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10.08.2019 Feature Article

The Underground Man - Part 51

The Underground Man - Part 51
AUG 10, 2019 FEATURE ARTICLE

She turned around looking towards Avenor and Winners Chapel Ghana building seeing a bus terminal and goats tied to wooden posts brought from Burkina Faso or Niger down to Accra by their Muslim owners taking a closer look at the wooden structures in various shapes and sizes along the railway track. A small city inside a large city had taken constantly different shape as when houses collapsed during rainfall, people rushed to reconstruct them in one or the other way. The Odor River was full of cars, trolleys from supermarkets and most of all plants, trees and plastics blocking the free flow of water from the north of the city to the Gulf of Guinea. She looked into the faces of the mothers working hard to feed their family of many while watching with one eye over their offspring playing around. Charcoal was seen everywhere making the place look like a coal mine rather than a place for humans to live and make a living. Food was cooked in big pots ready for street vendors to buy and sell in small portions across the city. Hygienic considerations were not on the agenda of those people Anna was convinced off. She herself would kindly refuse any attempt to invite her for a meal even not by the friendliest face. Her stomach was not made for adventure and gambling with bacteria’s only a resistant and well trained body could possible handle in good health. She was wondering whether the kids playing in mud were ever able to break the cycle of poverty sadden her heart.

"This man over there showing his dick and rubbing it...quite big that thing actually is!" was Anna seeing when turning back to Kwame looking over his shoulder. He had tried hard to push her away from the scene to show her better places of the city. But she was more interested to see the truth than polished areas only a handful of people can enjoy.

"He is standing in front of a brothel...many young prostitutes offering their bodies to drunken men mostly", explained Kwame not happy to see that Anna was interested in the dark side of his country.

"So, I think the gay is mentally not okay to expose himself like that in front of these prostitutes that certainly must have seen so many different shapes of sizes of a man`s private part!" was Anna laughing and at the same time felt pity for the man so busy to make himself happy and put on a show for the ladies he was hoping to impress.

Kwame was making sure Anna would understand the truth and said:" White ladies always think and phantasies about the dick of a black man. They think it is specially hard and big and long. But let me tell you, we black man come with all sorts of dicks, not all Blacks have big once like him, also small once like many Whites have. Mostly it is not in the genes what you white ladies think, it is in your mind and expectations, even I must honestly say, compared to Whites I think...I just imagine...that a black man in bed is stronger and last longer than a white man."

"That is what you think?" challenged Anna Kwame with a big smile on her face.

"Yes...I have no experience...but I think so!" pushed Kwame Anna towards the Circle to make her return back to her Hotel in Sakumono.

"I also cannot compare too many men...I also only think and...dream possibly?" was she continuing to tease Kwame that made her watch out while crossing the road underneath the Interchange overpass at the Circle.

Anna had left all her work behind, rushed to the Hospital in Saint George close to Hamburg Central Train Station. Her mother had fallen in her house early afternoon. Neighbors wanting to talk to her had looked through the garden window into her living room and seen her laying helplessly on the carpet. Fire Fighter had rushed to the scene, broken the door open by force and taken her to Hospital. Doctors had conducted their first initial tests to determine the cause of her falling sick.

The doctor in charge explained to Anna so far the cause of her mother´s health problems were not yet know, possibly a mild heart attack and a stint must be implanted in her vanes, but the kind of treatment needed would be far advanced to determine. Monika Willers was weak and anxious feeling Anna`s hands in hers giving her the much needed comfort. Irena was still at work and Alexa left the care for her mother in Anna´s hands. Alexa did not have an interest at all to know how her mother would be doing and would never contact or see her again only when the funeral eventually would take place in years ahead. Over the years the problems between both of them had increased partly due to the effect Alexa had become wealthy through the hard work of her husband that made her move in higher circles even she herself had not started to accomplish anything significant of her own to make her stand out. As an annex to her husband, she had raised her two children that had started a love of their own isolating her silently step by step making her live in a golden cage, a situation chosen by her mind not forced on her destiny by any outsider. The comfort of money made her lazy to be alerted all the time for the uncertainties of life and the challenges that could be turned into great opportunities with a fighting right mindset, not a mindset to take and chop. People that feel comfortable do not see the need to change, to pull all energy and phantasy together to make it from low level to highest level to greatness. Hungry people are inventors, comfortable people are doers.

"So, I hope you are feeling better now!" said Anna looking concerned into the eyes of her mother. "I will take care of everything!"

"I know, my dear Anna...I know," closed Monika Willers her eyes to get rest.

Anna hated Hospitals and doctors convinced they make her sick more than restoring her health. As much as possible did she avoid such places and people, only having a few friends being doctors telling them as humans they are most welcome in her life, but as professionals better stay away.

As Puschel had did there was not much to take care of in her mother´s apartment. Walter had died the year before. He had been admitted in Boberg for rehabilitation to overcome health problems facing his alcohol addiction and making him get away from it completely. The clinic was not successful, so in his last weeks at home he had been no longer conscious of his actions to the extend using the hall as his toilet. Even in his darkest moments he had never abused his girl-friend Monika Willers but had kept all his sorrow and anger to himself. As the feelings and love for him had gone long time at the day of his funeral she had not shared any tears standing besides his five children at his grave. They all had prepared themselves for an untimely death and had not cried, not a single one of them.

One week later Monika Willers was dismissed from hospital. Anna found her sitting in the kitchen injection herself with insulin. For years she had diabetes, took more than ten different medications against beginning of Parkinson and Dementia. Helping out in church to keep her mentally fit and occupied had been something she had stopped herself years back not because of physical challenges, because of her mind making that decision. Not being a strong fighter and believer, she fell more and more back into herself avoiding the companionship of others. Friendships she used to have, had passed on or did no longer call as she did no longer show interest in them. Puschel was still so much in her heart, she missed her dearly.

Eva Weatherill, eldest sister of Monika Willers, had flown over to Hamburg fearing this might be the last time to see the sister she as children had been taken care of like a mother as their own mother had not been a woman of great interest for their children. The years during World War II had been taken their toll on the family. As soon as the war was over, the parents had filed for divorce. The family house in Neu-Schöningstedt outside Hamburg had been sold leaving family ties in ruins over the last will left behind. At the age of eighteen Eva had set sail for England to work as a cleaning lady in a hospital in Northampton. One patient had been able to speak German, much to her surprise. Both fell in love and he had taken her to his farm around Great Doddington, south of Wellingborough. Hard work had been their daily routine. The man that had been the son of the opposition leader standing against Winston Churchill during his last election losing marginal against the great man in England´s history had been suffering from mental illness taking his own life after only fifteen years of marriage. She had decided to marry again, a teacher of a technical college, Michael, not a bright and shining man, but available. Living side by side in one house never kissing, never having sex in any way; years had gone by, she treating him like a dog, he accepting being treated like a dog. Their relationship was based on mutual consent that love was not their portion rather companionship. Dogs were always the bond between both of them.

"What is that?" asked Eva wondering about the envelope Monika Willers passed over to Anna to open it.

The white envelope had the writing on it `To be opened after my death`. Monika Willers that had avoided seeing the grass from down below right at the last minute as she was convinced, thought the time had come to tell the truth, keeping it in her heart for decades. Anna´s heart was beating not knowing what the envelope would contain. She opened it, unfolded an old light brownish paper not able to believe what she was seeing. Anna was holding the original birth certificate of a new born child in her hands called Petra.

Anna showed the paper to her aunt. Eva was looking at the certificate not understanding, wondering about a baby girl born nearly thirty years before, a paper in the hands of her sister.

Minutes passed; Monika Willers was down in tears unable to explain herself. She took a deep breath and said: "The baby I was pregnant with when you were still a child...never died!"

Anna was shocked and looked at her aunt for help to make sense of it all.

"In hospital, when I delivered the girl, I asked the midwife to take it away for adoption. The midwife was very angry about me but I insisted to take the child away and give it into the hands of other people. With three children, no help from anywhere...no support of the father of that girl...I was not able to take care of a fourth child. The father, Uncle Peter, you remember, had asked me to abort the embryo...but I was unable to do so. He always told me it was my fault to be pregnant with his child...so I decided the best would be to give the child away and for adoption."

Eva Weatherill was holding her sister in her arms to give her comfort. Both were crying. Anna watched over the old ladies hugging each other, heart to heart and soul to soul. They were so different in structure, Eva looking like her own mother, Monika more like her father. Darkness of their childhood had bonded them together forever even an ocean was between them, in the spirit, they were connected always. Eva was an unbeliever, never trusting God would really exist. She was of the believe if there would be a merciful God in this world as written in the bible, the suffering people have to go through, the pain, the killings, the famine, the wars and the hate treat would not be part of human life.

"Darling, my sweet sister", was Eva Weatherill saying looking at the birth certificate again placed in the middle of the round table, "you did the right thing. There is no problem with it. What hurts me now is that you kept this important secret all by yourself for all those years past. It must have been such a great burden for you...so painful in your soul. We all cannot turn back the time but I wish so much you would have shared this vital information with me long time ago. I would have comforted you...for sure!"

Anna looked into the eyes and tears of her mother declaring with no hesitation: "It is well, no problem!" She could see how relieved Monika Willers was after she had said it.

In the evening Anna called up her both sisters to tell them the surprising news. The next morning Irena contacted the German Red Cross to mention the situation looking for the missing part of her life, Petra. Alexa called her mother in anger declaring shame on her saying he had never believed her that the baby had died, always being convinced her mother had lied to their children. Categorically did Alexa call her mother evil and stopped the relationship never to see her again only standing at her grave the day of her funeral in Reinbek near Hamburg.

It took the Red Cross three months before they were able to give Irena the new Petra had been adopted by a couple from Hamburg at the age of two, came to New York as the new father had been transformed by his shipping company, was divorced herself and had few kids. As soon as she got the phone number of Petra, she called her up, introduced herself. Unlike in TV shows no tears run down any faces, no need to meet and catch up the years not knowing about each other. That call was the only contact between the half-sisters, everyone walked his own way, no problems, and no regrets.

Karl-Heinz Heerde
Karl-Heinz Heerde, © 2019

This author has authored 323 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KarlHeinzHeerde

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