Part 1. Oshima Yuko
I do not even remember how I tossed all most important and needed things to my suitcase with one hand and stopped taxi with another. I do not remember if I left the refrigerator open or the lights turned on, if I locked the doors or what was the discussion with my boss about. I found myself only at the airport, holding my head up, looking at the timetable…
I want to get away from here. The further, the better. I want some sun, warmth and freedom. I have to fly like, right now, and I do not even think about this – otherwise my mind will return to its ‘ON’ state. Maybe it is a good thing usually, but not today, and really not in this case. I know I should not let all the emotions boil inside me and I should think calmly about all the pros and cons. And I know big clever girls do not act like this. To hell! I am no way near big nor clever. I just want at least a bit of tranquility, and then I will think about what to do. The nearest flight to Copenhagen. From there someone will definitely take me South. There, where I can spend some quality time for at least a week, only me, myself and I, and breath some sea air. Thanks to my grandmother Erena, who before leaving this world took care of my financial problems, I now use huge amounts of money if anything happens. Yeah, something did happen.About what happened… Either my nerves went berserk and I have to go to rehab, or I understand nothing about love and lovers’ laws, dos and don’ts. When that person – his name is Riku – showed up in my life, I had already been through hot and cold many times. Pink glasses were not my companion anymore, and I knew the prince on the white horse will never come. Life in Tokyo was getting boring and I decided to travel somewhere else. That’s how I came to live here, in Tallinn. I still do not speak Estonian, just English, but I really like living here. The people here are not bad, and the country’s economy is pretty stable. I got used to different time zone, food, views and beliefs. I learned about the neighboring countries like Finland, Russia, Latvia, and some further ones, like Norway, Belarus, Lithuania.. Yeah, about some I never heard, or heard vaguely, so did not remember. Now I can tell lots of things about them. I even found some friends here, a few of them are from Japan too.
Being a twenty four year-old woman I already have seen so many things in my life your average thirty year-old would never ever see. Talking about personal life and men… Peacock’s tail is colorful, but men are more varied than anything. One appears a good man at handling handcrafts, a useful helper at home, but a total bore. Another can be fun, handsome, and entertaining, but might run after every skirt he sees. I got lucky I was born in a cool company of cool people, who always taught me to live a life in such a way that would make me happy, not others. And even after my parents divorced, I still loved them both, and I do now, the same way I did before, knowing they live the life how they want, without any withholds or regrets, living by that simple rule. So not even my grandma or any of the aunts were surprised that I do not hurry to marry and have kids. So I had all the luxury to live like and how I want, and wait for that someone special.
I knew I will understand it is him at the first sight. That is a thing every woman can feel. The feeling that you have met your man might come from the smallest detail, such as a nail shape, haircut, one phrase or word. But usually it is glances and the smell. In the office there was a stench of alcohol, iodine, calx, and god only knows what else, but it just could not drown the clean, ironed shirt smell that I could smell on a doctor, who was thoroughly bandaging my leg. That smell was doing a better job than the medicine. As were his encouraging gaze and soft hands. I traitorously blushed, thinking about what those hands could do, apart from restraining patient’s legs with casts.
Anyway, I was snowboarding with my friends Atsuko and Sae in the mountains, when one careless moment brought me to the condition I was in then – I sprained my ankle ligaments, and it took away from me ability to run for some time, but it also gave me this fateful meeting with Riku. Some time later, when we got close, he admitted he instantly understood what he was looking for all his life.
“Was it that minute when I limped into your office?” interrogated I, craving to hear that confession many times.
“Nope, while you were still sitting behind the doors.” let me enjoy the moment Riku. “I just felt that one moment and something important is going to happen…”
Jesus Mary, how we fell in love with each other! Meeting Riku surpassed all my expectations: with him I felt cozy, loved, and safe. He was a man which I was proud of and wanted to match him. But then I could not even imagine what will happen two years later, that I will rush about the airports with depraved nerves.
Two hours later Copenhagen hospitably embraced and even more hospitably sent me off to Hurghada. I felt way better. Not only because of me sitting side by side with a nice looking guy (later I found out his name was Kai, and then I thought he’s totally Acchan’s type), drinking fresh cooling juice, and was looking at the receding land illuminated by the evening sun. I felt really cool. Brave, courageous. Like before. Love is cunning; she gives many good things, but also takes away the opportunity of being yourself. This lesson of life I had yet to learn of.
…To tell the truth, I did not plan to live with Riku, as I love romantic dates, and also, it was comfortable to him – he was married, after all, and had a son. I really wanted to believe that I did not break his family apart, because Riku was asseverating that nothing connected him to his wife anymore, that they had no closeness between them. But for his wife it looked differently. One weekend we decided to go snowboarding to Switzerland, but then we changed plans and traveled to Liepāja in Latvia. And there, in the middle of the street – like in the most banal movie ever – we met face to face with a group of three laughing women. One of them was Riku’s wife. She didn’t say a word, just burnt as with her bewildered look. All nervous, Riku hurried me to get into the car, and then we sped home. It was an awful journey. And the goodbye was the worst – an awkward silence, followed by a prompt kiss, his eyes full of fear; in my eyes there was only disappointment…
I really did not have an opportunity or time to think about all this situation, when suddenly on my doorstep appeared Riku.
“Do you really need this?” I asked.
“I can’t stay there…” his voice was sorrowful.
“Then stay here.” I gave up.
Riku’s all high and mighty, he did not want to be tossed away by his wife, that is why he preempted his wife’s actions. I cannot say I was saddened by this. It felt good to wake up together, drink coffee in bed after love making. It felt good to separate our ways while going to work, then meet up after. Even shopping together was sweet. But there was one small little tiny…okay, pretty average problem – our life was embittered by Riku’s wife. She was calling us for every small thing – their twelve year old son Oscar needed new shoes (at twelve o’clock at night!), it was a must to attend parents’ meeting at his school (a reminder everyday, when still one month left), the woman never hesitated in asking Riku to come home and bring something from the basement (as she has never, even once, been there and has no idea which keys do fit..). She was asking Riku for such absurd things… Sometimes it felt like he was living with two wifes, taking care of two families. And Riku really tried to be a good man for the both of us. He knew how to neutralize my anger while it was still at the very beginning – he just needed to make a right joke, hug me cozily, or suggest some evening action all of a sudden.
But one day everything changed. After going through irritable and consumptive divorce Riku’s wife Lisette stated she is radically changing life. It was time for her to blossom! To show the world, that such a small thing as divorce is not going to ruin her life! And maybe she will even make that scoundrel ex to regret everything! I did not fret any attacks from that missy, I got used to them. But after she sold her part of the apartment – Riku left his part to their son – and left to USA, I began to worry. Because she decided to travel alone. Oscar was supposed to stay at our place for a month, but that month turned into two, those two – into half a year… Riku’s wife was happy to inform us from time to time that everything is perfect, that she earns lots of money, and that she’s probably going to stay and live in USA. She is going to take Oscar with her whenever there is a possibility, or that was what she said. The child of course was angry at the whole world. I did not even try to serve as his mother, what I tried was to befriend him, but everything was in vain.
Little, angry, aggressive, hedgehog night and day was showing his thorns. He won’t do the dishes, vacuum the carpet, and definitely won’t lessen the volume of stereo sound system. He will sit at computer how much he likes, and go to school whenever he wants. Just give him his freedom, money, new cellphone – or even better, iPod or iPhone – and please do not preoccupy him. It has driven me crazy! Riku was also disturbing; instead of discussing the matter with his son and explaining his wrong doings, Riku was satisfying all Oscar’s needs and fulfilling all of his wishes.
“This is my child. So let me decide what’s best for him.” that was how he cut off all of my critiques.
So maybe you both should leave my place, and then live your life where and how you want? That was what I wanted to say, but I could not find the courage.
The hot Egypt’s sun took all my strength, but I feel happy like never before. I found a cozy hotel with a view to the Red Sea, and a nice and very talkative Arab, who promised to teach me diving. For this evening I have a basket full of delicious fruits, thoughtfully placed bottle of old good wine, and the so awaited solitude. It is so strange… Just this morning I was skidding the wet from rain Tallinn’s streets, and now I am lying in the huge king size bed, and my body is caressed by the light wind which got in through the opened balcony doors…
…Later it got worse. Oscar’s aggression raised my aggression. I started talking his language. Swearing, talking back roughly, shouting – this was the side of me I had never known of having. Everything and everyone was getting on my nerves, even Riku. Just then I noticed what huge ears he has, how high pitched his voice is, what abnormally long legs he has, and what an air-head he actually is. But what was the most disturbing thing… Riku was too messy. As he is the doctor, I expected him to be tidier and neat. And yet I always had to go after him and clean up the mess he left. I picked up the wet used towels, dirty socks, clothes scattered here and there. I cleaned the floor after he took a shower, the dishes after he ate and left them in the living room… I could go on and on. He even was keeping empty or half full bottles (some of them were ten years old!!!) under our bed! My anger was reaching its maximum level. Oscar did not stop terrorizing us, we could not even reach a compromise in either good or bad ways. One day a bunny appeared at our home. Oscar named it Buggy. That animal was silly and too energetic, but very cute. Everything was fine the first two days. But then Oscar got bored of his ‘toy’ and tossed the bunny’s care to us.
Even though the bunny was cute, he was making such noisy sounds at nights and eating so much, that our lives went into the period of hecticness and sleepless nights… After we got used to this noisy member of our family, another one appeared, even more silly, just, for my happiness, visiting only from time to time. It was Oscar’s grandmother, Riku’s mother Nana. Can you prohibit the old woman from visiting her one and only son and grandson? Of course not. Usually she was visiting without any notice. After sitting down at the dinner table she every time cleaned imaginary crumbs from the surface, talking in a very nasal, nearly nausea bringing voice. And her question was always the same: “When is the wedding, children?” One could have gone mad in my place. And once she left, me and Riku fell to bed totally exhausted, without any strength left. A vampire, no other way to describe her. And then came the day, when the last drop of my patience disappeared. The bunny scrapped all the important documents, Oscar crashed a very beautiful and precious to me vase while playing with a ball (yet I asked him millions of times to not play with a ball inside). And Riku’s mom not only asked when is the wedding… She also suggested where I can rent the dress.
I tried to calm down by hugging Riku tightly, but he was at the highest peek of his air-headiness, murmuring something about how tired he is, and he did not even had the chance to play the new game on his PSP. That is why this morning I jumped out of bed and first thing what I did was creating a password for Oscar’s computer (he should play outside with friends or read books), then I gave bunny to the neighbor’s daughter (at least she is going to take care and love it), cleaned the whole flat perfectly, leaving the cleanliness Riku hates so much, and then jumped into taxi.
That is why I am here, where there are no worries and lots of sun. And I even know what I’m going to do further on! I am going to stay here as long as I want. Month, two, or even the whole year. I will be teaching the tourists swimming and diving, taking them to excursions. I am going to learn Arabian, then find some friends. I love changes. And Riku won’t get into trouble without me. And if he does, that means it had to be that way.
END OF PART 1.