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Beautiful woman looking out the window

The fate of a woman

Varya couldn’t sleep for a long time. Today, the already familiar shkonka seemed especially uncomfortable and rigid. The barracks were stuffy and smelled of something disgusting — viscous and suffocating. Such a smell, in the wild, she had never met. I really wanted to get under a hot shower and a soapy washcloth, to the point of pain, to scrape off the events of recent years from my skin…

Varya again, against her will, began to plunge into memories … It was painful to do this … and in the current conditions, even dangerous. Before her eyes, several newly arrived prisoners could not stand adapting to the cruel prison reality… Did not survive, broke down, exhausted… Each of them had their own story, but they were united by one thing — excessive sensitivity and weakness. And it’s not true that the bedridden are not beaten. Here, there were their own laws. Therefore, she decided for herself that she, there is something to live for and she will definitely not go limp.

Mentally, Varya imagined that 2 people live in her body. One is the old, real one. And the second one is the present one. With iron nerves and very thick armor. It was easier that way… And, life has become really easier…

But, today, everything went according to a different scenario … Bright pictures from the past were spinning in her head like a carousel … The fact is that she received a letter from her neighbor, Aunt Valya. The one who told about the latest events. Varya’s own grandmother, who raised her from the cradle, fell ill… Her health was significantly shaken after what happened to her beloved granddaughter. But, she held on until the last… regularly sent parcels with her own hand-tied things, and a couple of times, even came to her… But, apparently, the old organism, nevertheless, day after day, destroyed itself … And is there any justice in this world?

The woman put her whole soul into the education of Varya. As I could , I took care of it… But, I couldn’t stop from a hasty marriage… This was her fatal mistake… She saw Varya’s young husband, Pavel, through and through. But, she did not dare to go against her granddaughter’s decision … He, with all his might, pretended that he was in love. But, in his every move, there was some kind of falsehood, cowardice and malice… The worst fears were justified…

A young husband, scored loans to open a dubious company, which he registered in his wife’s name … A year and a half after the wedding, Varya found herself in a colony settlement… For the deeds of her husband… And he, referring to the fact that he was still very young, decided to secretly divorce … And, without shame, brought his girlfriends to the very apartment that Varya had so carefully furnished…

Varya squeezed her eyes shut to the point of pain, so as not to remember her grandmother’s desperate attempt to save her. She found in the newspaper an ad of some lawyer who promised 100% winnings in court… The old lady collected all her savings, got into debt, believing, as it seemed to her, a competent specialist. But, he couldn’t do anything… Maybe he didn’t have enough knowledge or he couldn’t compete with Pavel’s rich family…

The judge who conducted the trial most likely realized that the defendant was just a victim of circumstances… But he could not go against the facts, which means the system… Therefore, in order to somehow mitigate the fate of Varya, I gave her a minimum term of 4.5 years. And he sent it not to the zone, but to the colony-settlement…

Most of all in this life, Varya dreamed of going out into the wild… And do everything so that her dearest person forgets about this nightmare… The girl imagined how they, together with her grandmother, would go to a sanatorium, swim in the pool and eat ice cream… That she would definitely get a job… and buy Granny a new coat, dresses and a hat… She has seen so little in this life… One of her sons (Varya’s father) died together with his wife in a car accident. And the other, and remained bobyl, because of addiction to the bottle… It’s good that at least he lived separately — in a hostel nearby.

The first rays of the sun began to fill the barracks… With the dawn, Varya’s chaotic thoughts finally took clear shape — she needed to escape. Let him, at the cost of his life. But, as a granddaughter, she has to say goodbye to her grandmother. Otherwise, she just won’t forgive herself for it.

Today, just, there was a duty — Vyacheslav. As it seemed to Varya, he was the only one of the guards who treated the convicts not as living “meat”, but as people. Let them stumble. From his mouth, the girl has never heard greasy jokes and hints. But, at the same time, sometimes she caught him looking at her for too long and some kind of strange, mysterious smile…

The girl knew the daily routine by heart. Therefore, when Vyacheslav was alone, I took the opportunity to talk to him alone.

– Vyacheslav! I’m sorry, please, that I’m addressing you… but I think it’s you who should understand me… the fact is that my grandmother is dying… She is the only native person, except for a drinking uncle, who I have left… I really want to say goodbye to her… Could you please let me go for a few hours… In return, I promise to do whatever you say… I’m not going anywhere. I will come exactly at the time you have appointed. I would just like to hug her, for the last time…” said Varya, in a trembling voice, looking at the man with a plea.

Apparently, he expected to hear everything, but not this… At first, undisguised surprise was read in his eyes, and then ominous lights appeared… There was a laugh… After a short pause, Vyacheslav, nevertheless, said:

– So you’re suggesting that I violate job descriptions? Risk not only your job, but also your own freedom? Do you have any idea what I’m going to get for this?…

Varya lowered her gaze. Her back hunched, something very heavy fell on her shoulders.… Against her will, tears poured out of her open eyes, a thin trickle…

The last thing she wanted was to show her weakness… For a very long time, she managed to cope with emotions… But, apparently, there is a limit to everything…

– I will definitely come… During the day I will work at the farm. the yard… I ‘ll be at roll call… And in the morning — I ‘ll come… Before checking… No one will notice…” Varya whispered faintly, as if squeezing every word out of herself.

Vyacheslav, was well aware that the prisoners, I can have a psychological impact on the guards. Pretending to be “poor sheep”… but in fact, everyone who turned up here has much more skeletons in the closet than an ordinary man…

They were taught, in no case, not to engage in personal conversations with criminals… here, there was no such thing as a woman. To them, there should be no special relationship. A criminal is a criminal.

However, he decided to take advantage of the situation. This zechka was completely different from the others. As if, indeed, she hadn’t done anything illegal and ended up here by accident. He had been watching her for a long time. After thinking about it, Vyacheslav said:

– OK. I’ll think about your request… But, only if you agree to spend the night with me … out of the blue, such issues are not solved … for me, this is a huge risk. Problems, you can grab more than your dying grandmother…

Varya was already barely standing on her feet… She realized that Vyacheslav was not her assistant… She was disgusted by herself and by the fact that she had made a mistake in a person again… Base instincts and a position meant much more to him than a simple, human…

But, to refuse, now, she, too, could not… After all, after she voiced her desire, there will be much more attention to her. Refusal meant conflict. And she didn’t need any unnecessary hype right now. Therefore, Varya nodded affirmatively and said:

– Good… I agree …

In fact, Varya has already decided for herself — since it did not work out to agree in a good way, she will see her grandmother by simply running away. It remained only to wait for the right time.

The day dragged on for a very long time. The girl pretended that everything was as before. Under the eyes of the guards, she diligently did her job. In her heart, she imagined burying her face in Granny’s hair, kissing and hugging her. God, how she missed me!…

The evening check was carried out as usual. The time of Vyacheslav and Varya’s “date” was inexorably coming. One of them washed about it, the girl shuddered.

After waiting until the guards were out of sight, and there would be no curious prisoners around, Varya got out into the street. To do this, it was quite easy. The fact is that just at that time, construction was underway on the territory of the colony. She had noticed for a long time that there was a sufficient gap under the concrete fence, which the workers were just strengthening, in order to squeeze through it. Slender and flexible girl, conceived, succeeded without problems.

For a moment, Varya turned around and ran towards the forest with all her strength. The way home lay through a dense thicket. She had to get there at least 2-3 hours.

The branches hit him hard in the face. My head was spinning. The legs bent badly and seemed wooden. Varya tried to cheer herself up with thoughts to her grandmother. The thought that her disappearance would become known, she tried to drive away… After all, the management of the colony knew the address of Granny… And they, quite, could come to her… How it could end for an already weak old lady, she didn’t want to think…

Meanwhile, Vyacheslav was in joyful anticipation. Before that, he did not have affairs with zechki, as his older comrades did… Although, some nurses, who missed male attention, made unambiguous offers to him… And some, directly, wanted to get pregnant, because in this case, they could count on parole. It was scary to even think about how many such would-be mothers there were in the country, even if there were more than 10 women in their colony at the moment. At the same time, Vyacheslav knew that none of their roommates or husbands came to them on dates…

Varya, was supposed to be his first experience. Slightly wild and detached… But, from this, even more desirable… With these thoughts, he went into the barracks to take the girl with him. But, as it turned out, her bed was empty. Or rather, inside the blanket, there was some rags that imitated the pose of a sleeping person…

Cold sweat broke out on Vyacheslav’s forehead. If the authorities find out about this emergency, they will not pat him on the head, at best they will be fired, and at worst… The man trembled and quickly ran out of the room. Hastily leafing through the file to find out the address of relatives, where the fugitive could go, he announced an alarm in the colony and went in pursuit.

The dogs quickly picked up the trail. But, in the forest, they got confused. Therefore, the colony workers decided to split up. Vyacheslav, was very angry at Varya. And he wanted to be the first to catch up with her. His dignity was painfully violated. He was following her trail like a wolf.

Finally, he noticed that he was moving in the right direction. The tall grass was unnaturally flattened. The man quickened his pace. He could not allow the fugitive to trick him again.

Finally, he noticed a moving dot in the distance. After a few minutes, the goal was achieved. Vyacheslav, painfully grabbed Varya by the hair and threw her to the ground. The girl desperately struggled and bit the attacker, but he, as if distraught, began to tear off her clothes… The last thing she remembered before she lost consciousness was the angry, animal—like look of a man and the words:

– We didn’t agree on that!

The torment lasted for several minutes, but it seemed to Varya that an eternity had passed. She was very sick. But, to get out of the strong hands of the monster, she could not… Finally, she felt a stone under her hand and, gathering the rest of her strength, hit the man on the head with it. A long moan was heard. He lost consciousness and fell on his side.

Hastily dressing, Varya got up and ran again. After the incident, she lost her bearings. But, I couldn’t stop…

When the first rays of the sun hit the ground, the girl saw that she was on the outskirts of the forest. But, ahead, there were not houses, but a cemetery… That didn’t scare her… Since she remembered the words that her beloved grandmother often repeated – “you should not be afraid of the dead, but of the living” … Now Varya understood that this was the truth…

The girl slowly walked between the graves, being as if in a half-delirium … people of different ages looked at her from the photos on the crosses. Some were smiling… Could they have known that these photos would be the last… they would be chosen by grieving relatives, taking them out of the family album… For a second, she thought about the fact that she, too, was going to do this… The thought that they had probably already come to my grandmother with a search, hurt my heart… I didn’t even let her leave quietly… Always, from me, only problems…

Suddenly, near one of the graves, apparently fresh, Varya saw a hunched figure. For a moment, she was scared. But, then, curiosity overcame. Coming closer, the girl saw an old man leaning on a stick. His head was lowered. It was obvious that he was scraping hard. A young woman was looking from a photograph on the cross. Her look was kind, but somehow exhausted… Although, as it turned out, she was only 3 years older than Varya…

The old man finally felt that he was not alone and slowly turned around … seeing a stranger, in torn clothes, and with bruises on her face… he gasped in surprise and fright…

Varya didn’t want to scare the elderly man, so she took a step back and wanted to move on… But, the old man suddenly stood up, as abruptly as his age allowed… and approached Varya.

– Daughter! What happened to you? At such an early hour, they don’t go to the cemetery… unless those who have already lost everything in this life… Like me, for example… Buried his only daughter, 40 days ago … – the old man thought, his eyes glistened with tears. Returning to reality, he looked at the stranger again and repeated his question:

“So what’s the matter with you, honey?” You need medical help… pale as a sheet…

Varya didn’t know what to answer… To tell about everything, it would take more than one hour… And she was very weak… She was very thirsty… and sleepy…

The old man realized that the girl was in shock… And, now, it was pointless to extract some information from her… Therefore, taking her by the hand, he led her to his home.

Varya didn’t have the strength to resist… Apparently, she had a high fever… she was very feverish… The road from the cemetery to the old man’s hut went through the forest. Every step was given with great difficulty. It was as if heavy weights were suspended at his feet… And it was necessary to go about five kilometers… However, the old man confidently pulled her along…

Further, Varya remembered vaguely… Apparently, for several days, the girl was in a semi-delirium. The old man, who had lived all his life near the forest and knew by heart about the healing properties of each herb, carefully prepared restorative and strengthening infusions for her. Despite the fact that the girl was not his friend or relative, he took care of her as if she were his own daughter.

A month later, Varya’s strength returned. But, in the morning, she began to feel strange nausea and dizziness. The thought that she could get pregnant from Vyacheslav made her feel sick. But there was nothing she could do about it.

In addition, she remembered the number of her grandmother’s neighbor by heart, but could not contact her to find out how she was … because there was no connection in the forest. The only place in the village where there was a telephone was a paramedic station. But to get there, in broad daylight, meant to let down the grandfather who treated her so well…

To get some air, Varya often went out into the garden. An old man had a little dog friend. To the surprise of the owner, the animal quickly found a common language with a new family member. And looking at how a cautious puppy usually runs after Varya, like a tail, grandfather noted… That animals are better than people, they feel the soul… There will be no dog, cajoling to a man with an evil heart… So, the salvation of Varya, did not happen in vain…

However, the quiet life did not last long… One of the neighbors noticed that the previously economical grandfather began to buy more products at the local store. And he, in fact, sometimes spoiled Varya, buying her, then a chocolate bar, then ice cream…

Neighbors, languishing with curiosity, decided to establish an unspoken surveillance of an elderly man. A few days later, their guesses that something strange was going on in Mikhalych’s hut were confirmed. One of the neighbors saw Varya playing in the yard with a puppy.

At first, a vigilant woman crossed herself out of fear. It seemed to her that the stranger was the recently buried daughter of a neighbor. But when I looked closer, I realized that it wasn’t her.

An hour later, the district police were ready to begin the assault. Orientation to Varya, has long haunted many civil servants. The fugitive seemed to have fallen through the ground. And now — the long-awaited clue…

That day, Varya, felt especially unimportant… because of toxicosis, she constantly lacked air. Therefore, taking a Friend with her, she went out into the garden. Because of the abundance of trees and bushes, she did not see what was happening on the street. But, what she heard left no doubt…

One by one, cars drove up to the house… Someone was talking on the radio… guns were ringing…

“They found it…” whispered Varya…

She was absolutely not afraid for herself and her health… But, she was scared of how the old man would react… After all, he became very attached to her… He, with her appearance, had worries again … As if his beloved daughter had returned … The girl had heard more than once how her grandfather tried to call her by her daughter’s name… but, he stopped in time…

Entering the house, on trembling legs, Varya went straight to the kitchen … There, grandpa, cooked his “signature” soup with dumplings … The girl, barely holding back tears, approached her savior and said:

– Ivan Lvovich… I’m sorry for everything… But, they came for me… You are the most amazing person I know… and I will never forget your kindness…

The old man turned around in surprise and sighed. Of course, he suspected that one day, something like this might happen… But, nevertheless, I hoped…

Varya went up to Ivan Lvovich, hugged him tightly, kissed him on both cheeks and, raising her hands, slowly left the house.

Grandpa, he could no longer contain his emotions. Wailing loudly and sniffling, he followed Varya… To protect her in case of anything…

The dog, sensing strangers, was rushing around the yard and barking … he was trying to protect his mistress. His faithful dog’s heart had a premonition of trouble … but he could not sit still… Suddenly, he saw that a stranger was standing next to an old rowan tree. In his hands was a weapon aimed at Varya… The dog, at first, ran up to the hostess, as if saying goodbye, and then, tore towards the rowan tree… The silence was broken by a deafening shot … the dog squealed pitifully and fell…

Varya, looking at her Friend, felt that she was about to faint… My heart burned with a fierce pain from what was happening… Now, Grandpa, he will be all alone… And without her, and without a four-legged friend… which his daughter also got.

Cold, metal handcuffs snapped on Varya’s wrists. They didn’t stand on ceremony with her. Sitting in a police UAZ, to the cheers of the police, who finally caught the fugitive zechka, the girl looked out the window.

The old man was kneeling in front of the dead dog… and looked longingly after the departing car.

A neighbor who informed the police about a strange girl who lived with a neighbor was standing on the sidelines… In her heart, she was proud of herself for being such a vigilant citizen…

Looking at what was happening, she muttered:

– Quite old out of his mind! Sheltered, in his house, zechka! How is this even possible?! Shame on you! If only the deceased wife knew what her husband would do in his old age! And now, in a coffin, it only remains to turn over!

That’s the neighbor! I didn’t expect… I didn’t expect… I didn’t think about myself, so about others, I could have thought… Suddenly, this zechka is rabid, would she attack others?! And all around — children… Is it dangerous to bring grandchildren to the village now?

What kind of terrible time has come?…

Varya treated what was happening next with detachment. It seemed to her that it could not be worse than what had happened to her. During the medical examination, a rude nurse, running a sensor over the girl’s stomach, gasped:

– Look at you! Our fugitive, she didn’t waste any time! And she said that she ran away to say goodbye to her beloved grandmother! Did she get pregnant from the old one? And it wasn’t disgusting for you to go to bed with him? Well, the girls have gone now! They do not disdain anything, for the sake of parole!

Well what. Congratulations! Will we inform the father? Which do you prefer — by telegram or by carrier pigeon?

Varya, with all her might, tried to endure. She knew that everything the nurse was saying was an attempt to get her emotional. A kind of entertainment. And all of this characterizes her. And I don ‘t cook in any way… Perhaps this woman is angry at the whole world because she is unhappy in her marriage? Or can’t have children?

Of course, that didn’t excuse her. But, wise beyond her years, Varya no longer wanted to respond with anger to anger… This does not mean that she has given up or broken down… On the contrary, she protected herself from it…

****

Vyacheslav suffered a brain hemorrhage after being hit in the forest. But, the case was not given a move… Since they realized what had happened… the man was half-naked. And on the ground, there were signs of a struggle… including blood and pieces of Varya’s clothes.

He was sent to a neuropsychiatric boarding school. After all, he began to have frequent panic attacks and memory lapses … he never managed to get married. And the parents were unable to take custody of their son, as they were of advanced age.

A few days later, after returning to the colony, Varya received a letter from a neighbor, Aunt Valya. She expressed condolences to the girl, about the departure of her grandmother. The woman said that her grandmother, in recent days, was delirious and often called Varya … but, in the end, she left at night. In a dream.

Uncle Vari immediately moved from the hostel to the apartment. Once a quiet apartment, it has become a haven for various rabble from all over the area… She, as a neighbor, tried to reason with the man as best she could. But, the one does not obey her.

The girl, at first, who wanted to write an answer right away, could not do it… She decided to leave everything as it is… she couldn’t change anything, Varya, anyway…

In due course, Varya became a mother. A healthy boy was born. Which, she decided to call Ivan. In honor of the grandfather who once saved her. And she brought him so much trouble…

Despite the fact that pregnancy could not be called desirable and happy, after giving birth, Varya, for the first time in a long time, felt happy… The child needed her like air… the baby was not to blame for what happened…

Finally, she’s been through so much… For a long time she was on the verge of life and death… But, the child, anyway, was born… And this means that it is possible that he was sent to her from above, not in vain…

One day, Varya was called to the administration of the colony. On the table, there was a document on her early release. Without further ado, she signed her name. But, she didn’t feel any joy. Like a bird that has lived in a cramped cage for a long time, she did not dare to spread her tired wings for a long time … not trusting herself!

The day of liberation has come. Varya’s neighbors in the barracks, accustomed to her, said goodbye to her, with tears in their eyes. Girls working in the sewing industry secretly sewed several sets of vests and sliders for Vanya.

Varya and Vanya had nowhere to go… After thinking a little, the girl decided to visit the same grandfather … However, when she approached a familiar house, she realized that something terrible had happened to him…

Around the once well-groomed house, weeds grew… the windows were dirty… and somehow lifeless… By inertia, Varya passed her hand under the porch. His fingertips immediately found a rusty tin can. Pulling it out, at the bottom, she saw the key to the house.

For several minutes, Varya, with the baby at the ready, did not dare to go into this painfully familiar place… Finally, she entered the house. Everything was exactly the same as on the last, fateful day.

There was an envelope on the table near the window…

Opening it, with trembling hands, Varya saw a letter addressed to her:

“Dear Varechka!

If you are reading this letter, then I have gone to where I should be. To my girls — my wife and daughter.

You can always visit me. I hope you remember where the place where we met for the first time is.

I am sure that when the time comes, you will come back here.

I won’t be verbose… But, the time that you lived with me… was bright and happy… I am very glad that fate brought us together… even in such difficult circumstances…

You really have become like a daughter to me. Revived me. Gave hope…

Unfortunately, I am very old… And my sores will not allow me to see you, already in the status of a clean woman before the law…

I’m mentally hugging you… How then…

This house, now, by law, belongs to you. All the documents are issued (they are in the sideboard).

And, please… if you’re going to get a dog, call it a Friend.

The one I buried under an old apple tree in the garden…

Happiness to you, girl!”

Tears poured from Varya’s eyes like hail… Falling on little Vanechka, who, with surprise, looked at his mother and touched her eyes with small fingers…

– We will be happy, Grandpa… Thank you for everything…” whispered Varya…

She had a lot of things to do. But, first of all, she went to visit Ivan Lvovich … she remembered the road well…

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