I need to keep it together.
I am keeping it together. I’m actually good at that, I always have been. Of course I get emotional, about stupid things, little insecurities and worries, but when it’s big, when other people are coming apart at the seams, I’m a stone. Or one of those armored cars the army use, just driving on slowly impervious to bullets. I went to school the Monday after my parents were killed, and my guidance counselor basically followed me around all day, fluttering and panicking that I was suddenly going to have a meltdown. But I didn’t, I just got through the day then went home and lay on my bed and stared at the ceiling, until I fell asleep. I did that every day for about a year.
Anders slept for the first time last night since Friday. After three nights of of not closing his eyes once, he was shivering yesterday. I forced him to eat something then lay down, and I sat by him and stroked his hair. I worked in a pre school one time a few years ago, and that’s how we used to put the kids down for their nap. The soothing rhythm knocks them out I guess, and sure enough within a few moments his eyelids started to flutter. And then I had some time to think.
Somebody broke into Daniel and Tove’s apartment, and they killed him. It was a blow to the head with a solid silver photo frame that was some family heirloom given to Daniel and Tove as an engagement present. I don’t think Tove knows that bit yet; I hope she doesn’t. It wasn’t Tove, she was on the bus with me.
And it wasn’t Anders.
I know I sound naive, stupid even, to keep insisting on his innocence. I know how it looks, I’m not stupid. Of course anybody on the outside would think that his story of finding the body could be an explanation for him being there, covered in Daniel’s blood. Of course anybody would look at this guy who has been nearby when three of the closest people to him died, and think “duh.” I would too. But I don’t. I won’t. If I let even a chink of doubt, of wondering, in, it would fester and rot our relationship from the inside. Even when the real killer is caught, even if Anders never found out that I doubted for a millisecond, I would know I did, and there would be no way back for us.
But he’s connected, I get that. When it was just Hanna, there could have been an explanation to do with whole other areas of her life, but not Daniel too. Von Dursen isn’t out to get Daniel.
And this is murder. No grey area, no “treating it as suspicious”. He was hit over the head with a sharp, heavy object. A sharp heavy object normally kept wrapped in tissue paper in a drawer. Somebody had to go into the drawer and get it.
Somebody who knows them well enough to know where it was kept.
No. Maybe Daniel had it out. Maybe he took it out to taunt himself that they were never going to put a wedding picture in it now, like you do when you’re torturing yourself over a breakup, sat on the floor holding it, hating himself, and then – what? Somebody broke in? There was a knock at the door? Daniel was a big dude. A big, big guy. So this somebody was a bigger guy? If there was a struggle — I wonder if Daniel was drunk. He was clutzy when he was drunk, he could have lunged for the person, sprawled on the floor and they would have just had to stand over him with the frame. Anybody could have done that.
The police will be able to tell all of that, probably they already know. Why aren’t they here? All weekend I have steeled myself for that phone call, that knock at the door, any second. Of course they’ll arrest him again. Anybody with half a brain would have skälig misstankte, I’ve been prepared. I’ve even thought about stuff I could do in the three days that I can’t now.
Talk to the farmer, for example. I remembered him in the week after Hanna, remembered she said she would go to him that night. What if she did. I know the police will have talked to him already, weeks ago, he was the closest neighbor to Daniel’s stuga. But I thought about doing it myself. What if he remembered seeing us together that afternoon and might think of something he didn’t while being questioned by the police? I don’t know. It’s worth a shot.
But I can’t leave Anders.