Only after the winter session, in which we both had a good time, integralist and with high marks, we finally got home. You can't even imagine how good I felt, how beautiful her parents treated me! They pampered me almost like their daughter. I also liked Mrs Lia, Manuela's mother, but her father, Mr Iegor Ivanovich, made an impression far beyond my expectations. Distinguished, grey-haired, with a lot of humour, extraordinarily attentive to his wife and daughter, he was the father I had wanted since I knew myself in the world, but I had the exact opposite. He was a lawyer by profession and even offered to help me solve the documents for my grandmother's inheritance.
"You don't have to bother, sir." If my "estate " had been closer, I would have been happy to accept your help, but so ... in addition, it is so little, that it is not worth the effort to travel. I'll take care of it during the summer vacation.
"But there's no problem!" Manuela told us that you have enough troubles in your family and that you don't have enough money at all ... "So, I offer to help you. You realize I think, that I am absolutely disinterested in the material aspects of the business. And Manuela's friends are also our friends, so ..."
On her return, Manuela realized, no more, no less, that I had become more than nice to her beautiful father. He had discovered all sorts of signs of this interest. The first would have been the very way he had repeated my name when I was introduced to him. Then she had often caught him studying me when I wasn't paying attention. To these "observations" were added the insistent questions about me, which had been asked to him throughout the holiday, as well as his increasingly frequent visits to our home. As for me, I was absolutely sure that Mr Ivanovich had shown me only a friendly, even somewhat paternal, interest.
This episode was about to ruin our friendship because in the following months Manuela stung me with mischievous allusions whenever she had the opportunity and she cooled off towards me in manifestations, although I couldn't really say that we didn't I ever argued. Fortunately, however, everything ended well ...
The first year of school passed, the summer vacation, in which we went to the sea together, but we did not visit at home, then the first semester of the second year. And here we are again preparing for the Christmas holidays. Manuela invited me, out of complacency, to her, but I refused to go, for fear of not feeding her crazy ideas, which she just seemed to have forgotten. I had even decided to go home very early, so I will not meet Mr Ivanovich when he will come to pick her up. That's why I saw dark in front of my eyes when awakened from sleep by repeated knocks on the door, I opened it and woke up face to face with ... Manuela's father.
"I came to take you home. I want to get there early because there is a lot of preparation to do and my wife can't cope alone ..."
"Anya is not coming with us! his daughter cut the momentum. I invited her, but she refused." She said that Christmas is a family holiday and that we should each spend it with her family.
"That's why, Anya, you come with us! We are your family from now on!"
"Dad, aren't you really ashamed? Manuela burst out. Are you making advances in my presence?"
"My God, Manuela, do you know me so little?! Do you really think I would be able to do that?! Well, that's not about it."
!Really? And is it about what? What, you think I'm stupid and I didn't see how you looked at her when she was with us?!
"Manuela, you're upsetting me with these infamous accusations. That's why I have to defend myself. Your mother already knows what I'm going to tell you now. We had decided to be together when you find out, on Christmas night, the night of miracles. For what has happened in our lives is a true miracle. Corina is your sister.!
!What can I tell you, you also found out that this is how we are nicknamed in college ...!
"I'm serious, Manuela. I'm Corina's father, just like I'm yours. Corina is the lost child of my youth."
"It's not possible!" I cried, bursting into tears.
"Yes ... I met your mother, Anya, at the Chemical Plant in Salavat, where we were both assigned after graduation, she as an economist and I as a jurisconsult. We were very attracted to each other, we played without thinking about consequences and she got pregnant. I was very happy to be a father and I immediately asked her to be my wife. He did not explicitly refuse me, he just said that we can get married later, it was important to recognize the child. I loved her with all my heart, but my feelings were not shared and things started to get worse between us. Your birth didn't change anything for the better either, on the contrary. When she told me he wanted to break up because she loved someone else, I asked her to let you in my care. She didn't even want to hear, although that would have made it easier for him to rebuild her life. She told me that her future husband was crazy about you and that she wanted to adopt you. What can I tell you ...? The discussion degenerated into a horrible scandal, I lost my temper and hit it. The next day, when I came home from work, I found the house empty. She had run away, taking you with her. He left town, got married, and I simply lost track of you, despite my desperate efforts to find you. Then I got married and ... The rest of the story is easy to understand.
"Okay, but how?..."
"Your name evoked painful memories of how I heard Manuela say it. You became dear to me without knowing you, without knowing anything about you, just because Manuela appreciated you and because you had the name of my lost daughter. When I saw you and realized how much you physically resembled Manuela and me, I began to have a suspicion. I was also afraid to hope, for fear of being a mere coincidence. I had the courage to confess my worries to Lia. She urged me to find out the truth at all costs so that I could find peace in one way or another.
"That's why you kept untying me, Daddy, about Anya ..." Manuela said.
I looked at her with a heavy heart. Her eyes were in tears.
"Of course! That's why I paid so much attention to her, that's why I offered myself and helped her with the legacy" - things that you misinterpreted completely.
"Am I sure of your daughter? In the last ten minutes, I have had so many illusions that I think I would die if I were shattered ..."
"There is no doubt! Your mother, who I come from right now, has confirmed everything to me. Here's the proof: look at this photo very carefully!"
From the small, black-and-white picture, with jagged edges, three familiar faces looked at me: a young and handsome man, in whose features I recognized Mr Iegor Ivanovich, smiling happy, hugging my mother, with me, up to a year, in her arms.
"Father!"I shouted and threw myself into his arms crying.
"I told you, Anya, from the beginning that we are alike! You see, it wasn't for nothing that they all called us "Sisters." Now we are real sisters!"
Dad spread an arm and hugged Manuela in our arms. I heard his voice full of emotion:
"Come on, I still need to wait after you?! Lia’s waiting to bring her girls home!" ‘ The end