Love story

We are neighbours. He believes in God, goes to church, and is even going to become a priest. He is so funny – angular, out of date, always enthusiastic, confused. He has amazing eyes – cornflower-blue, deep and sad. My mother calls him Piero. In my opinion, very accurate!

It would seem that what I can have in common, ognevushki-ride with this quiet man! Nevertheless, we sit together the whole evening, talk. About what? About literature, about life, about the past. Every second topic, he “turns off” to talk about God. At first it annoyed me and seemed terrible tediousness, then I realized that God is the most precious thing for him in the world, and you’ll always want to share the most expensive one.

Our friendship began with the fact that I undertook to write a textbook on the history of the Church, and he volunteered to help me. I also consider myself a believer, I am in church. Recently, re-reading my diary, I found the following words in it: “The Church is the only place where I feel complete peace of mind”. And indeed it is. But how my faith is unlike his! My one seems to me to be bright, life-affirming, and his … He is so discreet, withdrawn, as if he constantly watches himself.

It seems he likes me. How awkwardly he dodges the humorous hints of my elder sister, and the next day he comes back and sits until late in the evening … “Mother,” my sister teases me, and from this joke we both laugh to tears.

Of the poets he likes the most is Gumilyov. Me too. We even have our favorite poems the same. He is a lyricist. but as if ashamed of it and does not let the soul thirsty for songs to freedom. This trait surprises and angers me the most. What prevents him, because he is not at all a bore. Why is he afraid, why constantly restrains himself?

***

Windows – wide open. The aroma of lilac, mixed with the smell of young foliage and wet asphalt dizzy. Thinking about learning, about the session … Impossible! I archived to his apartment:

– Spring rushes into Moscow mansions in a hurry … What an air, what a may! Run to the park!

– I can not. Today is Saturday – Vigil.

For a moment I freeze in a cordon. Why, why is he like this? ..

However, curiosity and passion for experimentation take over – I lug with him to church for vigil. The magnificence of the decoration and beautiful singing for a while gain the upper hand: tears in my eyes, repent of my frivolity. But after a quarter of an hour, like a bird caught in a cage, I look out of the open window – there is May … How monotonous reading, the smell of incense and serious faces with nature raging in springtime are not combined. And what is he? The attention itself. “Like a candle,” I note in my mind.

Finally the service is over. Forgotten standing, the soul is light. He smiles. “What a wonderful evening, nature seems to echo the service …” echoes ?? NATURE echoes SERVICE ??? .. Lord, how different are we!

***

Autumn. He is already studying at the seminary. I have a bright jacket, fashionable trousers, and from under an elegant hat, long hair curls diligently with curls. In Lavra, everyone turns around on me.

How glad he was to meet, and how a new black seminary tunic goes to him … Quickly and diplomatically takes me outside the monastery. “What is your outfit!” – “I don’t like it?” – “I like it a lot, but they don’t understand it at Laurels”. My face pulls out in surprise: “Why?! ..”

We wander through the abandoned park, sinking in the snowdrifts of yellow and red autumn leaves, scatter them with our feet, collect bouquets. The old swing-boats, despite their pitiful appearance, fit surprisingly well into the golden splendor of the park.

– shake? – he unexpectedly offers.

The fiery trees, the gray sky, the pond, the monastery walls – everything is carried like a whirlwind. Flying – this is freedom, this is bliss! “Vladyka Rector would see me!” He laughs.

***

Let’s wait for an autumn evening, when the smell of burnt leaves sinks in the purple jelly of twilight, and the heart aches from unaccountable sadness, we walk along the walls of the Laurel.

– Listen, I seem to be confused in my religious quest. Why do we need to narrow everything down – after all, all religions by and large speak about the same thing?

– If you look at Christianity as a set of moral rules …

– And how else can you watch ?!

– And you are baptized and you will know, – he became silent. Then he continued:

– Christ – this is Christianity. Christ, not abstract rules. Here we are with you in life as we meet people. And only one becomes more expensive than the others – like half of you. Why did this man, why precisely his love, believed him? Why? I do not know. “The heart alone is vigilant. You can’t see the most important thing with your eyes. ”

Vigilantly only one heart …

***

My baptism day was gray, really winter. Here and the temple – a small, rural, wooden, cozy. At the door the regulars, church grandmothers: “Come on, daughter!” The choir of the uncle’s voices is suddenly blocked by an old woman in a bright green scarf: “And why is this a ruble for me! All two, and I ruble ?! ”… My bright solemn spiritual state crushed by one phrase! These grandmothers will scare anyone away from church!

Baptized – ten people – from young to old. “In the name of the Father. Amen.

***

My baptism day was gray, really winter. Here and the temple – a small, rural, wooden, cozy. At the door the regulars, church grandmothers: “Come on, daughter!” The choir of the uncle’s voices is suddenly blocked by an old woman in a bright green scarf: “And why is this a ruble for me! All two, and I ruble ?! ”… My bright solemn spiritual state crushed by one phrase! These grandmothers will scare anyone away from church!

Baptized – ten people – from young to old. “In the name of the Father. Amen. And the Son. Amen. And the Holy Ghost. Amen”. I stand among others, say as a spell: “Behold, now I am a Christian” – and nothing! Everything seems to me that the priest will say some last, most important “amen”, and I will feel that I have become completely different. I’m trying to look at myself … No, it’s still the same. Somehow even insulting.I go to a stop. A familiar green scarf looms near the church fence. “Help, daughter!” – says grandmother … And I suddenly notice that both her lips and hands are completely blue from the cold.

 In winter, he came home quite rarely, and when he arrived, he dropped in for some 10-15 minutes and disappeared again. “So that ended our … our friendship,” I thought. Only sometimes on Sundays did he invite me to the Lavra, and everything became as before – jokes, memories and conversations …

Early Sunday morning. I put on the only skirt to the toe in my wardrobe, tie a scarf on my head. “Who do you look like ?!” – laugh parents. Today, he is waiting for me, which means ahead, in a cold train, past snow-covered villages to Sergiev Posad, and then along the creaking sparkling snow directly to the Lavra. The mighty domes of ancient cathedrals, like the Atlanteans, maintain a low gray-blue sky. Evenly, echoing the bell. Flocks of birds soar into the air, and a screaming merry-go-round hovers above the bell tower.

Life in the Lavra is subject to some special rhythm, imbued with a special atmosphere. I fall inside, and the toes of my legs automatically come together, my eyes go down, and with a small, mincing gait, I head towards him. “Well, you are just like a real mother!” I’m all shining – I want to be at least a little bit involved in this council, this ring, this new, still incomprehensible, but for some reason alluring life. She no longer seems gloomy.

Much has been experienced, rethought, felt through this snowy winter. Then there was the first confession, the first Lent, the first – the real – Easter. “You’re not a hopper for some reason?”

May again. I sit by the open window, unable to tear myself away from the spring allegro. Again and again, the poems of Yuri Zhivago do not give rest:

And the same mixture of fire and horror

In the wild and in live comfort

And everywhere the air itself is not your own …

Doorbell. On the threshold – he, in some malorossky white shirt with an embroidered ornament. “Just like the groom, only the flowers are missing,” I smiled in the shower. Passed an hour, another. Here, now finish the tea and start saying goodbye … “Yes, by the way, I wanted to ask you about something, I actually came for that.” Oh, here’s why he came – my heart ached. But then my bitter thoughts were interrupted. Because he suddenly said, very softly and quietly:

– Marry me…

 

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