Both lines were equally long. Berlin was dangerous; Berlin was industrial and had many available jobs. People wanted in, for work; people wanted out, from fear. A couple was standing in the middle of the room. To their left, the sign read, "Apply for Citizenship", to their right, another read, "Apply for Passport".
"Maria," he blurted.
"Yes?" She asked.
"I love you."
"I love you too."
"Will you?" He begged.
"Of course I will. No, I can't. I… I don't know!" She sighed.
She stood, twisting a lock of her hair. He glanced away for a moment, and noticed a small booth at one end of the building.
"Would you like me to get a rose for you?" He suddenly asked.
"No. No rose, thank you."
"Shall I purchase some new luggage or you instead?"
"No, there's a war going on. You shouldn't waste your money on anything you don't need. You should buy me a ring instead."
"No," he countered, "I should pay for your passport."
They momentarily ceased their conflicting "small talk" and stared awkwardly at their feet. The man noticed, out of the corner of his eye, a passing group of airmen, led by a five star general. He nonchalantly shifted in front of his companion in an attempt to hide her mandatory Star of David from the prying eyes of the Nazi general. When the group was out of earshot, the couple gave a sigh of relief.
"that was my father," he said.
"Oh dear," she replied, "the general?"
"Yes, the general."
She nervously twisted her hair around her finger. She had to decide today to return to Poland with her family, or to apply for citizenship. Finally, after much deliberation, she headed for the sign to her left.