16: BRANDENBURG AN DER HAVEL

WE got to Brandenburg an der havel at exactly 4 pm on a cold October evening.

There was no direct train Eissen to Brandenburg.
We had changed at Berlin Ostbanhof Station, One of the three largest Stations in Berlin and the entire East Germany.

My stay with Agnes in the train was awkward. There was no tangible topic to discuss, so we just kept quiet and concentrated on ourselves.
When we got down at Berlin Ostbanhof, we sat down inside the station and ate peanuts. Our next train was 30 minutes away.

” Did you really tell that little girl what you said to me” Agnes asked me.

” No, I did not.” I said.
She looked at me for more explanations.
” She found a used condom on me and freaked out” I said.
Agnes looked at me and said nothing.
” I had sexxx with a fat German woman yesterday at her place and forgot to throw the Damn thing away” I continued.
I begged her to forget what happened but she refused, so here we are” I said.

” I believe in Destiny Agnes and whatever that will be will surely be” I said again.

She just kept quiet and listened.
I told her that when I first came into the camp, it was her that stole my heart and attention, then Melinda surfaced and passed through. I also told her that Awiti was just part of my history which I would write someday (and I am doing that now).

I also told her that destiny was more interested in keeping me and her together and it was left for us to work on making it count.
She said nothing as I led her through wise sayings and divine jargons etc.

*I was the prophet, Solomon the wise*

When our train arrived, we boarded it and proceded to Brandenburg an der Havel.

When we got out at the Brandenburg train station, a bus was standing outside. We asked the driver if he was going to HEIM..(HEIM is a permanent base where the asylum seekers are accommodated until the Germans certify you good enough to live among the population. We were in Eastern Germany where racism was still rampant, so keeping us together was for our own security)

The bus driver nodded and we entered the bus. The ticket we collected from camp did not cover the bus, so we bought new tickets.
Ten minutes later, we arrived in front of the heim.
A fat middle aged woman (We later gave her a nickname; IYI) opened the house door as we pressed the bell.
We presented our papers to her. She directed us to the office inside the house where we were cleared properly.

There were two buildings inside the compound. One was a two storey building with many rooms while the smaller one at the back was a one storey building with self-contain rooms.
The big one belonged to male while the one at the back was The female house.
It was different from camp but not much different.
I was given room 22 which I was supposed to share with a Cameroun guy until some other room was furnished for me. Agnes was taken to the female house and given a self-contain apartment.
(Please understand that germans dont name rooms like us. All the rooms on the second floor naturaly starts with 2. room 22 simple means room 2 on the second floor)

The monthly allowances for each of us was 199.40 euro. Approximately 200 euros.
We were given a fraction of that amount since we came in the middle of October.

There were some other Igbo boys in the same HEIM when we arrived. Johnson from Abiriba, Jordan from Nnewi, Tony from Ekwulobia, Chibuzor from Ozubulu and Filas from Nanka.
Then there were two Esan girls. Jordan was dating one while the other one hardly stays in the HEIM.
When I dropped my paper bag and received my money, I went to the shopping mall called Eurospar which was 300 meters away.
I saw Johnson and Jordan with some other Guinea men loitering along the road but didn’t know what they were doing.
I bought a big coca cola bottle and sweet bread and headed back to the heim.
I went to my room and ate, then I slept for an hour or so. I woke up and headed to the female house, it was in the same place and it took me a minute to enter inside there.
Agnes had told me her room number when we were collecting our money.
I knocked on room 15 and entered. The female rooms were very neat and bigger. It had its own bathroom unlike our house.
I gave her some of the bread I bought but she refused. We chatted for an hour before I went back to my room.
There was no restriction whatsoever in the heim. A man can go to the woman’s house at anytime.
We were finally free or so I thought…..

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