Another faithwriters story for today, folks. I reused my character, Moshe, from Bar Mitzvah.
This topic was Hope.
Please tell me what you think!
Just one step over the line. It’ll all be over.
The thought had crossed my mind more times than I’d care to admit. It was almost as if the Nazis had given us the line as a way out for those who couldn’t take it any longer. Though the mitvah to live had kept mostly everyone from crossing, a few, jews only by heritage and not with the faith in God, had crossed. All had been shot down without so much as a blink of the Nazi’s cold, blue eyes.
No one even knew when they might be killed in some brutal way, crossing the line would at least be a predictable death . . .
I sat on the gravelly dirt, thinking that as I stared into the forest beyond.
What I wouldn’t give just to be able to climb a tree, to breath fresh air and feel grass . . .
I sighed, hopelessness weighing heavy in my chest, and glanced up at the guard tower. He watched me suspiciously from under the rim of his helmet and fingered his gun. I looked back down at the ground and fingered a few pebbles for a moment, then began flicking a few over the line. The guard’s eyes followed every one.
After a couple more, I stopped, sighed again and curled my legs to my chest.
Will I even ever get out of this wretched place? I thought. The evil thought crossed my mind once again and I quickly shook it away.
I looked and a girl of about ten was standing behind me. I nodded and tried to smile. She sat down next to me and we both stared beyond the fence together.
“My name’s Tikvah. What’s yours?” Her cheery little voice sounded out of place in the camp.
We were both still for a little, then Tikvah put her hands behind her head and went on her back. I looked over at her.
“What are you doing?”
She smiled at me. “It’s a pretty day. I’m looking at the clouds.”
I couldn’t imagine having the peace of mind to look at the clouds here.
“Well, the soldiers can’t take away the sky from us, can they? I’m enjoying the what I still have. Someday, when we’re all out of here, the sky will still be there, too.”
The peace in her voice confused me. And the hope. “When”? Not “if”?
“Exactly how long have you been here?” I asked. She had to have just come.
“Ten months. My parents died last month.”
She had it as bad as I did.
“How can you be so . . . so happy? And so sure that you’ll get out?”
Tikvah turned her head to look at me.
“Anything that happens is God’s will for me. And I will get out of here; you will too. We’ll either get out there . . .” she pointed to the gate, “ . . .or go up there.” Nodded towards the sky. “Either would be great. The best I can do is just trust God while we’re here.”
I lay back with Tikvah and looked up at the sky. She smiled over at me.
“You know, you’re the first person who’s actually looked at the sky with me.”
I smiled back at her, “My pleasure.”
We lay there for a while, finding shapes that reminded us of our former lives and loved ones, then we heard the shout for evening role call. Both of us leapt up, but the dread I usually felt wasn’t there anymore. Tikvah turned to me.
“Thanks for the company, Moshe.”
I looked up at the sky, turning pink with the sunset and felt a new lightness in my chest.
“Thanks for the hope, Tikvah.”
(little interesting bit: Tikvah in hebrew is the word “hope”)