Ukrainian lullaby for Margery

Margery is a ballerina. British ballerina. Her whole life, she had danced in classical ballet and made solo programs. Deportment, grace, posture, specific aplomb – these all are about Margery. Few would believe that she had recently turned 68. Margery demeanors as a forty-year-old. And you will completely believe her.

Margery came to see her friend in Ukraine – the coach of rhythmic gymnastics. They had been long texting and talking by phone, had met three-four times.

At the school threshold, Margery fell and broke her leg. Somehow she slipped, couldn’t catch the rails – in the day it had thawed, in the evening it had frozen. Margery was groaning and thinking about how it was possible – her ideal coordination betrayed her. But it somehow did. While Tetyana was calling an ambulance, Margery was lying on the snow and felt how uncertainty approached her, then anxiety and after that – despair. It isn’t Great Britain here! See the steps! Who knows what kind of hospitals they have…

When aidmen lifted her and laid her on the stretchers, she winced several times and looked at them with distrust. Tetyana managed the process. The frost was picking up. Huge icicles under the roofs stopped dripping.

Ballerina lied 15 minutes under the doors of the hospital. She was displaced on the bench. The friend was close but Margery was unconsoled. 15 minutes! The queue…

“Find someone who will lay her on the table,” the nurse glanced from the lighted room and hid.

Tetyana got started calling a familiar doctor. After 5 minutes, men came from the surgery and displaced ballerina on the table. She winced, tried to stiff her emotions, not to show fear, but it not really worked.

Serious fracture. Utterly serious. Margery was finally anesthetized with an ampoule from the pocket of Tatiana’s friend – the one from the surgery. Ballerina pulled herself together a bit. It stopped hurting but the thoughts were still with her: where am I? what will they do to me? oh, what a bench… what the icicles… where there the rails at all?…

In the regional hospital, Margery was put into a separate luxury room. She looked with distrust – the bed is modern, in the right places it rises and lowers. There is even a separate bathroom. The walls are not ragged. The curtains are clean. Silent.

“Listen to this and fall asleep. We’ll do everything. Everything will be alright. Today is the weekend and tomorrow everything will be alright.”

Margery was falling asleep to Nina Matvienko’s lullaby with the children’s choir. She didn’t know whether she liked the song because she immediately fell asleep – sweet pleasant dreams took her somewhere to tranquillity, to the house with a garden.

Next morning, the doctor came to Margery. She prepared the google-translate, but it wasn’t needed. Miracle! The young doctor had decent English that ballerina even didn’t pick out the phrases, almost like at home. Tetyana stood nearby and victoriously smiled.

But the leg turned out to be gravely fractured. A special titanium plate is required – it will be inserted into the place of a broken bone. Such plates are ordered from Kyiv but it’s okay – the doctor reassured – it will be already here tomorrow if paid now. Margery didn’t think about the money. She was doubtful – to pay for a plate or to book a special plane which would bring her home. And to undergo treatment there. Calmly and decently. As she was accustomed to. Though the plane would be very expensive. Margery didn’t worry about it but…

“Everything will be fine. Don’t worry, ma’am. We will do everything at the top-tier level. You’d better keep calm.”

“He’s handsome,” Margery thought. Well… She didn’t call the son. So let it be. Let it be. And Tetyana reassured that nothing bad could happen, such operations had been carried out here. Why bother the son? Let it be. And this doctor has thin fingers like mine. I’ll try. Come what may.

Having felt alive after the surgery, the ballerina was slightly surprised. Hm. Alive. This is already good. Given those icicles. Well…

The next day, the young doctor ordered her to get up.

“I’ll help. Don’t worry. You can.”

He held her arm, and she walked down the corridor, thin, neatly combed, and she wondered to herself. Passing by the big mirror on the wall, she cast an inquiring glance. Well… My gait is aligning! Today is only the fourth day we are walking but I gain my grace back. And this doctor seems to suit me. I wish I invited him to cupcakes at my house. Linda would burst out of jealousy! And Barbara would sit with a poker face. It would be interesting… But later… What is important – here is my grace! Here it is! I am walking! And since yesterday I no longer hurt!

“O-o-o, be careful, ma’am, don’t wave your arms so sharply. Or at least warn about it,” the doctor smiled.

A month later, give or take, Margarete had gone to her doctor’s office. Had he been treating her for 15 years? Or 20? Margery forgot.

“Where have you done this?” the British doctor was scrutinizing the X-ray image.

“Erm… In Ukraine. Ukraine! Kyiv!”

“In some Research Institute?” the doctor prompted. “Right?”

“No. In a.. in an ordinary hospital!”

“But in the capital? Yes?” the British doctor still had hope.

“Erm… No, it wasn’t, doctor. In the capital of the state. District. A regional center!”

The doctor looked at Margery with distrust. He delved into the documents, specially translated for such occasion. He was scrutinizing them all for a long time. Then he took off the glasses and came up to the window:

“We wouldn’t do so. I mean we wouldn’t do so good. Trust me. Perhaps, in London, they would. In York – no.”

Ballerina looked at her old doctor victoriously.

“Ukraine!” Margery said and laughed.

Nothing funny, actually. She just remembered the e-mail address of the one who should be invited to cupcakes. Maybe.

Serhiy Osoka

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