Whenever people think of Sweden, they think of Switzerland, the land of the Alps, chocolate, and serenity. Sweden fulfills the serenity and peace; and for most people, a safe country. Considered a boring country to many because nothing happens except an occasional mob of girls beating each other silly at the H&M stores.
This week I was reminded that just because the world perceives Sweden as a safe country, crazy people still exist. Bat shit violent crazy.
A week ago, I was planning a business trip abroad and so the night before was working late, putting my papers together, cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry (i am a good housewife). The little Swede was still at the office with his coworkers because of a project.
At midnight, I finally finished my chores and sat down to watch “How I Met Your Mother.” I can’t remember the episode, but it was funny, as always.
Some fifteen minutes later, the door burst open and I could hear Þorbjörn screaming ‘honey, honey’.
That was when things got fuzzy in my head.
I ran to the living room and there was blood all over his face.
I started cleaning his face thinking he had a terrible fall on the sidewalk. The fucking Stockholm City does not clean the goddamn streets of ice, even the most trafficked streets in the city. The only street cleaned is the one block on Drottningsgatan; it’s been cleaned so well, you would never know snow existed. The Stockholm government is pretty stupid at actually shoveling the snow, because probably that would be too hard for the workers. Idiots…
But falling on the ice was not the reason.
He was beaten.
He was on his way home and crossed the street from the tunnelbana station exit. As in usual Stockholm car driver asshole-ness, the driver didn’t really want to yield to him even though the pedestrian had the right of way.
And Þorbjörn crossed the street like any normal person does when they see a green light.
Then the driver turned his car and drove after him.
Crazy driver drove onto the sidewalk.
He jumped out of the car, and chased down my little Swede.
And then the crazy fucking man grabbed Þorbjörn and then starting punching him.
Not with his fists, but with a gun.
The love of my life was beaten by a fucking asshole, who was probably high on meth, with a gun.
After spending the night in the hospital getting stitches, the police escorted us back home. The Swedish police (polis) were also in shock, this doesn’t happen in the city, especially with a gun. We don’t know if this fucker will ever be caught but if so, he will be charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Ghastly words: attempted murder.
As a side note, guns are illegal in Sweden except for certain hunting ones which require taking a long exam and background check in order to obtain. This is the not the stupid philosophy of waiting 7 days for an automatic gun in the US. You wait months for a hunting gun. And a handgun? Forget it.
Our Þorbjörn will require surgery to fix some of the broken bones. But I am thankful because he has no neurological damage. He may have a small scar. The sad part is that our emotional damage will last a long time. As of now, I’m still living in the surrealistic world of comprehending and processing the trauma.
And just a week after he proposed, life gave us a bitter pill of reality to swallow. I can’t even think of more words to write because it’s so personal and heartbreaking. But I know that through the help of family and friends, we will get through the trauma; my love will be stronger for him. And we will make stronger bonds as partners.
If you ever thought violent crimes are uncommon in Sweden, they are… until you meet someone who experienced it.