“I know enough. Now I want to hear the rest.”
“There’s not much to tell. I’ve known VP since we were
kids, even before his mother remarried and had Paula. VP
was always in trouble and I couldn’t do anything about it.
Paula . . . It was too bad we ended up in bed together,
sometimes that just happens. We had fuckin’ bad luck, she
got pregnant. She wanted to keep the kid and Merja, her
mother, was excited too. We agreed to raise it together
even though we weren’t in love.”
Petri had fastened his gaze on the floor and was blinking
away tears. “But Paula had postpartum depression. VP, the
goddamn idiot, gave her speed to help. And it did. Merja
and I tried to get her to stop, but what can you do when
someone’s hooked? Paula fell into debt to Jansson’s gang.
She saw what they did to Veli-Pekka and she couldn’t take
the fear. She killed herself. But you don’t skip out on a debt
to Jansson. He knew Paula had left a kid. He sent Veli-
Pekka to pay a visit to Merja: if she didn’t pay off Paula’s
debt, he’d take the kid and sell her to the highest buyer.
The world has plenty of markets for cute four-year-olds.”
“Why didn’t you go to the police?”
“He said that Petriikka would die instantly if we went.
That he had eyes everywhere.”