The Waiting Place

October 8, 2010
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When I look back on it I really should have read my cues. Everything was going too exceptionally well for it to be reality. Nothing had been out of the ordinary for the past couple of weeks, to everyone’s relief. We all thought we were safe and relatively comfortable. What we did not know was that within the next few hours, every single one of our lives would drastically change.
It was dusk, the time where the sun melts into the earth and creates a beautiful haze. Then almost as suddenly as it begins, the sun blinks out and the world is submerged into the night. This had always been my favorite time of day. In the past, I rarely missed a sunset, but that bliss no longer existed now that we were in hiding.
At the tolling of the seven o’clock bell our host, Mr. Andrake, signaled for our one source of warmth in that freezing nook, our candle, to be put out. This was unusual, for normally we were allowed the luxury of a candle until eight o’clock. We were mildly disappointed when our candlelight was prematurely smothered, but we proceeded with the remainder of our nightly routine. When we disregarded an out-of -routine command, it proved to be our fatal mistake. Did Mr. Andrake have information that the rest of us did not know?
My brother, Gabe and I squeezed into a laying position for another tormenting night of little rest. My six-year-old brother was the little boy of your dreams. His sweet rosy red cheeks were perfect for pinching and he had a voice of gooey caramel. This boy was my life. I lived to nurture and protect Gabe.

“Night Gabe,” I said. All I got back was a moan of response.
I was just falling into the world where your concisions and dreams mix, creating a scary image of real life scenarios, when I heard a sound. It was what I feared most, the sound of my greatest enemy. It was worse than anticipating the ferocious, booming thunder mixed with the buzz of lightning. It was the spine-shivering, hair-raising Nazis. As soon as my brain registered this, my mind became fully alert. I instinctively wrapped my arms around my brother, even when I knew I could not protect him from such a force.
“See you soon Gabe,” I hurriedly told him with as much encouragement as I could muster. Then I quickly departed to fulfill the responsibilities of my pre-assigned task.
“I love you Evie,” he replied with a haunting look of terror in his eyes.
After hugging Gabe, I fell into emergency mode. I looked to my grandmother for the signal that would send me to my hiding spot. Whenever the alarm went off it was my job to seal the entrance way, for I was the quickest and one of the smaller ones that could be concealed. I longed for my brother to come with me, but it was much harder to hide two people than one. I scurried off; sealing the entrance behind me by sliding the door closed and then moving the trunk to conceal the latch. As soon as my task was done, my feet propelled me almost silently to the closet that hid the lose floor boards of my hiding spot. The moment I was in place I heard an assault of feet stomping up the dull moss eaten stairs of the apartment complex. My heart thudded like a hammer in my ears as I heard the deafening rap of the Nazi’s at the door. That’s when the hunt began.
It was not even long until I head a thump of soldiers’ boots growing closer and closer. I could picture the boots perfectly, black and shiny without a single scuff mark or scratch, but filled with stories of terror, fear, and hatred. When the scuffling of feet abruptly halted I felt as if my lungs had been squeezed of all oxygen. The enemy disheveled the items on the shelf above me, and my heart sank. I was being searched. I heard a squeak of the wood board and my eyes were flooded with light. My dark brown eyes adjusted and they met the stunningly clear blue eyes that were studying me in my cramped hiding space. I was amazingly steady until I heard another voice calling a triumphant cry, “Ich fand sie,” I found them! My heart then leapt into my throat, muffling my cry of horror. Grandmother and Gabe had been discovered!
My mind returned to my own predicament. The Nazi’s blue eyes were on me for another moment, showing hesitation and then quickly flitting away. That’s when I believed in the mixing of fantasy and real life. The young Nazi solider turned his back on me and strutted away, to my utter disbelief. My mind was racing, but I dared not move for fear of being caught. I close my eyes, blocking the tears, telling myself that I was in the land of a horrid nightmare. That was not sufficient enough for I heard the cry of my beloved brother calling out a farewell in his own way.
“Don’t worry Gabe. Someday our family will be together again,” said Grandmother to Gabe as would a mother trying to avoid a temper tantrum.
“And,” whispered Gabe. “Evie will be waiting for us.”
These courageous words from Gabe sent me into a fit of loathing for the German’s. Then in a blink of the eye they were gone forever.
I’m not always sure that young Nazi solider did me a favor by sacrificing my life. I think

to myself, did he just want me to suffer? There are days when despair overcomes me and days when I fall into a fantasy world and believe I surrounded by my family, but overall I keep living for Gabe, knowing that someday we will be reunited.

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