Chapter 21A – Anniversary

I’ve admitted it, there you go.

It’s very hard to please me with good gifts because what I want is actually the hard stuff: I want you to really care and to show that both in words and action.

 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017.

 

Day – Does it Matter? Love stops time.

 

It’s our one-year anniversary and he’s promised to call a little later.

Anna is looking out the window of the cottage she adores so much. The sun appeared from behind the heavy clouds just now, as if to celebrate their special occasion. Its rays are resting over the cleanest of snows. And when you live in Finland, you value each second of sunshine, isn’t it so?

 

Some friends were here with Anna over the weekend, but had to go back to work in Helsinki. For Annita, this is Spring break from school, 9 days off for ‘hiihtoloma’.

Since Mr. Boyfriend and I can’t be together today, that’s how I’ve planned it: I want to be alone!

Alone. To feel. To reflect. She needs to reminisce, in order to continue writing this book she’s recently begun.

 


 

Omar and Anna chatted on Messenger earlier. He’s been reviewing her first drafts and has some constructive criticism.

“Anna, there in Chapter 2 where you say you like practical gifts. I’m not quite buying it. Nobody’s that pragmatic. Come on!

“Gifts make one feel seen… It’s about feeling valued and important to others at the end of the day. But OK, the socks are nice. Romantic.

“Amiga, why don’t you take advantage of the fact that you’re anonymous? Be fully honest with yourself, tell the reader everything. You’re an Alias, it’s a diary. It’s safe to pour your heart out. And we’re curious.” 🙂

 

The next few days are going to be her first holidays alone.

Ever.

Anna had been afraid to be here like this, in such secluded surroundings. The pitch-black darkness of night. Well, she’s been locking all doors, even though you don’t really need to do that in the middle of the forest in this country.

Mostly, she had been afraid of feeling lonely out here without him – every corner of the place bursting with memories.

So far so good.

Always face your fears! Don’t run away from them. And… solitude and loneliness are different things!

This is solitude.

And what a wondrous place this is.


 

Back to work then, Chapter 2, where did it end?

Ah, here it is… Eggs, Light Coke, Diesel, Lindt. She is reading over her Ray Ban glasses.

Socks. Yes!! Socks… Someday I’ll share my life closely with somebody again (but it will have to be someone as special as me), and we’ll give each other good socks for every birthday and every Christmas. One pair each. And sometimes on a normal day too, just to be romantic. ❤️‍😍”

I’m changing the verb tense. There. This sounds better: “And we’re wearing them all.”

 


 

I like that part, it’s sincere, hopeful, simple and romantic – like me. Hope Mr. Boyfriend takes the hint. Haha.

 

OK Anna, challenge of the day: be honest with yourself. Think of this whole situation. The whole mess. Dreams, frustrations, the longing. Everything you and he shared in a year.

She leans back on the couch and is suddenly in far-away-heartland. For a loooong time. When she comes back to here and now, Anna is ready to type away…

 

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 428 – but love does stop time!

 

 

Chapter 16 – Changing Her Criteria

This blog is a book. Maybe better read from the beginning? 🙂

 

Monday, 25 January 2016.

 

Day 36

 

The Citymarket in Ruoholahti is buzzing with special offers, so Anna cycles there after school to get some extra groceries for the teens who’ve come back yesterday night to spend a week with her.

Joey has a Coca-Cola fridge from Verkkokauppa next to his bed, and she likes to please him by filling it with healthy snacks and some other goodies. God, teenage boys eat so much – there’s no end to the expense!

She hangs the grocery bags on her bike and decides to walk home. On the way, she stops to take a quick look at her Tinder app.

How is it possible that all the men near me are finito?

Wait a minute. There are guys to be swiped once more! How does this work? Have they just joined the app??

Now that Anna knows she risks running out of potential matches again, she decides to look at their whole profile and all their pics slowly and carefully.

This guy? Hmm. Still no.

This other? OK, yes.

No.

No.

Ha, what about this one?

Hey, English name! And he doesn’t have Finnish features. Long, manly nose. 

Anna smiles, thinking of how her South American dad always says that men should have long, manly noses. Dad’s so funny – but maybe he’s right.

Why do guys post pictures such as this? A straw hat, sunglasses?? I can’t see his eyes, his hair nor his teeth (he’s sipping a drink with a friend in a summer destination). Aww. His friend is cute. Nice expression.

I’ve never swiped yes to a guy with sunglasses, and he has no profile text either. Hmmm. Hate that. But let me take a look at his other pictures. His name is in English, after all.

Oh-la-la! How elegant!!! Christian (43) is wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. Perfect posture, as he walks toward the photographer with long strides. Wow.

Convinced, Anna swipes yes and immediately gets the happy Tinder popup screen – “Congrats, you’re a match!”

And then, “Sorry, there’s no one else near you.”

Again!

I’d better value the matches I have, haha…

 

She texts Christian a hi and he replies immediately. Cool, a short chat before I get home.

He has joined Tinder literally five minutes ago and she’s the first person he swiped and thus also his first match.

Really? That’s interesting.

Christian lives in Germany, but he’s in Finland on a business trip. Yes, he’s an Englishman. He might be moving to Helsinki to work as one of the CEOs of a start-up, but for now, he’ll be flying here for work on a monthly basis. Would she meet him next time?

Oh, when are you coming again?

In a month?!! Oh, it’s definitely a no-go, then. After all, I’ve decided not to chat for weeks and weeks before meeting in person.

Remember Tino, Anna? Don’t waste your time… The new system is working fine. Chat for two-three days and meet up.

 

No, please. I promise I’ll be back in four weeks. Three! I love it here! Beautiful Finland. In fact, I’m on a train to Lapland. Nearing Oulu now… Have you ever been here?

Oulu!! That’s where I’ve lived the longest in my life.

 

Anna has moved 33 times. She’s lived in five countries and twenty cities. Seven years in Oulu! She feels emotional for a second.

She tells him about that and he asks her for her phone number. Please.

She thinks, OK. He’s being polite and showing so much interest. Asking things, interacting. Finnish guys rarely ask me anything, and sometimes the chats are soooo devagar quase parando…

At least this match is making an effort.

She tells him her teens are waiting for her at home and she’ll be busy in the next few hours. But yes, maybe they could chat on WhatsApp later.

If he really messages me. Let’s see…!

© 2017 rf

Obs. All names have been changed, and chat messages were published with the match’s kind permission.

 

 

Obs. Day 36 since moving out.