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.Has a session with her therapist and collects her weekly dose of Cipramil.The therapist is a woman in her forties.Rebecka tries not to despise her.Can’t help looking at her shoes and thinking “cheap,” and at her jacket and thinking it doesn’t fit properly.But despising another person is a treacherous thing to do.It suddenly turns around: What about you, then? You haven’t even got a job.The therapist asks Rebecka to tell her about her childhood.“What for?” asks Rebecka.“That’s not why I’m here, is it?”“Why are you here, do you think?”She’s so tired of these professional questions being fired back at her.She looks down at the carpet in order to hide her expression.What could she say? The least thing is like a red button.If you press it, you don’t know what might happen.You remember drinking a glass of milk, and then everything else comes flooding in.I’ve no intention of wallowing in all that, she thinks, glaring at the box of tissues that’s always there at the ready on the desk between them.She looks at herself from the outside.Can’t work.Sits there on the cold toilet seat in the morning popping the tablets out of the box, afraid of what will happen if she doesn’t.There are many words.Embarrassing, pathetic, feeble, disgusting, revolting, a burden, crazy, sick.Murderer.She has to be a little bit nice to the therapist.Accommodating.On the road to recovery.Not such hard work all the time.I’ll tell her about something, she thinks.Next time.She could lie.She’s done that before.She could say: My mother.I don’t think she loved me.And perhaps that isn’t really a lie.More of a small truth.But this truth is hiding the big truth.I didn’t cry when she died, thinks Rebecka.I was eleven years old, and cold as ice.There’s something wrong with me, something basic.NEW YEAR’S EVE 2003Rebecka is celebrating New Year’s Eve with Sivving Fjällborg’s dog, Bella.Sivving is her neighbor.He was a friend of her grandmother’s when Rebecka was little.He asked if Rebecka would like to go with him to his daughter Lena and her family.Rebecka wriggled out of it, and he didn’t say any more.Instead he left the dog behind.It isn’t usually a problem to take Bella along.He said he needed a guard dog, but in fact it’s Rebecka who needs guarding.It doesn’t matter.Rebecka is glad of the company.Bella is a lively pointer.She loves her food like all pointers, and would be as fat as a sausage if she weren’t always on the move.Sivving lets her run off the worst of her restlessness down on the river, and he usually manages to persuade some of the villagers to take her hunting from time to time.She paces around in the house, winding herself around your legs—it’s enough to drive you mad.Jumps up and barks at the least sound.But the constant activity keeps her as thin as a rake.Her ribs can be seen quite clearly beneath her skin.Most of the time, lying down is a punishment.But at the moment Bella is lying on Rebecka’s bed, snoring.Rebecka has been skiing along the river for several hours.At the beginning she had to drag Bella along with her.Then she let her off the lead, and Bella scampered here and there kicking the snow up all around her.For the last few kilometers she trotted along happily in Rebecka’s tracks.At around ten o’clock Måns rings; he used to be Rebecka’s boss at the office.When she hears his voice, her hand moves to her hair.As if he could see her.She’s thought about him.Often.And she thinks he rang and asked about her when she was in the hospital.But she isn’t sure.She remembers things so badly.She has the idea she told the nurse in charge of the ward that she didn’t want to speak to him.The electric shock treatment made her so confused.And her short-term memory disappeared.She became like an old person, saying the same thing several times in the course of a few minutes.She didn’t want anything to do with anyone at the time.And certainly not Måns.She didn’t want him to see her like that.“How’s it going?” he asks.“Fine,” she says; she feels like one of those bloody automatic pianos inside when she hears his voice.“How about you?”“Bloody great, fantastic.”Now it’s her turn to say something.She tries to come up with something sensible, preferably something funny, but her brain isn’t working at all.“I’m sitting in a hotel room in Barcelona,” he says at last.“I’m watching television with my neighbor’s dog.He’s gone to celebrate New Year’s with his daughter.”Måns doesn’t answer straightaway.It takes a second.Rebecka listens.Afterwards she’ll sit and analyze that silent second like a teenager.Did it mean anything? What? A stab of jealousy directed at the unknown male neighbor with the dog?“What kind of guy is he, then?” asks Måns.“Oh, it’s Sivving.He’s retired, he lives in a house over the road.”She tells him about Sivving.How he lives down in the boiler room with his dog.Because it’s simpler [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]