Think everything!
Marina went to the beauty salon. At first confused, she stopped on the threshold, the thought flashed to leave.
«Why is that? Maybe don’t…»
Beautiful girls approached the exit, pleased with the results of their transformation.
The receptionist saw that the visitor felt uncomfortable and decided to help.
— Good afternoon! Come on in, don’t be shy. Tea-coffee?
— No, thanks. It’s my first time here, I don’t even know where to start…
The receptionist invited Marina to sit down, and she left.
I came back with a beautiful girl.
— Hello. I am a hairdresser, my name is Svetlana. How can I help you?
— I’d like to dye my hair. Well, make a haircut…
Svetlana began to conjure over the client’s hair.
— What hair color would you like to have?
— Let’s paint me red, like the sun.
— A bold decision. Let’s.
In the skillful hands of the master, Marina turned into a completely different woman. She didn’t recognize herself in the mirror. An interesting brown-haired woman was looking at her, only her face was tired.
— Now I will put you in the hands of a cosmetologist. Do you mind?
— Of course not. Today I want to fulfill the plan for all the years.
— Have you not been to the salon for a long time?
— Girl, you won’t believe it. I never went.
— Don’t worry. Well done for coming to us.
Cosmetologist Olga advised Marina on how to take care of her skin. I did several procedures. The next one who worked with Marina was Yana. She gave the client a manicure and pedicure. Stylist Natasha made Marina a day makeup.
After that, all the masters gathered to show Marina photos before and after the procedure. Marina was in shock.
She came out of the salon a beautiful woman, men began to look after her, a smile involuntarily lit up her face.
— But I can still be happy! So according to the plan I have when shopping!
On the way, she saw a boutique. Looking into the wallet, Marina calmed down. She expected to spend a large sum in the store. Marina already felt confident. I bought myself beautiful underwear, tights, two pairs of shoes and three dresses. The clothes I came to the store in just threw away.
— That’s it! A new life awaits me in which there will be no more place for tears and hard work.
When Marina returned home, her husband did not recognize her. He was sitting by the TV with beer and fish.
— Why did you dye your hair and where did you get this dress? In general, how much does it all cost?
— What don’t you like?
— I can’t understand what all this transformation is about, because the main thing is why did I spend the money?
The doorbell rang. It was Luda who came. She didn’t understand what her mother wanted to tell her on the phone. When Luda crossed the threshold, she was surprised.
— Mom, I don’t recognize you. What a beauty you’ve become! You’re even a few years younger! And how much money did you spend on it?
— Let’s go to the kitchen.
— Mom, have you got another man? You’re just glowing with happiness…
— No, my daughter. I just suddenly realized that I am a woman. I’ve never pampered myself, I’ve never bought anything. Here you go to the hairdresser, manicure every month, and today I came to the beauty salon for the first time in my life. I’ve never felt so happy. Maybe only when I gave birth to you… I remember that day as I do now… I became a mom… I will also remember today forever. Not only because I changed my hairstyle and bought things for myself, today I will already live the way I want. I’ll sign up for the pool, well, I’ll go to fitness. And you, please, arrange your fate yourself. I will help with the grandchildren that you will give birth to me. Talk to your husband seriously. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have something to say to your dad and leave for the interview. I’m going to get a job in a solid company, there needs a clerk. I don’t want to wash the entrances, sell newspapers anymore.
Marina saw her daughter off and approached her husband.
— Turn off the TV, please, we need to talk. So, I’m filing for divorce. You’re not going to work, and I’m not going to support you anymore. I will live primarily for myself. I’ve been waiting 20 years for you to come to your senses, I’ve had enough. I’m going to look for a job now, which I advise you to do.
Nikolai stood in silence. Suddenly he realized that Marina, who provided for him, created comfortable living conditions, was leaving him. And how will he be without her? She was carrying everything on herself.
While her husband was sitting at a loss, Marina walked down the street with a confident gait. She had no doubt that the dark streak of life would remain in the past, and now she would have a high-paying job, and maybe a new love. These thoughts made my heart beat joyfully and my eyes shine with happiness.