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01.06.2019 Feature Article

The Underground Man - Part 5

The Underground Man - Part 5
JUN 1, 2019 FEATURE ARTICLE

Anna was not moved.

Erika added: “We know you are not a fine girl as you always pretend to be. For a fact we know that your father is not in a hospital but in prison.”

Anna looked up, but only for a second, acting on her instincts.

“Yes, you are the daughter of a man that even had escaped from prison and was caught again. We know it all! This shame sticks on you forever like ugly slime. What our parents achieve in life makes a name for ourselves, on good or bad terms!”

Anna looked down to the asphalt beneath her feet keeping restraint, well composed.

“Fool….stupid bitch,” did Greta say while being called by the school bell to return back to their classroom.

“Mother,” asked Anna quietly when she had returned home from work the very same day, “is it true, my father is not in hospital in Großhansdorf as you are telling us, but actually in prison?”

“You are too young to understand, Anna,” turned Monika Willers her back to her daughter. “One day, when the time is right, I will explain it all to you. For now, we visit him in a hospital in Großhansdorf being treated for Tuberculosis as you well know.”

Anna kept quiet. Her eyes rested on the woman once having given life to her. Endless minutes passed unspoken. Monika Willers unpacked her shopping. For a glimpse of a second both eyes met. Anna asked herself, why did her mother felt ashamed, insecure and irritated. Why did she try to hide her feelings fearfully?

Anna walked into her room, sat down on her favorite chair feeling empty. An ocean of questions filled her soul, splashed over to her heart and made her paralyzed.

“I feel pity for you and your future children”, declared Günter Erden looking around his pupils. While they were chatting or playing under their tables, all of a sudden collective silence filled the room on the second floor near the staircase above the Teachers Room.

Günter Erden kept quiet. The pupils looked at each other feeling something utterly was going wrong. They had never seen their history teacher that serious starring at them. A fallen needle could have been heard with a cracking loud bang falling to the classroom floor. Hearts were beating nervously. The air was lifted up in nervous tension.

“What does that mean, Mister Erden?” dared Anna to raise her hands and voice. When no one came forward to ask a question and give an opinion, it was always her to show up and make a point. She was never afraid of making a possible mistake, but always ready to hear what was possible to know. Anna`s eyes went over to her younger sister Alexa born one year after her, the last child she was thinking her mother had ever given birth to , unaware of the real truth. Alexa was a quiet girl, always following her teacher`s instructions to complete all her homework. It was not in her character to have big dreams, an energetic and forceful drive to fight her way through the obstacles life puts in someone´s way. Liked by many she was easy going, her intellectual capacity limited by her mind not to expect much from life; just to make it from start to finish in an orderly fashion accepted by most in society. Raising an individual voice to change the world and make life better constantly, was not on her agenda. Even to have her own family, being married and raising kids, was not part of her life. Alexa being a Virgo by star signs; like Anna her intellect suppressed her feelings analyzing society more than feeling for it. She had been the first in the family having worn glasses, the rest, all of them, followed later in due course. Her straight short chestnuts colored natural hairstyle was identifying her easily from far.

“Wars of the past killed many Million people, even famine disasters we watch on TV all the time”, answered Günter Eden sitting on the hedge of his brown, massive desk with the class book opened for the day´s entries. Turning around, he walked to the blackboard, wrote down a few numbers and explained: “While wars and famine after years of suffering end and pain cause can heal during time of peace and food supplied again enough, future will be a long, long lasting episode of suffering for you…with no end in sight. What is ongoing and unfolding can already today be imagined. But today´s Politicians in all societies closer their eyes, have no understanding of the drama coming or are simply in power for a short time anyway, that a problem of historic dimension is pushed aside while current discomfort fills the airwaves and moves people.”

Anna felt deep in her heart a heavy stone. It was in her nature to start imagining before her very own eyes a wonderful world to live in, a world to give her peace, a pleasant way forward. Being blessed to write novels, she would always hide herself in her room undisturbed from the rest of the family and create a world to her desire. Reality was for Anna never the obvious, but the possibility, the interpretation of what should be and the way to uncover the paths and means to achieve just that. To Anna, the world was never stagnant, constantly on the move year after year. And each moment gave her the chance to reinvent a world to be a better place as she saw it and felt it.

“Anna…what is wrong with you?” addressed Günter Erden his best and eager student.

Anna shock her head to come back to the here and now.

“It is no good to dream yourself away”, laughed Günter Erden approaching her while the rest of the class followed any of his gestures, “ to put your head in the sand like an ostrich or look above to the heavens instead of facing the reality of our times now…and our certain dooming future ahead that is the only answer we need and deserve…otherwise, things will get worse than it should be! When someone clearly sees a problem coming and can put it into words, his hands in the wounds of times to come, can express it to others to act and get up, to pump all blood into your vessels to feel the heart beat to your neck…for God heaven sack, do your job….get it done…before history will call you a stupid fool and insult you very well.”

Anna sensed what Günter Erden wanted to share with them, while Alexa and the rest of her class were innocent in their mind looking at each other with questions in their eyes.

“The powers of today”, moved Günter Erden around the room looking into the eyes of each student wanting to plant his vision into each and every one of them, “are the underdogs of tomorrow. While the developed world predominantly USA, China, EU, India, Japan and Russia walk the talk of politics and economies they do not understand…this time is up. Empires came and fall…but not from hour to hour. It is always a process lasting generations after generations. One thing is for certain, in all gone Empires were clear signs embedded of their final downfall. No matter how military, economically or politically strong these Empires were…they are gone for good and alive only in the Book of History. If I would have stood before Julius Caesar to tell him the Roman Empire few hundred years downtime would disappear leaving only Italians living in a country called Italy left behind, he would have beheaded me on the spot. So, look around…the Roman Empire does no more exist!”

…to be continued

Karl-Heinz Heerde
Karl-Heinz Heerde, © 2019

This author has authored 286 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KarlHeinzHeerde

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