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 Betreff des Beitrags: Finnish stories: Broken Hearts
BeitragVerfasst: Mi 5. Okt 2011, 17:05 
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Here is finally my new story. It's the seventh chapter of the saga "Finnish stories". I advice to read first "Finnish stories: Confessions", "Finnish stories: changes are needed", "Finnish stories: tears of joy and sorrow", "Finnish stories: lies and betrayals", "Finnish stories: hypocrisy and selfishness" and then"Finnish stories: ghost from the past". Otherwise you will not understand this story.

Main characters: : Janne Happonen, Arttu Lappi and Janne Ahonen
Secondary characters: Matti Hautamäki, Veli-Matti Lindström, Tami Kiuru, Ville Kantee, Olli Muotka and Anssi Koivuranta.

Time of the action: 2027-2028

Like ever, it's a fiction and everything comes from my strange imagination.

I wish you a pleasant reading time in my fantasy world and I'm looking for your comments in the feedback thread.

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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: Finnish stories: Broken Hearts
BeitragVerfasst: Mi 5. Okt 2011, 17:07 
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1. In a raging ocean

April 15th, 2027

It was a rainy Monday morning of April. The snow was almost all gone but the new leaves and flowers were not yet there. The landscape was grey and brown. The sparrows were on branches packed together. Janne Happonen was drinking his cup of coffee alone in the kitchen. He was in bad mood and didn’t sleep well. The previous evening he quarrelled with his wife concerning his frequent visits to Nina. She was so angry that he had to sleep in the guest room. When he was ready, he wore his rain coat and ran to his car.

He arrived less than half an hour later at the police station which was situated not very far from the Olympia terminal where the huge white Silja Line boat was bringing the passengers to Sweden and near the design museum in the centre of Helsinki. Janne thought that one day he should visit it. In the main lobby he walked straight to the elevator and didn’t greet the receptionists. At the second floor he went directly to the coffee machine. But he had to wait. Three of his colleagues were already filling their cups. They were talking about the ice hockey game of the previous evening that he didn’t watch. When they left he took his cup and looked at the coffee flowing the cup. He left and stopped at the wall and looked at the current cases. There was nothing new. He saw that the Hautamäki case was still unsolved. But he knew why. He sat at his desk, turned on his computer and looked at his folders. He was working since almost two years on the same case. He was trying to arrest the members of the Russian mafia who organized traffic of stolen cars and drugs. He and his colleagues already arrested a couple of the members but they were not really important in the organization. He knew that at that moment his Russian colleague who lived in Finland since fifteen years was having an intensive training to enter the network. They thought that they would have better chance to know what they were doing and to arrest them with a man inside.

“Happonen. In the interview room number three,” Tapio Kaunen requested. Janne took his notepad and the pen he got for his birthday the previous year in silence. It was a dark red pen with his name engraved. He opened the door of the room, sat and waited. It was a simple room with only a table and three chairs. Two on a side for the inspectors and one in front for the witness or the suspect. He wondered who the suspect was. Usually he knew and could prepare some questions. He guessed that it was someone that had something to do with the Hautamäki case. Tapio was investigating on it since the autumn after the murder of Jussi. He had nothing to do with the Russian mafia case.

Tapio arrived with a cup of coffee in his hand and a folder under his left arm. He was tall with red hair and a moustache. He was over fifty. He was much experimented and solved many cases in his career. “Sit on the other side of the table,” he requested and Havu protested. “What? Am I suspect?” “I don’t know yet. You will tell me,” the inspector answered. Janne got up and sat in front of Tapio. A young guy that Janne never saw before sat next to Tapio. It was maybe a trainee. He had a notepad in front of him and a pencil which was bitten. He was skinny and was wearing a shirt that seemed to be too wide and a tie that he probably borrowed to his father. Tapio opened the folder and looked inside but Janne couldn’t see what was inside. “Tell me. Do you know Tami Kiuru?” Tapio said while he looked at him straight in the eyes. “Yes, I know him. He is one of my friends. Why?” “Happonen, I ask the questions and you answer,” Tapio reminded. “Do you know if Kiuru and Hautamäki were friends?” “Yes, they were. At least some years ago. I don’t know if they were still in touch.” “Do you know someone named Harri?” “Yes, Harri Olli. He was one of our friends. But he died last year. Why? Tapio, what have Harri, Tami and Jussi to do with me? I don’t get it,” Janne asked, confused.

“Where were you Saturday night?” the red hair man asked and Janne thought a bit. “I was at home.” “Can someone confirm?” “Yes, my wife,” Janne answered calmly. “What I think is that one of your common friends is having revenge. Jussi has been murdered. Some days later the killers have been tortured and killed wildly. It was clear that it was personal. The killer was close from Jussi. Then Saturday night someone wanted to do the same to Tami. But the killer had some remorse. He wasn’t precise and as violent as he was previously. Probably because he knew Tami. It will be interesting to hear what Kiuru can tell us when he will wake up. But anyway, it also looks like revenge. Tell me, what is the link between Tami and Harri?” Tapio asked. “Well... Tell me first what happened to Tami. I’m surprised and a bit worried. He is one of my friends,” Janne asked a bit stressed. “Answer my question,” Tapio insisted without compassion. “What I know is that Tami is responsible of the death of Harri even if he was... his best friend,” Havu added after a little hesitation. “Were you friend with Harri?” “Me? Not really. Honestly, nobody expect Tami was his friend. Harri was... special. Not very sociable,” Janne answered. “Were you the only one to know who killed Jussi and what Tami did?” Tapio asked. Janne thought that this question was a trap. “About Tami, no. I think that all my friends know. But for Jussi, I have no clue. How do you know that it’s the same person?” “The names written on the wall with blood. It’s his signature,” Tapio said.

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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: Finnish stories: Broken Hearts
BeitragVerfasst: Mi 5. Okt 2011, 18:13 
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“I want you to write a full list of your common friends with the addresses and phone numbers. I want to warn you that you are suspect. We are recording your phone calls and your computer is also under investigation. I hope that you are not protecting someone,” Tapio said. “I’ve nothing to do with the murders! You can go to my house and analyze all my knives, check my clothes and my washing machine and I can already tell you that you won’t find Tami’s blood. I’m not a killer! How much time do I have to make the list?” “The whole day if it’s necessary. You can do it at your desk,” the old inspector answered.

Janne was looking at his notepad. Which names should he write? He knew that his colleagues would then interrogate all of them. But he decided to be honest. He had no choice. He took his pen and started to write. He wrote the whole morning. Then he had lunch break. He just bought a sandwich. He was not really hungry. He ate it outside in the little park near the design museum. Well it was not really a park. Just a fountain, a couple of benches and few trees. The ground was still wet from the morning rain. Nevertheless he sat on the bench and looked at the trams. He was thinking of his life. What did he do wrong? Why suddenly everything looked so bad? Janne was angry. He had nothing to do with these crimes. How could his colleague think that he did it? He thought that if he was suspect and that his colleagues concluded that he was guilty he would lose his job, his wife would divorce and he would not see anymore his daughter. Or at least not often. He took his phone and looked for a picture of Ana. She was so beautiful with her skin colour latte macchiato and her light eyes. He loved her so much. He had a shy smile. But he was interrupted by an SMS which just arrived. He read it and didn’t know what to answer. It was Nina who asked at what time he was coming. He just answered that he was going home. She didn’t have to know more and his colleagues too. His life was a mess and he had to take urgently the right decisions.

He spent some more hours to complete his list and at the same time he was reading the transcript of the last interviews done in the Russian mafia case. He saw that almost every time someone was walking in the corridor he was looking at him, like if he was already guilty. He tried to ignore but he felt bad inside. He worked so hard to be where he was and he had the impression that the ground was not hard anymore under his feet and he would fall soon in a deep hole and never come back. When he was ready he gave his notepad to Tapio. “Is it a joke?” “It’s what you wanted,” Janne answered. Tapio was looking quickly at the pages. The twelve first were full of names, addresses and phone numbers. “I didn’t ask you to write the names of your Facebook friends. Just your common friends!” “Don’t be angry. It’s what I did. And I don’t have a Facebook profile,” Havu explained. “There is something I don’t get. You were not friend anymore with Hautamäki, Olli was not really your friend and Kiuru... whatever and you wrote almost hundred common friend’s names!” Tapio replied really surprised. “That’s the truth,” Janne answered. “How do you pronounce that name? Mal...Malysz. And this one: Romören?” Janne smiled. But he had been honest. Tapio wanted a list of their common friends. He had it. “I’ve to work on my case. If you have any question you know where I am,” Janne said before to go back to his office.

Janne couldn’t wait for five o’clock. He wanted to go home and to relax on the sofa or to play with Ana and forget that day. But ten minutes before Tapio asked him to go back to the interview room. “Can’t it wait for tomorrow?” Havu complained. “No, I need some explanations,” Tapio insisted. When he saw that Tapio wanted to know almost everything about the friends living in Finland he asked if he could call his wife and tell that he would be late. “You know the rules. No phone calls in that room.” “Just two minutes. She will be worried,” Janne insisted but his request was refused.

Finally he left the police station a bit before eight o’clock. He wrote a quick message to his wife to say that he was coming back after a horrible day at work. He sat in his car and drove home. But when he arrived he had a bad surprise. A suitcase was in front of the door. He came closer and saw a note. He took it and read: I know that you prefer Nina. You don’t need to come back. She will be happy to have you in her bed. Bye. Maria. He couldn’t believe it. He felt that the tears were coming. He was sad but also angry. He knocked a couple of times at the door. “Maria, please. Open. I was not with Nina. I was at work. I swear. Please, believe me. Maria!” he begged while he knocked again at the door. “Maria, it’s a misunderstanding. There are only two persons I love on this planet. It’s Ana and you. Please, let me in. I want to tell you how sorry I am.” But there was no answer. He took the suitcase and put it in his car. Maria was sat behind the door and she was crying in silence. She wanted to open the door and she had to force herself to don’t do it. Janne had to understand that what he was doing was wrong.

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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: Finnish stories: Broken Hearts
BeitragVerfasst: Do 6. Okt 2011, 12:24 
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He drove away in the night but didn’t know exactly where to go. Something was certain. He had no envy to visit Nina. And she had no guest room. He drove to the centre and walked a bit in Kaisaniemi Park. He sat on a bench and looked at the dark paths. Nobody was there. He was alone. Then he remembered that a friend had some debts to him. He drove to Töölö, let his car in a little street and knocked at the door of the flat.

“Oh Janne, what a surprise,” Leena said when she saw the visitor. “I’m sorry to come so late and without invitation but... can I stay here for the night?” “Yes, sure.” He entered and let his coat and his shoes in the entrance. He saw that she probably just had dinner and was watching a movie. “We don’t have a guestroom. You will have to sleep on the sofa. I don’t know if it’s comfortable. If you prefer, you can sleep on the deck chair. Well it’s not much better,” she explained. “The sofa is okay. Don’t worry for me. May I ask if I can have a piece of bread?” he asked. “Yes, sure. Did you have dinner?” she asked. “Well...” “I’ve some potatoes with sausages. Is it okay?” she asked when she looked at her pan. “Yes, it’s fine. I’m sorry for...” “Don’t be so sorry. You are welcome here. Be like at home,” she wished while she warmed the meal. She took a plate and a glass. “Do you want some wine?” she proposed. “I’d prefer some water.” She noticed that he looked sad but she didn’t really dare to ask.

“Janne is coming in about an hour. Today he was not really motivated. He spent the afternoon to play with Teemu. He is a good father. Some people are saying bad things about him but he makes a lot of efforts. And I think that people deserve a second chance. Why should we live with regrets for something we did years ago?” she said while she filled in his plate. “I agree. I’m happy to see that everything is fine with Janne,” Havu said before to start eating. “Yes, and now we have a little bit more time. We have finally hired an employee. And soon we will open a second bar!” she announced very enthusiast. “That’s great. Where will it be?” “In Kluuvi,” she said. Janne thought that it was again a very good place. It was a shopping gallery in the city centre in the main street, Aleksanterinkatu, near the cathedral. The bar had to be really successful because the rent in Kamppi was certainly really high and in Kluuvi it was probably higher.

Janne Ahonen arrived a bit before 11pm. He looked a bit tired but happy to be home. He kissed his wife who went to bed while he went to the kitchen. “Hi Havu. What are you doing here?” he asked while he was taking some potatoes. “Hello. Well... Maria let my suitcase on the landing,” he explained. “Ah finally.” “What finally?” Havu asked a bit angry. “Havu, you are an idiot. I should give you a slap in your face. You are the luckiest man on Earth. Look at Maria. She loves you more than anybody else. She is doing everything to make you happy. You have a beautiful daughter. What else do you want? Why are you ruining everything? And for Nina...” he said before to eat. “It’s not your business. And why is she telling you everything?” “Havu, you still don’t get it. Maria and I are friends. Not lovers. We meet to talk. She needs to talk. She doesn’t understand your behaviour. If you want to be with Nina, go with her. But stop playing that game. You make her suffer a lot,” Rane told and Havu was thinking. “But I’m proud that you came here. It means that you still love your wife.” “Of course I love her! What are you thinking of? Nina is just a friend. Okay I admit that I slept with her. But only once and it was a big mistake. I was drunk and since that day I’m not drinking anymore! My life is a mess. Oh Janne... I don’t want to lose everything,” Havu said totally desperate. “It’s still not too late. But you will have to make some choices and give some explanations. Be as honest as possible. Maybe she will not forgive. But at least you will not live with lies. It’s really bad what you did,” Janne added while he put his plate in the dishwasher.

“Everything would be so much easier if Nina could tell her secret,” Havu said for himself. “Which secret?” Rane asked curious. “Nina did something that you can’t imagine. Already Harri paid for his curiosity. I don’t want to die.” “But what are you talking about? If it’s too bad, just tell to your colleagues and they will drive her to jail.” “Janne, I can’t. She did it for me,” Havu said and Rane laughed. “For you? Come on. Wake up. Why will she do something for you? Have you done something for her? She is as cold as an ice cube. She loves nobody. Just herself. Janne, she is playing with you. She is the queen of manipulation. You have to leave the game before to lose,” Rane advised. “I can’t. I just have to play safe.” “Safe? You really look safe at the moment. Havu, you are almost game over.” Havu didn’t want to accept the truth but Rane was right. “I’d like to talk longer with you but I really need to sleep. I will probably wake you up around five when I’ll have my coffee,” Rane said before to give a towel, a pillow and a cover to Havu who thanked him.

Janne Happonen couldn’t sleep. The sofa was too hard and the fridge was making an annoying sound. He took his phone and wrote a message to Maria: I’m so sorry. I regret what I did and I hope that you will forgive me. I love you. He took the pillow and cried in silence in the night.

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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: Finnish stories: Broken Hearts
BeitragVerfasst: Do 6. Okt 2011, 19:50 
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The next day after a horrible day at work Janne went back to his house. He stopped his car in the street, breathed deeply and knocked at the door of his own house like a stranger. He saw that the curtain of the red house on the other side of the road moved. He knew that the rumour was already there and was poisoning his life and killing his marriage. He hoped that Rane was right and it was not too late to find a solution. He knocked again and waited. Still nothing. “Maria? It’s me. I’d like to talk to you. I miss you. I’d like to see Ana. My little princess. I miss her so much. You don’t know how much I suffer. I’m really sorry if I made you suffer. I’d like to apologize,” he said to the door. He took a note he prepared at work and he put it under the door before to leave. He decided to tell the truth. Everything. He didn’t care of Nina and her secret. For him his family was more important than anything else.

Maria took the note and hid it in a drawer. She had no envy to read complains and apologizes of her husband. She went back to the sofa and looked at the girls playing with their dolls. Ana and Saara, the daughter of Nina, were preparing some imaginary tea for their friends. Maria was doing some babysitting for Nina just because she had to do like if she ignored everything. It was the advice of Arttu Lappi who visited some days ago and talked about a dark note that Harri wrote. She was looking at Saara and wondered if her husband was the father. She couldn’t believe it but after the recent events she had some doubts. If it was confirmed that he was the father she knew that they would not live together anymore. She was not ready to forget everything. Not that kind of betrayal.

Havu drove to Laajalahti at the East of Espoo. The road was not very wide and it was in clay. He stopped in the yard of an individual house and was thinking. He was going to the house of the person who destroyed his life. Why? Just because she realized his wish? He was also sad when he noticed that his car was at the place where Harri was letting his car. He felt guilty. Harri was not there anymore because of him. How many people still had to suffer for his wish? He dismissed from his thoughts and got out of his car.

He rang at the door and waited that she opened the door even if he had the key. It wasn’t his house. He heard the key in the lock and Nina appeared. Her blond hair was free on her shoulders and she was wearing a simple grey shirt and a black trouser. “Please, come in,” she said when she saw that he was hesitating. He let his coat and his shoes in the entrance and went to the living room. The vacuum cleaner was on the carpet. “Am I coming at the wrong moment?” he wondered. “No, not at all. Do you want to have dinner with us? It will be ready in an hour.” “No, thanks. I will go home,” he said before to sit on the sofa. She noticed immediately that something was wrong. He looked tired, worried and didn’t dare to look at her in the eyes or to tell directly what he wanted to ask. “Janne, what’s wrong?” she said directly. “I’m in trouble.” “Why didn’t you call me?” Nina asked. “I can’t. My colleagues are spying my phone. They probably know where I am at the moment. I don’t know what to do,” he said desperate while she got up from the sofa without answering. She opened a drawer and took a mobile phone. “Call me with that one. You just need to load the battery,” she said while she gave it to him. He looked at it and he had the feeling that he already saw it before. “It’s the phone of Harri. Don’t worry. He will not use it anymore,” she said with a smile to help him to relax.

“Nina, we should stop it before it’s too late.” “Too late? What is too late?” she asked a bit surprised. “I thank you a lot for what you did for me but the price is too high. Harri lost his life and I’m losing my family and my job. Currently I’m on a raft in the middle of the raging ocean. I will not survive very long.” “You are stupid! I thought that in your job you learnt to hide the truth and to live with a couple of lies. I’m really disappointed,” she said quite angry. “I’m not a secret agent! I’m an inspector and my job is to discover the truth! Not to hide it and to tell lies! Nina, you have to reveal your secret.” “No,” she answered without compassion. “Why?” “The report is not ready. It has to be perfect. Once I’ll start talking the whole world will listen to me. And I couldn’t stop. I can’t make mistakes. Do you get it? So, your couple problems are not my business. You are a big boy and you will solve them alone,” she told while she looked straight into his light eyes. “What will happen if I talk before you?” “Nobody will believe you. You are nobody. I’m the professor Olli and I’m very important in that world. If you say just a word, don’t be surprised if something happens to you or your family,” she threatened and he laughed. She didn’t get why he laughed. “He wasn’t able to kill Tami. Do you think he will be able to kill me? He has a heart. Not like you,” Janne said before to get up and to leave that house.

Maria was too curious and couldn’t resist. She read the note that her husband let under the door. She didn’t know if she had to contact him or to let him think for a couple of more days. But at least he seemed to be sincere when he said that he regretted how the situation turned. He told that there was absolutely no love between Nina and him. They were just connected because of the secret in the basement. He also said that he was sleeping in the flat of Ahonen but he was thinking of asking Arttu or to go to a hotel. He concluded his note with these words: I would be glad if you accept to forgive me. I’m not afraid of Nina. If I have to show you what is in the basement to be with you, I will show you. Nina can be mad at me I don’t care. But I don’t want to lose you. I love you so much. She looked at the paper. He seemed to be really sincere. But she decided to don’t call him. Not yet.

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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: Finnish stories: Broken Hearts
BeitragVerfasst: Do 6. Okt 2011, 19:59 
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The next day after work he came back again and ran at the door. Once again, Maria didn’t open. He went back to his car, sat and let the door open. He took the phone of Harri and looked at the pictures. He was surprised that Nina didn’t erase everything. Maybe she missed him. Havu was surprised to discover a smiling Harri who really looked happy. Most of the pictures were more than four years old when he was in Antarctica and in Greenland. He saw that he seemed to have fun with his colleagues. He looked sociable. Maybe it was because he was with clever people like he said in Norway. He also saw that he loved penguins. His favourite was probably a female named Mariella. He wondered how the penguin reacted with the absence of Harri. Havu was also sad. He realized that he didn’t know Harri at all. He also noted that his life was destroyed because of him. Harri didn’t die because of Nina or Tami but because of him. Harri was right. There was a monster in that story and it was him. He was the selfish person who wanted that his dream comes true and didn’t think of the consequences. Harri was a victim.

“What are you doing?” That little voice brought Havu back to the real world. He looked at the little boy and saw that it was Juha Lindström who crossed the road. “Why don’t you come anymore to play with me?” the little boy asked. “It’s a bit complicated. Some adult problems. You will understand when you’ll be older. Don’t grow up too fast. Enjoy your childhood. Tell me Juha. Do you like animals?” the policeman asked. “Oh yes! When I will be big I’ll be a vet,” he said with a smile. “That’s a really good idea. Work hard at school and your dream will come true. Look at the picture here,” he said while he showed a picture of Harri with Mariella. “Oh that’s great! I also want a penguin!” “He was working with the penguins to protect them. He loved animals like you. At home he had an iguana as pet,” Janne told, with a smirk. “Can I see him?” “I’m sorry... he is now in the sky with the stars looking at the penguins. But he will be really happy if you also help animals,” Janne said with a shy smile. That kid was really adorable. He was his favourite Lindström boy.

When he was alone again he checked the following pictures. Suddenly he had a shock. It was pictures from the basement. “Harri knew...” he murmured for himself. He wondered if he told anything really serious to Tami or Arttu.

“I read your letter,” Maria announced two days later when she called her husband. “I’m glad that you called me. I miss you so much. Can I go home?” he asked and there was a long silence. “Havu, last Sunday you admitted that you have cheated on me. It was honest but for me it was a betrayal. You betrayed the promise you did at our wedding. It’s really bad.” “But Maria, how many times must I say that it was stupid, a mistake and I regret. It happened only once. I was drunk and look. I make a huge effort. I didn’t drink a drop since that day. I can tell you that this week I was thinking almost all the time to go to a bar and to get so drunk that I’ll end up at the hospital. But I didn’t do it. Because I love you. I want to show you that I’m not like the other guys. Can I go home?” he begged and again there was a long silence. “Only when I will know why you are always visiting Nina,” she answered. “Okay. Tomorrow I’ll come around three. Be ready. Nina will be at work.” “How will you enter in the house?” she asked. “I’ve the key,” he admitted. “You what? Havu you almost admit that you are living there!” she exclaimed totally under shock. “No, not at all. You will understand tomorrow. I’ve to go to Janne’s flat now. Leena has probably made some dinner for me.”

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The next day at work Havu smiled when he saw that his colleagues were losing their time by searching the killer in the list he gave them. He thought that they would have enough work for the next three months and during that time he could demonstrated that he had nothing to do with the murders and he could work on his own case without losing hours to answer their useless questions. But on the list he gave, some names were missing. He never mentioned the wives and Arttu was not on the list too. Havu knew that Arttu knew too much and his guesses were quite right.

When it was lunch time Havu drove to the office of Arttu Lappi. The lawyer was exiting the building at the same moment. “Hello Arttu. Do you want to join me for lunch?” the inspector proposed. “Yes, why not? I was thinking of having a Thai buffet in Kaisanemi. Is it okay for you?” And Havu accepted. That little restaurant was situated near the entrance of the subway in the crossing of two long corridors. It was underground but it didn’t bother to don’t see the sky. An energetic small and fat woman was giving orders in the kitchen in Thai, talking to the clients in an imprecise Finnish, asking some people to put their bags on the floor and make some room for the new clients. It was a very popular place. People were coming and leaving. The buffet was interesting and quite cheap. There were sushi, soup, salad and more than ten warm dishes. Some of them were quite spicy. They started with the chicken soup which was not bad, the salad and the sushi. “What a surprise to see you. Were you waiting for me?” Arttu asked. “I’m bored to eat alone. My colleagues are going too often to the McDonald’s and it’s not good for my diet. They are laughing on me but at least I’m healthy. And the meals of Lindström are good but I don’t like to eat at work. I need to go outside. You are the only friend who is working close by and I know that you can’t spend two hours in a restaurant. I also know that you are not a fan of fast food,” Havu told. “That’s right. I’ve never been and I’ll never become. I try to teach my daughter that it’s not good but it’s hard. All her friends love these fast foods and she wants to be like them. At the moment I tell her that if she wants to be a superstar she has to eat healthy food,” the lawyer told.

When their plates were empty they got up and went to the warm buffet. Havu took a bit of everything and the sauces were mixing together. He hoped that the taste would still be good. Arttu was used to come there and he had his own habits. He made a kind of wall with the rice in the middle of the plate and chose two dishes. One on each side. And the sauces never met. Janne thought that it was pretty clever. How many times did he come there before to find this solution? Why was he thinking about it? He was not interested in the answer.

“Do you have any news from Tami? I’m so busy that I haven’t had time to visit,” Janne said. “Well... he is awake but doesn’t talk. To communicate he is writing on a piece of paper. Some ribs are broken, he had some damages in the stomach made by the knife and some traumas in the face. He doesn’t really remember what happened. Just a shadow in the corner near the bed. Your colleagues came a couple of times to ask questions. I don’t know if they get what they wanted. One of them said that there was a link with the murder of Jussi. I wonder why. Tami was not a close friend of Jussi and I know that he didn’t kill him,” Arttu said while he looked at his plate. “He doesn’t know who wanted to kill him?” Havu insisted. “I told you no. Why? Because you know who it is?” “Of course not,” Havu answered with the arms crossed.

“I heard that you were not with Maria anymore,” Arttu said while he was mixing his coffee. “Rumours are going fast but it’s just a quarrel. Nothing else. I’ll be back home soon. But tell me something Arttu. What did you tell her before she kicked me out? I know that it’s you who went to my house and not Tami to tell some bullshit invented by Harri.” Arttu thought that he had to play safe. He still didn’t know what game Havu was playing but he remembered the drawing of the reverse star that Harri draw before to die. “I just told her to be careful and to open her eyes. She loves you so much that she didn’t see that you were cheating.” “There is something I don’t get,” Havu said quite angry but he tried to stay calm. “The first time I went to Nina’s home was in autumn after I have been shot by the Russians. Harri was already dead. What he said means nothing. He was just living in his own world. Why do you believe him and not me?” Havu insisted. “I’ve to go back to work,” Arttu said while he got his coat. “Is it a conspiracy? Is your aim that I divorce?” Janne still insisted. “There is no conspiracy and I’m sorry for your couple. I’m sure that it will be better soon. And no, I’m not interested in Maria,” the lawyer answered before to leave. Havu stayed on his chair. He was wondering if Arttu was communicated with the ghost of Harri. It wasn’t impossible after all. He was talking to Matti. Why would he be the only one?

Arttu knew that he had to be careful. Tami was right. He advised to keep the note of Harri secret but he was scared. He felt that he had to warn Maria. Havu was playing a dangerous game and Maria had to escape. Maria was very sensitive and impulsive. She was shocked and had to hear what her husband had to say. He wanted to know who told her that story and she lied. She said Tami instead of Arttu because Arttu promised to protect her in case Havu became dangerous. And what for a coincidence, the same evening Tami had the visit of a dangerous guy who tried to kill him. With his blood he wrote Harri on the wall. It was revenge. Arttu knew something: Havu was the killer or he sent the signal to Nina who asked someone to have revenge. He thought that the second option was better because Havu would never have killed someone to revenge Harri. Harri was not his friend.

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Before three o’clock Janne said that he had an appointment at the dentist that he almost forgot. He said that he couldn’t cancel and had to go. In his car he turned his phone off. He didn’t want that his colleagues followed him. Five minutes after three he was in front of his house. Maria exited and sat on the passenger seat. “You have to promise me something. All what you will hear and see has to remain secret. If Nina hears about it I’m dead. Do you get it?” “Yes,” she answered a bit scared. “You can still go back home and I’ll understand. It’s maybe too much for you,” he said while he looked at her. He saw that she was afraid. She looked also sad. She probably cried a lot these last days. “Let’s go,” she said and he started the engine.

When they arrived at Nina’s place he asked again if she was sure and she answered positively. He took the key from his pocket and opened the door. There was no noise. They closed the door behind them and he opened the door which was going to the basement. She was following him in the dark stairs and she was scared. It was like to break up a home. It was bad and she wasn’t at ease at all. She hoped that Janne knew what he was doing. And what if Nina was coming back? “Now, everything you see must stay secret. Otherwise you can already plan my funerals,” he reminded and she promised. He entered a code and suddenly the door unlocked. Her heart was beating really fast. What was behind and was so bad that their couple was almost over? Janne entered and looked at Maria who was still outside. “Come and there will be no more secrets between us,” he said with a smile and he was giving his hand. She knew that if she caught it there would be no possible return. She breathed deeply, took his hand and walked two steps in the room. The room was dark and the light came from candles. The flames were dancing. She was looking at the floor and slowly at Janne who was smiling. “Look on your right,” he said. She moved slowly. Her heart was beating really fast. When she saw what was in the room she couldn’t believe it. Her legs became soft and she faded. But Janne was there to get her.

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Arttu came back from work quite late. He was exhausted. He had to listen to a witness who didn’t really remember what he saw, assist to an audience at the court to defend the owner of a gas station who had been robbed by a teenager and to write three reports about other cases for the future audiences. He had a quick dinner, watched the late news, took a shower and went to bed. He was happy to be alone. But he couldn’t fall asleep. He was moving a lot, looking for the best possible position, the eyes closed. And he didn’t see the shadow.

Suddenly he opened his eyes when he felt something heavy on him. He couldn’t talk because the guy had his hand on his mouth to avoid that he screamed. His hand smelt dog candy. Pillow probably thought that he was a nice person bringing some candies and it was the reason why he didn’t bark. How did he know that he had a dog? The man was wearing dark clothes and the hood of his sweater was covering his hair. He couldn’t see his face. Just his chin which was covered by a beard of four to five days. “I will take off my hand. If you scream I cut your throat,” he said in a low voice while he showed the meat knife that he took in the kitchen. It was the sharpest knife of Arttu. “Who are you? What are you doing here? What do you want?” the lawyer asked as calmly as possible but he was frightened. “Let Havu quiet. Stop bullshitting. What Harri wrote or said is nothing. He was crazy,” the man said with his deep voice. Arttu was really perplexed. That man was probably the same as Tami vaguely described. But something was really strange. He knew personally Happonen. Otherwise how did he know his nickname? “I promise. Can you go away now?” Arttu asked. “I will. But if you talk again to Maria about that story or to the cops you are dead. I will not hesitate. Oh but tell me.... you have a daughter.” “Don’t touch her or I kill you!” Arttu said while he was moving. He wanted to get rid of the man but he was really strong. “You will never do it. You are a good guy.” “How do you know if I’m a good guy or not?” Arttu asked more and more perplexed. He was thrilling. He had the feeling that he knew that guy. “I will go know. Like I told you: if you call the cops, your daughter will die. And I’m serious. Bye Arttu,” he said before to get up and ran out of the room.

Arttu was under shock. He was sweating and his heart was beating fast. The guy knew him. He said “Bye Arttu”. And probably he knew him as well. He took his phone and went to the window. He moved carefully the curtain and looked outside. It was raining and the guy was running. Arttu took a picture when he entered in a car from the passenger’s door. He was not alone. Who was in the car? Havu or Nina?

Early in the morning he called his daughter. “Suvi, listen to me. It’s really important. Never follow strangers, look three times before to cross a street, never go somewhere alone, always tell your mother or me where you are.” “Dad? Is everything okay? You seem to be under high stress?” the teenager replied. “It’s very important. You know, there are bad guys outside and I don’t want that they are bad with you. If you see a man in black with a hood, just run away. Can you promise?” he insisted. “I will and you know that I’m always careful,” Suvi replied.

After that phone call he looked at the picture he took the previous night. It was dark and he couldn’t read the number. Which car Havu had? He was thinking and couldn’t remember. He decided to call Maria who was surprised by his call. “It’s nice to hear you! How are you?” she answered with her warm voice. “I’m fine. Thanks. I’ve a little question. Which car your husband is driving and which colour?” “He has a light grey Opel Astra. Why?” “It’s for... I will explain to you later. And Nina? Do you know?” “Yes, she has a black Audi A4.” After these words he looked at the picture. “Thank you Maria,” the lawyer said before to hang up. He was afraid. Nina knew what he knew. It meant that he was not safe. Havu was maybe just her spy and he was getting info by asking Maria. She trusted him too much. And after the visit of the night he thought that it was too dangerous to let Suvi doing some babysitting for the Happonen.

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2. Looking for evidences

June 15th

Tiia Ahonen was thinking. Not about which clothes she should wear or in which shop she would spend her money. Since a couple of months she noticed that something was strange. She was sure that her ex-husband had a secret. When she was visiting at his place she noticed that the furniture and paintings were valuable. His watch was quite expensive. He had a nice car and he bought recently a motorbike. Some weeks ago he announced that he was building a big house. How was it possible just a couple of weeks after the opening of a second bar in the centre? Where was all that money coming from? Was Leena from a rich family?

That afternoon she went to the new bar. She was wearing a white skirt and a purple blouse with a necklace in pearl. She had white high heels, sunglasses and a white hat in straw. Her blond hair was free on her shoulders. Leena was there but not Janne. She was wearing an orange t-shirt and a dark green short. She had sneakers and her hair was in a pony tail. The client looked around and noted that the design was exactly the same as the other bar in Kamppi. It looked like if they planned to start a chain. She came to the desk and looked at the new wife of her ex. “Hi Tiia. What can I prepare for you?” she asked with a pleasant smile that Tiia didn’t appreciate. It wasn’t sincere. They were not friends. They were competitors and it was not because she was married with Janne that she was the winner of their war which started some years ago. “In the Palm Tree Shadow,” she simply answered while she looked at the customers who were sat. They looked happy. Most of them were between twenty and forty years old. Some foreigners were there to try the refreshing cocktails. It was a hot day and it was perfect for such a drink or an ice cream. “Where’s Janne? He is not in Kamppi,” Tiia asked while Leena was doing the juice. “He is in Gran Canarias for two days.” “For two days? That’s really short. What is he doing there?” she asked curious. “He is checking the production and he said that he wants to invest in another field. In Tenerife if I’m not wrong. He wants to have his own mangos.” “I see... he is spending a lot of money since a little while: a new bar, a new field, a motorbike, a house,...” “It’s time to invest he says,” Leena answered with a smile while she gave the glass to the oldest lady who just had a shock. She saw that Leena had a new ring with a beautiful diamond.

She was really wondering what was going on. It wasn’t possible that it was the profit of the bar. She couldn’t believe that it was so successful. From her table she was observing Leena. What did she have that Janne preferred to that young girl than to her? He said that the physical appearance was not important. But she didn’t totally agree. She knew that he loved good looking girls. He never had a fat or ugly girlfriend. Even when he was poor. He preferred to be alone. Suddenly Tiia had an idea! She smiled. She knew exactly what she had to do. She had to buy a motorbike and to get the license. She was quite sure that this teenager wasn’t able to drive a motorbike. Maybe a moped but not bigger. When her glass was empty, she got up and went to the desk. “Do you like motorbikes?” “Yeah... I like to ride with Janne in the countryside. He drives so well.” Tiia smiled and left. She had her answer. That girl didn’t have the license. If she had Janne would have bought a bike for her. He was so rich.

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“You what?” Katrina Lindström asked Tiia when she explained her new plan. The little group of friends were meeting in the living room of Nina Olli like every Wednesday afternoons. “I think that it’s easier to catch a sparrow and teach it to speak,” Nina added. “You don’t believe in my plan?” Tiia insisted. And Nina laughed. “I can’t imagine you on a motorbike. And it’s bad for your hair,” she said with irony. “It’s also dangerous. Last week two guys died,” Katrina reminded. “You know me. I will not drive at 200km/h in the woods. I just want to impress him. And I’ve discovered a secret,” she confessed. Katrina was so excited. She loved secrets. “He is rich!” she announced and Nina laughed again. Katrina and Tiia were looking at the scientist, waiting for an explanation. “Do you really think that he is? Just with his little bar for alcoholics? Think a bit. He just has big money from the bank to invest. But it’s not his money,” Nina told. “What do we know about Leena? Not much. Maybe her family is rich,” Tiia guessed. She was looking at Nina, waiting for one of her clever explanations. “I don’t think so. Maybe her family is rich. But why will they give money to Janne to buy his toys? But if he is really rich I think that his money is quite dirty. I don’t see any better explanation. Maybe he is importing some drugs or some illegal Africans from his island. Nobody knows what he is really doing in Gran Canarias. Do you?” she asked and Tiia admitted that she didn’t know.

Suddenly Katrina remembered that she had a mystery to solve. “Nina, do you have a boyfriend?” she asked directly. “Me? No, why?” she asked perplexed. “Do you remember the night when Havu went to watch the football game at your place? He was drunk and you drove him home. Then another guy was driving your car. I saw him by the window of the bathroom,” she admitted. “Are you spying on me?” Nina asked a bit surprised. She would definitively never understand why some people feel the need to spy and to know everything about others. “No, I’m not spying. I was in the bathroom and I saw your car. It’s a coincidence,” Katrina lied. She went voluntary to the bathroom with her husband and Maria to know who was driving the car. “It was my brother,” Nina simply answered. “You didn’t tell us that you have a brother,” Tiia replied. “Why should I? My family is not interesting. And he is married,” she answered. Katrina didn’t know why but she had the feeling that it was a lie.

When she was back home Katrina crossed the road and rang at the door of Maria who opened. “Hello sweetie. How are you today?” “Better than during these last weeks,” Maria answered after a deep breath. “Do you know well Nina?” Katrina asked. “Not really. I don’t know if someone really knows her. Why?” “Do you know if she has a brother?” “Havu told me that he died in a rope party in the Mount Everest. I know that it’s true because he checked in the police database,” Maria told. “So it means that Nina is lying on us.” And Maria laughed. Was it really a surprise that she lays? “I think that she is dating someone and she doesn’t want to talk about. Do you remember the guy we saw by the window after the football game last year?” Katrina reminded and Maria was thinking. It was long time ago. It was dark. She remembered that it was a man, taller than Nina and he was wearing dark clothes. There was nothing to help to authenticate. It could be anyone. “Katrina, maybe Nina wants to have some privacy. Let her some time. I’m sure that she will introduce the guy to us at the best moment for her. Maybe it’s not serious enough to present him to everybody.” When the door was closed Katrina noticed something strange. Maria was defending Nina. Why? She almost stole her husband. Maria knew something. She knew who that guy was.

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During that time Tiia was calling her son. Mico was working in a factory and wasn’t earning a lot of money. In winter he was playing ice hockey in Helsinki in the Jokerit team. The last season had been a disaster. He played only two games and then he injured his knee. Mico wanted to be a star but he was very often spending more money than what he had. How many times did he ask his parents to get some? “Hello Mico. Did you repair your car?... that’s bad... Did you ask your father? I’m sure that he can buy you a new one: better and bigger... Don’t worry. He has money.” When she hung up, she smiled. Her son would maybe discover the truth for her.

Mico knew that if he wanted something from his father he had to be really convincing. He wore an old shirt and a jean’s with holes. He drove to Töölö and walked to the Sibelius Park. He knew that in the afternoon Janne was very often there. And he was right. His father was on a bench in the shadow, reading a story to his son. “Can I sit?” Mico asked. Janne closed the book and looked at his oldest son. He was still fat and didn’t take care of his appearance. Mico sat and the bench cracked but didn’t break. “I need your help,” Mico requested immediately. “What can I do?” his father calmly answered. Mico looked around. Many people were sat in the grass on a towel, reading a book or walking with an ice cream in the hand. Sometimes a bus stopped and some tourists arrived. They walked to the Sibelius monument which was composed of metallic tubes. It was supposed to be an organ. By windy day the tubes were producing some kind of sounds. But Mico never heard it himself. He thought that it was an urban legend to attract people there when the weather was bad.

“I went to the garage and I’ve a lot to repair on my car. It’s an old car you know and I wonder if it worth to repair it. With Alison we were thinking of buying a new car. The problem is that we don’t have much money at the moment. Maybe the bank will help us but I doubt.” The father was listening. He knew exactly what his son wanted. He stayed silent for a little while before to answer. “Do you know which car you want to buy?” “We’d like a station wagon. It’s good for a little family. I’d love to have an Audi like when I was a kid but it’s too expensive.” Janne was still looking at him with his green eyes. He was touching his chin and thinking at the same time. It’s not that he didn’t want to accept but the request of Mico was a bit exaggerated. “What about a VW Passat? It’s almost an Audi,” the father finally answered.

Three days later Tiia met her son who explained the whole story. “He paid cash?” she exclaimed a bit surprised. After this action she was more and more certain that he was rich. But she had no time to investigate. She had to go to her driving lesson. It was harder than expected to learn to drive a motorbike. She was determined and she was sure to succeed.

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3. Suspended

July 5th

Maria Happonen was watching a movie in the dark. She had a fleece on her shoulders and she was looking at her phone. Two hours ago her husband was with her, living a romantic evening to celebrate the arrest of a man who was copying credit cards. But it was not the main reason to have an evening together. They just wanted to celebrate their love. Maria prepared a delicious meal for two and lighted candles on the table. After the dessert they went to the bedroom but few minutes later he got a phone call. It was his supervisor who asked him to help his colleagues in the area of Malmi. “Do you really need to go?” she asked before to kiss. “Yes, I’m sorry. But we’ll continue as soon as I’m back.” She didn’t know more about the mission. She just knew that it was a dangerous place by night. The previous year her husband had been shot by a Russian car thief. Before to open the door he promised that nothing bad would happen and that she should not worry. But she couldn’t. She was worried on her sofa. She wanted to call, just to know if everything was okay.

A bit before three in the morning she heard that someone was opening the door. Few seconds before she was half sleeping but then she was totally awake. She threw the fleece on the sofa, jumped on the floor and ran to the lobby. Janne hugged his wife in the darkness. He didn’t pronounce a word. “I’m so happy that you are back. I was so worried,” she murmured. He took off his jacket and shoes and sat on the sofa. She followed him and sat next to. She felt that something was wrong. His head was down, he seemed to be sad and was unable to look at her into the eyes. “Do you want to talk about it?” she proposed while she touched his back. He breathed deeply and looked at the window. The rain was still falling. “I killed someone tonight,” her husband admitted. She moved back after these words. She was under shock. “But...” “Maria, I know that it’s bad. But you have to trust me. I had no choice,” he explained in a low voice. She saw that a tear was coming to his eye. He was also pressing his lips together. “I know that you had no choice. You are a good person. Do you want to talk about it?” she asked after a hug.

“I got the phone call at 10:17pm. I had to drive to the police station because I needed my bulletproof jacket. Juhanni was already there waiting for me. At 10:35 we were in the car on the Lahdenväylä. In the car we got a message in the radio to tell us that our colleagues needed urgently our help. They were four and the criminals were too numerous and were shooting on them. Some already left and nobody could run after them. We knew from the first call that it was a group of Romanians who were stealing in a warehouse. But quickly some others came to help them when the police was there. We arrived some minutes later. I don’t remember exactly when. We had to help. Our colleagues were behind a container and three guys were throwing stones and two others had a pistol. During that time three others guys were loading an old car with the stuff they stole in the warehouse. The tallest man shot on our car with a Kalashnikov. The car was out of order. I guess that he shot in the radiator. With Juhanni we jumped out of the car, hidden behind the doors of the car and helped our colleagues. Two guys ran in a narrow street and the last one drove the car away. Juhanni followed them and I did the same. I was maybe thirty meters behind him. We climbed over a wall and continued to run in a yard. It was dark. I guess that it was the back yard of a company. There was a truck and several cars with a logo. I didn’t have time to look at it. Then the guys took different directions. I followed the man on the right. I ran after him in three different streets before to get him. I put on the handcuffs and I locked him to a barrier. I had no time for him. I had to help Juhanni. I ran back and I heard three detonations. I knew that he was in trouble. When I arrived he was on the ground and a car was running in his direction. I guessed that it was the old car with the stolen stuff. Juhanni’s magazine was empty. I had no choice. I was too far to rescue Juhanni. I had to shoot. I shot three times in the car before it stopped. I went to Juhanni and saw that he was injured in the leg. The bleeding was important. I called the ambulance and I compressed the wound. I couldn’t check how the driver was. When the medics were there I went to the car. The suspect was dead. He got a bullet in his neck. He was only sixteen,” Janne Happonen told.

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“Well I see. The mission was a success but again you did a lot of mistakes,” his supervisor told him in his office in the police station near the design museum the following morning. Janne didn’t sleep at all. He knew that he killed someone. He was a criminal but first he was a human being. “Why did you follow alone a suspect and didn’t follow the same with Juhanni?” “They were not armed. I thought that we could get them quite easily.” “Stop thinking! Your behaviour is dangerous. Can you imagine what would happen if another guy with a gun was waiting for you in a corner? You must always be with your teammate. No solo action. We are not in a movie,” the supervisor reminded. His face was reddish and he lighted a cigarette. He was the only one who was allowed to smoke in his office. The others had to go outside. “You are suspended until the end of the investigation. I want your report on my desk by Friday. And give me your H&K USP and your badge.” Janne obeyed. When the pistol and the badge were on the desk he got up and left the station.

He drove his car to Kaivopuisto and climbed the rocks. He sat at the top and looked at the Baltic Sea. It was windy like ever and the clouds were low. His dark hair was flying. Some seagulls were fighting for a piece of bread one stole on the terrace of a café. Few boats were travelling. The conditions were probably not good enough. A bus full of tourists was driving to the centre. Two young girls were walking with a dog which seemed to like to have his fur dancing in the wind. In front of him there were the islands of Suomenlinna. He didn’t remember when he went there for the last time. Probably years ago. At that moment he had the impression to be a bad policeman. Why did he do so many basic mistakes? He just wanted to arrest them but the result was that he let Juhanni alone with the criminals. His life was a mess. He was almost never at home, he was a bad policeman and he was living with too many secrets. He revealed the biggest to his wife some months ago but it was not enough. She just knew what was in the basement of Nina Olli’s house. Not all the details about the project. She also ignored that it was link with the accident of Tami Kiuru, the death of Harri, the revenge to the murderers of Jussi Hautamäki and the fact that Arttu Lappi didn’t allow anymore his daughter to do babysitting for them. He couldn’t wait for the day when he would be allowed to tell the truth.

Before to go home he decided to go to a bar. He needed a beer or more probably stronger alcohol. But suddenly he thought of his family and changed his mind. He went to the Happy Hangover bar in Kamppi. But when he entered he saw Arttu Lappi and he tried to walk back. He had no envy to talk with him. Unfortunately for him the owner saw him and welcomed with a wide smile. Havu had no other choice than to smile back and to order a drink. “I need something strong like vodka.” “Wow! A vodka so early in the day? I guessed that you had a bad day. Anyway. I will bring your energy back with my energy mix! You will love it,” Ahonen advertised. The policeman didn’t answer. He was suddenly tired and all this happiness made him even more tired. “You can join Arttu. I bring the drink at the table,” Janne said and Havu didn’t protest. He would have preferred to be alone at a table but apparently he had no choice.

“Hi Havu.” “Hi.” Arttu was looking at Janne who really didn’t want to be there. “Is everything alright?” the lawyer asked but the policeman stayed silent. He was looking at the people walking outside by the large window. “I’m waiting for my daughter. She is at her dance class. She really loves it. She has a lot of work because in three weeks she has a show. She is already stressing. But you can’t imagine how proud of her I am,” Arttu told but Janne was still looking outside. “Here is your bomb of energy!” Ahonen said, breaking the silence. He sat for a moment with his friend and kept an eye on the clients. When he saw that Havu was in his own world he touched his shoulder. “Hey man, come back with us.” “I’m sorry. I had a bad day. I was thinking. I...” “Drink and stop whining,” the owner recommended. After some sips Havu had to admit that the drink was tasty and he already felt less tired. “It’s the power of fruits,” Rane smiled. “I’m free for the next days. We can have dinner together.” Havu was surprised that these words came from his mouth. “This is an excellent idea. We haven’t met for a while. Veli-Matti didn’t seem to be motivated to organize the second ski jumper meeting,” Rane said. “Tell me when you want to have your dinner and I’ll do my best to have a free evening. Is it a friend meeting or can we come with our partners?” Arttu asked. “I haven’t yet thought about it. Maybe just us. I really need to be back to basics. I feel a bit lost at the moment,” Havu admitted and Rane put his hand on his shoulder to comfort. “What’s wrong my dear friend?” “Well... I’m suspended at work. I failed in a mission. And at home it’s... complicated,” Havu dared to tell. “When nothing is going right, the best is to talk to friends,” Janne reminded. When he was in trouble Havu forced him to talk. It was the best therapy. He hoped that his friend would also do it.

“Do you know that Anssi is performing at the Virgin Oil Thursday night?” Janne Ahonen asked. “Koivuranta? I haven’t heard of him for a while. Is he singer?” Arttu asked and Rane laughed. “He has his own rock band. Exit the Kroisos. I’ve been last spring to his first show. It was promising. I think that you should come with me.” Arttu took his phone and checked if there was room in his calendar. “I’m with Tiina on Thursday.” “Bring her to the show. I’m sure that she will love it,” Rane insisted. “You’re right. And it’s better than to watch a movie. I’m coming. And you?” the lawyer asked Havu who was silent. “I don’t know. I think that I need to sleep.” “Come on! You’ll sleep when you’ll be dead,” Rane replied and Havu smiled back but with irony. “Come with Maria. Remember how she liked the last show with the Kroisos. Now it’s much better,” Janne insisted again. “Okay. I’m coming.” “That’s so great!” And Rane hugged the other Janne.

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4. New challenge

July 8th

Arttu Lappi arrived quite early at the Virgin Oil. It was a club but also a restaurant and a bar situated on the Mannerheimintie near the old university and Stockmann. To eat at the restaurant for dinner, it was better to book a table a couple of days in advance, especially if a concert was scheduled in the evening. The lawyer was drinking red wine with his girlfriend Tiina. She was wearing a black dress and dark red lipstick. When she was a teenager she was Gothic but since she grew up she was quieter. She still loved rock and metal music but didn’t dare anymore to wear the clothes she had. She smiled imagining the face of Arttu if he saw her with a gothic dress, black nails and heavy make-up. Arttu at the opposite was wise. He was wearing a blue shirt perfectly ironed and a black trouser. He just needed his tie and he was ready to go to the court to defend the victims of crimes. In the bar there were already a lot of people waiting for the doors of the club to open. Most of the people were young adults or teenagers. But there were also older couples. Arttu liked the decoration of this place. It was like in the Western Spaghetti he was watching at TV when he was young.

Janne Ahonen arrived few minutes later with Leena. They looked happy to go out. It was not so often. Since they had the bars they had really few evenings for them. Janne was again in a rock’n’roll attitude and Arttu couldn’t stop smiling when he saw him. His hair were well brushed, he had his sunglasses in this hair, a white shirt which wasn’t close till the top and a jean with holes. Leena was wearing a skirt in jeans and a black t-shirt with a rose and some other complicated prints. “Hello! Nice to see you!” the lawyer greeted when they were closer. “Do you know each other?” Janne asked the girls. “We met briefly at the previous gig,” Leena reminded.

Behind a very strong man who looked more like a gorilla than a man opened the doors of the club. The teenagers almost ran to be the first in the room and choose the best places. “Where’s Havu?” Arttu asked. “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him. Wait I’ll call him outside,” Janne replied. When he was outside, he lighted a cigarette. Then he took his phone and called his friend. “What the hell are you doing? The concert will start soon... Where?... Okay, we are already going inside. See you soon.” When the cigarette was over he went back to his friends who were laughing together. “He will be late. He had some babysitting problems. We can already go inside,” Rane announced and they moved to the room.

They had to climb a couple of stairs before to arrive to the first floor. Many people were already there. Most of them were at the bar or sat at a table drinking beer or cider. The four friends did the same. In front of the stage some young girls with strange clothes and colourful or black hair were waiting for their idol. Arttu and Janne were smiling. They were happy to don’t be famous anymore. How many girls screamed their names to have a picture or an autograph? Or sometimes just a smile? They preferred to ignore the answer. The instruments were already on the stage but nobody was playing. Apparently there was no support act. Some music was played by a DJ and some rare people were dancing. The others preferred to keep their energy for the gig or to drink. Arttu noted once more that some people just came to get drunk. He hoped that they would not ruin the show. He knew how important it was for Anssi.

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Suddenly the lights went off. Some people were screaming, some others calling for Anssi. A ray of light was going throw the spectators on the balcony and on the first floor. Some shadows were walking on the stage. Arttu noted the drummer. Then he hit his instrument and the lights were on. The girls were screaming. The guy at the synthesizer was playing quite fast. His long hair was covering his face and touching the keyboard. The sound of a guitar joined. It was probably Anssi. But where was he? Finally he arrived on the left of the stage and singing. He had a black and white bandana in his light orange hair, a wide grey t-shirt, a jean full of holes and snickers. Arttu laughed when he noted that Anssi used some make-up to underline his eyes. “Hello Virgin Oil! How are you?” he greeted the audience who screamed. Tiina really liked his music. It was exactly what she liked. It was rock but he wasn’t screaming like many other singers and he was not whining too. The music was also not too hard. It was rock and not hard rock or metal. He chose exactly what he wanted to do.

After the forth song Arttu had to visit the bathroom. He swore. Why did he drink two glasses of beer? As expected there was a line. But it was not too long for the men. He was happy to don’t be a girl. When he was outside he had to zigzag between the spectators. He just avoided getting a full glass of beer on his shoes after he hit the arm of a girl. He apologized and continued his trip to find his friends. But suddenly on his right he saw Maria. He changed direction and went to her. When she noticed him he saw that Havu in a panic said something to a guy behind who quickly disappeared. He had the feeling that he knew that guy. Yeah of course... the hood on the head. “Hello Arttu,” Maria said as loud as she could. It wasn’t easy to hear something because the music was really loud. “Hi, we are on the left with Ahonen,” Arttu said in her ear and invited to follow him. Maria took the hand of Havu and they followed the lawyer in the crowd. The young girls at the front were really loud. Maybe one of them would fade. Two security guys were there to have an eye on them. A girl became totally hysterical when Anssi touched her hand. It was unbelievable.

Almost two hours later the show was over. It was a success. The girls were still there in front of the stage waiting for an autograph. But Anssi didn’t come back. When the music was off Arttu called the singer. “Hi, we are still here. Can we come to you or are you coming to us?... Okay. See you.” Arttu looked at his friends and said: “We can enter by the stage and said to the security that Anssi is waiting for us. He told him. We just have to be sure that the groupies are not following us.” “Where is Havu?” Ahonen asked when he noticed that he was missing. “He went to the car. He forgot his phone,” Maria answered. Arttu didn’t know why but he was quite sure that it was a lie. And why did he need his phone? Less than ten minutes later Janne was back. “Let’s go,” Arttu said.

The fans were looking strangely at the group. How did they dare to climb on the stage? The girls wanted to follow but a security guy stopped them. At the opposite the group was warmly welcome to enter in the backstage. They followed a young and skinny guy who could be a ski jumper in the corridor. He knocked at a door and said that the guests were there. The little group entered and saw that Anssi was sat on a sofa with a towel on his shoulders. He erased once more the sweat on his face and got up to welcome his friends. “You have been fantastic!” Ahonen exclaimed and Anssi smiled. He was happy that his friends appreciated the show. “You can’t know how happy I am. I really have now a good feeling with the audience. I can’t wait for the next gig. You are of course invited! I’ve some VIP pass for you. You can come to the whole tour if you want. Here are the dates,” he said while he gave the flyers and the cards to his friends and their girls. “Thank you so much! I’ll come as often as possible,” Arttu promised. “Take a sit and have a drink guys,” Anssi said while he sat on the sofa. He took some beers and ciders from the fridge. He also had Cola for the ones who didn’t want to drink alcohol because they were driving. “You seem to have well started your second career,” Havu noted. “Yes, apparently. We have recorded our first album which will be released next month. Then we go on tour. Yeah! I can’t wait. Have you seen that I’ll be at TV next week on MTV3?” he asked with enthusiasm. The others were a bit embarrassed. “I’ll send you an email with all the needed information. It will be awesome. And our producer likes our music,” he added with a wide smile.

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“May I try your guitar?” Arttu asked. He was interested in the instrument. “Yeah, sure,” Anssi answered while he caught it and gave it to his friend. Arttu hold it and touched the strings. “Let’s play a song together!” Anssi suggested. He got up and looked in his bag. He found his old Kroisos parts and took one he put on the table. The musician took another guitar and started to play. Arttu followed him and as expected Ahonen sang. He still knew the song by heart. Surprisingly Tiina joined him, reading the paper. Anssi couldn’t believe his ears. Her voice was wonderful! “Wait a minute. Are you a professional singer?” Anssi asked, interrupting the improvised show. “I was singing in a band few years ago. Nothing serious,” she modestly explained. “Your voice is amazing! You should replace Ville in the Kroisos. He can’t sing, drank or not,” Anssi proposed and both Janne laughed. It was cruel but it was the reality. Ville Kantee was a bad singer and ruined many shows of the Kroisos. “That’s a great idea! Let’s recreate the Kroisos!” Arttu exclaimed. “I don’t think that Ville will be happy to be kicked out of his band,” Ahonen replied. “Hum, you’re right. Let’s create a new band!” the lawyer exclaimed with his legendary enthusiasm. “Wait. It means that we have to create new songs. Who has talent for that?”Janne asked. “Not me unfortunately. Maybe Vellu? Or you, Havu?” “Me? Are you kidding? Do I need to remind you that I’m totally untalented in music?” Happonen reminded. “I can do it. I did it for my band,” Tiina proposed. “That’s fantastic!” Arttu said and kissed her. “Who are the members?” she asked. “Well, we have to ask the guys of the Kroisos if they want to join us. There is Veli-Matti Lindström, Olli Muotka and... you, Janne?” “You can’t count on me. I’m very often busy with my job or my family,” Ahonen answered. “Now that I’ve my own band I can’t join yours. I’m sorry. But I’ll come to your gigs,” Koivuranta promised. “Ville will hate you,” Havu said to Arttu. “I don’t care if he is not happy. I want to have fun with my friends and to play good music. He is welcome to play the bass but no more singing for him,” Arttu answered to the smallest Janne.

In the late night or early morning Wings of the Destiny was born. The band would be rock but also a bit metal. They just had to convince Olli Muotka, the drummer of the Kroisos and Veli-Matti Lindström the keyboard player to join the band. They decided to wait a bit before to announce to Ville that is band was dead. “I suggest having songs telling our story. We all have a complicated life and I’m quite sure that the topic will interest our public,” Arttu told. “I like it,” Anssi answered even if he knew that he would never performed with his friends. Or maybe just for a song. Janne Ahonen was thinking. He was really interested in the project but he was not sure if he could really spend time with the band. “Can I be a part-time member?” he finally asked. Arttu smiled. He was sure that he was interested. “Sure you can. It’s just for fun. If we need two years to create three songs we’ll do it. No hurry. It’s not like for Anssi,” the lawyer explained. “Sounds great. So, I join.” “Welcome!” Arttu greeted.

The next day Arttu called Olli Muotka. He was still the coach assistant of the Finnish ski jumping team. He was in a training camp in Germany and didn’t expect to get a phone call of his old friend. After the explanation there was a long silence. He was thinking. “But what is the opinion of Ville?” “Well... to be honest... he doesn’t know about it,” Arttu admitted. “But remember what he did during almost all the concerts. He ruined the efforts of the whole band just because he was late or worse: drunk. It’s why we decided to create a new band without him. We can have fun and still have great gigs. Are you in?” he hoped that he convinced him because he needed a drummer. “If everybody leaves the Kroisos than yes I join.” “That’s fantastic! Welcome on board!” Arttu replied with his enthusiasm. After this call, it was the turn of Veli-Matti. He didn’t expect that his friend would accept so easily. He thanked him and said that he would contact him when they would meet for the first time and talk about the project.

Few minutes later he got an unexpected call. “What the Hell are you doing? Who give you the permission to steal my musicians? Come to my place immediately! I will beat you up! Bastard!” These lovely words came from the mouth of the leader of the Kroisos. He was definitively not happy to hear about the new project. “Calm down Ville. It’s not that dramatic,” the lawyer tempered but it was without effect on the excited man. “You can’t fire me from my own band!” “You are not fired. It’s just that your employees if I may call them that way decided to change company. They were interested in the new challenge.” “Stop talking like a lawyer! You can’t do that! If you want a fight, you will have it. At the court!” Ville threatened. Arttu never expected that his friend would be so angry. “Ville, we talked together and we concluded that we can’t trust you. Are you sober now?” This last sentence made Ville even angrier. Arttu was happy to don’t be physically in front of him. He tried for almost twenty minutes to find a solution to the crisis. But it was impossible to talk with him. He was stubborn. Finally he accepted the truth: the Kroisos was dead and he was not invited to join the new band. “Don’t count on me to come to your gigs. Go to Hell Arttu!” And it was the end of the conversation.

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5. Only for men, only for women

July 10th

Janne Happonen promised to invite his friends for dinner while he was suspended. It was a nice idea and everybody said that he would come. It was a man evening and no woman or kid was accepted. In the middle of the afternoon Maria was ready to leave the house with Ana in her arms. “Have fun with your friends. See you tomorrow.” “Are you not cooking for us?” Janne asked a bit surprised. “But you said that it was only for you guys. And I think that it’s a great idea. It’s why I’m leaving. Have fun in the kitchen.” “But... you can’t leave me alone! I don’t know what to cook,” he admitted. But Maria didn’t accept to cook for the guys. And she knew that Havu was able to cook. He was just used that she did it. That evening it was his turn. “If you are really lost there are some frozen pizzas in the freezer,” she reminded before to leave with a big smile on her face.

Havu was in a panic. He was alone in the house and nothing was ready. He went to the kitchen and opened the fridge. What could he cook and be sure to don’t fail? He looked at the clock. It was already five o’clock. His guests would come in about an hour and the dinner had to be ready in two hours. He took his phone and called a friend. “Rane, I’m in trouble. I don’t know how and what to cook for six people. Can you help me?... Oh thanks a lot. You are the best,” he said before to hang up. He went in the living room and set the table. When it was done he warmed the sauna.

His former roommate arrived half an hour later and went directly to the kitchen. “You shopped! Thanks. You are the best,” the host exclaimed. “You know that you can always count on me. I still have debts to you. You helped me a lot in the past but we are also friends. I’ll do it also for Vellu or Arttu for example,” Rane said while he was cutting the onions. He was really fast in that task and he was not crying. Havu didn’t know how he did it. He was at only two meters and he could feel that the tears were coming. “Can I help you?” Havu asked. “No, thanks. You can check if you have enough drinks in the fridge. I don’t know why but I think that we’ll get drunk,” Rane guessed.

Few minutes later Veli-Matti Lindström rang at the door with a bottle of wine in the hand. “I couldn’t be late. I just have to cross the street,” he said with a smile. “And you are the first one. Well, second one. Rane is already there. He helps me to cook,” Havu explained. “He helps? I’ve the feeling that he is cooking for you,” Vellu laughed and the friends hugged. Anssi Koivuranta arrived with his car and said hello by the window. He parked a bit further in the street under a tree. “Hey my two old friends!” he said to Vellu and Havu when he arrived near the door. “Nice to see you,” Havu welcomed. “You have invited a big star! I think that all the girls in the neighbourhood are jealous,” Vellu told with a smile. “I’m not that famous.” “Not yet,” Lindström added.

Olli Muotka arrived a bit later. He said that there was a bit of traffic jam in Vantaa. He was coming from Lahti and Havu accepted his explanation. He was coming from far away. “I didn’t bring any bottle of wine because I thought that you had enough and that the others will give you more. It’s why I give you that,” Olli said while he gave a box to Janne who was curious. “Should I open it?” “No, keep it for Christmas 2154. Yes, of course! Open it,” Olli replied. Havu took a knife and opened the box but when he looked inside he couldn’t believe it. “Why did you give me that? You know that I’m bad...” “I thought that you can train and be better. First training session is tonight!” Olli exclaimed and Havu complained. It was a karaoke DVD with a microphone. He was bad at singing and everybody knew it. Why was his friend so cruel with him? He hoped that they would be all drunk when it would be his turn to sing they wouldn’t remember his performance. “You don’t sing that badly. I remember went you sang under the shower in Pasila,” Ahonen lied with a smile on the face.

As expected Arttu Lappi was the last one. It was a bit darker and he couldn’t find the house. He said that they all the houses looked the same. He had to call Havu two times. “I suggest that for Christmas we offer you a GPS for your car,” Havu said when the lawyer was in the living room. “I’m not that bad in geography. I just missed the street. There was no light. It was not my fault.” Nobody replied. It was the midnight sun and it was never totally dark. They knew that it was Arttu. A good guy but bad in geography. It was his default. Otherwise he was perfect for most of the people: talented, hard worker, good looking, nice and clever. While they were waiting for the food they were drinking some white wine or beer.

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When it was time for dinner Janne brought the makaronilaatikko on the table. It was a Finnish pasta gratin with minced meet. “Havu you are lucky that Mama Janne is there to cook,” Anssi laughed and the others did the same. “Well, I’ve a good excuse. I thought that my wife would cook and I didn’t care about the food. And suddenly this afternoon she left the house! I was in a panic and I called Janne who kindly accepted to help me,” the host explained. “How is the new band going?” Veli-Matti asked Arttu. “Quite well. My girlfriend has been quite busy but she told me that the first song should be ready by the end of the week. We can meet on Saturday at my place,” he proposed. “Have you all joined the band?” Havu asked. “Yes, except Anssi,” Arttu answered. “Have you heard about Ville?” Vellu wondered. “Well... he was not really happy about the new project. I will not repeat what he said but I guess that you can imagine,” Arttu told before to drink a sip of red wine which was delicious.

“I haven’t seen Tami since ages. Doesn’t anyone know if he is still alive?” Veli-Matti asked. Havu was embarrassed and was looking at his plate. He lost Tami as a friend some years ago because of Nina and he knew who entered in his flat and attacked. He had no recent news but every time he heard his name he felt uncomfortable. “I’ve seen him last week,” Arttu said and the others looked at him, interested. “He is still living in Vuosaari but he’s not working at the moment. He lost his voice in the accident and he is still now under shock. The attack has been violent. But if you want to visit I’m sure that he will be happy to see you,” he invited and the others nodded. “Did you invite him for this party?” Vellu asked Havu who was then really embarrassed. “Yes, but he didn’t answer,” he lied.

“You won’t believe it but I miss Harri,” Ahonen said and the others laughed. “It’s true. He was funny. In every meeting he was saying or doing something funny. Anyway. I think that it’s good to have these meetings after all the dramas we lived. Thanks Havu for the evening,” his former roommate said and he smiled. “Why didn’t you invite Ville?” Vellu asked. “I did. But he said that... well I think that he still didn’t accept that his band is dead. Maybe he’ll come next time,” Havu replied. “We should not fight between us. We should really be like a family. Also in families there are quarrels but we are still together. Let’s promise to be always here for our friends, our brothers,” Anssi said while he put his hand in the middle of the table. The others did the same. “We are a family, forever,” he added.

In the kitchen Janne Ahonen was preparing the dessert plates. He paid attention to the presentation. When he was satisfied he brought the two first plates to the table. “Wow, looks good. What is it?” Anssi asked, curious about the dessert. “It’s the Flying Friends dessert. A caramel flan with vanilla ice cream and grilled almonds,” he explained. The friends ate the dessert in silence. Janne was happy. It meant that it was a success. “Maybe next time you can replace the vanilla ice cream with rum and raisin ice cream. I’m sure that it will be better,” Olli suggested. “No! Don’t touch this dessert. You can add something but not remove. This dessert is special. It’s the Flying Friends dessert. Not flan and ice cream,” Havu replied immediately. “It was just an idea to make it even better. But I like this version as well,” the coach assistant justified. “Rane made the flan. I added the grilled almonds and Matti the vanilla ice cream. To remove the vanilla ice cream is like to ban Matti of our group,” Janne justified. “I don’t think that he’ll be angry.” After this sentence, Havu’s face became reddish. How did he dare? But Veli-Matti calmed down his neighbour. “Let’s enjoy the dessert. Thanks Rane for making it. I’d like to have your flan recipe.” “Thanks but I’m sorry. It’s my recipe and I don’t share it. It’s a family treasure,” Ahonen told. Olli and Havu finished their plate in silence.

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On the other side of the road in the red house of the family Lindström there was another friends meeting. After a delicious salmon meal the women were in the living room playing poker. “I’m sure that my living room and my kitchen are a mess,” Maria Happonen said worried. “Trust Janne. Maybe he will clean when his friends will leave,” Katrina replied. “Havu? Cleaning? Are you kidding? He will be drunk and he will go directly to bed,” the black hair lady answered. “Are you still working for Janne at the bar?” Tiia asked Maria. “Yes, but not as often as before. I just work a couple of hours. Suvi is not doing babysitting for me anymore and Havu doesn’t want to pay for another one.” “What? Havu is miserly? I thought that he was generous. And what happened with Suvi? Was she working badly?” Nina asked a bit surprised. She thought that everything was going well in the green house. She knew Havu quite well and she never thought that he could be miserly. “I don’t know what happened but I think that Janne and Arttu had a quarrel. And since Arttu doesn’t allow anymore his daughter to come to my house,” Maria explained. “I also noted when I’m at the bar of Janne that Havu and Arttu seemed to be... enemies. Something is really wrong between them,” Tiia noted. “Maybe after ten beers they will be friends again,” Katrina said while she was imagining the party in the other house.

“Are you still interested in Rane?” Tiia asked Maria who put her poker cards on the table. “What? We are friends. I’m not interested in him like you. I know that he is married and he is happy. Why would I destroy his happiness? I’m not like you!” Maria answered really upset. “Calm down girls. Everything is okay,” Katrina tried to calm everybody. “Why don’t you seduce Anssi? He is single and soon he’ll be a super star,” Nina told to Tiia. “He is too young for me and he is not my kind of man. Rane is my husband I’ll get him back a day or another.” “Tiia, he is not yours anymore. Why did you divorce if he was the right one for you?” Nina asked. “At that time he was... different. He was not behaving right,” she explained. “You know, when you marry someone it’s for the best and the worst. It means that you only like the best,” Nina concluded. “No! You don’t know how many years I spent with a Janne that was not anymore the one I loved. He was cheating, violent and an alcoholic. I had no choice. It was the divorce and to be safe or to stay with him and to take the risk to die. Luckily he changed. He understood that he was behaving badly. And now I want him back,” Tiia told with a bit of exaggeration, determined. “He is not a toy and now he is happy with Leena. Why should he let her down for you?” Maria asked. “Because I know him! We lived together almost half of our life. This teenager is just a toy. He will get bored someday or she will meet the bad Janne. I’m sure about it,” she confessed. Nina was laughing for herself. Tiia was really selfish. She was only interested in herself and couldn’t accept that someone was happier than her. Or maybe she just wanted to be with a rich man. But was he really rich or was it the illusion of a blond desperate lonely woman?

“And you, are you dating someone?” Katrina asked Nina. “No, I’m not. I’m busy at work and I’ve no time to seduce a young guy. The guys of my age are all married or divorced with two or three children. I think that I will stay single until the end of my life.” “Don’t say that. Maybe one day you’ll find the right one. A not too young but beautiful and clever man, perfect for you,” Katrina said and Nina laughed. “But look at me. Do you really think that a young and attractive guy will pay attention to me? I give up.” “Come with me next time to the beauty institute and then the hair dresser and a huge shopping session. Trust me. In only one afternoon you will look totally different and the men will look at you like they did many years ago,” Tiia promised to the scientist who was under skilled in that area.

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