Ivo gazed outside through the kitchen window holding a teacup in his hand. The evening had already darkened and the house was quiet, much too quiet. He didn’t particularly enjoy the silence, not for this long anyway. It had been a week since Jami had left and Dima had been occupied with his studies, either locked up in his room or the library, mostly in the library during the previous days so that he could concentrate. It was true that Ivo missed the company and perhaps too often he had interrupted Dima’s reading in search of it.
Ivo eyed the kitchen, dirty dishes were everywhere on the counter and the dishwasher was filled with the clean ones that he was simply too lazy to put into their places. The fruit bowl contained bananas that had turned brown and filled the air with their overly sweet scent. Jami would have chucked the said bananas into the bin by now, even at the store he always searched for those that were still little green. Ivo on the other hand thought that bananas were supposed to be a little brown. But like Jami often reminded him, Ivo still wouldn’t eat the brown bananas and then they just ended up having smelly fruits in the bowl, like now…
Ivo left the kitchen not finding the energy to clean this time either. He walked into the living room and turned the TV on. The news told about suicide bombing somewhere in the Middle East, tens of civilians had died and this made Ivo sigh deeply. It was the same depressing shit week after week. He switched the channel and ended up watching how an overweight woman cried that she wasn’t allowed to eat chocolate anymore and how she had to go jogging all the time and it was raining outside! – Some weight loss program obviously. Ivo changed the channel once more, this time to some cooking program, and was almost about to call Jami out to watch it because for some reason he enjoyed watching these never-ending food-related programs with titles like; cook me dinner, cook dinner for my family, or with my family, food for singles, what to eat today? Four celebrities (that no one recognizes) cooking dinner, and so forth… Before Jami’s name escaped his lips Ivo however remembered that he was alone.
He had tried to tempt one of his friends to go out to a pub with him, but unfortunately, all of them seemed to be busy that Saturday. Ivo changed the channel once more, this time he ended up to a channel where they interviewed an old couple, the pair sat there holding hands and talked about how they had first met in the early 50s at a local dance. As the couple exchanged looks with one another it translated a deep love and appreciation that they held for each other. Ivo felt strangely moved, it was after all pretty touching to be together that long and remain in love.
He changed the channel again, some sort of program about singles attempting to find love. A middle-aged man walked alone in the corridors of a cruise ship and talked about how nice it would be to find someone to share his life with. The evenings were particularly lonesome, especially in the winter when it was dark and depressing outside. The man looked somewhat miserable in Ivo’s eyes and he felt sudden anxiety when he pictured himself walking in the man’s shoes 15 years from now. When all of his single friends would have found a relationship, Dima would have gotten married, Misha and Joni also and then they would have adopted a little girl from China or something… And then he would be alone, he would be that weird, slightly alcoholic uncle Ivo, who came to visit unexpectedly in inconvenient hours and … Ivo shook his head, turned off the TV, and got up; this picture of the possible future was anything but desired.
He took his phone, looked through his contacts, and ended up staring at Jami’s name and phone number connected to his picture on the screen. Ivo had to admit; he missed Jami. He had gotten so used to having him around and perhaps he had slipped into taking him for granted and… Ivo stopped to think about the things Jami had confronted him, things that Joni and Misha had carefully criticized him of, or perhaps not even that, especially Misha.
Ivo sat in front of the kitchen table. He had been hurt that Jami had cheated on him, it had hurt his ego, wasn’t it normal to feel that way? And they hadn’t spoken since that evening; Jami had allowed him to take his time to think things over. At the beginning of the week, Ivo had thought that he couldn’t forgive, that he was better off single, he had felt the relationship pressuring at times, that he had to ask ”permission” from someone to go out. Jami took offense at things he couldn’t always understand, but things he should have understood. If Misha had treated Joni the same way that he had treated Jami, he would have called his brother out for his behavior; this thought had started to come clear to him during the week and was even clearer that evening.
Had he even tried to hear Jami out? Had he been in the state of mind that he had too easily taken the opportunity to take a time out from their relationship? He thought about his visit to Russia, dinner with Galina and the others, stolen glances with the woman. He had taken Galina home and at the door, the woman had asked if he would like to come in for a cup of tea but her gaze had held a promise of something else. Ivo had to admit that there had been a brief moment that he had pondered about taking the opportunity. He had however made the right choice, told her goodnight, and returned to his grandmother for the night. But he had considered and that was the truth.
And Jami? Sonja had also sent him an email trying to plead for her friend. She had written that Jami was completely shattered over the whole thing and he still couldn’t remember the events of that evening that had led to the guy’s apartment. Sonja had written about her suspicion that Jami’s drink had been spiked with something. At first, Ivo had dismissed Sonja’s suspicion with the idea that she only wanted to make excuses for her friend, but what if she was right after all?
Ivo remembered the beginning of their relationship, the bliss, the happiness, everything. He remembered the disappointments that he had caused to Jami during their relationship, disappointments that he had endured and forgiven. Didn’t he owe Jami at least that he’d listen calmly while he explained his version of the events and how he would like to proceed in their relationship?
Was he going to break up with Jami for good, without even trying to listen? He thought about life without Jami, life alone, and evenings alone, growing old alone… He knew how difficult it was to find a suitable partner. A temporary company was easy to find, but someone you felt comfortable with for a longer period? Someone to count on? Until last week he had trusted Jami completely, perhaps too much, count on the fact that Jami wouldn’t leave, perhaps he had felt that his position in their relationship was stronger than Jami’s, which was silly. Now that Jami was gone, he realized how much he missed him and no one could be taken for granted. Jami had been hurt and sad because of him and that was why Jami had drunk and … It didn’t excuse the cheating, but it gave an explanation… He had made Jami sad and when they had first started going out he had thought that he would do anything to make Jami happy and he had failed at that. Ivo sighed deeply, once again opened his cell phone, and stared at Jami’s number before he chose to call him.
Jami laid on the couch, remote control in his hand flipping through different channels before ending up watching Dinner date, a British TV show where one single could pick from five menus three that he liked the most and then go and enjoy that dinner with the person who had prepared it in their home, in hopes of finding love. He stared at the screen although he really couldn’t focus, he thought about Ivo. Wondered what he was doing at that moment? Perhaps he was at a bar with his friends talking bad about him? Did Ivo miss him at all? Jami sighed and turned the TV off, started listening to music through his laptop; Elvis. ”Are you lonesome tonight?” Started playing and the lyrics described his feeling perfectly. He went to refill his wine glass, sang quietly along with the music, thought about Ivo, and started weeping like a woman.
Luckily Sonja wasn’t there to witness, Jami thought as he sipped his wine feeling quite pitiful. Perhaps he wouldn’t have behaved in such a pitiful manner if Sonja had been home but she had gone out with her girlfriends and the day had been settled weeks before. Jami hadn’t wanted her to cancel her plans because of him. He sat back on the couch, watching the flickering flame of a candle on the coffee table. The song ended and changed to ”Unchained melody” which made him cry even more. It had always been one of his favorites, especially by Elvis. He missed Ivo so badly that it felt like an agonizing pain that seemed to shred his insides. The thought that he had lost Ivo because of his foolishness, felt unbearable.
His recollection of the evening with Aki was still hazy and broken. He had caught a broken memory image of how the man had moved above him, breathing heavily and the memory sickened him. But how they had ended up like that Jami still didn’t have a clue. He had found his clothes the next morning shredded all over the apartment and there had been two wine glasses on the living room table, another one was empty, and the other had still a dribble on the bottom, Jami couldn’t even remember drinking wine. Aki had also been suspiciously perky, offered him coffee, and… Well, it was pretty dubious if he had been so drunk that he had lost his memory, and Aki on the other hand… A sensible person wouldn’t have sex with someone who was completely wasted, right?
Jami gazed outside to the darkened evening feeling melancholy, eventually he would have to collect the rest of his belongings from Ivo. They hadn’t spoken since last Sunday and his hope of Ivo’s forgiveness started to fade. Everything felt heavy, so hard, to be at that place again where he had to start everything from the beginning. Even his current work situation gnawed at him and on top of everything… What on earth should he do with Aki? He wasn’t all that thrilled with the idea that the man would continue as his customer; somehow it felt awkward now that everything was confusing… And Ivo… The thought was the hardest to take; losing Ivo… Somehow he would have to learn to accept it, he couldn’t force him into forgives. Jami wiped his eyes, sighed deeply.
He startled slightly when his phone started to play the familiar tune. His heart skipped a beat and then started to beat fast with disbelief; Ivo? On Saturday evening? With trembling hands Jami grasped his phone and cleared his throat, tried to take a couple of deep breaths in order to sound calm, normal, like he hadn’t just cried like a little girl… ”Hi,” he was able to answer with a voice that sounded slightly hesitating and Jami bit his lip as he waited for Ivo to speak, he could hear the man’s breathing.
”Hi,” the man replied, a moment of silence followed, then a deep sigh. ”I…uh..” Ivo started. ”How are you?” He asked and Jami almost chuckled, he was nervous and it suddenly came out as a nervous giggle, which embarrassed him.
”Well… I’m okay-ish…” He breathed, hesitated, wanted to say so much, hoped so much and was afraid that he’d be disappointed or that he would say something wrong, something that would ruin everything.
Did Ivo just call to break up with him officially, or to ask him back? Of course he hoped that it was the later option and feared more than anything that it would be the first. ”I miss you…” He whispered and squeezed his eyes shut, and noticed that he was chewing his lip again while waiting for Ivo’s answer. Did he sound silly? He should have said something else. ”How are you?”
Ivo sneered, Jami could almost picture how the man leaned back and ran his fingers through his hair. ”We should talk.” Ivo said and Jami felt the ache in his chest assuming the worst. ”Face to face I mean.” Ivo clarified.
”Yes,” Jami nodded firmly although the others couldn’t see it.
”Where are you?”
”I’m at Sonja’s, alone…” Jami answered. ”She went out with her girl friends, I… I didn’t have the right lipstick…”
Ivo gave a quiet chuckle; it felt relieving, at least Ivo still tried to laugh at his lame jokes. ”Well, I’m alone as well, want to come over?”
”Okay, yeah… Of course…” Jami nodded and his gaze wandered off at his almost empty wine glass. ”I uh… I just need to check which bus to take… I can’t drive, um, I’ve drank a little…” In his mind Jami pondered if he should spend his money to take a taxi, he would otherwise have to take two different buses and the time tables never matched well especially at that time of the evening on a Saturday.
”I can come and pick you up, I haven’t opened a bottle yet.” Ivo said and Jami wondered if his voice sounded like the scolding that he had… The thought was silly, Ivo had never been the one to point fingers at those who drank, but perhaps now that he had acted so foolishly…
”Thank you, I would like that.” Jami nodded.
”I’ll call you when I’m at the parking lot, it takes me half an hour at most.”
”Okay, I’ll get myself ready,”
When the call Jami rushed to take a shower, he wanted to smell as fresh and clean as possible for Ivo. He wanted to be as enticing as he could, the kind that would persuade Ivo into forgiveness. Right clothes were equally important, he managed to create an enormous rush as he did his best to look his best in twenty minutes and unfortunately his favorite shirts seemed to be all wrinkled, so he had to settle for the next best option.
When Ivo called that he was waiting at the parking lot Jami was barely ready. He checked his appearance quickly from the mirror before he got dressed in his outdoor clothes and left the apartment. He was nearly as nervous as their first date with Ivo. Or perhaps more, but it was different. He didn’t know what was going on in Ivo’s mind, would he give him a disapproving look? Would his words be harsh and cold? Or was Ivo prepared to consider forgiveness and that they could still continue their relationship? He would soon find out.
Jami walked towards the car where he saw Ivo waiting. His heartbeat sped up, his insecurity raised its head.
”Hi,” Jami greeted when opening the door. He moved to sit next to Ivo and gave his partner a questioning look. Was Ivo his partner anymore? What were they to each other? They hadn’t officially broken up, but they both knew that the cards were in Ivo’s hands.
”Hi,” Ivo nodded and started to drive after Jami had fastened his seatbelt. Jami tried his best to interpret the look on Ivo’s face, it was either concentrated or bothered, but in either case Ivo was avoiding his gaze or then he was concentrating on following the traffic which probably was the more logical answer. Ivo’s lips parted as if to say something, he glanced at him quickly before he concentrated back on following the road ahead and remained silent. The silence felt pressuring.
”How have you been?” Jami asked carefully and Ivo shrugged.
”Concerning the circumstances?” Ivo started. ”Okay I guess. And you?”
”Well… To be honest, it’s been a pretty rough week… But I guess I deserve it.” Jami answered carefully and Ivo glanced at him again quickly, frowning as he concentrated back on the road.
”Well, that’s why we need to talk.” He said and for a moment the silence returned.
”Yeah…” Jami admitted looking at Ivo, it was still a mystery how he felt about the situation, and where it was heading. ”I…” Jami started. ”I really don’t understand how it got that far… I know it sounds stupid, but I’ve been thinking about that night over and over in my head and I don’t even recall considering that I would go to his place… But I don’t really remember the rest of the evening.”
Ivo gritted his teeth. ”We can talk when we get home.” He said not want to allow his feelings to take over when he drove.
’Home’ Jami thought and a small desperate spark of hope woke when Ivo called it home, like he was referring to them both, instead he could have said; when we get to my place.
Finally the car parked to the familiar yard and they got out of the car. After locking the doors; Ivo walked ahead to the front door but allowed Jami to get in first. For a moment it was dark until Ivo turned the lights on in the hall. They undressed their jackets, Jami gazed at the older man hesitantly and filled with questions and Ivo was clearly somewhat bothered about the situation.
”Want something to drink?” Ivo asked. ”Beer? Or wine? … There is some juice too in the fridge…” Ivo said, smiling slightly, almost amusedly like guessing that juice would be the last that Jami would choose and it almost made the younger man blush.
”I could have a beer.” Jami answered and followed Ivo almost hesitantly towards the kitchen.
”You can wait in the living room.” Ivo however said on the way without looking at him and then disappeared around the corner.
The living room was dimly lit, Jami had put the Christmas lights two weeks earlier and at that moment they were the only lights in the room. He walked towards the light switch, pondered for a moment until he decided only to turn on the small lights that ran along the corners of the ceiling.
Then he sat down on the couch, looking around, there was a used coffee mug and a small plate on the coffee table and he would have liked to clean them as well as the magazine that had been left there. He however managed to stop himself from doing so.
Ivo returned, handed him an opened can of beer and sat down on the sofa as well leaving some space between them. Ivo observed him, sipped from his beer and for a moment he was quiet looking thoughtful. ”Have you seen that man?” He finally asked and Jami shook his head.
”I’m not interested in him. He’s my client, that’s all that he was to me before that evening and all that I wish him to be now.” Jami started. ”Actually I wouldn’t even want him as my customer anymore.” And again Ivo was silent as if weighting his answer.
”So you haven’t been in contact with him?”
”He has my number and he did text me, but I haven’t replied.”
”He wanted something more?” Ivo asked and Jami shrugged.
”Perhaps he already got what he wanted.”
”So tell me about that evening… what happened?”
Jami sighed, gazed at the can between his hands before he took a sip. ”I was angry at you, or perhaps disappointed…” Jami said carefully. ”I was afraid I guess… I felt like you don’t really care for me or… not as much as I care for you… Don’t get me wrong.” Jami hurried to say and looked up to his lover. ”I’m not accusing you of my mistake… I had a really bad day then… I was mean to Joni as well….” He lowered his gaze once more when he felt Ivo’s gaze somehow pressuring. ”I was jealous I guess, it’s silly I know, but… I guess I’m just trying to explain the state of mind that I was in… From that pub I went to the club with my friends… I was pretty drunk when I ran into Aki…” Jami frowned when he tried to connect the pieces of his shattered memory. ”I was pretty surprised to meet him there… Of course I had had the feeling that when he was my customer, that he tried to flirt with me, but I wasn’t sure.” Jami glanced at Ivo quickly who remained silent and listened; he nodded to signal him to continue.
”I accepted when he offered to buy me a drink and I admit that I did also respond to his flirtation on some level, but I did intend to leave it at that… At some point we danced together, that I recall dimly… He offered me more to drink… And… Well, I knew I had drunk too much and that I should stop but I didn’t… My memory of the rest of the night is really hazy… I guess we ended up sharing a cab… Just broken pieces… We were in bed and even from that I can’t really remember anything except that…” Jami fell silent and glanced at Ivo almost timidly; he had a stern look on his face. ”I woke from his bed the next morning and I was naked…” Jami continued quietly and his voice broke towards the end. ”I’m sorry Ivo… I didn’t want it to happen, I didn’t plan it and if I could I would take it all back.” He sobbed and Ivo rose and emptied his beer. He turned his back to him.
”I need more to drink.” Ivo said. ”Do you want something?” He asked without looking at the younger man who wiped his eyes insecurely.
”Yes…” Jami said and after Ivo had left the room he poured the rest of the drink down from his throat. Ivo wouldn’t be able to forgive him; he
thought and felt pain gathering in his chest.
In the kitchen Ivo took a couple of deep breaths trying to control the rage he felt boiling inside. He poured himself a vodka shot, drinking it down quickly before he got a bottle of red wine, opened it and filled two glasses.
”Who is that man exactly?” Ivo asked sternly when he got back into the living room. Jami gave him a confused glance. ”What is his last name? What does he do for a living? Where does he live and after that last text, has he tried to reach you?”
”He lives near the city center.” Jami replied, still insecure over Ivo’s state of mind towards himself. ”I think his last name was Kuusisto…” Jami continued observing Ivo’s stern look that seemed to force the honest answers from him. ”I think he sold insurance… And no, not after that last text, I didn’t reply to him… And he has another appointment in a couple of weeks… I can assure you that I have no interest in him!”
”I don’t want you to see that man again.” Ivo said observing him. ”Not even as your customer.”
”O-okay…” Jami replied, nodded and took almost a careful sip of his wine. ”I guess I could transfer his appointment to Susa…” He thought out loud and Ivo nodded.
”I think he should find an entirely new place to fix his hair.” Ivo replied coldly. ”I assume that… when you had sex… ” He started and took a pause to control his anger. ”Since you don’t remember… He fucked you?” Jami nodded and Ivo gritted his teeth. ”And let me guess, in the morning he was feeling alright?
”At least better than I was…” Jami replied meekly. Ivo took a sip of his glass, and nodded stiffly before muttering something in Russian.
”What?” Jami dared to ask.
Ivo sighed, looking at the younger man, now seeing his insecurity clearly. He felt his coldness crumble. The feelings that he had for Jami seemed to return and the anger he felt found their rightful target. Jami had been stupid, really stupid and irresponsible, but he was a lousy liar and Ivo believed him to be sincere. Jami could have pushed the whole responsibility to that asshole’s face, which he didn’t seem to do and instead took some responsibility to himself as well. However, if Jami really had been so drunk that he had lost most of recollection, it was at least questionable that the man had had sex with him. ”You behaved very foolishly.” Ivo decided to say and Jami hung his head with embarrassment.
”It was really irresponsible and I hope that in future you know better and you’ll be more careful.” Ivo knew that he sounded more like a father scolding a son that had misbehaved, but he wanted Jami to think about his action.
”I promise that it won’t happen again.” Jami nodded and now looked at him with a little bit more hope that he would be forgiven. Ivo was quiet for a moment, sighed and touched Jami’s hand. ”I missed you.” He admitted and Jami’s eyes started to water.
”I missed you too…” Jami whispered. Ivo lowered his wineglass on the table and then reached to take Jami’s glass placing it next to his own before moving closer to the younger man tenderly caressing his face.
”No more foolishness and drinks from strange men, okay?”
”Never again.” Jami nodded, trembling slightly from the movement that he felt, relieved that Ivo was close to him and that he seemed to have forgiven him.
”I know that I have neglected you…” Ivo said. ”And I need to improve on that.” He looked into Jami’s eyes. ”I do love you.” He said and Jami smiled with relief through his tears.
”I’m weeping like a girl… I’m sorry… I love you and I was so afraid that…”
”Shh…” Ivo smiled slightly and ran collected Jami’s tears with his thumb before leaning closer to kiss him tenderly. ”New beginning, what do you think?” He asked and Jami smiled at him.
”New beginning,” he nodded and leaned forward for a new kiss. This time he wouldn’t screw up, no matter what.
The bustle caused by the customer event started to settle down towards the evening. The marketing seemed to have worked well and there had been several potential customers that were keen to start a healthier lifestyle before Christmas instead of the usual January enthusiasm. Perhaps a lot of them thought that if they started working out few weeks before Christmas they could eat the Christmas treats with better conscience. Some had already given up on December and instead bought gift certificates and monthly season cards that would be valid at the beginning of the New Year; right after surviving the first day’s hangover.
Misha had spent most of his day at the gym as well, mainly just observing and at times teasing Joni who did his best to work like a good customer servicer. Misha seemed to enjoy the fact that he could ’harass’ his partner, even though the truth was that he was proud to witness how patient and friendly he was with customers, who would have thought?
The closing time of the reception was starting to get near. ”What if I go to the grocery store now and then we can go home together?” Misha suggested leaning towards the counter behind which Joni worked.
”That’s a good plan, I’ll be ready to leave in half an hour.” Joni smiled.
”Any wishes concerning the food?”
”Hm… Salmon, with rice or perhaps pasta, you can decide that.” Joni smiled. ”Perhaps some wine as well?”
Misha glanced at the time. ”If I hurry I might just make it to the liquor store before they close.” He said.
”Well, we should have some wine at home as well.”
”But is it right with the salmon?” Misha winked.
”Come on, I’m not that picky,” Joni grinned. ”Go if you have time, but it’s not that important.” He smiled. ”And bring me those apples that I like.”
”Okay, okay,” Misha couldn’t resist the temptation and leaned forward to kiss Joni’s cheek not caring about those who’d might see and disapprove. ”I’ll see you soon.”
Around five minutes after Misha had left someone walked in. ”Hi,” Joni greeted the man and smiled until he recognized him. Eva’s annoying ex boyfriend, the one who sold insurance’s.
”Hi,” Aki smiled. ”It’s pretty rotten weather outside.” He noted and Joni managed to force some kind of fake smile on his face watching as the raindrops fell onto the floor from the man’s jacket. ”Where’s the good old fashioned winter?”
”Lost in New York I imagine.” Joni replied. ”Can I help you with something?” He asked, trying to slip back into the familiar role of the customer server that he was. The man smiled, took off his black leather gloves and moved closer to the counter.
”How much for a cup of coffee?” He asked, pointing at the pot near the register.
”One and fifty.” Joni replied.
”There’s two, keep the change.” Aki smiled, took a cup and filled it. Again Joni had to force a smile, instead of replying that he could keep his lousy change and fuck off. There was something very unpleasant about the man although he couldn’t exactly point a finger on what that was.
”Here’s the receipt…” Joni tried to hand the piece of paper to the man.
”Thank you, but I don’t need it.” He smiled. ”Just toss it to the bin.” It was the usual answer, or then the people ran off before you had time to give it or then they made some lame ass joke about how they couldn’t use it to get a tax deduction.
Aki stayed near the counter to sip his coffee, leaning so close to the counter that it made Joni feel uncomfortable.
”Something else that you need?” It wasn’t often that people just came in to have coffee at the gym. There were probably coffee shops nearby, and besides Aki didn’t have a gym bag with him, nor had Joni seen him there before.
”New Gym membership,” Aki smiled. ”What do you have to offer?”
”One can choose between monthly membership or yearly membership that includes gym, aerobic and spinning classes or then just gym or aerobics. There’s also a ten card that is valid for three months.”
”Hm…” The man smiled looking at him somewhat creepily and Joni got bored, he tapped the price list on the counter with a pen.
”Here’s the list of the prices and what they include… The first visit is free, so if you want to try out the gym before buying anything.”
”What would you recommend?” Aki asked and Joni couldn’t help but to roll his eyes; the guy was an idiot.
”Well, I would recommend for you to use the opportunity of the free try out first.” Normally he would have tried to sell the membership, but something in him didn’t want Aki to start going there.
Aki didn’t have time to reply when suddenly Eljas rushed down the stairs looking mad as hell. ”Get out of here!” He roared and pointed at the front door. His reaction was so strong that Joni was startled as well. Usually Eljas was the image of calmness. ”You are banned here for life!” Eljas continued pointing at Aki who gave a somewhat stunned and bemused chuckle.
”Come on, don’t be like that,” Aki grinned.
”I’m not joking. Get out of here, now!” Eljas continued, stubbornly pointing at the door. His other hand clenched into a fist. Aki continued grinning, brought his hand forward and backed a couple of steps back.
”That’s not a very customer friendly attitude, Eljas. Might want to work on that,” he said calmly and glanced at Joni who still stood behind the counter looking confused.
”Now get the fuck out or I’ll kick your ass out!” Eljas said more forcefully. Couple of curious trainers had come closer to see what was going on.
”Crazy owner,” Aki snorted, smiling crookedly. ”Alright, alright, I’m going! Wouldn’t want to do business in a place like this anyway.” He said and turned to the door. When the door closed after him, Eljas took a couple of deep breaths that slowly melted away the tension in his existence. It was as if only then he fully registered the situation and the customers that had witnessed his outburst.
”Everything is alright now, the trouble maker has been removed.” He smiled. ”Joni here will give you all free recovery drinks before you leave.” He promised and silently the customers returned to their workout. Joni gave Eljas a worried look.
”Is everything alright?”
”Of course,” Eljas nodded. ”If you ever see that man here again, let me or my brother know and ask him to leave.
”Okay…” Joni nodded. ”How do you know him?” He asked with curiosity and Eljas glanced at him with an odd expression.
”It’s a long story.” He simply responded, ”but he’s not someone you wish to know, alright?” Eljas still seemed to be somewhat upset and Joni nodded. ”Can you go and deliver those recovery drinks that I promised to the customers and then you can leave home.” He tried to smile. ”And thank you again, you were a huge help today.”
”No problem,” Joni smiled back. They wished each other a great weekend and Eljas returned upstairs. Joni looked after him and couldn’t help but to ponder how Eljas knew Aki and why his reaction to him had been so strong. Would his cousin Jyri know anything about it?
My Secret Shore
© KOLGRIM (chapter updated march 2022)