The 1980's and telephones

In my little flat in Lauttasaari, on the outskirts of Helsinki, the telephone was the most important possession I had. After my life had been turned upside down during that fateful evening in October 1980 - when I met the Englishman - the avocado coloured telephone took on an even more significant role. Whereas before I'd gossiped for hours with my friends, or been delighted by calls from my mother and sister who both lived in Sweden, or made arrangements to meet with my fiancé, I now spent whole days doing nothing but willing the phone to ring. Hour by hour, when the plastic apparatus remained silent, my feelings varied from desperate to irate. How an earth had I, who's life had been so carefully planned to avoid just such emotional roller coasters, ended up sitting by the phone at home, waiting for a call from a virtual stranger?

"Now sitting in the hall, next to the silent telephone, Kaisa looked at the invitation from the British Embassy. She traced the gold lettering with her fingertips and turned it over and gazed at the smudged lipstick on the back. His name and address. For two days Kaisa had sat in her flat waiting for the Englishman’s phone call. Like a fool she’d made only short calls to her friend and tried to get her boyfriend off the line as quickly as possible. She was supposed to be studying before her university lectures restarted on Monday, but all she could think about was the Englishman. Kaisa was furious with herself. Matti had been right; she should never have agreed to go to the cocktail party. Luckily he didn’t know what a fool she’d been, so completely taken in by a foreign sailor. Thank goodness all he’d got out of her was a quick, stolen kiss."

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