A while back, I found myself confined to bed rest, and during that time, my roommate’s husband became a regular visitor.

A while back, I found myself confined to bed rest, and during that time, my roommate’s husband became a regular visitor.

Back in those youthful years, hardly old enough to be called “women,” yet that’s how the hospital referred to us. There were twelve of us in the ward, all eagerly awaiting the arrival of our little ones – in what they called “lying in labor.” Among us was Nastya, not exactly what society would deem conventionally attractive, with her large, swollen belly.

But then again, we were all in the same boat, sporting our own protruding bellies and wearing the weariness of pregnancy. Our ward, situated on the first floor, became a gathering place for husbands, who would come to the window ledge to chat with their wives for a few fleeting moments. In those days devoid of phones, the anticipation of whether our husbands would visit was a source of much anxiety and tears, especially when some failed to show up due to work commitments or distance.

However, Nastya’s story was different. Every single day, without fail, she was visited by a red-headed lad in a cap – not the most striking of individuals, but his devotion was unmatched. He would arrive bearing a small pot wrapped in a blanket, always filled with something warm and comforting, be it boiled potatoes or pasta soup.

Even after a long day’s work at the factory, he made the effort to come, even if it meant arriving after visiting hours. Silently, he would hand over the pot to Nastya, ensuring she had something to eat before making his journey home, which often took him hours.

Eventually, we all safely gave birth and left the hospital. Fifteen years passed, and by chance, I bumped into Nastya on the street. She was pregnant with her fourth child, and to my surprise, she had transformed into a beautiful, well-groomed woman, albeit slightly overweight. Her car was sleek and luxurious, and behind the wheel sat the same red-haired man – now a respectable figure. He may not have been conventionally handsome, much like that crumpled aluminum pot of his, but his actions spoke volumes about his character.

It wasn’t his appearance that mattered, but rather the warmth and care he always delivered, just like those potatoes that remained warm despite the long journey to the hospital.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *