proof. Who would be easier to break, Petri or Merja?
Women were often tougher, especially when it concerned
their children. What if I were to approach Merja as my real
I waited to see if she’d come in for the night shift, but she
did not appear. A pretty young coworker said she would be
back at work the next day. “So Santa’s fallen for Merja?” she
teased, and I clutched my hands to my heart dramatically.
This wasn’t the first time I’d acted at acting.
In the final weeks before Christmas the department store
stayed open till nine. It was quarter past nine when I took
the elevator toward the ground floor. The customers had
already left and the elevator was empty. I was terribly
tempted to take off my hot wig right there. Luckily I didn’t,
because at the P2 level the elevator stopped. Petri stepped
“So, Santa Claus,” he said, as the elevator jerked and came
to a stop, “looks like we’re stuck between floors. My, my,
after closing it can take quite awhile before they get the
elevator running again. I hope you aren’t claustrophobic.
Now take off the stupid disguise and we’ll have a face-to-
face talk, man to man. Or shall I take it off myself?” Petri
whipped a knife from his pocket, one from the souvenir
department. I backed to the corner of the elevator, trying to