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The alarm goes off again. Close windows, hide under my bed, and swallow the fact that I may become an angel. I can feel a copper taste on my mouth, mom told me it meant that my heart was beating really fast. Mommy always told me that thunders are when angels are playing bowling and that bombs are when the bombs fall off the track. I could feel the floor shaking each time the bombs hit the earth’s surface.
A hot wave touched my face gently, as I could see all my memories fading away in front of me. I can’t blame myself because of the things that happened, I could only sit and watch everything like a movie I’d like to pause and stop watching, or like a nightmare I’d wake up and see everything’s fine, but not this time. I had the courage to extend my arm to grab a burning family picture, burning the tips of my delicate fingers. No need to cry, no need to make drama, people are suffering more than I am.
The bomb damaged our house. Luckily, I grabbed the family picture before it started burning and I could actually preserve a tiny thing of my life. We moved to western Warsaw, at my aunt’s house. I loved her house, and I got to spend more time with my cousins, also sleep with them. I also got the chance to sleep in the same bed with them; the heat my cousin’s body released gave me a sense of safety, so I was actually happy to be in my aunt’s house.
When we were thanking God for our food, we were abruptly interrupted by a desperate knocking on the door. I volunteered to open; the father of my Jewish best friend was relieved to see my face. I barely recognize him, he had a worried look, wounded arm, bruises, and striped pajamas. I recognized the striped pajamas; my mom told me that I should never speak to them because they always bring problems.
“Where’s your daughter and your wife?” I asked him gently.
“They we’re lucky enough to escape from the concentration camp.” He responded catching his breath between every syllable he pronounced.
My aunt had a barn besides the house where he was hidden. I had the job to take him food and books. He was always very grateful of my attention. That made me enjoy his presence. As a family, we burned his pajamas and bought him new clothes.
The same event repeated over and over again. Close curtains, hiding under my cousin’s bed, and swallow the fact that everyone in this house may become an angel. I could hear the strong voice of a German man. I ran downstairs to discover what is happening. My mom implored me to go upstairs. While I was going upstairs backwards, I bumped in a hard, firm, and stone cold body. I felt a sweet smell, I felt my eyes closing, I was fighting it, but they felt like if they weigh a hundred tons. I could hear the echoes of my mom sobbing, crying, and begging the soldiers to take my family.
Again I felt the need of pausing this horror movie I wasn´t willing to watch anymore. I finally managed to open my eyes. The scene I was watching was unbelievable. Everyone with pail faces, bruises, rivers of blood flowing on their check bones. It was a dark and cold place, but at the same time warm because of the anxiety that everyone was producing. The situation was so tense that I could cut the air with a knife. And the ugliest thing of all is that everyone is wearing striped pajamas, including me.
“I’m not Jewish!” I cried out.
“They won’t believe you.” A woman replied.
I had the opportunity to see my reflection on an old man’s worried eyes, with tears that were fighting to flow like a river out of his eyes. I could barely recognize myself; my shiny blonde curls were opaque and greasy. I had bruises all over my face. I was missing two nails. I had the chance to see someone I know I bet they couldn’t recognize me. I had my family picture and my bear with me close to my heart.
A tear mixed with blood dropped over my face, leaving it blurry. I would be forgotten easily. Now there’s not my face in the only picture left of my family. There’s no document that proves I walked on earth’s surface one day, everything was burnt in the old house. I wasn’t the only one that was going to be forgotten. I was surrounded by hundreds of people that were going to be forgotten like me. So there’s no need to suffer about it.
A man told us that we were going to take a bath. He pointed the chamber as he watched me running towards it. I was so naïve that I didn´t realize there were skeletons on the floor. A burning heat started to embrace my body. Everyone shouted with their strength left. I prayed to God to make me an angel fast, I don’t want to suffer anymore. I could feel my spirit leaving my body. I closed my eyes to never open them again…