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Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 19 Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 19
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-08-20 08:11:55
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19. Meeting Leena and Dr. Watson who has a surprise with swollen wrists

The girl with the yellow jacket was sitting on the other side of the wagon and I was in the metro on my way to east Helsinki. Pekka left the café warning me that nobody should know about the photos he had just given me making clear that if he would lose his job I would lose my life. There was something in his eyes that told me that the truth was not far from his words and he was not joking.


The girl was looking out f the window the stations and I was looking at her, she has again this very sad face and for a minute I was tempted to move there and ask her if she was alright. Well that was out of question straight away, a foreigner of my size with wild gray hair and white beard come and ask you while travelling with the metro if you are ok in a foreign language is not the ideal situation. She probably sensed that I was looking at her and she turned my way. Her eyes looked red and tired and the red t-shirt made them look even more red. I opened my white orange bag and pulled my digital reader and started reading.

Unfortunately the pictures I had in my bag and the girl’s sad eyes wouldn’t let me concentrate on my book so I turned to the window. Siilitie, next one Itä Keskus and Leena was waiting for me at Roberts’s café, another cappuccino, another croissant. The digital book returned in my bag and I put my reading glasses in their small case replacing my sunglasses. The girl stood up. I thought she lived somewhere further east but it seemed that she was planning some shopping time in the big mall. She stood in front of me at the door waiting for the metro to stop and I could smell her perfume. There was something sad even with her perfume and for a minute I thought to follow her but the photos in my bag suddenly felt heavier and Leena was probably already there waiting.

If we combine Leena’s decade experiences with doctors, nurses, hospitals and surgeries with mine then you probably get more from us than a freshman doctor. Especially Leena seemed to know everything in detail. Except she had gone through nearly everything with her health problems and of course with a little help from the internet she had done an extensive research to anything that might happen to her always starting with the worst case scenario. She knew the symptoms, the therapies and the medication plus the side effects; every single one of them.

She was there on her automatic wheel chair waiting for me, the wheel chair warned me that this was not one of her good days and probably the painkillers had been working on her hard. “Hi,” she said when I got near. The girl with the yellow jacket was already walking fast away. By the way she wasn’t wearing any jacket, it was a very hot day anyway, but not knowing a name or anything I had to find something to identify her in my mind and the yellow jacket was impressive and I had never seen anybody before wearing a yellow jacket so perfectly. “Are you ok? Your coffee is here.” And she showed me a cup of steaming cappuccino with plenty of milk foam next to a very dry croissant waiting for me. In front of her was a bagel with Salmon and a cup of herbal tea.

I sat and after taking a big bite from my croissant I told her that it was important to bring out Dr. Watson on the wheels because we had to talk doctor things. She laughed. This Dr. Watson game had been hers and she obviously enjoyed it. “You met Pekka.” She asked not really asking. I checked around. Robert’s café is a small corner shop in the huge mall just cross from the supermarket. There were about six small tables with metal chairs inside and a couple with leather comfortable chairs near the entrance of the place. Most people liked to sit in the leather comfortable chairs leaving the metal ones especially the ones in the back of the shop empty.

Actually having the glass open for more fresh air it was easier for Leena since she could park her wheel chair half inside and half outside of the shop and not needing to do the whole round pushing chairs and customers. There was a mother with her small son and an older couple inside the café. The girl behind the counter seemed to watch the people passing by in the big alley between the café and the supermarket and nobody seemed to be in a distance to hear us talking. I took out of my bag the envelope Pekka had given me and without saying anything I gave it to Leena.

Leena didn’t say anything for long time. She checked the photos again and again and then she closed her eyes for a bit breathing deeply. Then she open them again and she gone through them for one more time spending a bit more time with the two once I had stopped as well. “She looked very tired.” Came out like a whisper in the beginning I wasn’t sure if she was the one who had said it. I told her my thoughts and what I had pointed out to Pekka. She put the photos back to the envelope and let it in the middle of the table away from her.

“I never thought of her as so beautiful.” She said after a few more minutes in silence. Anything else Leena, I asked a bit frustrated. The truth is that I had no idea what to expect since the wound was there and obvious. Cause of death was in her chest and there was nothing else to see. Perhaps I was hoping that she could see something I hadn’t but it seemed that the beauty of the dead girl had taken over her. She pushed he bagel away, these photos obviously are not good for the appetite.

Leena did you something I didn’t? I asked her softly. She said “Yes,” very quietly surprising me. I suppose seen her so shocked I was not expecting anything from her at least for the moment so her answer got me off guard. She pulled the envelop towards her, checked slowly the picture from inside the envelope and then pulled one out, it was the one with her face up. The truth was that if you could somehow isolate the blood and the wound “look at her hands,” she said. Somebody had really bothered to stage her hands, I had noticed that before but I didn’t say anything waiting for Leena and see what she was up to. “See her wrists? They are swollen.” I looked at her not understanding what she was up. A dead body with swollen wrists, so what? “Check now her legs. Ankles. They are also swollen.” I was waiting. She looked at me expecting a guess from me but nothing came out. “Men,” she whispered and then louder, “she was pregnant.” The girl in the counter looked at us wandering what we were talking about. My ‘what’ had made everybody jump!



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