Одна из причин пристрастия людей к порочному – безделье. Когда б он возделывал землю, занимался торговлей, разве мог бы он вести праздную жизнь?
Абай Кунанбаев

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Marriages are made in heaven

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05 декабря 2017
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Marriages are made in heaven

Marriages are made in heaven.

 

Martin sat in the newspaper editor's office and vehemently refused his new

assignment.

“This is not my thing at all! I do not believe in psychics nor palm readers,

much less those quack astrologers!”

 “Exactly! You are perfect for the job.  You will provide objectivity because

you are not prejudiced! By the way, why aren't you married yet? You’re good

looking and strong!” - the veteran editor smoozed him.

 “I hate women,”  snarled Martin, angry at the obstinacy of his boss.  “May

I go now?”

 “Smooth sailing!” the editor wished him kindly.

Martin went home in a dismal mood. All the girls around were attracted to him

because of his good looks, but he ignored them. He considered women as an error

of Nature.  All of his time was spent in the gym improving his physique.  Not

only did he workout for hours and hours on the machines but he was careful of

his diet.  His daily schedule was planned to the last minute.

 

On the way home he bought a variety of newspapers and began to carefully study

the psychic ads.  It is very important to go to a professional, muttered

Martin, rustling the newspaper.  There should be one, even among these shrewd

characters. They must be skillful to fool so many people!

 

At the appointed time, with the address in his hand, Martin sharply rang the

doorbell. The door was opened by a girl so beautiful that an average man would

probably be speechless. But Martin was not effected.  “Yesterday I arranged a

meeting with an astrologer,”  Martin said getting straight to the point.

 “Your name is Martin? Come in, please! “

 

He noticed the odor of incense that is normally prevailant in these kind of

places. He sat in a soft cozy armchair.

“Coffee or tea?” he heard a voice from the kitchen.

“I am sorry, Miss…, I do not know your name, I didn’t come here to drink coffee

. Please tell me where is the man I spoke with yesterday.

“First of all, my name is Leila, and secondly, you talked with my secretary. “

“Why didn't you tell me this right way!?”  accused Martin. “Time is wasting.”

 

“Do you have a problem with me?”  said the girl offensively.  “Don't judge me

by my age. Attitude, not experience, is important in astrology. It’s not rocket

science! One must pour their entire soul into it. But if you don't want a

consultation from me, I won’t force you. “

 

 What difference does it make? - thought Martin. I can expose her as anyone!

“Well,”  he said  “I did not mean to upset you. You insist that you can tell me

what will happen in the future? I would like to hear it!”

“Yes,”  the girl answered cordially and offered,  “Would you like a cup of

coffee?”

“I do not take drugs,” answered Martin righteously.   He thought, Yes, she is

certainly a professional con artist! But what an impudence to humbug people

with those innocent eyes. I am not naive enough to be twisted around her finger!

“I didn't know that coffee is a drug,”  said Leila with a smile.

“Now you do,” declared Martin without ceremony,  “so let's begin. I have heard

that you need a place and date of birth for the reading, if that’s what you

call it.  I have that information.”

The girl was delighted.   “That is unusual.  Normally customers do not remember

the hour when they were born.  Why are you so lucky?”

Martin contentedly smiled. “My mom gave birth to me in the same room with the

wife of a bookkeeper.  He was such a punctual and scrupulous person, that it is

written in the family bible the exact time of his child's birth. His son and I

were born at about the same time, around seven in the morning. So there’s the

information, go ahead!”

 

Leila was already absorbed in her work. Books with intricate Arabic letters

were spread out before her. Martin noticed many books around the place. He was

already writing the first sentence of his article regarding the books. Suddenly

Martin burst out laughing.

“What the matter?”  said the startled astrologer.

“Leila, an interesting thought came to me. You’re not only calculating my

destiny but also one of my friends. What do you usually need? Date and place.

And Factory and I have the same date and place! Exactly the same! The only

difference is that I was born five minutes later.”

The woman disagreed with him.  “I must tell you, Martin, that in some cases

five minutes can make a world of difference!”

“Maybe you are right. You’re the expert,” he said giving her the benefit of the

doubt.

“All this stuff seems ridiculous to me but deal your cards for both of us

please. “

“It is not cards at all,” objected Leila. “Haven't you ever read about

Nostradamus?”

“I’ve read of him and others like him and I decided that all this is rubbish

and nothing more.”

“I will not try to change your  mind,”  she conceded.  “Let life itself be the

proof. By the way, why do you call that young man Factory?”

“You know how children are.  That was his nickname because he was always an

entrepreneur,” answered Martin.   “Now he is somewhere abroad. Today he is in

New York, the next day he is in Paris. One can't keep track of him. He has

become a

millionaire, what a brick! Only his mom knows his whereabouts. You know, Leila,

I am not sorry to stay too long here. Although I prefer not conduct business

with women, I am not even married, but being here is comfortable. This candle

that you lit smells very nice. Quit astrology and devote yourself to

psychology. I am sure you would be very successful!”

“No doubt but I’ll stick with astrology,” declared Leila. “And now if you don't

mind listen to my words, please.”

“I’m all ears.”  Martin made a serious face.

“Whom should I start with?” asked the astrologer.

“Well, let's start with my foster brother.”

“He is also your foster- brother?” wondered Leila. “Why?”

“My mom nursed both of us. The bookkeeper's wife didn’t have any milk.”

“I need to tell you that Factory was born under a lucky star. In a nutshell, he

should come into a fortune and marry a very nice girl.”

 

Lightly she joked, “You must give me his address.”

Martin took her seriously.  “It is possible. But I am wondering about your

prediction! A millionaire will also receive a fortune!”

“It seems to me that you envy him slightly,” Leila noticed ironically.

“Maybe,” belittled himself Martin, “but only the first part of the prediction.

As for  the second part, I want to say that I don’t understand why when a

person marries everyone congratulates the couple. It seems to me that they

should give their condolences.

But so it is. You depend on the desire of people to learn about the future.

However let's be rounded. I have over stayed my time with you.

“As for you, Martin...,” the woman hid a smile and looked at him.

“You are a really unruffled guy to put it mildly. Just look at yourself. How

robust and mighty you are. Therefore I am going to tell you the honest truth.

You are going to experience very hard times. It is very good, that you are such

a woman-hater and haven't got a family, because very soon you will lose all

your fortune.”

“Is that all?”  sneered Martin.  “That’s no big deal! Especially if you take

into account that I don't have any fortune at the time being. Of course, I

didn't expect much from this consultation but nevertheless…. How much do I owe

you for my curiosity?”

Martin slipped his hand into his pocket.

Leila answered, “Nothing, with this condition. If everything that I have said

comes true you will come and tell me about it.”

“Oh Leila,” Martin grimaced.  “You are much better than I thought. It seems to

me that you really believe in what you say. But I have a bad habit of paying

for everything and with your conditions, I am afraid your efforts will remain

unpaid forever.

“We shall see.  You might want to consider keeping your money here at my home.

Then you will have it when you need it.”

Martin was puzzled and looked at her in wide-eyed astonishment.

“I mean you will have it after your collapse.”

“Oh, yes.  I have already forgotten that a great misfortune is waiting for me.

You don't know, Leila, how beneficial everything I have learned today will be.

Thank you so much!”

“Not at all, always at your service,” answered the woman in the same tone.

“Give my congratulations to the Factory, if you find him. It is good, that

there are still real men on the planet.”

“But you don't know him at all.” slightly touched by these words said Martin.

“In comparison with you anyone is a real man,” the woman retorted.

“It is good that I do not respond to women otherwise I would take offence,”

Martin said though he took offence. For some reason his former self-confidence

had disappeared.

“It is necessary to be polite to customers or they will disappear,” he added

maliciously.

“Thank you for your concern.”

“By the way would you be so kind to tell me where one can learn to be an

astrologer?”

“The main thing is your desire to become one. Practice makes perfect.

Good-bye!”

“Goodbye!”  he said emphasizing each syllable. He left the apartment.

 

The next day he complained to his boss that the material is going nowhere.

“Please me another assignment, for example, like business abroad? You know that

my foster- brother lives there. It will be easy for me.”

“You want to travel abroad? Well if I let you go your brother himself will pay

all expenses!” joked the editor battle-hardened in fights on the printing front

.

“No I won’t travel abroad, I’ll do everything at home!”

“You better write about astrologers at home. You need to understand that it’s

what the readers want. They are tired of everyday events, we must give them

something unbelievable! It is more interesting for them to live with arrivals.

But you should write about them in such a way that readers would believe it!

“Ah…you don't trust in all that stuff either! Hum.. I thought you did... “

“You don’t need to trust everything that is printed in the newspaper just

because you are the editor,” he instructed his colleague. “Now go, Martin.

Millionaires or missioners, psychics or astrologers, whatever they are I don’t

care but make it interesting to our readers!”

In a sign of a disposition the chief extended Martin a pack of cigarettes, but

realizing that Martin was the only person in their group that didn’t smoke, he

smoked alone.

“I know smoking is bad and I should quit but I can’t.  Too bad.”

 “As one nice woman said: the main thing is the desire,” Martin said

remembering Leila's words and smiled.

“I honestly thought you hated women,” said the editor.

“I thought so too,” - sighed Martin.

 

In the gym he suddenly realized that he didn't want to workout. He thought, I'd

better go to see Factory's mom. I haven't been there for a long time. Then I

can take Leila his new address as promised. However the promise wasn’t the real

reason.

‘Is this really happening to me?’ he thought despising himself. ‘I’m acting

like a teenager looking for a chance to see her again.’

These were his thoughts when he reached the house where the Factorys’ mom

lived.

 

Act 2 ...

 

“Come in, come in, Martin.  Your timing is good. I was going to call you or do

you already know everything?,”  she inquired.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

”I don’t know where to begin,” the woman sighed.  “It’s your foster-brother.

“Is he okay?”  Martin asked curiously.

“To a certain degree, yes. Something has happened. I will not keep anything

from you. You are like a son to me. The long and the short of it is Factory has

joined a Monastery to become a monk.”

“ A monk?”  Martin was shocked. “I can't believe it! He’s done a 180 degree

turn to give up a multimillion business for the monastery? He put his heart in

to that business!”

“That’s exactly what he wrote in his letter, Martin,  ‘Mom I poured my heart

into the wrong business.  I wasn't happy at all’.  If he had married he would

have had kids and everything would have been different. Maybe he wouldn’t have

done this.  Now he has left for God know where.” ‘I am going to purify my soul

for many years and then let you know about myself.’  How can I stand this!

What will people say?”

Factory, Factory, so-called favorite of fortune!, thought Martin, You didn’t

even think of you mom!

“Also he left you money,” he heard the voice of the distraught woman.

Martin was dumbfounded.

“What money?”

“He sold everything, all his property and gave away all the money. Martin,

Martin, you are the only one left now. Stop and see me more often, please!”

“I will,”  he promised.   An inappropriate smile had stiffened on his face as

he left the house.

‘What a coincidence!’ - thought Martin while going to Leila. ‘As if someone

purposely mocks at me. But Factory! A Tibetan monk!

Only imagine: he wants to purify his fucking soul!

He stood in front of the door for awhile to calm down.  With a carefree

expression on his face he rang the doorbell.

“You’re back so soon,”  the woman stated.

“Leila, you will laugh at your mistake.”

“Tell me and we will laugh together,” he heard the composed answer.

“Okay, I saw Factory's mum to get his address as you requested.  I know how

women love millionaires.”  He took revenge on her for her yesterday's words.

“Do not draw away, - reacted Leila coolly.

“Alright, listen to me! You confused everything! Factory gave up everything and

I, on the other hand, have gained a fortune! I know it’s hard to believe but he

joined a monastery and gave his money away to me and other people. He didn't

forget his foster- brother.

“What an amazing person!” admired Leila.

Martin was jealous and it was a new feeling for him.

“Well, my brother is gone but I am here,” he said pathetically. “So how do you

explain the miscalculation?”

“It is obvious! There is nothing to explain at all!”

“Well I am dying to hear your explanation.”

“You and your foster-brother have been interchanged. You said that your mom

nursed so she just made a mistake.”

“How easily you explain everything.  It’s just like a soap opera!”  Martin

became unsettled. “You want to say that I am Factory? Charming, female logic!

Instead of acknowledging your error you find loopholes! I was right to

recommend you become a psychologist! Me, Factory? How did you come up with

that!  I can't even imagine being called Factory all my life!

“Your name doesn't pet one's ear either, - has applied painful taking Leila.

- Let my name alone. Not the name decorates a man but quite the contrary!

- It appears to me that to make things worse you are vain, - guessed the girl

grinning. - How many defects can a person contain!

- Well, well, well, I have come here not to quarrel but to understand what is

happening. To a certain degree you were right in the prognosis, at fifty

percents. I can't explain it to myself. I can't assume that you beforehand

learned all my ins and outs, have fished information about the Factory, but why

did then you confuse our biographies? Wouldn't it be better directly say that I

would come into a fortune and Factory would lose all his money? - reasoned

Martin.

- Furthermore you are also very stubborn, - Leila shared her impressions with

Martin.  And I am busy as I have other appointments.  These people, I am sure,

will not tear me to pieces with groundless suspicions. No wonder an attractive

man as yourself is still single. Yes, any woman...”

“Wait!” screamed Martin forgetting the insult. “Now that you mention it I

forgot that Factory, myself, is going to marry, as you predicted.

“That is interesting only to you.  You can't reckon on me in this question!

Martin vigorously rubbed his palms.

“Oh, Leila! You have piqued my curiosity. Now, thanks to my brother, I can

afford one more consultation.”

“Make an appointment with my secretary!” she advised with a murderous tone. “My

appointment is here.”

She opened the door. A big fellow who looked like a gangster stood behind the

door.

“Are you here for a consultation? Come in, please.”  She was gentle to the

gangster.  To Martin she added “You can go.”

“Listen to me pal,” said Martin peacefully. We’re in the middle of something

here.  Could you come some other time?

“What pal?”  He raised his eyebrows.

“Like tomorrow.” 

His interlocutor obviously has not accustomed to be talked to like that.

Usually he called other people pal and called the shots. Slowly moving the chewing gum in his mouth he deliberately and calmly looked at Martin and said:  “You have

been told to go away.  Do I need to tell you again?!”

“What of it!” declared Martin.  He moved forward still expecting to come to an

agreement with his adversary. Suddenly he was thrown back and it seemed that

there was cotton in his nose. Martin slowly lifted himself from the floor and

looked at the guy with humiliation. Pretending that he’s given up the fight he

contempt in Leila's eyes.  He rattles on as if he has acknowledged defeat:

I am leaving. Listen, pal, you don't need an astrologer with those muscles.

The man moved away not wanting to get Martin’s blood on his suit.  Suddenly the

man was bent in half with pain grabbing at his groin.

Then harnessing a common hatred of gangsters, he threw a shattering uppercut.

“So now you are also a sadist.”  He heard Leila's remark as she observed

everything with great interest.

The man decided not to tempt destiny for a second time. He found the door and

cast a glance that could kill at Martin and left.

Martin sat down.  He was blissfully happy.

“I swear on my honor that I am not guilty in this fight, - he said

hypocritically to Leila, who treated his nose with a tampon.

“Do not talk. Actually you work with you hands much better than with you mouth.

You are a worthless diplomat. Now I will have to fix things with the gangsters.

 

“I didn’t know that you consulted with them. “

“They do not introduce themselves saying I am a gangster, could you tell me

please what future is preparing for me?

“But now you understand, Leila that I need your consultation now.  Please let

me know if there is any chance of my death in the near future.”

“You don’t care. You have been told that as a woman-hater you need only beware

of a marriage.

“A marriage to a nice woman,” he imitated her words while blatantly looking at

her.

“Last time you were here you felt you were wasting your time.”

“Maybe this blow has changed my mind.  Thanks for your help, Leila, you have

saved me. Now I must go.”

“Wait for a while! Your nose may start to bleed again.”

“I have already taken up too much of your time,” he said politely.

“At least try not to bend over.”

Turning up his nose Martin approached the door. When he stretched his hand to

open it he felt a terrible blow. A few guys have instantly enclosed the victim.

Consciousness unwillingly abandoned the tireless adventurer. His brain became a

kaleidoscope filled with gangsters, the white coats of doctors, the sounds of

cars, and the Ambulance siren...

 

Several weeks later his boss came to see him in the hospital. He warmly greeted

Martin, who was in traction, and Leila was sitting next to his bed. He grabbed

a fresh newspaper out of his pocket, as if a saber from its sheath, and asked

Martin, Guess what’s in it?

“Is it my story?”  he asked casually.

“The fight didn’t damaged your reflexes.”  The chief was delighted.

However Leila held the different opinion.

“Think of it, this boxer persuades me each day to marry him!”

“Well, it is beyond me.”  The editor shrugged as if to say, who know.  “Martin

convincingly proves that it is not we who make marriages.”

He opened the newspaper to the correct page and gave it to Leila. She

read with a smile the title: Marriages are made in heaven.

 

The end


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