She was beautiful. Her hair had a coppery shine, and her brown eyes… He considered himself average. He had loved her since the fifth grade, but deeming himself unworthy, he had never shown his feelings, keeping them hidden behind a facade of indifference.
School passed unnoticed. Now, he had been discharged from the army. His feelings for his classmate were almost forgotten.
His mother had organized a party in honor of her son’s return. There were many guests. Naturally, his friend Kal was there too, and they stepped out onto the balcony to catch up.
They hadn’t seen each other in a long time. Kal was talking about their classmates, and the conversation turned to Inna. “A year ago, she and her father had a car accident. Inna is now in a wheelchair. She might need an operation, but I don’t know the details.”
“She loved you,” said Kal. “I confessed my feelings for her at graduation, and she rejected me. Then, she started asking about you. I asked her why, and she said she loved you.
She even wanted me to talk to you because her pride was at stake. I stayed silent; my pride was at stake. Forgive me, Igor, but maybe it’s better this way?” Igor didn’t respond.
He went back inside, discreetly put on his jacket, and left. He needed to be alone with his thoughts and feelings. He didn’t blame his friend; he blamed himself.
For his cowardice, for his inappropriate pride, for… His feet carried him to Inna’s apartment. Her mother opened the door and let him in.
“Hello,” greeted Inna. “How are you?” “See for yourself,” smiled Inna. “And above all, don’t you dare pity me.” “Pity?” exclaimed Igor. “For the one I’ve loved all my life?!” Igor immediately regretted his words.
He had spoken without thinking. Inna was equally shocked. She couldn’t believe it. It took a few months before she believed him… The operation was successful. A year passed, and Inna could walk again.
Inna got married. The only shadow on their happiness was the result of the operation: she couldn’t have children. One day, Igor came home from work earlier.
“Get ready,” he said to his wife, “I’m waiting for you in the car.” They arrived at an orphanage. “Why are we here?” Inna worried.
“It’s a surprise… A girl surrounded by toys. With coppery hair…” Inna, Igor, and their miracle with auburn hair. What more could they ask for in life?