Troubled love

In her job Anna helps climate refugees, while Karlsson is a smuggler for the black market. Is there any hope for their love?


Anna

Anna is on her way to recruit a new employee for her firm, when she runs into her boyfriend Karlsson out in the city. She hops off the saddle of her bike to pat Laitinen, Karlsson’s old dog.

 

– Have you given up smuggling, she now asks Karlsson.

 

– Not yet, but…

 

– Idiot!

 

– Won’t you at least listen to what I have to say, Karlsson pleads, but Anna is already walking her bike towards the terrace of Cafe Vision.

 

Their relationship has lately been rocky. Anna helps climate refugees in her job. She has founded a social enterprise which fits in well with the values of the city. Whereas Karlsson...

 

– You sail between the new world and the old. You want to protect the Baltic Sea, but you still smuggle unnecessary goods, Anna muses. Tears gather in her eyes.

 

– Oh, Karlsson. I love you so much… She feels like turning back to make up after our row, but it looks like Marion is already waiting at the terrace.

 

...

 

– So sad that you had to leave your home island, Anna tells Marion. They admire the sea view opening out from the terrace, talking now in Finnish, now in English.

 

Marion nods. – I share the fate of forced migrancy with thousands of others. People have finally taken real steps to fight climate change, but its effects will linger on for a long time.

 

– For our part, we should do what we can. Welcome to my firm to negotiate on behalf of climate refugees!

 

– This job comes as a welcome surprise, Marion says, staring out into the horizon with her dark, shining eyes.

 

They set a time for their next meeting, and Marion stands up to leave.

 

– I miss my home, the coral sea... Marion thinks as she walks home along the shore boulevard. – Though the northern sea is surprisingly beautiful too. I feel like I will find my place in this city.

 

Back at the terrace, Anna’s thoughts flit back to her boyfriend.

 

– I miss Karlsson so much. I wonder if there’s any hope for our love?

 

Karlsson

What Anna doesn’t know is that Karlsson is already hatching a new business idea. He has been waiting for the right time to bring it up with his girlfriend. – Okay. If not now, then later, he thinks, steeling his resolve as Anna races away.

 

Karlsson, coming from a long line of fisherman, has followed the recovery of fish stocks with satisfaction. There are already enough salmon for commercial fishing, and even roaches are prized as tasty delicacies. That’s where he got the inspiration for his new business idea. Karlsson’s Sea Food and Boat Trips… he’s even posted an advert on the city’s billboard.

 

...

 

Karlsson is on his last smuggling trip. He calmly watches the waves around him.

 

– I like the dark sea. But I feel relieved to be giving up these shady trips.

 

A dark shape is waiting for him at the harbour. The Dealer.

 

– You got anything for me, it calls out.

 

– I got some new stuff.

 

They lift the boxes onto the pier in silence. Once the job is done, Karlsson clears his throat.

 

– Just so you know, I’m done smuggling.

 

The Dealer gets upset. – What do you mean done? People will buy anything, so long as it’s cheap!

 

– That’s right. This stuff is just so unnecessary. I’m not smuggling anymore. I got other plans.

 

Karlsson grabs the oars and turns the boat towards Westwind Point. Anna is waiting there.

 

...

 

– I still can’t believe Karlsson gave up smuggling, Anna muses as she watches the boat approaching from the sea. – There’s hope for the two of us after all...


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Story by Marjo Soulanto
Illustrations by Mari von Boehm
Translation by Arttu Ahava

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