At the dacha it was good for everyone - his wife, children, a dog, two parrots, a cat. Especially well was Samiev's mother - an imperious, beautiful, gray-haired woman who once determined her son's fate and profession.
“A man should have a male specialty,” she rumbled, not encouraging her son to be fond of drawing. - If you want - a small house, for yourself, you can even draw my portrait and hang it in your bedroom, but all this is so - a whim, toys. It is necessary to go either to legal or medical. This is a profession, and it is always a piece of bread!
Mother pounded her hard, iron-like, with a well-groomed finger on the table and with a special sub-whistle and hissing emphasized: “medical-tstsi; legal-ch-chesky ". For some reason, Felix felt cold for some reason, and then his father peacefully declared:
- We have a smart boy, and he himself understands that a man needs a real job!
- As long as he understands, I'll go crazy! - flushed mother. - Now he will choose some idiotic profession, and tomorrow some trinkets from the street will lead: “Here, mother, my wife!” Do you want this ?! No, of course, I'm a villain, I torment a poor boy, and only you, compassionate, understand him! Yes, I do not sleep at night, I think how his life will be, I want him to be all right, and you, I see, don't care! Only busy with yourself!
“I don’t care,” snapped his father, “why did you cling to the law school or the medical school?” Physics knows, loves, let him go to the Physics and Mathematics Department.
- Aha, - mother contemptuously crooked lips, - education will be, but there is no real profession! How will he support the family, help us in our old age, did you think about that ?! What do these scientists get ?!
Father and mother began to spar, and Felix carefully went to his room.
When he entered the Physics and Mathematics Department, the mother grunted and said:
- I did it in my own way. I hope you and we will not have to be disappointed.
She looked after the bride thoroughly, but by that time Felix was already a young and promising specialist of the scientific research institute, so her mother could not push too much on him, but the candidature of a red-haired girl in a white blouse and a Scottish skirt, whom Samiev met at the institute library, was considered almost under the microscope. There was nothing to find fault with - both the pedigree and the behavior were perfect, but the mother even then uttered, blessing:
- There was no red in our family, but now they will appear!
And added thoughtfully:
- Sorry, my father did not live ...
But Samiev’s children were white-skinned, black-haired, and only his younger grandson was born with violent dark-red curls. His mother did not find his great-grandson, and Felix still could not forgive himself for the feelings of relief that he experienced after her death. As if something heavy, iron, big, had disappeared, and he was glad and painfully ashamed of this liberation.
At one of the stops near the village of Samiyev, a youthful woman with a weary face. In her outline something familiar flashed, but only for a moment — maybe, it seemed. The woman was a stranger, he never met her in this bus. In her arms she held a baby, he screamed and squirmed. The woman shouted at him, blew into a crimson wrinkled face, covered with a rash, pulled something monotonous, trying to soothe. But the child, it is clear that something was aching, he went into weeping.
Aunts on the bus vigilantly showered tips: either to keep the child upright, to make the tummy easier, to sprinkle water on his face, to feed him, then something else, they asked sympathetically what was wrong with him. The woman said that she was taking her grandson to the city to a good pediatrician, for a few days she’s been fighting this way, and nothing helps. Aunt gasped, asked, where is the mother, why not she, and the grandmother goes with a baby? And the woman answered in monosyllables that the daughter was unwell and could not leave the house for the time being.
Samiyev got up even more irritated and walked forward to the driver’s cabin. There were still seven stops to the city, and he strongly regretted that he had not taken the car. In small children, he did not find anything touching and preferred to communicate with them when they reached the age of 8–10 and already had their own opinion. In such children he felt freedom and thought, and valued this quality above all.
“This is at least a person, otherwise it’s just a screaming misunderstanding,” he said, and watched in surprise how his wife could lisp over her grandchildren for hours. Obedient children put him on his guard, and he ardently argued with those who admired the child's complacency.
“As you cannot understand,” he was indignant, “that if a child obeys parents in everything, then such a child is either insincere and prefers to agree with adults in everything, but in fact thinks differently.” Or so stupid and lazy that does not have an opinion. Or so choked up and crushed, that he is afraid to admit his own thoughts even to himself!
It was impossible to argue him, others only condescendingly shrugged their shoulders, smiled and transferred the conversation to another. Among his friends, Samiyev long ago gained fame as a grouch and demagogue, but his friends spoke good-naturedly about him:
“The writer ... They are all like that ...”
Rising, he accidentally touched the bag with the woman's things, she reached for him, exposing a large red mole just above the collarbone. Felix involuntarily fixed his gaze on this scarlet spot, and until the woman straightened out and straightened the ryushki, he remembered ... With extraordinary brightness, he stood up, shielding others, one day out of his life ...
... dry road. Heat. Four-year-old Felix barely keeps pace with his father. He strides ahead with big quick steps. Coming out of the house, he, short and thin, becomes a completely different person - self-confident, serious, weighty. Felix runs to jump over him, his father grins and raises him on his shoulder. The boy's gray eyes light up with admiration - what a dad is strong, handsome, dexterous! As he goes form railway! Now they will get on the bus and go to the fair - the mother has commissioned to buy honey.
- Just look for the real one to be, check for a drop, look to better buckwheat or acacia. Oh, you mix everything up again, carefully choose, take care not to be deceived! Do you remember everything ?!
To be continued…