Jaan ... Looking at his picture made her feel somehow good but at the same time it was hurting. It was terribly painful and tears were always gathering around her eyes. It felt like if her dad could see her through the photograph and touch her gently on the cheek, like he always did with his princess. Memories rose from a hidden place inside, where she was hiding them from the cruel world.
Kristi let go her spoon and wiped the tears off. Sobbing, she continued to sup her bowl of Kama and focused on the screen. Fingers were searching for the remote control. She flipped through the TV channels, now thoughtless, and stopped at the first cartoon. Every workday Jaan has watched them with her before he was leaving for work. She now remembered the sound of her father's laughter. Commercials came up.
"It’s the new naturally sweetened iced tea. Zero calories, without sugar, just with a great taste. Buy it and enjoy all our ..."
Kristi switched of the sound and finished her breakfast. It was nearly half seven, when she got to the kitchen and was looking out of the window. The Puhangu Street was quiet this morning. Just a few shadows were passing by, while the break of dawn was showing Tallinn his face. Kristi didn't need to be up that early for school, but they both always did.
The happy times for Kristi and her family vanished from one day to another. An accident took the person out of her life, she most loved and needed. She never get over his death. Her mother tried to replace him and failed from the beginning. Her only child begun to lack of energy, became depressed and problems at school were emerging on silent feet.
Across the street, she saw Terje. During the summer her classmate was leaving her home every day at that time to go for a run on the beach. She was practising it with tremendous discipline. Once the two girls were playing together on the beach at the end of the road, once they took an oath to never be angry at each other, once they were best friends for ever ...
"And ever after ..." Kristi muttered with a grim smile on her lips. "Bitch!"
Two years ago, they had a talk about puberty and pimples. They imagined what they could do when being grown-up. It felt like nothing could separate them. And then everything changed at a greater scale. Every boy in their class was falling in love with Terje. She was becoming a beautiful girl and the focus of interest. Not at all like Kristi, a bit overweight and with a frumpy look.
Terje begun to ignore her best friend, at first unintentionally. Then she broke up the contact completely. At that time the accident took place. It felt like Kristi's life was falling apart. She not only had lost a father and best friend but also someone else to talk to. She isolated herself and became a stay-at-home.
A heartbeat later Kristi turned away from the window. Her mother entered the kitchen. With every day passing by, she begun to hate the woman who had given her birth more and more, even at the very core of her being.
"Morning," said Anneli and yawned. "Everything all right?"
Kristi left the room without saying a word and returned in front of the TV. She lazed about on the sofa and closed her eyes. Something was different today, she could feel it. She wasn't just in a foul mood like every day, there was something more ...
An incoming text message caused her black cell phone to vibrate. She grabbed the device with a sluggish gesture and discovered a thing, she didn't expect. It was a message from Terje. "Come down to the beach!!!"
"You can wait for that till hell freezes over!," Kristi thundered and threw the mobile away.
She didn't need advices from a person like Terje, and by no means any consolation. It was too late for things like that. Or was that an invitation for a run? What a stupid idea ...
"At least death is no respecter of persons," Kristi said and switched the sound of the TV on.
A message at the bottom of the screen announced special news in a moment. Seconds later the Eesti TV logo appeared and afterwards a blonde newsreader, who seemed to be very excited.
“Good Morning, ladies and gentlemen! We are interrupting our television program to bring you some special news. Something incredible has happened last night on our beaches. Millions of glass bottles have been washed ashore.
Nobody knows where they are coming from and no other country has until now declared a similar incident. A lot of questions and no answers. We are immediately going live to Pirita Beach to Mati, our reporter on site. Mati, can you hear me?"
A young and attractive man showed up. He was standing on a beach, in front of a clear blue sky at dawn.
"Hello Lynda! I can hear you loud and clear!"
Anneli entered the sitting room, a cup of coffee in her hands.
"Mati, what is this all about? Have you got some more information about this trip to wonderland?"
"It's just amazing! The coast patrol confirmed us earlier, that the whole shore between Haapsalu and Narva is covered with millions of glass bottles. Blue, green, white, yellow and brown, ... All sorts of colours. It looks fantastic! Maybe the cameraman can swing round and capture some impressive pictures!"
"Wow! ...," Lynda couldn't say no more while seeing the waterside.
Kristi's mother gazed at the television.
"The police forces are trying to cordon off most shores and warn the population urgently not to walk to close to the bottles, there are a lot of pieces of broken glass. Just to make sure that nobody gets hurt," Mati added, while the cameraman was coming back on him. "Furthermore the authorities are proceeding aggressively on fact-finding. A container ship could maybe have lost its freight. Investigation is ongoing!"
The reporter picked up a green bottle to his feet. Inside was a piece of paper.
"I have picked up this bottle earlier and want to show you, that there is a message in each and every one. They all look handwritten and needless to say, that this is really unbelievable."
The young man opened it and read the message for himself. Oddly enough he remained silent.
"Mati?," Lynda asked anxiously. "Is everything ok?"
The young man nodded, wordless. He was still reading the sheet of paper.
"Thank you Mati!," the newsreader interrupted the connection. "You will certainly send us some more images later."
Someone rang the doorbell. Anneli went out of the living room and Kristi flipped again through the TV channels. On all three local stations was something about the bottles at the beaches of Estonia. Kristi heard Terje's parents at the door. Her mother still had a lot of contact with them.
"Kristi!," her mother screamed across the corridor. "Want to come with us to the beach?"
"No!," she yelled and added softly: "Leave me alone."
"Are you sure?," her mother asked again. "You should finally get up!"
"Jaan wouldn't go to the beach," Kristi whispered. "He would prefer in any event those bottles to a sticky oilslick, but he would go to work and do his job. And I should go to ..."
Kristi stopped. She didn't add school to her sentence but she saw it in her mind. She hated going there. They were there ... those stupid brawlers. Children who didn't understand her way of life.
"And after all it's just a marketing gag," she said and heard the slamming of the door. "It's no miracle and no god is giving us a sign. It's nothing else but pollution. A senseless waste of time and money! No euro is worth this spectacle!"
She felt like she could break down crying. Like someone had took away her invisible coat that had shielded her from the world up till now. She went to her room and put on her clothes. In the blink of an eye she was standing on the street in front of the house.
Curious onlookers were passing by, not even taking notice of her presence. She walked in the opposite direction to everyone else. Right into the heart of Tallinn. Away from those bottles, away from the beach and the ones she hated. She wanted to walk on forever and never come back. She didn't want to see them again ... she wanted to die and be together with Jaan at last.
"I am coming dad," Kristi murmured, well knowing what that would mean for her.
"She still doesn't want to talk to me," Terje said and stared at the sea. "I am sorry for what happened!"
"I know" Anneli told her. "She just needs time to get over her grief. She has too much anger and pain in her."
"Sometimes she walks across the corridors at school and talks to herself. Even the teachers are avoiding her," added Terje softly. "She scares them ..."
"Time is what she needs. And I will give her that. She is my little baby after all." Anneli sighed. "A mother is supposed to protect ..."
"I think Kristi needs help," Terjes father suggested hastily. "Maybe a group therapy or something like that?"
Anneli ignored what she just heard and walked to the bottles. She knew what was best for her daughter. A mother always knows that. Kristi didn't need a group therapy, she needed a new father. A father like Jaan ...
Ignoring the cordons, Anneli walked to the endless line of glass bottles. She bent down swift and took one. She had chosen a green container and had the strange feeling to have removed the one belonging to her. The right one. She returned to Terje and her parents. Inquisitive looks from all around were following her.
Surrounded by the girl and her parents, Anneli opened the wet and slippery thing. The message written on the yellowed paper wasn't at all what she had expected: "Your daughter needs you! Right now! Find her! Fast!"
Anneli had the strange feeling that she should go home and look after Kristi.
After strolling around for a while, the young girl was standing on the pavement of Sōle Street, in front of an anonymous building. She was going nowhere and at the same time somewhere. As if the compass needle in her heart pointed the right way, she just had to follow.
"I hate you!" she yelled at the sky. "I hate my life!"
It looked like, as if she was waiting for her dream to come true. Or for hell being unleashed upon the world around. A tram was passing by. She dropped her cell phone into a garbage can nearby and continued her voyage.
"I want to die ...," she repeated in her mind. "Jaan ... I am coming!"
Kristi wasn't lying on the sofa and neither was she in her bedroom. Anneli couldn't find her. Nor could the text messages or the calls. She decided to walk to her school and hopefully find her there.
She crossed the tramway tracks and walked into a neglected industrial area, not far away from Paljassaare harbour. The rusty fence wasn't at all a barrier. It had so many holes, that it looked like the structure had to deal with a gargantuan bombardment in the past. From there she could see the top of a tow boat and some container ships being handled. She walked across underbrush and stopped at a free growing hedge.
Kristi looked up to the sky. It was a beautiful morning. She always liked summers and hated the cold winter nights. It was the right time to die, she decided. She could always remind herself of this nice day. Soon she would see Jaan again and everything would turn out all right.
The handle of the knife was cold and not at all inviting. Nobody would miss her here. Nobody. None ... She began to cry and knelt down.
Terje was running into the school-yard and looked around. Only a few pupils were standing there. Most of them had certainly gone to the beaches. And who wouldn't? Kristi wasn't among them and Terje send instantly a text message to Anneli, while searching the surroundings.
A helicopter from the Estonian coastguard was flying over her head.
"Stupid bottles!", Kristi shouted. "I hate them! I hate them!"
A sudden rage forced her to run to the shore not far from the dock. For the first time, she saw the glass bottles with her own eyes. They were lying there, waiting to be opened. She bent down and took a stone from the ground. She threw it at the shore and it immediately cracked a few bottles.
"My life is worth nothing ..." she shouted out loud. "My life is nothing without him!"
She wasn't conscious at all and didn't even notice the young man she had seen this morning on television.
"Is your name Kristi and you fathers name Jaan?", Mati asked and walked closer to her.
Kristi was frightened and didn't know what to do. She was standing there, not far from the sea and was completely paralysed. The young man wasn’t even standing ten feet away and she could smell his perfume. She nodded.
"So glad I have found you! I am Mati and I opened one of those bottles earlier", he explained and showed the message in his hands. "I think this message is somehow addressed to a girl named Kristi. Should I read it for you?"
Krisit said nothing and stared at him. Why has been searching for her? For her?
"Paljassaare harbour – Dear reader, I beg you, find my daughter Kristi! Two years ago I have lost my life due to an accident and couldn't be there for her no more. I assume myself responsible for having spent a lot of time with her alone and pampered her too much. Now she desperately wants to join me and commit suicide because she thinks she can't handle her own life and prefers to die. Tell her that she should start living and I don't want her to stop now. Her mother really loves her and she will help her by all possible manners. Tell Kristi that I love her. Thank you very much! Jaan," Mati sounded strangely sad.
As an immediate action, Kristi let go the knife she still had in her hand. She needed a shoulder to cry on and approached the reporter.
And all the bottles disappeared over night. And with them the secret that washed them ashore. Never again they appeared somewhere else. They are buried at the bottom of the oceans. And every soul passing by can read the messages for those who once needed help in their life.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Pierre Heinen.
Published on e-Stories.org on 19.12.2011.