When Masha entered the house, only her parents were sitting at the covered festive table.
— Where are the guests? Masha asked as if nothing had happened.
— Can’t you guess? – my father answered angrily, stopping chewing for a while. «What a disgrace you’ve given us… What a shame…
— Yes, it’s a pity that everyone dispersed … — Masha smiled. — Dad, Mom, I want to introduce you to a man…
There was a slight pause in the room, after which Mom now asked:
— Is it starting again?
«Yeah,» the daughter nodded.
— And who did you find this time? Father asked. — The same akhlamon?
— I don’t know. But, only, it wasn’t me who found him, but he found me. Picked up…
Only now Ivan entered the room, and modestly inclined his head in greeting.
— This one? – Mom was trying to figure out if her daughter was joking or not. — It looks like a decent one…
— Well, yes. – Masha shrugged her shoulders. – I think so too…
«And who is he?» – father asked gloomily, trying at the same time to pretend that he did not see the guest point-blank.
— He’s the first person I meet, — Masha smiled.
— What? – my father did not understand.
— Mom, Dad, haven’t you read any books? Masha took Ivan by the hand, led him to the table and sat him down in front of his parents, and she began to scour the cupboards in search of a travel bag. — After my fiance ran away from me, I decided to marry the first person I met. By the way, his name is Ivan. She looked at Ivan, who was already putting olivier on a plate. — Did I say it right? Not too insulting?
— S-s… Ivan muttered and began to eat the salad.
— Interesting… The father stared suspiciously at his daughter’s companion and grinned. — Marry the first person you meet?.. Wise… I would also like to know when your wedding is? Not today?
Ivan shrugged his shoulders in silence.
— We don’t know that yet. But we’re leaving right now,» the daughter calmly answered for Ivan, starting to pack her things in a bag. – In his car.
— How are you leaving?! — Mom spun on the spot, watching her daughter. — Where are you going?
— Wherever the eyes look. I’m going to pack up now, have a farewell lunch with you, and we’ll be off.
— Where are the eyes looking? Mom stared at her husband. — Where is it?
— We are going to Tomsk with your daughter, — Ivan finally spoke. – To Siberia.
— To Tomsk? Masha was surprised. «So far away?»
— yes. I have an appointment there.
— I love Siberia. Masha said uncertainly. – Really, I’ve never been there…
— But it’s impossible! Mom exclaimed. – Our Masha will not withstand the Siberian frosts. She has a weak body. Very weak! Do you know, Ivan, what Masha had as a child? You need to know this! Because it is a very dangerous disease!
— Get ready, now they will tell you all my shortcomings. — Masha grinned, and continued to pack her things. — About how I had meningitis, how late I learned to walk and talk, how many triples I had in my certificate, and why I was almost expelled from the institute. They tell everyone this. But, now it may be for the best. This way you will change your mind faster…
— Allow me! The father looked at his daughter carefully. — Why do you address him as «you»?
— Because he’s the first person you meet. And also because he’s a good person. There are not so many good people in the world, and therefore they should be treated very carefully.
— So you’re seriously the first person you meet? – The father stared at Ivan again.
— yes. We’ve known each other for two hours.
— But it doesn’t happen like that! Father almost shouted. — Two hours… And she gathered with him to the end of the world… She’s crazy!
— Well, why doesn’t it happen? — Ivan looked sternly at Masha’s father. —
We met with her, after all. Masha, you also sit down to the table, refresh yourself before the long journey.
— My God! And he goes to her for «you»! My father clutched his head. — I have a feeling that we are all in a dream…
— yes… Masha threw her travel bag on the floor and sat down at the table. — Maybe it’s true, it’s a dream, but it’s a happy one. And that’s why I don’t intend to wake up. So, Dad, I’m returning your car to you. Now you won’t reproach me with her. Masha put the car keys on the table in front of her father. — And to you, Mom, I leave my parrot. Feed him on time, please. Here. I will call you, I will also send text messages. And what else? What else do children say when they say goodbye to their parents?
— Daughter, tell me that all this is a joke … — my mother pleaded. — You are terribly angry with your Victor, we understand that. And we even forgive you all the inconveniences that you caused us with this failed wedding. But to leave us for the sake of some first comer…
— Inconvenience? Masha looked at her mother in surprise. — What inconvenience have I caused you?
— Well, how… We warned you that your fiance is an unreliable person. How much of our nerves were spent trying to dissuade you. And we also spent money on this table, on your wedding dress. It costs a lot of money! By the way, why are you still in it? And where’s the veil?
— Oh, yes… Masha laughed. «I’m still wearing the dress you bought me.» Maybe I should leave it for you as a keepsake? And for all the inconveniences… They say that they earn good money in Siberia? Is it true, Ivan?
— Well, now, they say, not very much, not like before. — Ivan finally smiled. — But I think that for this table and dress, your parents and I will pay off quickly.
For some reason, it became quiet at the table…
After a pause Masha looked at Ivan and cautiously asked:
— Vanya, can I call you «you»?
— Of course, — Ivan smiled. — Don’t worry, I’m reliable. And responsible. And responsibility is, they say, more important than love…
— I’m not worried. I’m just a little sad.
— I don’t understand. It seems like I’m saying goodbye to my parents, and I need to be sad about it. And I’m sad because I’m not sad about it. Well, have you had a snack?
— Yes? And you?
— And for some reason I didn’t feel like it… let’s go?..
— Let’s go… Ivan nodded.
Masha left the table, took a travel bag, and still in the same wedding dress went to the exit. Then she looked back, and looked sadly at her parents:
— Mom, Dad, I still love you. I’ll call you… Soon… As soon as we get there…