— Well, that’s how it used to be. The girl liked the guy, he goes to her as a matchmaker. If he agrees with his parents, then you can take up the wedding,» said grandmother Serafima, tapping with knitting needles.
— And what about love, grandmother Serafima? — Varvara asked dreamily, slowly untangling a ball of wool.
Grandmother Serafima and her niece Varenka were sitting by the window. Dry logs crackled merrily in the oven, spitting up bunches of sparks. The cat Vaska, with his eyes closed, was sitting on a bench placed specially for him by the stove. And at the window, behind which the blizzard was howling, there was a leisurely conversation.
— Love? Yes, there was love, there was, where without it. Yes, but not like you have now. Our parents chose whom to love. It will be tolerated, it will be loved, the old people used to say. And they were right. He loved you, Ali didn’t love you, and when life began, there was no time for thoughts here. The farm will not wait for you to sort out your heart. That’s how they gradually got used to each other. And there were children there. And when children, there’s nothing to think about, they are born of love.
And I’ll tell you another case. There was a girl living in our village alone. Dashutka was called. It was as beautiful as your picture. The braid is as thick as an arm, the eyes are huge, like a cow’s, and the lips are like ripe cherries. And she was so statuesque, she acted like a peacock. She used to walk with a yoke on her shoulder, her back is straight, her head is proudly thrown up, well, a true princess. All the guys that met her on the way were petrified by such beauty.
And Dashutka didn’t notice anyone around. She loved the carpenter Grishka. And Grishka loved her. Yes, it is understandable, is it possible not to love such beauty. So they were secretly loved by everyone. Dashutka ran to Grishka’s hayloft at night, and returned home at the first dawn. But they didn’t have to make out for long. One night my father went out to the yard in need, and saw his daughter returning from a party. He got angry then for a minute. It was something to get angry about. After all, matchmakers came the day before. Yes, such matchmakers from whom there is one benefit, and not empty-mindedness. Mitka from the neighboring village has a nice house, and a barn full of all kinds of cattle, and there is a plot of land. Here Dashutka will bring another cow, wow, and she will have a rich life.
— And what can your Grishka give you? What, I’m asking you, except for my hungry love,» the father was angry, beating his daughter with a whip.
And the mother was standing on the porch, wringing her hands, begging not to beat her daughter.
— Shut up, damned. You didn’t catch up. It’s your fault that your daughter has screwed up,» he shouted, his bloodshot eyes flashing angrily.
And a month later, the village was walking a wedding. The beauty of the unearthly bride sat at the table paler than sour cream, not daring to raise her eyes to her groom. And he was blushing, but happy, and with a smile from ear to ear, he was kneading her hand under the table, which was cold as ice. He devoured her with his eyes, anticipating a happy life.
Yes, he was not happy. He didn’t get her as a girl. He jumped out of the bedroom in the middle of the night into the yard, and howled with resentment like a wolf. What a shame. And after all, the parents swore that their daughter was as pure as the Lamb of God. Deceived. They laughed at me. And she’s good too, she was messing with someone, and now he’s got one.
Since then, Mitka has not become himself. He loved Dashutka, but when he touched her, it was as if devils possessed him. He started hitting her, on her stomach, on her breasts, on her hands covering her face.
-Larva, larva, slut,- he shouted in his heart, running out into the yard so as not to beat his wife to death.
And she didn’t resist. I didn’t even take care of the stomach in which Grishkino’s child was born.
-And why would he have a child if he didn’t want to run away with me,- she thought, lying on the floor, after another beating.
And on the eve of the wedding Dashutka ran to Grishka and, kissing him warmly, whispered:
— My dear, my beloved, steal me. Take me far away from the hateful groom. You and I will be happy without a wedding, because you love me. You do, don’t you?
And Grishka loved, but was afraid. He was afraid of Dashutka’s father’s anger. And in general, he is not ready to take on such responsibility. He took it, and went far away to earn money. I didn’t even say goodbye to my beloved.
And soon, after another beating, Dashutka had a miscarriage. Yes, she felt so bad after that that she almost died. Mitka’s devils immediately let him go, he slept from his face and did not leave his wife’s bed for a single step. I watered her with decoctions, made lotions, and fed her from a spoon. In general, he was leaving his wife, he raised her from the other world. And she, seeing such an attitude towards her, looked at Mitka with completely different eyes. And then they had an amicable life. But she couldn’t give birth for a long time. And how did she manage to bring her son Vanyatka into the world, so Mitka began to carry her in his arms.
That’s how it is, life happens. The one who loved turns out to be a traitor, and the hated one can pull out from the other world,» Seraphim’s grandmother finished her story.
And Varenka sat pale as snow outside the window from such horrors, and thought:»It’s good that I’m an orphan, even though it’s a sin to think that. And our time is different. And my Egor is not like Grishka. »
And everything was fine with Dumplings. And a magnificent wedding was celebrated. And Egor was in good standing at the factory. And they were given a dorm room. And Seraphim’s grandmother secretly crossed them and blessed them for a long and happy life.
— Still, love is different now. Another love. It’s kind of right,» she said when the door to her hut closed behind the young people.