Elsie Dubin

Harvey Hertz was a regular Aryan Nazi before his boss signed him up to be a spy for the Gestapo and he started to see some of the things that they did to minorities. He started to question all the loyalty he had for the Nazis. His loyalty is truly tested when he gets sent to spy on Elsie Dubin’s family. He used to think that Jew’s were heartless but after meeting Elsie all his views were changed, She was intellectual , caring , and everything he’d ever wanted, but there was one problem – he was sent to turn her and her family into the gestapo.

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2. Chapter two

The next morning I woke up, and the first thing I thought of was Elsie. The way her hair perfectly sculpted her face and made her sparkling eyes that seemed full of hope and fear at the same time even more prominent. Everything about Elsie intrigued me, her past, and the intelligence that seemed to seep out of her, even though I’d only known her one day. I already felt like I knew her better than I’d known any one. I got a quick wash and got dressed before I heard a small delicate knock on the door and I knew who I hoped it was. I went to the door and opened it up to see Elsie’s smiling face.

“Hi.” She greeted me happily with her hands behind her back.

“Hello.”

“I figured you’d be bored over here with nothing to do so I thought I’d bring you something to do.” She smirked a little signalling that she was hiding something; she swung her hands behind her bank suggesting that it was there.

“What did you bring me?”

“Juden Raus!” She laughed while holding the colourful box up in the air

“Why would you bring a Nazi board game?”

“Well I know it’s a game where you have to get Jews out of the country but we bought it as a cover to make us seem pro-Nazi and obviously we’re never played it but there are no other board games on sale and the only ones in my house are handmade and I don’t feel like explaining the ever so extensive rules to you so want to play?”

“Yeah I guess.” I said moving away from the door so that she could come in.

“Have you ever played?”

“No.” The truth was that I had, this game was one of the only things that the army gave us to do when we weren’t fighting, but as I was supposed to be Jewish I had to lie. I thought of the laughter on my comrades faces as they succeeded to ‘kick jews out’ of the fake Germany on the board. I remembered their words of racism against the models but out in the world those words seemed more real.

“Me neither so I guess we’ll have to read the rules and probably be deeply offended by them.” She said opening in the box and taking out the instructions. “Alright so… we are the little people with hats on and we have to go to the storefront and collect a Jew figure which we put on the people’s hats and take to the collection point outside the walls. The person who gets six of the Jew figures out of the city wins.” She explained.

“Okay.” I said already knowing them before she said them.

“Well sounds cruel for us to be playing this but still which person do you want to be?” we pointed to each of the little men.

“I’ll take the blue man” I say picking up the blue man who looks so pleased with himself that he’s going to take Jews out of Germany. I used to think of this as just a good game but it started to seem kind of harsh and it felt wrong that this wasn’t just a board game anymore, this was happening out there in the real world.

“Okay then I’ll have the red, god they look happy don’t they?” She said almost reading my mind.

“I was just thinking that.” I marvelled that she could think the same thing as me although it was a highly unimportant thought.

“I know I’m a psychic” She tried to say seriously but ended up laughing before she even finished the last word.  She got out the board and set the game up and we started playing.

“Yay I have a Jew figure!” Elsie said sarcastically when she got the red man to the store front and put the little yellow figure with a picture of what Hitler described Jews as – greedy with big noses and smaller skulls than Aryan people but as I looked  at Elsie I couldn’t pinpoint any of that in her – on her little red man. We ended up playing for a couple of hours before Elsie finally got her sixth one to the collection area.

“I beat you!” She gloated dancing around my still empty living room, I smiled up at her as I still sat on the floor until she’d finished her dance and stood blushing looking down at me.

“Yeah you did, do you want some food?”

“Sure what do you have?”

“Mostly rice and potatoes.”

“I’ll have some boiled rice?” she seemed put off by the idea of rice but she smiled anyway.

“Okay” I said standing up and walking to the kitchen to prepare the rice. I took out the rice and put it into a pot full of water to leave to heat on the stove.

“You know I have a hidden agenda right?” Elsie appeared behind me and leaned against the archway that lead to my kitchen

“Really? - you don’t seem like the type.”

“Well I came here for a different reason than what I said.” She tried to explain herself a little more although I could tell she wanted me to ask.

“What’s your reason?”

“I don’t want to tell you.”

“But you already told me that you have a hidden agenda.”

“Yeah I wanted to make you think.” The rice took a few minutes and while It was boiling I attempted to think of a hidden agenda that Elsie could have, could she be suspicious of who I really am – no not Elsie, she seemed like the type of girl that would believe a man with a gun to her head if he said he wasn’t going to kill her – I couldn’t think of anything else that would make her want to come over. I took the rice out of the pot and served it out onto two plates on my small dining room table that only seats two.

“Thanks, it looks tasty.” She smiled and sat on one of the wooden chairs.

“It’s just boiled rice.”

“I know I’m trying to be polite.” She started eating very politely and as before I was blown away by how normal she was, if I didn’t know better than I would have thought she was a regular Aryan woman. Spending more time with Elsie was making me question everything I’d been told as a teenager.

“it’s nice – for rice.” Elsie said interrupting my thoughts.

“Are you going to tell me your hidden agenda?”

“You’ll have to get it out of me.”

“Don’t worry I will, I’m great at that.” Which was true, you had to be trained a little when you went into the army.

“Really?”

“Yes”

“Well you won’t because my mind is like a safe”

“I’ll just have to blow it up to get what’s inside then” I joked, our easy joking confused and appealed to me, I was confused because we’d only known each other two days and I’d never even talked to someone I’d known my whole life this way, and it appealed to me because I had a woman I found beautiful playfully hiding stuff from me.

“I’ll tell you, but you have to tell me something nobody knows about you” I tried to think of something I could say, that I’m only pretending to be Jewish to you, that it’s my job to hand you in to  a work camp, that I don’t know why I won’t , or that I’m scared of how much I like you. I frantically tried to think of something to tell her that wouldn’t blow my cover, I wanted to tell her something but I was not sure that I could bring myself to tell her. Everything I could think of seemed wrong, either I’d be pretending to be someone else or I’d be blowing my cover forcing her to hate me.

"Okay, I want to know your hidden agenda."

"That's no secret because I already knew that. How about then if you can't tell me a secret about you, I get to ask you 5 questions of my choice and you have to answer them honestly?"

"Sounds easier." I was intrigued by what she wanted to know about me.

"First, what’s your favourite childhood memory?" She asked putting her elbows on the table and leaning closer to me

"Well when me and my sister were kids my mother used to take us out whenever she had arguments with my father - she used us a little like pawns but we loved it - We went to go get ice creams or had dinner, but they always felt like the times when my mother showed how much she loved me and my sister. I remember Christie used to cry to me that mum didn't love her when we were alone, but on those days. Christie was so happy and she knew that mum loved her, it all changed the next day though... when mum made up with dad again."

"You seem to care about your sister a lot."

"Yeah, she's the only one of them that I actually miss." I told the truth, I did miss Christie and I knew that I’d failed her as her brother and would probably never see her again.

"Okay next question, what’s the worst lie you ever told?" I told you that I am Jewish I thought but didn't say.

"When I left home, I told Christie that I'd find a place to live and then I’d go back for her, I knew I wasn't going to go back... But she believed me." I said again stretching the truth.

"Do you ever regret that?"

"Is that one of your 5 questions?"

"Sure."

"Yes I do, if I’d gone back for her she wouldn't have been taken away with them."  I added another lie to my stack of them but Elsie ate every little bit up like it was the truth "2 questions left" I reminded her after a few moments of the awkward silence that comes from oversharing.

"What's your favourite season?"

"Winter."

"If I ask why, will that take up my last question?"

"Yes."

"You are no fun Harvey."

"This was your idea."

"I know... My last question is… do you trust me?"

"Strangely yes."

"Good" She said happily

"Now you have to tell me your hidden agenda." She looked down at her plate and played with the last bits of the rice with her fork.

"Maybe I will, maybe I won't." she said in a sing-song voice.

"I know you will because you seem like the type of girl who sticks to her word."

"Alright, you got me; I’ll tell you."

"Go on then, I’m waiting." I tapped my fingers against the table.

"I'm trying to drag it out as long as possible so that I don't have to tell you." She said slowly draggling out every single word as long as she could.

"However long you wait you'll still have to tell me."

"I know I’m just not quite ready to tell you... I'm scared about what you'll say."

"Why? - what do you think I’ll say”

"I don't know, that's the reason why I’m scared." She rubbed her hand against her opposite shoulder.

"There's no need to be, don't you trust me as well Elsie?" I tested her.

"I do but I don't know you well enough to know how you'll react yet” she was tapping her foot against the leg on her chair, when it accidently tapped my ankle. Her foot lingered against my ankle for a moment before she pulled it quickly away.

"Well how do you want me to react and even if it's not what I really think I promise I'll try my best to act as if I think it?"

"But then how will I know if it's sincere?"

"I'm bad at acting, believe me you'll know."

"But then I'll still feel bad" she seemed quiet trying to think of a way to not tell me.

"But less bad than you would have right?" I tried to make her comfortable enough to tell me and it seemed like she was starting to.

"I guess."

"So will you tell me now?"

"Maybe but you have to look away" she pointed to the opposite wall

"Why?"

"Because then I won't be able to see your first reaction to what I say." She frowned a little as if it was really important to her.

"Alright then"

"Turn around then" She said grabbing my shoulders and turning me around herself , the warmth of her hands left a tingling feeling on my skin even though she never actually touched it.

"Okay I'm not looking at you now, tell me."

"Err... okay" She said nerves seemed to ooze out of her voice, and even though I couldn’t see her I pictured her biting the ends of her nails. "I was kind of hoping that when I came over that we'd have fun together playing that board game and that you would maybe… ask me out." I turned around as soon as I heard her words and saw that her delicate features were full of nerves and fear she was biting her lip forcefully and twirling a strand of hair around her finger.

"Really?"

"Oh god, I shouldn't have said anything. I'm sorry; can we forget that I said anything?" she hid her face with her hands but I could tell her face was red.

"No, we can't Elsie." I walk closer to her.

"Why?" I pulled her hands from her face so I could look into her eyes.

"Because I'm going to ask you out." She laughed at me

"Go on then." She said through laughs.

"Do you want to go to Dinner or something sometime?"

"Yes but can I take you somewhere?" I thought it was a little weird since it was customary for the man to pick the date.

"Depends where."

"I'm not going to tell you, it's a surprise. Just wear a nice shirt and knock on my door at 6 tonight." She stood happily.

"Okay, that sounds great, perfect actually."

"Well I've got to go now Harvey, thank you for your invitation to go out and the nice meal but I have to go, I'll see you later."

"Alright, Goodbye." I said walking her to the door where she hugged me and kissed me gently on the cheek. After she left I thought of all the reasons why I should have turned her down and listed them in my head. One , I was sent here to ruin her life. Two, I already should have completed my mission, and third -most important one - I was starting to like her too much which wasn’t going to be safe for either of us.

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