It was held on the little prison island I spent most of the summer paddleboarding around.
As I followed the flickering candlelight towards the clearing where they were gathered, I kept remembering the last time I walked on the island, with SAG, when we hid from Hanna. I said last week that I’m not grieving for her: I’m not, and I won’t pretend I am to come across like a nicer person or whatever. I’ve known true grief, and this – this isn’t a pinprick. All the same, as I approached the group and recognized one or two of the identikit blondes and slick dudes from that day, I felt a sudden stab of sadness that I’ll never get to know Hanna.
A small scuffle broke out when some extremely wasted dude tried to cut the line to give a eulogy and a few people shoved him away. The thought flickered across my mind, that Hanna would be thrilled by a teensy bit of drama at her memorial, and just then, the guy next to me half turned and murmured something in Swedish. It was pretty dark, the darkness has been creeping in on us for weeks, but between the moonlight and the candles, I could see him pretty well. He looked like Legolas, if Legolas wore a designer looking dark aqua suit and rolled his eyes as the wasted dude was bundled away from the group. His long, almost white blond hair was tied in a neat ponytail. I muttered that I was sorry, I didn’t understand, and his eyes sparked with curiosity as he commented that I was American. I guess I was feeling guilty at crashing a memorial, because I immediately felt defensive: Hanna could have American friends. I made myself swallow it though, and just asked what he had said. “Hanna would have loved drama at her memorial,” he repeated with a smile.
A woman got up to speak then, one of the identikit blondes with blown out hair and flawless make up. My tummy tightened a little as I thought that it could be Jenny, but after staring at her for a while, I concluded that this woman wasn’t quite as beautiful, and she was a little taller. “She is telling everyone that Hanna always thought it stupid that after someone dies everyone talks about how kind and amazing they are, and she once made Ida,” – he nodded in the direction of identikit blonde who was struggling to speak through her tears, “promise that if she ever died she would remind everyone she was a bitch.” The guy smiled, but I could see tears shining in his eyes. “Hanna was a bitch.” I nodded, not sure of whether it was okay to agree in the circumstances.
Wasted Dude was back. He stood on a rock and yelled at everyone. I caught the word “älskar” – love. He loved her? Is that what he was shouting? I looked at him with new interest. He is handsome, of course. A little more rugged and dangerous looking than most of the Ken dolls standing around looking frightened – wild wavy hair and dark eyes, and something about, his posture I think, made me think aristocrat. I could imagine him striding around a castle in breeches and riding boots, ordering a slave wench to his chambers. My new friend’s translation had stopped, and as I turned around to ask him what Wasted Dude was slurring, I noticed someone in the crowd. Tove. Standing off to one side, alone.
What the hell was she doing here when she had ranted and raved and swore she wanted nothing to do with it? I was hesitating over whether to approach her and let her know I had seen her, when Legolas’s voice broke into my thoughts: “who are you?” I have no idea what possessed me, but I suddenly heard myself blurt: “I’m a friend of Jenny’s.” He raised an eyebrow, and I saw right away that he didn’t believe me. Shit. The only thing I could do was brazen it out, so I said I was surprised I hadn’t met him before, and asked who he was. He told me his name was Fritjof. Hanna’s brother.
When I looked again, Tove was gone.