2 Nov 2014
5. Otto's sad mother
I was born in Borough and I have lived all my 21 years in this small town in Eastern Finland. I don’t know how it is to live in other places but I know a lot about Borough. I know the streets and the market square. The old shoe shops and super markets. The movie theatre, sports fields, the rail way station and the library. Our town has a big market square with outdoor coffee shops. The farmers of the region come every morning to the market place to sell spuds and bread. The town is an old one and there are some old fashion looking buildings in the centre.
I live in a suburb, in a block of flats with my mom. I don’t know much about my dad as it has always been just the two of us, me and my mom. She was never married to my father, who ever he might be. If I asked about my father she used to say: “It is not important, Pete. It is better for us with out him.”
My mom works as a cleaner in the local office of eGassem Corporation. Money in our small family has been short, but I was never really aware of it as a child, as I was happy and she tried her best to offer me experiences and fun time. We used to borrow adventure novels from the Town Library, go swimming and sauna to the public swimming hall, cycle to the market place on Saturday mornings.
And then there were friends. In our six store building, there were 42 apartments. At least half of the renters were families with kids. So I had 32 potential friends as my neighbours plus the other kids from the other houses of the street.
My best friend Otto was not living there, though. I met him when the school started, in the first school day. We were sitting in the last line of desks. The teacher was speaking and smiling. I saw this freckled boy putting his hand into his backpack and carefully pulling out a Biker Mice from Mars figure. It was Throttle. I opened my school backpack quietly and showed the guy that I had there one, too. He nodded. I got to know the boy’s name, Otto. After school days we used to cycle together to the corner of his home street. He was living in a new light blue wooden house, which had a big garden around the building. His mom was at home having maternity leave. Otto had a new baby sister. On the way, we used to stop for a while to explore ditches or build snow castles. Which we were not allowed to, since the rule was to cycle d-i-r-e-c-t-l-y to the set destination after school. When Otto went home, I continued my path to the afternoon club. But evenings, after my mom was home from eGassem, I could go out and meet Otto. I went to his house or he came to my home. Mostly it was he coming to us as it was easier to play some what noisy Biker Mice plays in my home.
Well, Otto’s home was a fine house! Everything was white and calm there. The rooms were huge. I think their living room was as big as my and my mom’s home altogether. And Otto had it all. All the possible toys, video’s and games you could dream of. And his father was brilliant. I adored this big smiling man who spoke loud and laughed loud. But he was seldom at home. Mostly, he was abroad for the work. Otto’s mom was much quieter. She had somehow sad smile like she was worrying something all the time. I saw her often standing in front of the window, staring to the garden. I think the most common thing I heard Otto’s mom saying was: “Hus, boys, the baby is sleeping.” Oh my, this baby girl is now 15, a crazy bitch! She is called Oona