It is a crisp, cool autumn afternoon. I realize I have enough time after the school day to drive to our country cottage, pick a pail of currants and make them into juice on the wood-burning stove. What better way to unwind after a day in a noisy classroom!
The sun is shining. I can hear the rustling of aspen leaves behind the house and the barking of dogs further away in the village. I thoroughly enjoy the lengthening shadows and the cool air, the crackle of fire in the stove and the bubbling of water in my juicer. I get everything done quickly. I wash the juicer, pack the bottles of juice in a basket, and head back to town. I feel relaxed and happy. To continue in this happy mode, I plop down on the sofa and get carried away by the plot of a good detective story.
My sister also gets carried away – though without a book. She does not know that my landline does not work. And I do not know it either: I can use my phone normally to call others, but other people cannot get through to me. I usually switch off my mobile for the night, because I still have the landline. I want to sleep my nights in peace. If someone has something really important to say, they can call my landline.
Because my sister knows I went to the cottage to make juice, and because she cannot get through to me all evening, not even when the late evening begins to turn into night, her imagination begins to run wild. There are three possibilities, none of them good: I hit a moose on my way home, I fell into the well, or I was attacked by a gang of thugs who beat me up. At first her level-headed husband is able to calm her down, but after midnight he agrees with her that something is wrong.
They call the A&E, then the police. The police say they will not drive into the country in the darkness of the night, but they can go and peek in through the windows of my first-floor apartment. My sister then has a brainwave: they could go and see if my car is outside the building where I live. And sure enough, my maroon wreck of a car is there. My sister calls the police to cancel her request.
In the small hours I wake up to angry ringing of the doorbell. Right after that I hear the front door click open. ¬I hear male voices in the corridor. There is a streak of light under my door. My first thought is that, since the door was opened in the middle of the night without my permission, I must close it at once. I quickly open the inner door of my apartment and slam the outer door shut as fast as I can, not caring whether or not the person fumbling with the safety chain have their fingers between the door and the frame.
Someone in the corridor gives a clear command:
– Open the door! This is police!
But I am not to be fooled so lightly.
– How can I know for sure that you are the police? I demand.
– You can use the peephole to check! he says, sounding a bit annoyed.
I do that and see the blue uniform and the badge. I open the door. There are two policemen and behind them the caretaker, probably cross to have been called to open the door at this hour.
– Your sister …
I begin to tremble all over, there must have been an accident.
– ... is worried because you don’t answer your phone. You should call your sister at once! the police says, pointing at my half dead phone on the sideboard.
After first refusing the investigate the matter, the police have still been alarmed enough by my sister’s phone call to come and check if I am all right.
When they are gone, I keep chuckling for a long time before I fall asleep. I also feel deeply touched to think about the good care I seem to I enjoy. My sister and her husband have stayed up half of the night, and the police have come to check on me in my home.
Text: Tuula Stång
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original blog post here.