Chapter Thirteen

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July 25th, 1943

Dear Axel,

I don't know where you are. Italy fell. Does that mean this is over? Please come home.

With Love,

Your German Girl


"Mama, it's way too hot to be doing this," I whine, my hands wrinkled from the hot water used to wash clothes. Everything is by hand right now, with the power going on and off due to bomb raids.

"Oh stop your complaining. We are not in conditions as bad as your father, Axel, and," she chokes out the last word. "Fredrick."

We haven't heard from him since he ran off to fight. With it being this long, odds of him returning or being alive is slim.

"Ugh!" I yell out in frustration when I fall into the water, drenching myself. Just great.

"Go find the servant. You can do housework inside after changing."

I nod, standing up and heading into the kitchen. Irene is nowhere to be found when I come in, so I quickly change before heading outside to look for her. Sometimes she's dumping old food stuff in the compost pile, so I head there next. I stop when I hear a male's voice. It's probably one of the many soldiers that come in and out.

Then I hear the grunts and the muffled sobbing of Irene.

Oh dear God.

I grab the nearest weapon—a horse manure shovel—and go around the corner of the barn to smack the soldier. My blind aim is spot on, as the shovel hits him over the head,knocking him unconscious. I look Irene over; her shirt is ripped down the front, and newly forming hickeys are visible on her neck.

"Follow me. Quickly." As quickly as possible, I pull her up to my room. I give her a dress that's too small for me. I wonder then if she's from a concentration camp.

"Are you from one of those camps?" I ask her. She shakes her head.

"I'm from a Jewish Ghetto. I don't think they'll be around much longer though."

I nod, not sure what to do. I can't really hide her here. This would be the worse place for her.

"My mother wants you to help with the laundry." Her eyes go wide in fear. I don't know what to do. "Hold out, I will come up with a plan." Sometimes I wonder why I open my mouth.

Her eyes light up with hope before she turns to leave the room. I look around the room, my eyes landing on peroxide.

Peroxide!

That's when my plan forms.

I come up with a lie to get Irene away from my mother after dinner. She follows me up to the bathroom where I might've mentioned I had a horrendous nose bleed that needed cleaned up. I show her the peroxide bottle when we are alone. I do it as quickly as possible in our tub, towel drying her hair and styling the best of my ability. I give her another dress, a fancier one. I add blush and bright red lipstick to her lips.

"You have to be confident, Irene," I tell her. "Or it won't work. Flirt." I give her the papers I used to get into the army with my mother's name. We sneak down the stairs and to my family's car. I drive out of the farm without the lights on then put them on when we get on the road.

"Wouldn't it be ironic that a Jewish girl sneaks into the army?" Irene says, chuckling to herself. I laugh myself.

"I don't think they care, especially now that they are losing. They'll take anyone." I hand her a picture I've kept in my brassiere for months.

"If you see him, let me know when all of this is over." She nods, grasping my hand in gratitude. We're at the train station now and I go up to the man behind the window.

"I need a ticket for my sister. She's a nurse in the Wehrmacht." He nods, accepting the money before giving her a ticket. Less than an hour later, a train comes in, carrying weary passengers.

"Thank you, Lucy," she whispers, hugging me goodbye. I nod, pulling away and watching her get on the train.

Then, I'm alone again.


*Let me know when if you see any typos. I typed half of this on my tablet and it's a bit quirky on there.*

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