Chapter 26

On our way back, when Anastasia was accompanying me to my motorboat, we stopped for a rest exactly at the place where she left her outer clothing and I asked her,

“Anastasia, how shall we bring our son up?”

“You, Vladimir, try to realize one thing. You can't yet bring him up. When his eyes are ready to look at the world intelligently for the first time you should not be near him”.

I gripped her by her shoulders and gave her a good shake,

“What are you talking about? You know, you are taking too many liberties. I don't understand where are you getting these distinct conclusions from? Generally speaking, the fact of your existence itself is inconceivable. Although it does not give you any right to decide everything your way against all laws of simple logic”.

“Please, Vladimir, calm down. I have no idea of the kind of logic you mean but try to realize everything quietly”.

“What do I need to realize? This is not only your child but mine also and I want him to have a father, I want him to be provided with everything he may need and properly educated”.

“Please, try to understand, he does not need any material welfare the way you understand it. He will get everything primordially. While yet in his infancy he will get and realize such amounts of information that education, as you understand it, is absolutely ridiculous. It would be almost the same as if they try to send a great mathematician to learn the program of the first grade at a primary school. You would like to bring to the baby some senseless trinket but it is absolutely useless. The baby doesn't need it. You need it for self-satisfaction. 'Oh, how nice and thoughtful I am! Everybody, look at me!' If you believe that by providing your son with a car or anything else that you believe to be 'a good thing of life', you are doing a great blessing for him. You are wrong.

If he would like he will get it on his own. Just try to remain calm and think what exactly you can say to your son or teach him? Have you done anything great that he would like to follow?”

She continued her speech saying it in a very soft and quiet voice but the words were plunging me into tremors.

“Try to understand, when he starts to understand the Universe and you, if you happen to be by his side, it will look just like an undeveloped being. Do you want your son to think his father is a dunderhead? The only thing that can bring you more close to him is the degree of pure thinking. This purity can be reached only by a few people in your world”.

I realized that it was absolutely useless to argue with her and shouted at her giving myself up to despair:

“So, it means that he will never know about me?!”

“I'll tell him about you and your world when he is ready to realize everything intelligently and make his own decisions. I don't know what he will do, it is up to him to decide”.

Pain, despair, offence and terrible guesswork, everything got mixed up inside me. An unbearable desire to smash that beautiful, intellectually hermitic face of hers awoke inside me. I realized everything my own way and it made me short of breath because of what I had realized!


I started my tirade:

“Well, everything, I guess, is evident? Now I have realized what you are... Well, you could find nobody around to 'have a bad fall' (Russian vulgarity for 'to have dirty sex') in order to have a baby of yours. At the beginning you were even putting on airs, but you are a poor plotter. You were trying to pretend to be a nun. You just needed a baby. You even went to Moscow for this purpose. Look at her, she had sold her berries and mushrooms! Why? You would rather become a street-walker. You only had to take off your shawl and quilted jacket and somebody would bite your hook. Then you would not need to spin your web involving me into it.

Oh, yes! Of course. But of course! You needed a man who was dreaming of having a son too and here you are! You have achieved that goal of yours! I wonder, did you think about a child, a son, whose predestination was to be a hermit? He is supposed to live his life according to your modeling, what is right for you? Isn't it something that you were talking so much about the Truth. You talk too much of liberty and allow too much to yourself, poor hermit woman. Are you thinking of yourself as the highest stage of Truth itself? And what about me? Did you think about me?

Yes, that's right, I did dream about a son! I was dreaming about leaving to him my business, teaching him to live right. I wanted to love him. And now! What am I going to do now? How shall I live? What kind of life would it be when one knows that his tiny baby son is somewhere in a wild taiga crawling helplessly and unprotected? Without a future! Without his father! Well, one would have a heart break because of it. You can't understand it, you are a forest female!”

“Maybe, your heart will become intelligent and everything will turn to be good. This kind of pain will purify your soul, accelerate your thinking, calling upon...” she pronounced quietly.

Such an anger was storming inside me that I could not control myself any more. I gripped a stick, ran away from Anastasia and started whipping against a small tree with all my might till it was broken.

Then I turned towards Anastasia and when I saw her... Although it could sound strange but my anger started to vanish away.


A thought crossed my mind:

“What's the matter with me, I have lost control of myself again and become stormy”.

Exactly the same way as it was at that time when I was abusing her before, she was standing pressing herself against a tree trunk with one hand raised up and her head was slightly bent forward as if she was withstanding a hurricane wind. My anger was gone completely.


I came closer to her and started to examine her.

Her hands were pressed against her chest, her body was trembling, she was silent, only her kind, as kind as usual, eyes were looking at me tenderly. We were examining each other for a while.


I was thinking to myself:

“No doubt, she is not able to say an untruth. She could keep to herself everything she had said but she... She knows that she is going to suffer and yet she speaks... She just can't help it. Of course, it is also a kind of an extremity. One can't live always telling only the truth, just the things one is thinking about. Well, there is nothing to be done if she is the way she is and she just can't be different. Everything had happened the way it was supposed to. Whatever had to happen had just happened? It was just inevitable”

I tried to comfort myself by positive thinking:

“Now she is going to become the mother of my son, surely. No doubt she will, since she has told it. It is true that she will be a strange mother, not a regular one because of her way of life... her thinking... Well, there is nothing I can do about it. I can't change her. On the other hand, she is physically strong. She is kind; she knows a lot about nature and animals. And she is smart, though her mind is a rather peculiar one. Nevertheless, she knows a lot about the way to bring up and educate children.


Wasn't she trying to speak all the time about children? She will nurse my son. A woman like her will manage to do it. She will go through cold and snowstorms. For sure, it is just child's play to her. She will nurse him and bring him up. It is just necessary for me somehow to adjust myself to the situation. I will visit them in summer just like coming to a dacha. It is impossible to come in wintertime, as I will not be able to stand it. In summer I would be able to play with my son. When he grows up I shall tell him about the people who live in large cities.


Right now it is necessary at least to apologize for my behavior."

So I said,

“Sorry, Anastasia, I got nervous again”.

And she started to speak right away,

“It is not your fault, Vladimir. You should not punish yourself. Don't worry. It is quite natural because you are troubled and anxious about your son. Who would not be? You were getting concerned that he will not be happy here. That your son's mother is just a regular female. She is not able to love with a real human love. Please, don't you worry, don't get upset.


You have told me everything just because you did not know, you knew nothing, my beloved about my love”.

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