Olesya was graduating from the institute, a very important stage was coming in her life. The stage when it will be necessary to start a completely independent life, to decide on the future, with work, with family. The girl was very worried; she realized that it was necessary to make the right choice, because her parents simply would not be able to give her a chance for another education.
Olesya’s father was already 62 years old, and her mother was 54, in other words, the girl was late. Her older brother Anton died two years ago – he lost control in rainy weather. Somehow the parents survived the loss of their son, but Olesya saw how hard it became for them to live with such a loss. Both had aged a lot, they were cheerful in front of their daughter, but the girl understood everything. She herself loved her brother very much, and she missed him. It is for this reason that Olesya could not afford to make a mistake with the choice of her future fate. She needed to support her parents, not sit on their necks, as they say. However, it was very difficult for the girl to explain all this to her young man, with whom she began dating in her second year.
Pavel was much less responsible, he solved almost all problems with the help of his father’s money, who owns a construction company. He closed his school debts with bribes, met with people at parties arranged by him. Pasha is a good guy, he loves Olesya, but relies too much on his father’s finances, and this scared the girl away. They seemed to be from different planets.
— Well, — Pasha jumped on the sofa with his legs and put his head on Olesya’s lap, covering his beloved Bulgakov. – Do you have plans for the evening?
— Here, I’m reading a book, — the girl smiled. – By the way, you crumpled the page for me.
— Yes? Well, I’m sorry. Let’s go and buy you a new book? Pasha shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly.
— No, this is a special book, — Olesya put a bookmark and put the book on the table. «My godfather gave it to me for my fifteenth birthday. And a year later, exactly a year later, he was pushed under a tram.
— Oh, my God… I’m sorry, I… — Pasha was afraid that he had touched a sore subject, but Olesya just laughed.
— Yes, everything is fine with him!.. Don’t worry. The godfather says that Annushka has not spilled the oil yet, and it is impossible to die from a tram accident in any other way.
— Is that so? Did you know you scared me? Pasha pulled two tickets out of his back pocket. – Look, a yacht trip. Night cruise. Just us and the captain and crew.
— Pasha … — Olesya smiled.
Of course, she wanted to go to the yacht, but how much does such a pleasure cost? It is clear that more than the guy earned on testing games.
– Where does such luxury come from?
— Well, Dad helped a little, — Pavel reluctantly admitted.
He knew how Olesya perceived such things.
– But actually, my business also brings me success.
— Really? Tell me,» Olesya asked curiously.
Pavel suddenly became serious, jerked up from the girl’s lap and sat cross-legged in Turkish.
— Do you remember when I tested different games? So, this is the beginning. There I mostly tried to figure out who is what. And then I got one of the developers there, we talked word for word, I mentioned that I had graduated from design, and he offered me to make my own project!
Olesya did not understand almost anything of what the guy had just told her, but it was clear from Pasha’s flashing eyes that he was very pleased.
— Wow! Congratulations to you! – Olesya kissed the guy.
«But that’s not all,» Pavel announced solemnly. – If the game goes well, then we divide the percentage of profit equally.
— Will it be a lot?
— Well, I hope it’s enough to start your business. As a last resort, I’ll ask my father. Yes, yes, yes, don’t look at me like that! he raised his hands in a defensive gesture. – He doesn’t mind helping himself.
«Good,» Olesya sighed. – I’m happy for you, really.
— And why only for me? Pasha narrowed his eyes slyly. – You and I will always be together!
— A loud statement, — the girl smiled.
— Don’t you believe it? she shrugged, the guy grinned and hugged her. – Well, in vain…
The night cruise on the yacht was unforgettable. Indeed, it was just the two of them, except for a couple of waiters who brought out champagne and snacks, the captain, whom they saw only at the very beginning and end of the walk, and a couple of the captain’s assistants, who were probably somewhere. Olesya’s breath was taken away by the most beautiful views of St. Petersburg at night, Pasha, apparently, was more accustomed to such entertainments and was just glad that his girlfriend liked everything…
After successfully defending his diplomas, Pavel’s parents gave him a two-room apartment. The guy immediately invited Olesya to live together. The girl did not think for long: she loved Pasha, and he loved her. Why not start living together? Maybe it will lead to something more in the future. When the relocation and arrangement of the new apartment was over, Olesya was finally able to get a suitable job. Although she, as a novice specialist, was paid less, but it was still a good start…
But with Pavel there were negative changes. He became more and more interested in games, could sit at the computer for days. Olesya initially thought that the guy was working, until she accidentally glanced at the screen.
— Pash… Are you playing? – the girl asked in bewilderment.
«Yeah,» the guy said without taking his eyes off the screen.
— So you, like, were supposed to develop the game. Is not it so?
— Oh, listen, nothing happened there, — the guy waved it off.
Olesya shrugged her shoulders and went to the shower. Pasha had money, so he connected his father to his well-being again. Olesya did not like it, she paid for her expenses with her own salary, she and Pavel went to the store as needed, the one who was comfortable paid. The girl was not financially dependent on her boyfriend, another thing is that she no longer felt his love…
The guy lied to her about the games, although, if you think about it, he didn’t lie much, Olesya just decided for herself that Pasha was working. It turned out that he was just having fun, and his father was paying for his life. In addition, all communication of the couple was reduced to «no». They had lunch together, then they had at least some conversation. Olesya managed to keep the house in order, cook, work. Pasha did not even find time to ask corny how the girl was doing, not to mention any help. The girl realized with pain in her soul that the feelings were not the same as before…
A year later, nothing has changed. And two years later, too. Pasha still spent time only at the computer, Olesya tried to earn more and beat like a fish on ice, trying to establish a relationship with a guy. Pavel became quite irritable, he never got a job. Olesya was tired of this, she could just rent an apartment for herself and not live with Pavel, but she stayed with him only because of the hope that he would come to his senses.
— Oles, where’s my yogurt? Pasha shouted from behind the computer.
«In the refrigerator,» the girl replied, finishing another project on her laptop.
— Can you bring it? Pavel drawled.
— I’m working.
— Pozhaaa-luysta!.. – the guy begged.
Suddenly, this «please» of his made Olesya mad.
«What the hell? Why doesn’t he do anything to start an independent life? He can’t even take yogurt from the refrigerator for himself, well, this is nonsense at all!»
The girl sat for a couple of seconds, trying not to start a tantrum, then saved the working data, closed the laptop lid and approached her boyfriend. He looked at her with surprised eyes. Olesya also looked at her beloved with a glance. He’s completely let himself down. At twenty-seven, he looks forty, already with a paunch, unshaven, unkempt beard, oil stain on a stretched T-shirt…
Suddenly Olesya realized that this was not the Pasha she loved. Although he lived at the expense of his parents, at least he cared more about her and loved her. And now a typical thirty-year-old alphonse was sitting in front of the girl in an expensive computer chair.
— Is there no yogurt? Pavel asked.
— Pash, we need to talk.
— Now? he looked at the screen.
— Yes, immediately.
— Well, come on in about fifteen minutes, — the guy began to whine again.
«In fifteen minutes, Pash, I’ll finish packing,» Olesya snapped.
— Are you going somewhere?
The girl rolled her eyes.
— Pasha, you’ve changed a lot in these two years, — Olesya spoke, ignoring the furious pressing of buttons. – I thought that you would at least get a job, get off, finally, from your parents’ neck. But no. You sit and play. I thought you and I were going to have a family, but again, you’re just playing. I thought we’d be happy together, but guess what? That’s right, you’re just playing again. I’m tired of it. I’m twenty-six years old, I just want to get married, have a child, so that I don’t have to graduate from college at 55, and then return to my favorite job, but my desires don’t bother you at all.
— Okay, what do you want from me? – Pavel made a martyred expression on his face.
— I want you to grow up! – the girl cried out in anger. – You play on weekends, in your free time, but it’s a shame not to have a job at almost thirty!..
«I don’t understand why you’re yelling at me,» Pavel replied coldly. – As far as you can remember, I have an apartment. Which, by the way, you also live in. And I also have money, which, by the way, you can use for a walk. What else do you want from me?
— Pasha, this is all not yours! It’s your father’s!
— Okay, stop yelling, seriously. You’re distracting me from the game, can’t you see? Anyway, what difference does it make to you where I get my money from. They just are, that’s all.
— There is a difference! Your parents won’t live forever, and you don’t even know the exact name of your father’s company, how will you manage it? You’re nothing without handouts from your parents!..
— Okay, that’s it! – Pavel threw away the headphones, jumped to his feet and clenched his fists.
For a moment Olesya thought he was going to hit her.
– Get out! And don’t catch my eye again!
Olesya immediately retreated to the door. There were tears in her eyes. That’s what he’s become. The guy of her dreams. Once kind, caring, irresponsible, true, but still good. Right now he was like an enraged rhinoceros. Clumsy, clumsy, but quite strong. And the worst thing is to see that his hands are clenched into fists and ready to strike. Not a minute here anymore!..
The girl came out backwards and closed the door behind her. By the creaking of the leather and the quick clicking of the keys, she realized that Pasha sat down to play again and probably put on headphones. Olesya went to the wardrobe, took out her bag, quickly left the necessary things there, took her laptop, phone, documents and slipped out of the ill-fated apartment unnoticed. Or maybe Pavel deliberately didn’t stop her, after all, he got angry. In any case, Olesya was glad to get out of this house. The girl had to spend the night in a hotel, because at night you will not find a decent rental housing. But after work, you can try.
In the morning she called the real estate agent and described her preferences in choosing an apartment, then calmly went to work, and after that she went to meet with the agent, who just picked up the three most suitable options for her. She liked two apartments, but one was very far from her place of work, so Olesya did not have to worry about the choice. The girl quickly settled on the option she liked. The apartment was one-room with a separate bathroom. The kitchen is very spacious, you could easily put up a wall and make another room. All the necessary furniture was there: two wardrobes – one for outdoor clothes in the hallway, the other in the bedroom. A bed in the bedroom, a couple of curbstones. In the kitchen, in addition to the kitchen set, there was a dining table, a refrigerator, a sofa where you could arrange a second bed, a small coffee table. From here you could also go to the glazed balcony, where there was another table and two soft poufs, and the floor was covered with carpet so that your feet would not freeze in winter. There was a washing machine in the bathroom, in short, all the amenities were there, only a microwave was missing.
«Well, it doesn’t matter,» Olesya decided.
And the price for such an apartment was quite low, which pleased the girl. After all, now she has every ruble in her account.
Pavel never called her either that day or the next. He didn’t call her a week later. Olesya was offended. Did all these years of relationships mean nothing to him? Ha, or maybe he just didn’t notice her leaving? Or he thinks that the girl will not live alone and will return to him. Well, no, that’s definitely not going to happen. Olesya tried not to worry her nerves, to focus on work, to send money to her parents. And Pasha…
She hoped she would get over it…
A month later, Pavel still bothered to dial Olesya’s number. The girl was just starting to get a little less bored of him, of him as before, when he discussed the day with her every evening, overwhelmed her with attention, gently hugged her, covered her with a warm blanket at night, brewed two mugs of tea…
Olesya never needed Pasha’s money, she just wanted to love and be loved. But now, looking at the highlighted contact, she no longer felt that the inscription on the screen «Beloved» was telling the truth.
— Hello, — Olesya nevertheless accepted the challenge.
— Where are you? – the guy muttered into the phone.
Nevertheless, when the girl heard his voice, her heart ached. She still loved him, still wanted to be with him. And then I remembered the evening when she literally ran away from her boyfriend. I felt a little relieved.
— You told me to get lost, so I left.
— It’s not funny, where are you? – the guy insisted.
There was no warmth, no tenderness, no concern in his voice. By his tone, Olesya realized that Pasha just wants to regain his property.
— I’m not your dad’s gift, where I am now shouldn’t touch you! You take care of yourself first.
— Oles, do you seriously want to break up like this?
— Pasha, — the girl sighed. – Thank God you didn’t hit me. And I wasn’t one hundred percent sure that you wouldn’t do that.
— Are you really sick?! – for no reason at all, the guy got angry.
— These are not the best words at all. All the best, Pavel, — Olesya dropped the call, turned off the phone and began to cry.
In fact, she was in terrible pain, but she understood that this was the end. And it’s not worth humiliating yourself and bending over, you can’t bring back what happened anyway…
Pavel no longer called Olesya, and gradually her pain subsided. The girl climbed the career ladder, took out a mortgage and bought an apartment. It was very similar to the rented one where she started a new life, without Pasha. The only difference was in the decorative wall with an arch opening dividing the kitchen, as Olesya wanted. The girl signed up for fitness and enjoyed visiting the gym, switched to proper nutrition, and by the age of thirty she looked better than at 25. Maybe the absence of Pasha also played a positive role.
One day after the hall, the girl went into a coffee shop to discuss another project with the customer. She called up only with the customer’s secretary, he himself was a busy man and could barely find time for a personal meeting. After a few minutes of waiting, a tall man in a business suit came into the coffee shop. He looked around the room and confidently walked to Olesya’s table.
— Hello, aren’t you our designer? Olesya? he smiled, flashing his snow–white teeth.
— Yes, it’s me, — the girl replied with an equally dazzling smile. – And you are Maxim Olegovich, right?
— Yes, yes. It’s good that you are so beautiful, I noticed you right away, — after paying a compliment, the customer sat down opposite.
— Thank you, — a slight blush appeared on her cheeks.
Olesya has not been complimented for a long time. Well, of course, she devoted all her time to work or gym classes, forgetting about her personal life and the dream of a strong family.
– Let’s move on to the discussion of the project?
— And there is a business acumen. It’s a dream, not a girl,» Maxim Olegovich persisted in no way.
Olesya looked at him suspiciously, but did not notice that he was deliberately flattering, not at all. He paid compliments sincerely.
– Maybe you also know how to cook?
«It doesn’t apply much to the case, but I seem to be able to,» Olesya grinned.
— That’s it! Marry me,» the customer laughed.
Olesya also laughed, because she just didn’t know how to react to such behavior.
– Okay, otherwise you’ll think that some kind of clown got caught and you shouldn’t cooperate with me.
You know, it’s been a sick day, do you mind if we have coffee first? And then we will discuss the project. Or are you in a hurry?
— No, I’m not in a hurry. I’ve finished my business for today,» Olesya smiled.
She caught herself thinking that she was very pleased to communicate with this man. Although his humor was on the verge of acceptable, it was very catchy in a good way.
— Great! The man smiled and beckoned to a passing waiter.
Without hesitation, I made an order, looked questioningly at Olesya.
– Have you decided?
— Um, yes, I’ll have a cappuccino, please, — Olesya turned to the waiter. — And your honey cakes for the lady! Maxim Olegovich immediately added.
— Oh, no, I’m…
— They are made of natural honey, very tasty, Your figure will not suffer at all, I guarantee, — the man calmly assured the girl.
Olesya smiled shyly and nodded. She really wanted to believe this man, even in small things, and she didn’t know why.
— You know the menu so well, have you been here before? the girl asked.
— of course. I like to come here after a working day and have a coffee. By the way, that gym over there is mine,» Maxim Olegovich pointed to the fitness center where Olesya had just been practicing.
— Wow! I’m straight from there! The girl exclaimed in amazement.
— It can’t be! Maxim Olegovich raised his eyebrows. – I would have noticed you!
Olesya laughed at his jokes sincerely and heartily. It turned out that Maxim, who demanded to call him that way, without a patronymic, owns a network of sports facilities and several bars. Just for one of them it was necessary to develop a new design.
— And why did you choose such different branches? Olesya asked.
— Well, it all started with something else, — Maxim leaned back in his chair. – My father is also a wealthy man, but he said at my age of 18 that he did not intend to support me. And I had such a panic there, I thought that he had already packed my suitcases – he could, believe me. But no, it was just decided to evict me to a rented house, but I collected food for myself. Well, what to do, I was still learning. I went to work as a barman, picked up experience there for a year of work, and even at the institute, with the help of my father, I opened my first bar.
My father helped only as an investor, the profit from that place comes to him too, although he was not going to accept it, but I persuaded him as a sign of gratitude. I really owe him a lot. And then I realized that it was possible to expand, got acquainted with several owners of construction companies, built a small chain of bars, thought to calm down on this, but no. You know, one example really impressed me in my memory. I was sitting with friends once, relaxing, having fun. And then my friend, who was carrying out an order for the construction of a bar, comes with his family. With his wife and son. Well, the family went to the sofas, made an order, and I decided to say hello, especially since this man was standing very sadly at the counter and drinking pure whiskey. We started talking, and he complained about his son, saying that he had provided everything for him, and he would not lift a finger. The story is typical, a spoiled son, but … I looked at this son and saw not my peer, but the same-year-old of my interlocutor. That is, the son looked terrible: full, unshaven, with dirty hair, problem skin, sagging chin. And that’s when I realized that I didn’t want to become the same, sorry, unkempt boar. I postponed part of the seasonal profit, and then managed to buy a couple of buildings at a bargain price. Fitness shot better than I expected, and I soon managed to expand. But if I hadn’t looked at what could become of me then, I wouldn’t have thought of it.
Olesya listened to Maxim’s story and understood who he was talking about. It was Pavel, her ex-boyfriend, whom she loved so much that she didn’t notice the flaws. That’s what he looked like from the outside.
— I seem to have tired you with such a long story, — Maxim grinned.
— No, I just know this person.
— Wow, how small the world is, — the man looked into her eyes. – Let’s not spoil such a wonderful evening, — he immediately realized that Olesya no longer wants to talk about Pavel.
«Yes,» Olesya agreed with relief.
They talked a little more, then discussed the project, exchanged phone numbers and left…
But the standard procedure did not want to fit only in the working direction. Olesya thought that Maxim liked her, and she definitely liked him. Olesya approached his project very responsibly, carefully. I passed everything ahead of schedule and at the highest level. Maxim admired her work.
— You know, you are the best designer in my life, – Maxim declared quite seriously.
Olesya grinned. She was pleased with the praise.
— thanks. Well, at this, I think we can say goodbye?
«Is that what you want?» Maxim suddenly asked.
Olesya was confused and did not know what to answer. Seeing her confusion, the man continued.
– We can celebrate our cooperation, the completion of the project. I would say that I insist, but I’m afraid to scare you.
— Believe me, you don’t scare me, — the girl emphasized.
«Why not take a chance? She’s thirty. What will she lose already?»
– Okay, I agree to celebrate.
— Wow! This is great news! Then I’ll pick you up. I really want to show you my places, but first we’ll have dinner at a restaurant, okay?
— A great idea, — Olesya smiled and left him her address.
At the appointed time, Maxim arrived for Olesya in a luxury car with a personal driver. Well, of course, even Olesya didn’t want to drink smoothies at the bar. The girl wore a short black dress, following the fashion classics. Maxim was wearing a three-piece black suit. He went out to meet Olesya and gallantly gave her his hand.
«You look great,» he gently touched her fingers with his lips.
— thanks. Dark shades really suit you,» Olesya replied.
In the car, Maxim looked at the girl with fascination, but did not say anything, as if he was afraid to violate some sacred moment. The driver took them to one of the most prestigious and expensive restaurants in St. Petersburg. The dinner went wonderfully, Maxim finally remembered that the lady needed to be entertained with conversations. During the conversation, it turned out that they have a lot of common topics. Sports, music, painting, even horseback riding were in common interests.
— Unbelievable! Have you been skating since you were thirteen? Olesya asked in amazement when they had already left the restaurant and went to the bar.
— And then! I even remember that the first horse I sat on was called Diamond. I loved him very much, despite the fact that he threw me out of the saddle a couple of times,» Maxim grinned.
— And I’ve only ridden horses a few times, but it was just wonderful, — Olesya answered dreamily.
— So we can fix it. Do you have plans for tomorrow? Olesya shook her head in denial. – And here you are wrong. We are going to ride horses in Vyborg.
— Oh, well, I don’t even know… — Olesya answered confusedly, realizing that Maxim wouldn’t let her pay for that trip. – We are not bosom friends after all…
— And why are we still not like that? First of all, let’s switch to «you», — the driver parked, and Maxim was the first to get out of the car, opening the door to Olesya.
The girl never managed to get the paint off her face.
– What do you say, Les?
«Okay, come on,» the girl replied with a smile.
Her dad called her Lesya, she had very warm associations with this name…
The bar was amazing, combining innovations and home comfort. Olesya liked it very much. He and Maxim drank, talked even more, laughed, danced. And when they returned to the sofa to rest a little, Maxim suddenly suddenly put his arm around her waist and drew her to him for a kiss. Olesya came up with only one thought: finally!..
She realized that she had been waiting for this all evening…
Maxim asked uncertainly, pulling back a little.
Instead of answering, Olesya wrapped her arms around his neck and again merged their lips in a kiss…
Six months later Olesya and Maxim got married. They doted on each other and did not understand how they could live before.
A month after the wedding, Olesya became pregnant. Maxim was overjoyed and literally carried Olesya in his arms.
And she once burst into tears because Maxim «loved her too much». She was so grateful to him, he supported her and took care of her, helped her parents, providing them with a decent old age, talked with Olesya for several hours every day. And she was happy. She finally loved and was loved, as she dreamed.