Nim is now living as a teenage girl in Germany. She is forced to live with her grandfather - a German solider in the Nazi - she doesn't like her grandfather at all.When Nim was four she moved in with her grandfather after her mother died. Both Nim and her grandfather disagree on how each other live. Her grandfather has been taking in Jews to a concentration camp for two years now and every Jew in those stripped clothes ,she sees not only a person but courage, having to live in those harsh condit
" Nim I'm going out into town now."I nodded and looked away.My grandfather drove off onto the newly paved road. I watched him leave until I could no longer could see him. I could feel the freedom building up inside . I always loved to explore and now I finally could. I searched for someplace to go, to hide, to think. I never got to do anything around my grandfather. I looked and looked , but it seems as if I have been in every room of this building.
I walked into the family room and looked out the window into the backyard. It was a beautiful area. Flowers and trees surrounded by a wooden fence. One thing stood out, a shack, it was dirty and rusted . The shack didn't look like it belonged. I finally knew what my next adventure would lead to. I slowly took the chain off the back door and slipped outside without the workers or soldiers knowing. I calmly walked over to the shack, it started to smell and reek of decay. I walked a bit closer, only to see darkness inside. I walked even closer and opened the door to be greeted by an elderly man in stripped clothes.
" Don't hurt me, I do not want to die. Not like this, not now." The man couldn't stand , but kept going on. " I don't want to loose my life. My life is mine not yours. "
" I'm not here to hurt you. I want to help." I stepped forward and the man looked at me. I helped the man up. I knew he hasn't eaten in maybe days or weeks. " Hold on two seconds I'll be back I promise."
I ran inside, into the kitchen and grabbed leftover food from dinner, then ran back out. " Here," I handed him food but he didn't take it. " Go on take it. C'mon you need to eat." This time he took the food and ate it, licked it clean.
" What's your name young lady?" He whispered trying not to be heard by the soldiers.
" Nim, and your's."
" Why are you back here?' Oris looked at me and silence fell upon us.
" The crematorium. That word, it means a lot. it means death and lost, but torture is the one things it represents." Oris spoke softly and so did I.
" The crematorium?" I was afraid to ask, but it seems that Oris has an interesting history.
" Well it's a chamber. They lock hundreds of Jews in there, put some type of gas in, I could never figure out what. After a while you would stop breathing and then they burned you. It would be a slow tortured death." Oris' words were were like no other. He went on describing the camp.
" How did you get out?" I was interested in his experiences, but wanted to know how. How did he get out? How did he know he was going to die? How does he survive?
" A fence on the opposite side of the camp."
" The camp is surrounded by fences. Isn't it?"
" Yes but this fence, this fence was different. It was wooden." We both heard engines.
" My grandfather is back. I will bring you more food tomorrow. Goodnight Oris."
" God bless you child." Oris went back into hiding and I slipped back inside, put the chain on the door and waited for my grandfather.
" Nim, your still up? I thought you would be in bed already." I nodded and went upstairs into my bedroom. I only thought about the fence, the one that saved Oris' life. I now knew where my next adventure would bring me.
I awoke in discomfort, discovering a group of soldiers would now be staying in our house, only to be able to take a closer look into the camp.
There was a knock at my door. I stood up and opened it. My grandfather stood there with a smile on his face. He never smiles. Something must be happening. I'm not sure what to except.
" Get ready for breakfast and come down stairs. I laid out some clothes on the chair. I must introduce you to some guests." He walked back down stairs and I closed the door and got dressed. I wore an ivory, nylon dress with a seam going straight down the side. There was a scarf, knee socks, black shoes and a button down jacket to match the dress. I put on the socks, pulling them up to the top of my knee, then I slipped on the shoes, wrapped the scarf around of head and buttoned the jacket. This clothing is so different from the dresses that I'm used to wearing.
Once I got downstairs my grandfather sat at a table next to three other men dressed in full uniform.
" Nim, these men are going to be staying with us for a while." He pointed to both of the men. " This is Peter and Hans."
" Its nice to meet both of you." I took a seat in between Peter and Hans and we all ate in silence. Hans seemed like a man that follows the rules and Peter he was much different. I caught his eye a few times ,but it seems as if he doesn't belong here he seems not much older than me and Hans seems to be in his late twenties. Soon after breakfast Hans and my grandfather left into an office and I took some food and left out the back door.
" Oris." I whispered until I got to the old shed. I saw Oris crawling out of the shed. " Here, it's fresh." I handed him the food. Afterwards I snuck under the garden fence and ran into the small valley following a deep forest. I ran and ran until I saw something. I was looking for freedom, but I found much more. I ran until I got to a ditch following a fence that went twenty feet up into the air.
I could see people - Jews. I couldn't believe my eyes, but to see that place. It wasn't something you could just forget about. There was one guy there. Not much older than me, he looked weak and skinny. I feel bad for these people being trapped into this gated area excluded from the world. They don't deserve this.
The guy caught my eye because he seemed different- even though he was still every skinny and weak - he was stronger than many others. Soon later our eyes met and I went into to panic mode. He started walking over to the fence then jogging. I backed up and stood behind a tree. He saw me anyways.
" Hey, come out now." His voice was deep as he whispered. I slide out from behind the tree and stood there in complete silence, with only a fence and a ditch separating us we felt connected. " Why are you over here?" He seemed like he felt like I was being stupid for coming there .
" I just needed space. Don't tell please. I'm not supposed to be here." I wasn't scared. I was nervous.
" I'm not gonna tell.. Who are you?"
" Nim. Yours?"
" Elijah." I looked at his hand. It was bleeding a lot. He moved his hand behind his back.
" Come here." I jumped over the ditch and walked up to the fence. I held out a container of water and put my hand in between the gaps of the electric barbed wire. " Give me your hand." He walked a bit closer and put his hand on mine. I washed off the blood and gave him the rest of the water.
" You wanna walk, you know like around the gates?"
" Sure I guess." We walked and talked for hours until the sun started to go down and everyone went inside. " There's a gate."
" A gate on the other side of the camp. Rumor has it that there is a wooden gate."
" Seriously? Like really?"
" Yeah, Oris told me."
" Wait, you know Oris. I thought he died."
" Well he's hardly living. He is hiding out in a shack. I bring him left overs all the time though."
" NIM!" My grandfather called out.
" I gotta go."
" Thanks." I ran back home through the trees, through the valley and finally I met my grandfather.
" Nim, where were you?"
" I was trying to find Peter. We were supposed to work on," I hesitated.
" The car. " There was Peter, standing behind my grandfather. " I was just getting started."
" Okay then. Go on." My grandfather still seemed confused. I walked over to Peter and went on following him. I tried to stay quiet and look down the entire time.
" Really Nim." Peter looked at me with confusion. " Why were you out there?"
I was silent I didn't say anything. I knew they would hurt Oris and Elijah.
" Come on," Peter grabbed my hand with a tight grip and dragged my into the back garden. We then both ran through the forest. " You see those 'people' well if you keep going over there you will get yourself and everyone else killed."
He seemed serious I wanted to ask why he cared so much about me, that seemed too mean. I pulled my arm out of his grip and ran home. He ran after me, but couldn't catch me. Once i got to the house I went into my room, locked the door and layed on my bed.
After a few minutes there was a knock at my door.
" Nim. Hey Nim I'm sorry, just open the door. Nim?" I knew the right thing to do would be to open the door and talk, but I wasn't willing to do that. I flipped over and pulled the blanket over my head. Soon after I heard a key going into the door . The door opened and I stayed there. I didn't move a bit.
" Nim," Peter sat next to me on the bed and put his hand on my back. " I'm sorry about the way I acted can you just come to dinner."
" I'm not hungry." I sat up and looked at him still sitting there in his uniform.
" What can I do to make it up to you?"
" Be yourself."
" I think I am myself, Nim." I took the hat off of his head.
" No your not." I started to unbutton his uniform jacket. " This guy right here in this uniform isn't you. This is what every solider and general wants you to be." By time I finished his jacket was off and all that was left was a whiten- green tinted T- shirt and his uniform pants. He then grabbed my hand.
" Your right. I'll try a bit more to be myself." He stood up.
" Can I ask you something?"
" Uh yeah."
" When you said that I would get them and myself killed why didn't you punish me like any other solider would?"
" That's just part of the real me." He kissed my forehead and left. I guess I don't know everything about everyone, but I think Peter is a better person then some people might think.