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When you don’t expect happiness

Margarita woke up again in an empty apartment. The sun’s rays were gently breaking through the window, but they did not please her. She had been living alone for five years. Her husband left her. The story is banal: they lived together for fifteen years, it didn’t work out with the children, and suddenly a third party appeared, which the husband chose after long scandals. But how he swore in love, how he courted when he called for marriage!

Margarita never got used to his departure. For five years, the silence was still oppressive, especially in the evenings when it was necessary to go to bed. Anger mixed with sadness. Sometimes she began to feel sorry for herself, then she said: no, that’s enough, we need to work, we need to live. She seemed to want to find a man, but she lost confidence in the stronger sex, and she was very afraid to relive betrayal and suffer from separation. That’s why she lived alone, trying to find happiness in other places: in addition to work, she filled her time with volunteering, visiting orphanages, and sometimes animal shelters. So that there is not a minute of free time to fall down in the evening from fatigue, so that there is no time for sad thoughts.

***

It was a frosty morning. The snow glistened and shimmered in the rays of the cold winter sun. Margot finally found the strength to get out of bed. Today was an important day: despite Sunday, they and a group of volunteers were going to visit a small orphanage, give gifts to children and arrange a Christmas matinee for them. We have been preparing for a long time, coming up with a scenario to bring a little joy to children who lived without parents.

The building of the orphanage was small, not new at all, but it seemed very cozy, despite some gloominess. The teachers gathered the children in a spacious hall, where there was a piano, and a carefully decorated Christmas tree in the corner. The children, as expected at the matinee, told poems, danced, sang songs. Then the adults started handing out gifts. It was necessary to see the eyes of these kids, for whom any holiday is an event. And they did not come for gifts, but for hope, because almost every eye read: I want a family. But it will not be possible to become a mom or dad to every child, and few people will decide to raise non-native children. And Margarita was very sorry for them. Everyone. I wanted to hug, to cuddle. But any manifestation of excessive attention threatened with vain hopes.

A seven-year-old girl with curly brown hair and an incredibly beautiful, sweet face, as if she had stepped out of a picture, came up to Margot.

– Hi, what’s your name? Margot asked.

–Olesya,” the little girl answered quietly and looked at her with piercing blue eyes. – You’re a good aunt. You’re going to have a family, and you’re going to meet Him soon.

“Who’s his?” – Margarita was taken aback.

The girl laughed, grabbed the gift and ran away. And Margarita froze. A chill ran down her spine. This girl spoke so confidently, looked so piercingly with her blue eyes, as if reading the soul.

The matinee ended, and the guests went about their business. But before Margot’s eyes there was an image of a girl who predicted a happy future for her. Perhaps it was a coincidence, the effect of the holiday, or Margot imagined it at all, and she heard what she wanted to hear. She didn’t really believe any predictions, especially from a small child. Only the girl’s gaze was not forgotten in any way, penetrating, warm and very adult, as if an angel, not a child, was talking to her.

***

The evening passed, as usual, in an empty apartment over a cup of warm tea with milk. Margot treated herself to a homemade apple pie, which she didn’t do often. She usually cooked something simpler, just to satisfy her hunger. But today I wanted a little celebration.

“You will have a family,” she recalled the girl’s words. But I couldn’t believe it. She had been staying away from men for a long time and stopped any attempts to get close to her. There was fear inside, so she chose solitude so as not to experience disappointment.

“And if we adopt a child?” she suddenly thought. – “Yes, no, who will let me. I live alone. Yes, and such a responsibility. I work all day, traveling all the time. No, nonsense.” But the thought wouldn’t let go.

***

Christmas. A beautiful, kind holiday. You leave troubles behind and rejoice, hoping that a happy streak will come again.

Margarita had a day off today, so she decided that it would be good to just take a walk in the nearest park. She rarely did this because of her constant employment. And sometimes I wanted to walk through the frosty air, away from the hustle and bustle of people! She chose the farthest paths of the park, where few people walked. It was quiet and peaceful here. The tops of the trees swayed slightly, and the rays of the winter sun made their way through the bare branches. The snow creaked underfoot, and a light frost invigorated.

She walked, thinking about her own, and did not look at her feet at all. She imagined how happy she would be, how one day her house would be filled with the voices of loved ones. Once Margot read a book where the author said that thoughts are material. She tried to live by this principle, although she did not fully believe it. But life has taught her not to think about the bad, so that this bad does not come. While thinking, she suddenly slipped and ended up on the ground. The blow was not strong, but it hit the knee. With a gasp, Margarita tried to get up.

“I’ll help you,” she heard a voice behind her. Turning her head, she saw a man with a dog. He looks over forty, good looks, well dressed. He held out his hand and helped her up.

– thanks. – Margarita smiled shyly.

– Are you not badly hurt?

– Just a knee, it’s okay, it’ll pass.

– My name is Viktor. And my dog Roddy.

– Margarita…

– Listen, Margarita, I understand that maybe it’s not entirely appropriate, but let’s take a walk together? There is a cafe in the park where you can get coffee and takeaway buns.

Margot hesitated. And then I decided that I shouldn’t give up good company.

The golden retriever was running around merrily, rejoicing in the snow, the sun and the good weather. Sometimes he ran up to Margot, wagging his tail and nuzzling her. The walk was a success. The interlocutors had a lot of common topics, and Margarita suddenly realized that she had not had such a good time for a long time. She didn’t want to part with Victor, but she couldn’t be the first to suggest meeting again.

The day was going down, blue shadows appeared in the park, hinting at the imminent onset of darkness.

– Victor, it’s time for me to go home, – Margarita said with a slight sadness, and the retriever in response sadly wagged his tail.

– Yes, I understand. Margarita… I would be glad if we could continue our walks again somehow. Can we exchange phones?

– Yes, I don’t mind.

***

Meetings in the park have become frequent and regular. They were interested in each other, but Margot was still afraid. I was afraid of losing my fragile balance, afraid of falling in love and all that would follow. Victor was gallant, did not rush things, but it was clear that he enjoyed the meetings.

He lived near the park in a new high-rise building on the fourteenth floor, left alone after the divorce, like Margarita. From there, he said, there was a magnificent view of the city. And one day Margarita agreed to an offer to drink tea. She was worried like a girl, although she had long since passed the age of young fantasies. Life had taught her to be careful, but Victor was gradually breaking through the barrier of distrust.

The view from the windows really turned out to be magnificent. Almost the whole city is at a glance. Big and small houses, cars rushing along the roads, small, like toys, people somewhere below.

***

A year has passed. Margarita and Victor have been living together for a long time. She did not give up her volunteer work, and he did not mind, even sometimes went on field trips with her.

On one of these days they arrived at the same orphanage. They talked to the children, gave gifts. And then a blonde girl with blue eyes ran up to Victor.

“Hi,” she said and looked at the man. – My name is Olesya.

– My name is Victor.

– Victor, you came with Aunt Rita. She’s very nice. Do you love her?

Victor hesitated a little and, grinning, answered in the affirmative.

– Why don’t you get married?

– Good question. You’re right, baby, it was time to do it a long time ago. He smiled. – thanks.

Victor was thoughtful at home, and Margarita was already afraid that she might have done or said something wrong. Anxiety woke up in her again-she was more afraid than ever to be alone again.

“What’s wrong, Vic?” she asked cautiously.

– You know, Margot, I talked to a wonderful girl named Olesya at the orphanage. She told me something… and I think she’s right. I decided to tell you… Will you marry me?

Rita’s heart began to beat wildly. Fear, hope, joy – all mixed up.

–Yes,– she said softly, so as not to frighten her happiness.

– But I have another idea. I don’t know how you’ll react… This girl… Olesya… We could adopt her.

Tears welled up in Margarita’s eyes.

– Of course, Vic, we’ll take her. I’ve always dreamed of a daughter! You are wonderful, I love you very much!

***

The wedding was played a month later and immediately began to issue documents for adoption. It was not easy, I had to go through a lot of checks and instances. But the day came when the girl Olesya became a full member of the family.

Since then, happiness has settled in the house. Morning tea parties with family, joint recreation, school and home lessons. They became a real family, supported each other and enjoyed their little happiness.

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