BBW Backs against the Wall (~BBW ~SEX)

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Gooney87

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Dec 1, 2019
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36
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The Netherlands
It's been a while, but my life has been crazy. Rest assured I fully intend to pick this story up again. After all, I can't leave you hanging, now can I?

We pick the story back up aboard the train, carrying Nina back to Berlin, where she meets a rather interesting woman...
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Chapter 7 - Delicate cups

The train halts with a metallic sigh next to an otherwise nearly empty platform. Halfway across the snow-swept station there is a lone traveller, carefully wrapped up in scarves and coats, waiting patiently for people to exit the train cars. Fortunately, nobody gets off the train, so the lone traveller does not have to wait for long in the blistering cold of the Russian tundras.

Nina feels a cold wind blow through the otherwise cozy coupe, despite the closed doors and windows. The sliding doors open to reveal an elderly lady carefully making her way in. The strange figure shuffles into the warmth of the little cabin with a sigh, patting herself down to get rid of any snow that sticks to her many layers of scarves, hats, and what is most likely the fluffiest parka Nina has ever seen. She quickly puts away the half-opened suitcase with mysterious paperwork and gives her new travel companion a hand to help her in. Quicker than Nina would have guessed the lady found herself a spot opposite the young German girl, and with a quivering hand starts unwrapping herself. All Nina can do is look on in wonder. That woman is old. Seriously old. Too old to be outside in this weather.

“I can hear your thoughts, young girl. You’re thinking; how many scarves is this crazy babushka wearing?” The woman’s bright blue eyes have read Nina’s surprise at the new visitor.

“Well, ‘crazy grandma’ wouldn’t be my first choice of words, but yes; I am rather surprised by the amount of fabric around your neck. Not an unwise decision in this weather, though.” Nina looks out the window. Snow is swept up against the windows by the train’s wake turbulence.

“ ‘Weather’ is not the word I’d be using there, deary. Vjazma does not have weather. Weather implies change. Vjazma has snow.All year round. But; there’s no cold, only the wrong clothing. And to answer the question that’s been burning on your mind; all of them.”

“All of what?” Nina tilts her head in question.

“All of the scarves. I’m wearing all of the scarves.” the woman says confidently. “Oh, where are my manners? Yaga. Pleased to meet you.” She reaches out an old, bony hand towards the young girl.

“Nina. Pleased to meet you.” She takes the hand of the old lady. It’s freezing. All of the warmth is sucked away from her hand, sending tingles up her arm, like it just went numb. That feeling moves up into her shoulder, through her neck and straight into her brain. Nina feels her brain being shocked, like it just recalled every memory at once and quickly put them away again. Nina is shocked, looks at the old woman with big eyes as Yaga lets go of Nina’s hand, smiling softly. Her wrinkly face grimaces, and Nina notices she has maybe one-and-a-half teeth left.

“Oh devotchka, are you on this journey all by yourself?” Nina nods softly. She looks at her own hand with surprise as slowly the feeling returns to her limbs. “Well, don’t worry young girl. I’ll be with you for at least the next few stops. Would you like a bite to eat? I always carry an emergency supply with me, so to say, and a little lady like you looks like she could use something to eat.” Yaga says as she looks at the plump girl opposite her. She reaches into her purse and pulls out a decently sized pan.

Nina looks at this in surprise. She pictures the large pan in front of the small knitted purse the old woman is carrying and comes to the conclusion that there is no way this is going to fit.

“And where’s the …. ah, there they are. Just enough for the two of us.” Two decently-sized bowls and spoons are pulled of the small purse and carefully placed beside the pan.

“How…” Nina stumbles as more and more cutlery, napkins, matching salt and pepper shakers, and of course the ubiquitous crocheted doily for under the pan are pulled from Yaga’s purse. Yaga takes the heavy cast-iron lid of the pan and the smell of potato soup with sausages fills the coupe.That’s a smell Nina hasn’t encountered in years. Back in Berlin she’d occasionally prepare this simple yet nutritious dish for her mother and sister. The woman pours the soup into two bowls, and hands one to Nina. Carefully Nina takes a sip. Just like she used to make it, with a fresh Jägerwurst in there. She has about a million questions for the old lady, but right now her stomach takes control and decides that interviewing this woman is best done on a full stomach.
“Is it good, child?” Yaga asks Nina as the young girl wolfs down the tasty soup. Nina nods with her mouth full. “Good. Get your strengths up. You’ll likely need it in the near future.” Yaga grabs the other bowl and carefully blows on it until the mixture is just the right temperature for consumption. The first bite goes down with a great slurping sound. She looks at the bowl surprised, that was far better than she had expected.

“So where are you headed then, girl?” Nina looks up from her bowl, considers several answers before replying with the short but factually correct “Home.”

“And where might home be for you?”

“Until recently in Moscow. Before that it was further West, in Berlin. Right now it would be nice if ‘home’ was anywhere at all.” Nina says gloomy.

“If you don’t know where you are headed, it does not matter where you are. I’ve travelled far and wide in my life, but rarely have I found what I was looking for.” Yaga replies.

Nina looks a little sad. Perhaps this woman was right. Maybe she should have thought out her plan a bit further before slamming the door on her old life.

“But then I have found far more than I’ve ever looked for, simply because I stopped searching.” Yaga continues. “You think you know what you are looking for. But what if the very thing you search isn’t what you hope you’ll find? You can’t always have a prince ride in on a white horse and save your butt, you know?”

Nina looks up, surprised at the pinpoint accuracy of that statement. A shiver went down her back.

“What is it, child? When you’ve travelled as much as I have, and met the people I have one tends to become quite adept at reading people. All it takes is a few seconds of looking at that pretty face of yours to know what’s going on. You think you can just run away from your trouble. That you become untouchable if you never leave anything behind. But what if I told you that on your little trip to the DDR you may find far more than you’d ever hope to find? Hmm?” Yaga gives Nina an intense look before breaking out a smile. “But it’s not all bad news though. Without the bitter one would never taste the sweet. And talking about sweets…” Yaga pauzes and raises a finger. Nina looks at the woman in suspense. What was she waiting for. Then suddenly there is a soft knock on the door.

“There you go.” Yaga says as she lowers her finger.

Almost silently a young girl glides into the coupe, wearing the uniform of the Soviet railways. Her dark blonde hair is pulled back into a tight knot, and her lips are colored bright red. On her back and on her belly are two massive trays with snacks, drinks, and wet cloths to freshen up.
“Railcatering” she announces softly. “Can I offer anyone a drink?” Her soft voice is barely audible over the roar of the wheels.

“Really?” NIna replies surprised. “I did not know they served food and drinks on longer rail journeys.” Yaga nods and points to a sign for hot choco. She holds up two fingers. Carefully the young girl grabs two porcelain cups and fills them with a warm liquid from a thermos bottle. Nina moves her bowl aside and reaches for her wallet in her bag. “How much?” the German girl asks. Yaga shakes her head and says that money has no value when you’re around her. She knows people.
 

Gooney87

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“Say Nina, when you do get to Berlin, is there someone who will take care of you? I wouldn’t want you out by yourself in that forsaken city.” Yaga says over the rim of her choco.

Nina looks up, startled by the question. She can’t remember telling Yaga she was going to Berlin. Or did she? “I’ve saved up some money for this trip.” she starts off carefully. “With a bit of luck I can find a Gasthof or Stube for a few nights, at least until I’ve found my mother again. I heard there are a lot of abandoned houses in Berlin-West, if worst comes to worse maybe I can squat there.” She fakes a smile. This is a flaw in her plan. She can stretch the budget for a place to stay for a few nights, but it’s vital she finds free shelter soon once in Berlin. Yaga isn’t impressed. It’s clear to see Nina has only partially thought her plan through, but in all fairness; you’re only young once. “And where are you going?” Nina asks in an attempt to divert the attention from her own lack of planning.

“I’m not too sure, actually. I usually end up where I’m needed. Plus, I like long journeys by rail. I love the view of the landscape slowly rolling past the windows. It reminds me of the old days, back when someone like me was free to roam the land as she pleased without being stopped and questioned all the time. Don’t me wrong though, trains are a magnificent invention. Much better than staring at a horse’s behind for days on end. A rubbel’s worth of free advice; never ever sit behind a mule. They’re gassy.

Nina cracks a smile, a genuine one this time. “I’ll keep that in mind. But what do you mean with ‘someone like me’?”

“Oh, that youthful ignorance. I do sorely miss that. There are regions in this world where one does not simply travel freely. Where tall tales linger, sometimes for centuries, and good people are victimized because of it. Over the years I’ve learned to avoid those areas like the plague. One false move and it can all come crashing down again. Take note of that, young lady.” Yaga raises a bony finger in Nina’s direction.

Nina nods politely. Another cryptic answer that doesn’t actually help her in any way. Best to just let it go and accept that she’ll never learn much about this old woman opposite her. She takes a last sip of her hot choco, and places the delicate cup on a ledge by the window. She leans back in the large chair, and feels herself zoning out. The combination of the warm milk and the gentle rocking of the train luls her to sleep. Yaga looks on and smiles. Nina’s earned this one.

With a sudden shock Nina lands on rain-soaked streets. She rocks back and forth unsteadily, barely manages to keep upright. She looks around, confused, slightly panicked. The dark streets are lit by yellow lights reflected in every puddle and the bright neon lights of the shops on either side of the street. She turns around, tries to find a point of recognition. Where is she? Her breathing quickens, and she feels her heart pounding in her chest. She listens. People around her speak German, but with English peppered in. Or is that Dutch? She is unsure. She takes a few wobbly steps off the sidewalk, only to be greeted by the shouting horn of a car. Quickly she dives back onto the sidewalk, her body aching in protest of the quick move. The flabby taxi driver yells obscenities from the cabin of his white Mercedes. Does that sign on the corner say Kürfurstendamm? She tries to focus her eyes, but everything remains blurry. She squints. People revolve around her holding umbrellas and scooting from here to there, barely aware of the fat lady having a panic attack on the sidewalk.

“Mom, are you coming or what?”

Nina turns around and finds a teenage girl motioning her to come along. The girl grabs Nina’s arm lovingly and tries to pull her along. “Did you have another one of your moments?” the girl asks while she guides Nina to a nearby bench on the street.

Nina studies the dark-haired girl. A pang of recognition floats to the surface of her clouded brain. Those eyes. The same bright blue eyes that she has, set in a cute round face. And she called her ‘mom’.
“...Elizabeth?” Nina slowly asks. The girl spins around and looks at her mother.

“What is it, mom? Seriously, ever since we arrived here in Berlin you keep having these moments where you drift off into nothingness, spout a bunch of crap, and then snap back without any idea about what just happened. The doctor said you might have some weird memories float back to you on account of your PTSD and all, but Jesus-Christ mom, you nearly walked into traffic! Dad and I are getting worried, you know?” The girl speaks quickly, and with a Dutch accent. Nina smiles at her. She’s beautiful. Over the shoulder of the teenager Nina sees a tall man approach the bench holding an umbrella and looking rather worried.
 

Gooney87

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Location
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“I fear my time has come.” Yaga says softly to the sleeping girl. “I must leave you.”

“What?” Nina is pulled out of her slumber by this announcement from her travel companion. She blinks a couple of times and studies the older woman. What’s happening? Is she going to drop dead right in the middle of the aisle or something? After everything that’s happened today it honestly would not surprise her anymore…

Silently Yaga packs up everything she’s pulled out of her small handbag over the last couple of hours. The pan that contained the delicious potato soup, a porcelain cup with a picture of steam trains and the hammer and sickle on a flag, the little brown book where Nina scribbled her name and date of birth, and of course the wondrous half-finished knitted scarf that never seemed to get any longer despite Yaga’s best efforts. Nina looks at this purse in amazement. It’s not much larger than her own, yet all these things, some of them larger than the purse by themselves, find a comfortable spot inside without too much of a struggle.

“It’s bigger than it seems. And I always carry just enough things to fill it.” Yaga says. All Nina can do is nod and look on as the small bag gets filled. After she had seen Yaga’s hand and part of her lower arm disappear into the little thing she had concluded that it must be an optical illusion of sorts, but seeing everything splaid out over the seat opposite her makes her doubt that. Yaga looks up and notices Nina staring.

“Don’t worry child. We will soon meet again. I will not be far.”

“I don’t think there’s a station due any time soon.” Nina says while looking out of the window into the vast darkness of Russia at night. No train station, town, or any trace of civilisation for that matter is visible. All she can see is her own reflection in the glass. She brushes a lock of hair out of her face as a cold breeze blows through the cabin, suggesting someone opened the sliding doors leading into the aisle of the car. She turns around and stares at an empty cabin. Didn’t Yaga even say goodbye? Nina gets up and opens the door to the dark and cold aisle of the train car. No old woman in sight, she concludes after poking her head out of the door frame. How can someone that age move so quickly? She feels the cold air rush past her body, giving her the chills. She closes the door and sits back down on the seat, shaking her head. On the ledge by the window she sees a balled-up paper cup with the logo of the USSR railways on it.

“Huh…”

She grabs the cup and sniffs it. It vaguely smells of stale coffee. What happened to the pretty porselein cup she had her hot choco in this afternoon. Did Yaga take it? She throws the paper cup into the waste bin under the ledge. What’s going on?

It took a while to get used to Yaga, Nina admits to herself, but she kind of liked the companionship of the old woman. She never met her own grandparents. The parents of her mother Renate lived somewhere on the ‘other side of Germany’, her mother once told her.It was never clear to Nina if she meant far away in the DDR, or indeed across the border in West-Germany. Either way, completely out of reach.
And then there’s her father’s parents, a completely different story altogether. Her dad is a sailor for the Soviet navy, and travels the world on a boat filled with crude seamen. Once a year or so he’d stop by in Berlin to drop in and say hi to Nina and her mother. This often involved a lot of drinking and putting his hands all over Nina and her mother, and not always in a pleasant way. He often showed up unannounced, whenever his boat would visit Peenemünde harbor, causing at least two days of chaos and mess in that little Plattenbau-flat in Friedrichshain before drinking the contents of the liquor cabinet and disappearing without a trace. When Nina was younger she’d often find herself listening to his much-embellished stories of pirates, hunting for treasure with his rag-tag crew, and then plundering the booty once they found the mysterious pot of gold. But as she got older she noticed more and more that it was nothing but the drunken boasting of a sad Russian man who had accidentally conceived a child with a German woman who was supposed to keep him company for a single night and no longer. Now he was stuck with this concept of ‘having a family’ and his answer to it all was drinking and/or running away. Not necessarily in that order.
 

Gooney87

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Location
The Netherlands
The only time she can remember when she was truly happy as a child was with the parents of Lisa’s father. Lisa is her half-sister, and with both girls not seeing an awful lot of their respective fathers they often found comfort in each other. Lisa’s dad was always travelling some place or another, but one summer he had taken them to see his parents in Sweden. Nina was about 10 years old at the time, Lisa a few years younger, and she can remember vividly how nice it was to splash around in the clear blue stream behind the cute red house of Lisa’s grandparents. Despite having no blood connection to their hosts at all, and Nina’s chubby body and slightly curly dark brown hair standing out like a sore thumb in a country full of tall, skinny blonde people she felt welcomed in that Scandinavian country. That was the last time she felt truly at peace.

Of course, there were brief moments of joy in her life. She got a lot of satisfaction from her time with the Freie Deutsche Jugend, first as a cadet and after her sixteenth birthday as a Gruppenleiterin, and her school life had its moments too, but it always felt like something was missing. A hole in her body that needed filling somehow. This feeling came to a boil in the summer of ‘87, when she had a brief relationship with her classmate Mikhael. She thought he was truly in love with her, and with a distinct lack of attention from the boys she was okay with him too. But it turned out he was only ever after one thing; or rather, two things, both of which were situated in her bra. After that disastrous camping trip to the Ostsee that one summer, where he forced himself on her, she threw him out of his life for good and swore to herself that boys were stupid and to be ignored at all costs. A sentiment shared by Natalya, one might add.

And then Tom came along. That boy showed up at just the right time in her life. They met at the last FDJ-parade in the spring of ‘89, right before the entire world went mad. She thought he was from Poland, but he turned out to be Dutch, from the ‘other side’! It started out innocently enough, sending each other short letters with a few pictures here and there. Just teenage stuff. But when he returned to Berlin (and to her) a few months later she fell for him, and she fell hard. Things happened and she soon found herself in his embrace, kissing him like she’d never kissed before. And then there was that wonderful trip with him to the forest of Dresden, staying in her family’s old Datsche. They truly found themselves there, and never wanted to let go of one-another. That was a great time there in the woods in the eastern part of the DDR. Skinny-dipping in the stream during the day, and gazing at the stars in each other’s eyes at night. A calm before the storm.

Of course she could have known. She should have been more careful. But it still came as a shock when the doctor confirmed that she was pregnant that summer. That put everything on its head. As her beloved home country slowly crumbled to pieces around her she looked around and saw that this was no place to raise a child. More and more police violence, demonstrations, riots, and overall lawlessness. She should have thought her plans through more, but she was young and innocent. Possibly stupid. How else would you think travelling on forged papers through a heavily guarded border crossing would turn out? And Tom, thinking he could rescue her from the claws of the Stasi. Stupid boy. There are nights when she wakes up in a cold sweat and swears she can still hear the gunshot ringing through the empty hallways of that awful Stasi prison in Berlin.

She wipes away a tear. A dark period in her life followed. A period only somewhat alleviated by the ever-present comfort of food. But as her waistline grew, her pain never subsided. She sighs, and wonders if that girl with the snack-table is around somewhere. She slides open the door and peers in a dark aisle. No-one. She gets up out of her cabin, and makes her way to the front of the train where she can recall seeing the dining car. Left and right people are tucking in. Maybe not a bad idea, she ponders. Grab a snack, and then try to sleep through the night.

The dining car is brightly lit with fluorescent lights on the ceiling. Coming in from the dark aisles of the sleeping cars Nina has to blink a few times to let her eyes adjust to the light.

““Dobry vecher” mumbles a heavyset woman from a corner of the kitchen. She doesn’t even look up to watch the new arrival in her dining establishment as a cigarette dangles from her lips, making Nina realize that since boarding the train she hasn’t had one herself.

“Good evening. Can I have a cup of hot choco, and what’s still on the menu in terms of food?” Nina asks as she regrets leaving her pack of smokes in her jacket back two cars back.

“Hot choco? I’m not yer grandma. I’ve got coffee, tea, and of course alcohol if you want.” the woman grumbles as ash from her cigarette falls on her greasy apron.

“That girl that came by a few hours ago with the trays had hot choco…” Nina says disappointed. “I guess I’ll have a cup of coffee then, and can I bum a smoke from you?”

“Coffee’s on its way, and if you want a cigarette, hon, you’re gonna hafta buy one. What girl are you talking about?” the woman asks as she performs a set ritual to get the ancient coffee maker going.

“A young girl, neatly dressed in the railway uniform carrying a massive tray of treats and drinks.” Nina replies

“None of those around. Yer gonna hafta deal with me or my coworker, who is around here...somewhere” the woman makes an indifferent hand gesture as more ash falls off her cigarette into the coffee pot. Nina shakes her head. She’s certain she’s spoken to that girl, who served her a cup of hot choco in a neat porcelain cup.
“Hon, I think you’re dreamin’. We haven’t had those rail caterers with their camel backs and trays around in at least thirty years.” she says as she puts down a paper cup in front of Nina’s nose on the bar.
Nina shakes her head and tries to rationally explain to herself what she saw this afternoon. She decides it’s not worth the effort, and files the incident under ‘other weird things that have been going on today’ in her brain. As if the Gods have it out for her today. She carefully takes a sip of the hot liquid that’s almost entirely unlike any kind of coffee she’s ever had.
 

Gooney87

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Messages
36
Location
The Netherlands
Chapter 8 - an absence of noise

If you listen to a certain sound for long enough, your brain tends to ignore it. It blends into the background hum, becomes a part of the usual dim around you. Or at least, that’s what people who live next to a busy airport or a railroad crossing say. After a while they tend to not hear the sounds produced anymore, and when the source of it is taken away they are as disturbed by the absence of sound as someone else would be upon hearing the noise for the first time. This goes double for people who aren’t used to sleeping in noisy environments. People like Nina, who has always lived in relatively quiet neighborhoods and, as far as she can recollect, has never slept in a moving vehicle.

She has been tossing and turning the whole night, trying to find a comfortable sleeping position on the large blue couches in her coupe. The benches are too wide to huddle up against the sides and not fall over with every turn, but not wide enough to lie flat across without bumping your head into either side. Even for the relatively short Nina this proved to be an uncomfortable position. And one can only be in the foetal position for so long before certain body parts go numb, or worse still; accidentally touch the cold, filthy floor. She just as well might not have slept tonight. With great difficulty she wakes up as the train slowed down, slowly rotating her heavy and unwieldy body into a sitting position. She yawns, looks out the window to see the outskirts of Warsaw, her transfer station to Berlin. The church clock in the distance says it’s 7:30. Her internal clock says it’s way too early to be doing anything.

Slowly and unsteadily the train lumbers into the station. The old station has long since been divided into two sections; the USSR-section and the DDR-section. Most local traffic goes in and out without too much of a hassle, but the international trains stop in a separate section of platform. Heavily guarded by men with machine guns and impressive hats the passengers are guided towards a border post before being allowed entry to the DDR-section of the station, where another corridor of hatted men with guns are there to make sure they get to their trains and on their way further west.

Nina trundles along in the stream of people, holding her luggage tight and trying to maintain a low profile. Her body aches. Natalya’s bed seems like a cloud when compared to the uncomfortable position she’s been forced in the last six hours. She looks around to see if perhaps she can spot that crazy old lady from last night somewhere, but before long someone bumps into the young girl and her attention is pulled back to the slow-moving queue of people heading towards the border patrol post.

“Papers please” the speaker creaks routinely as Nina fumbles around in her bag for her passport, travel permission and oh-so-very-forged visum for the DDR. She’s nervous. The last time she was at a border post the situation was different. Very different. This time she’s travelling under her own name, and has less faith in the laxity of the checkpoint.
The older man in the glass booth looks at the passport and the accompanying papers. He has a set routine in things. First the passport. Does the individual look like the photograph? Is the information correct? Are all the watermarks present? If so, place the booklet open on the page for the admittance stamps and go to the rest of the paperwork. Then the rest of the paperwork. This particular individual is travelling with a high clearance from the Soviet Federation. That’s weird. Why would she? It says that it’s for ‘studies’. Hmm… He pauzes his hand over the green stamp. The paperwork looks legit. But something feels off.

Despite the chilly temperature Nina is sweating out of every pore in her voluptuous body. She looks at the man’s hand hovering over the green stamp. Just...push down and get this over with.
“What study do you follow?” the speaker chirps up as the man behind the glass partition motions towards a small microphone on the ledge. Nina leans in.
“History.” Short answers. Keep it vague. Nothing to pin you down.
“And how much time will you be spending in the German Democratic Republic?”
“Two weeks. Maybe longer.” Just give out enough information to please the other person, make him press down on that stamp and continue on. Her palms are starting to get sweaty. Has he noticed that the travel permission and visum form is as fake as a three-rubbel-coin?
“Please proceed to the designated area for an extra check by my co-worker.” The main points to the left of the glass both to a small office, then turns around and calls in someone out of earshot.
Nina looks past the little gate to the DDR-section. One good jump and she’s through, but without her papers. That might prove to be a problem later on. Plus, the chance of a successful ending to that athletic move is slim at best. And although it’s probably hilarious for the bystanders to see this fat girl tumble down after getting stuck on a little gate that’s at best waist-high for her, it’s not entirely within today’s planning to do so.
 

Gooney87

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Messages
36
Location
The Netherlands
The little office behind the booth is small, warm, and filled with pictures of people Nina does not immediately recognize. Opposite her sits a man wearing an impressive hat and sporting a small pencil moustache. Nina guesses he’s about thirty. He’s holding her paperwork on his lap.
“Name?”
“Nina Müller”
“That’s not what it says here, love. Your whole name, please.” the man responds with an annoyed undertone.
“Nikolina Eva Grigorievna Petrova-Müller” Nina sighs. She never uses her full name. ‘Nina’ just sounds better. German. Old Russian babushkas are called Nikolina. Not fat German twenty-four year olds.
“That’s one hell of a name.”
“My dad’s Russian and my mom’s German. Apparently they had a fight over my name, whether or not it should be German or Russian. Alcohol was involved and the conclusion was ‘Why not both?’. So there.” A story Nina has had to tell many times over.
“And what are you going to do when you get to Berlin? What possible good can you get out of that half-destroyed city?”
A lie here and there never hurt anyone. But as the flap of the wings of a butterfly can start a hurricane, so does that little lie have the potential to become a huge burden. Short, compact answers are key. Nina looks at the man with as much confidence as she can muster up in that small office and replies “I am working on my final term paper. To do so I have to travel to Berlin, the city where I was born, and hope to gather enough information to complete the required research so that I may write a nice report and finish my studies.” The art of talking without saying anything is a fine art indeed, and one she’s relied on a couple of times at the Freie Deutsche Jugend.
The man nods, seemingly satisfied. “And what about the price of entry?”
Nina tilts her head. In all her time of figuring out how to get across the border into the exclusion zone around Berlin, talking to several apartachik and maybe bribing one for forged paperwork no-one has ever told her anything about a price to be paid at the border. She looks at the man, who slowly gets up and puts his hand on her shoulder.
“You know, it can get quite lonely in here.” he says in a soft tone as he locks the door. “And currently I am the only one standing between you and a free passage to the DDR. Perhaps you could convince me that everything is… in order.” His hands reach down to unzip his pants. All Nina can do is look on in horror as he exposes his growing member to her, suppressing the urge to either scream or gag.

Slowly Nina walks out of the little office, clutching her bag tight to her chest. She feels dizzy. The last ten minutes were spent thinking about merrier times while manually pleasuring a man wearing an impressive hat and not much else. Thank god he finished quickly, she thinks to herself as she allows her body to slump down in a chair. She gave him what he wanted, and now all she wants to to do is get out of there, as far away from him as possible.

“And?” the older man behind the counter asks his younger colleague. “Everything in order?” He waits for simpel ‘yes’ or ‘no’, so that he might place the correct stamp in the relevant paperwork and go on with his day. No reaction from his co-worker, who just walked out of the office with a rather sheepish grin on his face. Nina avoids all eye contact with the man, doing her best not to flinch as he brushes against her shoulder with his hip.
“And? Was everything to satisfaction?” the older man repeats. The young man walks past the quiet German girl and leans up against the counter, making quick eye contact with Nina.
She shoots him A Look. One of those looks she can only muster up once every year or so, kept carefully in a glass bottle with a big red ‘For Emergency Use Only’ on a shelf in her head the rest of the time.

The man cowers slightly at the sight of Nina’s piercing blue eyes, as if they physically hurt. God, that girl has amazing eyes, too bad she’s such a fatty or he would have taken that little romp in the office much, much further.
“Yes, fine. Everything is fine.” he stutters, still uncomfortable by Nina’s staring. “Everything in order.” he replies with a shaky voice, nodding his head for emphasis.
The older man shrugs and pushes down on the green stamp. Whatever. He hands all of Nina’s documents back to the young girl and shows her the door. Nina thanks him, gets up slowly, rubbing her left leg. As she walks past the younger guard he motions towards her.

“Can I have my…”

“No.” She replies coldly. “I’m keeping that as a memento, du krankes Arschloch.” she tries to muster up with as much confidence as the situation allows. Quickly she makes her way out of the warm and sticky office, past the little border fence and into the main hall. Her eyes find a trash can, where she promptly disposes of a small, white bundle of cloth, hoping that no-one can see her tears.
 

Gooney87

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Chapter 9 - Eastbound and falling

Nina lumbers through the hallways of the train station. She feels dirty. Used. The things she had to do to that man! She shudders at the thought. She was prepared for some small form of bribery, just not….that. As she rounds the corner an aroma grabs her by the nostrils, intensifying as she walks closer to the little food stand on the corner. For a moment her spirits are lifted, and her stomach growls. The smell of sausages, bacon, and freshly-made buns fill her nose as she is drawn towards the counter.

A short, tubby man turns around from manning the grill, wipes his hands on his apron and gives her a smile from underneath his paper hat. “What’ll it be, facetka?” he asks in Polish. Looking at her clothing she’s an international traveller, probably well-off if she could afford a train ticket. And is that a medal from the Order of something-or-another in the USSR? Must be a Soviet then. Looking at her puzzled face he repeats the question in what little Russian he can muster up.

Nina lights up with the prospect of food ahead. “I’ll have a Shashlik with extra sauce, a belyash with meat, and I’d like a Vita to drink.”

The man smiles, causing his impressive mustache to curl upwards slightly. She must be hungry, that’s quite a meall she’s ordered. He gives her a nod and turns towards the grill again, preparing the food meticulously. She must have a had a rough morning, he thought to himself as he remembered the runny makeup. Poor girl.

Minutes later the food arrives on a paper plate in front of a hungry Nina. While waiting she had played thoughtlessly with a napkin. Was she having second thoughts? All she needed to do now was to get on that damn train and go. The tough part was behind her, but still she couldn’t relax. What if it was all for nothing? The delicious aromas of her recently served and piping-hot lunch pulled her thoughts out of that dark place. She dug in with all her might, savouring every bite as the pain and the shame gets suppressed by the food on her plate and in her mouth. She feels the tears coming on as the reality sets in. She’s just been sexually harassed and she just sat there and let him. All for a simple stamp in her passport. Another bite. And now she wants to run from her plan. Not go to Berlin. Go back to Moscow. Do not pass ‘Go’. A forkload of food sooths the pain. No, she’s getting on that train to Berlin Hauptbahnhof even if it’s the last things she’ll do. Absolutely sure.

The chef looks on approvingly. That must have been one hungry girl. He has seen wolves with more poise and elegance during dinner time.

--------
Nina gives a quick wave as she stumbles out into the main hall. One hand in the small of her back to maintain her balance, the other on her distended stomach. Oh God, she’s full. But the food was so goooood, she mutters to herself as she burps softly. And now for a smoke to pass the time waiting for the train to arrive. Slowly she waddles to the platform where the train will arrive.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have ordered a third time” she mutters to herself as she gently lowers her large body onto a bench. She looks around to see if anyone’s watching, slips a hand between the buttons of her coat, and undoes the string holding her skirt on. WIth a soft ‘oof’ she feels her belly flop into her lap. This little extravagance did not do wonders for her weight… But the food was delicious, and the chef kept piling on the sauce, and when it comes to these matters Nina finds she has very little self-control

“Now where are the Verdammte…” Nina rummages through her purse looking for the pack of cigarettes she knows are in there. Just the physical act of bending over hurts her overstuffed stomach, she finds as she steadies herself and pushes with her arm to get her body upright again. Purely by touch she finds the packet of shag in her bag she swiped from Natalya. There’s a single smoke remaining. one of those odd hand-rolled ones Natalya keeps around for herself. Good, because she’s horrible at rolling her own. It invariably ends up in a mess, and a lot of disappointment. With shaking hands she tries to light one up, and ends up burning herself on the lighter. She looks around to see if anyone saw that, and lights her cigarette up successfully this time.. THe people around her keep revolving through the large hallway, paying no attention to the young plump girl on the bench. She’s just one of the travellers stuck waiting for a train that’s arriving late, or possibly not at all.
The cigarette in her fingers tastes differently from her own brand. Slightly herbal-y, with a tinge of...well.. cream to it. With every gulp of blue smoke she finds her thoughts calming down, the din of the people around her fading to a background sound and combined with the truly staggering amount of food in her stomach it quickly lulls her into a soft slumber. She slumps down, leaning her head on her back pack. She hadn’t slept great in the train last night, and to be honest, she hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in at least six months now. The train to Berlin won’t leave for at least a few hours, so where’s the harm in a quick nap.
Slowly she drifts off, lit cigarette falling from her hands onto the cold floor as she loses all sense of consciousness.

Every now and then people stop by her limp body to make sure she’s still breathing, but then quickly move on as to not be seen with these youths and their rogue napping behaviors. But most just move along, either not noticing the young women curled up in her dark overcoat on that bench, or specifically choosing not to.
 

brope09

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truly cant wait for this to finish (knowing barbara gives me an idea where youre headed)
 

Gooney87

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I'm certainly still intent on finishing this story. Hell, it's only just started! It's difficult to find the time to sit down and write, though.
----------------
“Hey you, get up.” the cleaner says with a gravelly voice, as he uses his broom to prod the sleeping girl in front of him. She wakes up with a jolt, bouncing upright and looking straight into the rather angry face of the man in front of her. He’s rather annoyed at the fact that he can’t finish sweeping this particular section of station floor. She gets up, mumbles something resembling an excuse and feels around for the suitcase.
Her hand finds nothing but air.
The suitcase is gone!
Panic sets in as she realises that the suitcase, given to her with the rather gravid instructions to never lose sight of it, is now gone. DId she have on her it when she had the whole kerfuffle at customs? Or did she leave it in the train?

“Come on. Get going or do you want me to start calling people? Because I will!” The man is clearly getting impatient. “Go and sleep off your drunkness elsewhere.” he says while widely gesturing towards the hallway.

Nina turns to the man, asking if he’s maybe seen a small brown suitcase, but he doesn’t seem to understand Russian or German, or simply doesn’t care. She moves aside so he can continue doing what he needs to do. Fortunately for her, her Polish isn’t good enough to understand the mumbled curses the cleaner directs towards Nina.
She tries her best to control her breathing as her eyes search the place where she’d just fallen asleep. No suitcase. Nothing in the direct neighborhood either. Slowly but surely reality starts to set in; she’s been robbed! She had her head on her backpack, so everything there is present and accounted for, but the brown case was…..where did she had that thing anyway? Had she placed it next to her? She can’t remember no matter how hard she tries.

The large clock in the central hall bongs, drawing her attention to the time. The international train to Berlin leaves in twenty minutes, and she has to walk all the way down the hallway, and over two sets of tracks to get there. If she is to have any chance of making it in time she has to start going, and start going now! She gives her sleeping spot one last inspection. Nothing. The suitcase is long gone, and she has a train to catch. When she gets to Berlin she’ll have to explain herself. Maybe the recipient has a sense of humor about it all?

She makes her way through the crowds at a decent-but-still-slow trot. She hates running, especially in public places like this. Running hurts every joint in her body, and she’s always under the impression that people are watching her, judging her from afar. Women look on disapprovingly at her lack of sports bra, and men stop and stare at that very same fact. No, this still somewhat controllable trot is practically speaking her top speed at this time.

Just in time she makes it to the right track, wheezing from this sudden and unexpected bout of exercise. She guesses at the right car and gets into the nearest one that has its door open, where she is warmly greeted by one of the employees of Deutsche Bahn VEB. She hoists herself up the couple of steps with great difficulty, panting and rubbing her burning left leg. She smiling lady at the door reaches out to her, offering to check her ticket.

“Good afternoon miss….Müller” she chirps as she inspects the ticket “Ah yes, you’re in 36D That’s actually the next car, but you can use the corridor to get there. Through the doors and then left at the window. Enjoy your trip!”

Nina swallows and catches her breath. It’s been a while since someone spoke German to her. Natalya speaks Nina’s native language decently, but ever since they moved to Moscow they spoke nothing but Russian to one-another. This works for Nina, as it helped her improve her grasp of the Slavic language, and kept the illusion up for the neighbors that Nina belonged there as much as Natalya did, and nothing was out of the ordinary with the two girls.

“Ah yes, Natalya” Nina mutters to herself as she carefully walks down the narrow aisle, her wide hips brushing elbows and knees left and right. “How is that girl doing” she wonders. Natalya didn’t take the news of Nina’s departure well yesterday morning, but this is something Nina needed to do by herself. She talked about her trip for a while, and maybe her friend just needed to come to terms with it. Or did she rush into it? She owes that girl a great deal, and she’s a great friend. When they’d sit on the couch in the evenings she’d often snuggle up against the German girl, or in the middle of the night Natalya would throw her arm around her, hug her tightly and mumble something about keeping her safe. It’s high time that girl found herself a nice boyfriend, Nina thinks to herself. Maybe her leaving Moscow is a good thing for Natalya. There are enough nice bars and cafes in that city for her to find someone. Her large, green eyes, black hair, and trim figure should net her a decent chance of finding someone, even if just for the night.

Nina pushes herself through the very small doors separating the two cars.
“Why can’t they build these things right? Rickety old cars…” she mumbles to herself as she tries to line herself up to the opening and push through.
This takes a bit of finesse for the corpulent German girl, as she finds that when she tries to walk straight through her hips block further passage, but turning sideways and shuffling through causes her breasts and butt to catch the metal frames. She sighs, and pushes on regardless, using her backpack as a counterweight. It works, if only just, and with a jolt she stumbles into the next car as the train starts moving. She has to hang on to a guard rail to keep her balance. Where is that seat 36D? It’s kinda dark in this car, and the signs are rather small. Or maybe it’s her, she ponders. Afterall, she’s still a bit woozy from that nap in the station.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard the International Train to Berlin Hbf, For your and our safety we ask you to keep all relevant travel documents with you and present at all times, and are prepared to surrender these to the proper authorities when entering the Exclusion Zone. On behalf of Interrail we like to wish you a pleasant journey.” the speakers in the ceiling crackle loudly.
Nina sits back in her seat and enjoys every minute of it. She’s heading West, finally; around her people are speaking German, with every passing minute Berlin moves closer and closer. In a matter of hours she’ll be on the Alexanderplatz, watching the Urania-Weltzeituhr slowly spin in circles, and enjoying a fresh cup of coffee and a cigarette while taking in the sounds and smells of her birthplace. She relaxes, rubs her aching muscles, and yawns. She wraps the straps of her backpack on the floor around her legs. That won’t happen to her again. Sure, the benches in this train aren’t half as private as the coupes in the other train from Moscow, but what bad would a little nap do? Plus, she’s got the makings of a decent headache, and napping has done wonders for her in the past.
 

Gooney87

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A small white church just south of Dresden, nestled deeply in the woods. Not far from the family Datsche where Nina spent her childhood. She’s always eyed that little church as the perfect location, and much to her joy it was available to book.
Outside, the gravel strip leading up to the entrance serves as an impromptu parking lot for the many vehicles. Trabants in all colors of the rainbow, a couple of Wartburgs, and in the back a couple of dark Russian sedans sporting Moscow-plates. Parked prominently in front of the door is a brand-new, sparking clean white GAZ-24, decorated with flowers and ribbons over the hood and roof of the vehicle. The driver eyes the sky cautiously for any rain cloud - not likely in early May - or a flock of birds aiming to disrupt the gleaming white and freshly waxed paint of the Volga.

Inside there is a murmur of people all trying to jockey for a good spot. Lisa has stuck her wildly colored hair into a neat bun for the occasion, and traded her usual outfit consisting of torn jeans and denim jackets adorned with provocative texts for a neat, light gray pencil skirt and proper blouse. After all, it’s not often your older sister gets married.
Renate is at the front, near the altar. She looks at both her daughters and gleams with pride. It’s amazing how well Lisa cleans up when she leaves that punk-nonsense in the closet and dresses nicely for a change. She gives her youngest daughter a smile as they exchange glances. Renate faces forward again, looking for her other daughter. Who would have thought this day would come? Her big little girl is turning into a woman today. And just look at her, walking in gracefully in that big white wedding dress. Admittedly, the cut could have been a little more flattering and less revealing, and she would have liked to see Nina’s beautiful long hair fall freely over her shoulder instead of being stuck into that weird bun, but the result is certainly there. This morning they spent the better part of two hours in a rather cramped back room of the church, doing Nina’s hair and make-up. It was quite the struggle, but eventually she squeezed Nina into the dress, dried many tears, applied and reapplied layers of makeup and to top it off she managed to make that tiara work with Nina’s long hair.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to join this extraordinary couple in their wedding celebrations.” Nina absolutely radiates with happiness. Sure, the road here was bumpy and mostly rather bureaucratic, but here she is; in the church she’s always wanted as a location, wearing the right dress, and the weather’s gorgeous to boot. What more could she possibly want? She makes quick eye contact with her mother in the audience and sees the woman wiping away a single tear.

“Don’t cry, mom, orI can’t help myself either.” she says softly to herself. She focuses her attention on the other person at the altar, tearing up as she listens.

“Suße, from the moment I met you I knew you are something special. With one look of your beautiful blue eyes you reeled me in, and your endless love intoxicated and begeistert me. But it proved tough to spend time together. The country, politics, and everything around it seemed hell-bent on destroying our happiness. But we persevered, didn’t want to lose one-another in the grand scheme of life, and now here we are. Because a woman like you, you only come across those once in a lifetime.
Then there was that moment in Berlin. That night, when we needed each other more than ever, I knew. I proposed to you on our way to a new life, and I don’t know if it was due to complete exhaustion or momentary insanity, but you said ‘yes’. Followed by an ‘but of course!’. I love you for ever and a day. Time for the next great adventure?”

Nina smiles broadly and nods. They both turn towards the master of ceremonies, as the man flips a page in his book.

“And now comes the time to officially bind these two lovers in holy matrimony. Natalya Ivanovna Khamatova, do you take Nikolina Eva Grigorievna Petrova-Müller as your lawfully wedded wife, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad, till death do you part?”
Natalya’s soft hands enclose Nina’s. Her green eyes sparkle like diamonds as she says “I do.”

Nina radiates with love as she repeats the vows. In the audience Renate wipes away a tear from her face as she sees her oldest daughter standing there, getting married. Sure, the whole ‘getting married to another girl’-thing came as a surprise, but who was she to judge, and Natalya seemed like a nice enough girl.

“In the powers vested to me by the glorious Arbeiter-und-Bauern-Staat des Deutsche Demokratische Republik, I now pronounce you wife and..” he pauses for a moment to find the proper words “...and wife. You may now kiss the bride.”

Natalya lifts Nina’s veil, grabs her by the soft contours of her waist and kisses her with all of her might. The audience applauds. Outside, doves fly up as the church bells ring. A chorus perks up and starts singing a wonderful hymn. “Papers please, and wake up!”

“Papers please. Wake up!”

Nina jolts awake as someone grabs her by the shoulder. “Papers!” Her mind scrambles as she fumbles around in her purse to produce an impressive amount of documents. She hands the small stack to the surprised Grenzpolizist in front of her who, upon seeing at least four documents with the insignia of the head of the State Bureau of the USSR, decides that this isn’t worth the effect. He hands the girl the paperwork back after scribbling something in her passport to the effect of ‘allowed’ and today’s date.

Whatever this girl is doing, travelling with permission from the highest authority, is none of his concern. The closer the more time he’s spending on this woman, who is clearly the daughter, wife, attacheé or god-forbid, mistress of someone Quite High Up in the chain of command, the larger the chance is of this whole process aggravating the wrong people and blowing back on him. He hands the papers back to the girl, gives her a half-hearted salute and focuses his attention on the Rentners in front of her, who do to appear to speak German. Just one of those days.

Having passed the necessary checkpoints the train rolls deeper and deeper into the Exclusion Zone around the greater Berlin area. Reaching as far east as the outskirts of Heidekrug this area was hastily set up in the days after the Wiederanschluß in an effort to contain the spread of information coming from ex-West Berlin. Anyone with a West-passport was prohibited to travel outside of the zone, and anyone with no vested interest to be in it was turned around. After a few years, and a lot of greased palms, the rules were relaxed a bit and slowly the DDR commenced with patching the cultural hole that was the now-unified Berlin.

As the train rolls further and further west the snow has stopped, and is replaced with a light shower. Nina agrees it does not help the overall appearance of the landscape outside the train’s grimy windows. She travels past fields and villages she never knew existed, interspersed occasionally by a railroad passage where muddy Trabants waited patiently for the lights to change. On the sides of the roads are large billboards campaigning the war effort, and motivating young men and women to join the cause and fight the Fascist monster from Over There. These signs are all but defunct now, five years after the event, and Nina can’t help but smile at the propaganda images. If only more had seen what she has seen days after the Wiederanschluß, they wouldn’t be half as proud to wave their flags and banners.

As the train starts to roll into Berlin Nina starts to recognize the names of the stations. She’s been to Rüdersdorf once or twice as a kid, and she knew someone from Eggersdorf in high school. It’s hard to recognize familiar sights though. Many of the roads have been torn up by all the heavy military traffic passing through over the years, and as the train joins the Autobahn heading into the city she sees many military checkpoints, some of them abandoned or at the minimum critically understaffed, attempting to choke and control the flow of traffic into Berlin. She wonders if there’s anything left of her birthplace after all these years. Maybe she was wrong to come here, instead remembering the city as it was. Her last days there were ever so chaotic….
 

Gooney87

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Chapter 10 - Days Past

Nina makes her way out of the inner city hospital with uncertain, limping steps. The cold November air stings her nose. A small pole is used for support as she clutches the bag given to her by the surgeon and the Man with the Friendly Face. The parking lot is buzzing with activity. Ambulances wailing past hordes of people waiting at the gate. The crowds are being controlled by the NVA, sometimes in a violent manner. Nina doesn’t notice. In a daze she saunters over to the gate leading onto the main road. The people take notice of this young woman but fail to see the blood stains on her fashionable dress and cloak. She is largely ignored as the crowds turn to chanting. Nina can’t understand what they’re yelling, her head is still filled with deep, sad thoughts kept marginally at bay by the many drugs she’s been administered. She presses through, past the soldiers and the crowds, through the fence and onto the road outside of the hospital grounds.
Berlin seems messier than normal.
Everywhere she looks there’s debris on the ground and the smell of fire in the air. Police cars push their way through the bits of plaster and glass on this narrow road in Biesdorf. She looks around, trying to get her bearings, but she has no idea where she is. Maybe if she walks a bit she can spot the Fernsehturm and find her way back home like that, an old trick that has served her well as a child growing up near the Alexanderplatz.

Once away from the hospital the streets are far more quiet. There’s hardly any traffic in this part of the city, and all the people seem to cower inside from the sound of distant gunshots. As Nina staggers through the empty streets she regrets not grabbing a good meal and a cup of coffee at the hospital. She holds her rumbling stomach, one of the few feelings the drugs allow to filter through to her brain. The few people who are out look at her with shock and horror. Makes sense, considering she’s wearing the same blood-stained clothes from a West-German retailer she got to assist her in her Republikflucht, unwashed and all.

It feels like hours of slow and deliberate walking to prevent putting any weight on her left leg, when she finally reaches an U-bahn station, a sign of civilisation for her. Berlin can be criticized in many ways, but at least one can rely on the VEB Kombinat Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe to get you where you need to go with decent haste and a smidge of comfort. Carefully Nina puts one foot in front of the other going down the stairs to the station’s platform. The dull pain that has slowly been creeping back into her system is exacerbated by this sudden bout of stair-walking. She stops at the halfway point to catch her breath and rub her aching leg, leaning on the railing and wincing at the thought of having to go at least that distance again to get to the platforms. She sighs, gathers her strengths and proceeds downward. With the drugs wearing off she can feel her body rebelling against her, her left leg leading the charge. When she finally gets to the bottom flight, she leans against the wall, panting and softly crying from the pain reverbing in her body. In that short distance she felt her discomfort level rise to almost unbearable levels. Her lower abdomen hurts, giving white flashes of pain felt throughout her nether regions, she’s basically lost feeling in her left leg from the pain, and her back is aching from the forced posture and all this walking.
But she must continue. She drags herself over to the ever-present map to figure out where she is. Somewhere in a far eastern corner of Berlin, kilometers away from the center and the sixty-four square meters in the Singerstraße she calls home. She sighs, and falls down on a nearby bench on the platform. Gather her thoughts, consider her next move.

“Clearly, walking there isn’t an option.” she says to herself as she digs around in her purse for money for a ticket. All she finds are the personal belongings of one Nadine Neumann, from Düsseldorf in the BRD, and on her way home. Nothing belonging to Nina Müller, East-Berlin, and presumed dead. All of her belongings, including her purse containing her travel card and small change. Those were all items to be mailed by Lisa when Nina would be home safe with Tom.

“Good job, Frau Planungswunder. Truly, this could not have gone better. Not only do you not have anything even remotely useful on you, but you’re also carrying the paperwork of a woman who has been arrested at Checkpoint Friedrichstraße a few days ago. Because that’s not suspicious at all…” Her sarcasm hides a growing feeling of powerlessness. She lets her heavy and painful body fall over on the bench. At least the station is warm, and she’s out of the howling winds. What time is it anyways? She tries to find a clock, but the sole clock on the platform has been seemingly shut down or otherwise incapacitated. It’s late enough for the street lights to be on already, and certainly past the time where a young woman should be out on her own wearing something that might be a touch too provocative for this part of Berlin. She looks around, there’s nobody. Maybe she should try to get some sleep, continue her quest tomorrow morning.

Her lower belly is absolutely humming with pain, and while she’s learned to ignore the discomfort her leg is bringing her it’s a fight she’s slowly losing. From the small linen bag the Man with the Friendly Face gave her she pulls a syringe and a fresh needle. She sighs. Has it really gotten to this point, where she has to inject something-or-another into herself on a cold bench in an U-bahn station. She realizes she’s forgotten the very specific instructions she was given this morning. Was it in the arm or in the belly? Arm, most likely. She rolls up her sleeve and stabs herself with the needle, injecting the clear liquid into her flabby forearm. She pulls out the needle and presses down hard on the spot.
Any moment now.
Any moment the pain should go away.
She looks around and realizes she’s a bit dizzy. Maybe up in the arm was a bad idea. She lays down and closes her eyes, waits for the bench to stop moving.

That night Nina has a horrible time sleeping. The bench is cold and hard, and any sound permutates into her dreams, sending violent and jarring thoughts through her drug-fueled and traumatized brain. Occasionally she’d wake up in a cold sweet, staring into the darkness for a while, as her body objects. The pain isn’t away. It eats at her sanity. Her leg is burning, and it hurts to change positions. Every muscle in her body is still sore from the accident and everything that followed. Or is it the stress? In the distance she hears something. Her eyes are wide-open, trying to see in the dimly lit hall. A small rat stares at her.

“Oh hey little one,” she says lazily through the fog of the pain medication. “It’s you. You gave me quite a scare there, but you’re still a youngling, aren’t you? Tell you what; you stay over there, and I’ll make sure this bench doesn’t go anywhere, and we’ll get through the night, okay?” she says softly to the small creature. Her words echo in the empty hall and the dark corridors behind it. Satisfied for the fact that her safety isn’t directly compromised she tries to get comfortable again. Slowly she turns her body around and tries to curl up in her coat.
A sharp shriek from under her belly, followed by a stabbing pain in her right hip.
She rolls back promptly, sending waves of more pain through her body. Just in time to see a larger rat scurry away through the turnstiles in the distance. This is going to be a long, long night for her.
 

Gooney87

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Nina is startled by the fluorescent lights flickering on. She blinks a few times as her brain is adjusting to the new situation. She puts one arm under her heavy, unwilling body and pushes up with all her might. It works in that she’s upright, and in no less pain than yesterday. In the distance she hears an announcer say that the first train will arrive at 7 AM, ten minutes from now. Time for her to get going again before she’s forcefully ejected, or worse. She stretches, arches her back and with a few tries, manages to get back on her feet. She has a long way to go today, but at home the promise of a good meal and a hot shower keep her going.

The closer she gets to the Alexanderplatz and her home, the more military activity she encounters. Military vehicles rushing past on the streets and the sound of distant gunfire. Several times she’s been forced off the sidewalk to allow convoys of men in uniforms to pass, as they walk quite a bit faster than a young woman who up until yesterday was in a hospital, quite unconscious and on an IV drip. Some of the buildings she passes draw her attention. Half-collapsed, on fire and surrounded by fire engines with roaring sirenes and water canons, they seem to come straight out of the movies. A war movie, about a strike on Berlin. But this is real. People running to and from the accident scenes, the smell of fire in the air, ambulances rushing past at breakneck speeds.

A few hours later, somewhere around noon, Nina finds herself on the Karl-Marx-Allee, the big avenue running straight through East-Berlin towards the border near the Brandenburger Tor. To her dismay the large street has been fully closed off with barbed wire and hastily-placed cinderblocks, and a quick peek through a gap in the white concrete blocks tells her why. Tanks and other heavy machinery roll past at great speed, heading west towards Brandenburger Tor and in the general direction of the gunfire echoing on the stately buildings. There’s a war at the border!

This is an issue for her. In order to reach the Singerstraße, her home, and thereby, a shower, she has to cross the street. Nina is tired. She’s been walking for at least four hours, everything hurts, and a new dose of whatever that clear stuff the hospital gave her is, the one thing making her life bearable at this moment, is slowly wearing off already. She can’t get to the other side of the damn Karl-Marx, the U and S-bahn stations on the street are closed off so she can’t use those as a shortcut to the other side, ignoring the fact that climbing the stairs out of the station she spent the night in was an absolute herculean effort for the wounded and fat girl, and nobody on the street seems even remotely inclined to give her a hand.

She looks around, and sees the flat of Natalya’s parents is on this side of the Karl-Marx, and therefore still reachable. Using every last bit of will power and strength she pulls herself to the entry of that flat, and rings the little bell.
Nobody home.
Try again.
Still nobody.
At some point somebody is bound to use the communal front door, and then she can slip in, use the spare key under the mat Natalya told her about once, have a shower, make breakfast and coffee, turn on the news and figure out just what in Ernst Thalmann’s name is going on.
She slumps over against the door post, feeling herself grow ever wearier.

The black Volga of Natalya’s father makes its way through a messy Berlin at great speed. With its diplomatic license plates on the bumpers and a bunch of permits stuck to the windshield this car allows Ivan Khamatov relative safe and unbothered passage through the city that just stepped off the edge. Soldiers of both the DDR’s own NVA and the dirty fascists from the other side hardly dare to look at the car, let alone stop it at one of the many checkpoints that seemingly sprung up overnight.
He likes this.
This morning was hectic, but he’s glad he’s managed to pull some strings and get all of the relevant paperwork done for him and his family, allowing the Khamatovs safe passage to Moscow. He did not want to spend another minute longer in this city than was strictly required. The plan is simple. Go home. Pack emergency bags. Throw these plus wife and daughters in the Volga. Drive in a straight line to Schönefeld airport, where a USSR government bird will be waiting to take them and his coworkers to safety. Simple. He’s already made the call to Marlena to not open the door for anyone, lest certain people beat him to his home on the Karl-Marx-Allee.

The tires squeel as Ivan pulls the heavy Volga through a tight right-hander. Speed was of the essence here, and the large V8 under the hood was more than happy to oblige. He’ll miss this ride for sure. He pushes down on the accelerator. The sedan growls and snarls its way through Berlin. What if they beat him there? What if the dirty fascists capture Schönefeld before they make it there? He’s almost home, but that doesn’t slow him down. He smiles as he sees an open spot near the entry. Perfect. With a lot of violence the black car comes to a halt on the sidewalk, a few meters away from the spot where Nina collapsed.

Nina looks up, half-aware of what’s going on. The pain and discomfort is temporarily suspended as her brain tries to make sense of what appears to be a rather large, black car stopping maybe two meters away from her face. The car door opens, and a tall man with dark, curly hair gets out, wearing an impressive suit. She tries to focus on his face, and sees it’s the father of her friend. She raises a hand to greet him, but can only muster up a weak wave.

“Nina?! What are you doing here?” the man says surprised.

“I want to go home. But the streets are closed. Can I use your phone to call the neighbor and let him know I’m coming home?” she says weakly and with a broken voice.

Ivan is amazed at how fragile this girl looks and sounds. But the mere fact that she even has a voice to begin with is enough reason to be in shock. After all, as far as he knows Nina threw herself into the Spree a few days ago with a broken heart and a uterus filled with her bastard East-West child.
 
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Gooney87

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your style is impeccable, definitely a non-traditional erotica
Thank you! I know it's a slow build instead of the wham-bam-slam-thank-you-ma'am style of erotica that seems to be popular on the internet these days, but I've got the story planned out for 90% (my characters always end up surprising me in one way or another), and the sexy parts are coming.
 

Gooney87

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Chapter 11 - Glasnost and Perestrojka.
Nina stares out of the dirty windows of the train at a rain-soaked Berlin. With the Hauptbahnhof in sight things are starting to look familiar to the young girl. Familiar, but not the same, she concludes as the wetness of the rain mixes with the dirt of the train car. Nina can feel her heart pounding in her chest. This is it. This is Berlin. She’s back.

The tracks meander through the city, finding their way to the Hauptbahnhof, where the train stops with a metallic hiss. Quickly Nina gathers her belongings and heads towards the exit. With a bit of luck she can blend in to the crowds and not be spotted by someone who is wondering where his suitcase went. She takes pulls her brown hair into a pony tail and stuffs her ushanka in her bag. That thing stands out like a sore thumb, here in the DDR. She tries to step out of the train car and onto the crowded platform as inconspicuously as she can, but the large steps combined with her heavy bag and chubby body means that she bounces down far more than intended. She looks around. Nobody looks in her direction. Good. She recognizes a few other young people from the train, and tries to hook up with their group. The others move too quickly for her, and she finds herself lagging behind as quickly as she’d found them. The platform is filled with people waiting for friends and lovers returning from what undoubtedly must have been an exciting trip to Warsaw, while others are simply commuters trying to get from A to B. Nina ducks down, and tries to make her way to the stairs as quickly and quietly as she can. However, everybody is suspect at this point. Does that man in the feodora want something from her? Unlikely, as the man turns and enters a kiosk right before he gets to her. And that women with the briefcase? She’s making her way over quite quickly. Nina looks left and right for an escape, but finds none. Just as the woman is about to bump into the young German girl she turns sharp right and greets the person behind Nina. False alarm. Bit by bit she gets closer and closer to the stairs and freedom. Carefully she tries to look back without being too conspicuous about it. Is that man with the glasses following her, or is he simply heading in the same direction as her? She turns right, heads towards a different track, and the man follows suit. Right again, back the way she came. The man seems to speed up, catching her. Nina feels the panic in her chest, and considers her options. Make a run for it? Difficult in this crowd, and she can’t even remember the last time she ran. Maybe dive into a random S-bahn and hope the doors shut in front of his face? Her heart is pounding as she’s speeding up. She can feel herself getting flustered.

“Hey Mädchen!” sounds from behind her. What now? She feels her body objecting to this rapid walking she’s doing. Stop and face the consequences?
“Du! Wait up!” The man is not ready to give up. Nina suddenly realizes that in her panic she’s walked herself into a corner and is now trapped between a billboard and the man. Crowds to the left and right of her mean there’s no easy way out. She stops. In the worst case she’ll scream something that makes grown men nervous when young girls start crying that out in a public place.
“Finally! Are you deaf oder..? Your bag’s opened, and there are plenty of people here willing to take advantage of that!” he says.
Nina rotates her backpack to her side, and looking over her chest she can see the top zipper being open. Reaching across the expanse of her bosoms takes a few tries but eventually the zipper is shut again. She forces a smile and thanks the man, who walks away shaking his head and muttering something about egocentric Genossen these days.

Nina catches her breath, and feels her heartbeat calming again. That was a close call. Best not to risk another encounter.She slowly makes her way down the stairs, into the main hall of the stations, where the restaurants give off an amazing smell, tempting the young girl, whose breakfast consisted of a sticky bun filled with something that’s almost cheese, and a cigaret bummed from a fellow traveller. Her stomach growls. She has other priorities though. First and foremost is to put as much distance as she can between her and this station filled with people who might be looking for her lost suitcase. Then she’ll find something to eat somewhere in Berlin, and stop for cigarettes along the way.

Outside, the trams roll from the Hauptbahnhof into just about any corner of the city center. After the reunification the no-longer-split city tried to reunify the public transport lines, but never really managed to do so successfully. As a result, East and West are still divided and going from one half to another often requires a mind-boggling amount of transfers halfway in. This, currently, is of very little concern to Nina, as her tram line goes directly from the station to the Alexanderplatz. After the Wiederanschluß the city inherited many squares and parks from the former West-side, but most inhabitants of former East-Berlin still considered the Alexanderplatz with its Fernsehturm and Rotes Rathaus, seat of the mayor and the city council, to be the de-facto cultural center of this new, bigger Berlin. The tram shakes and rolls as it makes its way across the city streets. Nina stares out the window at a city she left in quite a hurry five years ago. Despite the rains there are still a good number of people out on the street, braving the cold. Nina can’t help but crack a smile as she sees them wrapped up in scarfs and heavy coats. Moscow, with its highs of 10 degrees below freezing, was cold. Berlin, with its positively balmy five degrees above, is not. Then again, Nina was never one to mind the cold. She always joked about it with Lisa and Natalya, both girls significantly less well-insulated than her. However, once Nina moved to Moscow she too realized the value of a good coat and a decent hat as even her own body fat proved no match for the polar temperatures of the Soviet city.

The Alexanderplatz hasn’t changed much, concludes Nina after getting off the tram and giving the large square a mental once-over. Sure, the Weltzeituhr is now down a few cities in the West with an expansion to the East, and the Fernsehturm is a bit grimier than she can remember, but everything else seems mostly in order. There are even a few new bars supplementing the ones she loved to visit as a teen. Nina sniffs up the air. A mix of two-stroke exhaust fumes from the nearby road filled with Trabant, vague cooking smells and an undertone of that specific U-bahn-smell. She has missed this sorely.

In the small dining establishments a hungry Genosse can find decent food and drink for not a lot of money. A lot of them are being run by ex-Wessies, filling in the vacuum of their compatriots who had seized the opportunity to move to West-Europe when that was still an option. Much like the owners of this diner, where Nina munches happily on a Currywurst sandwich. These people used to run a fancy restaurant on the Kürfurstendamm in West-Berlin, not far from the luxury KaDeWe store bookmarking the high-end street. However, with the Wiederanschluß all private real estate was seized by the state, and they were forced to close their doors after twenty eight years. Protests were held by fellow restaurateurs, petitions were signed and a select few were chosen by the Ministry of Public Services to run small-scale diners serving decently-priced food and drinks to the common worker of the DDR.

The doorbell chimes and a young man enters. He slicks a lock of auburn hair back, sniffs loudly and shakes the rain water off his coat. He fetches his wallet from an interior pocket and looks around. His stomach growls at the smell of the food.

“Wie geht’s? I’d like a Taxi-teller with extra fries, stick some garlic sauce on the gyros, and I’d like a can of Vita to drink, please.”
Before he’s even had a chance to find a spot at the bar the two chefs are already working for him.
“Some weather no?” he says to no-one in particular. “All that rain this morning. Great for business though!” He turns around and looks at his Gaz Volga M24 waiting outside for the next customer. “No-one wants to walk in this downpour. Makes sense, I say! Fine by me, for a few Mark I’ll drive them from here to there and back again. Or rather, from Ku’damm to Fredersdorf and anything in-between.” He smirks at his own remark. There is no response from his fellow patrons. The few people there are preoccupied with their own food, and Nina is doing utmost her best to blend in with the wallpaper.

Suddenly the man turns around to address his audience directly. His eye catches a part of Nina’s face as she studies the menu card intensely by holding it centimeters from her face.

“Nina Müller?! What are YOU doing here?” he belts out for anyone to hear. “Didn’t you scram to the West or something?”
 

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She curses silently. Plan failed.
“Yes. Or rather; no, actually. To be exact I’ve spent some time...elsewhere but now I’m back here. Temporarily” Her eyes dart across the restaurant, looking for a way out, but the man has already received his food and is now heading straight towards her while balancing an absolutely impressive meal on his right hand. In one graceful motion he sits down opposite her in the booth.

“Damn Nina girl, you haven’t changed much since Hochschule, have you?” You don’t recognize me anymore? Jörg Bergmeister. We were in class together in Oberschule, remember? We used to go camping with the whole class in the summer, and you would blindly follow that one Russian girl? Remember? What a coincidence running into you here.”

Nina nods while trying her best not to eye up his food. Just agree with the lad and maybe he’ll leave her alone. “Quite a coincidence indeed. I remember those days. That was, what, six, seven years ago?”

“Yeah, something like that. Boy, a lot has changed in that time. By the way, I remember that around our exam period rumors emerged that you were seeing some Wessie you had found God-Knows-Where. Was that ever true? Or just another case of the Fünften Polytechnische Oberschule finding something new to gossip about. I never thought that something that rebellious was your thing. You were always so into leading class projects and messing around with the Pionieren and such.” Jörg digs into his fries. A much-needed break in this waterfall of words.

“Yeah, that was true. I had a boyfriend on the other side. He was called Tom. I kept it a secret from you lot but apparently word travels faster than you think within a group of attention-craving teens. I thought the only one who knew was Natalya, but she must have spilled the beans at some point, so to say.” Nina sighs. She thought that her Russian friend was better than that. Apparently not.

“I think Mikhael told me. After that one trip to the Ostsee he tried his best to start shit about you with the rest of us. What a jerk that kid was.. But, ‘had’? As in, you never heard from him again?” More fries are being shovelled in. The gyro is starting to get concerned about the current situation.

“Had, yeah. He died in ‘89.” Nina looks down at her empty plate. That was a little too close for comfort.

“Hmm, Scheiße! Sorry, I didn’t know.” Jörg said with a full mouth.

“That’s okay...” Nina replies calmly. “...that’s one of the reasons why I came back to Berlin. I need to figure some stuff out about that period.”

“So you’re only here temporarily then? Because I haven’t seen much of you since that summer of ‘89. I didn’t see you at the Pioniersdance in ‘90, and you never came to the reunion of our classes either. Are you still involved with the FDJ? My sister now wears the famous blue scarf of the Freie Deutsche Jugend, and she’s prouder than a three-tailed monkey about all that. Anyway, if you want I can show you around. Some things changed here and there after the Wiederanschluß.” A short laugh betrays the irony of that statement. “Where are you staying anyway? I’ll give you a ride there. On the house.” He smiles.

“To be honest I haven’t exactly found a hotel or anything. I’ve only just arrived.” Nina admits.

Jörg bounces from his chair, nearly knocking over his can of soda. “That settles it then! I’ll show you Berlin as she stands today, East ánd West, and you can crash on my couch for the time being. I’ve got this great little apartment in Kreuzberg, you’ll love it. After all the rats abandoned the sinking ship all the cool people moved there. But if you don’t mind I’d like to finish my meal first. Do you want a fry?” He casually slides his plate a little closer to the girl and smiles. Nina is all too keen on taking him up on both offers. After all, Currywurst and fries are good friends, and like to keep each other company as much as they can.

Jörg’s taxi is parked at the taxi stands near the diner. Nina walks to the rear of the car, as she’s used to with taxi cabs, but before she reached the rear door Jörg has already opened the front passenger door for her.
“After you, m’lady.” he says with a bow and a smile.
Nina giggles as she maneuvers her body into the passenger seat. Meanwhile, Jörg slides behind the wheel quite limber and starts the engine. He looks sideways and sees Nina struggling with the seatbelt. He reaches out to her, guiding the belt past her wide hips, clicking it into the receptacle. Nina blushes as his hand touches her hip. She’s always been self-conscious about her size, and with her weight creeping up over the years in Moscow that hasn’t gone away much. Now, sitting in this car and feeling the door card wedged against her right hip and the sidewall of the seat against the other she can’t help but be flustered.
She gives Jörg a quick sideways glance. He’s busy watching the road as the car pulls out of the taxi stand and into traffic. She sighs and relaxes, noticing that it’s stopped raining and that the few careful rays of sunshine immediately improve the look of the city tenfold.

It’s a short drive to the former border crossing at the Friedrichstraße. The barriers are now firmly locked open next to the small white building that used to house the office. Nina looks out the window and thinks back about the last time she was here. That ended right over there, at that section of brick wall next to the sidewalk.

“It’s quite busy here, isn’t it? There’s a state-run museum about the antifaschistischer Schutzwall in that building over there. Back when this section of Berlin was still Bundi it housed a museum about all the escape attempts from East to West, and when the Partei moved in that museum got turned around into a great big exposition about how shitty the Bundesrepublik is, and how happy everyone should be to be one big happy people once more.” Jörg slips into full tour guide-mode, breaking Nina’s train of thought. “Back when the borders were opened I used to drive here daily. It took a long, long while for public transport to get going between the two halves. Not that I mind though…” he taps the dashboard of his Volga lovingly “...as it means I have all the customers I want. I started with a second-hand Trabant in ‘90, and now look what I’ve got! All paid by Ossies wanting to see the West with their own eyes back when the West was still the West, and by Wessies wanting to come see us monkeys in the East.” He smiles. Despite the strict pre-determined taxi prices he’s made a comfortable living for himself. The wage isn’t great but the tips he gets from his customers make it all worthwhile. “In the early days of the opening it was quite hard to get through here. All those people would tippy-toe across the border, waiting for some GrePo’er to come and yell at them or something. Idiots. Only a few years ago they poked some more holes in the wall to allow traffic to flow better. Personally, I can’t wait for them to tear the damn thing down completely and give us back our beautiful city. All of it.”

Nina nods. For the first time in five years she’s seeing the Berlin Wall from the west-side. Or at least, what’s left of the wall. She tries to remember what it looked like when she was here last, with Tom, on a goodwill mission heavily sponsored by the East-German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
 

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Before long they found themselves on the Kürfurstendamm. This used to be a stately avenue filled with boutiques and high-end clothing shops. Nina recognizes some of the names that are still barely legible on the facades of the shops, their places taken by newspaper shops, corner stores or just abandoned altogether.

“Since we’ve gotten Berlin-West things sure changed here. I remember coming here in ‘90, when all the Bundis still tried their best to keep their fancy shops going for whomever was left behind. But more and more closed up when they found out supplies wouldn’t come anymore, their Westmarken weren’t worth shit here, or just that they got bullied out by the Stasi. At one point this entire street was basically empty. Really weird. There’d be prostitutes behind every shop window displaying goods of a different kind, and every night the Volkspolizei would show up for some fight between pimps or because someone fell into a knife a bunch of times. I’m glad they cleared up this street and turned it into a respectable neighborhood.”

Nina looks ahead over the dashboard and hood of the Volga at the large, stately building of the KaDeWe. Where she once dined under the stars with Tom in the rooftop restaurant of the luxury department store there now is a Konsum selling cheap and sturdy clothing for the average worker. Jörg catches her looking at the building as he steers the Volga around a seeming abandoned Opel Kadett.

“That’s a funny story, actually. When the Wall fell there was this mad rush at the KaDeWe. Something about the name ‘Kaufhaus des Westens’ seems to work like a bug light for us impoverished Comrades. On one side of the building there’s be hordes of people trying to get in and loot whatever they could, while on the other side it’d be filled with West-trucks trying to secure as much of the stock as they could and transport it to the West. The NVA had to show up with tanks and guns to keep things from getting out of hand.” He smiles at the memory of standing there trying to procure a stereo from the electronics department. “I wonder how much of that stuff never made it to the border and ended up in various trunks of Trabants and Wartburgs. Like they never realized that the capitalist enclave would come crashing down and people would turn into savages over stuff.”

“What happened to the people here?” Nina asks concerned.

“A lot of them got out when the getting was good. If you could show a valid Bundes-passport at the border you were free to go, knowing full well there was absolutely no going back. Once you were out, you’re out. The French, British, and American governments set up camps on the other side to collect the displaced people of West-Berlin from what I heard. Turned out to be a humongous clusterfuck as well. And of course a significant number stayed behind. For those ‘choosing’ the socialist life the DDR had a large bag of cash, a pretty Neubau-flat somewhere nice, and a job to provide. That’s why you occasionally see a West-car out and about on DDR-license plates. Like that green Ford Fiesta over there. That’s no Ostprodukt, let me tell you. The owner of that thing stayed behind, knowing and willingly. You could hand over your Bundes-passport for a DDR-pass and a free membership to the SED, along with a key to your brand-new Plattenbauflat. In the first years you could always tell them apart by their smug faces and their brand-name clothing. But after a few years those pretty Levi’s would start to wear out, and they’d find that getting parts for a Trabant is difficult enough here, let alone for a Peugeot or an Opel. So now that West-car is broken down on the side of the road, and Mister Bigshot has a hole in his Levi’s. And that’s when the realization hits that they have to make due with whatever crap the Konsum has to offer this week and wait for years on some waiting list for a Volkseigene Trabbi like the rest of us sinners in here. Congratulations and welcome to the fucking DDR, Genosse!”

Nina is quiet for a moment as the emotional words of Jörg slowly linger in the car.
“So, do you know any Wessies who have integrated then?” she asks timidly.

“Integration is a big word, love. You’ll see that in a moment.” says Jörg as he points the nose of his Volga towards Kreuzberg.
 

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Slowly the Volga rolls to a stop outside of a white apartment building. On the street there are many cars parked under the lit streetlights. A colorful mix of Trabants and Wartburgs, but also a good number of West-cars in various states of disrepair are lined up. Neatly Jörg slots the white Volga in between a red VW Golf and a sort-of-yellow Wartburg 353 Kombi. Nina frees herself from the seat she’s been sitting in all afternoon, using the A-pillar to brace herself and lift her out of the car. As she opens the door she notices music coming from the ground floor of the building.

“Welcome to Casa di Bergmeister, my place of residence in downtown Kreuzberg. Here is one giant melting pot of East, West, colored, and white. Here is where the kids live who would have loved to go and stay with Oma and Opa in the West, but are stuck here like the rest of us due to their parents’ decisions.” Jörg says as he locks the driver’s door and lends a hand to Nina, helping her out of the car.

“And why do you live here, as a true-blooded Ossie?” Nina asks as she fetches her backpack from the trunk of the sedan.

“Because I didn’t feel much like waiting forever on some waiting list for a Plattenbau-flat near the center. All the smart Wessies had scooped those up in a heartbeat and so we had to find our happy homesteads elsewhere. Plus, I like it here. Everybody knows one-another and we look out for our neighbors. The VoPos hardly show up here, and the music is at least a hundred times better than that bullshit we get on the State-radio.” Jörg walks towards the apartment building. In front of one of the doors on the ground floor hangs a bead chain curtain, and as the door is opened it is clear where the music is coming from. Over the door hangs a sign in fake-Cyrillic spelling out ҪДҒÉ GLДSЙФSҬ. Nina can’t help but smile at something that is clearly nonsense.

Jörg sees Nina hesitate at the door. He grabs her by the arm and pulls her in. “Welcome to Café Glasnost! My home away from home. I usually stop by here after my shift to catch my breath, grab some food and a drink, or just hang out. This here is being run by Wessies, but no worries; our Ostmarken are good here.” He smiles and greets the woman at the bar with a smile. She nods back and before Nina and Jörg have so much as gotten their coats off there are two cold beers waiting for them.

“Zum Wohl!” Nina says as both glasses clink. What a day for her. West-Berlin has changed beyond recognition in her absence, and this talkative ginger has regaled her all day with anecdotes about the weird people in his cab, stories about the city and how it has changed since november ‘89, ending up with a trip to this place. The walls are decorated with all sorts of signs from West-brands. Behind the bar there’s a large Heiniken-sign, with a white placard reading ‘Sie verlassen jetzt den Amerikanischer Sektor’ next to it. Ironic, all things considered.

The bartender sees Nina looking at the decorations. “Pretty huh?” she says to the young German girl. “It took my husband and I a lot of effort to get that sign here. We drove out to Checkpoint Bravo by the Autobahn in the middle of the night, threw that signs in the back of our Kadett, covered it in random junk in case we’d get stopped, and high-tailed back here before anyone was any the wiser. It’s our pride and joy.” she says beeming.

“And what’s that list underneath? Regulars or something?”

“No God no. If only.” she says sadly as she grabs the small, framed list off of a shelf. “This is a list of the names of all the people who died at the border of our wonderful Farmer-Labor State. Everyone from Ida Siekmann who jumped out of a window on the morning the Wall was erected to poor Nicole Neumann, whose car got riddled with bullet holes as she pretended to be a West-German tourist a couple of days before the Wiederanschluß kicked off.”

Nina can’t help but smile at hearing that name. “Was that a big thing in the media back then? With miss Neumann I mean.” she asks.

“Mwoah, the East-German media reported she was a high-profile West-German drugs runner trying to smuggle a bunch of contraband from Poland across the border to the West, and how proud we all had to be of our GrePo doing their jobs. But the West-German TV quickly picked up on the whole thing, and found out it was a failed Republikflucht by a young East-German girl. The poor girl was in her early twenties! Just let that kid go and be merry. Don’t you remember?”

Nina doesn’t know how to respond to this. By the time this came out in the media she was long gone to Moscow. And of all the things that got through to Russian TV this was just about the last of it. “I wasn’t around here back then, and I think I kinda missed that whole thing.” she answers meekly.

“Hang on girl. I think I’ve got a collection of newspaper clippings around here somewhere from that period. People tend to dump stuff in my cafe, and I’ve sorta become the unofficial Keeper of the News around here.” She dives down into the backroom of the bar. Nina looks around. Jörg has gotten up and is playing snooker with some of his friends. He’s laughing, a cigarette dangles casually between his lips, and when he notices Nina looking in his direction he gives her a wink. She gives him a quick wave. His friends laugh, suggestive comments are being made and answered with references to their collective mothers. A good time is had at the snooker table.

With a resounding thud the heavy, leather-bound scrapbook lands on the bar. Bits of newspaper stick out from its pages. The bar-lady, whom upon further questioning turns out to be called Linda, has saved every bit of news surrounding the events of the Wiederanschluß. Her ex-husband was a party hard-liner despite being a Wessie, but after a few years Linda thought it was time to go their seperate ways and so she started this bar along with one of her best friends who now also happens to share a bed with her, she adds with a wink.

“Lessee, Nicole Neumann… Ah, here. Even with pictures of the event itself. Look at her, the poor girl. Word on the street had it that she had a boyfriend in the West to whom she was running, but I think that’s just a bit of overextension of the truth if you ask me.” Linda says as she flips to the pages with the newspaper clippings.

Nina looks at the pictures of the security cameras, of the moment that would determine the rest of her life. The green Volkswagen. The asphalt where she’d collapse onto at any moment now. The next picture shows the small green hatchback crumpled up against that wall with its rear end shot to pieces. Shattered glass everywhere. Gasoline leaking on the street. Guns loaded and aimed on both sides of the border. And amidst all of this is Nina, wearing the clothing Tom had gifted her months earlier, having the worst day of her life.
 

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Chapter 12 - Republikflucht
It’s cold in Berlin. There’s a thin layer of snow on the ground, and a stiff cold wind howls through the streets of the Friedrichstraße. A long queue of cars is waiting at Checkpoint Charlie to be cleared to travel from East- to West-Berlin. Most of them are West-cars filled with tourists wanting to go home to their comfortable hotel rooms at the Holiday Inn or mostly-homebuilt IKEA beds after a weekend of gawking at those poor Ossies on the other side of the Wall.

On the other side it’s more quiet. The continuing riots and civil unrest in East-Berlin have caused tourism going east to basically grind to a halt. Most tourists don’t want to become targets of an increasingly dissatisfied Socialist people. The American guard is standing around in the cold, a bit bored, smoking his cigarette and feeling miserable in general. He keeps an eye out on the guys from the DDR on the other side of the border. There’s been a large-scale demonstration in the East not far from Checkpoint Charlie, and he is afterall the West’s first line of defence…

A few blocks down a green Volkswagen Golf stops at a sidewalk. A young man opens the door from the inside, Warm air from the cabin flows out and heats Nina, if only for a moment. She’s been waiting for this car to arrive for at least 20 minutes. Any longer and they’d had to thaw her first. She gets in the car awkwardly, her joints uncooperative from the cold.

“Hi Nicole…” says the man behind the wheel. “I’m Jens Ma...ehh...Neumann. And I’m your husband, I think?”

Nina shakes the outstretched hand of the driver and looks at him quizzically. She had expected someone a bit more professional to smuggle her across the border. Not someone who almost outed himself at the first chance he got. “Nicole Neumann. Your loving and doting wife. Let’s get out of here and go ‘home’ to Düsseldorf then.”

A few minutes later the green hatchback joins the queue of cars at Checkpoint Charlie. The cabin is filled with warm air and the radio is softly playing a Springsteen-tape Nina had brought especially for the occasion. Music soothed her, and she needed that now more than ever as the car inched forwards towards the guard post on the east side. This is the moment she’s been working towards. This is why she sold her soul and body to that disgusting man and spent the night with him. From this point forwards everything will be different. The passport is good, with all the relevant stamps to give Nina her new identity and a chance for a new life in the West.

One by one the cars are being let through the border. The Grenspolizisten only casually check the cars and the paperwork associated with them. Two glance into the car, while the third one walks around the vehicle wielding a mirror and a dog. None of them seem to be particularly motivated to do their job properly. That is good. Casual is good. Casual means it’s easier for Nina to slip through. The passport is good, with all the relevant stamps to give Nina her new identity and a chance for a new life in the West. She looks over at Jens, who is clearly undergoing the same stress. If they don’t look too closely they might not notice the slight trembling in Nina’s hands, or the death grip Jens has on the wheel.

Nina can feel her heart pounding in her chest. Oh God, if either of them slip up it’s all over. If they inadvertently refer to someone as a ‘Genosse’, or talk about the wonderful ‘Grilettas’ on ‘Alex’ they’ll be outed as Ossies faster than you can say ‘Arbeiter-und-Bauern-Staat’. What if they, despite the cold, see the sweat on Nina’s back?

One of the Grepos taps on the side window with his flashlight, and shines a light directly at Jens’ face, breaking Nina’s concentration.

“Passkontrolle! Papers please!” the man shouts emotionless through the closed window of the Volkswagen. Jens rolls the window down and hands the man two sets of passports and visa. Nina fakes a smile as she observes the whole ritual with the dog through the rear-view mirror.

“Everything okay?” Jens asks. It takes longer than it took with the people in front of them for the GrePo to return from his office. Nina produces enough stomach acid to burn a hole in the side of the Volkswagen. She tries to stay calm, keep her breathing under control.

“Drive to the yellow marked square for further inspection!” the GrePo barks as he throws the paperwork back through the still-opened window. Nina quickly grabs her hard-earned passport and puts it back in her purse as Jens drives the car to the designated location.

The Golf parks next to the small shack in the middle of the road, directly facing the barriers. Both occupants are ordered out of the vehicle. Jens gets out first, and is immediately told that he needs to stand next to the shack facing the wall. Nina gets out as well, and carefully walks over to the driver’s side of the car, waiting next to the opened door for further instructions. People are shouting at Jens, though what exactly she can’t hear over the sound of the running engine and the howling wind. It doesn’t seem to be a pleasant conversation.

All of a sudden Jens makes a break for it, running towards the eastern side of the city with surprising speed and agility, pushing past a group of pedestrians waiting near a fence. He hops over the metal gate, pushes past the people and runs towards the rest of the city. The GrePos shout at him, commanding him to stop, and give chase.

Nina looks around. All eyes seem to be on her not-husband and his daring escape. She looks back at the car. The engine is still running, the windshield wipers keeping the snow off the windshield. Straight ahead are the barriers, the American border post and beyond that; West-Berlin.

Slowly and carefully she sits down in the driver’s seat, rotating her body in and shuffling forwards in the seat so she can reach the pedals. The car gives a short ‘Beep!’ of the horn. She stiffens up, curses softly and looks down. One of her breasts bumped into the horn. She looks out. Nobody noticed, all eyes are still on the foot chase going on behind her.

Slowly the Golf starts moving. Nina carefully lets out the clutch as she was taught by her mother in the family Trabant. The barrier to the West is obviously still closed, but she has a car with a front bumper and so that’s not a direct issue. More throttle. Then clutch, and second gear. The car hops as Nina slides back in the seat due to the acceleration. Her feet soon find the pedals again and with a loud snap the car breaks through the barrier.

Now all eyes are on her.

She floors the accelerator as the car flies into the Todesstreifen, and with wide, see-sawing steering inputs she cleanly steers around the cinder blocks on the road meant as a tourniquet for traffic. The car screams as she reaches the end of the second gear and hits the rev-limiter. Clutch again. Third gear goes in a little more smoothly than second. This actually just might work!

From the corner of her eyes she sees movement on the watchtower. Loud bangs reverb through the otherwise empty and quiet street. Nina feels the car shudder and make a sudden movement to the right. Nina fights the wheel to get the car to straighten out again, but it’s only prolonging the inevitable. More bangs. She feels glass hitting the back of her head. She braces as the grey brick wall of the remnants of an old building grow ever larger in the windshield.

A lot of noise. Sound of breaking glass. A sharp pain shooting through her gut and a thudding pain in her head. Regrets of not wearing a seatbelt.

The car hisses softly. Something is dripping somewhere. There are still parts sliding across the wet road. Nina rubs her painful belly, blocking out thoughts of what this did to Elizabeth. Her nose is bleeding, dripping blood on her bosoms and belly.
Then the adrenaline kicks in, and the pain and confusion make way for a sense of urgency.
Door open! Out!
Nina slams her full weight into the door to open it, losing her balance and dropping out of the car seat onto the slick road as the door groans open in the crumpled fender. Her wrist takes the brunt of the fall, snapping at an uncomfortable angle. She struggles to get up, using the bent a-pillar of the car for support. A sharp pain shoots through her ankle.
Not important. Run. Now.
 

Gooney87

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Location
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A voice behind her shouts “Halt! Steh’ bleiben!” through a megaphone. “Hände hoch! Jetzt!” followed by the metallic sound of a gun lever being cocked. She stops what she’s doing and considers her options. A little over 20 feet away is the West-border. If she ignores the pain and sprints to the barrier she might make it just in time for the bullets to pierce her back.

She can see the American guard standing there, looking mildly shocked at the bleeding woman and the twisted carcass of what used to be a 3-door VW Golf. His hands slowly going towards his service weapon. He doesn’t quite know what to do now. He wants to help the woman staring straight at him, but by law cannot enter the section of no-man’s land between the two border posts. Doing so is an act of war and something that might escalate further. But if those Commies come any closer he might be able to say it was in self-defence and get in a few shots, purely for his own satisfaction.

Nina sighs. The gun behind her sounds close enough that any chance of a missed shot from that distance is highly unlikely. But she’s so close. Tears start to run down her cheeks as she makes quick eye contact with the American soldier manning the post. She gives him a wink, and receives a subtle nod as she sees his hand move from his gun to the barrier. Her muscles are shaking from the adrenaline pulsing through her veins. Slowly she raises her hands and balls them into fists behind her head.

The border guards stare intensely at the woman. If she runs they’re not allowed to shoot at the west-side of the Wall. Not that it stopped them in the past, though. ‘Self-defence’ was the name that they’d use for that.
Slowly, almost serenely the woman in front of them sticks her hands behind her head.

And flips them the middle finger.

The men stare at each other, surprised at what just happened as the injured girl makes a devilish run towards the barriers on the other side.

A shot.

A cry in pain.

Another shot.

Nina falls flat against the barrier and rolls onto the ground. Her leg is bleeding heavily. All other discomfort is being drown out by the pulsating pain coming from her left lower leg. A trace of red blood mixes with the white snow on the ground. Nina nearly blacks out from the pain, but the cold ground is keeping her awake.
“Scheiße…” she mutters softly as her hands are cuffed and she is dragged back to the east side of the border, causing a trail of red to lead away from the barriers on the west side. “....Scheiße.”


It’s getting late and most of the patrons have gone home already. Jörg, Nina, and Linda are sitting at the bar.

“So you’re Nicole Neumann? That was a fake identity you used?” Linda asks incredulously as she mentally compares the pictures from her clippings to the young woman sitting next to her.

Nina nods. “Yes. I have gotten a fake passport from someone I knew through a mutual friend and pretended to be a West-German woman heading home. Little did I know that the Arsch had loaded up the car with contraband and drugs and such. So yeah, there we were on the Friedrichstraße. My ‘husband’ ran away and left me standing there. Well, I thought I could be all cowboy and blast my way through, and that didn’t end well.” Nina rubs her leg absentmindedly.

“And then? Because according to the media Nicole...ehh… you… were shot dead in the streets.” asks Jörg. He can scarcely believe that his former classmate was one of the reasons for the fights surrounding the Wiederanschluß.

“Well, I wasn’t dead, that’s for sure. I was shot up pretty bad in my left leg. They took me over to Hohenschönhausen here in Berlin where they patched me up and then interrogated me for a week. First they thought I was indeed Nicole Neumann and most likely a foreign agent, and when I finally cracked under the pressure and told them who I really was they tried to pin all the riots and demonstrations on me and me alone. Then all of a sudden they were faced with the breaking of the Wall, and I was left for dead in that cell.”

“But what the hell are you doing here?” Linda asks. “What if they arrest you again? And your family?”

“That is exactly why I’m here. My family still thinks I’m dead. I’d like to correct them on that matter. Get back together with my mother and my sister. Apologize like crazy to them. Hug them and never let go.” Nina starts sobbing. Jörg puts an arm around her and helps her up.

“Come sweetie. I’ll get the couch ready for you. It’s been quite a day for us all, and I think you can use the sleep.” He wipes away her tears with a tissue.
Linda nods in agreement. Time to close the bar and go home. Never a dull moment here in Kreuzberg, she thinks to herself as she watches the two walk away together.
 
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