If you had to visit the family, then the conversations were conducted mainly around Barbara. In three voices I was told in vain about her extraordinary talents. Barbara herself ignored me. Encountering at the door, she defiantly turned away, arrogantly passed by, and her back exuded cold and absolute contempt. I repent, I paid her the same.
She received her name for excessive curiosity and the desire to constantly be aware of all the events. For which he paid. A certain part of her body was unnaturally short: we pinched the door and required surgical intervention. Over the years, Barbara's curiosity has become somewhat impoverished, but she has gained reinforced concrete self-esteem and astonishing confidence that everything around us must act according to her ideas about life. She was incredibly clean and had a manic passion for order. For carelessly dropped at the threshold of shoes or left in the wrong thing punishment cruelly and ingeniously.
In general, I, a disorderly person, was pleased that our life paths did not intersect, and was sure that they would never cross.
But man proposes ... The acquisition of sovereignty by Kazakhstan was very tangibly hampered by the “ethnic Russians,” who for a couple of centuries considered this blessed land to be their homeland. Having frustrated without decent work (two higher educations — a geologist and a patent specialist — turned out to be unnecessary), having lost friends and relatives who had decided to emigrate, drank problems with the Kazakh language, inevitably becoming state-owned, the family decided that there was nothing more to do in Almaty. to St. Petersburg. Having traveled for reconnaissance, Marina sent the things with a container, took the daughter, who had to be determined to school, and the mother left to sell the apartment and receive citizenship. Antonina Georgievna settled for a couple of months with me.
She was a fantastically purposeful and organized woman. Every morning she started with an hour-long charge, the kitchen and the whole apartment shone, on my return from work I was in for a delicious lunch. I have not tried such culinary delights, probably never in my life. And this is despite the fact that every day she ran to all kinds of institutions, collecting the necessary information, and in her empty apartment, waiting for potential buyers there. However, the closer to the end was the process of selling an apartment, the darker it became. The reason was Barbara. What to do with it? Carry three days on the train ... and where? There is no housing yet.
It is difficult for me to say “no” to a person, but in this case I categorically refused to take responsibility for it.
Antonina Georgievna approached me this way and that, but I was adamant. I do not need Barbara, I do not want her to appear in my house.
Finally, the apartment was sold. Returning home, I found Antonina Georgievna in a curious occupation: she recounted money, putting it in handfuls, apparently wondering how best to dispose of them. She enthusiastically began to tell how well everything worked out, but she hid her eyes from me.
- And what about Varvara? - I felt an overwhelming desire to look under the bed.
“She's ... gone.”
- In the basement ... I'm sorry, I could not throw her and brought here. But she did not want to go into the apartment and ran into the basement.
- And now what?
“I don’t know ...” Tears flowed from Antonina Georgievna’s eyes. “I’ll probably have to put her to sleep.”
It was a low blow. I had to put an animal to sleep. The dog. To lead her - this was my first absolutely independent act in life. But a month later, the dog, to which I had time to become attached, fell ill with the nervous form of the distemper. The unfortunate animal was beating in convulsions, constantly whining from pain, legs were weaned. The council of dog lovers decided to put her to sleep. I was provided with the necessary preparations and, shedding tears, I gave her sleeping pills, and then stopped her heart. Expression dog, all understand the eye, I will never forget. After a nervous breakdown, I decided: no more animals. I do not want pain, I do not want to feel guilty, I do not want responsibility for someone’s life. Especially for the cat. Feed - it's half the trouble, but messing with the sand!
In general, I went to my room, slamming the door and leaving Antonina Georgievna to deal with her own problems.
Citizenship was delayed, and Antonina Georgievna continued to live with me, admiring lunches and dinners. About Barbara did not say: I stopped all attempts to start a conversation about her.
I remember well that on Sunday I allowed myself to lie a little longer and woke up because Antonina Georgievna was scrambling at the door.
“Go see,” she called in a whisper. Perplexed, I dragged her into my combined bathroom.
The door was slightly ajar and, dragging me to the gap, Antonina said in a mysterious whisper:
Barbara sat sideways on the toilet. Her gaze was absent, like all cats sending natural necessities. Having finished his dirty business, the cat, balancing on the sidewall, rose on its hind legs and leaned over the lever of the drainage device with its whole body. Watching the mass of water that had disappeared into the drain hole with a roar, she jumped to the floor and began to lick off frantically.
- See, she does not give you trouble! - with a victorious smile proclaimed Antonina Georgievna. - Well, let her stay, eh?
Shocked, I nodded my head.
It turns out that for several days, Barbara lived in my house, hiding in Antonina Georgievna’s room, and wisely did not give a vote. After the premiere, she grew bolder, did not depart from the hostess, but did not follow on her heels, but seemed to anticipate her movements. She led her in the morning to the hall where she was doing exercises; Sitting on the table, watching her movements intently. Then she went to the bathroom and, jumping on the washing machine, waited for her to take a shower. Wherever and why Antonina did not go, Barbara marched ahead. At any opportunity, she jumped up to her knees and rumbled graciously, receiving her portion of strokes. Antonina Georgievna almost stopped communicating with me - she talked with Barbara. Their touching unity touched and somewhat frightened me: citizenship was finally obtained, and I had to stay with Barbara, who still considered me a subject of the situation, one-on-one.
When, having put Antonina Georgievna in the carriage, I returned home, Barbara met me at the door. Demanding meowingly and demandingly and having received the answer that the hostess had left, she did not believe me, and began to scrape the door with her claws, demanding to open it. Making sure that no one was hiding behind her, the cat mourned sadly and retired to the room where Antonina had slept before.
In the morning she did not go out, did not meet me after work, and looking in the kitchen, I saw that no one had touched the food left behind. Worried, she hurried into the now empty room. Barbara, hunched over, sat on the bed. Mad hope, flashed in her eyes, was replaced by stupid indifference, and the attempt to stroke led to the fact that, with a frenzied hiss, she twisted out of hand and sankula under the bed.
Here is the result of my weakness. Brewed porridge, now rashlebyvay!
To be continued…