The Good-Timer.

Short humorous and, of course, love story. Translated from Russian by Alex Pavlov

Preface.

Hi! I’m Alex Pavlov. Maybe, you know or not, I actually love creative writing and try to write interesting stories. At one point, I got the idea for this story and, of course, I’d like to believe it’s gonna be interesting for you and probably take you awhile away from boring daily routine. The idea is as simple as our life: he and she, and they’ve been married. There were other characters here around and among them, in a very hub of it, there was a main one – another pretty woman. Oh no, she’s not his mistress, but the mistress is also present as well. As usual, no way without that deal! Well, so… Have a nice time!

The Good-Timer.

It is a Russian, a bit of funny story. And by far, we should be mentioned the occasion like this could’ve been possible just among the true Russians. Albeit, this probably does not invariably have to be that way. But now it does.

His name’s Alexander. He’s neither a famous conqueror or invader, nor a great today’s leader. So everyone just calls him simple – Shurik, this nickname fits him perfectly, and this cut is very common in Russia. 

Shurik is not tall, rather short, but strong enough; not rich, but always with some coins in his pocket since he’s very handyman, really sort of a jack-of-all-trades. 

He loves life, eager to work, and happy of having a good time to relax. Actually, a good-timer he is!

And one day something happened, something unexpected. Alexander, Shurick, had spent a few nights with a pretty woman, not his wife. How’d come this? Oh, that’s virtually common stuff when one loves one’s life. 

Now we’re making a quick stop for talking a little about his wife. Well-well!..

This lady is proud and serious. Many wondered how did Shurik manage to become her husband. That man was really not her type, but as a matter of fact, one day he’d got her as his trophy-charming wife. 

‘What the heck!’ she thought masterfully just before getting married at the very moment of making a decision. ‘We always put in the spotlight, like, a great love, flame of love, falling in love and our heart! But where do all these charming things disappear to immediately after the wedding? We actually bet on the wrong horse over and over again, and then we’re waiting for happiness. Like hell that would have! And really dumb absurd! – that’s all I’ve got to say in this case! If I put forth the love, just falling in love and no mind, oh, by God, only the loony bin is waiting for me before long, and no happiness! But that man, Alexander, oh, hes actually reliable and really loves me. He could’ve been a good friend to me and a nice daddy to our offspring! So hes asking for my hand in marriage, and I’m gonna back him – yes!.. Or maybe… better say: ok, I do, you’re able to get me, I can be yours.

So she did according her smart solution, as it was once in the way of pretty courageous Ellen Robillard who’d become Mrs. Ellen O’Hara –  her favorite love story. 

And soon they’ve got the family, Shurik and his young lovely wife; a charming toddler they got also soon – everything has been going well for the time being.

Okay, let’s skip that happy part of their life. It was a really wonderful time for them and that’s been going on long enough, even probably longer than usual. 

However, another time has come. 

Once Shurik has an affair, cheating on his wife. And nobody knows how could she figure it out, but she did it. The bitter, harsh truth has come to light. 

And what was our careless guy hoping for? – we’d never know. He’d probably forgotten how smart and proud his wife was. So he was caught almost red-handed, it means, in someone else’s bed. 

‘No explanation, please!’ that was all his wife said to him and she was absolutely hardline.

Shurik was shocked and drunk while his wife’s going to get a divorce. He had actually the feeling some kind of nobody had left around and everything was really bad. 

. . .

It’s been a week, and there was no hints of something better. What’s gonna be done now? – no idea. 

However, there was another woman in Shurik’s life – his sister and his real friend. They’ve been very close and pretty much besties since their early childhood! She was unusual, even unique woman and knew well human nature. She had already managed to ruin two of her ex-husbands: one of them had become a drunkard, the other miraculously survived and he’d escaped just in a fraction of time. 

However, Shurik’s sister is really pretty and smart, she does have as many men as she does want to have. But for today, she’s not going to get married again – that’s enough for now, she’s a bit tired. She has, in addition, high standards for men, for real men!, not for… boys, and if she needs to she knows how to meet her objectives as well. 

So, here are we go having three women in our funny story: 

Shurik’s wife, who is almost an ex-one by now;

Shurik’s mistress – his new pretty lover, and… 

And his sister – a great lady, really cool! Admittedly, she’s nice, but, at times, like a cutting ice block; and that’s gonna be good and helpful for one who needs. 

. . .

Shurik’s sister was taking a sit just across him, who had been drunk again, drunk and very sad. She felt sorry for him. 

‘Getting evicted?’she said softly.

‘?.. Fraid so.’’

‘What you gonna do?’

‘Dunno’

‘Hey, pal!’ she keenly cried out. ‘Why you’re so dropping? Look, no reason to be just like you’re now, crony!’

‘No reason?’

‘Surely!’

‘Why, sis, how can you say that?’

‘Why not?’

‘You?.. Don’t you get that my wife is never gonna forgive me? Maybe, you do forget how serious she is? Sure, no need to say she hasta be mad at me for!’

‘D’you really feel that way?’ Shurik’s sister was calm down again. 

‘Yeh, my wife is a great woman. She is very clever and… she is… and!..’ in his turn, he was starting to get nervous. 

‘Then I am silly, right?’

‘Nay, I’d never say that. But…’

‘I know you would. Hey, no sweat! Take a look, guy. Surely, you screwed up a bit, that’s true, especially because you got caught. And now we have to consider about what kinda things are we looking at. Your wife is great, ok, but she is a woman. Just a woman and that’s all.“

‘All? Oh no!’

‘Y-yeah, that is. No one knows about woman’s nature like me.’

‘Nature?’

‘Trust me.’

‘Woman’s nature? he said being confused. ‘And what about our kids?’

‘Not important now. That’s just a matter of adult, not kids.’

‘No, sis? children are the most important, as my wife says.’ said he in a lower voice. 

‘Oh!’ suddenly exclaimed his sister hearing this funny word like ‘children’ or ‘kids’, and getting started to laugh a little. ‘Surely, bro, toddlers are always great, yeah, but no ground to use them for an adult stupidity. Could’ve done better to talk about you, both of you. Ok?’

‘Maybe so,’ he said grimly. ‘But they, our ki-…’

‘Oh no, stop there! Look, look… as for kids, that’s… they’re gonna be potty-school-potty and get to bed with no buts! Something like that. No time left, you need to move on. You!’

‘Me?’

‘Duh, you gotta be now a tiebreaker. And…’

‘What else?’

‘Get feel terrific about yourself, alway get it, even you feel really bad!’

No answer for a while. He wondered how tricky his sister was starting to turn things around. Then he noticed:

‘You’re in my corner just cuz I’m your younger bro. Like when we’re kiddos ourselves and you’d been protecting me from everything around.’

‘And so were you. You did fight for me wherever you could, totally badass. That was really fun, but all was over.’

‘You’re right, sis, everything is behind. And all good is behind me too.’

‘Oh, you’re damn fool! Hey, guy, don’t ever say that again, or I’ll hit you!’

‘Nah.’

‘I will. Ok, but don’t be then so bonehead!’

‘Thanks, sis.’

‘My pleasure. Come on, let’s fix our problem!’

‘No solution.’

‘You’re really doodle, bro! But cheer up, here’s the two of us. We’re a team, right?’

‘Two against one it’s unfair, sis. My wife is a very sincere and upright woman.’

‘I see. And I also see you’re so getting desperate.’

‘Yeah, no argues.’

‘And, as you know I never recruit you to make war against her, nowise. I do persuade to do something for you. D’you get what I mean? Just for yourself!’

‘I don’t get this. Sorry, sis.’

She smiled at him trying to explain:

‘That’s ok. If you’re a woman, you’d understand what I’m talking about.’

‘Woman? I don’t catch your drift.’

‘I’ll tell you now, babe. Woman it’s dangerous, especially if she’s smart. And the most dangerous thing if she is also beauty. A lovely lady is able to easily crush any man, any conqueror. If she makes a decision to take action, she does it with no hesitation. D’you get it now?’

Shurik listened to her, drinking wine. 

‘Ok,’ she was going on. ‘No more talking, it’s your game time!’

‘And what am I supposed to do?’

‘Something like, um…’

She gave him some ideas of her train of thoughts.

‘…and without much trouble!’ concluded she finally. 

‘Really?’

‘Yeh.’

‘Great doubt,’ he said shaking his head. 

‘No doubt!’ she kept standing her ground slapping her palm sharply on the table. ‘Surely, your heart is broken now, I know, but!.. Hey, don’t be like a shivering chicken trying to fly off. It’s been her fault that you’ve done so.’

‘What?!’ he exclaimed instinctively. ‘Her fault?..’

A moment of quiet again. Then his sister smiled. 

‘I said, you were not a woman and couldn’t understand us.’

‘Sis, you’re also drunk?’

‘A little. Ok, get me some more. And you’d better if you gonna listen to me closely.’

He couldn’t say anything, her sister kept talking.

‘First: she got married not for love. Yes or no?’

‘But…’

‘Yes or no?’

‘Yes, I know’, he said quietly.

‘Ok. Hence, she did know exactly what she’d done. You do love her and always would as she was absolutely sure of. You’re hardworking and do everything for your family. But what’s left for you, poor fool? You had agreed getting her as a boss you around. If you wanna something, but she doesn’t, what d’you have? Right, nothing. But if she, she! wanna something – please, darling, whatever you need, boss. What a wonderful life! Perfectly settled! She’s the queen and you’re at her service. Anytime! And that’s not all, I can tell you much more.’

‘What else’? he asked her almost with fear in his eyes. 

‘Oh, please, don’t remember that I’m rooting for her.’

‘Sorry?’

‘I’ll always be favouring her over anyone else, since she’s a woman, me too. But not now. There’s one point, actually essential one.’

‘?..’ 

‘You, ninny, thou art a fool, indeed, but… hm, you’re my family. Nothing can get closer than that. I’m for her, but… I’m still protecting you.’

After a long pause Shurik said sadly:

‘She… she gave me a child.’

‘Oh, not again! Ch-chya-ild!! Ninny, any woman gives birth to a child! And that’s what she wanna have by herself above all else!’

‘Madness,’ he replied shaking his head.

‘No, c’est la vie as the French like to say. Such is life. And one more thing before you left.’

‘Oh no.’

‘Yes.’

‘Nay, dear. Uh, ok, all ears.’

‘Good boy. Now for the second. 

‘?..’

‘You should’ve sense enough to learn about two damn highlights in the domestic life.’

‘What’s that?’

‘Not interrupt, please, I’m keeping losing a thought under the drink. When anyone, being a husband, cheats on his wife, he knows well that hes guilty and hes done really bad thing. All right, that’s clear. But if something like this have happened to the woman, being a wife – oh! She steadily says that’s her husband’s fault! Hes the only one just to blame for everything! Understand?’

Shurik replied in confusion:

‘Never thought so. But my wife, my wife…’

‘Keep quiet! You, hubby, like all others like you, are always gonna be to blame for all troubles for almost all wives! It’s unfair just if you’re my brother, and that’s ok if you’re not. You’ve got it’?

He even coughed violently before he could say in a deep thickly voice:

‘Yeah, you’re probably right.’

‘I’m completely in the right. And I’m in the right way. Now, we’re gonna shifting a little our positions.’

‘What way?’

‘Easy. You should be on the offensive. And with no ceremony. Your wife is to blame what you’ve done.’

‘What?!’ Shurik exclaimed in a throaty voice blinking furiously. 

‘Yes, sure. That is her, you’ve got it?.. he fault.’

‘But!..’

‘I said – hers.’

‘Oh sis, I’m already freaking out about that!’

‘Don’t screw ’round! Or you’re losing this woman. And you’re gonna be loser yourself, underdog – it turns out being the worst.’

‘Not gonna work this way.’

‘That’s gonna be best, dear bro. Just with self-confidence! Don’t let Mr. Tracy’s great ideas get off out of your mind.’

‘Who?..’

‘No matter… read somewhere.’

Some seconds later. 

‘It means, dear sis, I need to make my wife feel guilty, right? But all what was done had been done just by me. I fell into debauchery and fornication. Can’t be lying to myself.’

‘And you’re gonna taking the rap for any of that? You’re flat wrong.’

‘No one can understand you.’

‘Wrong, kid, terribly wrong! And why is it called a fornication? And no debauchery there is. Might it be love? Real love and pleasure it might be! That lady, your present-day lover is really pretty. And what about… about your wife… did it ever occur to you that she was just playing… playing with you? That’s so tricky and artful! So about you, no debauchery, only pure emotions, heartfelt feelings and…

‘And?..’

‘And affection, care, flame of love! Hope, it’s enough? With that woman you’ve probably learned the joy of life. Or, ain’t you have the right to, bro? What about me, I don’t think so, surely, you have.’

Shurik, puzzled, took some more drink, looked at his sister in a curious way. She has a fun standpoint on his issue. Then he said:

‘You’re really great defence attorney.’

‘Thanks,’ he lowered her eyes in agreement. 

‘Ok, right, sis, that woman is attractive and cute I can honestly say. I feel good next to her. And you know she is also pretty, she has a very soft skin… great shapes…’

‘Wait, please, hold on! Sorry, not interested in women, I’m straight.’

‘Oh yeh. Too much wine.’

‘Don’t do more.’

‘Nay, I do. A few more and that’s all.’

. . .

One day him to contemplate hard above all of that stuff have passed, then two days more, three ones. No doubt, his wife as he was sure was a good woman. And what about his current mistress? Maybe she could’ve been better, especially in his present-day context? Who knows? – Nobody does. 

And Shurik was drinking for some extra days. His wife was not eager to see him at home, so he did not show up there. 

The following day Shurik had spent with his lover. Now he was unlike himself because some days before he had been durable binge drinking. 

Then he showed up at his sister again, who was already scared where he could’ve been lost.

He got a hot tea, it turned out to be so nice after a horrible hangover, and for some reason he started talking about his wife again. 

‘You know, sis, I barely recognise her now,’ he said puzzled. ‘She became even more proud than ever before.’

‘Especially every time you come, yeah?’

‘Maybe, but…’

‘No, bro, that’s just window dressing. She can’t believe you’re really excited to your new girlfriend.’

‘Who knows?’

‘Me.’

‘But I still feel sorry for her, for my wife.’

‘You’ll get over it. And so will she.’

‘Cruel to say so.’

‘As I told you, just cuz you’re my family, not hers. Otherwise, I would’ve destroyed you.’

‘No, thanks. Tell me, please, sis, what would you do if you were in her shoes?’

‘I’m in her shoes? No brainer! This way is more common to us, to women.’

‘But… but, that’s a loony bin, sis!’

‘A life style, kid.’ 

. . .

The divorce case had been appointed for tomorrow.

On the eve Shurik’s wife, pretty much as an ex-wife by now, had seemed a little confused. She was prepared and even expected for her husband to apologise again. He should’ve been started asking her for their family to be saved. And she needs to be proud. Maybe she would’ve given him a chance, but only in the case of according to her scenario. She was gonna set up the strong terms, preconditions, very serious ones: she is the boss, he does everything she needs and she requires. She was going to give him a probation. Just this way and no less!

But suddenly she was filled with anxiety. Her husband has not even spent the night at home today. Whatever that means?

On that point, Shurik have had his own streams. 

It’s been already long enough as his wife didn’t let him getting into their bedroom. That’s a nightmare for the man in his prime. It’s outrageous! So Shurik had bailed off and right to his mistress. 

Yesterday evening he was not feeling well, but he had forced himself to make some fun. With his lover, of course. They had been drinking good wine at the bars, dancing, singing karaoke and stuff like they did. Finally, there was a great overnight taxi trip. They had a lot of exciting things. 

The night was really fine! – the lights were low, the shaking flames of candles around, soft music, wine were flowing, and in the midst of that all – only two and no one else was alongside, no one and nothing could interfere with their ultimate enjoyment,  – this night was unforgettable!

. . .

The next day Shurik have arrived at the appointed time at the appointed place. He looked very peculiar. Instead of a deep sacrifice, something completely opposite has appeared. 

His clothes were clean, but wrinkled. His eyes were tired, but bright and still drunk. He was bitterly exhausted and would’ve fallen down right here if someone had pushed him slightly. The delicate scent of women’s perfume was around. And at the top of that, he looked so damn pleased! Yes, unquestionably so he was!

Shurik was not behind the wheel today; a cab had brought him up here. And now, above all, he was eager having this deal over, and get away as soon as possible, preferably to the nearest bed. 

His wife looked at him once, then another, and her surprise was starting to grow up… and up, and more up!

For a while she didn’t even dare to speak. She quickly realised that life is gonna well for him. She tried to pull herself together and finally they both got inside.

It’s a kind of agency where men and women are linking for the union so-called ‘the family’. But this agency obviously rarely does its job well, so most men and women oftentimes is getting back having a passionate desire to unlink them quickly asap. 

At the entrance, the poor guy, Shurik, doesn’t take notice glass doors and bumps it with his head.

‘Oh shit, what the hell is that?’

Almost ex-wife started to feel sorry for him. She pulled out a hanky and pressed it to his injured forehead. 

‘Oh, my God! What a dolt set up this here?’ she worried around. ‘Honey, are you ok? Does it hurt you a lot?’

‘Don give a shit!’ cursing he got in without paying attention to his concerned wife. 

‘So?!’ he shouted out inside the office. ‘Where to sign up? I’m in a hurry!’

‘Sir, no noise here!’ one woman reprimanded him passing by with an air of great importance. ‘Go there, please.’

‘There?’ Shurik hit the roof. ‘No, thanks! I don wanna go over there again!’ he kept talking very loudly, pointing where the marriage registrations have been taking place. ‘I’ve been there a long and there’s nothing interesting as I wanna tell you, ma’am! But now I’m expected elsewhere, much more enjoyable, I’d like to tell you, too!’

‘Crazy?’

‘Yeah, ma’am!’

Shurik’s wife could not keep herself from being very surprised, so she asked him sarcastically:

‘I wonder where’s that place you’re gonna to?’

‘What?’

‘That pretty spot where someone’s waiting for you?’

‘Honey, please, don’t. Sure, you’re straight, right?’

‘Sorry?.. what’d you say?’

Now, she had been completely confused suspecting that it might be some kind of dumb prank.  

‘Tell me, please! she said. ‘You gotta be kidding me, right?’

Like nothing’s happened, Shurik was making his hands open shrugging kind of helplessly. And no more.

The divorce case did not take place today. It’s been postponed because this registry office was not a commercial one and it was obliged to do everything very slowly. 

However, soon, Shurik and his wife were no longer married couple anyway.  

‘Eh, what the hell!’ said Shurik who was suddenly pretty upset about his really good-looking wife, but already ex-wife. But nothing could be returned, so he headed for the taxi. 

‘Wait!… please,’ she shouted.

Shurik turned around.

They remained face to face. She was looking at him feeling her throat swelling. 

‘Hey, honey, maybe could I drop you at home? Just if you wanna to.’ he asked her in commiseration a little. ‘Come on.’

After a moment she broke down and said:

‘Ok, do it… if you don’t mind.’

He took hold her sweaty palm and pointed to the cab, exclaiming out: 

‘Oh, dear, there’s nothing I can’t do for you! Please, get in.’

She gave him a suspicious look and got into the car. Ex-husband took a seat next and suddenly caught her scent, a women’s fragrance, an alluring smell. She was not his now, so she is the object of attention and even for hunting. For him she was becoming as a woman of interest. And really so she was… just now – the eternal paradox of human being!

‘Oh, you’re awful cute, you know that?’ he said in a low, not taking a look at her. 

‘To obscenity of that all!’ cursing she kicked off. ‘A wild stallion! You’re bastard!’

‘Yeah-yeah, I know,’ he said softly. ‘Eager to learn. And absolutely positive about that. Please, dear, calm the hell down.’

An hour later he was alone again: a park downtown, whispering high and wide green trees around, caressing gentle breeze blowing slightly. 

However, the wild wind furrows its way hard inside Shurik’s head. Thinking deeply, he was sitting down on an empty bench, chain-smoking and drinking a lot of bear. 

Playing a role it is one thing, real life is another.  The reality is not happy today. He’s actually not clear about his future at all. And on top of that he’s had a headache now, still getting a terrible hangover. 

Finally, wanting to prevent severe depression, he tried to struggle against his wretched flows inside.

‘Maybe my business is not so bad?’ he kept musing with himself. ‘No idea. Sure, I’m totally screwed up, my business is really hard cheese.’

Then he got up and took the way to his sister’s home. 

After that, by night, oh, by nightfall he was with his lover again!

And then…

He didn’t remembered anything after and that had been probably not feeling so bad. Sure, that was good enough, certainly well. 

In this morning, he’s gone to work. He was in high spirits and everything was done as best and quickest as he could. 

Later afternoon, he dropped in for a bit drink with his friends. 

Thereafter, he visited his sister – it was just to have some more emotional support. 

And up closer to the night, where he was? That’s right! Surely, he had arrived to his lover’s home again and was absolutely pleased about that deal!

This woman was observing him with something like charm on her cute face: drunk a little, playful and amusing, some scent of perfume, a bit tired as well, and extra affectionate he’d been now – nice to watch and pretty feast for her eyes!

From now on, it was his new order of day. And, besides, he had another important thing to do. At times, he called his ex-wife for making sure she’s ok. Maybe she needs some help? Now he saw her as a good friend who probably needed to be taken care of.

Before long he feels a little better. 

After a short space more he’s almost good. 

And not long after life is gonna well for him! That’s to say – everything is far better and fine!

Finally he said to himself:

‘Right or wrong – I’ve no idea, but I feel now something like… that’s gonna be my first… yeh, the first days of freedom and that’s perfect! Now that I can do!

. . .

They met once again. His ex-wife was trying to look proud. 

And what about Shurik? He was actually looking well.

‘Tell me, please,’ – she asked him, attempting to keep a sublime look, but losing ground anyway. 

‘Yes, sweetie?’

‘Please, don’t.’

‘Sorry, honey.’

‘O-oh…’ she took a deep breath, and then: ‘I can tell you the truth.’

‘Truth? he looked at her slightly surprised. ‘What sorta?’

‘I’m not ok. Oh, just to think what I’m saying now, but… ‘fraid so, I am. 

‘?..’

‘And you?’

‘I don’t know… maybe… yeah, me too.’

‘Please, tell me.’

‘?..’

‘Ain’t you feel sorry at all?’

‘Sorry?’

‘Yeh.’

‘Surely, I’m.’

‘And what sort of?’

No answer. 

‘Maybe, you feel sorry about… ’bout us, eh?’

‘Sure,’ he replied a little oddly as though he’d been talking about something frivolous. 

‘But you,’ she kept saying seriously. ‘You are the one who’d set all of that in motion.’

‘Yeah, I know,’ his reply was hardly emotional again. 

‘You sound like you don give a damn ’bout!!,’ she shot back loudly, starting to get angry.

‘Honey, I am really sorry.’

‘Great doubts!’

‘Yeh, that’s kinda true. But just about one thing.’

‘Whereof?’

‘I actually feel sorry for… for you.’

‘For me?’ 

She was getting more angry. 

‘Please, honey, hold on… just calm down.’

‘Calm down? And that’s coming from you?!’ she asked him stiffly.

‘Please, I need you calm down, all right?’

‘No, I ain’t!’

‘Ok.’

‘I wanna know.’

‘What you wanna?’

‘Well, I want you to know that I need neither your feel sorry, nor your pity! I can manage my life myself! Can get along without you!’

‘But that’s not the point, honey. Not I’m talking about.’

‘What? You mean I got something wrong?’

‘Yeh, you did.’

‘So?’

‘You. Just yourself.’

‘I still don’t get it. What the hell is going on?’

No answer, but at the same time he looked at her with a nostalgia. Then he sighed regretfully, clearly admiring her attractive shapes. His gaze was slowly shifting down, then up, and down again along her shapely body. 

‘Wo-man,’ he lowered his voice, staring at her passionately. 

The ex-wife was watching him closely for a while, trying to realise what kind of hot stream is coming into his damn mind. And… one twinkling jiffy later, while he’s smiling, she slaps heartily across his face. 

He watched her go, stroking his reddened cheek.

‘Wow, you’re so pret-ty, wo-man!’

Well, Shurik’s life keeps ticking on. As usual, he works on all his cylinders. At the same time, he’s trying to learn living in a new way doing his best to enjoy life, paying attention how beautiful the life is. 

Why is there too much quarrel throughout and so many bad things triggering and producing just by people themselves in their day-to-day life that make human being so bitterness? What is all that about? Fuss and trouble, hassle and hype, uproar – and at this very time the life itself is passing by, every moment she’s doing it, leaving people behind, ones who are always in a hurry into nowhere and absolutely for nothing. 

Shurik dwells temporarily in his lover’s condo. Every day he gets back late at night, tired as usual, hungry as always. For her part, she does her best to make him feel comfortable. She’s worried he dumps her and gets back to his past. So his lover is smart and even canny enough and knows well that most likely nobody is going to leave a good place. And she does everything good, calmly and with self-confidence – a hundred to one. But, meanwhile, she is able to behave with dignity. Her gaze seems to tell him: if you should go or you’re just wanna be out – do it. I can get it. 

The ex-wife, in turn, had also figured out one interesting point. If he, her ex-husband, still didn’t get back, she had a little chance of his return, even there was no at all. Naturally, after what he’d done maybe she was not eager to get him back. But only in case if no one wants him too. No one and preferably never ever again! But it’s now the other way around and everything has backfired. So her anxiety is easy understandable why. 

What about Shurik? In his turn, he was also trying to figure out one important thing, and that was a vital issue for him. It’s time to make a decision what would’ve been best to be done in his life. He tried to make out how to go on. Whether to live with that really good woman, his present-day lover, or probably take a chance of getting all back? As he’s got it was achievable. 

He’s thinking a lot, but couldn’t come up with anything useful. However, one day he picked up one suitable idea: never possible to guess what’s gonna be best to do in life. Hence, there’s no point to send to know about or even to learn that puzzle. Seems completely impracticable.

Luckily, there is another reliable thing that could be used rather successfully. Life itself is the greatest grant has ever been given to humanity. And that gifted bestowal is very pure and faithful, with no contradictions, quarrels and hard collisions. All the rest negativity is always fabricated by people themselves.

‘Oh, I’m so drunk again, if I’ve hit ranting. Ranting afresh and drunk in addition,’ Shurik smiled to himself, sipping beer and smoking. ‘Yes, you got to live just for the present day. And that’s all. Anyway, I can’t get my old life back on track. Sure, I got lost. Oh no, hold on, this one is to really think about, as my sis loves to say. O-okey… What does this present day is bringing me?’

He started to list the facts, bending the fingers in turn. 

‘My workplace is good. That’s first. Ok.’

A next sip of beer was taken, wiping off with a sleeve. 

‘My home place,’ he looked around. ‘Huh, it’s not mine. Oh, ad hoc… ain’t care!.. cuz all ‘bout me is just for today. Hence, I’m ok, too, and the second point that is.’

Inhaling deeply of smoke, he kept on:

‘Now, my lady? Wow, geez, crazy about her!’

At these words he busily stubbed out the butt. 

‘So she is the third? Oh no, the primary she is!.. Missing her already.’

In a little while. 

‘And what I’ve eventually got? My woman is go-o… no, she is the best, I said, she is the best; my job, yes, the job is good; maybe I wanna get all back? I… dunno. So I should say just one thing: for today… yeh, for today, let it could’ve been crazy, but how good all of that is!’

. . .

‘Thank you, sis, really thanks a lot!’

‘No trouble, brer. Oh, you drank again?’

‘A tiny bit.’

‘Seems to happen a lot.’

‘No, just couple of times a week and only evenings. After a good job I like it, oh, I like it, I like it.’

‘Well if you’re actually so.’

‘Yeah, you bet. Ok, now I’m probably going to…’

‘What? Going somewhere? And why you’re so cheerful?’

‘Now always like that. And it’s also a nice day today!’

‘What cause?’

‘Cuz it’s today and so it’s great. That’s true, sis, believe me. Number-one thing in our life, I know now.’

‘You’re really drunk.’ she deeply sighed. ‘So again, where the hell are you headed, man?’

‘Ahem… I need to!’ he replied boldly, ‘and I want… too.’ he added in a lower voice, ‘for something…’ the next words have been not spoken, just making a kind of hand gesture.

Actually, the meanings were clear to his sister. 

‘Hm, he wanna something, you see. Behind the wheel?’

‘Ain’t.’

‘Bullshit!’

‘No.’

‘Not trying to lie!’ she was almost indignantly. 

‘Unquestionably, sis! Just cause to you, and I… I donno… maybe, you… you shouldn’t be worried! Just taking care ‘bout you!’

‘Car keys, please!’

‘What?’

‘I said – immediately!’

‘Well, get it,’ he agreed, thinking of a taxi. 

‘Ok, hold on! So where’re you going so late?’

‘Please, stop asking ridiculous questions, sis!’

‘No, I do! Well, you’re staying here tonight, that’s cuz you’re really drunk!’

‘!..’

‘I’m not gonna let you go out!’

‘No, I do!’ Shurick started protesting. ‘Just a little drunk I am!’

‘You’ll be sleeping here tonight!’ she insisted much worrying about her brother.’

‘Here?’

‘Right here, on this pull-out couch.’

‘What?! In the hallway? You’re really crazy?’

‘Maybe you are demented? That’s you who are the crazy! Here’s comfortable and you know about as well! Or forgotten?’

‘I do. And you also know well I was not good at that time! But now I’m ok! Very good I am, understand?’

‘And what else you wanna now?’

Shurik thought for a while and:

‘I wanna make me better.’

‘Tomorrow!’

‘Today! And right now! Bye, hon, I’m gone away.’

‘Hold on! Ok, look, you… you can get into my bedroom. Really nice is up there. I settle down here. Ok?’

‘In your bedroom? No.’

‘Oh, my God! But why?’

‘You wanna me to sleep alone? Oh, you’re exactly out of mind today, sis! Look at me! Look! Closely!’

‘I see.’

‘And?.. ‘

‘Madman. Just all I see.’

‘Maybe so. But I’m not old yet, and I’m not disabled! You understand? Now d’you get that?’

‘Ooh, really giant, is that it?’

Shurik looked confused. 

‘Maybe not. Yet… so…’

‘So?’

‘When I sleep, I need to… to be petted… cuddled… fondled, and stuff like that! That’s ok? Now, I gotta get out! I’ve actually one waiting.’

‘Eh-eh, be petted!.. Be cuddled!.. You ought to be… now, to obscenity of that all! You’re really nuts!’’

‘Hey, ooh… dar-rling…’

It’s getting late, Shurik is still overwhelmed with great energy, but his sis keeps him inside, not letting him go. He makes a call asking his beloved whether is she waiting for him to show up. ‘Yes,’ answered she gently on the other end.

He was surprised. She actually heard him much drunk, sure she did, but even now she’s gonna be happy to see him. Why? How is that? Another woman might have said, for example: «Get your hell ass back outside!»

‘Something wrong?’ his sister asked him, remarking his confusion. 

‘She knows that I’m not sober at all, but she sounds happy like she’s about for our first date.’

‘Hey, you, good old timer!’ his sister laughed outright. ‘That woman is really smart, she knows how the right things should gonna be!’

‘Oh, that’s great! I like it, I like it! Ok, tell me then how I look? Stylish?’

‘Breathtaking! Like a terrific guy!’

‘That’s ok!’

‘But, I… I’m angry.’

‘Ok, boss, please, hold on… and, I’m on my way!’

Finally, she declared herself vanquished. 

After the front door closed, Shurik’s sister was beginning to get very tired. She got some wine and plopped down in a deep armchair. 

‘That’s all for today,’ she said to herself. ‘Let him go to hell, and no more worries! I’m totally exhausted.’

But her cell rang. 

‘Oh no,’ she glanced at the number and dropped the call. ‘Leave me along and that’s gonna be ok!’ she said furiously. 

A sip of wine and a moment later the next call followed. She was starting to get really nervous. Calling was repeated all over again, then it was sent to the trash and blacklisted. 

Not more minutes have passed when another shit tinkle was coming. Now, she was very angry. Picking up, she flared up:

‘Hey!.. and drop dead!’ 

Someone was a bit shocked. He was able to reply nothing, but he had been sure this pretty woman was really incredible and amazing in her own way!

And he took a risk to call back again.

Now, the poor admirer was cursed from the very bottom of her amazing heart. 

‘Wow!’ that was all there to say. 

Then she got a text message with some kind of following lines: 

‘Let’s grab a coffee! I’m also happy if we’re gonna have it a rain check. All you’d like, honey.’

The obscenities now reached three-storied high, as they say in Russia. It was actually good that this guy, the teacher of maths, inter alia, had heard none of her words at that moment. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to get back in his memory even a single math formula.  

Perhaps, he’d like to call again – really brave man! But the angry lady decided to shut down her cell totally, sadly to him.

A long-awaited silence had come, but not for long again. 

The doorbell tinkled twice. 

Sitting in the soft chair, she had absolutely no desire to move. 

Odd hush was there outside. She got up.

The lock clicked softly, got unsnapped the fastener. 

‘Oh, is that you?’ she said being in utter surprise.  

‘Yeah’ a woman’s voice sounded very timidly and she looked herself the same. ‘Hi. Green for breach?’

‘Sorry? Ah, sure, come in, please!’ she replied to the young lady she had not expected to see at all. 

‘As you see, I’m in like this…’

‘What?.. Ok, no probs, get to the kitchen.’

‘Sorry, came unannounced. Your cell is off.’

This lady was looking totally downcast. She went to the kitchen she knew well, of course, stopped at the window, then cautiously turned around. 

A bottle of wine was in her hands. Seconds later a few words barely slipped from her lips:

‘But, dear… what about me?.. Maybe you could also come up with something useful for me? That’s right, sis?’

The End

It was written in 2011

Translation from Russian by Alex Pavlov (2021)
ISBN 978-5-9907791-0-5

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 × 5 =

Scroll to Top