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I recently lost a close friend, my teacher Leonid Petrovich. I was a difficult student. There were reasons for this, of course: my mother was divorced, nagging me all the time, reproaching me for not being the son she dreamed of. That made me even worse. I was hated and beaten at school. And that made me even more bullied, spiteful, cheating, which made me even more hated and beaten again. I would shut myself away, cry into my pillow, and when I came to school, I would get bullied, angry, and hurt again.

One day I was just met in the corridor by Leonid Petrovich, our history teacher. I read a lot, since I had no friends, and Leonid Petrovich simply asked my opinion about Chinese dynasties. I was very educated at heart that the teacher, it turns out, understood that I was not an idiot. Since then I began to visit Leonid Petrovich often myself, and we talked about history, about books, about everything in the world.

One day I was just met in the corridor by Leonid Petrovich, our history teacher. I read a lot, since I had no friends, and Leonid Petrovich simply asked my opinion about Chinese dynasties. I was very educated at heart that the teacher, it turns out, understood that I was not an idiot. Since then I began to visit Leonid Petrovich often myself, and we talked about history, about books, about everything in the world.

Leonid Petrovich seemed to be the only one in the world who believed in me. And I believed in myself, too. Six months later I graduated from school, but our friendship with the teacher remained. He was a lonely old man, and now I would just come to his house. We read together, discussed movies and shows. Uncle Lenya was great at making pancakes with apples, which I like so much. He helped me get ready, and a year later I entered medical school on my own. It was necessary to earn money, and already in my second year, my friend, I don’t know how, got me an intern (i.e. a real doctor) in one of the prestigious hospitals.

And that’s where I became an idiot. I decided that I was such a genius, I was so talented, that other doctors were listening to me as a student. My salary was already 5 times the pension of my teacher, so he was a Soviet mediocrity, but I – a modern almost genius. I even got bored talking to him. I almost stopped visiting Leonid Petrovich and did not even pick up the phone when he called. Sometimes, he would still call and ask, for example, to buy potatoes (because he simply could not carry more than 2-3 kg due to his age and health), and I would forget, or would remember 2 weeks later. From his teacher’s pension he gave me expensive gifts, because he had no children of his own, and I was sorry to tears to buy for him even a simple cake. I did not want to introduce him to my girlfriend, and I was ashamed to tell her that I was friends with an older man.

He hadn’t been feeling well lately. He no longer called and waited for me to talk, since he realized that I didn’t want that, but only asked me to at least pick up the phone when he called, since he was most afraid of dying alone.

As I feared, it came out that way.

And the terrible thing is that I found out about it almost a week later, when I accidentally met his neighbor.

I’m getting married soon. And Uncle Leni won’t be there. And my Marina will never meet him again. Now I’m ready to thank him a hundred times over for believing in me, for helping me and taking care of me. Only there’s no one to thank.

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Comments to: What we have, we don’t keep
  • 08/24/2021

    It is the way of man that he takes care of himself and his offspring, and he no longer has time to think about his ancestors and parents. It’s sad, but it’s a cruel law of nature

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