I laid in my bed. Not wanting to move .Due to the events prior to this moment, it got me thinking. What was my grandfather going to do?
Its 7 and I'm still motionless. I could hear voices in the kitchen, voices of Peter, Hans and my grandfather. I didn't want to know what was going threw Peter's head after his talk with my grandfather last night. Not long after, I heard footsteps coming toward my room.I pulled the blanket over my head as the footsteps got louder. The door opened and someone came in,I'm not sure who. They didn't stay for long. Once the door closed I sat up. Then I knew who had come in. It was my grandfather, he had laid out something for me to wear this evening.
My door flew open. It was Peter, who looked aggravated.
"Peter-" I tried talking to him.
" You are going to need this." He tossed a gun on my bed. " Your grandfather is taking you to clear a ghetto."
" Ghetto?" he began to calm down, but still came off as angry.
" A walled area. The Jews are kept there. It's used as a temporary home." I looked at the gun and then at the clothes.
" We are going to kill them?" Peter just stared at me. I stood up and walked over to the chair that the clothes were on. It was a uniform.
Peter walked out. I got dressed in that uniform- it's not like I have much of a choice. As I looked in the mirror I didn't see me. I saw every other German soldier and I hated it. I went to my bed to pick up the gun, it was heavy. I knew I would regret this.
I walked downstairs to see four men dressed in full uniform. There was my grandfather and others, Chadrick, Reza and Bernard.
" Are you ready?" Bernard asked. He talked to me as if I was a little girl. I answered the only way I could.
" Yes." I followed my grandfather out to the car and the others marched behind. It was awkwardly silence during the short ride there.
When we arrived the streets were empty. Once we stepped out of the car the lights inside houses started to turn off. Bernard got out first, Reza and Chadrick followed. Next my grandfather, then I lingered behind.We stopped in front of a house with a wide double door. Reza went in. I saw lights turn on threw the windows. I heard screams of women. As Reza made his way down a dozen Jews followed him, women, men, and children. My stomach was in a knot.
" You, you, you." Chadrick went down the line of Jews picking random ones like cattle. When he was done five Jews were lined up in front of the others. An older man, two young women, a young man, and a little girl of age five or six.
" Down!" My grandfather yelled. The Jews that were lined up laid on the ground. I'm not sure what is going on, but I think I know how this is going to end. Chadrick came up to the first man and shot him without even thinking.. Bernard did the same to one of the women and so did Reza. My grandfather then shot the younger man. Reza looked at me smiling. He motioned his gun toward the little girl's head.
There I was standing over this innocent girl. I took my gun out. My hands were shaking. What am I doing? I cant. I wont. I dropped the gun at my grandfather's feet and ran. I turned around the corner and kept going until I got to a brick wall that towered over me. I heard gun shots. I slowly slid down against the wall. Screams could be heard in the distance. I covered my head with my arms trying to block the roaring screams of all those innocent people. I heard another gun shot, then another, and another. All of a sudden numerous bullets blasted from the barrels of multiple guns.
Still holding my arms over my head I saw someone's shoes. They were old and brown, like dress shoes but worn out. I looked up to see a tall man standing over me. He had on a dark brown suit, but just like the shoes, it was aged. He looked to be about 20. He had scruffy hair and the star of David on his jacket.
" Are you okay?" The man stood next to me.
" Not really." He sat down, I didn't really want to talk.
" You want to talk about it?" He smiled.
" There isn't much to talk about. Why are you talking to me? Aren't you supposed to like run or something."
" Yeah. Well, I saw the way you reacted back there. I know you aren't one of them." He kept smiling.
" How are you so at ease? i mean if soldiers came into my home killing random people, I couldn't do it." His smile disappeared.
" Its the concept of knowing. I know I'm going to die and i know there is nothing I can do about it."
" You could fight or rebel against them."
" If I fight I die even faster,so I hide." He tried to stand, but fell.
" Are you okay?"
" Yea, just a bit hungry." I heard cars moving out, I hope my grandfather left. I reached into my front shirt pocket and pulled out 25 marks.
" It's not much." I handed it to him. He smiled again.
" Nim." We both stood up and he looked at me. " What?"
" If we go to eat people will run." He looked at my uniform. I took off my jacket and hat and then I let my hair down. I was then wearing my uniform pants and shirt. I needed something else to wear.
" Any better?"
" Come on." He took my hand and we ran to his house.
" Mom, Dad." He went into the kitchen He came back with his parents and sister. When they saw me they all looked like they were staring death in the eye. Caleb came to me.
" This is my friend, Nim. She needs something a little less German to wear." Everyone was silent. I felt like the odd one out. Caleb's sister, Bracha left then came back with a coat and brown pants.
" Here. I hope they fit." She handed me the clothes. Bracha didn't seem scared. I left to go change. When I came back and Caleb and I left. We walked down the crowded streets of the ghetto. We walked across a little boy selling bread. We bought two. Caleb tried to hand me the change, but I gave it back to him.
" You need it a lot more than I do." He slipped it into his pocket. We kept walking, many people went inside once it started getting dark. There was a family of three sitting on the ground. there was a young mother, a little boy and a baby.I walked towards them and handed the girl the rest of my bread. Caleb walked behind me and handed her the left over 5 marks.
" Bless you both." The mother whispered. We walked away. When we reached the brick wall we turned around to make our way back.
" It doesn't seem that different," I blurted out." I mean compared to my life, this is heaven. No one really cares at my house. At least you have people here who care and carry hope." We saw a car's headlights in the distance.
" Move," He grabbed my arm and pulled me into a small space between two buildings. The car stopped in front of us. two men in uniform came out. I couldn't believe it. Peter and Chadrick were there. Peter's eyes and mine locked on each other when glanced my way. They both went inside the building. Caleb's arm was around me, trying to comfort me and make me feel safe. Peter came out with a few Jews following. Chadrick came out afterwards. All the men were really old. Chadrick ordered the men to march. One man refused. Peter raised his gun and without even thinking shot the man in his head. I tried to pull away from Caleb and try to protect the other men, but he wouldn't let me go.
" Remember if you fight you die faster." He whispered in my ear. Chadrick shot another man. Then Peter shot one. They started taking turns. Caleb held my head against him. I could here laughing behind me. Caleb hugged me tighter until they left.
" I think I should head home. " He handed me my coat as we stood up.
" Nim, be safe. It's more dangerous than it might seem out there.
" Will do." I then walked into the street. I was go angry with everyone. With Peter and my grandfather. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with this. A car followed behind me. I stopped and the car also stopped. The passenger window went down.
" Nim let me give you a ride home." Peter said trying to convince me.
" My feet are working fine."
" Okay Nim back there I was doing my job. Just get in the car." I kept walking. He followed me all the way home. I walked into a silent house. My grandfather and Hans were sleeping. Peter came in after me.
" Can I at least explain?"
" You can shut up because you are going to wake them."
" Who were you with? I saw you with a guy in the ghetto. Was he one of those predator?"
" Why would you care?" I walked away full of rage.
" Because i do."
" For the last twelve years I have lived in this same house with the same people. Everyone here has changed. You, my grandfather. Most of my time here, no one cared what I did as long as I did it here and i was out of the way. I'm used to people not caring so yous houldn't. Oh and he isn't a predator. He is a person and his name is Caleb." I went into my room and locked my door. I don't care what anyone has to say anymore. It's my life not their's.