The police want to talk to me again.
I don’t understand what else I’m supposed to be able to tell them. I wasn’t even there when she wandered off, I was asleep. Anders came into the kitchen last night when I was googling to try to find a lawyer and asked what the hell I was doing. When I told him, he said, “why do you need a lawyer, are you guilty?” I didn’t react because I know he’s just lashing out right now, so calmly said that’s irrelevant to wanting to protect myself legally. He insisted that getting a lawyer in Sweden makes me look guilty and the police only want to know what happened, they’re not trying to “fuck people over like in America.” I didn’t say anything.
It wasn’t until Tove got me coffee and I’d convinced them I was okay that they seemed to hear me saying, “where’s Hanna?”
I know that this next thing I am going to say makes me a horrible person, but it’s the truth and the only way I can get through this account is to write everything exactly as I remember it. I wanted to know where she was so I could see for myself she hadn’t been with Anders while I was asleep. I don’t even know why that was in my head. I just kept picturing her hiding in the bathroom in her underwear or strolling into the kitchen wearing nothing but his sweater.
Tove went to look in the bathroom, and then the bedrooms, and then it finally dawned on them that she actually wasn’t there and it was like flipping a switch: they were instantly on high alert. I suggested she had gone outside for a breath of air to sober up a bit or something, and Tove dashed right to the door. I ran after her, and was like, “relax, she’s fine, she’s probably puking in the woods or something.” But Tove looked really scared and said, “Hanna does stupid shit.”
She wasn’t in the yard, or the woods around the cottage, or the jetty. We all sobered up really fast and Daniel got some flashlights and we split up. I kept seeing little dots of light through the trees a few yards away and I’d hear one of them yelling, “Hanna, Hanna!” And – I didn’t know what to think. I mean, okay, she wasn’t there and it was weird, but she’s a grown woman missing for an hour or two at most, why were they freaking out? Or were they just looking at her and it felt to me like freaking out because I can’t read them? Maybe I was still a little spacey.
The search seemed to drag on for hours and hours. I started to see the first shards of dawn through the trees, though it was still shadowy and I kept tripping over undergrowth. I was tired and I might as well admit irritated with Hanna who I was sure had snuck off to hook up with the farmer next door or something.
I forgot about the farmer. When the three of us went for a walk in the woods so I could avoid Anders the bear with a sore head, we saw him, leading a bunch of cows into a barn to be milked, I guess. It was something out of a butter commercial, with the sun going down, and his wild straw hair and muddy workboots and I was laughing, “oh come on,” and Hanna made some comment about knowing where she would be if we got boring later. I can’t believe I forgot all about that.
At one point, I ran into Daniel in the darkness, and he thrust the phone at me, saying something in rapid, urgent Swedish – I think in the darkness and his drunken, frantic state he assumed I was Tove – but at the time it freaked me out and I heard my voice kind of tense and high pitched say, “Daniel please, I don’t understand…” Then Anders appeared and started to yell at Daniel for frightening me and I was like, “it’s fine, it doesn’t matter, let’s just find Hanna.” And that was when we heard Tove scream.
I guess Anders is right about the lawyer, I’m just a witness and the one that knows the least. It’s not like I’m being accused of anything. Nobody is. They haven’t come out and said anything but it’s obvious she wandered into the water drunk, or maybe tripped and fell off the jetty.