Ch. T. Aitmatov
She was the third year of the war. There were no adult healthy men in the village, and therefore the wife of my elder brother Sadyk (he was also at the front), Jamil, the brigadier sent to a purely male job – to transport grain to the station. And so that the elders did not worry about the bride, he sent me, a teenager, with her. He also said: I will send Daniyar with them.
Jamila was pretty – slender, stately, with blue-black almond-shaped eyes, tireless, dexterous. She knew how to get along with neighbors, but if she was hurt, she did not yield to anyone in abuse. I loved Jamil dearly. And she loved me. It seems to me that my mother secretly dreamed of making her the mistress of our family, who lived in harmony and prosperity.
And Jamila, so it was, was either laughing at him, or not at all paying attention to him. Not everyone would tolerate its antics, but Daniyar looked at Jamil laughing with gloomy admiration.
However, our tricks with Dzhamily ended sadly one day. Among the bags was one huge, seven poods, and we were ruled with him alone. And somehow the current, we dumped this bag in the partner’s shirt. At the station, Daniyar was anxiously looking at the monstrous load, but noticing how Jamil grinned, put the bag on his back and went. Jamila caught up with him: “Throw a bag, I’m joking!” “Go away!” – he said firmly and went down the ladder, more and more falling on his wounded leg… There was a dead silence around. “Throw it!” shouted the people. “No, he will not give up!” someone whispered confidently.
For the next day Daniyar kept his voice even and silent. Returned from the station late. Suddenly, he sang. I was amazed how much passion, how melody the melody was saturated with. And suddenly his strangeness became clear: dreaminess, love of solitude, taciturnity. Daniyar’s songs aroused my soul. And how Jamila has changed!
Every time when we returned to the village at night, I noticed how Jamila, shaken and moved by this singing, came closer to the car and slowly pulled her hand to Daniyar… and then lowered it. I saw something accumulating and ripening in her soul, demanding an exit. And she was afraid of it.
Once we, as usual, went from the station. And when Daniyar’s voice began to climb again, Jamila sat next to her and leaned her head lightly against his shoulder. Quiet, timid… The song suddenly stopped. This Jamila hugly embraced him, but immediately jumped off the britzki and, barely restraining her tears, said sharply: “Do not look at me, go!”
And there was an evening for the current, when I dreamed through the sleep that Jamila came from the river, sat down next to Daniyar and fell at him. “Jamilyam, Jamaltai!” – whispered Daniyar, calling her the most gentle Kazakh and Kyrgyz names.
Soon the steppe blew out, the sky became clouded, cold rains began – the harbingers of snow. And I saw Daniyar walking with a bag, and Jamil was walking beside him, holding the strap of his bag with one hand.
How many conversations and gossip was in the village! Women vied with each other in condemning Jamil: to leave this family! with the hawk! Maybe, only I did not condemn her.