Jag har ju pratat om det men inte riktigt vågat. Men nu jävlar (förlåt Ylva). Min novell som kanske är kass, jag har inte fått tillbaka den från läraren. Är jag nöjd med den? Jag vet inte, tror det. Känns inte som det bästa jag skrivit men det är nånting med den som betyder...något. För den som vet så finns det massa element i den som är bekanta.
What is the pleasure of time?
The sun has not yet risen; the world outside the kitchen window doesn’t want to present itself. In the early dawn the old wooden house just seems like a lonely ship of light in a sea of darkness. The large oak standing beside it can’t be seen but you can still smell the wet leaves and sense the rain falling lightly in the early morning hour. This is not unusual for a lonely village outside of Kopparberg, Sweden in this time of year. Inside, the kitchen is filled with a strong smell of coffee; the floorboards creak as a man in his late sixties shuffles about looking for his glasses in the cupboard in the corner.
She knows how this scene looks like. She has seen it many times in her soon to be middle age life. She, Frida Williams is lying in bed in the room next to the kitchen listening to her father. Frida haven’t slept a minute the whole night and guesses that her father is in the same position. It was a beautiful funeral; she has to give him that. It was exactly as her mother would have wanted it, simple with the whole family from both Britain and Sweden attending. But a funeral is always a funeral and now both Michael and her mother were gone, half the family is dead, but no use lying here thinking about it. The snoring of her two teenage sons is clearly audible as she climbs out of bed and put on jeans and a jumper to join her father in the kitchen.
- Hello dad, she says as she steps into the kitchen.
- Oh, hello Frida. I didn’t realise that you was up as well. You couldn’t sleep? Her father turns around to look at his daughter with a faint smile.
- No. I couldn’t.
- Sit down and have some coffee, he says as he turns his back to her.
The room turns silent again. Frida walks up to the kitchen table and sit down at one of the chairs looking at her father as he now tries to put on a fire in the old stove by the sink. Matthew Williams is a thin man that despite his age and now slightly crocked back still has a quite striking stature, like he was a statue in ancient Greece. But as he bends down to pick up the firewood from the basket his movements are slow and he drags his slippers after him. As he reaches out for the wood fresh ink stains on his hand is made visible for Frida.
- What is that? Have you started working again dad? I thought you said you stopped when mum got too weak to help you set up the press, says Frida with a smile of recollection on her face.
- Yes I did, her father says as he puts the firewood into the stove.
- But what changed?
- I got some help, says Matthew as he lightens the fire.
- From whom?
- From Nilsson’s kid down the road. You remember that blond thing that used to play with Blackie? He’s a young man of twenty now. Strong hands, like Michael. Matthew stands up letting out a sigh and walks over to sit down by the table.
- Why didn’t you tell me? I mean I love that you are working again but I could have sent the boys up over the summer. They love it up here.
- Yes but you are busy with work and I didn’t want to steal them away from their father.
- Yes their father of course. Frida stands up and walks over to the window, looking out at the dark yard.
- I’m Sorry, her father says as he looks down at the table.
- You always find ways to bring up my estranged husband. Brilliant dad. Thanks.
The familiar silence settles in again as Frida walks out of the kitchen, goes to the living room, places herself in the sofa, leans back with a hand on her forehead and closes her eyes. The only thing she can hear is the cracking of the fire and the rain against the windows. But after a few minutes the creaking sound from a chair being pulled out from under a table and how slippers are being dragged along the floor reaches her ears. Her father sits down next to her. He places his hand on her right hand that rests on her lap.
- I thought about leaving your mother you know, he says slowly.
- Why do you tell me this now dad?
- Do you remember when she was ill?
- Yes I remember. When she couldn’t do anything but cry. How we tried to help, the smell of her breath.
- I’m ashamed of it but I nearly moved back home to London then. I stood at Arlanda with my bag packed and a ticket in my shirt pocket.
- Why didn’t you? Ask Frida as she turns to her father.
- I couldn’t leave you, could I? I couldn’t leave your mother. I swore that I never would. You should have seen her Frida. Her hair smelled like roses and she had deep red lips. Her father even gave me a profession, something to call mine. I am glad we had fourty years together, that I didn’t leave her. That I stayed. All that time.
- What is the pleasure of time anyway? I could not stay any longer dad, it was too much.
- I didn’t see myself with him anymore. I couldn’t do it, says Frida as she rests her head against her father’s shoulder as if she was a child.
The daylight is slowly making its first appearance in the distant horizon washing over Frida and her father as it was a white wave of light coming through the birch trees. It hits their faces and she feels as if she can breathe again. As if this tension in her has in some ways disappeared. She thinks of her mother but looks at her father and smiles towards him. He smiles back and the vast landscape outside the window seems to come even closer than it has ever done.