She sat on the red silken sheets alone in the dark of the late evening. The sun had set hours ago, and it would have been around this time that she and her clan would have been setting up for the bazaar in town in the morning. Humming softly a traditional gypsy song she had long forgotten the words to, the young woman was pulling a wooden brush through her auburn curls that fell past her shoulders. Her legs were pulled beneath her and she rocked herself back and forth very slightly. Her knees were torn apart, as if from being dragged, and she had yellow bruises on her forearms but her face showed no signs of pain. Instead, her lips were turned in a sort of sick smile, forced and absentminded. What she was wearing was in a bit of disarray, yet the laced nightdress was flattering against her figure, and the only flaws that were visible were the tears in the hem and collar of the nightdress and the straps ripped, they now were hanging loose from her shoulders.
She placed her brush on the nightstand and walked towards the only window that was in her chambers. She lifted the window up, allowing in an air that was heavy and oppressive so that she could still see the ashes falling from the sky. It reminded her of snow. She used to not be able to look on at all at the death and suffering, but she no longer had to fear for those she loved. She received word a few days ago that their bodies were sent to the crematorium and they were simply ash now, perhaps here falling around her window sill.
'How…strange it would be if my mother's incinerated self...was here with me now, falling against my skin," she thought, her lips slightly pursed in contemplation as she brushed away the gray residue from the bridge of her nose.
"Should I at least find some comfort in that?" she asked herself, her voice so soft that it was barely audible. Nothing could be conveyed in her emotionless stare as she surveyed the suffering outside.
She had once wondered why she had been picked to be spared the same fate as her family members did. Her sisters were just as beautiful as she was, as were her cousins and aunts, and even her aging mother. She grimaced slightly as she thought of the pain they must have gone through, but she could not help but be envious of the peace they were able to find in death. Their horror had ended, and they were now spared the humiliation of what she was forced to endure. Though, she would never wish this on them.
She would do as the Nazi soldiers told her, but never would she be forced to work or would they ever raise a hand against her. The general who had taken a great liking to her assured her every comfort and need. Of course he would take full advantage of her, which was to be expected for she was just a poor gypsy in their eyes, but she was at least well fed. Yet, she would have rather suffered the starvation and agony that her people faced a thousand times over instead of being the very object of their hatred. She feared leaving the confines of her room, because everywhere she went she could never escape the odium. Their looks of complete and utter abhorrence for her undeserved reprieve had made her sick. She wanted so badly to be there with them before, to suffer as they suffered and she thought she could always forgive them completely for their hate. Yet now, she could not help but feel disgusted with them all when they would utter detestable slurs against her under their breath as she passed, and her pity slowly transformed into contempt. How ignorant could they be?
'Those blinded bastards could never understand the suffering I've been forced to bear. I have nothing left; everything precious has been taken from me. I may not suffer the pain of a whip or the torture of starvation but I know what pain is, I have become the very essence of pain…I do know…"
Her mind raced with thoughts of detestation in her attempts to justify herself, she was constantly reminded that no one would ever understand the terror that awaited her in her own mind—the fact that her entire family had been slaughtered and she still lived never left her.
Her thoughts were interrupted when she thought she heard a scream in the distance, she was a bit surprised at first, but her expression quickly left her and she returned to her blank stare. She must have imagined it, she thought. No one really cries out anymore. Some of those people still had a shred of dignity left. What did she have? Certainly not honor or kinship. No one could ever understand…
"My entire body is a Holocaust." she stated matter-of-factly, her tone never rising to show any distinction of misery or hurt. Although in her heart she felt nothing but bitter resentment, she could not longer express it.
She wrapped her arms about herself and gave a slight shudder. She had not realized how cold it had gotten. She closed the window and lingered for a moment longer before slowly walking away, almost staggering, towards the bed again. She wasn't sure if she had wanted to cry for herself, for her family, or for those who were still left to live on in this god forsaken place. Yet, the tears never came and instead she picked up the brush she left on the nightstand and continued on brushing out the tangles of her hair.
Her song continued on as the only sound that filled the night air.