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His luxurious courtyard is hidden from neighbors behind a high fence.

“There is no point in peeping at how the authorities live," Boris Petrovich replied to his wife’s reproach, why, they say, fence off from people.

Boris Petrovich went to the officials all his life. The townspeople did not like him. There was a lot of honor. He even divided his relatives into “poor” and “such”.

He complained that he was not lucky with his neighbors: they were too simple for his positions. Not to visit, not to invite. Greeted in good spirits. And when a neighbor who lives across the road, the son had a terrible accident and the woman asked Boris Petrovich for help, he referred to being busy. Maxim was disabled. And the neighbor held a grudge.

Lida, the wife, never said an extra word. They said that her husband ate her up, that she could not give birth to a child. “And who will get all this goodness?” neighbors and relatives thought.

There were many who wanted to make friends with Boris Petrovich, because "he can do anything." He was invited to various events. He loved the attention. He knew how to speak beautifully and make toasts. Lida did not like these events. But I have to be with my husband. They sympathized with her. Often caught pitying glances. At such moments, I wanted to hide behind a high fence …

The higher position Boris Petrovich received, the more arrogant he became. School and college friends have become former. Dealt with only the right people. And he also began to “get sick” with brunette women. His wife has wheaten hair. When I was a guy, I fought with the guys for Lida. Time passed, and the beauty with the hair of ripe wheat turned into a frightened gray mouse.

Lida worked in one of the institutions. For women, she was the number one target for gossip.

“If I had that kind of money, I would look no worse than a Hollywood star,” sighed the former Miss of the regional center Larisa. And Linda…

“Petrovich doesn’t put a penny on her,” the bookkeeper defended Lida. – I caught a cold on young brunettes. However, Lida will not leave. "Decent" family man. And it was her parents who helped Petrovich to break through the road to power. They were powerful and not poor. But Petrovich was cunning and had a good physiognomy.

“He still lacks nothing,” Larisa rolled her eyes dreamily.

– You won’t get anything. You are a redhead,” the accountant laughed.

… Boris Petrovich disparagingly called the people who came to his office with their problems "petitioners." Who were ordinary, well-worked men and women for him?

When he made it to the top, the late mother asked: “Boriska, son, respect and listen to people so that they don’t curse you. No one has ever complained about our family.” Mom’s words were forgotten, because the temptation was great to get everything from life and even a little more.

… Lida fell ill suddenly. Doctors advised Boris Petrovich to bring his wife to the capital’s clinic. Didn’t listen. He stared indifferently at Lida’s beautiful body. Her quiet moan irritated him. He caught himself thinking that this sick woman would soon disappear from his life. And in public he pretended to be a heartbroken husband.

Lida asked to let her cousin visit them and help cook and clean.

– I don’t have the power. And Natasha is out of work now. We would pay her.

Refused. Shouted:

“Why do strangers have to roam around here?” Watch how I live? And then gossip.

– And I’m still living here, Boris.

“That’s right, for now,” he said firmly.

… When Lida died, Boris Petrovich breathed a sigh of relief that he no longer had to call doctors, visit his sick wife in the hospital, endure the smell of medicines at home. Now he can spend more time with his beloved brunette. And after the death of his wife, she became intrusive. In vain that Boris Petrovich is fifty-five, and she is almost thirty years younger. Age, compared to his status and wealth, is nothing to her.

Boris Petrovich never invited his "beloved" home. And when one day the passion appeared in front of the gate without permission, he gave her a “resignation”. He had no idea to share with someone his good. In private, he admired his condition. Only high-flying birds came to his mansions. Proudly arranged tours of the house, a large garden with a variety of trees and flowers. He treated me to expensive drinks donated by "grateful" people and delicious dishes prepared in my favorite restaurant.

“You need a hostess, Boris Petrovich,” said guests from the capital and “dear” friends. He shook his head contritely: there is no one else like his late Lida, they lived for so many years in harmony and love … The role of an inconsolable widower was given to him wonderfully.

… The closer to retirement, the more I was afraid that I would have to be left without a position, expensive presents. I couldn’t imagine how it was possible not to manage, not to put pressure on the next victim, not to “shine” in front of the public, not to decide other people’s destinies. And when the high authorities decided to let Boris Petrovich work a little more, for the first time he made a gift from his own pocket for orphans – he bought a lot of sweets. And he brought it not on the eve of some holiday, but just like that. What odes were sung to him for this!

… Health "asked" Boris Petrovich to retire. In the big house it became unbearable from loneliness. Called "dear" friends, invited to visit. They cited employment. Like him once, "they decided matters of national importance." He remembered those whom he helped to make a career, arranged children for universities, signed the necessary documents. He also called, among other things, asked to "drop in for a minute." But they didn’t have time for him either. He became useless.

Spacious mansions pressed on the brain. And in the yard, his eyes rested on a high fence. At some point, it seemed to the man that he had lived his entire life behind a high fence, with which he fenced himself off from people and the world. Made a bench near the gate. Like the neighbors.

Now Boris Petrovich sat on the bench for a long time on fine days. But no one stopped near him to exchange a few words. Only Maxim smiled stupidly and waved his hand when his mother took him out in a wheelchair.

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