This painful choice... Luhansk journal 05/23/2017 14:57:57. Total views 1166. Views today — 0.

Have you ever thought about someone: a fool, but has made his way in life? Well, something like that. It seems that you had quite the same background - studied at the same school and your families were quite similar (just common workers or engineers and teachers), but a friend of yours has become someone and achieved something in life, and you have not. If it were vice versa, you would not be worried at all. It is a matter of choice. This is generally a key word of all our life. But we often pass by the choice as if missing the right turn, so that we get lost after a long time of wandering.

My neighbor told me that he left the local "army" after he had been given a sniper rifle, and he saw the same man as himself, but on the opposite side of the front line. It was a one second choice. He could not shoot anyone, he left. He was not a believer and did not follow any ideology. But something clicked inside him.

And something clicked inside someone at the time of choice to "serve" or not to do it at all. And every person had to take hundreds of such decisions after the summer of 2014. To leave or to stay, there or here. And not "for" or "against" whom you are, this is not that important, but a hundred of small everyday life circumstances.

My friend took her time to leave. She is generally a patient person. She watched her husband's business attempts, patiently waited for improvements. Her husband gave her advice: you can look for a job, you need to fight! And she looked closely at the possibilities as if she looked at the dress in the shop window. By February 2015, after a good hundred sleepless nights, she finally decided to leave for Russia.

I always considered my friend as a wise person. Not in terms of the decision to go to Russia, but in terms of general ability to make decisions calmly. This time, she thought of everything - the nearest city to the border, the terms for obtaining Russian citizenship, approximate costs. She was able to convince everybody - her husband, mother and children. At that time, I did not believe her – it seemed too long, expensive, and maybe pointless. Now they are legal citizens of the neighboring country, who rent their housing and work within their professional field. And this is the fork when I am here, and she is there. My choice was to stay, and hers was to leave. Only time will tell whose decision was right.

My other friend waited a long time for life improvements in Luhansk. She has an abyss of patience. She patiently waited for salaries, ate worse than ever, laughed at the situation as best she could. Even cottage cheese was a rare dainty for her. She left in early 2016 to the free territory of Ukraine - to earn a pension, to wait for a better life there, and not here. And it seems to her that she did not fail, because there she can save up and travel abroad for vacation. Here she suffered from the total lack of money, not even trying to save up for future.

Another matter of choice - a rented accommodation and law abiding there or a zone of lawlessness, but your own apartment here. Nevertheless, having left, many people received a lot of benefits. The title of the merited artists of the republic or professors of the "LPR"… This is ridiculous just from the sidelines, the "merited" themselves often say that they do not want to go anywhere and they do not see themselves anywhere except the "republic". And they are not embarrassed by the vileness of everything that is happening at all. It seems that this is a game with kewpie dolls, when a child makes skirts out of flowers and palaces from matches, only from the sidelines. When you live here, the reality is quite real - with daily issues which should be decided and serious passions.

A castle, a real family seat, was started to be built not far from us before the war. Tumble-down houses, such as slum from Escrava Isaura, where, perhaps, honest, but very poor people live, were around, and a palace was in the center of these favelas. Both taxi drivers and delivery services oriented on this palace which was towered for miles since then. And the weathercocks on it, and the spires of the towers. The construction was resumed after the war. Workers swarm again, tiling the entrance to the palace with the most expensive walkway slab. And the whole matter is that the owner of the estate decided to stay in Luhansk and head the whole investigation service. He could leave if it was not for the property. And this is not a mistake – it was not views, but property, because, generally speaking, no one asks anyone about the views.

They ask sometimes during employment where you were in the summer of 2014. If here you are for changes. But generally speaking, nothing follows from nothing. Neither the fact that you was here, nor that you came back. People come back to housing, not to ideas, and leave often not because of lawlessness, but because of the lack of opportunity to live, here is a paradox. So to shoot, serve, leave, stay, there or here – all these are matters of choice. Like a fork on the big road along which the brothers went together. And then one turned and the second went straight. And intrigue of who has not lost is to the last.

My neighbor serves in the SBU in the Ukrainian city nearest to Luhansk. Everyone knows on the street that he works there until retirement in order to return then with pension here, to the family, to his house and to live not in a hostel and on the refectory food, but at home, in his own house. And you think it is some kind of secret? It is not a secret even that he serves in the rank of an officer and is non-entry for now for obvious reasons. For now. But nothing prevents him to keep family here – with money and food. "Militiamen" from the proximate houses, who were tight with this SBU neighbor before the war, will be tight with him after his return here, be sure. It is just a choice – he serves there to support the family here, and they do it here. Forgive me for having apples and oranges together. And so it goes. Both of them live next door, they go to each other to ask some salt. The choice is only in who and where sees the future and prospects.

Olha Kucher, Luhansk, for OstroV