The main heroine of the work is a twenty-year-old girl Frosya, daughter of a railwayman. Her husband left far and long. Frosya is very sad about him, life loses for her any meaning, she even throws the railway communication and signaling. Frosya’s father, Nefed Stepanovich, retired by age, but continues to miss his job. Every day he goes to the hill in the strip of alienation, watching the locomotives, heavy at the head of the trains, with tearful eyes. Sometimes Nefed Stepanovich from his high place screams to the machinists, pointing out their mistakes in the management of trains. In the evenings, the old man returns tired and asks his daughter to rub vaseline on his worn out hands. Daily hikes of the old man on the hillock end in the fact that he is again taken to work in the depot. Only now he goes to work less often than before retirement, only then, when it is required to replace the sick person. Frosya, as a rule, is angry with his father, at his constant readiness for work. Very often she goes to the platform, thinking about the train, which took her husband to the Far East.
In one of the boring and gray evenings, walking along the platform, Frosya sees railway workers, four women and a man carrying shovels. Frosya is called to help them to forget his longing for her for a while. Working in a slag pit, she meets Natalia Bukova. Together with her, she gets the money she earns going to the dance club. There Frosya is often invited
One day, however, the day comes, which she had long dreamed of: a telegram from Fyodor comes with the address of his residence. This night Frosya does not sleep, but composes a telegram for him. In the morning she asks her father to take the telegram to the post office without reading it. The old man does not listen, daughter, reads the telegram. It talks about the sudden development of pneumonia and the possible rapid death of Frosi. A week later, Fyodor arrives. He tells Frosa that he realized on the train that the telegram was false, but because of his longing and love for Fros, he nevertheless arrived. Frosya is very happy, she is cleaning the apartment, and my father asks me to go to the depot and find out if he is going to be sent on a flight. Nefed Stepanovich leaves. Frosya does not part with Fedor for twelve days. On the twelfth day she wakes up and sees that Fyodor and no things.
On the twelfth day she wakes up and sees that Fyodor and no things. Father comes and says that he was not called on the flight, all these days he lived at the station, afraid to interfere with them. Also, my father adds that he saw Fedor at the station, he went to the Far East and promised to do everything, return, or take Frosya to his place.