Buzz awoke to the first rays of sunshine tickling his nose. It flashed through him like lightning when he remembered how urgently Kukka had asked him to come home the day before. It must have been something really important she had to say to him because it was the first time she had asked him not to be late with such intensity. But then he got lost in designing the house that was going to be his best, so that he completely forgot about the time and slept right on the site. Of course he could have worked less. His clients wanted a house from him that was close to nature, authentic and autonomous, in which only natural materials were used, clay, brick, hemp, sustainable and down-to-earth. However, it didn’t matter if it was finished a few weeks later or earlier. If he accepted a project, it was only because it presented a challenge to him. After all, he could choose. It should be unique. And this was his masterpiece. But he had forgotten about Kukka. Normally he would have just shrugged and got on with his work, but something was troubling him. So he went home anyway.
He carefully opened the door because it was still very early in the morning and if Kukka was still asleep he didn’t want to wake her. The first thing he noticed was this deep silence. Not just the stillness of a house whose occupants are still asleep, but that of absence, of abandonment. The table in the kitchen was still set from last night. Kukka had left everything as it was, including the candles that had burned down. Buzz was taken aback. She must have actually been waiting for him, hour after hour. He pictured her sitting there, hoping that at any moment the door would open and he would come in. But he hadn’t come. He tiptoed to the bedroom. But he also found this empty, as well as all the other rooms. Relief spread through him. If she was already on her way, then it couldn’t have been that bad that he wasn’t there. Reassured, he drove back to the construction site. He would actually come home earlier tonight, he decided. And he managed to stop work at a reasonable time that day to see Kukka. But she wasn’t there. As if the roles had been reversed, he sat there all evening waiting for her, but she didn’t come. Not that evening, not at night, and not the next morning either. He was beginning to worry. Desperate, he called everyone who knew her, but no one had heard or seen anything from her. Where was she? What happened? Was that what she wanted to tell him that night, that she wanted to leave him? Day after day passed in uncertainty and unrest. Only now did he realize how much he needed her closeness and attention; how good she was for him and how much he missed her. She was just always there. This matter of course had kept him, but because of that he had forgotten to be there for her. How could he have been so blind, so absorbed in his work? Why could it have happened that he made up his mind to be there for her, to really be with her, but didn’t really implement it? Because he had counted on the fact that what he couldn’t do today could also happen tomorrow. Postponed again and again until it was too late. Suddenly he could be at home very often, hoping that she would come back, vacillating between hope and despair, anger and resignation. But in the end, he was completely helpless, at the mercy of another person’s decision, which he – if he was really honest with himself in lucid moments – could understand all too well. But she could at least have left him a message. And sure enough, a letter came five weeks later. Buzz immediately tore open the envelope and began to read.
“Dear Buzz! If you are reading these lines, I am already dead. The day I asked you to be home on time, I wanted to tell you. The next day I had to go to the hospital. A particularly malignant form of colon cancer had been diagnosed. Nevertheless, I wanted to endure all the necessary therapies. Apparently, it didn’t work. It’s actually a pity, because life was wonderful, many years with you too. I would like to thank you for that. With love, Kukka.”
Buzz collapsed. The letter slipped from his hands and tears made their way, tears of anger at his failure, his carelessness that he could no longer make up for, tears of despair at never being able to make amends. No, you can’t count on another chance. You have to use what you have. That’s exactly what he had failed to do. But now it was beyond repair. Nothing could ever be undone.