School of Rebirth

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Chapter 1

— Anya?

— Yes, Nadezhda Alexandrovna.

— Come to my office.

— Something serious?

— Yes, just need to talk to you.

— Good. I’ll just take the textbooks to the library.

— Of Course.

I walked along the corridor and met my classmate Irina.

— What did Nadezhda want from you?

— She said to go to her office to discuss something.

— Again, any event?

— Most probably. Okay, I’ll tell you later.

— Yeah. It’s good for you, you’re going home, and I’m going to be sour all summer in the hostel. Stepfather with his new passion flies to Egypt. They asked me to hold out here for at least a month. And then at home, you see, I will be bored.

— What nonsense? Is your father crazy?

— No, Vika just wrapped his head and wallet.

— I see. If you want, will you come to me on vacation?

— Thank you, I’ll think about it.

— Okay, I’ll run.

— Come on. See you tonight.

— Anita, has a seat.

— Thank you, Nadezhda A leksandrovna.

— I have bad news for you.

— Something happened?

— Unfortunately, yes. I don’t know how to tell you. Now the director will come here, she should also be present.

— Director? I didn’t seem to break anything…

— It’s not about violations. Your parents died this morning when they were driving to your place.

— B then?…

— Car accident. A large truck lost control on the way out of your city and crashed into their car.

— This can’t be! Dad has been driving for many years, he is an experienced driver! It’s some kind of mistake! — I screamed, trying to cope with the horror that covered me from within.

No Unfortunately. You drink some water and here are some more pills. Fear not, this is just a “valerian”.

— I don’t need your “Valerianki”, I don’t believe it! — I sharply pushed aside the hand outstretched to me with yellow pills and they scattered on the floor.

— Anya, dear, calm down, please.

Director Xenia Gennadievna entered the office.

— Well, how is our excellent student?

— Does not believe. I do not know what to do. The psychologist is on vacation and will only be out in a week. Can I call you an ambulance? But what if they put her in a psycho -neurological dispensary and register there? I don’t want to ruin the girl’s life.

The prospect of being in a psychiatric hospital did not please me, and I still managed to pull myself together.

— Please don’t call an ambulance. Everything is fine with me. I can handle it, I promise.

— I’ll call her from vacation. This is an emergency.

— It won’t work; she flew out of the country.

— It’s a pity. Nothing, we’ll find another psychologist.

— I don’t need psychologists. I’m really okay. I need proof that you are telling the truth. What if this is some kind of mistake?

In fact, I still didn’t believe. It’s just that my parents taught me from childhood that it is extremely impractical to show emotions in public. I really love my parents. They taught me everything I know. They are kind, affectionate and caring. Ivse this cannot be true!

— Anya. We must give m your evidence. Uncle is coming for you soon. It was he who asked you to prepare. He made identification and will be here soon to take you to your parents’ funeral. Don’t. Don’t worry, we’ll close this semester automatically It’s already the end of the year, and you studied well.

— I still don’t believe!

— We understand and sympathize with you. Those were just eighteen years old. At this age, it is scary to lose loved ones. But we are close. And your uncle, your friends.

— Thank you, I answered coldly. I wanted to get up and run away, but my legs became cottony and completely stopped obeying. I was afraid that if I got up, I would fall and then I would certainly not pass the hospital. It doesn’t matter which one. I don’t like hospitals in general.

— I’ll call a psychologist I know, — said the director and left the office.

— Who is your closest friend? — Nadezhda Alexandrovna asked with concern in her voice.

— Ira Kara’s.

— Can you call her now?

— I didn’t pick up the phone.

— Well, do you remember her number?

— Yes.

— Great. You dictate the number, I’ll invite her here myself. Sit down, Anechka. And it’s better not to get up yet, otherwise, God forbid, fainting…

I didn’t answer. I just sat and looked at one point. My parents taught me not to cry as a child. You just look at one point and let go of all thoughts. It gets easier immediately.

But it didn’t get any easier; it’s just that I have always been the best student and remains so now.

A frightened Ira ran into the office.

— Ana! How are you? Can you hear me? Ann, talk to me. But I didn’t want to talk. Nobody knew what to do: not Anya, not a teacher, not a director, not a psychologist…

— The psychologist arrived in half an hour. She tried to get me to talk and, what is most disgusting for me, to cry. I flatly refused to speak to her after such advice. And the psychologist Marina Nikiforovna recommended contacting a psychiatrist. Fortunately, And Ra managed to dissuade the director. She said that she herself had lost her mother and would be able to help me survive the tragedy. Uncle should only come tomorrow morning. The path is not short. Anya and I were given a day off. They closed all grades in the semester without exams and sent us to the hostel. Anya was ordered, if anything, to immediately call an ambulance and monitor me even at night. Marina still lived in our room. She also promised to help Ira bring me to my senses. When we arrived at the hostel, I just lie down on the bed and lay there for several hours, looking at the ceiling. She did not answer questions, did not speak. Then Ira persuaded me to eat and drink tea, otherwise she would simply be expelled. I ate and drank, feeling absolutely nothing. Like a robot. And she continued to look at one point. Then the girls tried to persuade me to sleep, but they did not succeed. Nadezhda Alexandrovna came; I pretended to be sleeping so that the girls would not get hurt because of me.

She praised them for being able to feed and put me to sleep. She said that tomorrow it will be easier for me. But I was awake. I waited for the girls to finally decide that I fell asleep and go to bed them, but Ira did not sleep. And when I got up to go to the toilet, she stood up and followed me.

— Ann, let’s go to our place, let’s talk?

Our seat was the back stairs of the dorm. There, on the landing, were two old dilapidated chairs. We always sat there. Very often we hung out there at night, looking at the stars through a small window. It was there that I told her that her mother’s soul probably flew to a star or she became a star to illuminate the path of life for Ira. I just then remembered an old cartoon that talked about such things. Ira then almost calmed down and even smiled. She was different. After the death of my mother, she cried every evening for a whole family. Father did not know how to calm her down and just quickly found her a new mother. And then she had another mother. So over the past year, Ira has changed four mothers. And as soon as she finally calmed down, a similar misfortune happened to me. We just sat in armchairs and breathed the coolness of the night, opening the window.

— Ann, please talks to me. I don’t want to lose you either. You’re scaring me. Remember, you said that those who died become stars. Look, there are two of the brightest in the sky. They are definitely yours.

And then I burst out. Tears flowed like a river without stopping, and Ira just hugged me, realizing that words are superfluous here. I fell asleep in the chair in the morning. Ira covered me with a blanket, which she took with her. And she dozed off in the chair, closing the window.

In the morning, a frightened Marina came running and said that Nadezhda Alexandrovna was looking for us and that my uncle had arrived. It was the Pope’s Cousin. He was my only relative who lived in the city.. We rarely spoke. He worked all the time, but drank often. And when he drank, he became terribly angry and aggressive. Ira knew about it, but the class teacher and director of course not. Therefore, they were glad that at least some close relative would take me home and be there.

My uncle was already waiting for me in the room.

— Well, how are you, Ann? Survived the worst night of your life? So you will survive the next ones too. There you have such teens, they love you!

— Yes. I’m fine. Better. Hello Uncle Kohl, I’m glad to see you.

— I am also glad. Let’s go home. The funeral will be tomorrow. There is a lot to do.

— Tomorrow already? Can you give the girls a rest from the road, Nikolai Alexeevich?

— The sooner she says goodbye to her parents, the better for her. Trust my experience.

— Maybe you’re right. Only then please let her rest and be sure to visit a psychologist at your local clinic.

— Well thank you. It is time.

This time, my uncle’s laconic and naturally stern voice helped me to get rid of the teacher and director as soon as possible. And only because of this, I was really glad to see Uncle Kolya, who today, to my great surprise, was absolutely sober.

— Girls, help Anita collect things.

— Thank you, I can handle it, Nadezhda Alexandrovna. Thanks for everything.

— We are waiting for you in two months. In the meantime, you girls are packing your things, I need to talk to your uncle, Any.

Marina listened to the conversation outside the door.

— They say that payment must be made in a month. And your uncle says he doesn’t have that kind of money. And he will not be given an installment plan or a loan.

— Yeah… My uncle just loves spending many- I said in a whisper…

— What are you going to do?

— I do not know. I’ll take academic leave, I’ll go to work. Maybe I’ll sell something or furniture. My parents seemed to have opened a bank account for me. I’ll find out, maybe enough money…

— Do not give up! Write, call at any time. If possible, I’ll come to you a little later.

— Come, I’ll be waiting.

— Goodbye everyone.

— What a strong girl — I heard in the trail from Nadezhda Alexandrovna. I hope God will send her good luck and good people.

It was not then that I did not know that this parting word was the last in my studies at this university.

I slept all the way. And when she was awake, she was silent. We exchanged only a couple of phrases with my uncle. His old foreign car drove me home, where no one was waiting for me. Only memories and pain.

The next day I was actually made to believe in the reality of this terrible event. And uncle Kolya made me say goodbye to my parents, as it should be. But I didn’t cry again until the very last moment. And then tears just flowed from me and I was unable to stop them. Absolutely everyone sympathized with me and offered help. But I thanked and refused.

Arriving home, I seemed to freeze. I didn’t know what to do. But Uncle Kolya was a fine fellow, he made me cook dinner and clean the house. He said that in the next month my hands were constantly busy with something. So that silly thoughts don’t come into my head. But I knew I had to live on. Although now I wanted it the least in the world. The guitar that hung at our house saved me. Uncle Kolya often played it in his youth and taught me a little. So we sat and played for several hours every day. My fingers hurt terribly, but I continued to play. This is how my vacation month passed. And only a month later, I suddenly remembered about the payment for the next year.

Ira was able to come to me and reminded me of my studies.

I flew to the bank, but there I was disappointed. There really was a contribution, but I could use the funds not earlier than twenty-one, that is, after graduation. There was another contribution for urgent needs, but there was not even half of the amount that was required. Of course, no one gave me a loan. There were no guarantors, no work, and no credit history. And the amount required was not small.

Ira asked her father, he sent me twenty thousand rubles. But it was a ridiculous amount for studying at such an expensive university. Although Uncle Kolya was very happy and immediately asked for a bottle to drown his grief in it. And then again and again. We quarreled a bit and he left for the suburbs, where a small house with a plot was bought from him long ago. … We stayed with Ira. Her father also sent her money to stay with me on vacation. I sold my laptop and some of my belongings. But she hasn’t sold furniture yet. And I tried to find a job to get a loan. But no one wanted to take me for a month. And those who wanted, either offered too little, or without official employment. I contacted the principal and class teacher, explained the situation. Of course, they sympathized with me, but they recommended taking an academic leave for one year.

I had to email my application. Now I had to look for a job to live, pay bills and save money for my studies.

Working at the same time in different places, I was very tired during the day, but on the other hand, I revived a little and grief faded into the background. Then it was time for Ira to return to school. We had a cool bachelorette party with pizza and cola. (We both did not drink alcohol, since Ira was in poor health and constantly took some kind of medicine. And I don’t like alcohol because of my uncle’s partying, who came to us on holidays and was sure to break something., as my parents told me, either a new TV, or my mother’s expensive dishes.)

For the first time since the death of mom and dad, I really laughed with my friend. She returned my due — she was able to bring my thoughts and my life into a semblance of order. I took my friend to the station and put her on the train. We agreed to meet during the holidays, call each other and write to each other every day.

The very next day I was expected to be disappointed at work. The boss did not want to pay me and the other girl a salary. He told us to go through the forest. And when we threatened to sue, he threw us ten instead of the promised twenty and fired.

— I won’t last long.

Thinking, I began to rummage through all the advertisements on the Internet, bought up all the newspapers and finally, a miracle happened.

“A private art school requires a librarian. Education and experience do not matter. Requirements: responsibility and punctuality. Wages twenty thousand rubles a month. Free meals and official employment.”

Not a lot, but it’s at least something stable and, moreover, official. Plus, in other places, librarians get much lower. And I love books. I called the indicated number; a pleasant female voice answered me.

— School of arts, listen to you.

— Good day. I’m talking about being a librarian.

— Do you have experience?

— Unfortunately no. But I study at the literary faculty at the best university in the capital. My parents have died and I am forced to look for a job to pay for further education.

— Good. Come to us. The address is indicated in the hell. We are waiting for you until five o’clock. What is your name and patronymic?

— Anna Evgenievna.

— Good. We are waiting for you. Come on over. Bus number six from the station, stop “Quiet”. Just an hour and a half away and you are there.

— Good. Thank.

Probably, the salary there is high for the reason that it is a long way to go there, I thought. Libraries usually pay less. And in general, I have not heard about this school. Probably opened up while I was at university. Anyway.

After having a snack on a sandwich with cheese and sausage and throwing water and chips in a bag, I hurried to the station. He was just twenty minutes walk from the house.

For the interview, I wore regular skinny jeans and a white blouse. The weather was fine and I didn’t take anything else with me. I gathered my hair in a bun to better match the image of the librarian. Only the glasses were missing. Anyway.

At the station, I found the bus I needed and got on it, asking the conductor to report on the required stop.

— And where is the art school?

— Are you a student?

— Not really.

— Go from the stop to the left past the old shop and there will be a large house. They say it was rented as a school.

— I see, thank you very much.

Chapter 2

On the bus I dozed off and the conductor woke me up.

— Girl, your stop, gets out.

— Thank.

“Do not forget that the bus leaves from here only at seven. If you do not have time, you will have to call a taxi.

— Thank. I’ll memorise.

Following the instructions, I approached a large but rather old mansion. There was not a soul around and it was very creepy right now. But the need for a stable job overcame my fear and I went to the door.

I moved the handle and the door opened. The house was empty. An eerie enveloping emptiness that creeps into the soul.

— Uh, is there anyone here?

I heard the sound of steps and a pretty tall brunette of about thirty with long hair and beautiful pale skin approached me.

— Good day. Are you Anna?

— Yes. I’m on the hell.

— Good. Thank you for responding. As you can see, we have such a place; it is difficult to get there.

— I really need a job.

— Understand. Let’s go to the library, inspect your workplace.

— With pleasure.

— My name is Kristina Yurievna. I am the director of this institution

— Nice to meet you.

— Mutually, Anna.

We arrived at the spacious library building.

— Your task, Anna, is simply to write down who and what books are taking and giving away. And, of course, cleaning, cleanliness and order.

— I love books.

— It is wonderful. We have a lot of old novels, poetry and so much more.

— Great.

— We also offer lunch in our canteen for free and accommodation, if you suddenly miss the bus, we have rooms for students. Some are empty. By the way, you can study and work with us at the same time. Finish the evening department and receive a diploma with which you can work at exhibitions, auctions, theaters or museums. Or you can study during the day with everyone else, and in your free time work in the library but your working day should be at least five hours.

— I beg your pardon, but I have no money for training. Honestly, I would love to.

— We have a couple of budget places. The state obliges to have such places, but no one took them this year.

— . What does it take to enter the budget?

— You will work for us. You will work for two weeks. If everything goes well, we will enroll you in our school.

— Well. I agree.

— Then let’s go to my office to draw up an employment contract.

After about an hour, I left this school already arranged as a librarian.

In addition, one more education will not hurt me, especially since the first is a complete failure.

I came to the bus stop. It was ten to seven. The bus arrived on time and I went home happy. Popping in on the way to the store, I bought some groceries and called Ira.

My friend was very happy for me and wished me luck. We chatted a bit, but she had business and we said goodbye until tomorrow.

I came home, turned on the TV and cooked myself for Ash. Now I had to get up for work at eight to be in the library at ten. I was allowed to come by ten, because I live far away and so far there is not much work. But in the future, my working day will start at nine. Which didn’t really upset me. To get a loan, you need to hold out for at least six months. In addition, you also need to live on something.

The next morning I got up, did my exercises, had breakfast, threw a snack in my purse and hurried to the bus. Arriving at my workplace, I boldly opened the door and went into the library. The academic year here will begin in two weeks and I will have to clean up the libraries, look through all the books. If any need repairs, postpone and inform the school principal. That’s all for now. Of course, there is a lot of work. But it’s a pleasant job. And I plunged into the process. The school was quiet and I quietly turn on the music that was not so terrible. Soon I heard footsteps. A young man of about thirty came up to me. He was wearing a blue work uniform, and he was holding a bottle of water and a notebook with a pen. He looked quite handsome.. And even the hands were very well-groomed. Short dark hair and expressive bright green eyes, a tall and stately figure and a tart scent of male perfume… All this gave the stranger a certain charm.

— Good morning, girl. Are you a new librarian? — The stranger smiled at me, which made him look even more attractive.

— Yes, and also a student, but I will most likely study in the evenings.

— And I am a teacher and part-time locksmith and electrician. Preparing school for the school year.

— Me too. My name is Anna, you can just Anya.

— Vicheslav. Or just Glory.

— Nice to meet you.

— Mutually, Anya. Do you like it here?

— For now, yes, although it’s strange to be all alone in such a large room… Scary, to be honest.

— . I already got it. You turned on the music.

— Yes. Sorry if I interfered. I’ll put on my headphones if anything.

— No, it’s all right. Shall we have lunch today?

— Does the canteen work?

— Not. Not yet. But I can buy you something. I brought food with me.

— Thank. So do me.

— Can I help you with something?

— Maybe. The director gave me a list of references, according to which I should first select and check the books. But I’m still a little confused.

— And I have already finished all the tasks for today and will be glad to help a new person.

— I will not refuse your help.

— Come on “you”, Ok? And then I feel like an old man. Just Glory, okay?

— Oh well.

Slava began to explain to me the location of the books…

— I personally helped to make it all, so if something is loose camping, pay Xia. Write down my number just in case.

It was an unexpected offer, but I wrote down the number. It really doesn’t hurt to have a reliable person in my new job. I told Slava that I would study here and he immediately changed his face.

— It’s great! You will get a good education from us! In two years you will change a lot!

— Have you been studying here for two years?

— Two and a half. Then another year and a half of continuous practice. So, in general, it turns out five years.

— Clear.

— Only if you study here, you will have to live here. It is absolutely free and there are enough rooms for everyone. This year there were only two groups. But you can go home this weekend.

“It might even be better that way. I’ll ask a neighbor to look after my parents’ apartment.

To be honest, it’s a long way to go.

— And we will have excursions here. You will see and learn a lot.

— I like excursions.

— Very well.

…Two weeks later, the school year began. The principal invited all students and staff to the meeting.

There were only two groups of thirty students. And ten teachers. As well as a security guard, two cleaners and a manager. The rest of the staff was much older than me and even Slava.

I was introduced as a new librarian and told that I would study with everyone, only on a special schedule. I will have to work in my free time, but at least six hours a day. As it turned out, this was the first year of the school opening.

After the meeting, everyone went to sort things out from room to room. But I had my own room next to the library. There was a small wardrobe with a mirror, a desk, an ironing board and iron, and a bed. Each room was adjoined by a bathroom with a small shower, washing machine, sink and toilet. Everything was very clean and comfortable. There was only one socket in the bathroom and bedroom. Televisions were banned. There was only one in the general meeting room. Many were not happy with the modesty of the institution, but everything was fine with me.

By this time, I was already in close contact with Slava. Yes, and with other teachers, too, a little. Except one. Fine arts teacher. His name was Lev Viktorovich. He looked at me sternly and said that I didn’t belong here. It was explained to me that he simply considers me too young and frivolous to work as a librarian.

— Do not pay attention, — said the teacher in a subject that I have not memorized yet. — A girl a little over thirty years old. With short hair of bright black hair and blue eyes. — He doesn’t like me very much either. I’m Mila.

— Very nice, I’m Anya.

— Yes I know.

— Do you like it with us?

— Yes. Very interesting.

— We are glad that you were added to the list of students.

— I also. My basic education was overwhelmed when my parents died. I have nothing to pay for an expensive university. Had to take there academ. And then I’ll probably have to take a vacation here to finish my studies there.

— You will also receive a good education and useful life skills here.

— I have no doubt.

— Okay. It’s time for me to get ready for tomorrow. Classes start tomorrow.

— Good. I also need to prepare a number of books. Till tomorrow.

— See you tomorrow, Anya. Classes start at nine tomorrow. And don’t forget to take extra things with you.

“Lessons start at nine, but you can come by eight to go home at seven.

— I understood.

— Good. Until.

— Until.

Slava came up.

— How are you? Let’s have lunch together?

— Thank you, I already had a snack and I need to work to get home today. We still need to collect things. Apparently, I will often have to stay here overnight. This will be more convenient.

— We will go together today; I also have to stay until evening.

— Good. I’m not against.

— Well. Then I’ll come for you.

— I will wait.

I for loved Glory. Cheerful, gallant, dresses well and knows how to keep the conversation going. In general, everyone was friendly except this Leo, who did not like me and Mila. He even greeted us, gritting his teeth. To which the other teachers just shook their heads.

“He is a man of old rules,” Slava told me on the way home. And he is angry that the school did not get the right to be called a university. But he and Christina are striving for us to become an academy by the end of the year. So the funding will be much higher.

— I understand. Are they relatives with Kristina Yuryevna?

— He’s her uncle.

— She was very lucky with her uncle.

— Why do you think so?

— Well, because my uncle really likes to drink and spends too much money on it. Apart from the bottle, he is of little interest. Although he helped me a lot after the death of my parents at first, but then he began to ask me to sponsor his soul treatment. We had a fight and he went home. Since then, he has not called me or answered the phone.

— I feel for you.

— Nothing. I got used already. In addition, now I have work and study and no time to think about sad things.

— And then there is me and Mila. We will be happy to help you in case of need. My sister is lovely. Our parents live very far from here, but fate brought us to this city and to this school. Probably to introduce us to you. After all, now you are not alone.

— Who knows…? Maybe. Thank you very much, Slav. You are a great friend.

Then a bus came up and we sat down. On the way, we chatted about nothing…

— Where do you live with Mila?

— We lived in a hotel, and then moved to school. Just before it opens this spring. There was a lot of work there and it is easier for us to live there than in a hotel.

— This is clear. Were you going to buy something in the city?

— Yes. Gift for Mila. It’s her birthday tomorrow.

— Great! Will you be celebrating?

— Not. This is not accepted in our family.

— Sorry. I did not know.

— Nothing wrong.

— What do you want to give? I can help you with choosing a gift if you want.

— I wanted to give a piece of jewelry. Something special, but discreet.

— Then when we arrive, let’s go to the jewelry store. I know one very good one.

“Are you sure you want to come with me?”

“If I don’t disturb you, then yes.

— Thank. I just thought you had your plans for tonight.

— Not. Just take a shower and pack your things. Honestly, it’s still hard for me to be there alone. And it’s easier for me to be somewhere outside the house.

“In that case, I’ll be glad if you put me company.

— With pleasure.

We arrived in town and headed to the mall. The jewelry department greeted us with the radiance of jewelry and smiles of employees at the sight of a young couple.

— Anything to offer you? — Asked a pretty tall blonde in a white blouse and red tie. — Maybe you are looking for wedding rings?

“No, you’re wrong,” I answered with a smile to the girl who was a little upset. She probably counted on a good return.

“But you can help us,” Slava said. — We are looking for a piece of jewelry as a gift to our mutual friend.

— I suppose you are looking for a present for a young girl?

— Right, — we answered with one voice. “But we’ll see for ourselves, if you don’t mind.

— Sure. If you have any questions, please contact.

— Thank. A little bit later.

— Does Mila like bracelets?

— Why do you ask?

— It’s just that the bracelet is always in sight of the person, as a reminder of who gave it.

Do you see mine? — I showed Slava my left hand with a thin gold bracelet and a pendant in the form of two hearts. — This is a gift from my parents for my last birthday. They were unable to come and sent him by courier. Besides, there was no point in coming. I had a month left until the end of the school year. We agreed that they would come a week in advance and persuade the teachers to let me go home early. Unfortunately, there was no need to persuade. Forgive me for sad things. But I mean that this gift always reminds me of those who loved me or loves me, if there is life after death.

— It seems to me that it exists. I’m sure.

— I also.

— And I like the gift idea.

We chose a gold bracelet with a heart-shaped slant with a red stone in the middle.

— Thank you for helping me chooses. Come on, I’ll walk you home and go to your hotel.

— What are you? What for? Stay with me. The apartment is large; there is enough space for everyone.

— Are you sure?

— Why not? You don’t seem like a killer maniac.

— I’m just uncomfortable to embarrass you.


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