Why do you keep making noise all the time?” an angry neighbor stood at the doorway, demanding not only verbally but with her entire demeanor to put an end to this “indecency.” Baffled, Mykola, disheveled and confused, just stared at Oksana.
“Hey, can you hear me?” I come home, and it’s like this: noise, commotion. I called your husband to talk about it, it’s impossible to live like this.”
“I’ll try,” Mykola replied quietly and closed the door in front of Oksana. Half an hour of silence passed, and then everything returned to the same state: something crashed, a commotion started, children’s voices were heard, and it was a cacophony. Oksana got angry and rang the apartment above her persistently. The door was opened by a twelve-year-old boy.
“Where’s your father?” Oksana asked, raising an eyebrow inquisitively.
“Oleh is cleaning up in the kitchen; he accidentally spilled the jelly,” the boy said cheerfully. “Dad’s helping him.”
Oksana’s expression changed noticeably when she saw several attentive pairs of eyes peering from the room.
“And where’s your mom?” Oksana asked.
The boy hesitated for a few seconds, lowering his gaze, then replied, “We live with Dad now… alone.”
“How many kids are there?” Oksana inquired.
“Six…” Slavik responded.
“Ask your dad if I can come in.”
“Come in, why not? I’ve seen you before; you live downstairs,” Slavik replied cheerfully and disappeared into another room.
Oksana was slightly uncomfortable sitting on the carpet near the door, but she confidently walked into the kitchen. In the kitchen, her husband was busy cleaning jelly from the floor.
“Sorry for the noise; it’s just that…” Mykola began, but Oksana interrupted him.
“Hello again,” she said. “Yes, I understand. We’re the ones living right above you.”
After a while, the situation in the kitchen had improved. Mykola and Oksana managed to clean up the mess.
“Dinner is ready!” Oksana called the children into the kitchen. She arranged them at the table and served the food. Slavik was assigned to wash the dishes while his father had dinner.
At that moment, Mykola realized that this woman hadn’t entered his life by chance. Oksana began visiting Mykola’s family more frequently, offering her help. Almost a year later, she rang their doorbell. The children were standing there with a bouquet of flowers and a large cake.
“Oksana, be my wife,” Mykola proposed, opening a box with a ring inside. “And be our mother!” the children shouted in unison. Oksana’s eyes seemed on the verge of tears.
“I have a condition,” she raised a finger, “only if you agree to have one more little brother or sister.”
“Agreed!” the children chorused.
Some people may condemn Mykola for unloading his responsibilities with his children onto this woman. They might not understand how Oksana could decide to take on a seventh child willingly. But she was happy, and perhaps this was her destiny—to be a mother to seven children and marry the man she wanted to live with and build a bright and happy future together. And the children? They would grow up soon, and life would get easier, wouldn’t it?