Работаю в жанре прозы. Автор семи книг. Больше интересует современная тематика. Книга под названием. “Имя ей – Любовь” была номинирована как “самая читаемая книга семь” в III республиканском конкурсе в 2008 г. В конкурсе участвую не первый год. Свой новый рассказ Berries has Ripened (Ягода поспела) посвящаю своей маме, чьё детство пришлось на годы Великой Отечественной войны.
Berries has Ripened
Akbulatova Farzana Fatihovna
Gulnisa is gloriously happy when her father comes home from work earlier. Samerkhan agay returns before she goes to bed and buries himself into paperwork. He writes and composes something, counts without looking up. Child missing her father doesn’t let him out of her sight. Gulnisa is already in the first grade, but Samerkhan agay still treats his only kid as a baby. He indulges her and carries in his arms. But such moments are becoming less, because the work is increasing. There has been a war for two years. In two years the war has taken away husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. No matter how many claims Samerkhan agay has sent to join the war at his own will, he gets a postponement and stays in the village. «First of all, you are experienced manager», – they said. Over time such men had been mobilized too. But Samerkhan agay was needed at home front as forestry specialist. The 1943 brought changes into the life of this family. In the 1943 forty-three years old Samerkhan got mobilization notice. And now in order to finish all papers he writes reports day and night. Gulnisa is glad that dad stays home for all the time. She knows that her father loves her and won’t scold whatever she did. And now she is sitting next to busy father again. Soon she climbs to his back and rumples his hair. «Hupp, courser! Let’s get me on the top of Kaf mountain!», – she screams. There are beautiful Kaf mountains in the tails her father told. But, they say, not everyone can get there. «I will take you, my dear. As soon as I return, we will fly there. You will be grown up for that moment. Just wait for me» – says father and sits down for the reports again. Meantime Yamila apay, Gulnisa’s mother, came in.
– Don’t bother father, darling, let him finish his work, – she said.
– No, she doesn’t disturb me at all, – says Samerhan agay, caressing Gulnisa and returns to his work.
– You’re spoiling her too much, daddy, – said Yamila apay.
– She has got father, just as lots of her peers lost their ones. Let her be spoiled.
Gulnisa, without any doubts, is spoiled and beloved child. Her brothers and sisters died of disease before they reached the age of one. Only Gulnisa, the youngest kid, was born a healthy girl. Samarkhan agay, handyman and loving father, made several sledges, skis and skates for her. He wanted to raise an athletic daughter, and often compete with her. This “tender” girl has never lost in competitions between older children.
– The war won’t be long, – said father.
– We will overcome all difficulties. Still, there are relations, we will stick together, – answered Yamila apay trying to hold back her tears.
– You’re mom’s main helper! – said dad hugging his daughter.
After Samerkhan agai’s leaving, village seemed to become empty. Yamila apay worked round the clock. Home was quiet. Gulnisa felt to be older.
There was a joyful news that the German fascists were retreating. This news gave strengths and hope to the poor and hungry people. The day letter from front come is the biggest, the greatest high day. One day Samerkhan agay wrote that he had got hurt but returned to the battlefield. After month he carried a serious wound and was got to hospital of the city N. “This time I was seriously injured. They said I can not fight anymore. Soon I’ll come back home. Gulnisa, my dear, please dry berries by the time I got home. I missed strawberries from Our field very much”, – wrote he in next letter. Meanwhile, there were bloody and cruel battles near the city of N. Nobody in the home front knew about it.
“Soon he will come back home” thought Gulnisa jumping with joy.
– Hurray! My daddy’s coming back! Mom, I’ll collect so many berries for my dad. Oh, how dad will be pleased! Mommy, maybe I’ll go now? We will start to dry them. What if dad’s back tomorrow? After all, letters take so long to get here! – said girl, hastily grabbing a basket for berries.
– It’s already evening, sweetheart. I think a handful of berries will be enough for father. You still have time.
Gulnisa couldn’t sleep all night. It seemed father would knock the door and enter the house. So several times she went up and tiptoed to the door. She wanted to be the first who bring mother joyful message.
Yamila waked daughter up early in the morning. Girl didn’t get enough sleep and barely opened her eyes.
- Are you going to pick berries?
Girl, forgetting about her lack of sleep, jumped out of bed and ran to her friend Sariya.
- Sariya, my dad’s coming back. Let’s quickly pick berries for him!
It was the middle of the summer season, the most working time. All the people mow the hay for the collective farm. Nobody shirks work. Children are made to weed beet. And picking berries is not allowed – you shouldn’t trample haymaking. That’s why the girls went to the field without permission staying out of sight of everyone. If the collective farm chairman Khalfetdin agay catch them, it will not end well.
The field was full of berries. Gulnisa’s face kind of lighted up. She would tell father about it without fail. Girls, laughing and talking, began picking berries.
– Who has allowed you to be here? Why are you not working, deserters?!
The girls jumped up from this terrible scream and froze in place. In front of them the chairman of the collective farm Khalfetdin was sitting on the horse. Girls were frightened as their hairs stood on end on arms. Chairman got off a horse and began to trample the baskets with berries. The grass colored red of crushed berries. Bloody berries … As if earth was crying bloody tears. Angry Halfetdin waving his whip said:
– Never step foot in this territory! Uh, saboteurs!
Girls ran away without looking back. Gulnisa returned home with nothing. “Mom will come soon. What should I say? What if father returns? I would not be able to please him”. The girl cried quietly. After a while the door opened with a creak. Mom entered and looked at Gulnisa with a smile.
– Well, daughter, did you pick berries?
Gulnisa silently continued to look at her mother. Yamila apay asked anxiously:
– Why are you crying? What’s wrong, dear?
But the girl did not have time to answer, as other man’s steps were heard on the porch. Seeing the strict chairman, Gulnisa hid in a corner.
– Yamila apay, why did not your daughter go to weed the beets with the rest of the children? Who allowed her to pick berries in the wrong place?
Yamila apay was at first confused at the dissatisfied look of the chairman, but then, nevertheless, she answered:
– Khalfetdin, your sister Samerkhan returns, his letter has came… He got a heavy wound and asked Gulnisa to pick berries for his arrival, – confused Yamila referred to the chairman with mistake. “Sister”. But Khalfetdin paid no attention to it, the news were more important. After all, he was Samerkhan agay’s student in the school, and before the war he worked under his leadership. Because Khalfetdin was one-handed, he was not mobilized. His voice became softer.
– You said he is coming back? And he is badly hurt.
– Yes …
– Well, let the girl work for a few days, and then go for berries, – giving such permission, the chairman left.
The next day Gulnisa, forgetting about fatigue, worked well in the plowland. Surprised by the little girl working equally to adults, the brigadier asked:
– Well, well, baby, have you possessed by a demon?
– No, and I do not believe in fairy tales! At school the teacher forbids believing all fiction. My dad’s coming home! I start thinking about him – and there is no fatigue. As if my father helps me.
– Wow! And when does he come?
– Today or tomorrow, – Gulnisa said confidently.
Two days later Gulnisa went to the field again. Reaching the place, she slowed down. Once, she stopped. The grass is mowed down, the hay is collected in stacks, and the strawberries are nowhere to be found. Gulnisa kept going forward. “Where is berry place? I need to find it now! Maybe my father is already waiting at home!” That day she wandered a lot. The girl was hungry, thirsty, but, nevertheless, she picket a full basket of berries. She even collected bouquets.
– Mom, I’ve found berries! Let’s dry it. Oh, would father come back before the berries dry! – dreamed the little girl.
Together they made a pastille from those berries.
There were months, not days. But Samerhan agay did not return to his native land. The city of N. turned into ruins. The fascists dropped a bomb to the hospital. “Missing” – such horrifying news came to the family.
And his family had waited. Every year in the middle of summer Gulnisa picked berries. Mother and daughter dried berries. They hadn’t eaten it before new harvest riped.
It’s been years, Gulnisa grew up and got married. But she also picked berries for her father every year. She did not tell her mother about this, did not want to hurt her soul.
Fifty years have passed. Ones Yamila apay, an old lady, told daughter her dream.
– Today with your father we went to our field. It was full of berry flowers. In the place we stepped the berries immediately ripened. “So I managed to get back in time, my dear! Did I keep you waiting for me?” he said, and I woke up.
– Mummy, in fact, berries are ripening. This year there will be good harvest, – said Gulnisa.
– Well, that’s it! Your father will be glad when he returns! – exclaimed joyfully smiling Yamyla apay. – We’ll pick it together, won’t we, sweety?
For a waiting person, half a century does not last long. For a loving soul time does not exist. Gulnisa silently embraced her eighty-year old mother.