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“Get out!” Harsh German words yell at me. I stumble awkwardly towards the door of my home, gripping my child as if my life depends on it. Angry officers grip my shoulder roughly and my husband is ushered out with me. “It’s my entire fault.” He whispers in Yiddish
“For what?” I murmur in Yiddish back
“For letting you fall in love with me.”
“What?!? No, the Germans’ rules can’t stop love.”
“Embeth, promise me, you love me.”
“Why? I married you didn’t I?”
“Because! Just say ‘I love you’! I ne-“
“GET MOVING!” The German says angrily. We hustle quickly avoiding confrontation again from him.
“Okay, I love you, Robert.” I whisper.
Robert smiles and leans to kiss my cheek but a German smacks him.
We are shoved in a crowd and I clutch Roberts hand until my knuckles turn white. We walk for miles until we reach a train station. I can’t help but notice our four year old silent. “Connie?” I breathe “Are you okay baby?”
“Mommy! I’m scared.” She wails softly
We are shoved into these train cars and I edge closer to Robert. He nestles his face into my hair. “Embeth, I feel as if this is the last time I will ever see you. I want you to know how much I love you. Remember I will always be in your heart.” He whispered, brushing his lips across mine.
“Robert, You heard them, they said a better place.” I murmured back
“Do you really believe them?” He hissed
“No.” I replied quietly “But I have to hope for something.”
Robert relieves me of Connie for a short while. We embrace with her in between us until harsh sunlight filters through the window. Fear glistens in Robert’s eyes. “I love you Emmy.” He kisses me for a long time until the doors slide open. Robert grips my hand as we are forced out of the doors. A German arm slides around my waist and I scream angrily. The German slaps my cheek muttering curses that drove deep into my heart like thorns.
A man points to the right or the left. He points to the left for me and Connie, but right for Robert. “Robert!” I cry as our hands are wrenched apart.
“I love you!” I Sob
“I love you Emmy! I love you Connie!” He hollered
I whimpered as we were led with women, children and elderlies. An old woman hobbles over to me. “Darlin’” she croaks “You’ll see him again. We are going to a better place.”
“No.” I whisper “They’re going to kill us.”
The old woman blinks at me with her wide amber eyes “Have faith dear one.” She sighs. Connie snuggles deeper into my shoulder whimpering. A bleak gray building towers over us. We are ordered to remove our clothes and enter the showers. The woman presses to my side to seek warmth, and I seize Connie to my chest. I picture Roberts brown eyes as I hear the showers turn on. Screaming engulfs the world and my own baby is wailing. Poison. They really are killing us.
My child dies, and I screech in agony. I fall to the ground and lose consciousness. When I awaken, I see the camp stretch in front of me. The old woman walks towards me with grace that she didn’t have before the showers. She holds Connie in her arms and gives her to me. “Connie,” She says with a clear soft voice “Wake up.”
Connie opens her blue eyes “Mom?” She asks “Where’s Dad?”
“Down in that camp.” I answer longingly searching for him.
“Find him.” The woman recommended
“I will.” I replied, taking Connie by the hand. We walk through the men milling about. I gasp as I pass through a man. Then I spot Robert. I run towards him “ROBERT!” I cry out but he doesn’t respond. I feel stung. “Robert?” I query. I try to touch him but my hand goes through his arm. Then I realize I’m dead. I follow him as he slaves with the heavy work of the Nazis. He stops to take his shoes off “No.” I whisper as a Nazi lifts his gun and shoots him in the head. “Robert!” I fall to my knees begging him to wake up.
“Emmy?” A voice calls behind me. I stare at Roberts’ body. “Emmy. It’s me. I’m behind you.” I whip around to see Robert hugging Connie but watching me warmly. “I told you I would see you again.” He cheers. I race to him and hug him. “Oh, Robert! He shot you!”
Robert shrugged “It didn’t hurt that much.”
I poked him crossly “That’s not the point!”
“I love you.”
I stood on my tip toes and kissed him. “We’re together again, that’s what matters.”