Everyone unanimously declined: the orphan was unwanted by anyone. But then an uncle arrived.But then the unexpected happened

A few days ago, Marusya turned 13. But she remained all alone. None of the relatives wanted to take in this already quite grown-up girl. Everyone shook their heads, clucked their tongues, pitied the girl, gave her chocolates—only they didn’t want to take her in. Mom’s sister,

Aunt Marina, said she already had two stepchildren, where would she fit a third. Dad’s cousin, Aunt Lyuba, with whom they used to visit and always helped however they could, also didn’t take the girl in. Why, she didn’t explain. Dad’s brother lived up north and possibly didn’t know that his brother was no more. Marusya was brought to an orphanage.

In the room with her, there were three girls—two of the same age as her and one girl two years older, but they explained to her that the older girl would soon be moved to another room. The new friends took Marusya to show her around, where the dining room was, where the recreation room was, and where the library was. They didn’t ask about her parents, and that was good because Marusya wasn’t ready to answer that question.

Each time, her mouth traitorously twisted, her voice began to tremble, and tears flowed from her eyes on their own. A little later, the caregiver Inna Ivanivna came, took the girl to the dining room since lunch had already passed, and she was hungry.

A month passed, and Marusya got used to the routine at the orphanage. She even began to like it, and they sometimes allowed her to stroll through the city alone. At night, Marusya started sleeping and almost stopped crying into her pillow for her mom and dad.

One day, the older girls started teasing her. “The savages abandoned you because you’re ugly, haha!”—the girls laughed. “It’s not true,” Marusya cried, “they died.” “They ran away from you to avoid seeing you,” the girls laughed. “No, they died, crashed in a car,” Marusya shouted. Then she started crying harder, and suddenly darkness fell.

Marusya woke up in a room on a bed, a nurse and one of the roommates were sitting next to her. “Are you awake? Does anything hurt?” the nurse asked. “My head is spinning,” Marusya whispered. “Well, it’s not surprising; you hit your head hard when you lost consciousness,” the woman gently stroked her head. “I remember crying,” the girl said. “Lie down, don’t get up, or it might get worse,” said the nurse and left.

Late in the evening, those same girls who had laughed at her came into Marusya’s room. “Forgive us, we wanted to joke; we didn’t think it would upset you so much. We didn’t know about your parents; we were just teasing,” one of them said apologetically. “It’s okay,” Marusya whispered. “What’s your name?” another girl asked. “Marusya.” “Will you forgive us? We really didn’t want to hurt you so much; we didn’t know about your parents, we were just shouting,” the first girl said. “Yes. I forgave you,” Marusya said.

Three days later, Marusya felt better; she was allowed to get out of bed. She immediately went to the library to sit there and read a book. At the same time, the girl who had come to apologize entered. “Hello, I have a surprise for you,” she said. “What?” Marusya asked. “I peeked into your personal file and saw that you have an uncle and his address. We wrote him a letter with the other girls, and he replied that he didn’t know about the tragedy with your brother and that he would come as soon as possible to take you from the orphanage.” “Really? Uncle Misha will come for me?” Marusya rejoiced. “Yes!” the girl smiled at her. From that day on, Marusya’s days were filled with anticipation of her uncle’s arrival.

Once, after breakfast, the caregiver came to her room and said, “Marusya, someone came for you.” “Who?” “Come, you’ll see for yourself!” the caregiver didn’t reveal the secret. Marusya recognized her favorite uncle from afar. With a cry of “Mishka!”—she ran to hug him. He hugged the girl, pressed her to him, then stepped back. “How big you’ve grown, Maruska!” he exclaimed. “Run, gather your things, you’re going with me.” Marusya limped to the room, collected her modest belongings, kissed the roommates. She ran to her uncle. Halfway there, she remembered something and ran back to the room with the older girls. “Thank you!” she hugged her former tormentor. “Are you leaving?” the girl nodded at Marusya’s bag. “Yes, my uncle came for me,” Marusya happily said and hugged the girl again…

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