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24.05.2019 Feature Article

The Underground Man - Part 2

The Underground Man - Part 2

Anna had passed the bunker each morning to school for years had asked herself on her way back home always, what might lay behind the brown-reddish appearing door with its impressive door handle. Often she took time to stair onto the door shut behind a gruesome past of a country supposed to rule the waves of life by poets and thinkers, not stupid people with deadly ideology. Before her eyes, looking through the metal fence between the here and now and the past over there on the other side of time, she saw the black and white propaganda films of Joseph Goebbels and the reports of the US Army liberating Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in the heart of the Lüneburger Heide located between Hamburg and Hannover, flashing through her mind. Goose bumps covered her chest and arms when she tried to reach out to the past never to come back again, and her fingers pointed through the fence towards the closed door.

„Dangerous…Do not trespass! “was she reading loud ignoring the heavy truck behind her that broke down in a second. Her conscious was not aware of the many planes over her head making noise while descending towards Hamburg Airport. Born into Barmbek, a blue color district of Germany`s second largest city, the most beautiful of all as she kept insisting, was located south to the Airport, West from where she was standing, while East Ohlsdorf Cemetery, the world´s largest, was impressing locals and tourists alike designed more like a Park than a final resting place.

„Dangerous….Dangerous, “was it echoing in her soul; her heart was beating fast. „Dangerous….dangerous…do not enter, “was she reading again and again about to faint. Her heartbeat was pumping blood into her brain like a waterfall. Anna felt her knees would fail her at any minute feeling like jelly pudding with vanilla sauce.

Anna was feeling the blood of the young murdered man few meters away from her having given his short-lived life back to TIME, the cries of people in bushes and on the battlefields of the saddest time in European history flowing over her from head to toes. She could feel the warm temperature of newly lost blood in all her senses, could see eyes of people in pain on the cliff hedge to pass on. Voices, languages, familiar and unknown to her hit her mind like pounding Fufu for Sunday dish. The hammering sound was shaking her bones. She took her head into both hands to take control of her thinking again. With wide opened eyes was she starring, asking of the `Why? ` in life, at the rusty door before her. The thought appeared before her soul, what if the answer to her many questions, the secrets of the truth in life, the source of our conscious life, would be alive behind this brown reddish old door.

Anna stumbled, fell from side to side trying desperately to hold onto something to keep her upright and thinking well.

„Something is wrong with you? “asked Helmut Schmidt, her History teacher passing by on his way to the train station Alte Wöhr. „You need help? “ He was shocked and concerned to see his best student in class lost all by herself shaking.

Anna turned to him. Her eyes down to the grey concrete under her feet. Opening and closing her eyes, Anna tried to push aside all her fears to see the now again and forced herself to answer: „Do not worry…I am okay. It is just that…my period is coming up with these days’ heavy pains. “

Helmut Schmidt smiled with caring looks: “I am always happy not to be born a woman! “ He tried to restrain his laughter having cracked his popular joke again and again. „Walk home slowly and rest, “did he advise her and walked off.

She turned to her family place, looked up to the skies, directed her eyes to the right seeing in the distance the Stadtpark, her favorite City Park, allowed her mind to rest on the wooden benches near the jaguar carved in light sandstone, took a deep breath to feel the size of her chest that carried all the breath she had for a long marathon in life to ran, looked again up to heaven, closed her eyes in silent prayer letting people passing her wondering about the unfamiliar behavior of a young school-girl as she knew who she was, no need to care what others might think of her.

Anna knew she was born by her parents but she was herself regardless of anyone´s wish for her life that was not her own. She had set her mind on overcoming the intellectual shortcomings of her parents, a cook and a waitress, to understand life as it is in all its dimensions regardless the cost to discover is hidden revelations and the truth it had in stock for her own specific life making an important impact that one day would give her her stone in history.

Back to her senses, she crossed the road. Before opening the entrance door, Anna Pham greeted her. They knew each other from a private tuition school in Hamburg-Bramfeld. Anna Pham was born in Vietnam, had moved to Hamburg with her parents few years back. She had black glasses, a gracious smile, and funny character and like her an open mind for whatever crossed their way. Jelly beans, but basically all kinds of candies, were her passion.

In her nightgown was Anna standing between the brown-orange colored curtains of her room. It was the largest in the apartment. She starred over the street to see the entrance to the bunker. Minute after minute of silence passed by without her eyes moving for a second. Anna did not know consciously what she was doing at the window. Cold blood and a hot forehead touched her mind. She closed her eyes, tried to make sense of it all. An ocean of emptiness filled her heart, conquered her soul, and captured her senses. Like a dead person feeling nothing was it inside her, minute after minute. The moon was stood at its highest point. Stars were hiding behind clouds of a rainy night. Seconds later the heavens opened and it was pouring rain heavily. Anna tried to touch the raindrops running down the double glazing. She took a deep breath. Then she took another deep breath tenderly touching the glass of the window closing the curtains behind her. All of a sudden, the street lights got turned off. Anna looks closer. She was not sure but something made her believe an unknown man had just left the bunker and vanished into the night. Her heart was beating wildly. She felt the blood vessels around her neck getting swollen, paining her. Anna felt like someone strangling her to press life out of her senses. She fainted.

„Why did you marry my father? “

„He was available! “

„Did you love him? “

„Love him?...No, not really“.

„When you did not really loved him, why did you deliver three children for him? “

„I already told you…he was available! “

„Just because of that? “

„Yes…that simple“.

„Could you not have waited for Mister Right to come along your way? “

„I felt lonely and wanted anyone possible to enter my life! I did not want to wait“.

„But you could have waited and your life would have been so much better…so much better“.

….to be continued

Karl-Heinz Heerde
Karl-Heinz Heerde, © 2019

This author has authored 278 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KarlHeinzHeerde

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