If you have been following my story, you will know that in the last installment, I met Anna again a couple of days after the incident in the park.
I literally bumped into her in a German Supermarket near my home in Borzigplatz. She was bruised and scared and my heart went out to her. I persuaded her to have dinner with me.
“Shall we go and get something to eat?” I asked her
She lowered her head and nodded.
I picked up my shopping basket with one hand, and held her arm with the other, just in case she decided to run away. After paying at the checkout, I led Anna to my car. “come sie mit to mine haus?” I was using my very best English/German mix but she understood.
“Nein, Viktor can find us there, him will find your haus, das ist nein gut”. I understood, she was looking out for me, he might be watching and she was trying to protect me. She was a good person, with all her bruises and through all her pain, she was still trying to make sure no one else got hurt. I appreciated it. I was impulsive sometimes and didn’t think things through, it seemed like she was thinking for both of us.
We got in the car, and I drove in the direction of Dortmund, and found a small Balkan Restaurant. It was a restaurant that Les and I ate in often. As we walked in Anna looked all around the room as though she was expecting someone to be watching her or following her. I found a table that was tucked away at the back.
“Are you hungry? Would you like to eat something?” She nodded in response so I ordered a platter of meat, rice and salad to share. I also ordered two beers. She cried for the first five minutes we sat there, sipping beer in between sobs. Our waiter brought us some schnapps “on the house” and eventually she calmed down a little and spoke to me.
In broken English, which was much less broken than my German, she told me her story. Anna lived with Viktor, they were not married, but she had lived with him since her parents had been killed in a car accident five years ago. He seemed nice at first, more like an uncle. He had been a neighbor and when she was evicted from the parents home because she had no way of paying the rent, he told her she could move in with him. He was much older than her and after a few weeks he started treating her badly.
She had no money and he wouldn’t let her go out to work, she was locked in the house most of the time, sometimes even tied to a radiator, she was terrified of him. He worked from a room in the back of the house. She didn’t know what he did, but he got some unsavory visitors at all hours of the night. Always men, and mostly Russian! He didn’t leave the house much, all of his business was done by telephone. Anna was terrified of him and tried leave once, but he caught and he beat her so she couldn’t go out of the apartment for a month because she was too ashamed of the way she looked.
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