It was a January morning, the light snow coming down to the ground showed the icy atmosphere of That City. Inside a cold building, in apartment 34 A, there was a mulatto woman wrapped in a dark green wool coat; her hair was black and curly. She wrapped her scarf around her neck and headed downstairs on her five story apartment building.
She heard the stairs creak, heavy steps, someone was coming up.
— Good morning Vasili — she smiled at the huge figure that was climbing the stairs as she lowered them, her front door neighbor.
— Hmmm — the burly bald man nods his head as a greeting, he was wearing a long trench coat, a black turtleneck sweater; his thick beard concealed his rough features. Many rumors ran about him around the building: Man of few words, going out late at night and coming back with signs of having been in violent fights.
— Tough night?
—... Regular — he stops when he sees his neighbor. — Are you going to go out in this cold? There's a lot of wind
— My supplies are almost out, I have to do the shopping. Wish me luck in this cruel storm. If I don't come back alive, please tell my cats they're jerks.
— I don't speak cat. — A small smile crossed his face, he made a pause — I'll come with you.
— Vasili, it's not necessary, you just arrived, and you must be exhausted from work.
— Sarabi, this is a five floor building, and then seven blocks to old Morris's store. — His voice leaves no room for discussion. — Besides, I can trade this favor for one of your meals.
—There it is, I knew you wouldn't go with me just because you're a good neighbor. — She pushes him with her elbow, starts to go down the stairs and settles her sack.
— I'm weak to your flavor —He follows her on the stairs.
—Keep talking like that and now everyone will say you're a stalker.
—That's better than a hitman.
—I liked the rumor of a former KGB agent better; it gave you more mystery and charm, appeal perhaps.
—Woman, I'm impressive — once they arrived at the lobby, he stands next to her. —The floor of the street is frozen; you're going to need my arm to support yourself.
—If you want us to hold hands, you just have to ask, honey. — She takes a small unassembled cane from her handbag, and begins to assemble it, and held I in front of her; with her other hand she reaches for her neighbor's forearm, holds it firmly.
—That'll cost you some biscuits —He opens the door, feels the icy air, Vasili brings her a little closer to guide her along the sidewalk.—
—You abuse the kindness of a poor blind woman —she laughs under her breath, moving her cane to the rhythm they walk. —
—Don't play the victim card; you are the most proud woman in the whole building.
—Thank you very much. What do you want me to cook for you?
—I can name any dish and in the end you will do whatever you want. I don't even know why you ask.
—Food is food, and you've never complained about anything I cook.
—Do I have a choice? You never charge me; I cannot miss the opportunity to save a few bucks.
—Steamed vegetables with salad will be for Big Talker.
—Stop breaking my heart into pieces, you beautiful and cruel creature.
—Poetry won't get you out of your problems this time Vasili, but keep flattering me; maybe you'll make me add some chicken...
—You're enjoying this, aren't you?
—Can you tell? Before the market, I have to go to the bakery and the butcher shop.
—That's more than 10 streets. Are you crazy? We're at 14 degrees and dropping woman, we'll just go for the basics to the mini market and we'll come back — he squeezes her hand when he gets to a crossroads to make her stop.
—Is the great Vasili Novikov afraid of a little cold? The Great Vasili Novikov the Polar Bear of the Great Army of the Motherland? That Great Vasili Novikov?
—The great Vasili Nóvikov will not take care of you when you cry to me that you are sick and send him to look for medicine in the middle of the night. The robberies are increasing; you must take better care of yourself.
—I'll keep my eyes open.
—You think you're funny, don't you?
The woman just laughs against his big arm squeezing her grip more in a small embrace. They arrive at the small grocery store, now with a pair of metal bars on the windows and doors, on the door a sign "Ask for what you need and it will be given to you at the door, have the money in hand".
—Why are you stopping? I can listen to old Morris' radio, aren't we going in? —Sarabi smiles to try to walk in, Vasili stops her.
—Just tell me what you need; I'll get it for you.
—And let you choose? Of course not, you will fill my bag with only potatoes and meat. — She lets him go with her walking stick she bumps into the fence. —Is it closed?
—Good morning, Miss Sarabi, tell me what you need, and I'll bring it to you outside. —A mature man, about 60 years old, talks through the bars, gray in some parts of his brown hair and beard.
—Morris, why are you closed?
—It's safer this way, miss, this week I've been robbed three times this week, we settled up some bars, and my son is watching, with the shotgun.
—I'm sorry to hear that, Mr. Morris, is it that bad? Have you talked to the police? —A boy, in a flannel shirt, thick jacket, long brown hair, lifts his shotgun to go with her.
—Those pigs won't do anything, while those in his gang— he points at Vasili, —have been intimidating all the business owners in the area.
—Quiet boy, don't talk about what you don't know — His father, Mr. Morris looks at him angrily.
—That animal will be rough, brutish, foul—mouthed and violent but it's an excellent guide —Sarabi says it proudly, with a big smile. — There's no one more loyal than him.
—Woman, I'm listening to everything you say.
—And did I lie?
— I don't look for trouble, it arrives by itself. On its own will — He shrugs his shoulders, used to people's comments.
—I know, my medicine cabinet needs more healing equipment just for you – she touch the metal door looking for the opening grabs Mr. Morris' hand.
—What do you need today, Miss Sarabi?
—I only need egg, rice, potatoes, carrots, bread and coffee. And if you still have any chicken left, Morris, I'd appreciate it.
—I think I have everything you need, how much of each do you need of all that?
—Haven't you seen him? — She points with her thumb to the back, pointing nowhere in particular. — Enough to satisfy The Giant's hunger, even here I can hear the roar of his stomach.
—The giant is around here —Vasili moves her hand to point it to him properly.
—It's your fault for getting so far away from me. —She grabs his big hand to leave it on her shoulder, feels Vasili get tense, but lets her do it, when he sees, Billy, instinctively grasps his shotgun.
—Miss, why do you let him get so close? He might hurt you.
—Boy, why are you still here? The lady has already made her request, go inside and bring everything. —Old Morris takes the shotgun out of his hands and pushes it towards the store.
—If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that this Snowman is harmless. —She squeezes his hand over her shoulder with a smile.
—Stop ruining my image woman, —He vows a little to see her closely.
—You two stop bragging about your romance in front of a poor old widower.
—There's nothing like that between Miss Sarabi and me, don't spread rumors like that —Vasili speaks seriously, in a defensive way.
—I know what it looks like, Morris, but we're only friends with rights. —She embraces his arm affectionately.
—Woman! Stop saying strange things! —The big man walks away from her a few steps.
Sarabi laughs, takes him by the wrist and doesn't let him get away when Billy arrives with the shopping bag, Morris opens the gate to give it to Sarabi.
—Thank you very much Morris —Vasili suddenly takes the bag from Billy's hands and stares at him looking to scare the boy, who jumps backwards.
—Old man, shoot him!
—What good reflexes you have Billy, very good boy —His father laughs to make him come inside.—
—Take good care of yourselves, close the gate tightly and call if anything happens, I'll send you to the best security in town. —She pats the back of VasilI who carries the bag on one arm while offering the other to her.
—You, too, take good care of yourself, miss, wrap up well, the weather is treacherous. —Old Morris closes everything to go back to his shop.
After walking a few blocks in complete silence, watching the snowflakes fall slowly down the cold sidewalk, the corpulent man began:
—Sarabi, you can't joke about something like that, people love to talk and I don't want you to get caught up in the same rumors that I do.
—They can talk all they want, it would be convenient to play deaf on top of actually being blind, besides I've had enough of all their words of pity and sorrow. — She rubs her face lightly, around her nose and her eyes, long old scars furrowed around as if something had torn or burned her skin, she remains silent, distant.
—Did someone ask you about the scar again?
—They always ask about it, it's a permanent reminder of the war — She feels Vasili's hand tightening hers.—Vasili, darling, don't blame yourself for that, you were just one more pawn, one more victim in this war game, just like me. —She caresses his tense arm.
The enormous man remains silent, suddenly, he takes her lightly from the waist to lift her for a moment; there was a lot of garbage accumulated on the sidewalk.
—Careful, we're almost at the building, I hope you'll keep your end of the deal. I haven't tasted a good meal in days —he says mockingly, carefully lowering her to the sidewalk.
—Thank you very much, what a gentleman. Hey wait a second! You had dinner at my house yesterday. —She elbowed him on the side—Rude. —She laughs softly, they arrive at the old apartment building, Vasili opens the door to let her in first. A woman was going out at the same time they were coming in, crashing into Sarabi.
—Watch where you're going! Can't you see I was walking out?! —She was a woman in her 50s, wearing a big fur coat, already gray hair in a hairstyle made of a bird's nest with several hairpins.
—Good morning Mrs. Darling, forgive me, I didn't see you there —Sarabi replies with a smile.
—Are you making fun of me? Not because you're a handicapped do you have a way out of everything Miss Nimue.
—And being old doesn't give you the right to be so lousy, but here we are. —Sarabi nudges at Vasili for his comment.
—And you, Mr. Novikov, still owe me this month's rent, I want that money for tomorrow or I'll have you thrown out. —He moves away from Sarabi, gives her the bag of provisions, walks towards the woman slowly, sounding intimidating, he leans towards her.
—You don't have to threaten me; you'll have your money as soon as I finish a couple of jobs. You understand me, don't you? Don't worry, Mrs. Darling, you'll get your money. —The woman loses the colors of her face; she just fixes her coat and purse.
—Just leave the money in the mailbox at my door, now, if you'll excuse me. —She walks away.
—You're going to give her a heart attack one of these days —Sarabi comes in first to go to the stairs of the building.
—May the heavens hear you. —He walks behind her, takes her shopping bag to start climbing up to her apartments.
—Go get some sleep, I'll take care of the rest. —Sarabi holds on to the railing to take slow steps up.
—I'll leave everything ready on the kitchen counter next to the lit stove, and then I'll go sleep for a while on your couch. —He gives her his free arm as extra support to get to her floor.
—Go to sleep in your own bed, Vasili. —She rolls her eyes smiling.
—Make me. —He releases her hand when they reach his flat, Sarabi looks for her door with the identification 34 A, from her sack, she takes the key and attempts to enter it, fails a few times just to finally get it in, and turn it because the lock was already damaged.
— Home sweet home —It was a cozy red brick apartment with little furniture, the kitchen and living room came together in one space, next to a door leading to Sarabi's room and another door leading to the small bathroom, it was not much, but it was her home.
—It's freezing in here, are you sure they repaired the heating system? —Vasili leaves the shopping bag on top of the kitchen table to go check the heater. A black paw behind the bars is trying to give him a scratch and something falls on his back from above — Damn demon beasts leave me alone! —The calico cat is removed from his back and thrown nearby the couch between the heaters. Another black cat comes out and meows before beginning to climb the enormous man's leg, making Vasili attempt to shake it off.
—Vasili, stop playing with the cats and help me. —Sarabi leaves her cane against the wall and takes off her scarf, leaving it on her coat rack at the entrance.
—Tell your beasts to leave me alone!
—Bonnie, Clyde, here. —She from her coat took out a few yarn balls with small bells, their toys, threw them onto the room, and as usual the cats follow the noise as Vassili shuts the door as soon as they enter.
—These things are only going to end up hurting you, they have no respect for others and they don't know the meaning of personal space. — He gets very close to her while he talks. — And it's too cold here, if they don't fix your heat, Mrs. Darling is going to have a very nasty visit.—A hand caressing the side of his face makes him quiet.
—You will feel better once I begin to prepare the food, the fire of the oven helps a lot to heat this place. You go lay down and sleep a little, you know where the blankets are. — She returns to the kitchen walking with a slight murmur counting her steps.
—On the couch, I know, let me help you with that. —Vasili sees the way he took the things out of the bag — In what position or order should I leave them?
—The vegetables on the chopping board, the chicken to cook in the pot, and the spices open so I can smell them. —She smiles and pulls out her pots and pans by memory from the drawers and cabinets.
—Are you sure you don't want me to cut them for you? —He finishes up setting everything up for her.
—Go to sleep Vasili. —Sarabi stretches her hands to look for him, feels him by the arm, and passes her hands to his chest to push him out of the kitchen.
—Now, now, there's no need for violence. —He goes to lie down on the couch in the living room he takes out a blanket and a small pillow, lies down sighing deeply. —Change the couch.
—Buy me a new one, who of the two of us is a mobster full of money? You should cover me in nice dresses and jewelry. —She begins to drive herself around the kitchen, touching, feeling carefully, while she prepares the food for that day.
—Very funny — He closes his eyes and settles down better, he hears her hum a soft song while she cooks, he can't help it, because of the tiredness of the night shift from work. All the overtime doing favors that bordered on the illegal, left him exhausted, and Sarabi's singing beat him until he fell sound asleep.
When all the food was cooking in the pots, Sarabi began to clean and put away everything that was out of place. Her kittens began to scratch the door of her room looking to get out, she walks carefully to go to open the door, and both cats fly out to return to the broken heater to play. She returns to the living room, she hears the snores of her neighbor sleeping deeply on her couch, smiles, and gets close to fix the blanket on top of him.
—At least this time you're not having nightmares... —His breathing was steady, and paused between snoring; a good sleep. She caresses his head with her hand bending a little.— ...Sweet dreams Vasili. —She kisses his temple sweetly, then she goes to sit at the kitchen table waiting for the food to be ready, taking her knitting set with her. It had been a quiet day.
The peace was broken when the sound of a series of shots was heard near the buildings and several screams.
This is my first novel, it will only be 6 chapters long, i hope you enjoy it, english it is not my firts lenguage, i got some help from a very good friend to help me translate it from spanish.
You can find it as "En la oscuridad tú eres mi luz"
Every chapter would be post it monthly.
Thank you very much for reading it.
More Privileged Chapters
Download the app and become a privileged reader today! Come take a sneak peek at our author's stockpiled chapters!Download
Please switch to the pop-up to complete the payment.
Complete the daily and EXP missions, as well as every week’s reading missions to obtain EXP and coin as rewards.Learn more about the rules
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.