"Hold on, Natakha!"

Mom, this bum has come to you there again! - the daughter wrinkled her face contemptuously.

- He's not a bum! He has a room. Just an unhappy person.

With these words, the mother jumped out onto the stairs and, smiling affably, began to call the guest into the house.

He refused and, embarrassed, asked for a loan.

She brought the required amount and several sandwiches, in a plastic bag:

- Here, take it and eat it.

He smiled with a mouth full of holes with knocked out front teeth and, promising to return the money in a week, went out into the street, where the same unkempt and unkempt personalities were waiting for him.

“Why are you welcoming this… homeless!” The daughter asked, demonstratively focusing on the last word, “You always give him money, which he never returns to you.

- Why not give it back? Sometimes it returns.

- Oh, come on, you! It was once or twice. By the way, why does he have such a strange nickname - "Hold on!"?

- This is his favorite word. He says to everyone “hold on!”, Encourages if anyone's life went wrong. But I couldn't resist myself. He's not old. Alcohol abuse does not adorn anyone. And even unhappy love. Unrequited. He loves me, but I don't.

- Lyuyubiit !? You ?! Did you ... have something with him? - the daughter widened her eyes in surprise and even got up from the chair.

Mother thought for some time whether to tell or not, but still decided.

- We have known each other for a long time. When I was young, I once quarreled with my boyfriend. I found myself without money, alone at night, on the other side of the city. There were no mobile phones then, and there was no one to call anyway. I lived alone. I'm walking. What is there to do?! Cars stop, but either they do not want to take, or they impudently offer to pay in kind. Taxi drivers, what can you take from them ?! And then Sanechka was passing by.

He also worked in a taxi then:

"Girl! Tell me, should Palma de Mallorca be around here somewhere?"

Well, I didn’t understand that he was joking and began to explain that I didn’t know.

And he laughs:

- Sit down, Beautiful, let's go look together!

Later I found out that there is such a resort in Spain. Together we dreamed of going to a place where the sky is turquoise, the sea is blue, and the mountains are emerald. It was only to his misfortune that he introduced me to his friend. I saw him and disappeared! How I loved him! You fool!

The wedding was soon played, well, and Sasha, as is usually the case, became a witness and a friend of the family. My first husband turned out to be a womanizer. I suffered with him until I realized that it was junk, not a man. I got pregnant a year later. Contraceptives were not advertised at that time and in general there was no sex in the USSR. But there were abortions. Then “my dear” persuaded me to do this heinous business. And where did eloquence come from?

I agreed, but in vain. Oh, and I've had enough! I remembered it all my life. Then abortions were performed in a hospital on Lermontovsky Prospekt. Conveyor. Here they scraped not only inside, but also cleared the brains, completely depriving any remnants of love romance in the relationship between a man and a woman. They did it practically without anesthesia. They'll give the mask to breathe, but it's no use! The pain is hellish! I crawled to the ward, and there the same deceived, unhappy women. We sit with pride. Yearning. I feel how hatred inside me boils for the men.

And the song in my head is spinning - "We picked the sweet berry together, the bitter berry - I am alone." Here, I think, bastards! No problems and worries! But then the nanny enters the room and brings, you will not believe, a bucket of tulips and a cake! Huge cake, two kilograms, "Strawberry with cream". Such cakes were made only to order on Zagorodny Prospekt at the Troika restaurant. I sit all in flowers, gobble up the cake, cry again, but with happiness. - Loves! Remembers! My dear!

And on the lid of the cake there are only two words in block letters: "Hold on, Natakha!" Everyone was jealous of me. I returned home, I glow with happiness, although I felt terrible, everything hurt! She looked into her husband's eyes and realized - Not he, but Sanechka was worried about me. In general, I divorced my husband. Only with Sasha, we did not work out. He is good, kind, decent, but I never had and still have nothing for him. Empty. When he realized that I did not love him and could not love him, he soon disappeared somewhere. Then I found out that I had left for the North to work. Well, I met your father. Fate gave love again. I'm lucky!

Sasha returned in the early nineties. It was a terrible time. There is chaos on the streets. The bandits swaggered over the people. And then my sister from Tambov came to visit. Beautiful girl. Well, the bandits grabbed her in the yard. They began to drag him into the car. Then it's easy. They will abuse the girl, and they will be thrown out somewhere outside the city, or even killed. It is clear that no one intervened. They were afraid. And here Sanechka was sitting in the yard with the peasants, drinking chatter. He was already drinking himself slowly. So he just interceded.

Well, one of the bandits, a hefty one, gave it to him once. Sasha fell down, but got up and took out the window in the jeep with a stone. They immediately threw their sister, and began to beat him. Lord, how they beat him! Beasts! I then came to his hospital. He only regained consciousness on the fourth day. I hear something whispering. She leaned towards him, and he sings Vysotsky's song:

The doctor cut up and down!

He told me: "Hold on, brother!"

And I held on!

But only the bandits did not lag behind. They made the apartment sell. Sasha had a nice three-room apartment in the center. He quickly replaced her with a surcharge for the room. I gave the money. The bandits did not lag behind and wanted to take the room, but they were soon imprisoned. The authorities began to restore order in the country.

But Sanechka could no longer stay afloat in this life. The doctor told me back then in the hospital that they had repulsed everything for him, and as a man he could no longer. After that, he finally gave up on himself.

The mother fell silent. The daughter was also silent, dumbfounded by what she heard. And what can you say ?!

A year has passed. One day a bell rang in the apartment. The representative of the notary office for inheritance affairs came after the dead. He brought air tickets in the name of his mother with an open date and a paid trip to the Spanish resort of Palma de Mallorca, and the money left over from the sale of Sanya's room.

There was also a little note, and there were only two words in it: "Hold on, Natakha!"