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Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 29 Back to Helsinginkatu 10: Chapter 29
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-04-07 09:58:21
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29. at the house, the sister and an odd picture

We both got there exactly the same moment and we both had the feeling that we were talking about the same thing. For a bit we stopped in silence looking at each other and then Pekka said, “Sweden, the Swedish incident a couple of years ago!” The Swedish incident I murmured and we both remembered the whole thing without saying anything.


A coupe of years ago a Kurdish family in Sweden lived an unbelievable drama with a father and a brother who tried to kill a sister who wanted to marry an infidel making the round of the world and attracting a lot of media over the religious fanatics. The girl had to find settler under the Swedish police protection and go so far as to change location and name. “Right!” Pekka said. Right, I said and I went out for a cigarette.

However nightmarish might sound that was the conclusion that was nearer to the facts lying in front of us. When I returned inside I found Pekka looking at the photos. He looked like trying to find this small detail that would verify what we had just come to but just like me for so long he couldn’t find it. “What about a visit to them?” he said after looking at the photos for a while. I had wished to see Ferah’s family from the very beginning but nothing had coming out of my wish and here we were ready to go there with Pekka obviously determine to find the truth here and now.

From the centre to their house took nearly half an hour and during the travel we were both quiet thinking the implications our discovery would have. Implications not only to the family and the people close to them but partly to the society. The very same way the similar incident had imply the Swedish society making people show more attention but the same time excusing fears and xenophobic outcomes they wanted to avoid. Pekka wasn’t saying anything but I was sure his mind was very far from the social implications, he just wanted to arrest the guilty and anything else was simply …not his job.

One last deep inhale of smoke and I followed Pekka who had already reached the door and was entering the entrance code. Second floor and four nearly white doors were waiting for us, I felt nervous. Pekka was knocking the door. He said his full name adding police in the end and we were waiting. The seconds past and we could hear some commotion in the house but the door remained closed. “Hello” Pekka said with me watching from behind, god I had watched too many police stories, I had started imagine a machine gun shooting from inside and me running for a cover. Of course this is Helsinki and not New York and things like that rarely happen, but then again …you never know.

The door opened and the face of a very old and very sad woman appeared with a dark black veil covering her head and a big part of her face. She was holding the veil in a way that was covering her mouth. She said something and Pekka answered with a few words and in a very authoritarian way. The woman closed the door again and more commotion came from inside. Then the door opened again and it was Ferah’s mother who stepped out. She actually stepped out keeping the door nearly closed with her hand behind her back. It was like stopping us entering the house. With a very quiet voice she asked something and Pekka answered with equal quiet voice. Then they both stood quiet and Pekka started talking fast. “Do you understand English?! Pekka said in one point surprising me. She nodded no.

“She doesn’t speak English” I had understand this last bit, “but I had to try, her Finnish is not any better!” he said. I was watching the woman and something in her mouth shown me that Pekka was wrong but I was not going to say anything. Not the right place to show off my recently realization surprisingly with a little help of a new television series I’ve been hooked lately. Fine, fine. I have no idea how this micro-morphing works despite the research I did lately but I could still detect a lie or other reactions like the sense that this woman was hinting something that she was trying desperately to protect and it obviously was behind that door she was covering with her arm.

Pekka continued talking fast and the woman continued nodding here and there and I continued standing there making stories of what they were saying. Suddenly with a push the woman opened the door behind her where the older woman and Ferah’s sister were standing listening quietly. I have to admit that I was somehow surprised to see her there, if any of the suspicions Pekka and me was right then she was in the same loop with her late sister and she had better start running. But then again I started having doubts and from the way Pekka looked at me I felt that he started having the same doubts. Somehow her presence there didn’t fit the plan. Pekka asked something and for a bit he got no answer. I was checking around from the little I could see in the hall way and the wall in a white sitting room on my right. Bare walls, no photos anywhere and then on top of one of the electric heaters a small frame with a childish style watercolour inside. A field with a small yellow farmhouse in the far. There was dust on the top and I knew where this frame had come from.

I tried to say something but Pekka was asking something the mother again and had no time to listen to me. But the old woman saw me and she saw what I was looking. With a fast move she crossed the hallway, she reached the electric heater and took the little frame and disappeared in the other room. There was a mixture of anger and fear in her move. In the beginning there was anger looking at me and moving towards the small frame but then there was fear when she walked to the other room. The only diferenvce was that the fear appeared not when she walked in the other room but in the way she looked the door at her left.

Pekka said something again and then turned to me, “He’s not there but I said to his wife to tell him that we like to see him at the police station when he comes back. Let’s go!” and without another word he turned towards the door and exited the house with me following without a word. We went downstairs in absolute quiet, we turned the corner and when we reached the next corner Pekka said, “And now we wait!”



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