3. With A Scared Heart
The men and I turn about as the general comes and speaks his final words of the day, but not before ending with the raising of his arm in salute to Hitler. I walk to the mossy building outside of the now locked gates of the ghetto and turn in my gun. The ally ahead is now empty except for the howls of the wind and the faint noise of weeping from the truck who are heading away. The sun sits low in the sky and I walk towards my truck, which now seems like a God send. It is almost six and in the old piece of metal that I now sit, I head down the twisty roads that lead to home.
After passing numerous fields, and into the countryside where the heavy wooden door protects all of my secrets. I look and see the perfect little Kristel is right where I left her, sitting in her chair reading one of her picture books.
“Hi schätzchen, did you behave yourself?” I ask her.
She nods and goes back to concentrating on her book and I go into the tiny kitchen. Our house is modest but it is home; two bedrooms, a small living room, tiny kitchen facing the garden in the back of the house and a bathroom. I prepare myself and Kristel a sandwich and go out into the garden. The sun is almost non-existent, but still casts a warm red glow on the flowers that fill the yard. I come out to think sometimes. It is my little haven, away from the worry of being exposed, the war, the constant need to protect my sister. I sit, taking in the fresh air, exhausting myself from any memory that I once had.
It is 7:45 when I head back into the house. We sit on the couch and Kristel and I read for hours and before I know it, I have a little head laying in my lap and a clock telling me its past 10pm. I take the drowsy girl, peanut butter covering her face, sitting in the chair to her room, wipe her face and settle her into bed. But when I heard the knock on the front door, panic struck me, sending a shiver down my spine and making me go pale. I wake Kristel and put a finger to my lips, telling her to stay quite. She knows what is going on subconsciously. She heads over to a little hidden closet and sits patiently as I slide the fake wall in front of her room, just like we once did, making it look like there was no room there at all. I rush to the front door and I open and see Hans standing there. I let him and even with some pressure lifted off my shoulders, I am worried to know what he has to say.