Historical Fiction: My City

The moon’s light broke through my blinds as I tried to fall asleep. Nothing like a world war keeps you up late night after night of wondering if Hitler will choose to dispose of your people… How could he do such a thing? How can he be stopped?
A flash of light clouded my thoughts. I jumped out of bed, nearly gasping at how cold the floor was below my bare feet, and rushed to the window. My nightgown drifted just above my toes; the fabric shook as I shivered from the winter cold.
My fragile hand drew back the drapes, and I stealthily let one eye peek out the window. A shocking breath escaped my dry lips.
They’re here.
Tanks and soldiers quietly entered the city, walking along my neighborhood streets, guns at the ready.
I swallowed past the ball in my throat and forced myself to move. Rushing to my closet, I yanked my coat from a hanger and hurried to my parents’ room. Knocking on the door first, I let myself in.
They were both sound asleep, oblivious to the horrors approaching just beyond our home’s walls.
“Momma, Papa! Wake up, the Nazis are here!”
My father moaned and squished his face into the pillow; momma began to stir. I ran to kneel by her side, “Momma, we need to do something! What if they are back for the Lewinskys? For us?”
Her blue eyes shot open. Her penetrating gaze frightened me as we stared at each other for a moment, then, she turned to Papa.
“Darling,” she shook his body, “darling wake up!”
He growled at her, “What is it?” Papa turned and rubbed his eyes wearily, then he saw me. I must have looked afraid for he sat up and began to violently tug off the blankets surrounding him, as if he were trapped.
“They’re here.” She mumbled. My father rushed to his window to see the Nazis for himself.
“They’ve already been here! Why would they come back!” He quickly shut the curtains and fell to his knees on the floor, rummaging underneath the bed. After a few sounds of knocking wood, Papa stood straight with a Luger in his hand.
“Go get your sister,” he pointed a finger at me. I silently agreed.
Then, his gaze fell upon Momma’s, “Get the other Lugers and take the girls into the attic with the Lewinskys. Do not come out unless I come to get you.”
She crossed her hands in her lap and nodded; tears escaped her chocolatey eyes.
My father rushed out of the room, and I followed suite towards my sister’s bedroom. I placed a hand on the cold door handle, and paused. Sending a quick prayer to the Lord, I attempted to calm myself. If my sister saw my nervousness, she would be a wreck.
I walked into the small girlish room, unable to speak. Her pale face had an expression of calm – I couldn’t wake her. Carefully, I picked her up in my arms and grabbed one of her coats on the way out. Behind my mother, I quickly made my way to the library. She was holding Papa’s backpack full of Lugers. The library was unusually silent, a heaviness lingered in the space.
Slowly, momma pulled one of the books on the shelf and pushed on the wall, opening the secret door to the attic.
Papa is brilliant for having that built, even before the war started.
I slipped inside the narrow space with my sister, and began to ascend up the staircase. Despite the pitch blackness, I found my way to the top. Momma followed close behind after shutting the library door quietly.
At the top of the stairs, I knocked the code knock for the Lewinsky family to recognize. The door swung open after minutes of waiting. Mrs. Lewinsky looked a mess at opening the door. Her eyes looked swollen from crying and her lips were in a grim line.
The three of us entered, not wanting to say anything.
Both of our families could end up being killed by a gun squad for this.
I gently laid my sister on the small, old couch covering her with the coat I grabbed from her closet. Mr. and Mrs. Lewinsky spoke in urgent whispers with my mother a few feet away. She motioned to the bag of Lugers. From the corner of my eye, I could see Jakob staring blankly towards me.
I stepped to his side for comfort. Years of hiding and now they are here…
Explosions, gunshots, and blood curdling shouts rattled the house – and my sanity.
The six of us sat together in a huddle praying for God to rescue us from the doomed outcome. No one cried.
Suddenly, I could hear the front door creak open. Multiple footsteps scurried around the main floor. A whimper escaped Mrs. Lewinsky’s throat.
My mother had given me a Luger some hours ago, and I could feel my hand tighten around it. More sound moved towards the library. My heart beat nearly out of my chest. Minutes later, the hidden door swung open, allowing us to hear the Nazis come, closer and closer – the door swung open and I immediately stood with my Luger pointing straight at my father.
“Papa?” I lowered my weapon and stood, shaking.
Papa welcomed in soldiers with American uniforms. He gestured to them, “These men are here to take back our city from the Reich. They have agreed to protect us.”
Claps and tears of gladness broke the tension in the room. The soldiers watched us with sincere smiles; they gave each other pats on the backs.
They were here to save us; to save my city.

Don’t Leave Me

His lips soft against mine. Then more pressing. Hands sliding down my body, gently, slowly. Touching every inch of me. They please me. They make me cry out. But then it hurts.
Then, I touch him. I glide my tongue along him. I tease him with my plump lips. Please him with my body. Ever so slowly. Ever so longingly…
The night ends. My legs shake from exhaustion, our hearts beat restlessly together. His chest moves up and down strongly. I watch mesmerized.
At a last embrace I cling to him. To his strong body. His muscular arms wrap around my fragile figure like a fortress. I am safe. I am protected. I am weak.
“Don’t leave me,” I want to beg.
His body is warm against my skin. It gives me chills of comfort. I shiver.
Our lips meet one last time, and I want to cry. He leaves. Slowly, turning to give me a grin before escaping.
I shut the door. The door, a prison gate. And suddenly I’m alone. Lonely.
I lay in bed, craving his nearness. I yearn for him to hold me while I sleep. Maybe his presence can keep the nightmares away. The trembling. The crying.
I’m alone. Thinking, remembering and embracing the idea of how his skin felt upon mine. How he felt inside me… My body aches.
The dark of night seemed to surround me, haunt me and crowd me. I felt constricted. Afraid. Nervous.
Alone. Alone confuses me. Alone attacks me. I am uncertain of myself. But with him I feel certain. Oh how I crave his closeness.
Once alone I ponder my choices, my soul and my mind. I think till I want to carve my brain out of my skull. I dig myself into a never ending hole. I dig my own grave.
It’s as though I can feel the dirt being poured onto my chest. The weight breathtaking.
I need touch. I need him. I need help.
Alone frightens me. I am not who I am. I am uncomfortable.
Don’t leave me.

Never Enough

They stood alone outside of her apartment. The frigid air chilled his bones. His heart ached.

“Claire…” Jack’s voice trailed off as her back faced him. He could hear her breath come quick as if she was fighting a sob.

“You don’t know me,” she said. Her voice was so soft, Jack thought he imagined it.

He stepped closer, his breath caressing her neck, “I do know you.” Jack gently turned Claire’s fragile body to face him. It was like manhandling a limp doll.

He couldn’t stand not looking into her eyes. Despite the darkness, her bright blues outshined the moon.

Claire froze at his touch. It was once welcomed, but not now. “Don’t – don’t try to…” Her usually vibrant, lyrical voice was dry, stagnant.

She deliberately looked away from him, knowing that if she were to look him in the eyes all her walls would fall down. The walls she worked so hard to built to hide the weak, shell of a person inside her.

Jack’s gentle thumb tilted her chin up, “Try what?”

“To love me.” A tear slid down her rosey cheek. His heart stopped.

“Claire,” he gripped her shoulders and squeezed them softly.

“No,” she took his hands – his warm, strong hands – and placed them at his sides. She couldn’t bear his touch.

“You don’t know me – what I’ve done.” She choked on the words.

Jack’s face fell. The distance between them felt like miles.

“I love you, Claire. I love you more than whatever it is you’ve done.”

Her breath caught, “You can’t.”

More tears.

“I can’t help it, darling.” Jack’s tender voice threatened Claire’s delicate composure.

“Jack, my past… it’s not good.”

He clenched his jaw, his lips forming a grim line. He hated not knowing what her cryptic words hid.

She hated herself for not being able to tell him. What would he think of her?

They stood in silence. His eyes stared into hers so intensely her breath caught. She looked down at her feet.

Why had she done it? Why had she allowed herself to sell her body? Yes, her mother was sick, couldn’t work – someone had to provide for her and her siblings; but she should have gotten a real job. There was surely another way. But she never found one. She filled out endless applications, attended hundreds of interviews, yet no one wanted her. Except for that man. The man that brought her to disowning her own body.

At first he only asked for a kiss, said he would give her enough money for a week just for a smooch on the lips. Grudgingly, she accepted. Her younger sisters were starving, and her mother had become a skeleton. They had to eat.

He was generous with his money, but then he began demanding more of Claire. More than she was willing to give. He took what wasn’t his to take. Took what she begged him not to, but he did what he wanted with her. No matter her cries.

She needed the money, though. She was responsible for her family’s welfare, she couldn’t risk losing their only source of income. But then he beat her, paid her after the beatings. She couldn’t stand looking at herself in the mirror. Bruises, hickies, scratch and bite marks vandalised her pale body. Her appetite had gone, she felt sick anytime she put nutrients in her belly. Her face became gaunt, eyes empty.

She would bathe for hours, yet she never felt clean. Eventually, her mother had died, and Claire and her two younger sisters moved to New York to stay with their grandparents.

Never again did she have to sell her body, suffer beatings… But she was never the same. She couldn’t go back to the way things were; couldn’t be herself ever again.

Claire’s sobs brought her out of the past. Out of the memories of him who touched her in ways she hated.

“Jack,” she whimpered.

Claire bent over crying. Crying for herself, for what she had done and endured just to keep her family afloat. All for nothing in the end, her mother died anyways.

Claire could feel Jack’s stare. She heard his boots come towards her over the sound of her muffled cries.

He knelt down beside her and just held her. Touched her in an innocent, comforting way – something so foreign to her before now.

How could she put Jack through this? How was she supposed to leave the man she loved because she wasn’t good enough? Pure enough…

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