Victoria Tokareva: Sagittarius


How much does a person need? Warmth, food and goodwill.
“Are you husband and wife?” asked Ovechka.
“No,” Katya answered. “We met an hour ago.”
“You are going to have a romance,” the old lady promised.
“Why do you think that?”
“You have a lot of joyful interest towards each other…”
Katya stopped eating and closely looked at Kostya, as if considering it. Kostya turned red, which he rarely did. He never got embarrassed generally.
“You remind me of myself when I was young” noticed Ovechka.
“Is that good or bad?” Katya asked.
“It is very good. I ruined many lives.”
“And is that good or bad?” Katya was confused.
“It’s normal.”
“When is it better to live: when you’re young or now?” asked Katya.
“When you’re young and now. Children grew up, no responsibilities, no more depending on a man. Freedom…”
“But dependency is life” Kostya objected.
“You can depend if you want to. From her.”
Kostya turned red again. The old woman was young. She liked to kick up a row. To make people feel uncomfortable.
“Is there anything else you would like to sell?” asked Katya.
“I have a holiday house. Nobody lives there.”
“What about your children?” recalled Kostya.
“They have another holiday house, in a different place. Near San Francisco.”
“But you can lease the house?” suggested Katya.
“I don’t like leasing,” the old woman refused.
“Why?”
“Because people never wipe their feet against the curtains at home. But in hotels they do.”
“But nobody lives there anyway,” Katya recalled.
“My memories live there. Before, that holiday house was the centre of life: a big family gathered there, the fireplace burned, it smelled of pie…The past went under water, like Atlantis…”
“That’s sad,” said Katya.
“That’s how it is supposed to be,” the old woman objected, “that’s the way of life. The past leaves, giving way to the future. The soup you just eat will turn into waste in a couple of hours. And you will be hungry again.”

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