In the middle of summer, the hayfields began to boil over the Desna. Immediately on the shore we mowed out a clearing for the brigade camp, weaved from the lozenge low show booths, each to his family, at a distance, tore the kazan into the general kulesh, and so many hayfields arose temporarily. There was a hut in Anfisa with her mother. Anfisk grew up in Dobrovodye, no one noticed anything special about her: thin-legged, lazy-eyed. In one year the field company withdrew from the bottom any military scrap. In the Anfiskina cottage, a field engineer lieutenant stopped at the station. Month after three companies starred. And at Anfiski, a little boy was born on New Year’s Eve.
There were days. Collective farm harvest is over, and the mowers that night crossed to the other bank of the Desna dismantle fissile: meadows, inconvenient for cleaning brigade, chairman Chepurin distributed to backyard mowing. Already in the twilight Anfisa and his son were lit by a fire, eating fried lamb on the twigs, steep eggs. Behind the dark bushes the moon flared up. Vitka lay down on an armful of grass and fell silent. Anfisa took the braid, went to the edge of the clearing. Luna finally get out of the thicket – a large, clean and clear. Dew on the flower umbrellas of the finest crystal.
Soon Anfisa was mowing widely and greedily. Listening, the grunting noise of the motorcycle caught. He skidded past, then stopped, for a long time he was silent, again zastrekotal, coming
Long and tensely silent. Suddenly Chepurin flung out his cigarette butt and went to the motorcycle. But he did not leave, but pulled out his scythe and silently began to mow directly from the wheels of the motorcycle, Anfisa was confused. She rushed to wake Vitka, then quietly, as if stealing, went to the unfinished sweep and began mowing, all the while getting lost. I remembered how, in the spring, he had brought her from the station, how stiff from his rare questions about the most ordinary. “Fuck, froze,” spat, finally, Chepurin, stood, looking after continuing to mow Anfiske, and suddenly caught up, hugged, pressed to his chest.
The moon, rising to its zenith, heated up to a blinding blue, the sky parted, gently brightened and spilled now into the forest, into the clearing with a trembling-smoky blue lightfall. It seemed that the air itself began to gently and tensely elicit from her frantic glow.
… They lay on a heap of mown grass, moist and warm.
“I do not want you to leave…” Anfisa detained his hand on her shoulder and moved closer. I remembered how she had been thinking about this man all those years. Once I saw a motorcycle on the road. A strange man and a woman were traveling. He is behind the wheel, and she is behind: she grabbed him, pressed her cheek to her back. She would have gone the same way. And though I knew that I would never be there, but I tried everything on my own.
Chepurin told how in Berlin he had already thrown a grenade at him, as he lay in the hospital. As he returned from the war, he studied, got married, became chairman.
Then they took a bite. In the east timidly, bloodlessly brightened.
“Yes…” Chepurin summed up something and jerked to his feet. “Take Vityushka, let’s go.” – “No, Pasha,” Anfisa went down, “go alone.”
Bickering, but go together Anfisa refused flatly. Chepurin put on Vityushka his jacket, strapped it around his belt, and carried it into a stroller. He started a motorcycle and already at the wheel he caught her glance, closed his eyes and sat like that… Then he sharply turned the gas knob.
The gum fell in a fog. Anfisa sailed, trying not to splash, listened. From somewhere came the barely perceptible hum of a motorcycle.