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10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 42 10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 42
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-09-26 08:43:08
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42. Tappaa!

I was devastated, I had spent my entire evening trying to sort out the puzzle of tens of photos, pictures and watercolours, trying to find the right frames for each of them and putting them back together. I had two black rubbish bags and dozens of pieces in front of me and in my mind I regretted what I had said to Leena. Every so often I created excuses to step out on the patio and check Leena’s house. No light, nothing, absolutely nothing!

Later in the evening my telephone rang but the number didn’t show. Usually I don’t answer calls from numbers I don’t recognize, the few times I did it was mostly some kind of marketing or advertising, all in Finnish that I didn’t understand and I was definitely not interested. But withholding the number is very rare in Finland and here it was. I don’t know why, I answered! There was a dark noise or static or something and then a …”tapa” or something like that. It didn’t make sense and I put my phone down trying to ignore it, but only a minute later my phone rang again; the same voice, the same static and the same word, “tapa”!

I turned on my computer and tried the online translators but “tapa” was not a word, “tappaa” was! And in Finnish it means …to kill, and the voice was Juha’s, suddenly I knew it! A perfect day always ends with a death threat! At first I thought it was funny, but then the little fat man kept crawling into my mind and the blood ring was there watching me. I’ve had my share of fights and I’m not exactly someone who gets scared easily, but this was really creepy and the thought of Juha didn’t make me feel safe and secure! The man was beating a woman after all.

Instinctively I checked all the doors and windows, and I have to admit I didn’t sleep well that night. Every so often I woke up and thought I could hear a sound, something that made me jump up and check the rooms. I hadn’t seen Marc for a few days and I nearly called him in the morning – and with morning I don’t mean ten o’clock but very early in the morning, four o’clock! Something his wife would have loved, no doubt.

The thought of waking up Marc and his wife to tell him about the blood ring and the tappaa made it all seem pathetic, and the fear disappeared and left only a sad feeling. Of course I had never told Marc about this adventure of mine, and to start telling him everything at four o’clock in the morning wouldn’t exactly be …fine and I could just imagine Marc wife’s face!!! This made me laugh and I decided that a cup of hot coffee and a cigarette was all I needed. I put the kettle on and while waiting for the water to boil I stepped out on the patio for a cigarette. Out of habit I checked Leena’s house and he was there!

The winter temperature was reaching minus fifteen, with snow everywhere and a thin fog, and the man was standing there watching me. I had the feeling that I could see his eyes and they were the colour of his blood ring! A small light was on in Leena’s house, and I stood there, unable to move with the cigarette unlit and my fingers freezing cold looking at him. Then he moved, he turned and opened Leena’s balcony door. He stepped inside, closed the door and pulled the curtains. Now I wasn’t in the mood for coffee so I poured myself a glass of bourbon and drank it all straight away! Damn, I was pulled into a weird story with a creep and I didn’t know what to do!

I checked the time and it was half past four; still not a good time to call anybody so I decided to turn on my computer and work a bit. I spent the next two hours checking profiles of criminals! The next few hours passed very slowly and at nine in the morning I went to see …Mandy! Mandy hadn’t opened his restaurant yet and he was getting ready for his tour around the market to find things for his restaurant at …reasonable prices, well whatever reasonable means to him. He was surprised to hear my voice so early in the morning but he was happy to get some company and I was happy to get away from my house.

I didn’t want to be away from the house because I was scared, but I needed some time to analyze what was going on and think of a way out of it. A way out wasn’t obvious, at least not to me. The first thing I thought of was to go back and talk to him, but when somebody calls you  with a death threat and hides his number, it means he’s not exactly the talkative type. I had already experienced his democratic dialogues. So I dismissed that idea straight away. Calling the police was not an option either, it’s not my style. Whatever I tried to think of, I kept returning to the same thing, I had to wait and see. The next move was obviously his and the only thing I could do was damage control.

Mandy in the meantime was all about talking. He was talking about his next big dream of a restaurant that would serve Greek fast food, and I have to admit I could not imagine who would eat it. But then again after living a long time in this city, I had seen worse things than anything Mandy could dream of! The tour around the shops lasted for an hour, and afterwards Mandy left me in front of my house. I had had enough of him for the next ten years; the man didn’t know how to shut up!!!


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