Since we got back to the city last Sunday, he has been – bewildered I think is the word for it.
I keep catching him staring into space, with this almost frown on his face like he is just confused at what is going on and can’t believe or accept why.
Maybe it’s easier for me because I saw her. When we heard Tove, I ran ahead of the guys, I had this weird idea of protecting them somehow from what we all knew we were about to see, and sure enough just as I reached the jetty the police arrived and held Anders and Daniel back. Tove was screaming in this weird, shrill monotone, her face deathly white. As a female police officer led her from the jetty, she looked at me blankly and turned away. I only had a few seconds before a different officer led me away, but I saw that long blond hair spread in a halo in the water. The sun was almost up by then, a beautiful pinky dawn shining on this nightmarish scene, with police officers milling around and blue lights flashing and the crackling static of their radios.
So when we got a call that they wanted to talk to us again, Anders just kind of shrugged and went along with it, and I was immediately on guard. The only time he seemed to wake up last week was when he got mad at me for looking for a lawyer, but looking back on it now, I think he reacted that way because it pierced reality in this dream world he’s retreated into.
Then they said he needed to come on Thursday evening, but they didn’t need to see me yet. I tried to persuade myself that it was just that they realized I was the clueless moron who knew nothing, but I was prickling all over with the instinct that something was up – especially when we heard that Daniel and Tove hadn’t been asked to come back. I had a cold, heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach as I watched him walk through the doors of the station alone.
I walked home slowly. It was a beautiful sunny night and Medborgarplatsen was filled with people soaking up the last of the summer, but everything had taken on a dark, sinister air for me and I wanted to scream at them, “how can you all be laughing when this is going on!” The apartment felt so empty, like my footsteps were echoing through a gloomy haunted mansion instead of a tiny, cozy apartment. I made some camomile tea, and sat on the couch watching it get cold as I waited.
And waited. Hours and hours ticked by, and finally at midnight – Anders’ phone had been off the whole time – I called Daniel. Even though he tried to reassure me, I could hear that he was worried when he heard Anders still wasn’t back. Then suddenly relief filled his voice and he said that Anders was probably helping them track Hanna’s parents. She had some kind of screwed up family background and hadn’t been in touch with her parents in years and as far as Daniel knew, had no idea where they were. He said that Anders probably knew the most about her history.
I hung up feeling confused, and somehow more frightened. So this friend of his ex, who he flat out told me a few weeks ago he doesn’t even want to be friends with, tells him, and only him, her deep dark secrets? It doesn’t add up. Either Daniel was lying to try to reassure me there wasn’t something more sinister about Anders being at the police station until the wee hours, or Anders – and Hanna for that matter – have been lying to me all along. I don’t know which I want to be true.
I was still sitting on the couch trying to process all this when the sun came up. I hadn’t heard from Anders.