She was 30 years old when her husband did not come home at night and the child asked not to go. Then the unexpected happened.

She was 30 years old when her husband did not come home at night and the child asked not to go. Then the unexpected happened.

Her son silently accompanied her – he was older, 1.5 years more mature than his sister. Two days later, she learned that in the neighboring town, in one of the departments, they were in need of a nurse. They hired her. She managed to buy an old little house on the outskirts. On credit. During all this time, she was like a bulldozer: no turning back, only forward, without thinking about difficulties. She came to her senses when the truck left, leaving settling dust behind, and in the low-ceilinged room – a pile of belongings.

When she lifted a bucket of clean tasty water from the well. When she lit the stove and the house filled with warmth. In this small old house, they were supposed to be happy! There was plenty of happiness: the sun through the small window, morning baths in the river, a warm porch to stand on with bare feet, the first sprouts of cabbage and carrots in the garden, coffee for breakfast. And it didn’t matter that the coffee was the cheapest instant kind and for dinner, they had plain pasta.

But there was peace in her soul. She guarded their little world from the father, who tried to win back the family, remembering his tearful daughter. Never! After monthly payments to the bank, there wasn’t much money left, but after a few months, she “got into a routine,” started planning her salary remains for food and things. She learned to rely on herself, not on others, just moving forward. And the children brought a homeless dog. A puppy-adolescent, barely standing on its legs, swaying from weakness and looking at her with infected eyes.

She gave it a couple of sips of warm milk and it collapsed. After 10 minutes, it gained strength and took a few more sips. It survived. Then a kitten appeared. With burnt stumps for whiskers. It survived too. They all survived. Almost immediately, as soon as she realized that they were standing firmly on their feet, that they would have their own vegetables in autumn, she planted an apple tree. She always believed that if you have your own house and a piece of land, there must be an apple tree.

“What type would you like?” asked the woman selling saplings. “I don’t know,” she replied and smiled. “Take this one.” She carried the twig home and didn’t even imagine that in a few years, everyone would be amazed by the honey-transparent apples that make a delicious charlotte and have a wonderful aromatic preserve. One corner of the plot turned out to be enchanted: despite its sunny openness, it was covered in green moss. Raspberry branches withered here, unnatural, as if they were planted in the sands of the Sahara, not in fertile soil. The sapling stood there for three years in a deep sleep, then grew a massive shoot on a thin trunk and withered. She cried over it, as if it were a close person, and then planted a plum tree. The plum branch, coming to its senses after being exhibited on a noisy and crowded square for general inspection, drank a lot of tasty well water, looked around, saw a green mossy carpet, and exclaimed:


“That’s what I need!” In its third year of life, it pleased everyone with a dozen of its first fruits, then froze during a frosty, snowless winter. But it didn’t wither. The next summer, it sprouted thick branches on the last remaining stump of its trunk, and the following year it was weighed down with plums to the point that everyone was amazed and forgot to spit out the big, dense, sweet fruits. There were no more men in her life. Her son took over all the household chores. And no matter how difficult it was, she never regretted her past life. The world, happiness, and tranquility in the small old house were better than life with a drunk in a modern apartment. She knew that better than anyone else. Today, she’s making herself a cup of expensive coffee in the morning. The best kind. Her children buy it for her. And with the cup in her hand, she loves to stand by the big window.



There are no more small windows, just like there’s no longer the old little house with low ceilings. Because the house is different now: new, with big windows. Another dog now lies on the warm porch, and on the armchair – from the other side – a cat… But those same trees will bloom this spring, delight everyone with sweet apples, huge plums, and a scattering of crimson cherries. And she will make preserves and bake a charlotte. And the house will smell sweet of vanilla, cinnamon, and happiness…


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