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Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 16 Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 16
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-07-25 10:15:11
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16. Finding Seppo

Seppo was proved easy to trace but nearly impossible to find in the end. In the beginning I called the party offices where I was lucky to find a secretary who actually remembered me despite the years that had gone since the last time I was there, but she said I am difficult to forget. I took it as small talk and I tried to find out where Seppo was. Oddly it was difficult to forget me but she had totally forgot who Seppo was. An old visit card helped me to read his position in the party’s offices and after a small description she remembered my friend. Actually Seppo had left the party a few months after my last work there. But he had left a telephone number behind.

Next telephone call to a strawberry farm where Seppo had moved after the party. Once more I was lucky to find somebody speaking English with the first call. But this was the part where my luck started giving up on me. she did remembered a Seppo but he was in the farm, ten years at least younger than my Seppo and definitely not the Seppo I was looking for. But she tried and she promised to ask her boss when he was due to come back to the office and if I called after an hour she might had something form me. in the meantime Marc had left a message on my phone that he was in the centre on his way back if I wanted to meet for a coffee.

I decided to call her after I make a coffee and a cigarette, so I picked my notebook and I moved to my usual seat outside the patio. I checked my notes but since the night before a black mark on green grass had changed everything. Fetah’s blood had gone everywhere, in my thoughts, in my dreams, just everywhere. I have this thing with photographs and still I hadn’t thought of taking a photo of the place and the surroundings. Well, Finns collect pictures of funerals it might be my new hobby, collecting pictures of crime scenes.

Marc had his usual morning at the unemployment office and he was on his way back to the landmines. There are no landmines anywhere in Helsinki, at least I hope so except a big retail shop with a huge DVDs section and the mixture of Marc with DVDs is not healthy for his family’s budget. So we agreed to meet after an hour in the usual café reminding him that controlling his DVD fever it is good for his health especially if his wife finds out. So I was going to meet him in an hour and that was agreed on the phone with Marc nearly an hour after my first phone call to the strawberry farm.

Seppo’s next stop was an import export company and it took me over half an hour to find out. In the end it was getting harder to find Seppo than Ferah’s killer. The help came from the strawberry’s farm owner and the girl’s boss who was candidate for the party in the past but rumours wanted him involved in some kind of scandal with immigrant workers. He remembered Seppo straight away, after all it was Seppo who had helped him to avoid the worst with his little influence in the party and it was Seppo who had helped him to return in the candidates’ lists. He didn’t have a telephone number but he had the full name and he was sure that the company was still active since he still worked with them sometimes for his exports. I thank him and I started getting ready to go and meet Marc.

I’m not sure what I was thinking but before leaving I put my little digital camera inside my bag. Marc was in his usual hungry mood which means it costs you less to buy him clothes than feed him, this boy has something in his stomach and he’s always hungry it doesn’t matter if it was minutes still he left a table with a very rich dinner. We sat in the usual café and he had a Panini, a ban and a cappuccino while I had a cappuccino and a cinnamon ban. He told me everything about his last couple of days, his family – by the way Marc has a wonderful family in England, a mother and a father I really like and felt connected from the very first time I met them – and I didn’t tell him anything about Ferah’s murder, Alexei’s Christ-like face and the small triangle park in Sörnäinen. “you seem somehow occupied today!” Marc said after a little time with me saying nothing. I have a new project going on, I tried to avoid the answer. “Something big?” he continued asking. No, nothing big, something personal. And it was true, this thing had turned into something personal, Fetah’s face was in my mind all the time making it personal. I told him some kind of excuse and I run out to the metro station. Twenty minutes after I was in Sörnäinen walking downhill exactly the same way we had followed the evening before with Leena and I stood in front the same traffic lights looking at the small green triangle. Looking at it in the day light it didn’t look so spooky, so dangerous but then again the night before the lights didn’t make it look spooky. It was the blood stamp I was standing that moment in front that made it scary.

I took a series of photos of the exact spot, of the blood mark, the shops around and the crossing lights. Then I took a whole series of photos with the passing by cars. I had no idea why I did that but that moment it looked like a very good idea. My telephone rang again and to my surprise it was Seppo on the phone. “Hi, I think you are looking for me!” hello Seppo, how are you? How’s the kid, your wife? “What about a beer and I will tell you everything!” Seppo answered laughing. “Churchill’s?” Churchill’s used to be a very nice pub in the centre of Helsinki that had become an Italian family restaurant the last few years. Do you mind if we avoid the English and pick an Irish? I asked laughing. And we arranged the time two days after before finishing our brief conversation.

N my way back to the metro station I stopped for a bit in the local pub with the big metal rooster on the side for a pint and I started checking the photos in the small screen of my digital camera. The road, the crossing lights, the cars and the people because there were people going by all the time. Actually some of them stood looking at me wandering what I was up to. Then I remembered the couple the night before and the cars that were going past all the time. Sorry to bother you Pekka, but do you fancy having some coffee with me? Pekka had picked his mobile with the first ring and he had answered yes to my suggestion for a coffee. Perhaps it was time to talk with him and add some answers to my full of question marks notebook.

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