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10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 45 10 Helsinginkatu: Chapter 45
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-11-07 09:16:01
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When the snow brings a scream

Sometimes writing what happened nearly a year ago I mix events and naturally things happening to me today with the events that occurred a year ago. This moment I’m sitting in front my computer watching the snow outside, something that fascinates me from the very first moment I put my foot in this country.

Coming from a Mediterranean country snow is something out of the fairy tales. I mean it, all my childhood I thought that snow was something happening in the far-far away lands where Santa lives and of course snow was as mythic as Santa. Apparently the first time I saw snow was on television on a Christmas film and having seen the film again and again years later I know that it wasn’t even …real! The first time I actually saw snow I was still a kid and it was abroad in a central European country. I was in such sock that after spending a whole day playing in the snow I nearly needed hospitalization from the bad cold I got!

What I love more when it snows in Finland is the colour of the sky. The winter sky is always dark, the night lasts longer but when it snows the whole sky takes this worm and alien the same time orange colour and if you travel to the north Finland inside Lapland this colour becomes a magic dark blue-purple colour. And one year ago the sky had this beautiful orange colour and snow flakes were dancing in front the glass that protects my patio with me in my usual seat enjoying the snow and an evening cigarette.

Leena had just send me a message on my mobile apologizing that she hadn’t seen me the last few days but explaining that it was too cold for her to be out and too slippery to risk from the dangers of breaking a leg or something. I answered back that I might drop by for a coffee tomorrow and check if she needs anything from the shops and I was ready to go inside when I heard the scream. Not sure if it was the wind or a real scream I stood there for a minute really quiet waiting until I heard it again and this time was followed from a very loud noise of breaking glass and a light gone on in Leena’s house, the other Leena.

This is one of those cases when you don’t think, your worry for your friend overwhelms every logic and you just move towards the noise and the screams. I wasn’t dressed for the cold and after a couple of steps I felt the cold making my body shiver and the snow made me very fast wet but I was near Leena’s door and when I was ready to ring the bell the door opened with a storming Juha nearly hitting me on his way out. He said something in Finnish I didn’t understand and run into the dark and the snow that was becoming thicker.

The house looked dark except a light in the sitting room that made my walking in the house possible and when I arrived in the sitting room I found Leena on the floor crying loudly. Knowing more than guessing what had happened again I reached her and kneeling I pulled her in my arms trying the same time to cover her with a white blanket that was on the floor next to her. She was saying something in Finnish but it made no sense and then she asked, “Did he go?” Yes, he did! I answered quietly. “He hit me! He hit me again!” she said between sobers.

I helped her to sit down on the comfortable chair and put the blanket around her. She was naked and that made her look more fragile than usual. Without saying anything I went to the kitchen and brought her a glass of water making sure that she did drink it all. I didn’t turn any of the other lights on I just left the room with that small light on. Leena had stopped crying and she had her face in her hands. Here and there she was saying something in Finnish I could not understand and in one point she moved and picked her mobile telephone from the floor and this is the first time that evening I saw her face.

For long time I stood numb with my hand trying to find the glass of water on the table. Her face had swollen in a very ugly way and her both eyes had already taken a wide purple colour. There was dry blood in her noise and on the side of her lips and her ears looked really red, the red colour of the fire. My god, was the only thing that came out of my mouth and she understood straight away why I said because the crying started again. This time was not just beating, if you could ever call it like that, this time he had seriously hit her and I just started wandering if it would be better to take her to the hospital or call the police. She knew what I was thinking, “I’m a nurse!” yes but you are not a policeman, I answered somehow angry. She knew exactly what I meant. She tried to stand up but it wasn’t easy, “help me to go to my room, I need to wear something!” I did help her holding her arm.

She closed her bedroom door behind me and I returned to the sitting room waiting for her, I didn’t want to leave her alone and she hadn’t asked anything like that. Actually I didn’t know what I was doing or what I was going to do, the image of her swollen face didn’t want to get out of my mind and didn’t let me think somehow logically. I could not even think of Juha, her face with the purple bruises around her eyes and the blood was covering every other thought or feeling. Then I could hear talking with her mobile, perhaps she knew better what her next move should be.

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