The mother laid the festive table, but all the children found excuses not to go to her

Dropping her hands, Anna Georgievna was sitting at the window, looking at the cheerful lights of the garlands entangling the lampposts. Less than an hour remained before the New Year.

The laid festive table shimmered with crystal and polished cupronickel. Carefully laid out napkins delighted with their whiteness, shading the blue cobalt exhibited in honor of the celebration of a rare service.

Slides of salads, cuts of appetizers, complemented the elite alcohol and champagne crowded in the corner. The woman glanced at the table full of food with an unseeing glance and lowered her eyes to the news in the messenger: — Mom, I’m sorry. Postponed New Year’s corporate party. I can’t come, I’ll drop by first or second. Happy New Year! I re-read the message:

What is this? After all, Vitalik promised to bring his family. And now, just like that, he canceled the meeting. And she then hoped that she would at least sit with them. After all, an hour ago, the youngest son called. He excused himself by catching the flu, said that he would not be able to come.

True, in the background, she clearly heard the sounds of dashing melodies and the noise of voices. But do not accuse Serezha of insincerity on such a day. The woman grimaced bitterly.

After the death of her husband, adult children somehow moved away from her. They rarely came, getting off only with calls and e-mails. To see the grandchildren, I had to invite myself to visit. Although, often she was not welcome there, her grandchildren are almost adults. She did not grumble — everyone has their own family. They only got together on holidays. “But it seems that they are no longer a reason to visit their mother,” she thought sadly.

The hands of the clock moved inexorably towards twelve. Anna Georgievna glanced around at the brightly lit, comfortable room. For a moment I admired the Christmas tree decorated for the grandchildren. She smiled at the TV screen, where the president traditionally saluted with champagne, and hurried into the hallway. She really didn’t want to be alone.

Now the youth will start launching fireworks. At least I’ll watch a real fireworks, — an elderly woman quickly threw on a warm coat and put her feet in cozy ugg boots. With the first blow of the chimes, she slammed the door and hurried downstairs. For some reason, it was important for her to get outside before the new year.

Having flung open the entrance door, Anna Georgievna suddenly found herself as if in another, fairy-tale world. Dressed up people scurried around. In the center of the courtyard was a table laden with appetizers. Children with sparklers rushed past. Explosions of bombs and firecrackers were heard here and there. At the fence separating the yard from the square, unfamiliar young people set up long firework poles.

Looking at all this cheerful disgrace, the woman was slightly confused. She began to make her way to a shop standing in the distance, when an unknown girl, running past, thrust a plastic cup into her hand: — Happy New Year, — she shouted and held out a disposable plate with a piece of cake. Sitting down on a bench, Anna Georgievna took a sip from her glass:

Champagne! — a cheerful thought flashed through my head, — how great! In vain she did not grab anything from her table. She so wanted to treat these lovely people. Snacking sparkling wine with a delicious cake, the woman admired the golden sparks of fireworks soaring upwards, when a grumbling old man flopped down on the bench next to her. — What an unpleasant type — flashed through my head. And she instinctively moved away.

An elderly man squinted at her and smiled: — Do not be afraid, I do not bite. It’s just that someone threw a cracker at his feet, — he raised a glass of the same as hers in greeting, — Happy New Year, beautiful stranger! This undisguised flattery amused Anna Georgievna: A beautiful stranger, I was about forty years ago, she burst out laughing.

The man ran his hand over a pretty fashionable beard: — Well, forty years ago, and I was irresistible. He looked attentively and stretched, to shake off the snow from her shoulder: — You know, you are damn good now! — Say, too, — the woman was embarrassed. After twenty minutes of casual conversation, Anna Georgievna knew almost everything about him.

Igor Petrovich has long been divorced. Adult children live abroad and do not indulge an elderly man with visits: — Do you miss your grandchildren? she asked about the pain. He shrugged his shoulders. “I never saw them. Skype is not communication. He shook his head and smiled: — Children and grandchildren, this is not the whole life. What are you interested in besides them? Do you like fishing, for example?

Anna Georgievna thought for a moment. Concerned about the well-being of children, she completely abandoned herself. She was not interested in anything and was not fond of anything. And even more so, I had no idea how she felt about fishing. But, in order not to disappoint an interesting interlocutor, she nodded timidly.

Igor Petrovich laughed contagiously: — So, I was lucky. I have a fishing house in Valdai. Do not want to shake? — he stared at her questioningly, — there is such a beauty. Agree!

The woman raised her eyebrows in bewilderment: — Right now? He nodded: — Why pull? Let’s have a New Year’s Eve. Anna Georgievna thought about the children who promised to visit after the holiday, and suddenly got angry. So sick of adjusting my life to fit

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