A story by Georgy Stalev
English translation by Violet Alex
Mikhal Mikhalev a petty clerk, small man with a small thin moustache married for 20 years. His wife is a 45 year-old Russian woman, Natasha Mikhaleva nee – Bezsmertnaya. Mihal brought her years ago from the former Soviet Union. Then she was a young fragile as a birch with eyes as clear blue sky and blond hair. Now only the eyes remained from all that, but they were no longer the same … Mrs. Mikhaleva was unemployed for a very long time.
That day Mr. Mikhalev climb slowly the three floors of the building, looked at the scruffy long corridor stepped timidly through, looking at the right doors and the plates on it. Finally he stopped in front of the door one that read, Lawyer Nadezhda Elpidova divorces. He knocked on the door carefully waited for a response from inside; he opened the door delicately and was greeted respectfully. As he looked at the woman sitting behind the desk which had a monitor and a dozen of folders, pens and two mobiles were standing on top dutifully. And there was an old-time landline phone aside.
Lawyer Elpidova invited him to sit down, she was a mature dark-eyed woman, with brown hair, a pretty but tired face which was seen by the large circles under her eyes. He addressed himself and a phone rang, lawyer Elpidova apologized to Mr. Mikhalev and he had to listen to what she was talking and explaining to a client that there was no way not to win the case, because the arguments were solid: the woman was lazy, she didn’t work, didn’t care about the house, smoked and drank, and even she has been caught once on the scene, there were also witnesses. Everything was ok. The divorce was sure win for the other side he had to think.
The conversation ended Mr. Mikhalev was encouraged that he got the right person, and that his problem would be solved and he would be freed from the shackles of marriage these heavy manacles on his feet which prevented him from flights.
“Tell me, Mr…! lawyer Elpidova addressed to him. “My name is Mikhal Mikhalev and I am coming to you to sue for divorce, and the reasons are a lot, I will list the most important: my wife, Natasha Mikhaleva nee Bezsmertnaya, Russian, does not do her obligations, causing me physical, moral and material damage, does not go to work, and not actively looking for, does not care about our little apartment, does not cook, does not clean, just puts the laundry, goes out with friends for coffee, smokes at home , which is contrary the European directives and our laws not to harm others next to you, abuse alcohol, she encroached on me several times, for that I even have a medical certificate of proof
The second phone rang and interrupted the pleading of Mr. Mikhalev, lawyer Elpidova apologized again and held a 10-minute conversation on business matters. “Go on, please!” – She urged his client again after the call. Mr. Mikhalev continued: “Our relationship chilled with age she neglected her appearance and even grew a beard and a moustache. It’s disgusting, Mrs. Counselor. I miss the emotional contact, we have no sexual relationship, and although we sleep in a bed it provides stress to me. Because she snores outrageously and I cannot sleep well, and I’m working man and I am part of the economic link of society. At last, I want to share with you that a month ago my colleagues saw her.
Strong continuous ring echoed the room. It was mixed with unintelligible sounds coming from somewhere nearer the side of Michal Mikhalev. As the telephone was ringing became a sound as familiar too familiar. His mind heard sounds like there were strangling dogs to the left of him. He opened his sticky eyelids and realized it was dark, which the alarm clock was ringing and the grunting belonged to his other half.
He had to get up. It was Monday – the start of the new week!
*Bezsmertnaya-a Russian family name meaning “without death”.
**Nadezhda- a Russian female name meaning “hope”.