Issue 215, Winter 2015
Every morning he takes his daughters to school, or, in the summer holidays, to their tennis lessons. It is something he has promised to do. It is a promise he has kept so far.
When he parks in front of the house in Hellerup, it is nearly eight. He has time to shower and shave, to eat a bowl of Alpen, to drink two Nespressos—a Ristretto and then a Linizio Lungo with some skim milk in it.
“You look shit,” his wife says.
“I feel wonderful,” he tells her.
“Have you slept?”
“An hour on the plane from Paris.”
“You were in Spain?”
It seems strange now. “Yeah,” he says. “Málaga, place near there.”
Tine and Vikki are looking at the paper’s iPad app, the front page:
And the minister, openmouthed with shock.
The TV news have picked it up. The TV is on in the kitchen, as usual, and there it is, the same picture, as the newsreader talks about the “allegations” that have been made.
“Who is she?” Tine, eleven, asks.
Her father, eating Alpen, shrugs. “It’s a secret,” he says.
“Who is she? Tell us! Who is she?”
“I’ll tell you tomorrow,” he says, with a jolly wink.
“Tell us now! Tell us!”
“Tomorrow,” he says.
On the Internet, the story is proliferating. Speculation about who the minister’s “secret love” might be is spreading on social media. Among the many names mentioned so far is that of Natasha Ohmsen.
They leave the house at the usual time, he and his daughters with their tennis stuff. Though he looks pale, he feels eerily fine.
Hellerup is serene in the morning sunlight, chestnut trees full and green in quiet streets of detached houses. Tall beech hedges against prying eyes. No shops. He is one of the youngest householders in the area, not yet forty. Most of the neighbors are older than that, well into middle age.
Somewhere, in an even more exclusive part of the suburb, where tennis courts and swimming pools are standard, the Ohmsens have their house.