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Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 22 Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 22
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-09-03 07:44:18
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22. Seppo’s schizophrenic marriage

The man had done everything possible at least everything he thought and felt possible to make that marriage work but it seemed that didn’t matter what he did he was always the infidel! Seppo was getting more and more upset and I could say that soon with a little help from the beer that kept going through his mouth tears would come. You see there was that little boy and in the end everything was about that little boy.


The son came a year after the marriage and somehow that moment became the turning point for his Moroccan wife. Suddenly there was a gap between them that he couldn’t step over and it was getting bigger day after day. Didn’t matter what he did, didn’t matter how much he tried to prove that he had become a faithful Muslim – which was something he did to prove how much he loved and how much he wanted to marry her and spent the rest of his life with her. Before he family had little to do with them and it was only his love enough for her, then it was all about her family and what they thought about her and her baby. You see that was another turning point. The boy was her baby and had to be anything than an infidel Finn.

Seppo’s life became a constant torture and a constant effect to prove that he loved her and wanted the best for their kid but then the best of their kid seemed to be something only her father knew. The father who had been a torturer, medieval, anachronistic demon only a few months ago now he was becoming a messiah in their kids uprising with two or three daily telephone calls to Morocco where he was giving advises even to how breast feed the baby. I was trying to keep my self neutral realizing that some of it was Seppo's anger exaggerations but after one point the man was furious. She had forbidden him to see his kid for months after the divorce and despite all the court cases and everything he had to go through he still could see his son very little and that under observation living the constant fear that she might take the kid and then disappear and morocco with his never seen him again.

Her father lived in Finland for long time, enough to claim citizenship and when he retired he took his pension and moved back to Morocco leaving behind him a wife and two daughters to study. Looking at it from outside you can see that the man did the best he could for his family, let behind a country in corruption and literally living in the past with a society to certain aspects probably living in the medieval times and gave them a chance for a much better future adding to that the choice of a second citizenship that could give them access to a better future. But then he return to morocco and with his physical return he moved his mind also back in the past. Suddenly he became the master who could control and order the life of everybody around him. Who could take decisions of life and death for his daughters and of course who didn’t agree with his daughter’s marriage.

Seppo told me that once his ex-wife had been to Morocco for the summer holydays and when she decided to come back to Finland she had to deal with a father who wasn’t sure if he wanted to leave her do that travel. You see according the local laws the father has absolutely power and without his permission the woman – doesn’t matter her age – she could not travel anywhere including the village next to the one her father lived. As Seppo pointed that the only thing that kept her here was that she still felt more secure in Finland that she would ever feel in Morocco otherwise she would have gone back to morocco and than goodbye little Ali.

It was nearly eleven o’clock when I left Seppo near a taxi-stop so he could go to his house – he had enough beer to keep him away from his car at least for the next two days – and I run for the last metro. The poor man had to return to his parent’s house trying to cope with all the expenses between helping his wife to rise their kid and the same time paying lawyers to make sure that she wouldn’t take him away that there was nothing left to him. In the end of the evening he was literally in tears and picture of this destroyed man had somehow stuck with me all the way home. I have to admit that a couple of times I thought of stepping out of the metro to have a cigarette and I would have done so if it wasn’t the last metro for the night with the next one coming after six in the morning. So I had to wait till I got to my stop.

And there I decided that I needed a walk. The petrol station was still open and I checked for Ivan but obviously it was not his turn so I decided for a long walk next to the sea. My mind was on Alexei’s gentle face and Seppo’s anger. Then the unborn kid and Seppo’s born child and finally the events that led a proud man I first met seven years ago to a man in ruins I had just met and I was trying to find the similarities smoking one cigarette after the other.

The sea was calm and there was a group of swans swimming near by with some ducks a bit further away. On my left there was a bridge where the last metro from east was just passing on its way to the centre and on the other side the lights of some apartment buildings. The silence was deafening and I was feeling very lonely and confused. What confused me more was the love and hate that in a very schizophrenic way was coming from Seppo about his ex-wife. He still loved his ex-wife and it was more than obvious but the same time he hated the Muslim wife he got stuck with and blamed her for everything that happened to him from the day he met her.

And then it was Alexei and Ferah and her family; the empty apartment, the sister who was there till the last minute and then helped the family to empty the house from every single trace of Ferah’s life. It was the pregnant woman lying on the ground with blood on her chest and the photo of her so modern so happy. I coughed and I thought that I had been smoking too much lately. After the heart balloon surgery I had decided to slow down a bit with smoking. The last few years I was down to a packet every one and a half two days but after the surgery I had manage to go down to five cigarettes a day. Of course everybody was telling me that I should quit but nobody seemed to understand with all my health adventures and especially with the diabetes torturing my life daily I needed this small luxury, this small sense of rebelling and freedom and I had been quite good in keeping it down to five cigarettes a day. That till this case with Ferah had entered my life and my packet of cigarettes.



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