“Cruel Game” Arbuzov in brief summary
The action takes place in the late 70’s. our century. Moscow. House on Tverskoi Boulevard. Kai Leonidov lives in a spacious three-room apartment. His mother with his stepfather abroad, they left for several years, so he lives alone. One day a girl Nelya comes to his apartment. She is nineteen years old. She came from Rybinsk and did not go to medical school. She has nowhere to live, and friends sent her to Kai. She promises, if Kai will allow her to live here, clean and cook. Kai is twenty years old, but he is already tired of life and indifferent to everything. Parents wanted him to become a lawyer, and Kai Institute dropped, he draws. Kai allows Nela to stay.
Kay often come to his friends Terenty Konstantinov and Nikita Likhachev. They are his peers, friends from school. Terenty left his father. Konstantinov the elder also often comes to Kai, calls his son home, but he hardly talks to him. Terenty lives in a hostel and does not intend to return home. Nelya comes up with
One evening in the evening, Michael Zemtsov comes to Kai. This is Kay’s cousin. He is thirty years old, he is a doctor in Tyumen. In Moscow, Michael is passing through. Michael talks about his work and generally about life in the taiga. He is married. He recently had a daughter. Nelia tells him that she also wants to become a doctor, that she worked as a nurse in a hospital. Michael says that if they had such a nurse in the hospital, he would have gilded her. Leaving, Michael tells the guys that they live dimly, do not see life with her joys.
Early March. Western Siberia. The settlement of the oil exploration expedition. In the room of the Zemtsovs – Misha and his wife Masha. She is thirty-nine years old, she is a geologist. Only ten weeks ago they had a daughter, and Masha was already bored. She can not live without her work, which is why,
At this time the door opens, Nelya stands on the threshold, She is very surprised that Misha is married, she did not know this. Misha does not immediately recognize her, but then she is genuinely happy, because his patients “have no one to guard.” Nelya wants to live with them until the fall, in order to try to enter the institute again.
Moscow. Again, Kaya’s apartment. The guys always remember Nelya. She left without saying good-bye to anyone, without leaving the address, without telling where she was going. Kai painted her portrait and considers him his only luck. Nikita thinks that Nelia left because she expects a child from him. Unexpectedly, just for two days, Oleg Pavlovich, the stepfather of Kaya, arrives. He brings him gifts and a letter from his mother.
The settlement of the oil exploration expedition, the second half of July, the room of the Zemtsovs. Masha and Loveiko are going to leave for Tuzhok. Nelya brings Lesia from the nursery so that they can say goodbye, but Masha does not want this: she “said good-bye yesterday in the manger”. Mishu is summoned to Baikul. Nelya is left alone with the child.
Mid-August. Room Zemtsovyh. Misha and Nelya are drinking tea. Nelya tells him his story. She ran away from home after her parents forced her to have an abortion. She wanted to run along with her “boy,” and he drove her away. Nelya asks Misha to marry her. Misha replies that he loves Masha. He “guesses” Nela on the palm of your hand. He tells her that he loves Nelya another: he offended her, so she went away. Nelia agrees. Misha says that everything can be corrected if the person is alive. And suddenly she says that Masha left them. Nelya asks him not to believe it.
End of September. Moscow. Evening. In the room of Kai, the guys are sitting. In which already comes Constantine, Sr., and Terenty with him is still just as cold. Suddenly, a woman comes. This is Nelly’s mother. She’s a little over forty. She’s looking for a daughter. The guys say that Nelya left and did not leave the address. Nelly’s mother says that her husband is dying and wants to see her daughter at last and ask for forgiveness. Guys can not help her at all. She leaves. Terenty believes that Nikita is to blame for Nelya’s departure. Kai says that everyone is to blame. They remember their childhood and wonder why they have become so inhuman. Even Konstantinov Sr. is suddenly revealed. He tells how he drank his whole life, and when he came to his senses, he was alone.
The twentieth of October. Room Zemtsovyh. Masha came for one day. Nelya tells her how Mikhail died: he flew to save a man, but because of an accident he drowned in a swamp. Now Nelia is spending the night at their home, taking Lesya from the nursery – “to make life live here,” she says that Misha loved it, Nelya, then admits that she thought of this to forget the other, and that Masha can be jealous: such a person loved her! Masha leaves, leaving Lesya at Nelya. At parting Nelya includes Masha a tape recorder, where Misha wrote her her song.
Moscow. The beginning of December. Room Kay. Nikita and Terenty come. Kai says that Nelya and her daughter returned. The girl caught cold on the road. Nikita is not herself. He wants to leave. Nelya comes out of the next room with a girl in her arms. He says that he will leave when Lesya gets better, at least to his mother – she called after all. Nikita wants to find out who the father of the child is, but Nelia does not tell him. He asks if he would like it to be his child? He pushes it away. Nelya is crying. Terenty suggests that she marry him.
The last days of December. Room Kay. Lesya sleeps in a new wheelchair. Nelia bought a large Christmas tree. Kai touches the toys. Nelya again reminds that he will soon leave. Kai does not want to believe this. Terenty dressed as Santa Claus. Father Terenty brought Lesya as a gift a mechanical toy. The guys put out the lights, turn to music.
Suddenly Masha enters. She asks where her daughter is. Nelya says that she took the girl away, since Masha left her, she left. Masha takes her daughter and says that all games, including her own, are over. Leaves. Kai notices that the room is empty. Nelia asks everyone for forgiveness. Nikita fires her in fury. Nelya gathers things, wants to leave. Konstantinov-senior asked not to leave Nelya, not to leave the guys, Nelya is silent. Kai slowly approaches her, takes her suitcase. Nikita takes off her jacket, Terenty – a kerchief. They lit the Christmas tree, turned on the tape recorder. For the first time, Terenty calls Konstantinov’s father and goes home with him. Kai gets dressed and goes out: he wants to look from the street to the tree in the house. Nikita and Nelya are left alone.