This is an old revision of the document!
By Einar Petersen
On a map in an atlas they don't seem like much, a mere smear on the page. The Capital Tórshavn home to 17.000 souls is not exactly a vibrating metropolis of the 21'st century at least not at first sight.
Situated on the green hillside of the mountains rising from the Atlantic Ocean, the white hospital buildings looked uninviting, unfriendly as if they had been planted smack in the middle of a city otherwise devoid of any buildings higher than two stories.
In room 1212 a birth was in progress.
Sunneva Mouritzen screamed in pain and clutched her husband Magnus's hand.
“Yes dear, just push,” the husband replied with a fake smile.
He was not use to abuse, a captain on shoreleave, had it been any of his men calling him names like this, but here right now he had to take the abuse from his very own commanding officer aka the homerule, who was not too happy with giving birth. He'd been through it once before 5 years earlier. Bogi his pride and joy was now to be joined by a little sister.
They had already been thinking of a name Marjun, after his great grandmother a woman said to have special insight into matters hidden from the physical realm.
Bogi was sitting outside in the waiting room with his auntie Bess, bess was not her real name but how Bogi had pronounced it when he first learned it and it had stuck, now everyone referred to her as Bess but she did'nt mind. After all it was sweet Bogi that had given her the name.
“Aren't you excited Bogi?,” auntie Bess asked, the boy nodded, he was busy reading one of the worn out pulp cartoon magazines that you can find in almost any waiting room in the Faroe Islands.
“Bogi ?,”, Auntie Bess tried to catch the boy's attention the birth had been going on most of the night and she'd been uprooted from her sleep to help mind Bogi while Magnus and Sunneva rushed to the hospital and getting Bogi's attention was as much for her own sake as anything else as she feared falling asleep in the waiting room, imagine the talk if that happened. She shuddered by the tought, if there was one thing she hated about her home islands it was the gossip. Talk talk talk, who did what with whom, all scandals and they said Danes and their Jantelaw was bad, Bess just hoped that Bogi and the little one would be allowed to live in times where notions such as personal freedom and privacy would be held in higher regard than they were now.
“Would you like a soda?”, she asked.
The boy looked up, soda… that sounded like a good idea maybe he could even score an icecream if he played his cards right.
“Here you go, chocolate powdered”, auntie Bess said and handed hime the cone. Bogi smiled. It was not every day that there was soda and icecream in the morning and no kindergarden.
Bess's mobile rang, the tune tore through the lobby. Luckily it was currently only populated by people below 30 or someone would have rised an eyebrow. The girl behind the counter smiled as Bess fumbled for her phone.
“Bess here, who is it?,” a big smile came upon her face.
“We'll be there right away!”
“Come on Bogi, we have to go upstairs!”, she waved at the boy standing there with chocolate powder all around his mouth. She quickly found a napkin and rinsed the worst off his face.
The door to the bedroom opened and Bogi and Bessa came inside. Sunneva was lying in the bed with a small bundle of clothing on top of her stomach.
Magnus held out his hand in a gesture for Bogi “Come see, you have a little sister”. He lifted Bogi up on the bedside while Bess was standing there all smiling, an icecream cone in one hand with the ice slowly dripping down onto her hand and a bottle of half drunk soda in the other.
“You want to hold her?” Magnus asked and carefully lifted the small bundle from Sunneva's stomach, she offered Bogi a smile “Go ahead,” she said in a very weary voice.
Bogi looked upon his parents and opened his arms and as a rare beam of sunlight filled the small hospital room he looked upon the face of the most beautiful being in the universe, he had a sister now.
“What's her name?,” Bogi asked.
“She is called Marjun after your fathers grandmother”
“Marjun,” Bogi tasted then name in his mouth as he uttered it for the first time.
“Sunneva should you be saying the child's name out loud?”, Bess said in a worried voice.
Magnus gave her a stern look, he knew all too well about the superstition connected to saying a childs name before the church baptism.
“Don't worry, the priest was already here and gave her a blessing before you came.”
Bogi looked at her sister, he wasn't quite sure what to make of the grown up's talk but sitting there with the frail baby in his arms he knew that this was a moment to remember. When Marjun opened her eyes and their gazes met Bogi felt prouder than ever before.
“Hello little sister”, he muttered and smiled and as he sat there his baby sister seemed to smile back, blinking for a few times before closing her eyes again.
The hospital seemed a different place, for several weeks now Bogi had been coming there with his mother to see auntie Bess. She was sick, quite seriously ill his mother had explained. Though Bogi did not quite understand what was afoot he could feel the graveness of the situation creeping upon him every time they came to the hospital.
Bogi looked at his aunt.
“Auntie when will you get better?,” he asked knowing that the doctors in the hospital helped people making them well if they were sick.
“My sweet Bogi!”, Bess swallowed a lump and clapped on the bed to have him come sit down. “Come here,” she said in a sad tired voice.
Bogi's mother had gone outside to smoke a cigarette and asked Bogi to tell auntie Bess about his day while she just went out to the car to get something. She was nervous, the doctors had said it could happen at any time now, she was shaking but she needed that cigarette, she had no idea how to explain to Magnus that she had started smoking again.
In the room auntie Bess smiled as Bogi struggled a bit to get up on the bedside. Once he was in place she gently stroke his hair.
“Bogi, you know, sometimes people get very sick.” She wasn't sure how to explain the situation without damaging the boy's psyche but he had to know, matters of life and death would never be easy to explain to a child.
Bogi nodded and felt a slight sting in his heart.
“Your grandfather and grandmother, do you know where they are now?,” Bess asked.
“In heaven with all the angels”, the boy answered.
Bess swallowed another lump hearing the faithful belief of the child so innocently referring to death.
“Yes you're right, and soon I will go to visit them, you know just to make sure they're alright”.
“Oh…,” Bogi muttered a bit bewildered. “Are you going to come back?,” he asked.
Bess closed her eyes for a brief moment to quell the tears from running.
“Eventually,” she answered. “But I will be gone for a very long time”.
Bogi nodded, he understood. A few days later Bess died, and three days later they found themselves in the church attending the funeral that was in progress.
Bogi was listening to the priest talking about Jesus and salvation and how good a person Bess had been and how God takes those that he loves early. Bogi thought God was a weird fellow to take people to heaven, why could he not just come down to earth and let people stay here.
The church filled up with song, it was slow and filled with sorrow. Marjun started crying, she had not had her midday nap and was getting antsy.
While Sunneva could not hear what the two elderly ladies with front seats were saying she could sense their anger, probably they were gossiping about the rudeness of taking a young child like Marjun to a funeral.
Sunneva carefully got up from her seat whispering for Bogi to follow. Bogi was glad he was bored with the whole process. It had been strange to look at auntie Bess as she lay there in the coffin and touching her hand before the lid was closed had been even stranger. Keeping the coffin open in the isle had been something of a novelty as people normally just came up and laid their hand on a closed coffin and Bogi had noticed many people whispering about it before the service started, but now all he could hear was the deep voices of the choir hired to sing at the funeral.
Sunneva and Bogi were now at the door, Sunneva opened and they went outside. The moment they got out Marjun stopped crying. The fresh air and the rare glimpse of sunlight caught her attention and she started giggling.
“Could you take care of Marjun so I could go back inside, I need to go to the toilet before we go to the graveyard,” Sunneva asked holding Marjun up towards Bogi.
“Sure mum,” he answered with a smile.
Marjun let out a chuckle as Bogi took her. Susanna was quick to slip back inside.
“Hey little sister how about that - Now Bessa has gone to heaven.”
Marjun giggled but then looked at Bogi with serious eyes.
“wasdat,” she demanded pointing at one of the tombstones in the small cemetery surrounding the capital's cathedral. Well cathedral is possibly quite a fancy word to use for the white church dating back to 1788 but Bogi knew this was the bishops seat, he just wasn't too sure where exactly the bishop was sitting as the church was all filled up with benches.
The bell rang and Marjun looked up at the bell tower “ding, dong,” she said with a big smile pointing toward the clock.
“Yes ding dong,” Bogi laughed.
At that moment Sunneva came back out and reached out for Marjun“
“Nei Bogi,” Marjun said gripping tightly around her brother.
“Okay, your brother can carry you to the car,” Sunneva said ushering them torwards the gate. The black hearse had arrived and the drive nodded politely and mumbled some words of condolence as they passed by. Sunneva nodded and wiped a tear from her cheek.
The drive through town was done at snail speed and at every corner and junction Bogi could see cars stop and drivers exiting their cars positioning themselves in front of their cars front door with folded hands and a serious expression on their face.
“Why are they stopping mum,” Bogi asked looking at the men while somwhat absent minded handing the pacifier to his sister for the seventh time, it was clear that she was not too happy with being strapped down in her baby seat.
Bogi stroked her hair “There, there sis, you're soon going to get out of the seat”.
“They are showing auntie Bess the last respect”, their mother answered.
“Oh,” Bogi answered not quite understanding how they could show auntie Bess respect by standing in front of their cars when she was in heaven.
When they got to the graveyard those who had not followed the hearse on foot exited their vehicles and joined the rear troop walking up to the grave. Sunneva got out and opened Marjun's seat belt and was about to take her out of the car.
“No Bogi!,” she demanded and began throwing a tantrum.
“Bogi could you?,” Sunneva said in a very tired voice.
“Yes mum - no problem,” he answered with a smile.
Marjun giggled delightfully when Bogi lifted her from the car.
The graveyard was cold and windy and Bogi was happy that they were invited for tea, coffee and cakes afterwards, funerals sure were strange, like a sad kind of birthday party except the birthday girl was not there to enjoy it.
Time passed and as all kids Marjun also began in first grade when she reached seven. But school start had not been a happy time for her and it was getting noticed. But no one could quite figure out what was wrong but to school she had to go no matter what.
As they walked down the hill cars passing them by filled with people going to and from work or taking care of errands Bogi was talking to his sister about school.
“But what is it that you don't like,” he asked
“I don't know,” Marjun answered.
“Come on, is it math?,” he for one had hated math until they got a new teacher who by applying math to practical everyday problems suddenly had made math a hoot.
“No,” his sister answered, clearly not going to answer unless he pried the truth out of her. So he tried his best until finally she uttered “It is Selma, okay, I hate her.”
As they walked she explained all about the school yard bullying and how life was becoming a living hell just because she was he smartest kid in class. When they arrived at the school gate Bogi assured her that everything would be okay.
Marjun had been through most of the pre noon classes and the long lunch intermission was coming up.
“Okay you may close your books now, I'll see you in half an hour!”, the teacher said getting up from his chair. The class had been self study so he had spent most of the time on his mobile tweeting about this and that.
Marjun took a deep breath and rose. Selma and her posse had already left the classroom.
“Are you okay?”, the teacher asked somewhat concerned. He'd noticed how Marjuns mood had changed over the course of a couple of months from being a happy and bright young pupil to a brooding and anything but, happy pupil.
“I'm fine thanks,” Marjun managed to force herself to say with an assumed smile.
Her teacher nodded not quite convinced, just then a message ticked in on his mobile and he left it at that.
It did not take long from Marjun had stepped into the school yard until Selma's posse took notice of her even though she had tried to fade in with a crowd of kids busy playing a game of pétanque.
“If it isn't smartsy fartsy”, Selma began mockingly.
Marjun said nothing and looked down.
“Cat got your tongue?,” Selma continued circling in on Marjun who clenched her fists. She desperately wanted to lash out at Selma but held back.
“My mum says she thinks you are a bastard and your mum is a whore,” Selma said with spite.
“Is not!,” Marjun rebuttled.
“Is two… two times ten”, Selma proclaimed triumphantly.
Inside Marjun something snapped. Suddenly she found herself in a deadly match against her oppressor. For a bit the two girls rolled around on the ground until Selma got the better of her and ended up on her back pressing her face towards the ground.
The kids were cheering and a teacher seemed to take notice peering out the window.
Suddenly the weight lifted from her back and she felt Selma's hands lift from her head.
Then she heard his voice. “If you ever touch my sister again, so help me… I will break every bone in your little body”, it was Bogi's voice booming across the school yard.
When Marjun turned around Bogi was holding Selma up in the air with one hand and threatening her with a clenched fist held right up to her face. While he would never have struck Selma the threat was effective, from that day on Selma found herself another victim and Bogi ascended from Marjun's regular hero to regular godhood.
However not all gods rule with impunity and for a week Bogi was suspended from school having attacked a girl.
Selma however to Marjun's great relief did nothing to exploit the absence and school became bearable again, even though the seeds of insecurity and submission had taken root.
Bogi pulled up on an empty parking space, funny how everything had changed over so few years, while there still was some car chaos things had become very different. He remembered the white flamingo wrapping boxes that had to be picked up at the post office, but first after having one's rationing card from the census office and before that people even had to get a receipt that they did not owe any taxes and to top it off you had to order everything from a Danish distributor.
It was better now even though in the beginning when “Rúsan”, the local state owned liquor store, now almost in every small town all over the country.
In the beginning it had seemed like the ordering system that had created all the quarterly drunks with the limit of ordering 12 bottles of hard liquor every quarter simply had been exchanged for something akin to Russian conditions with people standing in line for almost a mile to be allowed to buy their alcohol, luckily the opening of “Rúsan” had transformed society to an extent not thought possible with people buying as little as a bottle of wine for a Friday evening though that was not his purpose today. His errand was more of a dubious one. After saying no to Marjun countless times when asked to buy some alcohol for her he had finally given in during a moment of weakness, but her argument was perfect, she was old enough to have consensual sex with her peers and if she was old enough for that which could even result in her becoming pregnant then why she could not have a drink with her friends, and it was better to drink something produced under safe conditions and under control than to try her luck with one of the illegal 5 liter plastic containers provided courtesy of some of the factory ships lying on the cove. Bogi had agreed but sworn Marjun to absolute secrecy, their parents would kill him if they found out as he put it. Marjun agreed.
It was however with a sting in his heart when he slid his credit card through the slot. That'll be 259,00 DKK.
He punched his pin code and pressed accept while holding the 0,7l of Vodka 40% proof in his hand. If there was one thing the Faroes government could it was make money on alcohol through the heavy taxation keeping pricing levels of alcohol artificially high in an attempt to curb consumption, not that it truly did, those drinking too much simply squandered their fortunes and lives away while the rest… well simply paid through the nose to keep the illusion of high pricing as a well working regulatory system alive.
Half an hour later Bogi met up with Marjun outside SMS the capitals main shopping mall which could lie many, many times inside the super malls one finds abroad, but still for the Faroe Islands it was considered big.
Marjun flew around his neck and kissed his cheek. “Thanks superbro!, you are the best…” she exclaimed when Bogi announced to her that he had a bag for her in the car.
Bogi was not too certain how he should react and uttered a simple “You're welcome in return.”
“So you want to go downtown for a cup of coffee?,” Marjun asked “It's on me!,” she added just having gotten her salary from her after school job at the gas station and feeling the itch to burn some of that newly accumulated wealth.
“Sure,” Bogi answered and winked towards the car. In reality they should not be driving as everything in town could be reached on foot within 10-15 minutes, but that would be waste of a fine car, something the capital was full off much to the pleasure of the oil companies.
Less than 5 minutes later they were at the inner bay area and the car was parked. While strolling along the quayside watching the small boats bobbing in the water Bogi was having a serious talk with his sister much to Marjun's annoyance.
“Don't be like mum and dad, they are clueless about how things are today,” she argued.
“I know, I know, that is not what I meant, I just want you to be careful, it is not like drinking makes you smarter sis,” he said with something of a grin on his face.
Marjun giggled the way only she could.
“I know,” she replied elbowing her brother.
“Ouch you sneaky little…”, he didn't get much further in hi sentence before MArjun rushed off, she knew what he was up to even before he did himself. It did not take him too long to catch his sister and half tickle her to death.
“No no.. hi hi, please stop it, I'm going to pee,” Marjun cried.
At that warning Bogi stopped, he remembered the fuzz created that one time when he had not stopped in time, granted his sister had been 5 and he 10 but the punishment had been severe. No video games for a week.
Shortly after they had arrived at the café. They sat at their favourite table, the place seemed devoid of people and to a non local onlooker at that time it would seem impossible that any place could survive such poor business, but summer was right around the corner and with it shiploads of tourists would help fill the coffers of the café owner who in turn was happy about the ease of life in the off season months.
The cafeé owner trotted over to the table in leisurely pace until he stood across from Marjun and Bogi holding his hand out towards them.
“So what does Madame and Monsieur want today?,” he asked jestingly adding “I do recommend the cheesecake!”
“Cheesecake, yay!,” Marjun was ecstatic cheesecake had been her favourite as long as she could remember “You want some Bogi ?.”
“Beverages ?,” the patron asked holding his stylus ready to add to the order.
“Coffee for me”, Bogi answered.
“Cappuccino with lot's of foam for me thanks!,” Marjun added.
“Anything else?”, the owner said in attempt to luring a little extra out of the siblings, after all it was a business he ran and profit maximization was his goal.
They shook their heads and the patron left them to prepare the order.
“I was wondering,” Marjun began.
“Bout what?,” Bogi answered knowing that the voice she was using implied some sort of favour.
“Well when we finish, do you think you could drop me off at Ursula's place, pretty please,” Marjun said with a smile, that as usually melted Bogi's heart.
“Sure, no problem,” Bogi answered with a smile.
“You are the bestess brother in da whole wide world,” Marjun said with a funny accent.
“And you are the bestess little sister in da whole wide world,” Bogi answered imitating her accent.
They both laughed.
“Cheesecake, coffee for you and Cappuccino for you,” the patron said placing everything neatly in front of them.
“Thanks!,”, they said in unison and started giggling.
“You're welcome,” the owner answered and left them to enjoy their afternoon snack.
“Time to get up!”, Bogi tossed a pillow at Marjun, she opened her eyes revealing but a tiny slit as she peered
out from her cover.
“Leave me alone you evil bastard”, she groaned with irony in her voice. Her throat was dry and her head was pounding ans she felt like she had been hammered by a bus.
“Seriously, get up now, mum has prepared Saturday breakfast,” Bogi said and pulled the curtains, not that it helped much as the sky was covered by grim gray clouds, Marjun was feeling lucky that she lived in a country where it rained 265 days per year, so the pulling the curtains trick to light up the room was not quite as effective as it would have been further south.
“yeah yeah, I'll be there”, she growled clearing her throat.
“Rough evening ?”, Bogi asked.
Marjun nodded. It had all begun quite innocently with a couple of Vodka and Cola, but then Eric had arrived and things had turned a bit more wild.
The drinking game was fun at the beginning but as more and more alcohol came in more and more senses had gone out.
“He is so delicious isn't he?” Ursula said and looked in Eric's direction with seduction in her eyes.
“Oh my god, youre in love,” Marjun said giggling.
“Love, who said anything about love?” Ursula answered with a grin. She got up from the sofa “Hey Eric, I wanted to ask you something,” in a few steps she was over by the chair pulling him up.
“This way,” she said giving his hand a squeeze. Like a little poppy he followed her into the hallway.
“Hey Marjun have one of these,” an young boy handed her a glass with tequila and Sisu while taking one himself. He slammed the glass onto the table while closing it with his palm.
The liquid began foaming and the boy threw the liquid into his throat and swallowed in one gulp.
“Yeah,” he half shouted letting out a burp.
Marjun slammed the glass into the table and swallowed her drink as well.
“One more?”, the boy was already pouring them another and the tone was more of a command than a question.
“I really don't…” Marjun tried.
“Don't be a drag,” the boy insisted handing her another glass filled to the rim.
If there was one thing Marjun wasn't then it was a drag. She downed the glass before the boy could even blink and let out an extended belch while trying to hit the first few tones of the national hymn.
The boy laughed hysterically spillin half his drink on the floor.
Marjun got up. “Hey where are you going?” the boy complained.
“I need to wipe up your mess dumbass,” she replied and gave him a frindly slap across his hair.
“He, he,” the boy laughed and slammed the glass holding the remainder of his drink onto the tabletop.
Marjun passed the toilet, the muffled sounds were unmistakeable. She shook her head in a shudder. Ursula was insationable, maybe that was why she was so fascinating. Marjun knew no one else who so freely did what she wanted and broke all the taboos as Ursula. She could'nt give less for any talk going around.
What was it she said? In a hundred years no one will care… Heck the day after tomorrow they will find something new and exciting to talk about. And she was right in a way. At least it was possible to live a life in near anonymity in Tórshavn and Klaksvík as well.
But Marjun still wouldn't dare to do anything like Ursula.
She had just finished wiping up the spilled drink when Ursula and Eric came back in the room. Ursula had red cheeks and seemed somewhat out of wind.
Eric was standing there smiling smugly “Are you ready to paaaaaaarty!!!,” he yelled grabbing an open bottle of beer from the table and performed a Michael Jackonesque move with his other hand over his groin.
He held the bottle high and chugged it down to the cheers of his friends.
As Marjun got dressed, the events of the evening slowly began coming back to her.
She went downstairs at sat down at the table carefully avoiding looking anyone directly in the eyes afraid that they might notice how red they were.
Her mother greeted her smiling completely unaware of the happenings of the previous night. To her Marjun was still an unspoiled little flower and in her mind, would be so forever.
As they sat at the breakfast table the effects of the alcohol truly began setting in. The headache was carving through Marjuns skull like a knife.
While the party mainly had been fun there were also moments Marjun would rather like to forget.
Bogi exchanged a secret look with her “Want to go for a walk?” he asked reading his sisters state of mind as well as her physical well being.
“Do I ever!” Marjun exclaimed.
Sunneva laughed “How excited you are sweetie, yes why don't you two go for a walk after all it looks like the sun is peering out from behind the clouds, did you hear they are sun bathing at Leynar beach?”.
They had, a day of sunshine and sunbathing would not pass by the sharp journalists of the Faroese National Broadcasting Service.
No too long past midday Marjun and her brother were at the cinema video store one of the few remaining video rentals in town, this was going to be the first in a long line of hangover days. Over chips and movies, she confessed to her brother of the happenings of the night before.
When she told Bogi about the Dane, he near exploded.
“I have told you to stay away from that devil!” Bogi said struggling to calm himself down.
“I did'nt take any!”, Marjun began “And we got Ursula home fine, so stop worrying. You are not my mother!”
“Stop worrying? Not your mother?”, Bogi searched for words not easily found.
“You are missing the point,” Bogi tried.
“What do you mean?” Marjun said opening somewhat.
“You know the first one is always free, but soon you'll be begging for more, the Dane has destroyed more young girls than I would like to think of”
“If he's so bad why hasn't the police arrested him?”
“You know how it is with those types, threats keep people in check none who know, dare say anything, just stay away from him okay?” Bogi clenched his fists thinking someday someone should run that bastard and his friends right off the pier side.
Marjun looked at her brother and nodded.
Bogi was bored, he'd been sitting with the regular crew holding a send off party for a friend headed to sea.
He had agreed to be the designated driver so he was completely sober which is something you could not say about his friends. But that was how it was, at least he was not one of those dorks who thought they could actually drive after having had more than just a few beers. The many flowers laid next to the roadside every year on remembrance day were a testament to their stupidity.
The time was approaching 12 and the guys were getting ready to hit town. Fashionably late as all Faroese and having made sure it was hard to walk in a straight line they filed out into the car.
“No cigarettes danmed,” Bogi complained as they got in and Oscar still had a lit one in his mouth.
“I'll just open the window see!” Oscar tried rolling down the window resulting in an ash cloud spreading in the cabin.
“Throw it out! I'll not go anywhere as long as it is lit. I mean it!” Bogi complained.
Reluctantly Oscar let go of his cigarette but not before he had take a final puff, which he graciously attempted to blow out the opening resulting in a gush of smoke filling up the interior as the wind once again had it's way.
Bogi refrained from making a comment and turned the key. The quicker he got the boys down to the Pit or whatever the name of the week was of the disco the quicker he'd have the car to himself so he could cruise, one of his favorite pasttimes while waiting for the boys to come out from the disco when it closed around 0400.
Letting the guys out of the care outside the cinema Bogi finally had some time to himself. He was contemplating his further career. He had applied to several universities in Denmark and was waiting to hear whether or not he would be admitted.
Meanwhile Marjun had been at Ursula's place she and her friends had hit the pit quite early as girls were admitted if they came early enough, the fact that they we're not of age to get in never seemed to bother the buff bodybuilder types acting as bouncers, Ursula's hard come on probably also had it's effects.
They had been dancing for hours and Marjun most wanted to go home, but being drunk she readily followed Ursula who was dragging some unwitting sailor looking for a one night stand with her.
They were walking down towards the soap house now converted some years ago into a bar slash tourist trap positioned in the middle of the road forcing each lane to fork around it, when she saw Bogi's car. She waved and he acknowledged her wave. She could see 3 guys sitting in the cabin, but she ought to be able to convince them that she could squeeze in so that she could get a lift home.
She noticed her brother parking the car, lights facing the road. It was not for nothing this part of town in the harbour area was referred to as X-Ray street. In the old days the positioning of the cars had been even more prolific, having a line of 10 to 20 cars all lined up side by side headlights on in the now cordoned off part of the pier area. The drivers and people in the cars would be looking at the girls and couples strolling up and down the street, some in the hope of meting friends others simply to be seen. Funny how some things seemed to not want to die.
As Marjun approached the car Bogi got out of the car as did his companions. “Hey bro how are you doing,” Marjun said enthusiastically. For
a moment Bogi observed her then answering “I'm fine,” in (AFMÅLT) tone. He did not like to see his sister drunk. It was so demeaning to see all these young girls staggering around town like drunkards, no he didn't like it one bit.
“Gimme that,” Marjun said and snagged the newly lit cigraette from Oscar. She took a deep puff and began making smoke rings.
“Jeez you smoke?” Bogi stuttered.
“I've been doing it for months, don't you dare tell mum and dad!” Marjun demanded.
“It is your funeral,” Bogi answered and added “Why do you want to destroy yourself with that crap?”.
“All grown up eh?” Oscar said and looked for something under his big jacket. He pulled out a bottle. “Wan't some?” he said after taking a generous sip for himself quickly flushing it down with the help of the soda he had in his other hand.
“Sure”, Marjun said beating Ursula to the bottle. She gorged down a big gulp and started coughing.
Oscar laughed “Ha ha, it bites doesn't it, it is 95% proof, I know a guy who works at the hospital, good thing is you don't get any hangovers”. He handed Marjun the soda. They all laughed.
Marjun didn't quite hear what Bogi said through her coughing but obviously it had a dampening effect and the party broke up just minutes later.
Suddenly the alcohol began to affect Marjun in quite a severe manner.
“Here get into the car,” Bogi said helping her in the direction of the vehicle.
She had a hard time keeping her balance but managed to get into the front seat.
Bogi walked over to the drivers side and got in.
“Are you okay?” he asked his sister with a concerned look on his face.
“No I don't feel well,” Marjun managed to stutter while fumbling with the seatbelt.
Bogi stretched across the cabin, untangled the mess Marjun was making of the seatbelt and strapped her in securely.
“Don't worry I'll take you home”, he said reassuringly.
“Thanks!”, she mumbled with tears in her eyes.
Moments later they had arrived at the house. Getting up the stairs to the front door almost took longer than the drive with Marjun insisting that she could walk herself all while having the balancing skills of a two year old just taking the first couple of steps.
While holding Marjun Bogi managed to open the outer door.
They had gotten to the stair when Marjun began convulsing “I'm gonna puke!” she managed to stutter.
“Shit this way,” Bogi tried to pull her towards the bathroom but to no awail. Marjun spilled out her guts with such fanfare that she woke up the rest of the house.
Sunneva came down the stairs in her nightgown. “Hello, who's there” she asked, as she got off the last step the scene became clear to her.
Bogi was desperately trying to wipe the remains of the evening meal off the carpet and Marjun was sitting there with vomit on her clothes and in her hair.
“What in heavens name is going on here, are you drunk?,” she asked with disbelief as she fully realized the state Marjun was in.
Then their mother exploded. “What kind of brother are you to lead your sister into such a mess? Where did she get the alcohol ? Did you”
“Well I… no not this time… I…I mean, I met her down town,” Bogi said trying to sidestep the issue.
Sunneva looked at Bogi with stern eyes, “Finish up cleaning this mess, we'll talk tomorrow.” Sunneva bent down to help Marjun get onto her own feet again.
“Come with me Marjun,” she commanded gently and steered Marjun towards the bathroom.
Once inside Sunneva meticously stripped Marjun down and ushered her into the shower cabin, she turned the faucet on gently and cleaned out the vomit from the hair and rinsed off Marjuns body.
Marjun herself grateful for the assistance was standing there leaning her hands and head towards the walls of the shower cabin.
Once done Sunneva lead Marjun out of the cabin and dried her using a big towel that she since wrapped around her daughter after which they ascended to the loft and into Marjuns bedroom.
She manouvered her daughter int the bed and laid her on the side to prevent any accidental drownings in her own vomit should she suddenly have another convulsion.
For hours she sat by Marjuns side while gently padding her forehead with a cold wet cloth until finally Marjun fell into a deep sleep. Sunneva could not believe that Bogi would have stooped so low as to let his sister get drunk in his presence and even been of assistance from what she understood from what bits she had been able to extract from Marjun though she had been unwilling to tell her anything, but a mothers ways are hard to get around when a mother wants to know and soon she had a picture of Bogi readily supplying Marjun with whatever alcohol she wanted.
Perhaps Bogi needed to go on a 3 month tour aboard Magnus'es ship. There he'd learn responsibility and grow up somewhat.
Or maybe they should ask cousin Hjørleif he was know to be a stern Captain if any and the crew of the Falcon not to be jested with.
Yes that was what she'd do. She'd talk to Hjørleif.
The following months had not been easy and had held many arguments Marjun felt violated that her mother had pried out her secrets while she was in her drunken state and turned more and more introvert as the arguments raged on. Bogi finished his finals exams and went out with the Falcon for a couple of months earning a good cache that he could take with him now he had been admitted ti IHK in Ballerup in Denmark where he was to study construction engineering.
Marjun was holding Bogi tightly “I'm going to miss you so much!” she had a hard time holding back her tears as did Bogi, but he had to go, the lack of educational possibilities in the Faroe Islands had always every year sent droves of young people out into the world to attain their knowledge and while many returned others found much better opportunities abroad.
Better salaries and better opportunities for continous development and not forgetting a chance to get away from that sometimes suffocating small town feeling that seemed to encompass everything concerning the islands, Marjun feared desperately her brother would become another number in that statistic.
They stood there for a good while as the que towards the security check in slithered around them.
Sunneva had stayed behind in Tórshavn as she could not bear coming all the way to the airport, saying farewell had never been easy for her, so Marjun had volunteered to go with Bogi to the airport to send him off, after all today it was a mere 45 minute bus ride through the tunnels piercing through the mountains and under the sea, and it was a chance for Marjun to hold on to her brothers company which she so cherished if only for an additional hour or so.
Bogi looked at his sister, how she had changed, she was not a little girl any more. The clothes reeked from rebellion. Small tears and her makeup while not Goth came pretty close and certainly was the cause of more than a few wrinkled brows.
“Sis you need to be carefull okay?” Bogi said with great concern.
He had noticed how Marjun had changed becoming less the bright center of attention but more like a dark brooding cloud of despair.
It was very clear that their mother did not understand or simply refused the fact that Marjun was now in most ways and manners a grown woman and not a small child any more and the conflicts they had been having were without a doubt a direct result of this.
“Don't cry,” he said an wiped a tear off her cheek. Marjun took a deep breath and cleared her nose “I won't,” she answered in a thick voice.
The loudspeaker boomed “All passengers on RC459 from Vagar airport to Cophenagen CPH, Denmark, please go to the departure gate, boarding will begin in a few minutes”.
They looked around, Bogi was the only remaining one outside the security check in leading to the small taxfree shopping area also acting as the gate so this was it.
Bogi kissed his sister on her forehead “You are in here,” he said putting a hand on his heart and then on his forehead. Marjun nodded managing to stutter “Have a nice trip”.
As he walked through the security gate Bogi turned his head and offered a smile and a wave. Marjun blew him a shy kiss and walked over to the viewport from where she could see passengers walking across the tarmack onto the plane. Bogi was across to the plane a few minutes later and turned one last time as he stood in the door and waved. Marjun waved back. Then the doors of the plane were closed and the ladder rolled away.
Marjun shared her window with a small child enthusiastically jumping up and down as the black smoke began pouring from the engines gassing up getting ready for departure.
As the plane steered out towards the runway Marjun could not help letting her tears flow and a s the plane disappeared in the distance the already cold summer seemed to steer directly through autumn and into the darkest winter.
There is a faroese saying that time passes by like the currents of a stream, how true it is Marjun thought as she staggered home from town, cigarette in one hand a bottle in the other. The evenings seemed to be blurring together.
Every night was a new party a new adventure with her friend Ursula who had once again left her for what was it this time, a young Sargent from the Royal Danish Navy out on landleave for the first time in months.
Marjun had to admire her. It had not taken Ursula many minutes to wind him around her little finger and the whole evening he had been splurging out on the three of them talking about that the three of them should go to the hotel to hold a little after party when the bar closed.
But when shortly before closing time after kissing with Ursula for like the tenth time and her whispering something into his ear, he had gotten off his chair like somebody shot a rocke up his hiney and said “Okay just one last dance if you insist, then we'll leave.”
Marjun had followed them with her eyes as they headed onto the tightly packed dancefloor. Ursula danced as only she would dare, egging and seductive as she brushed her body up against the poor defenseless sailor, then they had disappeared into the crowd and Marjun had never caught sight of them again. It was probably all for the best, Marjun felt tired, while getting drunk had felt like it alleviated her longings and fears it just didn't really do so any more.
Before she knew it she was back home, she found her mother asleep in front of the television, there was some TV Shop show running and the presenter was showing his amazed audience another must have cutter for the kitchen.
Marjun felt sick about the pointlessness of it all. She took the remote control and pulled the cover up on her mum and left her in the chair to sleep then she headed towards her room to sleep, but before heading to bed she opened the window and lit a cigarette.
She inhaled and let the intoxicating feeling of nicotine fill her up, she laid down on the bed and took another puff and closed her eyes.
The next thing she knew she woke up outside the house, she was on a stretcher and a medical aid was standing above her alongside a firefighter.
“God damned,” the firefighter exclaimed when she opened her eyes “Do you realize what you have done?”
Marjun recognized the firefighter it was one of her cousins.
“How stupid are you to smoke in the bed? Do you realize how lucky you are that your mother was asleep in front of the telly and Snappy was able to react to the fire?”
“Enough now,” the medical aid said raising a hand towards the firefighter who wiped soot off his forehead.
“You'll be lucky if we can save anything,” he said marching off.
Marjun pulled the mask from her face and tried to look around.
The street seemed alive with blue blinks, firefighters, police officers all weaving back and forth between each other and spectators on their way home from town half drunk watching this the newest reality show on the block.
The police had the crowd disperse quickly. As Marjun was lifted into the ambulance she managed to catch a glimpse of her mother who was crying while being held reassuringly by one of the firefighters.
The last thing she heard before the doors closed was a loud yelp from Snappy their golden retriever who had apparently saved the day.
If the prevoius months had been rough the following ones were not one bit easier, burning down your house is not the best way to have your smoking habit discovered and sneaking out on an almost daily basis to drink is not something that will make any parent happy and Marjun's parents were no exception to this.
But as they say time mends any wound and eventually things seemed to slip back into normal and Marjun had started her 3 year preparation study for going to university, and so had Ursula like nearly all the other young people they knew and as usual there was a Friday evening party looming ahead.
Marjun was in her room, she had been wanting to write an essay but the words just didn't seem to want to come to her, she had found it increasingly hard to concentrate on the study. Ursula had told her to never mind that, there was nothing a short skirt could not handle at an exam. Those old bastards had bee drewling all over her wishing that they could rush directly to a hotel room rather than home to the wife after the first half year exams came to a close. You should learn from me Ursula used to say. Yeah maybe she should Marjun thought, after all things seemed to go pretty well for Ursula, she seemed very energetic lately and had grown quite a following at school.
She put down her pad and pen, now she realized what she needed, she needed to talk to Bogi. He could help her after all he was doing very well in Denmark, scoring top grades and and was successful in every aspect of his life if his latest profile update was true.
She turned on her chat software and had not more than done so when somebody dialed her up.
When she saw the picture her heart jubilated even though as usual when talking to someone abroad over the oversubscribed lines going to and from the Faroe Islands the quality was not top notch but, nevertheless sitting there seeing her brother and talking to him while being in separate countries still seemed like a marvel of technology. It was maybe everyday stuff in the rest of the world but the Faroe Islands had allways been struggling keeping up with the technological advances giving television only a 10-15 year head start to the communication explosion of the internet.
“Hey there sis,” Bogi said with a big smile. “Not in town tonight ?,” he continued with a glimmer of hope in his voice.
Marjun could'nt help but ponder upon the telepathic connections, how quaint that he had called just as she was about to call him.
Bogi on the other hand was somewhat worried as he saw her. He had noticed how Marjun had become increasingly pale and unhealthy to look at and it bothered him a lot.
“Later actually,” Marjun answered noticing her brothers face taking on a more serious look than the one that had been displayed when he first called.
“So tell me, how is everything, are you okay ?”, he inquired
“Yeah I'm fine, all's good,” she lied.
“And school?” Bogi asked fishing to see if he could get Marjun drawn into a more serious conversation.
Marjun raised her shoulders “So, so, I find it so uninspiring, teachers always favoring certain students,” she didn't want her brother to find out the truth of how she really felt about everything at school.
“Yeah tell me about it, it is hard if you are of the wrong family, but subject wise you're doing allright ?” Bogi asked drilling for more information.
“Yeah, well it's allright, but what about you?” Marjun asked deflecting any further inquiries into school matters.
“Me ?”, Bogi said with a big smile having a suspicion what Marjun was referring to.
“Yeah I saw your update on G+ - you have a girlfriend ?” she asked tilting her head a tad.
“Yeah I guess”, Bogi was all smiles.
“Why did you not tell me?”, Marjun asked in an assumed accusatory tone of voice.
“Well I'm calling you right now aren't I?” Bogi said bouncing the ball right back on her half.
“Well you could have called before the update, and who is she ? I couldn't find any picture.
“Isabella… she's something special in so many ways, I don't even know where to start”, Bogi said clearly overwhelmed with pompous adjectives that he wanted to put together in order to cast the best possible shine on his new fiancee this without completely overloading his sister who had experienced more than just a little misfortune lately when it came to finding the right boyfriend.
“What do you mean,” Marjun inquired.
“You'll never guess,” Bogi taunted thinking how to best break it so as to bring the fact across positively.
“Come on, stop torturing me,” Marjun complained.
“Well she's black,” Bogi began.
“As in african ?”, Marjun interrupted.
“Yup and as in as black as you can possibly imagine , they are going to absolutely freak back in the Faroe Islands”, Bogi replied.
“Oh yeah - can you imagine the talk of the girls here. Huh so we're not fancy enough for him, had to go get himself a foreigner, ha ha ha,” Marjun could not help to let out a little laughter, she was so happy on his brothers behalf, but at the same time somewhat concerned about the racist elements back home that he was bound to run into.
“Well it's not just in the Faroes there's a stir, it is so sad with small countries like the Faroe Islands and Denmark where people are best at looking at their own bellybutton ant think the world of it. It would be nice if people started to judge by merit and not by the colour of the skin. I mean Isabella has been working for 5 years as a nurse tending HIV/AIDS victims voluntarily. She has been risking everything to do what is right, but all they are concerned with here in Denmark is if she can speak Danish and if she can be integrated. Fuck intigration, how about getting your arse out from the borders of your backyard and learn something from the people who are out there making a real difference… hmm sorry for the rant. I just get so pissed off by the small town manners people seem to display both here and there.” Bogi took a deep breath after airing his thoughts.
“Anyway super congrats on everything, do you have a picture of her ?” Marjun asked curious to see her new sister in law.
“One better”, Bogi switched to Danish “Hey Isabella come say hi to my sister”.
They talked for a while, Isabella seemed both sweet and smart and she was beautiful. Bogi was one lucky guy, he always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
“Wow look at the time,” Marjun suddenly realized they had been talking for almost an hour. “I'm sorry but I really gotta go! I have an appointment”.
“No problem,” Isabella answered with a smile “I also need to talk to this fellow anyway”, she added and tossed Bogi's hair from side to side before giving it a slight tug.
“Yeah he needs a haircut,” Marjun heard herself say. Isabella laughed and left the picture.
“So I'll talk to you soon sis, you be well,” Bogi said and tried to offer a smile.
“Yeah for sure, take care bro,” Marjun replied
The picture stayed on as neither of them reached to hang up.
“You hang up,” Marjun insisted.
“No you!” Bogi rebuttled. And so they continued until Marjun the voice of reason suggested a countdown.
“3, 2, 1,” as both of them had uttered the last number the screen turned black and the chat client went back to holding position. She could see her brothers profile still online and desperately wanted to call him up and tell him everything, but she couldn't. She didn't want to ruin his evening say his life, however uncomfortable she felt about lying to her brother she was on her own in all of this.
As usual things got pretty hectic at Ursulas place, and as usual they hit town around midnight just like everyone else. The disco was packed with people desperately egging each other on in that eternal dance of the peacocks each out to impress the rest more than the others. Marjun hated it. She felt that every time she went to town she belittled herself just one bit more, each time her dignity was taken down another notch, but it had simply become the way that things were.
Right then the Dane appeared. At first Marjun was quite apprehensive, the guy was scruffy looking, he was to put it mildly ugly as hell, but he had a way with words that had charmed the pants of many a maiden and landed more than a few of her friends in misery but all that didn't matter there was only one.
“So baby what'll it be?” the Dane asking fullwell the cravings that had sent Marjun downtown.
“I need a lollipop,” Marjun answered.
The Dane grinned showing a row of diamond set teeth.
“So what you got for me?,” he asked.
“Five,” Marjun answered knowing that there was no chance in hell that the Dane would agree to 500.
“You must be out of your fucking mind bitch, did you say five, get tha fuck out of here,” his maniacal laughter sounded like that of an hyena and his two companions joined in.
“You know we might be able to figure something out,” he gestured at the companion on his left.
“Shorty here just got out and he'd sure appreciate the company of a pretty lady like yourself,” he said lifting his eyebrows then looking down on his hand which he then opened slightly so that Marjun could see what he was holding. She reached out. But the Dane closed his fist.
“Uh oh, not so fast pretty lady, see you in the van outside.”
The Dane and his two companions left their corner in the disco and headed downstairs. Marjun followed them obediently and knew what she would have to do.
The van quickly left the parking lot outside the disco and while they drove away Marjun tried to dream herself away to a better life a life without worry and a life without the curse of the Dane.
The following morning was hell, Marjun was in agony. She woke early despite having come home only a few hours before, she headed straight for the toilet, grabbed a couple of her fathers arthritis painkillers and gushed them down with an alcohol soda she had kept hidden in a drawer.
She grabbed her phone, there was a message from Ursula. It read Party Girl Wanted! Be at Ruprects street ASAP. The message was only 30 minutes old.
Marjun dialed. The phone rang a couple of times before it was answered.
“Marjun is that you,” the voice sounded groggy but it was Ursula.
“Yeah it's me, what's up?” Marjun asked.
“Oh everything,” Ursula giggled “I need you here girlfriend, this is… so good,” Ursula breathed heavily “Come now, you will not want to miss this, I've got more lollipops here than you could possibly imagine,” Ursula snickered again, but Marjun felt the crave coming on.
For a few hours life might just be bearable again. Who was she to let such an opportunity pass her by.
She quickly wrapped up the call and got dressed and in the dim light of dawn, she once again found herself heading towards a brief moment of bliss, a moment where she could be free from any sorrow, a moment where she could become one with the universe.
Finally summer had come, the flight had been fantastic and Isabella had been like an excited little kid sitting at the window as the plane made it's approach.
The weather was absolutely majestic and the green islands showed themselves in all their splendor.
When they came through the arrival gate Bogi was surprised that Marjun was not there. He tried to make up an excuse to Isabella who took Marjuns absense somewhat more lightly than Bogi.
All the way in the taxibus Bogi was thinking. It was not like Marjun to not show up when she had promised to do so.
As the taxibus rolled up to the house Bogi could see his mother in the window like a lookout scanning the horizon for dangers. When she saw then she waved and disappeared behind the curtains.
Moments later the door opened and Sunneva gave them a warm Faroese welcome.
“Come sit”, Sunneva bade and ushered them into the living room after they had carried all the suitcases into the hallway.
Bogi's mother treated them with tea, cookies and all that the house had to offer and Isabella felt genuinely welcome. Bogi had not exaggerated his mothers friendliness.
“So where's Marjun,” Isabella asked sensing Bogi's uneasiness.
Sunneva seemed to look down but then answered “She's still in bed, she came home very early this morning, you know how young people are!” she laughed a forced laughter to cover up how she really felt.
“Really then I'll go up and wake her, after all she must have had her beauty sleep by now,” Bogi said looking at his wristwatch, it was three in the afternoon.
The reek in the room was unmistakeable and even though Isabella did not enter to assist in the waking up process, but had proceeded directly to the room Sunneva had designated for them during their stay, Isabella knew she would have to have a really serious talk with Bogi and probably Marjun as well for the sweet smell of marihuana had not disappatet after what had to have been a wild night and with the way Bogi had described the change in his sister and the telltale signs the times they had been on the video chat she was now quite certain in her case. She had seen too many girls like Marjun living in the slums surrounding the clinic where she had spent so many years.
Marjun had first furiously denied everything, but Isabella was a wizard at getting people to talk.
Bogi had left them to talk it out upon Isabellas request after all this was in her line of business. For a while he had drifted aimlessly but then he had suddenly found himself at the harbour area and before he knew it he was aboard the Falcon.
Oscar put a hand on his shoulder. “No need to worry mate, we'll back you up 100%”
The party of big muscular and serious men then got up from the table in the mess and departed via the gangway.
They were not exactly dressed for a night out in town and the noise from the rubber boots and rustlings from the heavy clothes tore through the night.
Bogi and his mates waited behind the disco and as expected the Dane and his two henchmen came outside for some air and to resupply themselves. They waited until the Dane and his compadres had entered the yard across from the disco where he had placed their stash of the day.
“What the hell.” the Dane exclaimed when he saw the hooded figure “Finni, Jens get over here,” he yelped with fear in his voice.
Bogi approached as did the two henchmen.
“What do you want?”, the Dane said somewhat more secure now he had his henchmen on each side.
“I am here to deliver a message, you boys are done corrupting the kids here”
The Dane and his henchmen laughed out loud. “Says who fuckhead?”
“Says I dipshit” Bogi responded and added “You guys are to pack it up and leave country tonight”.
The Dane and his two companions laughed again then the Dane took a step forward “Take off that ridicolous mask,” he said menacingly.
“Make me,” Bogi responded.
Sometimes it can be good to be smaller and quicker than your opponent in a fight, but most of the time you also need to remember to duck when a fist comes at you with the speed of an express train.
The Dane laughed “Ouch that hurt,” he said as he watched Bogi fall lifeless to the ground. The henchmen snickered and took a step forward.
“I would'nt do that,” a deep voice rumbled.
The Dane looked up “Another one, conme on be fucking serious”.
“With you, it will be our pleasure,” the deep voice rumbled. “Take them down,” the skipper snarled.
And right there and then, in the middle of the night in a small garden in the center of Tórshavn, the Dane and his henchmen met their match in the crew of the Falcon.
The fight was short and effective and Bogi who was waking up from his knock out was told in no shy manner how the Dane and his two sidekicks had been no bigger match to the seamen than tying down a lamb at autumn slaughter.
Then they went back to the Falcon to put some ice on Bogi's right eye before proceeding with the remainder of the plan.
The morning after they were sitting at the breakfast table, the only one knowing the truth about the black eye was Isabella who had been less than approving, such matters were best left to the authorities she had complained while Bogi had rebuttled that the authoities had lost control and that all which was needed for evil to prevail was for good men to do nothing.
Bogi poured himself a cup of coffee, he had managed to get Marjun out of bed despite her aversion to getting up early, but his lecture about them having so little time together paid off and Marjun had dragged herself down to the breakfast table set with such abundance of food that it more resembled a banquet than a normal breakfast table.
The radio was churning in the background when Bogi suddenly hushed at them.
“And in other news today, police have raided the homes of 3 suspected drug dealers and based on the evidence procured at the scene all three will be put before a judge pending further investigation. The police carried out the raids in the early hours this morning. In a surprise development the same three persons were delivered, or rather tossed off in front of the police station tied up and with a note on them. The note said either you begin cleaning up this mess or we will. T tossed off 3 known drug dealers.”
“There is no trace of the group of unidentified men, who tossed the three off at the station and Chief Inspector Harald Jespersen said in a statement adding that as no witnesses have stepped forward it will be impossible to find out who they were and that he believed the anononymous tip that had set off the raid was a coincidence as the police had been having their eyes on the three for some time now, he further added that people should restrain themselves and not refer to vigilantism no matter how tempting it might seem, he also added that the three are now at the hospital under guard being treated for minor injuries and will be put in front of a judge for the matters uncovered and this would be in absentia, if they were not able to meet in court themselves. For now they were considered under preventive arrest pending further investigations of the matters these three seemed to be involved in so that the investigation could proceed unhindered.”
“The three all of Danish nationality are known from criminal circles and the police has had an eye on them for years a search of their homes pending anonymous tips received before the 3 were delivered to the police has yielded evidence that will help in unraveling the drug scourge that has encompassed the Faroe Islands these latter years.”
“Can you believe that,” Sunneva exclaimed “The audacity”
Bogi looked at his mother “Well somebody had to do something since the police have been so inept.”
“Come now your cousin Peter is a police officer, they catch these drug dealers all the time,” Sunneva said defending the police.
“Might be, but these three are the big fish, not the small time pond scum that the police usually catch, perhaps there will be some order now.
“By the way mum is anyone at the summer house at the moment?” Bogi asked changing the topic.
“The house… no I don't think so, your cousin Peter was talking about going there sometime next week, why you wan't to go ?”
“Yup, Isabella hasn't seen it and Marjun needs to get out of town for a while, are you sure we couldn't borrow the house a little longer?” The talk
It is sad Isabella said, everything is so beautifull here and then you have nightmares happening like this.
They were sitting in the kitchen, Marjun had finally fallen asleep after having been through every withdrawal symptom, from cold sweats and goose bumps to panic and anxiety to horrific pains sending her into convulsions so severe that Isabella for a long time had considered calling an ambulance.
“So true, but I think she can get through this, she just needs a helping hand,” Bogi answered taking a sip from his cup. “Yikes, it's cold, you wan't a new cup also”
Isabella nodded. Bogi got up and prepared another brew of black tea.
When finished he sat back down again and browsed the list Isabella had meticolously assembled. It listed Marjuns drug history from start to finish with time estimates and what to Bogi looked like a clear overview of how hard kicking the habit would be.
“I think it is best this way,” Isabella said. “If she kicks the habit without actively using supplemental methods, there is a better chance that Marjun avoids thinking her habit. By being here with you and me she also avoids temptation. It was a good idea to slice the SIM card. That way she doesn't get any messages from her so called friends.”
Bogi looked Isabella deeply in her eyes “How much longer will she have to go through these unbearable withdrawal symptoms ?” he asked
“Well it depends you know, sudden withdrawal from drugs including opiates such as heroin may be extremely unpleasant, but less dangerous than many other drugs and any life threatening issues are unlikely as Marjun does not suffer from any pre-existing medical conditions that could affect the outcome…” Isabella paused after giving her medical opinion, she would be so without a job if anyone ever found out what they were doing, but Marjun was family and family is all.
They stayed at the summer house for several day's longer and Marjun got better every day. She still suffered from the odd minor panic like attack that sent her heart racing and from a hightened sense or paranoia but other than that the old Marjun began emerging again.
Once they were back in Tórshavn Marjun went to see the family doctor, it had taken a lot of persuasion from Bogi and Isabella as Marjun was worried about her condition being kept a secret, after all it was not unheard of that medical personnel accidentally opened their mouths when they had had a tad too much to drink, and Tórshavn was a small place. Bogi reassured her that if any doctor took his work seriously it was their family doctor, he would rather die than to divulge a patients history.
So there they were at the low red house close to the police station, they had been sitting in the waiting room with a couple of elderly ladies who had been japping about god knows who and everyone else so it was a liberation to come into the office of the elderly doctor.
It was a very effective consultation, the doctor had been sitting there stroking his beard listening, posing one probing question after another in order to get the true picture of things.
He looked at Marjun, “I would like to ask your brother to come in now, is that okay?”
“Sure,” Marjun answered without hesitation.
Bogi came in and the doctor gave a little speech about the intervention and solemnly swore that their secret would go to the grave with him, he would not put it in any record for now as he did not want Marjuns life to be destroyed, but the condition was that Marjun had to come see him every week for a check up.
If that could be managed and if the two of them Bogi and Marjun could promise to keep in close contact in the coming months for they would not be easy, then he would be there to assist Marjun in getting through this and then this part of Marjuns life could be erased, but only if they would live up to these conditions and only if Marjun cut her ties to her so called friends. It would perhaps be a good idea if Marjun changed school or took a year of absense so that she could get away from it all and not hang around with the same people as before.
The siblings affirmed their intentions to the doctor and thanked him, leaving his office one less burden upon their shoulders.
The remainder of the holiday went as holidays most do in the Faroe Islands visiting the sites showing off the land to the “tourist” while visiting familiy and friends introducing the fiancé.
Marjun was so happy on Isabella's behalf that the family had been so nice and had a lump in her throat when she went to the airport to send them off.
“You call me okay,” Isabella said and gave Marjun a big hug in the middle of the departure hall.
“I will,” Marjun promised. She did not take notice of the many eyes following Isabella.
Being in luck, they did not have to spend hours waiting as the fog suddenly cleared and the plane managed to set down. Soon after Isabella and Bogi were headed back to Denmark.
With the help from the family doctor and many a call from Bogi things turned out quite well for Marjun. It was an exciting day for her.
Her brother had just come home, now with a real family of his own, and while Jamie the oldest one was running around exploring the world, Isabella sat with their youngest called Kristina after Marjun's mothers middle name to the grandmothers great pride and pleasure.
Earlier the day had been spend at the capitol plantation, the speakers had been enthusiastic and as unrealistic about political matters as only young people and extremists can be, but it had been a good day and now they were gathered at Marjun's home having a splendid meal. No expense had been spared and every course you could think off was represented on the table, from the dry mutton to the transparent blubber on top of dark bread and potatoes and all the way to Danish meatballs.
While the table was filled with both snaps and beer Marjun stuck to her cola though many a time her well meaning 16 year old cousing offered her a drink from the rams horn as he made his bidding round with the ice chilled alcohol.
There was a tingle, someone was hitting the side of a glass with a spoon. Heads turned and the speaker stood up. It was Marjuns father Magnus.
“Marjun, my sweet daughter. Yes those of you who do not know me already I am Marjuns father and I have taken land leave to be able to celebrate this event with my daughter… and to paint the house.”
The crowd laughed and Marjun smiled, there was no doubt where she had gotten her quirky sense of humor from.
“You are not the first member of our family to graduate from a higher institution and you will certainly not be the last, I'm sure my two magnificent grandchildren will also be as intent on changing the World as you are my dear Marjun”
“Many see taking an education for granted, but trust me I do not take one bit of it for granted. There are many times in life when everything seems overwhelming and when the problems pile up and we almost succomb. But those are the moments that show our true nature. And you Marjun you have always been a fighter. Loosing your best friend to such a senseless death as to drugs must have been hard on you and I can thoroughly understand that it took it's toll on you. But this is not to be a eulogy but rather a moment of contemplation where we realize that it is both the good and the bad moments that make us who we are. Today luckily is one of the good moments and we are here to celebrate that you Marjun, have finished something and that this finish is not the end but a new beginning as you inspired by your life have decided to take the path of the good samaritan, you have decided to go on with your education pursuing a career in medecine at King's College London School of Medicine and Dentistry.”
“This is a fine institution indeed dating back to 1550 though it had a different name then”
“You know… In our lives we are supposed to learn and grow and to achieve the highest levels possible with regards to any endeavour we may pursue and in your graduation today you have done just that, so I would like to ask you all my honored guests to stand up and share a toast and a long live for my Marjun who today is ascending towards new peaks of knowledge unattainable for a simple fisherman such as myself.” Magnus paused to allow the guests to stand up.
As the cheers and the three hooray's boomed through the house a tear of joy and gratitude found it's way down her cheek.
A few months later Marjun found herself at King's College and as usual she was studying in the library using it to the fullest extent of the opening hours meaning that once again it was past 21:00 in the evening before Marjun got a chance to use the campus catering service.
She was pondering whether to order a sandwich but decided on a vegetarian snack quite high on her personal top 10 list, though she could never go all vegetarian as she would never be able to live without the dry mutton and blubber even though she knew that latter was not good for her.
She was very serious about her education greatly inspired by their old family doctor who had helped her so much. She could never thank him enough for having introduced her to the head of the faculty and for the invitation to study there that had been the result of the introduction.
A couple of her classmates met up with her when she arrived at the dorm, backpack full of books.
“You know you should get yourself a tablet computer you're breaking your back carrying those books around all the time.”
Marjun was about to give a snappy reply but realized that her main reason for holding on to the physical books of the library was one of pure nostalgia.
“I know she answered, but there's nothing like the smell of leather Emma, you of all people should know that.”
Emma snickered, for she fully understood Marjun's little joke, she would never forget meeting her bank advisor off duty.
“You do realize it is Friday right Sis ?” Emma asked hinting in the direction of the bus stop.
“I really don't know.” Marjun answered trying to evade the inevitable question that had been posed to her more or less every Friday and Saturday, as well as on multiple weekdays in addition to this.
“So you're coming to the pub tonight? It's all girls night, first drink is free and all, a perfect evening for poor students like us to hit town.”
“Well I don't really drink,” Marjun began. “Then have a coke and a smile,” Emma replied playing the part of the Cola babe in the latest commercial saturating the media.
Marjun was a bit doubtful but she sure could do with the company and Bogi seemed to have preciously little time to talk to her these days, it could not be easy having to tend two kids, having one's wife doing a Phd and keeping up with ones sisters doings, not that Marjun needed the same kind of support any longer as she had previously done.
“What the hell I'm going crazy here, hang on while I toss the books and slip into something more appropriate.” Marjun said fiddling for her electronic key then waving it in front of the sensor.
There was a beep and she grabbed the handle and pulled. “You go girl. Well be waiting for you,” Emma cheered.
About an hour later they were at the pub. It was crowded and the mood seemed good. So girls what'll it be the bartender asked when they finally made it all the way up to the bar.
“A Long Island Ice Tea for me and my girlfriends, except Mary here, she'll have a coke”
The abbreviation for cola used by Emma triggered a stream of memories for Marjun who somewhat absent minded took the glass when the bartender put it in front of her.
“Enjoy ladies,” the bartender said knowing the drinks were a small investment for filling the place up with punters willing to splurge out on the girls who were filing into the place like gnu's at one of those rare waterholes of the savannah on a hot day.
The girls cruised, looking at prospective subjects, be it for shorter or longer term relationships.
They had not noticed them but at a table in the back Gregor and his 2 mates had just lost what to them was a small fortune on the dogs. Gregor as usual was in a brooding mood. “I don't get it, Slevinski said this was a sure thing.” he said rubbing his forehead.
“It's those poles they just can't be trusted”, Aleksei mumbled disgruntled with his weeks salary having gone down the drain.
“Fear not, I see hope ahead!” Gregor the youngest of them said. “You see that girl there, I'll bet you that before the evening is done I'll have her eating from my hand”
Gregor's companions laughed “Sure and how much you want to wager on that,” Aleksei said calculating the odds for getting his money back.
“A hundred,” Gregor offered.
“Make it three and you have a deal,” Aleksei said upping the stakes “Maksimilian you will be our witness.”
“Da,” Maksimilian answered nodding prompting them to shake hands.
To Aleksei's great irritation it just wasn't his night and another weeks salary just went down the drain and there was nothing he could do about it.
It was as if the world just stopped when Marjun laid her eyes on him. She felt warm all over.
For her entire life she had searched for someone to love. Someone to make her complete and here he was , in the flesh.
His face seemed to radiate brightly and his eyes were as two bright stars twinkling in the night, his words seemed boundless like the sea. She drowned completely.
That evening it was as if an undying love was lit and for Gregor she took off her mask that she had been wearing for so many years, she told him everything, leaving nothing out. And he just sat there listening patiently, while gently stroking her hand, when she finished talking he was holding her head between his hands.
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” he said and smiled.
If she could have she would have melted, Marjun knew that while it was a direct quote from the American Poet and Essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson, the words coming from Gregor's mouth seemed to hold both purity, such incredible honesty and goodness like she had never felt before in her life.
It turned out to be an evening of superb perfection.
Every smell, every laughter and every touch came together in perfect unison, to form an unbreakable bond between them and before she knew it Marjun was gladly cooking away for her newfound love.
Gregor a great enjoyer of cinema trips, more cooking and candlelit dinners, soon suggested Marjun that she'd move into his apartment, after all things would be cheaper if they lived together. Would it not ?
To Marjun blinded by love, moving into an apartment costing nearly three times more than what she was paying for her own place, made perfect sense. And soon after they were flatmates, lovers and friends all in one.
Time passed and Marjun was getting well into the habit of taking care of her man, who for some reason was always unlucky with getting a job and always at the same time one step away from executing the next big plan that would make hime financially independent, but sure if she could spare some cash he'd be happy as he used to say when Marjun asked him if he needed money.
Marjun smiled at the thought of her sweet boyfriend, she seemed to miss nothing any more, even those days when he would disappear for some time as he put it, to give her air, though hard she could but love him. Also it gave her time to take care of both her study and work.
When she was not working, or studying they spent a lot of time in Hyde Park.
It was on a summers day in June that Marjun found herself strolling around the lanes with Gregor, she just loved coming there. particularly Speakers' Corner with it's vibrant quirky and sometimes outright crazy open-air public debates and discussions. How she adored it. There was many a time she felt like jumping upon a soapbox and shout to the world her love for Gregor, instead she whispered secret words in his ear and got his affirmations in return.
She took a good look around her and inhaled deeply. The fragrances of the flowers filled her nostrils. All around her people were bustling about, adults and kids, pensioners and tourists all one big swarm. like ants bustling about by the anthill.
They had just strolled past the Reform Tree and were headed towards Victoria Gate when Gregor asked her.
“Would you like to come to Paris with me?”
Marjun flew around his neck “Oh boy, do you even have to ask!” she giggled like crazy hopping round Gregor like a five year old that has just been told they're going for ice cream.
“Wanna go home and snuggle?” Marjun whispered giving Gregor a passionate kiss.
Gregor gave her a saying look and soon after they were headed for Hyde Park Corner fast on their way to Gregor's apartment.
The trip had been fine though the wait at DeGaulle for their luggage had been a drag, next time they'd take one of those cheap airlines and carry their luggage themselves. But now they were in Paris, the city of cities.
They went to see all the usual sights, the Notre Dame Cathedral, made famous in popular culture by it's tale of the hunchback, Arc De Triomphe, Centre Pompidou, the Louvre with it's Mona Lisa and last but not least the Dali Museum with all the quirkyness one could take in lifetime.
They had been spending the good part of a week there, Gregor had been reeled in by a pickpocket just after landing so they had been using Marjun's credit card, after all she would not let her boyfriends bad luck spoil their holiday.
They were joyfully walking down the pavement when suddenly she stopped.
“Oh my god!” she said and opened her eyes widely. “It is Café de Flore”
“We need to have a cup of coffee here”
Gregor looked at the sign holding a menu overview “But the prices are insane,” Gregor said pretending to care about how they spent Marjuns money while at the same time contemplating many other interesting ways he could be spending her money.
“You don't get it this is one of Saint Germain's great literary cafes… we have to have a cup of coffee here,” Marjun insisted
“But why?” Gregor insisted resisting just enough to make it seem genuine.
“You don't know who used to meet here ?”, Marjun said looking him straight in the eyes.
“Nope not really,” Gregor answered.
“Come on my poor uncultivated man, this was the favourite rendez-vous of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre,” Marjun said to explain her need.
“Oh…” Gregor said then in a sudden flash of inspiration eying an opportunity. It was after all time to move on.
“I dont care at least once in your life you need to splash out!” Marjun insisted.
“Okay, okay, I get it,” Gregor said as a waiter came up to them.
“Un tableau?,” the waiter said in French.
“Mais oui”. Marjun aswered back in the waiters own tongue.
They were seated and after a moment of difficult negotiation they settled on the drinks and accessories.
“You know, I've been thinking and I know that I did not bring all the correct remedies but I have something to ask you,” Gregor had put on his most serious face and Marjun swallowed her ears stiffening with anticipation. She wasn't sure but she thought she knew what was coming and then here at precisely this café.
He got knelt down before her. To Marjun the whole world seemed to be spinning. It was true, it was happening…
“Would you like to marry me ?” Gregor added after holding a long tormenting break.
Marjun screamed with joy turning the heads of everyone nearby “Yes, yes I will marry you!” she threw herself at Gregor and kissed him. He laughed a little embarrased of the commotion his stunt had caused, but to the applauds of the bystanders he kissed her back and they stood there for a while in a tender embrace.
After that Marjun began talking, she was unstoppable like a waterfall. Gregor listened with half an ear, nodding now and then mumbling something seeming like an affirmation only paying attention to the details pertaining money.
And as they sat there Marjun planning her dream wedding, Gregor politely smiled all while eyeballing the Parisian chic women passing by in fashionble and challenging clothes in the end his attention drifted so far that Marjun stopped.
“Oh forgive me my love,” she said “I am talking and talking and not letting you say a thing, how wrong of me, after all this is your wedding too”
“No problem,” Gregor answered “The Faroe Islands sounds like a really good idea, perhaps you should give me power of attorney then I can handle all the financial things and you can concentrate on the important stuff.”
Marjun thought for a moment “That's a splendid idea, you know there are so many things that need to be in place for a wedding, we need to hire the hotel at Viðareiði, it is so romantic up North.”
“I think it sounds wonderful, how many people you expect to come ?” Gregor asked.
“Oh about 3-400… I wonder if the ballroom can hold that many people, ah well I'll have to find out,” she answered.
“3-400, that's a lot of people, how we can afford?” Gregor asked.
“It is no problem,” Marjun began “I told you my father was a 1'st mate, he has given me a big childrens savings that has been waiting for something important like this,” she added confidently.
“Ah good,” Gregor answered and sipped some coffee from his cup, now she had his full attention.
Bogi had arrived a couple of days earlier
They had raided the London shopping scene, going all the way from Harrods, to the quirky Dover Street Market outlet. They had been to Westfield and more. Marjun had finally found the right dress for the wedding. A gown that gave her the appearnce of an angel. This was going to be the wedding of the century of that she was certain.
Bogi had been helping her to pack everything, Gregor had been kind enough to arrange for Bogi to leave the day before Marjun and it had not been possible to change the ticket to Bogi's big annoyance as he knew how Marjun felt about flying and found it odd that Gregor was not coming on the same plane as Marjun.
Marjun had told Bogi not to worry, she'd get through it nothing was going to stop her from attending her own wedding and with regards to Gregor coming on a later plane that was because there were a few things they needed to have in place legally speaking and those papers Gregor could not get until two or three days after she had left, Bogi surely could understand hiw things worked in a small town filled with burocrats, and even though Gregor was from Russia they also had small towns with Mahogni Desk Kings. You know Bogi all good things take time.
Bogi had decided he would not complain further regarding the fact that Gregor was not coming at the same time as Marjun nor about his own flight home, after all he seemed like an okay guy even though Bogi did not feel quite at ease with him he had to have something for his sister to fall so in love with him.
“So see you in a day or so”, Bogi said as he got into the cab.
“Sure will,” Marjun answered with a smile and waved at the cab speeding away.
“Come,” Gregor said and added, “He cannot see you”.
Marjun obediently went back inside. And sat down. She began to cry.
“Hey baby, what is wrong,” Gregor asked somewhat concerned. He did not want to waste his evening on tears.
“It is the flight, I… Can't you come with me?” she pleaded.
“Damned, you know I can't, we do not have the money for me going back and forth, I know we still have a full account but on the 15'th the credit card company will as the bank to withdraw everything you spent on the credit card these last days and I also need to make the transfer to the hotel tomorrow as well as to the caterer and the band… it is simply not possible”
“Wait here,” Gregor left the kitchen and returned a moment later.
He helt out his fist and asked Marjun to open her hand.
She held out her hand thinking that Gregor had bought a last minute engagement ring to be replaced by the rings he would be bringing with him.
But instead of a ring five white pills dropped into her open hand.
“What is this?” she asked.
“To make you relax tomorrow, it is nothing, just something I got from doctor when I could not sleep,” gregor explained.
“You never talked about that,” Marjun said suspiciously
“Well my secret shame, I want to be strong for you,” he answered looking down.
“But I don't eat pills,” Marjun said shaking her head.
“Well tomorrow you do,” Gregor answered nodding his head slightly a couple of times.
“No seriously,” Marjun complained
Then Gregor seemed to change there was something ominous over the way he once again insisted that she'd take the pills right before departure.
Marjun though about it for a long time then agreed, her nerves were on the outside of her clothes but nothing could be allowed to stop the wedding.
Gregor had taken her to the airport. They had spent the morning at a café and even managed to take a brief stroll in the park before heading out.
In the departure lounge he had smiled and kissed away a tear from her cheek. “Remember just two pills right before you get on board, then you'll be okay.” he said with that smile of his and gone was the feeling of dismay that had been building inside her since yesterday.
While Marjun was not happy about it, she did as she was told. She had not touched as much as a painkiller, since going cold turkey all those years ago and she was afraid how it might affect her, but she kept repeating to herself, it is only this once, it is only this once.
The flight turned out quite pleasant not at all what she had imagined, they even had on board Internet access and Marjun started up a chat session with Bogi.
Hello Bogi… she wrote.
The time lag was not too unbearable, the answer however was.
I do not know how to write this…
I had forgotten my shaving and toilet gear and I send my friend Andrew whom I studied with over to your place and he told me your place was empty… Abandoned… the landlord said that Gregor had cancelled the lease and that you still owe for this months rent.
I got a little scared so I investigated further through a banking friend of mine and no payments have arrived for the hotel, the caterer or the band and that it seems your bank accounts have been emptied completely, everything has been transfered to an offshore account by your husband to be based on a power of attorney, please tell me you did not give him one.
I have asked to cancel both your credit cards but the bank can't stop the things already spent legitimately and if it is all a mistake they can reopen the cards in the branch office.
I tried to report the matter to the police but they thave told me that before they get a formal complaint from you they can't do anything and they also added that this being England it is almost impossible to get anything done about it, something about brit's and economic crime.
I knows it is not easy to get this news now and I have done everything I can to stop this from turning into a total disaster.
I tried to leave a message to you at the airport.
Her heart began pounding, Marjun had been busy rummaging through her purse so she had not paid attention to what the lady at the counter had said, was it something about a message. Gregor had just smiled and said everything was under control
takes 3 more pills flushes down with a big glass of whisky.
During inflight the plane starts vibrating almost in sync with Marjuns heart, the pilot seems to hold off his approach and heads towards leynar he follows the valley and it seems like he plans an emergency splash landing at kollafjørd in similar fashion as to the emergency landing of Jan 15 2009 by the US Airways jetliner on the Hudson River
The airplane seemed to loose airspeed, Marjun closed her eyes there was a tremendous noise as the airplane was torn to pieces
The smoke was thick and parts lay strewn out across the hillside. Marjun could hear nothing but the sound of burning grass and in the distance a sheep was bleeting. Marjun felt as if her throat was being crushed by the rope of a hangmans neuce.
She fought to open her eyes but could not make out any other people.
Suddenly Bogi was there and helped her out of the burning wreckage saving only her everyone else seemed to be dead.
“Hang in there Sis”, Bogi pleaded “Everything is going to be all right.”
She heard sirens arriving from somewhere in the distance, she tried desperately to hold on to Bogi's hand but as the paramedics put her on the gurney everything went black.
For the third time in his life Bogi was back at the hospital, this time waking over his sister The sister goes into a coma for about a year.
Describe brother by bedside, reading, tearing - looking for small signs
Doctors explaining the situation, her brain has shut down to low level, uncertain if she'll wake up
domnt talk in front of her etc.
The books ends with her waking up again,
and she and her brother are sitting on the beach looking at the sun set.
isn't that where ?
Remember before you left ?
She looked for a long time while pondering the chain of events