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“Love… Who is a person without it? Do you think it’s a scam? An abstraction invented by artists and poets? And reckless girls like me? You indulge your loneliness. Please don’t close your heart. The one who bypassed his soul mate, sent by heaven, remains a fragment of a person who does not know happiness … "
This was Nadino’s last message for Gordey. He opened the envelope, read it, laughed, and threw the letter into the drawer. There were about two dozen similar philosophical messages from the restless girl.
It, a nineteen-year-old creature, decided to teach him, almost thirty-year-old Proud (as Gordey was called at school), life and explain what love is. Nadia is his next girlfriend. Another victory. She also invented romantic tales and does not give rest to the respected and kindly treated by the female attention of their town to a mathematics teacher.
“You indulge your loneliness…" “Girl, I don’t know what loneliness is,” Gordey said to himself, expecting a much older “guest” who generously paid for his “attention”.
… Nadya met Gordey in the store – he was looking at women’s perfumes.
— Hi, Gordey.
– First, Gordey Ivanovich. Second, it’s over between us. As you wrote there: “this is a delusion… an abstraction…” Thirdly, I am not alone and my soul is open. And fourthly, don’t follow me.
– And fifthly, Gordey Ivanovich, you will become a father. I just don’t know if it will be a son or a daughter.
“I’ll give you money for an abortion,” Gordey said calmly. – If you get bored, I’ll say that I hung myself around my neck. I’ll spread the word that you’re a prostitute. You will fly out of the school and become the laughingstock of the entire district center. Decide what to do. By the way, I have a medical friend in the region. Everything is organized at the highest level. It is not in our “respectable” town to have an abortion. You will not have time to go beyond the threshold, as everyone will wear it in their teeth. And don’t say anything at home. Your father, you yourself know what character he has. Will solve you and me.
Shortly before the New Year, Gordey took Nadya to a doctor friend. Everything went “at the highest level”. At parting, the doctor whispered to Nadia: “I must warn you just in case. Don’t dream about children. Better marry a widower with an appendage. And you know, Gordey didn’t bring you here first. Here, beetle…”
Nadia wanted to hide in a snowstorm from people and the world. And I wanted to die even more. She could not share her pain with anyone. And that made it even worse.
Parents saw that something was happening to their daughter. They asked for a reason.
– Tired. The semester was hard, she explained.
– Would you like to go to your aunt? You will rest. You run around the shops, – said the mother and looked inquiringly at her husband. Nothing was done in the family without his consent.
Peter, although he was too harsh, he loved his single daughter without measure. Frowning for decency, he said importantly:
– Get going, Nadia. I’ll take you to the region by train.
For the first time, they were not interested in shops, although their parents allocated a generous "subsidy". I went to an old temple. Saint Mary with the baby in her arms looked at Nadia with quiet sadness. "I’m sorry," she whispered and burst into tears. Someone put a hand on his shoulder. An old nun. On the face – universal humility. In the eyes – wisdom. The dark clothes smelled of incense. The words spoke like a silent prayer:
Are you sad, baby? Lost someone?
Nadia spoke about her sin for the first time.
“The Lord is kind, He forgives and turns us sinners to the right path. There are no righteous people on earth. But we can repent for prayers and good deeds.
– How can I continue to live?
— With faith. And follow your heart.
The nun blessed Nadia and crossed herself in front of the image of St. Mary. Maybe she prayed for her, Nadina, soul …
After graduating from college, some of the classmates went to work in education, some were preparing for university exams, some were preparing for a wedding. Nadia decided to become a nun. This stunned everyone. A beauty, a fashionista, a loner with wealthy parents, and suddenly … It was noticeable that Nadia had changed recently. But what is it?..
The mother was crying. Father silently walked, clenching his hands into fists.
“I follow my heart,” she said softly but firmly.
Peter stopped. Something thought. And peacefully, as if to his quick temper, he asked:
"You won’t forget us, will you?" Truth?
The worldly name remained in the past life. They named her Augusta. Sister Augusta prayed that heaven would endow her with the same wisdom, the ability to understand and dissuade, as an old nun from that church …
Sister Augusta has been serving the Lord for almost two decades. And people. They say she has an amazing gift – heals the soul. The parishioners look to Sister Augusta for advice, consolation and an account of despondency. They say that communication with her brings relief.
And she just knows how to talk to human souls. Strings words like a string. Souls, like tired angels, partake of her advice. It seemed that the simple phrases spoken by the lips of Sister Augusta looked like naive prayers created from human pain, disappointments, hopes… She also advised to follow the call of your heart. As once she was an old nun.
Sister Augusta recognized the man. Proud. Nearby is a boy of about thirteen. Apparently son. He recognized her too.
“Nadya…” he said softly.
I am August’s sister.
“You… are you here because of me…?”
What brought you to the monastery?
– Son … Styopka. Stepan. He needs a second operation. And my wife is in trouble. After giving birth, she ended up in a psychiatric hospital. Has been sick ever since. Someone cursed me… Help… tell… I was told you can. And sorry if I…
“If one could ask for forgiveness from the souls that people did not allow to be born. Restless, unbaptized, without names, they hover between earth and sky, looking for shelter. They do not know the way to dreams. Their tears do not fall in rain, but in pain.
– What should I do? Gordey asked.
– Pray? Doctors insist on an operation. Expensive. And you are talking about prayer… about some souls. They say you have a gift. Nothing you can! All these are words. Words are worth nothing.
“Why did you come here if you don’t have faith and repentance?” Sister Augusta asked.
“I believe…” Stepan said quietly.
Sister Augusta laid her hand on the slender, boyish shoulder.
– Everything will be fine. Just don’t lose faith. And don’t be afraid of surgery.
Will there be an operation? Gordey asked, blinking his eyes.
“Maybe we can bring mom here,” Stepan said.
Sister Augusta nodded her head and smiled…