Book 8, part 1. The New Civilization (2005)
I am giving birth to you, my angel!
Viktor Chadov, an entrepreneur, awoke at dawn. His girlfriend lay beside him in the big bed, still asleep. The thin blanket hugged the contours of her delicate figure.
Every time they attended formal receptions together or went to some fancy resort hotel, her body attracted men’s en-vious or lustful glances.
Not only that, but Inga (as this sleeping beauty was called) possessed a most charming smile and gave the impression on those around her of being a smart and educated woman. Viktor took such great pleasure in her company that he bought a second four-bedroom flat, furnished it with ultramodern pieces and gave Inga the keys. Occasionally, if his intensive business schedule allowed, he would spend a night or two with her. He was grateful to this twenty-five-year-old woman for these marvellous nights they spent together, and the opportunity to chat with her, but he had no plans to marry her. He had no special feelings of love for her. And, besides, he knew which side his bread was buttered on: after all, he was 38 and she 25. Naturally, it would not be long before this young woman would start hankering for a younger man. And, with her body and brains, that would not be too difficult to find. And she would find a younger and even richer man, all thanks to him. After all, if he married her, he would be also introducing her to a circle of influential businessmen.
Inga turned her face toward him, smiling in her sleep. The blanket had slipped down just enough to expose one of her alluring, so perfectly shaped feminine breasts. But this time
Viktor Chadov experienced none of his usual stimulation at the sight of her half-naked body; He carefully replaced the blanket on his sleeping partner. Silently, trying not to wake her, he got up from the bed and headed out to the kitchen.
He made some coffee and poured himself a cup. Lighting a cigarette, he began pacing the spacious breakfast-room floor, practically oblivious to his surroundings.
What a dream! His feelings were still aroused by last night’s extraordinary dream. Yes, his feelings, rather than his mind. Viktor had dreamt that he was walking along a shady allee, concentrating on the feasibility of a routine commercial deal. Behind and in front of him walked his bodyguards. He was irritated at their presence and had a hard time concentrating. His attention was also distracted by the constant noise of traffic along the edge of the park.
Then all of a sudden his bodyguards disappeared and the traffic noise died down. And he could hear the birds singing, he could see the marvellous spring foliage on the trees lining the allee, and the flowers on the bushes. He stopped and delighted in the soft and pleasant feelings welling up inside him. And he felt better than he ever had before in his life.
And all at once he noticed, far down the allee, a little boy running toward him. The sunlight was shining from behind, giving him a kind of halo, and it almost seemed as though here running toward him was a little angel.
A moment later and it dawned on him that this was none other than his own little son. The lad’s hands and feet were in constant energetic motion. With a joyful premonition, Viktor squatted down and threw open his arms to embrace him, while his little son, in turn, threw open his arms on the run. But then all at once the boy stopped in his tracks, about three metres shy of Viktor. The smile faded from the youngster’s face, and the look in his eyes made Viktor’s heart start to pound.
“Come on, come to me! Come and let me hug you, son.” The boy answered with a wry smile:
“There’s no way you can do that, Papa.”
“Why not?” Viktor asked in surprise.
“Because...” answered the boy with a tone of sadness. “You can’t hug me, Papa, because you can’t hug a son which hasn’t been born. After all, you didn’t give birth to me, Papa.” “Then you come and hug me, son. Come on.”
“I can’t hug a father who didn’t give birth to me.”
The boy tried to smile through his tears. A tear was already trickling down his red cheek. Then the boy turned, hung his head, and slowly wandered off down the allee.
But Viktor was still standing there on his knees, rooted to the spot. The boy kept getting farther and further away As did the soft and pleasant feeling Viktor had had a moment ago. Once again, from the distance, it seemed, he could hear the roar of traffic. Unable to move, Viktor summoned up his remaining strength and called out:
“Don’t leave me! Where are you going, son?”
The youngster turned, and he could see another tear trick-ling down his face.
“I’m going into the nowhere, Papa. Into the infinite no-where.” Again the lad hung his head without saying a word. Then he added: “I’m sad, Papa, I’m sad that I wasn’t born and so I cannot restore your life with myself.”
With head lowered, the little angel receded into the dis-tance and presently disappeared, literally dissolving in the Sun’s rays.
The dream ended, but the impressions of the marvellous soft and pleasant sensations lingered on. It was as though they were summoning Viktor to take action.
After finishing his third cigarette, Viktor extinguished it firmly and decisively. He rushed into the bedroom, calling out loudly on the way:
“Wake up, Inga, wake up!”
“I’m not asleep,” answered the beautiful girl from the bed. “Just lying here, lolling about. I’ve been wondering where you disappeared to.”
“Inga, I want you to have a child. Could you have a son with me?”
She threw off the blanket and leapt out of bed. She ran over to him, flung her arms around his neck and pressed against him with every inch of her supple and beautiful body And then in a hot whisper she confided:
“The most delightful and beautiful declaration of love is when a man asks a woman to bear his child. Thank you... that is, if you’re not just joking.”
“I’m not joking,” he replied firmly Putting on a bathrobe, Inga responded:
“Well, if you’re not joking — if you’re serious, that is... This is a decision we need to think through. First, I want my future child to have a father. But you, my dearly beloved, are still married.”
“I’ll get a divorce,” Viktor promised. In fact, he had already divorced his wife three months before, but for a variety of reasons had not yet told Inga the news.
“Once you get your divorce, then we can start talking about a child. But I’ll tell you right off, Viktor. Even if you get di-vorced, it’s still too early to think about children.
“In the first place,” Inga reasoned — half in jest, half serious, “I still need a year to finish graduate school. Secondly, I’m so tired of studying that once I finish, I’d like to take another year just to fool around, make the rounds of a few resorts and have a good time. So, if you’re talking about a child... Well, children could put an end to that little plan once and for all!” “Okay, I was joking,” Viktor interrupted her rambling train of thought. “I’ve gotta go. Got an important meeting coming up. I’ve already called for my car. So long!”
He left, but it was not for any meeting, and he had not called for any car. Viktor walked slowly down the sidewalk, giving the once-over to every woman he met. He was viewing them through new eyes — a view he himself was not accus-tomed to. He was trying to pick out a woman who might be worthy of bearing him a son — a woman he felt he could have a child with.
Immediately all the stylish girls with heavy makeup who had earlier attracted his attention fell away He had completely lost interest in all the girls who dressed in tight-fitting clothes or semi-nude in mini-bikini tops to show off their figure.
It’s clear why they do that — it’s what’s on their minds, he thought to himself. And then they try putting an intelligent expression on their face. They use their various body parts to attract men, and maybe someone will bite. And they do bite, of course, only not to have kids. It’s a bite for a shag no procreation there. Go on, dummies, wiggle your behinds! I’m not going to let any wigglers like that have my child.
Two girls he happened to notice coming toward him were smoking as they walked, and one of them was holding in her hand an open bottle of beer.
Now they’re the kind that are absolutely no good for having children. Only an idiot would want to have a child with that sort.
Another thing Viktor noticed was that very few of the women and girls he saw were really healthy-looking. Some were slouching, others had an expression on their face that made them look as though they were suffering from stomach cramps. Still others showed definite signs of either obesity or anorexia.
No, it wouldn’t do to have children with them, Viktor thought to himself. Wow! It looks like every one of those women is dreaming of a prince sidling up to them in a white Mercedes, and yet they themselves coiddn’t do the most basic thing of all for that prince. In their own unhealthy state, they couldn’t possibly give him a healthy child.
Viktor did not bother to call his driver. Instead, he went on to his office on the trolleybus, still looking up and down every woman his eyes fell upon, trying to find among their number one who was worthy to bear his child, but to no avail.
All day long, including during his lunch break and when he was alone in his office, he could not stop thinking about the woman who was to give him a son.
At times he had the impression of looking for a woman he himself could be born from. At long last he came to a conclu-sion: if an ideal partner could not be found, she would have to be created. For this he would need to find a more or less healthy young woman with an attractive (or, at least, not a re-pulsive) appearance, one with a good character, and arrange for her to have all sorts of training and health-improvement exercises in the best sanatoriums. But the main thing would be to send her off to be tutored in a top educational institution, one where she could learn all about preparing for pregnancy, carrying the child to term and the birthing process itself, as well as basic pre-school education.
At the end of his working day, he called in his firm’s lawyer, Valentina Petrovna, a woman who had been made wiser by the school of hard knocks.
He invited her to have a seat and began in a roundabout way:
“I have a bit of an unusual question for you, Valentina Petrovna. It’s rather personal, but it’s very important to me. A cousin of mine asked me to make an enquiry for her. Anyway, she’s planning on getting married soon, and she asked me to find out where she can locate an educational institution in our country for women to study up on the best way to carry their pregnancy, as well as what the birth process and subsequent child-raising involves. And what the role of the father should be in this.”
Valentina Petrovna listened intently When he finished, she thought for a while before saying:
‘As you know, Viktor Nikolaevich, I have two children, and I’ve always been interested in literature on birthing and the raising of children, but I’ve never even heard of that kind of school, either in our country or abroad.”
“Strange! They teach everything nowadays, and yet this most important issue isn’t touched in either our high schools or our post-secondary institutions. I wonder why?”
“Yes, it is strange,” Valentina Petrovna agreed. “I’ve never really thought about it before, but now this state of affairs does seem strange to me. The State Duma, it looks like, doesn’t shy away from discussing the topic of sex education in the schools, but the question of teaching how to give birth to and bring up children isn’t even raised.”
“That means that every couple is obliged to experiment on their own child?”
“That’s what it boils down to,” replied Valentina Petrovna. ‘An experiment. There are, of course, a wide variety of courses teaching parents what to do at birthing time, how to handle newborns, but there’s no scientific basis underlying the proc-ess, and it’s pretty nigh impossible to decide which courses are really going to help and which are harmful.”
“Did you take any courses yourself, Valentina Petrovna?”
“Well, for our younger daughter I decided on a home birth, in the bathtub, with the help of a midwife. A lot of women are doing that today People believe that it’s more comfortable for a child to make its appearance in the world in a home environment, in the presence of family. They say newborns can tell when people treat them with love as opposed to just simply indifference, which is what you get in many maternity wards. It’s like a conveyor belt there, after all.”
Viktor did not find his conversation with Valentina Petrovna all that encouraging. In fact, it depressed him. For two whole weeks he spent all his free time thinking about the problem of childbirth. For two whole weeks, as he walked about the city on foot, visiting high-class restaurants, bars and theatres, he would give probing looks into women’s faces. He even went out into the countryside, but could not find anyone suitable for him there either.
One day he parked his jeep near a teacher’s college and peered through the jeep’s tinted glass windows at the girls passing by After three hours he noticed a young woman coming down the steps with her hair tied back in a short, light- brown braid. She had a stately figure and, as it seemed to him, an intelligent-looking face. As she walked past his jeep on the way to the bus stop, Viktor rolled down his window and hailed her:
“Excuse me, please, miss. You see, I’ve been waiting for my friend here, and I can’t wait any longer. If you could show me the best route to the centre of town, I’d be happy to give you a lift home after that, if you like.”
The girl looked at the jeep, assessing the situation, and then quietly answered:
“Sure, why not? I’ll show you.”
After she got into the front seat and they had introduced themselves, the girl pointed to the pack of cigarettes on the dashboard and said:
“You got some nice cigarettes there. Mind if I have a smoke?”
“Help yourself,” replied Viktor. He was just as glad when his mobile phone rang at that moment. No important message, but when he hung up, Viktor put on a worried face and told the girl, who by now was aggressively puffing on a cigarette:
“Something’s come up. I’ve gotta get to an urgent business meeting. You’ll have to excuse me.”
With that he let the girl out on the sidewalk, cigarette in hand, after deciding there was no way he was going to let his son be poisoned by tobacco smoke.
All during these two weeks Viktor did not meet with his girl-friend at all. He did not even ring her up. He had decided that if she did not want to have a child with him, if all she wanted to do was have a good time and hang around fancy resorts, he had no use for her.
Certainly, it had been fun spending time with this beautiful and intelligent woman, but now his life-plans had taken a completely different turn. Til leave her the flat, Viktor decided. After all, this woman did spice up my life for a while. He headed over to the university Inga attended, to give her his keys to the apartment. On the way there he rang her up on his mobile:
“Hi!” came the familiar voice over the telephone. “Where are you now?”
“I’m almost at your university. Will you be finished classes soon?”
“I haven’t gone to the university for ten days now. To tell you the truth, I can’t see myself going back there any time soon.”
“Where are you now?”
When Viktor opened the front door and entered the flat, Inga was lying on the bed in her bathrobe and reading some kind of book. Glancing at Viktor, she said, without getting up: “There’s coffee and sandwiches in the kitchen.”
And once more she buried her nose in her book.
Viktor went into the kitchen and took a couple of gulps of coffee. After lighting a cigarette, he plunked his keys down on the kitchen table, then went back to the door of the bedroom, where Inga was still reading, as before.
“I’m leaving,” he told her. “Maybe for quite a while, or maybe for good. I’m leaving you the flat. Good-bye. Take care of yourself, hang loose.”
And with that he headed toward the door. Inga caught up with him right in the doorway
“Hey, wait a minute, there, scamp!” she said with an upbeat tone, tugging at Viktor’s sleeve. “You’re leaving me, eh? You turn my whole life upside-down, and now it’s ‘Good-bye’?” “Now how have I turned your life upside-down?” Viktor asked in surprise. “You gave me a good time, and I bet it wasn’t too bad for you either. You now have the flat all to yourself, and a closet full of clothes. Take care of yourself, have fun the way you wanted to. Or is it more money you want?”
“Abu know, you really are a scamp! C’mon! First you spit on my soul, and then you carry on about the flat, clothes, having fun?”
“Hey, take it easy. Don’t make a scene. I’ve got important business to attend to. Good-bye!”
Viktor reached for the door handle. But Inga once again held him back, grabbing hold of his arm.”
“Not so fast, darling. Hold on a moment. There’s something I want you to tell me. Did you ask me to bear a child, or didn’t you?”
“I asked, and you said no.”
“Yeah, I said no, at first. Then I thought about it for a couple of days and changed my mind. I quit graduate school, quit smoking, I work out every morning, and now I’ve got hold of these books about life, and children. I can’t put them down. Here I am reading up on the best way to have a child, and he says ‘Good-bye’! I can’t imagine anyone but you as the father of our...”
When Inga’s words finally sunk in, Viktor gave her a bois-terous hug, whispering her name over and over again. Then he hoisted her in his arms and carried her into the bedroom. Tenderly, as though handling a most precious treasure, he laid her down on the bed and began tearing off his clothes. With greater passion than ever before he embraced her as she lay on the bed. He began kissing her shoulders and breast, at the same time trying to remove her bathrobe. But all at once his efforts met with a silent protest, and she started to push him away
“Hey, calm down there... please!” Inga said to him. “That’s not the way. To put it in a nutshell, I’m not going to have sex with you today. Or tomorrow, or a month from now.”
“What d’you mean, no sex? Didn’t you just tell me you agreed to have a child?”
“That’s what I said.”
“But how can you have a child without sex?”
“Sex should be something quite different. Fundamentally different.”
“Well, it’s like this. Tell me, my dear, future, loving Papa, why do you want your child to be born?”
“What are you talking about?” Viktor sat down on the bed in shock. “Everybody knows why There’s no two ways about it.” “You’re making yourself very clear. But still, let’s be specific as to what you want and which way you want to go about
it. D’you want your child to be born as a consequence — a side-effect — of your fleshly desires? Or of our joint fleshly desires, for that matter? Or would you rather see him as the desired offspring of our mutual love?”
“I don’t think a child would fancy being just a side-effect.” “So, then, the offspring of love. But, you see, you’re not in love with me. Sure, you find me attractive, but that’s not the same as love.”
“You’re right, Inga, I find you very attractive.”
“There, you see? And you’re very attractive to me, but that’s still a ways from love. We have to earn each other’s love.” “You must have been hitting some pretty strange reading material, eh, Inga? Love is a feeling, it comes all by itself from goodness-knows-where. And it disappears goodness-knows- where. You can earn somebody’s respect, sure, but love?...” “But it is precisely each other’s love that we’ve got to earn, and our son will help us do it.”
“Our son?! You really feel we’re going to have a son?” “Why ‘going to’? It’s already a fact.”
“Hey, what does that mean?” Viktor jumped up. ‘Are you telling me you’re already pregnant? You’ve been hiding it from me, eh? Whose child is it? How far along is it?”
“It’s yours. And it hasn’t started yet.”
“So, it’s not there yet at all?”
“Listen here, Inga. I really have no idea what you’re on about. You’re talking some sort of nonsense. Can’t you put it, somehow, more clearly?”
“I’ll try. You see, Viktor, you got this desire to have a child and you’ve begun thinking about it. Then I got the same de-sire, and I too began thinking about it. We know today that human thought is material. And that means, if we both have a mental concept of our child, it already exists.”
‘And where is it now?”
“I don’t know. Maybe in some other dimension we don’t know about. Maybe, out there in some one of the galaxies of the Universe he’s running barefoot through the stars and looking down on this blue Earth where he’s going to get a ma-terial embodiment. Maybe he’s now choosing the place and conditions he’d like to be born in, and wants to let us know. Can’t you hear, or feel, what he’s asking us?”
Viktor looked at Inga wide-eyed, as though seeing her for the very first time. She had never come out with reasoning like this before. He could not make up his mind whether she was serious or simply joking. But that phrase maybe he’s now choosing where he’d like to be born stuck in his mind.
People are born in all sorts of different places — some are born in an aeroplane, on board ship or in a motor car. Many are born in hospitals in maternity wards, some at home in the bathtub. They are born wherever it works out for them to be born, but where would children like to be born? For example, he, Viktor, if he had had the opportunity and the choice, where would he like to have been born? In Russia, or in one of the best hospitals in England or America? But none of these alternatives struck him as being particularly appealing.
Inga interrupted Viktor’s train of thought:
“I’ve already worked out a detailed plan for our joint prepa-ration for meeting our son.”
“What sort of plan?”
“Listen to me carefully, my dear.” Inga spoke decisively like never before, either sitting in an easy chair or pacing the floor. “First, we’ve got to get ourselves in top-notch physical shape. From now on we shan’t smoke or drink. We have to do a thorough cleaning out of our insides, starting with the kidneys and liver, with the help of various teas and fasting. I’ve already selected a method.
“From now on we shall drink only spring water — that’s very important. I’m already having five litres of spring water delivered every day Sure, it costs twice as much as in the stores, but never mind, we’ll get by.
“Every day we need to do physical exercises to strengthen our muscles and intensify our blood circulation. We still need fresh air and positive emotions, which are not all that easy to come by.”
Viktor liked Inga’s decisiveness, as well as her plan of ac-tion. Without giving her a chance to finish, he declared:
“We’ll buy the best work-out equipment for our physical exercises, and hire the best masseurs. I can send one of my drivers to pick up spring water for us every day The driver can also go and collect air from the forest — he can use a com-pressor to store it in cylinders under pressure, and then we can release the air in our flat a little at a time. Only I have no idea where we can get or buy positive emotions. Maybe we could go visit some fine resorts, like on our honeymoon trip? I mean it — a honeymoon.”
Viktor’s mood was getting more and more upbeat by the minute — thanks both to Inga’s decisive and carefully thought- through approach to childbirth and to her desire to have a child by him. And he was glad to know that the son he had foreseen in his dream would be borne not by just some flighty female interested mainly in money but by Inga, who was taking such a serious and responsible approach to the matter.
He really wanted to do something nice for Inga, whom he already considered to be the mother of his future son! He got up, quickly put on a suit, walked up to Inga and solemnly declared:
“Inga, will you marry me?!”
“Of course I will,” Inga replied in accord, as she buttoned up her bathrobe. “Our son should have official parents. Only there’s no point in going to some fancy resort for our honey-moon — that doesn’t fit in with my plan of preparation for childbirth.”
“What does fit in, then? Where else can we get positive emotions?”
“We should go around the outlying villages and find a spot we both really like. It has to appeal to both of us, and that means it will appeal to our son too, when he sees it. We’ll buy a hectare of land there, and you will build a small house where our child’s conception is to take place. I shall stay there all nine months of my pregnancy, maybe with an occasional brief outing. We’ll plant a new garden right there on our very own plot of land. I shan’t give birth in a hospital, but in the little house on our family domain.”
Viktor could not believe his ears. He could not believe that Inga — a smart, glamorous woman who used to be so keen on hanging out at fashionable clubs and popular resorts — could have changed her whole way of life so radically On the one hand, he was flattered by Inga’s vision — after all, she had his child in mind. On the other hand, did not this vision harbour just a hint of abnormality?
He had heard from one of his friends of the existence of a series of books describing an unusual approach to childbirth. His friend had mentioned the importance of each family hav-ing their own hectare of land, and had given him this little book with a green cover called The Book of Kin. He had not got round to reading it, but he had heard that these books had been stirring up quite a controversy among the public. People who read them were beginning to change their whole way of life.
All at once, Viktor’s eyes fell on a pile of books with green covers lying on one of the bedside tables. He walked over and read the series title: Ringing Cedars of Russia. Among them was The Book of Kin. Viktor now realised that all these unusual ideas Inga had about preparation for childbirth she had taken from these books, and she was getting ready to carry them out to the letter. He was still not quite sure whether this was a good or a bad thing.
There was something disturbing about Inga’s unusual and unquestioning conviction. It was as though an invisible someone had changed her views and whole outlook on life. But had these books changed Inga for the better, or had they made her just a little quirky? Viktor kept rehashing the question over and over in his mind, and began to argue with her:
“Inga, I know you got your ideas from these books. I’ve heard about them. Some people find them exciting, others say there’s a lot in them that’s simply fairy-tale-ish and can’t be proved. Maybe you shouldn’t just automatically believe everything that’s in them? Think about it — what’s the point in our taking a plot of land and building a little house and wearing ourselves out planting trees?
“I’ve got enough to buy us a fine mansion with landscaped grounds, a swimming pool, nice lawns, pathways and a garden, if that’s what you want.”
“There’s a lot of things we could buy, of course,” Inga blurt-ed out, very emotionally, for some reason, “even a facsimile of love. But I want us to plant our garden ourselves. All by ourselves! ’Cause I want to be able to say to my son when he grows up: Той see this apple tree, son, and that pear tree and the cherry tree? I planted and watered them myself when you were just a little tyke. I did that for you. You were oh so little, and these trees were oh so little. Now you’ve grown, and they’ve grown too, and they’ve begun to bear fruit for you. And I’ve tried to make the whole Space around your little Motherland nice and beautiful for you.”
Inga’s outpouring of emotion was convincing, and Viktor liked what he heard. He even started having regrets that no-body in his lifetime had been able to take him to a garden like that and say: “This tree here was planted and grown for you by your parents,” Yes, of course, Inga’s right, thought Viktor, only why is she talking only about herself, as if I don’t exist? Feeling a bit slighted, he asked:
“Inga, why would you tell our growing son only about your part in this?”
“’Cause you don’t want to plant a garden,” Inga calmly re-plied.
“What a’you mean, I don’t want to? You bet I do, if it’s important for our future.”
“Well, then, if we’re going to do everything together, I’ll tell our son we planted this garden for him.”
“That’s more like it,” Viktor observed, comforted.
For two months Viktor and Inga spent all their weekends driving around the outskirts of the city, looking for a place to build their future kin’s domain. It was a most pleasant undertaking, and right at that time it seemed to Viktor that there was no more important task in life than searching for the one place on the Earth that would satisfy his soul and, consequently, that of his future son.
And so it happened one day that they came to the edge of a deserted village about thirty kilometres outside the city “There it is,” Inga said quietly, jumping out of the car first. “I feel something here, too,” responded Viktor.
Later they made a second trip to the place, and spent a whole day looking over the site and talking with the local resi-dents. They were told that the soil was not all that fertile, as there was ground water fairly near the surface. But that did not faze Viktor. He became more and more persuaded that this particular land, along with the little birches growing on it, as well as the sky and clouds above it — that all of this belonged to him. To him and his future son, and to his and Inga’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And if the ground was not all that fertile, no matter — he would make it fertile.
It did not take long to draw up the documents to purchase two hectares of land, and after four short months the plot sported its own pretty, almost fairy-tale cabin, built of kiln- dried logs.
The cabin featured a sauna and a biotoilet, along with hot and cold running water straight from a well dug on the spot. And on the second floor — a cozy bedroom with a window overlooking a forest and a lake.
Inga designed the layout of the cabin with all its fur-nishings. She also came up with a plan for the landscaping. Together they planted cedars, firs and pines around the pe-rimeter of the lot, as well as little fruit-tree saplings. Every evening Viktor would hurry home to his little cabin on his fu-ture domain, where the mother-to-be of his child was taking care of the home front.
All the women Viktor had known before not only receded into the background — they simply ceased to exist for him at all. Inga’s radical approach to childbirth engendered new feelings in him. They were still not entirely clear to him, and they were probably quite different from traditional love, but he was quite convinced that he could never part from her, and only she could bear...
It was only with her that he could build a future. The two of them went in to Moscow together to attend courses on home childbirths. There was one peculiarity of Inga’s that Viktor found disconcerting — her outright refusal to have intimate relations with him. She kept insisting that their child should not be born as a result of fleshly lusts, but from Man’s infinitely greater and more meaningful desire, which was something else again.
Now this time the author of these little green books has gone too far! thought Viktor. Come on, could it really be possible to do away with the factor of fleshly desire completely?
But one day, as he lay beside Inga on the bed, not having any kind of sex in mind but thinking only of his future son, he touched her breasts. Inga at once pressed against him and put her arms around him...
In the morning, while Inga was still asleep, Viktor headed over to the lake. The world around him seemed entirely different — it seemed unusual and joyful.
What had happened the previous night he had never ex-perienced before, either with Inga or with any of the other women he had known. This was no ordinary sex. It was an inspired impulse of creativity Of course people are born and people die. But if they never experience anything like this over their whole lifetime, they are missing something — maybe the most important thing. But thanks to Inga, it did not escape Viktor. And he began to experience new warm — yea, fervent — feelings toward the one woman in his life: Inga.
All nine months of her pregnancy Inga spent on the domain, going into town only occasionally She had it all worked out where the baby pram would be kept and where the crib would stand. She even had Viktor plant a modest-sized lawn where she could walk with their little son.
Her contractions began a week ahead of the expected time. Their future son was apparently anxious to make his appear-ance in his marvellous Space on the Earth.
From the information they had received during their childbirth courses, Viktor knew what a father should do to assist during the labour, but the only rational thing he turned out to be capable of accomplishing was to ring up the midwife they knew and call for an ambulance to stand by in case of emergency. Inga had to draw the water in the bathtub herself, prepare the towel and measure the water temperature, while he paced the room trying to think what he should be doing, but could not for the life of him recall what it was.
With no husbandly help to count on, Inga climbed into the bathtub on her own. The contractions continued, but each time one occurred, she simply drew upon her beautiful voice to sound forth on notes of joy and triumph.
Finally, out of all he had learnt during the courses, Viktor managed to remember one thing:positive emotions. He glanced over at the windowsill and saw the flower Inga had planted in a pot there — now in full bloom. He grabbed the flower-pot and ran with it into the bathroom, exclaiming excitedly over and over again:
“Look, Inga, your flower’s blooming! Your flower’s blooming! It’s come out, just look!”
He was standing there holding the flower-pot when his son’s little body appeared in the bathtub.
The midwife arrived only after Inga had already placed the tiny body on her tummy Seeing Viktor standing there holding the flower-pot, she snapped:
‘And just what are you doing?”
“I’m giving birth to a son,” replied Viktor.
‘Ah,” the midwife nodded in agreement. “Then put your pot back on the windowsill and bring me...”
I need to tell all men... thought Viktor, as he ran about the house for the umpteenth time, true and lasting love comes only when together with your beloved you give birth to a long-desired child.