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81-year-old grandfather was laughed at in the police station, but when they saw the Photo of They Were Shocked



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The neighbors were making loud noises all night again. Peter knocked a couple of times to no avail. It seemed that they only intensified even more. The woman who owned the apartment was laughing, a male voice muttered, and then there was more music.

Peter barely got out of bed through his robot shuffling, naughty feet. He went out on the landing and rang the doorbell next door.

“What do you want, old man?” a young woman with colorful makeup looked out the ajar door.

“Linda, it’s two in the morning,” said Peter tiredly. “I can’t fall asleep, you’re so noisy.”

“He can’t fall asleep,” Linda grinned and shouted to the men in the apartment. “Listen, Alex, the old man cannot sleep, what’s the problem?”

A big guy appeared at the door. It was Linda’s boyfriend. He had been living with her for more than three months. There was a lot going on in the apartment three or four times a week at night—partying, laughing till dawn.

“You old man, why don’t you take some sleeping pills? You’ll sleep like a baby,” Linda laughed. Alex grinned and slammed the door in Peter’s face.

The old man shuffled back to his apartment with his head down. He drank some sedative, went to bed, and covered his head with a blanket so the noises were less audible.

Meanwhile, the neighbors kept on partying. The fact was that these noisy neighbors disturbed only Peter. The other apartment on the landing was empty, and the neighbors below were deaf people; they didn’t care.

Peter called the district police officer several times, but to no avail. By the time the police officer arrived, the neighbors would have calmed down.

At this point, Peter was already 81 years old. He could hear well, but his heart was bothering him. And Linda went crazy. Not only did she not let him sleep at night, but she also threw cigarette butts under Peter’s door.

The old man complained to the head of the house, but she let it pass her by. “Your neighbors, you need to find common ground,” she said.

So the old man took a sedative at night just to get some sleep, though the doctor strictly told him not to take great pains in this case.

That night, Peter dozed off only after taking drops. He was dreaming of his family again, his wife Lucy and his son Serge. Lucy died more than 20 years ago; his heart couldn’t bear the grief.

As at that time, they received a notice of death for Serge. It was terrible. It seemed to be peacetime, but there was a war somewhere. Their men were dying. They said they were heroes, but who needed their heroism? It was a tragedy for parents.

Serge had dreamt of becoming a military man since his childhood. He was doing sports and studied well. Yet, he failed to score one point to get into the military university. However, Serge didn’t fall back.

“I’ll be a soldier,” he said to his father back then. He went into the army for compulsory military service. “So, it seemed like he finished a service, that’s it, enough.” But no, the guy turned out to be tenacious.

He applied to the military institute again, and then he got lucky. He was accepted. Serge’s parents were both thrilled for their son and very worried.

“Son, being a military man is risky,” Lucy gently tried to talk him out of it. “Anything can happen.”

“Mom, what are you worried about?” Serge left. “I’m going to train soldiers. It’s also common in the country now. What wars can there be nowadays? We won the war long ago.”

Lucy nodded, but her heart felt uneasy. “Come on, mother,” Peter was telling her off. “You should be proud of your son. We raised a real man.”

Peter spent all his life working at school, taught history to children, and taught by the example of great men to be steadfast, courageous, and not give up on their goals. He remembered an example his own father who went to the war front as a young lieutenant in 1941, fought heroically, but died in Berlin.

“Son, you carry on the family tradition. Your grandfather was a hero, and you will be by all means. Don’t let him down,” he admonished Serge and then said, “But take care of yourself, Dad. Don’t be afraid.”

Serge joked, “Everything will be all right.”

Serge had just graduated when the war broke out in their country. Terrible, incomprehensible. Lucy and Peter, clutching their fingers tightly, watched the news of the war efforts. Somewhere out there was their son.

Serge wrote seldom and briefly. He said he was alive and healthy and asked not to worry about him. Then silence. They did not hear anything from him for half a year. Peter went to the enlistment office to find out something. They said it was not their department, but he was reassured: military men sometimes cannot write, or maybe letters just didn’t come.

One day their doorbell rang. Lucy opened the door; there was a military man on the threshold, looking confused. “I’m here to see you,” he said, hiding his eyes. “I have to tell you something.”

The soldier went into the apartment and read out the documents. Lucy and Peter only heard that he died heroically defending his position. The lights went out. Their only son, their pride and hope, died. Buried there.

Parents never heard the military commendation for their son; they never saw the medal he had brought. Lucy died that night. Her heart exploded with grief. More than 20 years had passed since then. Peter retired long ago.

Schoolchildren from his former school regularly visited him to help him with household chores or to listen about Serge. Journalists came several times when they collected material about the heroes of the recent war. Peter willingly spoke about his son and showed his awards, the order and a medal, which he received a year after his son’s death.

Over the years, the pain subsided a little, but the memory remained. Things would be fine except that his neighbor, Linda, pestered him with her boyfriend. She had no shame. Yet her mother, Kate, used to be friends with Serge.

Peter remembered how they were wandering in the park. He saw them through the window, as the park was nearby, and how his son was gone until the morning. After that, Serge had just graduated and left for the war. Lucy and Peter even thought they were getting married. Then, all of a sudden, Kate got married to a businessman and gave birth to Linda.

Lucy, at first, thought that she was Serge’s daughter. She thought that the girl looked like her son. She even mentioned in a whisper to Kate that she might be Serge’s. Kate was so exasperated; she had a big fight with her neighbors two years ago. Kate and her husband died in a car crash, and Linda was left alone. But she continued the behavior of her mother. She didn’t say hello to Peter; she behaved nastily as if she enjoyed it in some way.

Still, Peter was patient. Yes, he called the police officer, but

it was only twice, and that did not do any good. Then one night, his neighbor suddenly rang the doorbell. Peter was in the middle of a good night’s sleep, and the doorbell rang. He had to get up. He got up quietly; it was Linda.

“What do you want?” the old man asked through the door.

“Peter, do you have a corkscrew?” Linda asked.

“No,” answered Peter and threatened, “Go to bed or I’ll call the police.”

“Oh, you scared me so much,” the girl laughed. “How many times have you done that already, Linda?”

Peter opened the door. “How long are you going to make fun of me? This has been going on since Kate, your mother, died. Does it bring you any pleasure?” The old man was angry; his hands were shaking; he was so fed up with it all.

“Insolent girl, me pleasure,” Linda smirked. “Do you want to be honest? I want to expand my apartment. If you die, I’ll take the entire floor. Alex has already bought my neighboring apartment; you’re the only one on our way to the landing. Tell me, when will you die?”

The girl swung toward Peter; her face distorted into a malicious grimace. The old man was shocked. So that’s what all this nighttime fuss was about. She wants his apartment. Peter violently slammed the door.

In the morning, he went to the police. The old man decided to file a report. “Oh, it’s you,” the police officer met him at the entrance. “Are you going to complain about your neighbors again?”

“Yes, exactly, about them,” Peter answered with worry. “They’re waiting for me to die.”

“Listen, it’s already too much,” the policemen grinned. “At first, you got us up in the middle of the night; we arrived, and the neighbors were sleeping peacefully, and now you accuse them of nonsense.”

“It took too long for you to arrive,” the old man answered dryly. “Where should I go to file a report?”

“Go to the clerk on duty,” the policeman answered, barring his teeth, and went into the yard. “That crazy old man again,” he then came to his senses and returned to the office. “He must warn the new employee on duty; otherwise, he would really believe this old man. We must just send him away gently; why mess with crazy people?”

Peter was already writing his report with his old horned-rimmed glasses on his nose. He could hardly keep his pen in his unruly, trembling hands, but he wrote every letter diligently. The policemen whispered to the officer on duty that the old man should not be too much trouble; he nodded understandingly. “I see, greybeard,” he read what Peter wrote in the report. “Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out. Will you?” The old man asked disbelievingly. “Maybe I should go see the investigator?” “No, I’ll handle everything, and the investigator isn’t here right now,” the young policeman answered. “He’s out in the field.”

The old man nodded comprehensively and left the station. The officer on duty threw the application in the trash without registering it. A week passed, Peter waited for a response from the police, but there was nothing.

Then he called the police and asked about his case. “What case?” another officer on duty sounded surprised but then remembered that the guys were talking about some psycho and lied, “Ah yes, yes, you’ll be summoned to the police station a little later. The investigator is working on your case.” Peter wasn’t born yesterday; he realized that the officer on duty lied to him. He decided that maybe Linda would calm down at night.

She came to the old man’s door and whispered through the keyhole, “Old stump, they’ve been waiting for you there already,” she whispered so loudly Peter woke up from that whisper, and then he couldn’t sleep till morning. In the morning, he was all worked up and went back to the police station.

Police officers had just gathered there for a briefing. “By the way,” suddenly remembered the chief of the department, “who is that old man in the corridor? I’ve seen him several times; who does he come to?” “Yes, the local freak,” entered the chief of the station. “He thinks his neighbors are hounding him to death.

And is that not so?” The chief of the department looked sternly at him. “Well, of course, Sam has checked, they are quite decent people, a young family, well, maybe they are a little noisy sometimes,” and the greybeard runs to the presses, alright. But make sure you don’t make a mistake.”

No sooner had the chief finished his sentence than some noise was heard in the corridor; it was Peter, who was tired of waiting and demanded a pen and paper. Once again, the staff came up to him and tried to persuade the old man to calm down, but the old man was brought to despair, as they did not believe him. He listened to no one and nothing. Peter shouted, became indignant, threatened someone; he did not look quite adequate from the outside. Suddenly he grabbed his heart.

“What is it, old man?” a heart attack, the police officers became alerted. “Why worry so much? Sit on a chair; have a rest; we’re going to call an ambulance.” “There is no need for an ambulance; I have my own pills,” Peter whispered, reaching into his pocket for his purse, which also contained pills. He fumbled for the blister of medicine with his clumsy fingers and pulled it; the photo card fell out of the purse after he took the pill, straight to the feet of the head of the department.

“What, personally come out to see what all the fuss was about?” the chief picked up the pills and handed the old man the photo card. Only for a moment his eyes lingered on the photo, and he immediately went pale. “Who is this guy to you?” the head of the department asked in a frantic voice, pointing to the photo. On it, Serge looked at the world straight and honest in his new lieutenant’s uniform, newly graduated from the institute.

“That’s my son Serge,” Peter answered in a weak voice, putting a tablet of Validol under his tongue. “Son?” the head of the department was stunned. “This is the lieutenant who saved us, the enlisted man, in those distant times!” For a moment, the memory took the chief back to a distant youth when he, a 19-year-old kid, got in the very mess. “

It’s okay, guys, we’ll get through this,” Lieutenant Serge reassured them after each battle, and they, 19-year-old boys, trusted this lieutenant like a god; he would not leave them, and he didn’t. One night, the fight started unexpectedly; the guys were fighting like tigers; then, a grenade fell next to them. It didn’t burst, but the pin was gone; all of them froze; there were about ten of them and mentally said goodbye to this world.

But then the lieutenant sharply rushed to their grenade and laid down on it; he was killed, but the guys were alive, including Michael, who is now the chief of the police departments. “Serge!” said the head of the department aloud as hecontinued to hold the photo in his hand. “Is this the very same lieutenant?” asked one of the subordinates who knew that story. “Yes, this man saved my life, my life and the lives of a dozen other young soldiers,” Michael raised the photo so that everyone in the department could see it. “I live only because this man did not think of himself.”

He turned to Peter. “Old man, thank you. I always remembered your son, and I will never forget what he did. Let’s go to my office and talk.” Peter, together with the chief, went into his office. “What did they talk about?” the subordinates did not know, but everyone was a little shocked. They thought he was just a weirdo, but he turned out to be the father of a hero. “You can’t do that to a man,” they somehow felt embarrassed.

Michael talked a little about Serge, told Peter how they served under his leadership, and promised to meet again. He was recently transferred to the city. And then the head of the department asked about the case that brought the old man to the police.

“Well, I will still deal with your report; the perpetrators will be punished,” he said firmly. “There’s no need to punish anyone,” Peter gestured. “I understand that my story really sounds absurd, but it is true. I just want to live out my days in peace, and this girl decided to speed things up. I almost don’t sleep. Don’t worry, Peter, I’ll personally supervise the investigation,” Michael assured.

That’s how it happened. They decided to catch the neighbor red-handed when she was doing nasty things. Peter’s apartment was bugged; a camera was discreetly placed on the landing. The very next day, there was a report with all the evidence on the desk of the chief of police.

Yes, the old man was being morally destroyed on purpose, and you could have done everything earlier, sighed the chief. “Linda, who hushed up lately, suddenly perked up.

Then it turned out that the old man left a deed of gift in favor of Anne, and Linda only got a letter with four words, ‘This is your father,’ and a photo of Serge in a lieutenant’s uniform, along with an order and a medal.”

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