TH03 - To Steal Her Love

Free TH03 - To Steal Her Love by Matti Joensuu

Book: TH03 - To Steal Her Love by Matti Joensuu Read Free Book Online
Authors: Matti Joensuu
Tags: Mystery, Police, Nordic crime
themselves. She took pity on other people all too easily.
    The whole boyfriend question was a problematic one because, without knowing it, the therapist had been right. She couldn’t simply go to a nightclub and come home with a man. Of course, she could , she had done so in the past, but it never gave her the satisfaction she imagined. She was always revolted afterwards; revolted that snoring beside her lay someone for whom she felt nothing at all, and who in the morning avoided eye contact, who glanced at his watch and who said ‘see you around’, then left, and who beneath his utter meaninglessness was happy at having simply added another notch to his bedpost.
    Besides, she didn’t want to repeatedly endanger her health, not to mention her life. This had made her realise something almost amusing: men were afraid of condoms, and she had worked out why. Condoms and AIDS appeared side by side in posters and in virtually every well-meaning public health campaign. They were inextricably linked to one another, to the extent that producing a condom had become a hint: I don’t trust you, you might be infected. Or the other way round: beware of me, my love might be deadly. There couldn’t be many men who would still want her after that.
    The lift jolted into motion, its sound clearly audible inside the flat, and Wheatlocks gave a start. She put down her glass and listened, following the hum and the clunking of the cogs, but it went past and came to a stop on the sixth floor. She found herself thinking that anyone could walk one floor down, and suddenly she didn’t want to take a shower after all. She stood there thinking, her head slightly to one side. Maybe it was because you had to walk through the hallway to get there. She hadn’t switched the hall lights on, and in the darkness the clothes hanging on the coat rack were like men waiting with their shoulders hunched.
    I will go to the shower, she told herself and started moving, and as she walked she stared fixedly down at her toes and her red lacquered toenails flashed against the white birch parquet like berries escaped from a basket. But at the edge of the hallway she stopped; she had to. She continued to stare at her toes, but now she was thinking of the chain on the front door and whether she had remembered to secure it. She raised her eyes; the clothes men were still there, but now they seemed almost tame, and the door chain gleamed in the darkness – and of course it was locked.
    She slipped into the bathroom, flicked on the lights, took off her dressing gown and began busily washing her face. She didn’t enjoy it the way she used to; she couldn’t concentrate on the sensation of the water gently brushing against her skin or the soft fragrance of the lather. Instead she scrubbed her cheeks with hard, abrupt fingers and thought about what her sister-in-law had said and whether Simo really did see her somehow. Then the other possibility rose up in her mind.
    What if someone really did visit her at night? As horrific as it would be, it would almost be something of a relief. She’d thought about this many times and she knew it was impossible; she’d changed the locks straight after moving in, not even the caretaker had her key, and many mornings she’d checked the chain and it was always locked. And when she’d asked her brother Marko whether she ought to go to the police, he’d remarked: ‘They get all kinds of lunatics visiting them. You want them to start looking for an invisible man? Get a security lock, then you can forget about it.’ And she’d thought about it, but buying a security lock would have been an admission that she wasn’t all there. And what if the visits still continued?
    She tried not to think of locks and chains and listened instead to the rush of the water, then all of a sudden her mind was filled with images from Psycho , the scene where the woman is standing in the shower; thehand carrying a knife rises up and the water turns red. She

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