Arvo felt her heart beating. Ones. Twice. Three times.
Then she broke the spell. “Sorry,” she smiled, kissed him full on the lips and ran away towards her girlfriends. Arvo swallowed and said nothing. All he could think was: “That’s the second time someone slammed right into me.” He was glad that – back then – the guy at the harbor didn’t try to kiss him.
And that was it. Later that night he learned that her name was Keiti and that she was Toivo’s sister. She took his hand, and they went “looking for fern”. A year later they got married. Keiti’s belly already started to show.
It was a happy time. Maternity leave started a month before Keiti’s due day. They moved into her parents’ house in Kihnu, while she prepared for the baby. When contractions started, Arvo flew her to the hospital in Pärnu. Their daughter was born in the early morning hours. She looked scrutinizing at him: “You are my father? Are you up to the job?”. His daughter’s almond eyes reminded him of his own Korean mum. He tried to formulate an answer to his daughter’s unspoken question –
At this point his “Über-Ich” decided to pull the emergency brake. Right now, before his train of thoughts would completely derail. “Enough already with all those EMOTIONS! Where do they suddenly come from? I mean, seriously, what’s next? INTROSPECTION? INSIGHT into your true feelings and motivations? I won’t stand for that! Here, have some FACTS – they will calm you down.”
…He tried to formulate an answer to his daughter’s unspoken question, but the nurse came and asked him to take care of the bureaucracy. Birth certificate, ID number & tax registration for the newborn, maternity leave, parental leave: All those things don’t happen by themselves, even when all you really want and care about is to see, smell and feel your firstborn child.
So, Arvo pulled out his mobile phone, logged in with his electronic ID card and ticked the boxes of all the services that his small family was now entitled to – and that the Estonian government had already helpfully prepared and preapproved.