SAG called me yesterday.
Malin. She had heard about everything that has been going on, of course, and thought about getting in touch with me a thousand times, but didn’t know if I would want to hear from somebody I didn’t really know. It almost made me laugh when she said that, of course to her I’m just some random person she met a couple of times, we don’t really know each other. To me, she was my best friend in all of Sweden.
Anders was asleep, so I agreed to meet her at a coffee shop on our block. I left a note for Anders and his phone on my pillow next to him, so he could call me if he needed me. It was a dull, gloomy day, the coffee shop was rammed full of hipster freelancers typing away on their Macs, the windows all steamed up with the energy of all that activity. It took me a second to catch sight of her in a little corner table almost behind the counter, and I felt this jolt of fear, like she had decided not to bother. For a casual coffee buddy, I’m kind of a lot of trouble.
But she was there, and the second I reached her and she hugged me, it was like a dam broke and I burst in to tears. Yeah, I truly suck as a casual coffee buddy.
I wasn’t expecting to, I posted only yesterday about being strong and emotionless, but I guess I’ve been keeping up a front to myself as much as to Anders and Tove. For once I was not the outsider being strong for the grieving ones, but the insider going through this horrible thing and spilling to a friend. And spill I did. Poor Malin, she looked kind of shell shocked. But she listened, like every other time I’ve vented or spilled and generally been a pathetic emotional wreck around her – and I wonder why she doesn’t call me so often.
She made me go through everything from the beginning. Discovering Hanna was missing, Tove finding her in the water, Anders being arrested, released. Discovering the truth about Jenny. The memorial. Meeting Fritjof and Ida and learning about Hanna and Daniel. Daniel’s murder. To start with, I was like a runaway train, I could hear myself babbling on, barely making sense, but then gradually I started to catch up with myself, to slow down, organize my thoughts, and by the time I got back to now, I actually felt quite calm.
Malin leaned over, squeezed my hand and said I had been amazing. I half smiled and shook my head. I haven’t, I’ve just gritted my teeth and tried to survive and been there for Anders. And tried, and failed miserably, to play at Columbo when I should just let the police get on with their jobs.
Then she pointed something out I hadn’t thought of. Daniel had been alone in the apartment for at least 24 hours when Anders found him. The police will know by now how long he had been dead, but I was assuming Tove’s innocence because I was with her most of the day he was found – what if she hadn’t been in Nörrtalje all that time? Anders saw him the previous afternoon, but I have no way of knowing where she was when I called her that night. If it turned out that Daniel had been dead since the night before, it didn’t mean that she was guilty, just that I didn’t know where she was.
“But I would be Anders’ alibi in that case.” The realization dawned and I couldn’t help smiling. “And von Dursen and half the people in the fancy restaurant who saw us get thrown out and Ida.” Malin smiled.