Driving past a deserted, cobbled street, in the suburbs of Leipzig, Anna was heading towards the border. Yesterday, the 9th of November 1989 would be marked a historic day, in world history. ‘The wall’ had fallen, collapsed literally. As news broke out, people drove out in droves, across the open gates, to reach the other side. Many, hopeful to meet their kith and kin, others, curious to see first hand, the opulence of the West.
Etched in Anna’s memory forever, would be the day in August 1961, when ‘The Wall’ rose. The concrete barrier. ran through families indiscriminately, dividing them, as it did theirs. She awoke one day to find that her sister, Julia, belonged to a different country. The divide was so deep and the physical disconnect unbearable. One, was plain lucky, if he landed on the side, matching his ideological identity.
Anna, was driving to Braunschweig, where her sister, Julia lived. Twenty eight years, was a long time; even in her most ‘ unlikely to happen dreams’, she never hoped to meet her sister in flesh and blood, ever.
She was apprehensive, picturing the moment, they would set eyes on each other. They were popular as the ‘Gunther sisters’, that was all in the past. Now, they did not even share the same surname. She was Frau Anna Wulff and her sister was Frau Julia Doherr. She wondered, if she would feel the same wamth in Julia’s hug, as she remembered it. Would she be welcome in her home? Economic inequality, could cut a wedge in sisterly bond. After all, she was the ‘poorer sister’.‘The Wall’ had changed their circumstances completely. Julia’s family were strangers toher as well.
Anna’s age belied her. In appearance, she looked much older than she really was, the severance had tormented her. Would Julia recognize her, under those aging lines and wrinkling skin, she pondered. So many questions kept popping up incessantly. “Calm yourself”, Anna’s heart spoke to her, “you have endured worse, survived thirty years of separation, happy times are here now, live in the moment”. “Isn’t blood thicker than water?”
Composed, Anna drove on, blisfully unaware that some thirty years hence, a virus would rock the world, necessitating isolation and social distancing…….partition of another kind.