I glanced lazily at the clock by the door. Five more minutes till class was over and I could go home. Ever since all the Jewish children in Germany had been forced to go to all Jewish schools, my studies had become increasingly dull. We were only taught the basics and on this seventh day of October, 1938, my school day was ending with a boring arithmetic lecture. I could hear Mr. Schwartz droning on, but nothing was registering. I was just to tired. I don't know if anyone was really paying attention after what had happened the night before. A girl named Mara Rosenberg and her family has been taken away last night. No one knew where they had been taken or why. Only rumors of Jews being taken were circulating, but now Mara and her family were gone. She was fifteen years old, only a year younger than myself. The whole situation was unsettling.
My attention snapped back to Mr. Schwartz when he began to wrap up his speech and he finally dismissed the class. I gathered my books and threw them haphazardly into my leather satchel and walked quickly out the door. I tried to avoid as many people as I could. I liked to be invisible on my way home. Especially from the Hitler youth boys. The lined my path way home, holding signs and yelling obscene things at us. I avoided them at all costs. My heart sank as I heard someone call my name from behind me just as I was about to walk down the last step of the school house.
"Rivka! Wait up!" I didn't recognize the voice right away, so I turned to look as the boy who had called out my name. It Was Judah Falk. He had come to our school a week or two ago and I had seen him on my way home a few times. Why he was calling after me, I had no idea.
"Hello Judah." I said as politely as possible.
"Call me Jude."
"Oh. Okay. Well, can I help you?" I asked looking up at him. I had never really gotten a good look at him. He was tall. Probably almost a foot taller than my 5'4 height and his shoulders were broad. He had an extremely attractive face. Pale skin with warm, dark brown eyes. His hair was short, black and slightly mussed.
"I've just seen you on my route home a couple of times and was wondering if I could walk with you. I really dislike walking alone." He asked, looking slightly nervous. Normally, I would have been skeptical of this. I really wasn't the most trusting person in town, but for some reason, I liked Jude, and I liked the idea of walking with him.
I smiled, and replied "Sure." Jude seemed relived and smiled back at me. It made him look incredibly boyish and I felt a tickle in my stomach.
The walk home was more pleasant than I thought it would be. As we walked, we talked. Talked about everything we could think of. He told me how he and is father had moved to Germany from Austria when he was eleven after his mother died (he's seventeen now) and that his father had served in the great war like my father had. I told him that I had only lived in one house my whole life and that I lived with my mother, father, and my younger brother, Caleb.
I found that he was really sweet and smart and that I liked him more than I had anticipated. It was him that brought up Mara Rosenberg.
"Did you hear about that girl and her family?"
"Mara? Yeah, I did."
"Did you know her?" "Not very well. I had talked to her a few times. She was nice."
"I heard her father was arrested for plotting against Germany and they just took her whole family." I felt my stomach drop and fear course through my veins. Rumors becoming truth.
"That's terrible." was all I could manage to say. I looked over at Jude, and he looked at me with sad eyes. He took a breath as if he were about to say something, when he was interrupted by the jeers of a group of Hitler youth boys. All I could hear was random shouting until I was able to pick out one phrase.
"Christ killers!" My blood ran cold. I wanted to run. Just run all the way home. I looked over at Jude who had stopped walking and was starring at the boys. His jaw was clenched, his arm muscles were tense, and his brow was furrowed slightly. I glanced around and saw an alley way that led to a side street. Without thinking, I grabbed him my the arm and hurried him down the alley. Once we were out of ear shot, he closed his eyes and inhaled then exhaled loudly, as if clearing his mind. I myself took a deep breath and asked
"Are you alright?" He looked at me blankly for a moment, and then his face seemed happy again.
"I'm fine. I'm not just used to the Hitler youth boys being so close."
"You'll get used to it." I smiled at him, and he smiled back.
The rest of our walk was rather uneventful. More walking and talking and I was almost sad to see him leave when we arrived to my house. I walked up the steps to my house and turned to face him as I opened my door. He smiled and waved and once again, I felt the that small tickle in my stomach. I smiled a genuine smile, waved, and walked into my home, slowly closing the door behind me.
I greeted rather rudely by my brother, Alex.
"Where have you been."
"What are you talking about?" I asked him. Alex was ten, and had a habit of asking too many questions.
"You're fifteen minutes later than usual." He was also far too observant for his own good.
"I walked home with a friend."
"What friend? You don't have any friends. You don't talk to anyone ever."
"enough questions, okay?"
"Fine." one good thing about Alex was that he knew when enough was enough.
I walked into the sitting room and plopped down on the worn brown sofa. I closed my eyes and I saw Jude's face in my mind. It was nice to have a friend. I was never good with people. It's not that I was mean, or un-polite, I was just a quiet person. I tended to keep to myself. But now, Jude had stepped into the picture.
I kept my eyes closed and listened to the sounds of my house. I heard dishes clanking in the sink from the kitchen where I assumed my mother was, I heard soft music coming from my fathers study, and I could hear Alex running around upstairs. I drifted off to sleep on the sofa, enjoying ever little detail.
First and foremost, i would like to thank everyone for reading the very first chapter of my very first story on FictionPress. All comments are welcome and greatly appreciated. I will apologize right now for any historical inaccuracies. I promise to do my best, but i cannot guarantee 100% accuracy. Thank you for reading!