The distance...

" I don't know why your so mad at me" Opa sighed

Momma explained " Something could of happened...these are different times. Children can't just be left alone..."

Eli looked at her mother puzzled. She knew she was afraid of the soliders. But the soliders were only inconviences. They would always walk right infront of you and ask where you were going. They always did it when Momma was holding lots of groceries. She would sigh and strain as she explained endlessly she was going home. Where else would she be going with  milk, potatoes and a head of lettuce?

Oma nodded and patted Momma shoulders. Then she gave Momma a quick hug. Momma returned it and then quickly looked away. Momma's eyes were red and puffy again. Momma rubbed her eyes and looked away. She bent down by the cupboard. Then slowly poured herself a cup of tea.

" Momma?" Eli asked

" Momma, Eli wants to see her surprise now" Momma muttered

" Aww...yes...cover your eyes child" Oma exclaimed.

Oma rubbed her hands on her apron needless and ran into her bedroom. Eli threw her hands over eyes and peered through her fingers at Opa. Opa closed her fingers. Eli slapped her hands at her sides and squinted her eyes shut.

" Hold up your hands" Oma said

Eli obeyed. She quickly felt the sudtle weight of a book. Eli's eyes slowly fluttered open. She looked at the book. It had no title and no words. Eli looked at her Oma.

" It's called a journal" Oma said " It's for you to write your story. Your Momma tells me your a writer."

Eli shrugged " I just write. There are much better ones out there..."

Oma shook her head " No one's better than my Eli"

Eli looked around and then at  her Oma " Where's my sweater?"

Oma face lit up " I made you something different this year since you are older..."

Oma pulled out from behind her back a navy blue sweater with buttons! But it didn't have little flowers on it and it wasn't pink. Eli slipped it on. It didn't really go with her brown dress and brown stockings but it was nice. Not as itchy as the rest.

" Looks very grown up" Momma smiled at her

Eli looked at her Momma. Her eyes had dried but they were still red. Eli ran up and gave her a hug. Eli almost cried too. But she really didn't know why...

" Let's go eat now" Momma whispered softly by Eli's ear

Eli nodded and sat down in her chair. Oma brought over a steaming dish of Shepard's pie and slapped a pile on everyone's plate. She put two pile's on Opa's plate. Eli didn' t think he really needed two piles. But Opa shoveled it in anyway. Momma and Opa ate theirs the same. First slowly blowing on it and slowly savouring every bite. Eli was lucky if her food even made it to her mouth. Ground beef and corn scattered around the edge of her plate. Eli sighed. She would never be a lady.

Rusty nosed Eli's am out of the way and licked at the edge of her plate. Momma sighed and pushed the large dog out of the way. Rusty whined and lay at Eli's feet. He waited impatiently for the food to come tumbling down.

Oma looked at Rusty anonyed " Our first dog was so well behaved. Won't beg...Not even for a crumb. But Pappa was never firm with this one..."

Opa shook his head " There's nothing wrong with the dog. He was a good hunting dog and know he' s a good guard dog"

Oma rolled her eyes " The only thing he does is take up space"

" If there was a robber, Rusty would catch him, tie him up and call the police" Opa said.

Oma and Momma both rolled their eyes and smiled. Rusty continued to eye Eli's plate. Eli wanted to give him a handful but Momma was watching the dog. So Eli just petted his head gently with her feet and kept eating.

" What's for dessert ?" Eli asked

Oma looked at her stupified " What dessert?"

Momma rolled her eyes " Can Opa even survive a day without dessert?"

Oma pretended to scowl " No one lets me have any fun. Ofcourse there's dessert and no Pappa couldn't live one day without dessert"

Opa nodded in agreement " I didn't give her a ring until I tasted her apple pie"

Oma rolled her eyes and looked at Eli " I didn't tell him until after the wedding that it was my sister's pie. I was never much of a baker until the kids came around. "

Momma looked around the table and said " Okay who's done?"

Momma piled all the plates and Eli helped scrap them into Rusty's bowl. Rusty lapped up the leftovers eagerly. Eli threw the dishes in the sink before Rusty tried licking them.

Oma pulled an Apple Crisp from the oven and piled it on four plates. She put two piles on one plate. Then put them on the table.

" This is what I call Oma's wartime apple crisp. Sweet apples give it the sweetness...not sugar and the crisp is bread crumbs" Oma explained

" It's good,inventive" Momma said with a full mouth " I miss the days when sugar and flour were plentiful"

Opa shook his head " I don't. Her dessets just keeping getting better. She was getting she's got to use that noggin of hers..."

Oma rolled her eyes again. Momma nodded her head.

" True. True. All we need is a little creativity" Momma agreed

" I've been saving all my old socks and turning them in to puppets" Eli said " I took an old box and made a theater..."

" Just what I was talking about..." Opa said with his mouth full." Using your head "

" I brought some of them here. I brought Alice and Vincent and Rusty the dog puppet. Alice and Vincent are in love. Rusty's their chaperone. " Eli said

Opa snorted " Some chaperone... look the lazy dog is sleeping again"

" Speaking of sleeping, it's almost time for someone to get to bed" Momma said

Eli pouted " But I'm on vacation!"

" Early to bed, early to rise" Oma said.

Momma nodded in agreement " Tomorrow is going to be a full day. Tomorrow were going to do whatever you want"

" I want to go see the bridge again" Eli said

Momma looked at Eli puzzled but then just shrugged " We can do that and we can do a lot of other things. Dream about it tonight"

Eli wasn't sleepy. She was convinced she would never be able to dream tonight. She lay in her and her mother's bed and looked at the ceiling. It was white bland. She stared at the bright hallway. The grown up voices were hushed but Eli was able to make out the words " The truth will come out"

Eli wasn't sure what the truth was anymore. There was his truth...Hitlers and then their was Momma's. Momma said what Hitler was doing was wrong. But alot of people didn't like Jewish people. They made them wear stars and go to their own schools...Eli wanted to wear a star too but Momma won't let her. Eli liked stars they were so pretty and you could make wishes on them. Eli pinned on a patchwork moon instead. Eli liked the moon too. But no one else wore moon pins.

Eli's eyes slowly got heavy...She slowly saw a patchwork moon infront of her and sparkly stars infront of her. She walked through the forest in her rubber boots and a green dress. It was too long. Eli ran and held up the dress. Eli wasn't scared she was running to feel the wind in her face. The wind made her think of him and that made her lonely. Eli slowed down and looked around for away out of the trees but they were just so close together. Eli counldn't seem to squeeze through or see anything past the interlocking branches. She was trapped in the forest with no way to get to him...Eli suddenly got an idea. Eli slipped of her fancy dress and left it on the ground. Then started climbing a tall tree in her slip.

From the top of the tree she could see the shape of him. He was so far away and Eli had no wings to fly to him...

The End

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