Once upon a time Max had a loving family, a mother and father. But then his mother died. His father took a long time, started drinking, and soon his stepmother came to the house with her children, and the boy began to grow up on his own. Often I would meet the boy on the way home, winking and giving him candy specially saved for him, or cakes; a bakery had recently opened in our yard, giving off delicious smells of pastries. To be honest, I had my doubts that the baby was full.
“Max, how are you doing?” I asked.
“Fine,” he would take the treats and run off with a group of boys like him.
Meanwhile, I had a boyfriend. I started coming home later and didn’t see him at all for a while. Autumn came, and one day on my way home from work I saw Max sitting lonely by my doorway, wearing a thin old jacket, shivering in the freezing wind…
“Why aren’t you home?” I asked, “it’s getting dark, it’s so cold, did something happen?”
“Aunt Anna, can I stay with you?” he looked at me pleadingly.
That evening I brought the boy home, I had lived away from my parents for a long time, so I didn’t have to explain anything to anyone. Max ate greedily, as if he hadn’t been fed for a long time. I helped him to wash up and turned on cartoons.
So imperceptibly he fell asleep. The next morning the boy was more talkative. He told me that his father had recently died, and his stepmother had brought home an old grandmother. It had become harder to live, both were grumbling, always displeased with everything. They pampered their children, caressed them, and only scolded him.
And yesterday they kicked him out of the house. He barely had time to grab his jacket, it was cold outside. There was nowhere to go, so he ran to my house. I did not open the door, so he waited.
At that moment I had a strong desire to take the baby to myself. What was waiting for him in a house where there was not a single soul? I called Peter, my young man, and told him everything. He was very fond of children, had grown up in a family with many children. We wanted at least three of our own, but that was still in the plans.
“Anna, why don’t we take him in?” he asked.
“Us? We’re not even married yet.”
“This is just what will speed up the process, marry me!” he smiled.
That’s how Max stayed with me. Several times we went to his house, but were met only with angry looks from the housemates. They packed a bag with the boy’s things and closed the door in my face.
Peter and I got married two months later, and then we started putting together the paperwork to adopt the baby. And just as all the formalities were taken care of, I found out that I was expecting a child myself!
That same evening I called Max over.
“Son, you’re going to have a little brother or sister soon!”
He smiled and asked:
“Won’t he hurt me?”
“No, you’re going to be good friends!” And I hugged the baby.
Since then, several years have passed, we have a friendly family, we have two wonderful boys growing up: Max and Alex, and I don’t regret at all that I adopted Max; in fact, I am grateful to fate that I have found such a wonderful little boy!