By the time my words will see the light of printing, my family will certainly be grown and I will be much happier than ever. And not just because we are three, but because my husband has finally learned that I am the most important being in his life. For this, I must thank the divinity, who gave me unexpected help!
Only in an instant moment, on the street, I discover the secret of true love. No pompous words, no bouquets of flowers with the size of a chariot wheel, no diamonds or exotic holidays. It cannot be bought, but it can be learned to come to light from the nest of the heart.
I was seven months pregnant, swollen like a balloon, my back ached, and I was carrying a huge, heavy bag. I was coming from the market and I was in a hurry to get home and start cooking. And what if my whole body screams that it wants to rest and a little tenderness?
Only I could hear him, Virgil, my husband, was with the boys at the match. He also had a fixed schedule for Saturday, like his friends: in the stands, at the match, then at the beer. With boys. Then straight to the lunch.
I could barely crawl down the street, thinking that our new car was standing unused in front of our building. I had to get my driver's license. And, until then, a shopping cart, like the old woman who had just stopped next to me at the stop. I looked at her: thin as a leaf, but with a discreet smile on her face, she was leaning on the handle of a ragged, bulging stroller, from which green onion moustaches protruded. I wondered why he could smile when it turned green. The old woman grabbed the cart and hurried across the street, but the cart leaned over the curb and overturned by the gutter, displaying vegetables and fruits like a cornucopia. I left my bag on the floor and ran to it. I picked up her cart and helped her gather her groceries until the traffic light turned red, and the potatoes, plums, apples and greens were all crushed by the wheels of the cars.
"Leave it, little girl, don't bend over, because you're bothering the little one in your belly because of me!"
"It's not a problem, he's used to shaking," I replied, amused and moved at the same time. That's it, I'm done! Wait a minute to get my bag and I'll take your cart as we cross.
"Well, that's good! You better put your bag on the stroller, let's cross the street faster, because I'm in a hurry. No, it's red again!"
Eventually, I placed my bag on her stroller and carried it myself, despite her shouts.
"But where are you in such a hurry?" I asked her to change the subject.
At home, because my husband came out to meet me and I can't let him wait for me. Look at him, he's already lost his temper! "That's it, George, I'm here my love!"
I had reached the other sidewalk. An old man was coming towards us on the alley in front of the block next to us. He wore dark glasses and ... a white cane, with which he felt his way. He hurried, refreshed.
"Come on, darling, did you buy half the market again? he said cheerfully. Give me the cart and come home, I made coffee for you!"
I don't know what happened to me, because I burst into tears.
"Oh, little girl, what is wrong with you? The old woman asked me worriedly. Are you sick?"
"It doesn't hurt, just ... I don't know."
"It hurts, as far as I understand. Let's have a coffee with us!"
"No, leave it" ... I tried to refuse it through tears, but not energetically enough.
"A coffee with milk will dry your tears, little girl, and your baby will rest a little bit in your belly."
"Let's hurry because our coffee is getting cold!"
I landed in a soft armchair, next to two unknown people, but who spread so much warmth that it seemed like we had known each other for a lifetime. In front of me, on a low table, were three cups of steaming coffee and a huge plate of cakes in which I immediately plunged.
"Tell me, why are you crying?" George asked me, with a gentleness I really needed.
"How do you know?" I asked him, but I realized I had made a mistake.
"Well, I still see something, like through the fog, but, especially, I feel that you are not in your feeling good.
"Well, I don't think so either", his wife intervened, introducing herself to me as Ingrid. Carrying a big bag by herself, in her condition, and she also bent back to pick up my shopping on the floor!
Then I cried again. It had hit the nerve and helped me understand why I was crying. I had seen what pure, lasting love looks like. An almost blind old man, who greets his wife to get rid of the shopping cart and pamper her with a coffee, in gratitude for her efforts. And who knows how many such gestures they made for each other every day?!
Breathlessly, I let go and told them about my Viktor, who loved me without a doubt, but who had drawn over time a kind of red line that I could not cross: when he came tired of at work, I was the one who brought her coffee or beer to her nose, when he had a "meeting with the boys" was excluded from changing his schedule for me, and when I was pregnant, although he was at the peak of happiness, he didn't often find it appropriate to ask me if I need any help.
Honestly, I didn't ask him about it either, I knew that he had a hard job in construction and that he was struggling to make money for his family, about to grow up. Now I understood what I was missing!
Viktor had never waited for me with a steaming coffee, he had never offered to help me with cleaning, laundry or other work that either took time or was hard. Not even to drive me shopping. That I could only handle myself, right?
"But does he pamper you for your birthday?"
"Oh yes! It makes me feel like a queen ... And for Christmas, Easter, and the holidays ... But, otherwise, I often feel alone, especially now ..."
"Well, little girl, you are both children, especially your husband," Ingrid decreed. There is no question that he loves you, but, in his mind, you are the base, the strong pillar of the house, it doesn't even cross his mind that you look stronger than you are. As for tenderness...
"What could I say, they are no longer fashionable, they are called teenage sweets", I said.
"They're not teenage sweets! They spring from the heart! George interrupted me. They are hidden in the heart sometimes and do not know how to get out of there. Believe me, I've been a teacher for forty years. I have an idea. Did you say your husband works in construction?"
"Well, look, our old tiles are falling in the bathroom, because of the humidity. We would need a master, for that, and for others. Do you think your husband would be willing to work for us? As for schooling, we will school him with our hearts, don't worry!"
It took them a week to train Viktor, no more. Now, he took the other extreme.
As I get out of bed, he jumps after me: “What do you have? What do you need? Let me do it!” That, if he's home. When he's at work, he calls me ten times a day. "How are you feeling?" What to buy on the way home? "He also instructed his parents:" Mikaela has a little more and gives birth, I don't let her stand for long. From now on, you prepare the meal on Saturday, mother. And not just on Saturdays, but whenever we need you. This training is only good because soon you will work for your nephew!” -What did you tell to Virgil? I asked Ingrid one day, with whom I talk almost daily on the phone. -What should we tell him? We didn’t speak much about it. But you know what it's like, the craft is learned by seeing and doing. Our decision is made: Ingrid and George will be the godparents of our child. They are emeritus teachers in life and we want our son (yes, we will have a little boy very soon) to be their student, as we were.
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