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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Lost

Vieraskieliset / In-english
6.2.2020 6.40

Juttua muokattu:

30.1. 13:39
2020013013391720200206064000

The door­bell rings. I glan­ce at my watch, it is just over 9 pm.

– Who can it be at this time? I won­der.

I go in­to the bath­room and grab my dres­sing down. The door­bell rings again, lon­ger this time.

Tying the belt, I walk quick­ly to the door. It could be the chair­man of the hou­sing as­so­ci­a­ti­on. Have I for­got­ten to pay my wa­ter bill?

I open the door. A lit­t­le boy not much ol­der than three is stan­ding on the doors­tep. The out­door light shi­nes on his tear-stai­ned face, fluf­fy white fla­kes are fal­ling on the snow-co­ve­red yard, the trees are hol­ding their bre­ath.

– Da-Dad­dy went a-away, the boy hic­cups bet­ween his sobs.

I am as­to­nis­hed. Where did the boy come from?

– Where did you Dad­dy go? I ask.

– Da-Dad­dy we-went, ca-ar.

I kneel down in front of the boy.

– Well, don’t cry. It’s hard to un­ders­tand what you are sa­ying. Just try to say cle­ar­ly where yo­ur Dad­dy went. We will find him, I try to calm him down.

The yard is emp­ty. There are no pe­op­le around. The hou­ses are lit up for Christ­mas.

– Wait a se­cond, I’ll just get my jac­ket and pants. We will find where yo­ur Dad­dy went.

I go back in and be­gin to pull on my out­door pants. The boy co­mes in and be­gins to take off his jac­ket. Is he going to stay? I’m be­wil­de­red. I have a Christ­mas re­cord pla­ying, and I hear so­me­o­ne sing about Je­sus co­ming to vi­sit our ho­mes at Christ­mas. A sad sen­ti­ment from a long time ago creeps up on me.

*****

There is a book on the shelf. The co­vers are green. There are a few pic­tu­res, too, black-and-white like they were at that time. I am int­ri­gu­ed by the book. Or rat­her one pic­tu­re in that book. I want to for­get about that pic­tu­re.

So­me­ti­mes, ho­we­ver, cu­ri­o­si­ty gets the bet­ter of me. I pull out the book. I turn the le­a­ves un­cer­tain­ly and ten­se with ap­p­re­hen­si­on, un­til I find the right page. There it is! I have a big lump in my throat.

It is a pic­tu­re of a small cur­ly-hai­red girl in a white dress, with a bow in her hair. Dres­sed for a par­ty. The girl is stan­ding all alo­ne on a jet­ty. Crying. The wind is ma­king wa­ves on the lake. She is wi­ping her te­ars with one hand and dang­ling a doll in the ot­her. She has been left. Where have her mot­her and fat­her gone? She has not been ta­ken along. There is no-one there to hear her cry. My ey­es fill with te­ars.

******

– I’ll just put on my pants and jac­ket, so I won’t be cold. Did you come from one of ho­mes around this yard?

I try to see if the boy looks fa­mi­li­ar. His ey­es are swol­len from crying and there is snot on his face. No, I have ne­ver seen him.

I take the boy’s small hand, and he ta­kes mine trus­ting­ly. We step out on to the yard. I no­ti­ce a stran­ge car in front of one apart­ment.

– Did you come from that car? Is that yo­ur car? I point at the lar­ge mi­ni­van.

– Dad­dy, we-ent, went, ca-ar.

The boy be­gins to sob again. A hor­rib­le thought co­mes to my mind. Did so­me­o­ne re­al­ly le­a­ve this lit­t­le boy be­hind and drive away? Should I call the po­li­ce? What should one do in a si­tu­a­ti­on like this? Should I go around with the boy, as­king if any of the pla­ces looks like his home? I have re­cent­ly mo­ved in my­self and do know my neigh­bors well.

– Was there any­bo­dy el­se in the car, or just you and yo­ur Dad­dy?

– D-d-Dad­dy went a-way, the boy draws in a shud­de­ring bre­ath.

I am pain­ful­ly un­cer­tain about what to do in this si­tu­a­ti­on. How could any­bo­dy le­a­ve such a small child alo­ne? It is sad even to think about it.

– Let’s go and ring that door­bell. They have child­ren. I’m sure they will know where yo­ur Dad­dy is. Don’t wor­ry, we will find him.

I crouch down next to the boy. I hear the sound of a pas­sing train. The train is co­ming from so­mew­he­re and going so­mew­he­re. Its ste­a­dy prog­ress along the rails is safe, the pas­sen­gers in­si­de are full of ting­ling ex­ci­te­ment and ex­pec­ta­ti­on.

*****

One, two, three. I count the pas­sing cars. The cars are full of mot­hers, fat­hers, child­ren, groups of ol­der kids. The rear win­dows are bloc­ked by lo­ads of cam­ping gear, slee­ping bags, tents, swim­ming rings. The sun is shi­ning. It is hot in the city, and pe­op­le are dri­ving away from the heat to­ward cool la­kes and ri­vers. I look left, then right, bre­at­hing in the smell of ex­haust gas. It is cool by the eve­ning when the last tail lights climb up the hill and di­sap­pe­ar. A red­wing is sin­ging. It is Mid­sum­mer Eve.

******

– Let’s zip up yo­ur jac­ket, so you won’t get cold. What’s yo­ur name?

– Mi-Mii-ka.

– Okay, Mii¬ka. How old are you? Show me with yo­ur fin­gers.

I take a good look at him. He has a wool­len be­a­nie hat and is ni­ce­ly dres­sed. His face is round and his ey­es are bright be­hind the te­ars. A sweet lit­t­le boy. He is cle­ar­ly well ten­ded. I would like to hug him.

– Let’s ring the door­bell. I’m sure yo­ur Dad­dy is wor­ried and won­de­ring where his lit­t­le Mii­ka is. He must be loo­king for you. We will find yo­ur Dad­dy, don’t wor­ry.

I try to sound con­vin­cing, alt­hough my mind is in tur­moil. How did the boy come to our yard? Why did he ring my door­bell? There are many ot­her doors.

I ring the neigh­bor’s door­bell. So­me­o­ne is fumb­ling with the lock, ha­ving troub­le ope­ning it. A tall, slim man opens the door. I have ne­ver seen him be­fo­re. Be­hind the man I can see a Christ­mas tree with cand­les and hear the cheer­ful voi­ces of child­ren. The lady of the hou­se is stan­ding furt­her back, smi­ling, next to her hus­band who looks wor­ried.

– Do you know where this lit­t­le boy co­mes from? I ask the tall man.

– Oh, he woke up now. I just went to check on him a while ago.

The man does not look at me or the boy. He looks at his car, fumb­ling with his keys.

– Well, that’s Mii­ka then, smi­les the man who li­ves in the apart­ment.

I re­a­li­ze now what has hap­pe­ned. The fa­mi­ly came here to vi­sit, and the boy fell as­leep on the way. When he woke up, he could not know where his pa­rents had gone.

– Okay then, we found yo­ur Dad­dy, I say re­lie­ved and squ­ee­ze the boy’s shoul­der.

I go back home. I open the door to my warm apart­ment. The pa­per win­dow sha­des make a rust­ling sound in the cool stream of air. The lights are dim. The yel­low light of elect­ric cand­les is ref­lec­ted on the glass of a pic­tu­re on the wall. The glass an­gel han­ging in my win­dow clinks soft­ly when I pass. The men’s choir on the re­cor­ding is sin­ging about the un­rest in the world.

So­met­hing sad and pain­ful flic­kers ac­ross my mind. The strings ca­ress my sad­ness, and the vi­va­ci­ous chords of the pi­a­no bring in a glim­mer of hope. A story from far in the past be­gins to un­ra­vel in my mind. Is it part of the Christ­mas at­mosp­he­re or a me­mo­ry from my child­hood? A story of a lost child and un­see­ing ey­es.

Text: Au­lik­ki Pii­rai­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

You will find the ori­gi­nal fin­nish blog post here.

6.4.2020

Hän alen­si it­sen­sä ja oli kuu­li­ai­nen kuo­le­maan as­ti, ris­tin­kuo­le­maan as­ti. Fil. 2:8

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