Friday, 1 May 2015

BEEF STEW


Jonathan had told Helga that she must meet him that evening, it was of the utmost importance. But this wasn’t going to be as easy, it was Berlin in 1942 and Jonathan was Jewish.

Helga was beautiful, blonde, blue eyes, lovely big German breasts and a big round arse. When she walked, she swayed like a bombed building about to blow over in the wind. Jonathan had beady brown eyes, an island of wispy hair in the centre of his head and spoke with a lisp. He was punching above his weight.

Helga had a friend called Gerty who lived in an apartment right near Jonathan’s hiding place. They could meet there. Helga got word to Jonathan where the apartment was and how he should knock so she’d know it was him. Helga had no idea why Jonathan wanted to meet, especially so urgently. In the current climate, meetings outside of the confines of a good hiding place were best planned weeks in advance, but Jonathan had insisted. Maybe he wanted to escape and needed her help.

They’d been going out just over two years and she loved Jonathan very much. It wasn’t easy, though. Relationships between Jews and Germans were verboten, they had been carrying on in secret. Her mother had been hiding Jonathan in their cellar. When “Mutter” went to be bed, Helga would go down to the dark, dank cellar and spend the evening with Jonathan. Planning their future, speaking about politics. She’d bring a book down and Jonathan would read it to her. Once a week they’d stay up till just before sunrise so they could pop outside when no one was about, so Jonathan could briefly taste freedom.  

It was 4am. Helga was in her girlfriend’s apartment when, at the front door, there were two short raps, a knock, then a rap. She opened the door and there was Jonathan. “My Jonathan!” He virtually ignored her as he walked into the flat. “Horrible apartment, glad I don’t live here,” Jonathan sat down. “This chair is uncomfortable.” Helga walked into the kitchen and came back with a pot of stew. “Shall I heat it up?”
“What sort of stew?”
“Looks like beef.”
“Is there no chicken?”
“Jonathan!”
“Woman,” he hissed. “Do you want to get me killed? I’m sorry. I’m just tense”
“I understand. I’m sorry”
He took a deep breath.
“I’m leaving you”
“You are going to try and escape Berlin?”
“No, I’m leaving you, not Berlin. Maybe Berlin.”
The pot of stew slipped out of Helga’s hands and smashed. She bent to her knees and stared at the broken pot and beef stew all over the floor. Jonathan went into the kitchen and came back with some paper towels. He got down to her level and handed them to her.
“You said you loved me,” she said forlornly.
“I do, of course I do. I just can’t see a future for us.”
“The war will be over soon, we can live a normal life.”
“It’s not the war, it’s you.”
She was crying now.
“I thought you loved me,” she whimpered.
“I do, I do. I just need some space. Please stop crying.”
He put his arm on her shoulder. It felt like touching a stranger.
“It’s too dangerous here. I must get back to the cellar.”
“Please change your mind, please,” sobbing.
“No. I can’t.”
He kissed her on her cheek and pulled a tissue out of his pocket and gave it to her to dry her eyes. He stood up.
“Please. Just give me a day to myself tomorrow so I can work out what to do.” She was crying inconsolably and rubbing stew into the floor with the paper towels. He crept out the back door.

The next afternoon, the cellar door slammed open, waking Jonathan from his nap. A German voice shouted, “Come out, arms raised.” He heard a gun cock.
“I’m coming!” he squealed. When he got to the top of the stairs, he saw four SS officers with Helga and Mutter.
“Come with us,” one of the officers barked before whacking Jonathan in the lower back with the barrel of the gun, knocking him to the ground. Helga looked into Jonathan’s eyes, she said sorry but the word did not leave her mouth.  


A couple of days later, she heard that the government were deporting a load of the Jews, so she went to the train station to see if she could see Jonathan. All the Jews were squished together like cattle on market day. There were hundreds of people being forced on to trains that they couldn’t fit on. She looked for Jonathan, but couldn’t see him anywhere, you couldn’t see anyone it was just a big blob of people. She started to regret her decision, she wondered if Jonathan was regretting his.

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