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10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 41 10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 41
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-09-22 07:49:58
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41. A mistake that led to two black rubbish bags

“I don’t know! He left! He went to his children!” This was the only thing Leena managed to say after half an hour with tears still running on her face. I didn’t dare to ask what had happened and how it had started but she answered. “I said I didn’t like to work for his friend, I’ve been to the bar a few times and I didn’t like the place and I’m not sure if I want to leave my job!” I couldn’t believe that we were having this conversation again. I told her so. “But it’s the only way to keep him!” Now I was ready to scream!

“He said I have to make a decision by the end of the week otherwise we are finished!” I was ready to say that she would be lucky if it finished but then I saw her eyes. Actually I saw it in her eyes and I didn’t like at all, she was going to do it. I thought you had already resigned, remember the other day I saw you in the Mall? I tried to be serious. “Well I had my doubts and I didn’t tell him but last night I told him!” I was totally confused!

What doubts and what are we talking about, the man has destroyed your house and you are talking about doubts? It was the first time I reacted like that but somehow I had enough and the sight of all the photos and the small watercolours on the floor between broken frames and glass had really got to me. It was like the whole thing had triggered something inside of me and I could not stop. I tried hard to keep my voice calm without much success and I told her what I think about Juha. I told her what I think about his behaviour, I told her that I know that he’s beating her and I told her that this man is dangerous in every sense and that she had to do something here and now.

I suppose I wasn’t so calm while saying that and because of my Mediterranean genes I was pretty animated. At one point I noticed my reflection in the mirror and I started laughing, which made the scene even more surreal. Leena was watching me, speechless. Finally I suppose I got carried away by my own passion and I crossed the line; I knew I did it while I was doing it. I told her that this bar job sounded more like a way to push her into prostitution than a jolly suggestion of a better environment and payment.

Leena stared at me and I stopped talking, knowing that I had made a mistake. Then she walked towards me, kicking the glass, the frames and the pictures in front of her. When she came close to me she put her face as close to mine as her height let her do and said very quietly, “get out of my house!” She didn’t need to scream, all the rage was there. I had suddenly attracted all her anger from whatever had happened the last weeks and especially a few hours ago. It was like it was me who had broken her wall exhibition! I left the house without saying anything, I had said it all after all and it was the worst moment for excuses.

I wish I hadn’t said what I had just said, I wish I didn’t have the big mouth I have, but wishing doesn’t  change anything and I was out of the house walking fast towards mine. I stormed inside and I nearly light a cigarette inside the house. I was sad and angry on the same time; angry with myself, angry with Juha and angry with Leena. She didn’t understand a thing!

I went out of the house to smoke my cigarette, avoiding to look at Leena’s house! I was boiling angry and on the time I was getting more and more angry, feeling like kicking everything around me. Instead I lit another cigarette and I felt dizzy! On a pure coincidence the other Leena appeared from the small community path on her electric chair! She could see my anger and she drove her chair close before asking, “What’s the matter?” and I told her everything. Oddly while I was telling her what had happened I calmed down and I felt guilty for my mistake! It was an accident, I didn’t mean to say anything like that, I said, ending the events of the day. “Of course you wanted to say it, you just didn’t want to say it this way!” she said and she was right, I did want that.

“Do you think this conversation will make her think?” she asked after a brief pause where we were both looking at Leena’s house. I doubt it, I said. “She’s stupid!” she said after another long pause. “Are you ok?” No I’m not ok, I replied, and on the same time we both saw Leena walking past us, without a word carrying two big black bags. “Hei!” said Leena from her electric chair without getting any reply. She walked fast past us; straight to the place where we have our rubbish bins. She unlocked the door and went inside; she stayed there for a few moments and then came out again, walking past us without a word. She went back to her house and closed all the doors and drew the curtains so we could not see what she was doing.

Without saying anything, both Leena and I moved towards the small building that has the rubbish trays inside. I unlocked the door and checked the four puncheons until I found the two black bags. I took them out and put them in front Leena’s electric chair and we opened them the same time. All the pictures, the photos and the watercolours where there, mixed with broken wooden frames and glass.  All Leena’s life and memories in two black rubbish bags!


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