Our ancestors used to say: “One misfortune comes on the back of another”. What did they mean? That we should let the misfortunes in without fighting or that we need to open the doors to your friends so that they could help us in difficult times? Probably, the second one, but what to do if you live in the 21st century without friends and you’re an immigrant whose close relatives are so far away, that you can’t visit them too often on another continent. Moreover, no one remembers you as a relative. That’s who I am, and if someone wants to throw a stone at me, they should look at their own life first.
My name is Sasha, I am 55 years old, and I have been an immigrant for 25 years. Not so long ago, I had a wife and a daughter. I also had a house that I was working very hard for. And a truck I drove through the entire Northern America. Everything was well. I used to work, my daughter used to go school, my wife would take care of us, clean, cook, and meet the daughter from school every day. What else does a man need? I was so comfortable that sometimes I even bothered the God with a stupid question: “For what do I have all this?” And so I invited the disaster: I had a car accident five years ago. My doctor, who was also my relative, had to put me together part by part. He “put” me well, I spent four months at the hospital, then six more at home. I started walking step by step. Thank God, I can move by myself. I received money from my insurance company, but it vanished too soon.
The only asset I had was the down payment for a house and small interests since the time of a purchase.
For a year, everything was more or less fine: the wife was grumping, but she would still take care of me. My daughter would come into my room very seldom. Out of curiosity or pity, she used to ask: “So, daddy, when are going to play football?”
- Soon, – I would tell my 15 years old daughter.
Due to her good profession, my wife got a license and found a job. She was offered a well-paid position at hospital with the salary almost equal to a truck driver’s one. I was learning to walk and take care of myself again, I cooked for the family. It was very hard to understand that I wouldn’t be able to work again, as I couldn’t stand for more than two hours or sit for more than 30 minutes.
The end of my family story began when my daughter quit studying, started coming late, and my wife would shout at her after a long day of hard work. I tried to explain to her that it was an awkward age and she needed to talk to her patiently, and then everything would be fine. As a result, the wife switched her anger to me, saying that she was supporting two useless mouths and didn’t have any personal life. I was listening to her reproaches with understanding, I felt sorry for her and I was extremely embarrassed because of my state.
After a few months of tension I lost control and when the daughter came home at 4 a.m. stoned or drunk again I yelled at her and pushed her out of the house telling to go back where she was all that time. Of course, I was wrong. But I just had no strength or nerves to fight it all.
I never expected that the following would happen. The wife hysterically attacked me, scratching my face, and the daughter called the police. Half an hour later, under a victorious look of my wife, I was chained in hand cuffs and brought to police station. No one listened to me there, my story and disability, and everything I said in the court – the judge didn’t care about it. I was not allowed to approach my wife and daughter for closer than 500m, I had to undergo treatment with a psychiatrist, and I was obliged to pay a $2000 fine.
Then was the divorce, the blaming and a promise to put me in jail for the rest of my life if I demand anything in a financial issue. According to this country’s laws, I was already a criminal.
What was left from my 25 years of family life? Limited communication with the daughter on her own request, a rented apartment I could hardly afford with my disability payment of $5000, which my wife threw me like a handout, and her words: “Choke on it! And remember, if you come at least a little bit close to us, even the fortune-teller Leila won’t help you…”
A few months have passed, I was “licking my wounds”. They say time heals. I almost got used to the idea that I would end my life so miserably. From all the wife’s words I remembered the last phrase: “Even the fortune-teller Leila won’t help you…” I thought it meant something, so I made an appointment with Leila. What did I expect to hear? I didn’t know, but I came in time anyway. After greeting, Leila offered me to sit on an arm-chair which differed from others.
- You’ll feel more comfortable in this one, – she said. Then she asked me about my birth date and said she felt sorry for the betrayal of close people. She added that it was Destiny and I needed to go through all that.
- You’ve already opened the door to misfortune, – Leila said. – And now it’s time to open it to your close people, those who will help you.
- Are you ready? – She asked.
In a month and a half, I received a strange letter. The firm of attorneys from Liverpool invited me to the inheritance reading concerning the property of Mr. Blacksmith.
I was shocked. I know that only my grandfather was abroad during the World War II and he was captured. He, Kirill with a simple Russian last name, was considered dead. And then this Blacksmith…I thought it was a joke and I wanted to tear the letter. Suddenly, I saw Leila’s photo in the newspaper on the table. With the thought that Leila doesn’t joke, I called my lawyer.
I found out that the letter was really from Liverpool and that V. Blacksmith is actually Veniamin Blacksmith, which in Russian variant means a real blacksmith (Kuznetsov), and he was a son of Konstantin Kuznetsov – my lost grandfather.
After a tragic accident and Veniamin’s death I was his only relative. I inherited all his possessions worth more than 2 million pounds sterling. I needed to fly to England…
I live in Liverpool. I will have the second surgery on my spine. The best doctors from Switzerland promise me I will walk again soon and sleep without pain.
The only thing I want to do is to say hello to my close relatives in Canada and tell them: “If a misfortune comes, don’t open the gates, as you don’t have a close person who could help you…”
P.S. Dear Leila! I hope you like the present I’ve sent you. It’s just a small thing in comparison with what you really deserve. Know that my doors are always open for you and your family.
Respectfully, Alexander (Sasha) Kuznetsov-Blacksmith.