A childless old woman reaches her hundredth birthday alone, and she has no one to celebrate this event with. The young man came to her under the guise of her great-grandson.
Ruby had an incredible birthday for anyone, and no one cared. She turned one hundred years old, but there was no one to celebrate with her. Ruby was alone, as she had been for most of her life. Since she was eight years old and her father went to war, Ruby has become an adult.
Her mother was a weak and withdrawn woman, and her father called Ruby to him and said. “I’m going to need you to be a big girl, Ruby,” he said seriously. “You’re going to have to be very responsible and look after your mom, okay? “,
“Okay, Dad,” Ruby replied, and that was the end of her childhood. Ruby became an adult in the family and took care of her mother and four younger siblings.
She couldn’t wait for her father to come home so she could be a child again, but he never came back. When Ruby was twelve years old, the family found out that their father had died in battle.
My father never came home. Mom broke down, screamed, and cried so much that she scared the other children terribly. The doctor came and gave mom an injection, after which she became calm and collected again.
The mother’s pension from the state was very low, and she could not work. Ruby dropped out of school and got a job at the nearest store that sold fabrics, threads, buttons, and ribbons – everything necessary for sewing clothes in those difficult times.
Ruby was bright and energetic and soon became useful to the owner of the haberdashery, Mrs. Dorris. Mrs. Dorris was widowed during the war and was kind to Ruby in her own way. Sometimes she would give Ruby the most beautiful scraps and colorful ribbons to sew little holiday dresses for herself. Ruby often used this fabric to sew for her siblings, as well as for her mother.
As Ruby’s mother got older, she became even more distant. She wandered around the house in her nightgown, and Ruby had to keep an eye on her so that she did not go out in this form on the street.
Ruby was determined that all her four siblings should finish school, and she wouldn’t let them work to help her. “Focus on school,” she told them sternly. “This is the greatest help you can give me! ”
Ruby turned 18 and no one noticed. There was no party, no gifts, and no birthday cake. Mrs. Dorris did not know and did not worry – she was one of those women who have no emotions.
Mom got lost in her own world, and Ruby’s brothers and sisters, with their innate childish egoism, didn’t even realize that their older sister had a birthday too.
It was the year Ruby met Brad. He was tall and thin, with a shy smile. He came to the store to buy needles for his mother and stayed to talk to her.
They started “dating,” as we used to say in those days. They went to dances and movies, parked and kissed on Lover’s Lane. Then the kisses turned into something more.
When Ruby found out she was pregnant, Brad told her he would marry her, they would have a nice house, they would raise children, and be very happy. Then Ruby told him about her mother, brothers, and sisters.
“I have to take care of them, Brad,” Ruby told him. “I promised my father. But in a few years, they will graduate from school, and only mom will remain.”
“Will your crazy mom and your siblings move in with us? Brad asked. “Until the end of our days? Is that what you’re telling me? “After that, Brad was very calm.
They agreed to meet the next day to plan the wedding, but he didn’t kiss Ruby as usual. Ruby never saw him again.
On the same day, she learned that he had volunteered for a new war in Asia. He left her alone and pregnant. “What should I do?” she asked herself.
If she left the child, what kind of life could she give him? She had to work constantly to raise her brothers and sisters and take care of her mother. She couldn’t leave the baby with her mother while she was working, it wasn’t safe.
Ruby patted her belly and began to cry. She had to give up her child. She would give him up for adoption, hoping that he would be loved and cherished.
The moment she abandoned her newborn daughter was one of Ruby’s hardest times, but she knew she was doing it for the right reasons. ” Be happy, my sweet girl,” she whispered, “I love you”.
It had been many years since Ruby could remember the last time she felt young. After Brad, Ruby never looked at another man. She knew that no matter what, he would never accept her burden, and she couldn’t ask him to do that.
One by one, her brothers and sisters graduated from school and left home. They got married and left, and Ruby, as always, had to take care of her mother. And she was seventy-three years old when her mother died.
That day Ruby cried not only for her mother but also for the fact that her whole life had been wasted. She had nothing. She has no family, and since she retired, she has few friends left.
“I’m going to wait for death”, Ruby told herself. “It won’t be long now.” But it wasn’t like that. Ruby was a strong and healthy woman, and very soon she turned eighty, then ninety…
The years passed unnoticed. No one cared. Ruby was sitting in her little house and getting older and older. When she was ninety-nine years old, a social worker came.
She wanted to see if Ruby could live on her own. She looked around and was quite satisfied with her living conditions. Then she left without wishing Ruby a happy birthday.
“A hundred years”, Ruby told herself. “I have seen a whole century of the history of this world and have not lived a single day.” She was sitting in the kitchen thinking about her life when the doorbell rang.
She got up and opened the door. There was a young man there and he was holding a huge cake with a big number 100 on top. “Hello, Grandma!” he shouted joyfully. “Happy birthday! ”
Ruby stood with her mouth open in surprise. “Young man, you made the wrong house…”
“No, I was not mistaken,” he said softly. “You’re my grandma, Ruby. My mom always wanted to know who her biological mother was, so when she turned eighty-one, I asked her to open the archives.”
“No one thought you were still alive! My mom is sitting in the car waiting to meet you if you don’t mind.”
“My daughter? Ruby asked. “She… Does she want to meet me? I… I gave up on her… I wanted her to be happy…”.
“She knows that my great-grandmother died,” said the young man. “We also know that you have been single for a long time, but now you have a family: a daughter, five grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren! “.
Ruby started crying, and the young man hugged her. “It’s all right,” he said. “We’re already here, and you’re going to have a great party! ”
Ruby met her daughter, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and it was the happiest day of her life. They lit candles on the cake and sang “Happy Birthday”. It was the most beautiful sound Ruby had ever heard.
“After all, my life wasn’t a waste of time,” she whispered to her daughter. “I’m holding your hand! “