I was in the bath when they came to take Kurt away. It was just before Christmas. A night that will never be forgotten.
I’d known they were there all evening, sitting out in the black Trabant like four shadows waiting to kidnap a soul. Guardians of dark secrets. Reapers of fear. After what I had spilled to the authorities a week prior, I thought they wanted the Schmidt couple downstairs. But you could never be too sure in those days.
Knock. Knock. Scheisse. I had been wrong. It was Kurt they had come for after all. He had promised me he had turned his back on all that resistance stuff as I was carrying his child. Of course, I hadn’t been foolish enough to actually believe him. But I had hoped.
Knock. Knock. The steaming bath water turned bone-chillingly cold. I stubbed my cigarette out with a hiss. Voices turned to whispers in the living room below. The record player ground to a scratchy halt, filling the apartment with a dreaded quietness.
Knock. Knock. Open up.
A drip from the brass bath tap resounded loudly in my ears as Kurt’s footsteps approached the door. He intended to go quietly; head held high for the neighbours were certainly eavesdropping. That was my Kurt. The grinding of the bolt and the click of the lock. Some muffled voices I couldn’t quite make out and the slam of the door. He was gone.
Good luck my love. The words escaped from my mouth with a wisp of smoke I was unaware I’d been holding in my lungs. I put both hands on my bulging belly and slid back, submerging myself in the silence of water, accompanied only by the gentle beat of a little heart matching mine.