Yu. P. Kazakov
Two in December
He waited for her at the station for a long time. It was a frosty sunny day, and he liked the abundance of skiers, the creak of fresh snow and the coming two days: first – an electric train, and then – twenty kilometers through the forests and fields on skis to a village in which he had a small dacha, and after spending the night they still they will go home and return home in the evening. She was a bit late, but this was almost her only weakness. When he finally saw her, breathless, in a red cap, with hair strands loose, he thought about how beautiful she was, how well she was dressed, and that she was late, probably because she wanted to be always beautiful. In the train, the train was noisy, close to backpacks and skis. He went out to smoke in the vestibule. I thought about how strange a person is. Here he is a lawyer, and he is already thirty years old, but he did not do anything special, as he had dreamed in his youth,
They came down almost the last at a distant station. The snow creaked loudly under their steps. “What a winter,” she said, squinting, “It has not happened for a long time.” The forest was permeated with smoky, oblique rays. The snow was constantly hanging between the trunks, and ate, freed from the load, swung their paws. They walked from the ridge to the ridge and saw sometimes from above a village with roofs. They walked, climbing the snow-covered hills and rolling down, resting on fallen trees, smiling at each other. Sometimes he took her behind his neck, attracted and kissed his cold, weather-beaten lips. I almost did not want to speak, only – “Look!” or “Listen!”. But at times he noticed that she was sad and absent-minded. And when, finally, they came to his boardwalk, and he began to carry firewood and to heat a cast-iron German stove, she, without undressing, lay down on the bed and closed her eyes. ” Tired? “He asked.” I’m terribly tired. Let’s sleep. – She stood up, stretched, not looking at him. “I’ll go to bed one tonight.” Can this be right... here by the stove? Do not be angry, “she said hurriedly and lowered her eyes:” What is it? “He was surprised and immediately remembered all of her today’s sadly alienated look.” His heart ached with pain. “He suddenly realized that he did not know her at all-how she is studying at her university, with whom she knows what she is talking about. He went to another bed, sat down, lit a cigarette, then put out the lamp and lay down, he became bitter because he understood that she was leaving him. In a minute he heard, that she was crying.
Why did she suddenly feel so sad and unhappy today? She did not know. She felt only that the time of the first love had passed, and now something new is coming and she is not interested in the old life. She was not ready to be anyone before his parents, his friends and his friends, she wanted to become a wife and mother, and he does not see it and is completely happy. But also it was deadly sorry for the first, anxious and hot, full of novelty, the time of their love. Then she began to fall asleep, and when she awoke at night, she saw him, who was squatting by the stove. His face was sad, and she felt sorry for him.
In the morning they had breakfast in silence, drinking tea. But then they got cheerful, took their skis and went for a drive. And when it began to get dark, they gathered, locked the dacha and went to the station on skis. To Moscow they drove up in the evening. In the darkness there appeared burning rows of windows, and he thought that it was time to leave, and suddenly imagined her as his wife. Well, the first youth has passed, already thirty, and when you know that she is near you, and she is good, and all that, and you can always leave her to be with another, because you are free – in this feeling, in fact, there is no consolation. When they went to the station square, it became somehow ordinary, calm, easy, and they said goodbye, as always, with a hasty smile. He did not see her off.
Yu. P. Kazakov