Together At Last

They were fellow travellers without ever knowing it. Sure, they knew of each other's existence but had never met. Michael was the last of three children, almost an afterthought he'd been nonetheless loved and cherished by his doting parents looking to make up for the loss of their other children. They had crossed the wall some 25 years ago. What was for most a highly hazardous enterprise had been forced on them when the car pulled up in front of the gate and left again five minutes later. Inside the house all their belongings and something far more precious, their one remaining child.

Michael had told me the story one fine summer's day as we were travelling on a coach through the wonderful scenery of the Austrian alps. And everything I was hearing seemed so totally out of tune with what I was going outside. Such magnificence coupled with such barbarity; the human and the divine side by side. As the conversation proceeded the bonds of fraternity snaked their silent way around us uniting first in an unbreakable friendship and later, in something far greater.

Michael was born some three years later. He never knew the brother about which his parents talked so often. Each attempt to obtain a visa to cross the border was turned down in the same cold bureaucratic language. Letters never reached his parents, and it was doubtful whether Michael's letters to him - their parents had never even bothered trying - met a better fate. Any news they did get came from friends and relatives who had managed to find some temporary refuge

Then, the wall came down, just three months after we were wed. That was probably the most wonderful, awful, fear-inspiring greatest day in our life, a helter-skelter of emotions as the news broke, was greeted with jubilation, but still took hours to sink in. So we never made it to Berlin. And I suspect that Michael didn't really care. The politics of the occasion didn't really matter to him. All I could see was that one word moving silently back and fore through his mind - brother. Sometimes it brought a sparkle to his eyes, at others it receded in the invisible, dark matter deep far behind; but not once during those first few days did it ever make its way to his lips. That took time. Then it came, bursting forth like the floodwater irrupting from a burst dam.

A flurry of activity and we were soon able to ascertain this anonymous brother's whereabouts. Several letters and we soon made contact. Could we meet? Did he want to meet? What was there to say to a brother whose very existence had been a mystery up until then. Yes, he did. He would come to Berlin.

So here we are sitting side by side in the train, waiting, wondering, hoping, yet grieving. I was surprised he asked me to come along. It was such an intense and personal moment. Indeed, I might as well not be there. He's not said a word since we left. But I'll not disturb him. I know he needs this, and I know he needs me as we speed through the countryside on our way to the meeting with a brother who even now was sitting in this very same train.


What an intense piece this is! You write beautifully. I hope they met and liked what they saw...

17 January 2008 at 21:45  

i am anxious for the "reunion".....even tho i know it isn't really a "reunion" at all......

18 January 2008 at 05:14  

Very gripping!

18 January 2008 at 08:29  

Oh, yes. And then..?

18 January 2008 at 22:27  

I want to know more..

Totally engrossing story..


19 January 2008 at 14:44  

a most beautiful is everything isn't it..

23 January 2008 at 00:18  

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