Bird of Paradise: represents joyfulness and paradise, as well as anticipation and excitement.
“I’m not sure, Aapo,” Leena fell back onto the sofa. “I know it’s a lot of money, but it always seems like whenever I come into your life that you begin to move on. I just feel like I’m disrupting you wherever I’m involved.”
As soon as we got back to Florence and settled back into my villa I knew that it was time to raise the issue of me moving to Manchester to Leena. I informed her of all the details surrounding my meeting with Begiristain and Soriano and showed her the copy of the contract that they had offered me. Leena had a degree from the University of Helsinki in law so she had seen many contracts in her time studying.
“I discussed you in the meeting, Leena,” I said, clasping my hands together. “One of the directors is well in-touch with many different law firms and a degree like yours means you will find a job placement of your own within Manchester. We both have a very good grasp of the English language as does everyone in Scandinavia, it’s not like when I moved into the unknown with Italy when I didn’t know any of the language.”
Leena sighed and clutched her mug of Earl Grey tea - her favourite. “It’s an unbelievable opportunity, I’m not denying that, Aapo. I just feel like I’ve already settled here. You are right about potentially feeling more at home in somewhere like Manchester as from my own experience, Britain is a lot more like Finland than Florence will ever be.
“The only thing is that yes, it is a hell of a pay rise from €65,000 per week to £185,000 per week, but the very fact that you are even on your current amount of money is astounding.”
I sat down at the table where my laptop was. I wasn’t searching for anything, it was just so that I could feel more comfortable sitting down rather than pacing up and down every two seconds at everything that Leena was saying.
Leena continued what she was saying. “I don’t want to stop you and I certainly don’t want to be alone again, so no matter what decision you come to I will follow you through with it because I love you. I’m just tired of upending my life to suit your desires and your own career without considering how it might impact my own life.”
“What do you mean? I have considered your life, that’s why we are right here, right now discussing with each other the prospect of moving to England!” I straightened my back in shock that Leena didn’t seem to understand that we were discussing both of our futures here. “The thing is, Manchester City - they are the richest football club in the world. No matter who comes in to offer me a job, they won’t be able to match Manchester City’s offer so long as they want me to remain as the club manager.”
Leena dipped her head down, staring into her mug of swirling tea. I could tell when she was paying attention and thinking strongly about something and she was doing exactly that. She realised that once again I was on the move and I would have to be strongly persuaded to stay in Florence. She also realised that I was very stubborn, how I walked out of Oulu after the board not agreeing to expand the stadium, moving to Fiorentina almost suddenly and now wanting to move to Manchester.
“Aapo, we’re both not getting any younger. If you feel like you have to move to Manchester because it will be a better quality of life for us as a couple, on top of all the other benefits that this could bring then I am not going to stand in your way,” Leena said, looking me deep in the eyes. A tear began to drip down her left cheek, she wiped it away suddenly but I still noticed it with the additional help of knowing what Leena looks like when she gets emotional.
“Hey,” I said softly, getting up off my seat at the table to put my arm around her on the sofa. “What’s up, darling?”
Leena’s tears started streaming down her face now, and I was starting to get very concerned. However, as I tightened my grip around her she began giggling. I looked at her in a manner of confusion. “What’s up, Leena?” I asked again.
“Aapo,” she said with a huge grin on her face, tears still running down her face. She moved her eyes away from mine and looked down at her stomach. “If we are going to move to Manchester in the coming weeks then we better start thinking of English names!”
I realised that Leena was not upset, instead she was crying out of happiness although I still did not understand why. “What do you mean?” I asked, laughing along with her too.
“You’re going to be a dad, Aapo,” Leena said, turning her attention back onto me while her hands rested on her stomach. “I’m pregnant!”
A sea of emotions ran through me as soon as she finished speaking. I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel. I know my dad always told me when I was in my teens: ”You don’t know what love is until you are holding your own human life in your hands.”
I was going to be a father. And I was going to be the best father in the entire world - I’d make sure of it.
Scott: Well, nothing has come to its conclusion just yet, but Leena has certainly had her input on the situation.
Justice: Might photoshop Aapo onto the huge 'Welcome to Manchester' poster that Carlos Tevez starred on, you never know?