Disclaimers: These guys are mine, mine, mine! If you have not read 1944: Year of the Mandolin Wind, I sugest you do, because if you dont youll be so lost. (It is nessesary for you to read those disclaimers carefully!)
Violence: This is a story about the aftermath Holocaust, and while it could be something you can learn from, I probably wouldnt want my child, (if I had one), to be reading this. I am giving it a NC-17 rating for adult contact, including rape, murder, child abuse, and bad language.
Sex: This story contains sex between two consenting adult women. This also contains sex that is nonconsensual. I dont approve of it, and I dont like it, and I dont condone it, but I feel that again, it is necessary to get my point across. Believe it or not I do have a point.
Thanks: Thanks to my Beta readers Erin and GJ. Thanks to everyone out there who sent me feedback and asked for a sequel. Here it is. All feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bards Note and Dedication: In wake of the tragedy in New York and Washington, I am dedicating this particular piece to all of the victims, and the people who risked, and gave their lives to help. In my humble opinion, Americans need to stand strong and united together. We need to remember that we all are Americans, and that while there is never a time to hate your neighbor, now is really not the time. Personally, I feel as though we just need to stand together, and do what we can to show our strength as a nation and keep our American Spirits alive.
Stand by Me: In a Broken Dream
By: AC aka Nyxie
Prologue: November 1946
"SOFIA!" Bekah screamed out in the middle of the night. I noticed her body covered with sweat, and tears were streaming down her cheeks. For the past year she had been waking up several times a week, sometimes a night, with nightmares.
I quickly gathered her into my arms and rocked her back and forth. I whispered, "Its okay. Youre safe. Ive got you."
She buried her face in my neck and continued to sob. She said through her tears, "Dont let them hurt me, please! Fia, dont let them take me!"
I kissed the top of her head and gently rubbed her back. I assured her, "Nothing is going to hurt you Ive got you." I gazed out the window of our small apartment, and shook my head.
She cried, "The Nazis they theyre coming "
I told her, "There are no Nazis here, baby. Were in New York, in America. There are no Nazis " We had moved to New York a few months after the war had ended. It was at the point that Bekah could not function in Germany. She was always afraid of being sent back to a camp.
She asked, "No Nazis?" Her arms encircled my waist, and squeezed tightly.
"None, youre safe," I asked her softly, "What did you dream about, Bekah?" She lifted her head and I placed tender kisses all over her face. Looking at her in the moonlight, I couldnt help thinking how beautiful she was.
"It doesnt matter, Sofia. I love you." She said as I lay back with her in my arms.
She rolled on top of me and I didnt know what to expect. We had only been intimate once since being liberated. Even then, she would not let me touch her. After several moments she said, "Im going to make love to you now. Theres nobody who can tell me I cant and nobody to fear. You dont have to be quiet and neither do I "
I nodded. Her words sent a flood of wetness down between my legs; I was ready for her right then. It had been so long since she had initiated anything other than a short embrace.
Her mouth covered mine in a searing kiss. Her hand trailed down my body and stopped between my legs. She broke the kiss and said, "Youre ready for me now. Do you know what that does to me?"
I shook my head and replied, "No "
Her fingers rubbed against my opening and then up to my clit. I arched into her touch. She husked, "It makes me feel like I am human, Sofia. Like you still want me and need me. I love that, Fia, I love it so much." Her lips brushed against my throat, and then against my collarbone.
She was so gentle and so tender with me. I knew that this is what making love really was. It was showing someone how you feel, as well as telling them. Touching them with such a sweet and tender need, that they wanted to cry. Right then, I was in heaven with Bekah, but I wanted to cry my heart out. I never in my life felt so loved.
Her lips brushed against my chest and then my belly. Finally, she reached my center and she began placing the softest kisses there. She whispered to me, "You taste so good."
I felt her tongue glide down the length of me. I moaned and I silently started to cry. My entire body reacted to her loving touches, and caresses. By the time she sent me crashing over the edge I was sobbing.
She crawled up my body and lay on top of me, her arms supporting her upper body. She kissed me softly and I could taste myself on her. I wanted to taste her. She whispered, "I want to be good to you never hurt you."
I pushed her over to her back and covered her body with mine. I said to her, "Darling, you are the best thing I have ever had. Even with all weve been through I would never, ever change a thing."
She smiled, and I loved her. I loved her with all that I had to give and then some. I loved her like there would never be another tomorrow; like this was our very last goodbye. After that, we both fell asleep content and secure with the knowledge that our love would keep us together forever, no matter what tomorrow would bring.
Rebekah held me securely against her in her sleep. In her arms, my head on her shoulder, I felt like I would always be safe. There was no other place in the world that I wanted to be, but it was time to get up. I kissed her chin lightly, and ran my fingers through her hair. "Rebekah, its time to wake up."
She stirred and her eyes opened. She smiled at me, softly and said, "I dont want to. I want to stay with you."
I returned her smile and told her, "After work you can be with me all you like. Now its time to start the day."
"I know." She replied as she loosened her grip on me. I crawled up and she kissed my lips. "Good morning, Sofia."
"Good morning." I said to her. I rolled out of bed and helped her up. I told her, "Go shower, and Ill have breakfast ready when youre finished."
She pulled me close to her and said, "Thank you for loving me. I love you." She kissed me once more and ran her hands down my shoulders.
As she headed toward our small bathroom I told her, "No, thank you for loving me." I pulled on my robe and went to start our breakfast.
Soon, Bekah emerged from the bedroom, dressed in a pair of jeans and a white T-shirt. We both knew these were not things that she should not be wearing, but it was pretty complicated to work in a dress. Bekah got a job at a Jewish Deli, and did well for us.
Bekah sat at the table and smiled at me. She asked, "What are we having?"
"Eggs and toast." I told her. I brought her a plate and set it down in front of her.
As I did this, she pulled me into her lap and wrapped her arms around my belly. She said, "Dont cook dinner tonight. Were going out." She said.
"Where?" I asked her. We had only been to dinner in America a few times. They were all for special occasions, and usually at a diner.
She kissed me again and said, "Youll see when we get there. Just make sure you dress nicely." She let me go to get my breakfast now.
I smiled at her and agreed, "Alright, Bekah."
I made up my plate and sat across from her. I asked, "How are things going?"
"As well as I could hope for. I dont have many problems at work, I mean everyone there is Jewish. Its coming home, or stopping in other places that gives me a problem." She explained as she ate.
"I know. They dont really like me either. A lot of the people here dont like Germans, and they dont like me." I took a bite of egg and swallowed. I commented, "I think its the accent."
Bekah nodded, "It couldnt be anything else. Personally, there isnt a thing about you that I dont like."
"Youre biased." I told her. I then asked, "Is there anything you want from the store today? Grocery day." I looked around our small kitchen and inwardly smiled. It wasnt much bigger than an icebox, but it was ours. This was our home now.
"Just fruit and coffee. A pack of cigarettes too." She added. Since the war ended she had taken up smoking. I think it was to calm her nerves, or something. I was just glad that she didnt start drinking like some of the others we had met.
"All right." I said as she handed me three dollars. "Thank you." I said.
Bekah frowned and told me, "Dont thank me, Sofia. Whats mine is yours and you never have to thank me for something like that. I dont need thanks, I just need you." She finished her breakfast and stood up to clear her plate.
"All right." I told her. She set her plate down in the sink and helped me to my feet; I smiled as I rested my hands on her shoulders.
Her hands planted themselves on my hips and she smiled back down at me. She said, "I will see you at five oclock." She lowered her head and placed a chaste kiss on my lips.
I returned her kiss and let my fingers run through her long dark hair. This was something I had missed for so long. Now that it had finally grown back I could not stop. I repeated, "Five oclock."
"I love you." She said.
I kissed her once more and replied, "I love you too."
Things were different in Germany after the war. The country was being rebuilt and I was working to support Bekah and I. Although we were living with my mother, I knew that she could not support all of us. Bekah couldnt get a job there; she wouldnt leave the house there. After being liberated and coming back home, she was still afraid of being sent back to Auschwitz. A month after we were released I asked if she wanted to come to America. She wanted to come, so I set things in motion.
Unfortunately, it took some months to get the documents to come to America. Sometimes it was like taking one step ahead and then three steps backward. Eventually, we were able to leave Germany. We were lucky, because we were smart. Since we had time to prepare, I put away some money every week. With that and the money I had saved before the war we had enough for our fare and some left over. My mother and my sister also gave us some money to get started. So with what we had, we got an apartment in the city, and paid our first months rent. We still had a little left over, which we decided to save.
I went to the market and picked up the things we would need for the week: Eggs, bread, cheese, milk, meats and Bekahs fruit, cigarettes, and coffee. My trip was uneventful, and passed with very few problems. There were a few men mumbling something about hating Germans. That was okay by me, because I didnt care for them much myself. I did not understand how they could do what they did.
I came home, and went about cleaning up the house. I had a light lunch and finally had a shower. I did not realized how quickly the time passed, because before I knew it Bekah was home. She walked in around five-thirty and greeted me with a hug and a kiss.
"Hello." She said.
I said, "Hello."
She stepped back, looked me over, and then grinned. She commented, "You look really good."
I was wearing a dark skirt and white blouse. I still had not caught up to the times, because I refused to ever wear high-heels. My hair was pulled into a bun at the back of my head, but I left a few tendrils loose. Bekah brushed one on them back behind my ear. I replied, "Thank you."
"Any time, darling." She told me. She smiled again and finished, "Let me change and then we can go."
I nodded and let her go.
Bekah and I walked through New York; it was a nice evening. I looked over at Bekah, who in my opinion looked wonderful. She wore a pair of black slacks and a white blouse. Her hair hung loose over her shoulders. The clothing she wore was simple, but on her, I thought it looked more than right. We walked for about fifteen minutes and finally stopped in front of a very high-class restaurant.
She said, "Were here." She smiled down at me.
"Here? Bekah, it will cost a fortune." I replied. I wasnt sure why she decided that we would eat here. As far as I knew I hadnt done anything great, and it wasnt a special day.
"I know, and I have enough to pay for whatever you want. I kept putting money away every time I got paid." She explained.
I still didnt understand, so I asked, "Why?"
She smiled and led me in. We were seated in a far corner and handed our menus. I could not believe how much some of the food cost.
Bekah finally answered me. She whispered, "I made you a promise, Fia. I promised I would take you to the best restaurant I could find, so I am."
I looked up, and into her eyes. I never doubted how much she cared about me, or how honest she was, but this was too much. At the same time, nobody had ever gone through any kind of trouble to keep a promise to me. Bekah had, and it took her nearly a year and a half. I even remembered when she made that promise
"We were near the fence and some people noticed us. I would guess that they were some of the citizens in one of the nearby towns. Not all people hated the Jews. We were stacking some dead bodies as part of our detail and we were freezing. They started tossing food over the fence. I though about picking up one of the potatoes, but Bekah grabbed me before I touched it. She snapped, "Are you out of your mind!?"
I frowned at her and replied, "Im starving, Bekah! Its food "
She pulled me away from there and pulled me against her. She whispered in my ear, "There are SS and Kapos all over, Fia. If they see you with something, or eating something, or if they find something on you, then you have given up your life."
I felt my lip trembling and I started to cry. I couldnt help it. I sobbed, "They wont know, Bekah. Im hungry, and they wont know."
She leaned down and gently kissed away my tears. She said, "You will have something to eat soon. I promise, when we get out of here I will take you to the best restaurant there is. I will even cook you a mountain of food the size of Olympus, but you cant pick anything up!"
I turned my head against her chest to look at the potato. Abagail had picked it up and hid it on her to eat later. I sobbed into Bekahs chest, "I wont but Bekah, you cant cook to save your life."
"Dont cry, Fia please. Im going to make everything all right, but please dont cry." She begged. The whistle blew and we all ran to line up. She leaned down and whispered in my ear, "I promise I wont cook "
I smiled a little bit."
After a long silence, I said, "You didnt have too "
"I did." Bekah replied.
I whispered to her, "I love you for that."
She smiled and told me, "I know. Order what you like."
We ate our meal in silence. We both knew that no words could describe the way either of us were feeling. Bekah would look up and smile and I would catch her gaze and smile back. Her eyes said everything to me that she could not. I am sure that mine replied, with an equal amount of feeling, love, and adoration.
After dinner Bekah and I took our time walking home. When we finally arrived I said, "Thank you so much, Bekah." I rested my hands on her shoulders and my head against her chest.
"Anything for you." She told me, as she guided us both toward our bed.
We undressed each other and lay our clothing out over the chair in the corner of the room. We both sank into our bed, and decided to have an early night. Tonight I lay down, and Bekah curled up in my arms. I knew that when she said "anything" she meant that. I felt at peace with her in my arms and I knew that she felt the same way.
They say that time eases pain. They say that in time, memories fade and you are left with a small stroke of time, where you know you felt something. I say that this isnt true. There are some wounds that time cannot heal, and some memories that eons of space and time will never erase. There are always moments in time that you remember with such clarity; that they are so clear you would swear that they happened moments before! I always knew that Bekah struggled with these moments, because I did, myself. One day in particular reminded me that no matter how far we go, we will always be plagued by these memories.
I knew that Bekah would be home soon, and I knew that I had already started dinner. As I looked through the cabinet I realized that I did not have the spices to season it. I decided that I would have enough time to run to the corner market and get back before Bekah did, so I went. I turned all the burners to low, and the oven to low and I ran out quickly. Well, I was wrong. There was a massive line at the market, and the streets were crowded. I was out for a whole hour before I returned, but nothing would prepare me for what waited at home.
I opened the door of our apartment and was relieved to find that it had not burned down. However, I was afraid. Bekahs jacket was on the floor, and one of the chairs was over turned. I could hear her in the bedroom. She was sobbing. My first thought was that she had been hurt, so I ran as fast as I could to her. I noticed her curled into a corner holding her knees to her chest. Her entire body trembled, and she kept repeating, "No, no, no. Not my baby! Not Sofia."
I covered my heart with my hand and realized exactly what she thought. I knew she thought someone had taken me. I ran to her and I pulled her into my arms. I started assuring her, "Im here, Rebekah, Im right here."
Her arms wrapped around me and I pulled her closer. She asked, "Youre here?"
"Yes, Im here God Rebekah, Im here " I promised her. I knew I shouldnt have left, and I knew why she was crying the way she was. I remembered a time that seemed so long ago. A time that should have been long gone from her memories and mine
In 1939, the war was just beginning. Bekah and I were at a turning point in our relationship; a point where we were trying to figure out where we stood. In my office, actually the attic of my house, we would spend hours talking and sharing small kisses and short embraces. There we were safe. The attic was connected to my bedroom, so that was the only way to get in. A trap door in my closet was the entrance, and my father said I could have it as my space. So, I would spent hours up there writing, thinking, or talking to Bekah.
One day Bekah lay on the old four-post bed, while I was writing a story. There was not much up there, only the bed that was my grandmothers, a desk, and a few candles and oil lamps. I had been thinking lately, that I wanted to be with Bekah. Not just as friends, but the way a man and a woman could be together. I loved her, and I was pretty sure she loved me. So as I sat writing, I decided to take the next step.
I stood up and walked over to the bed, stopping at the foot of it. I asked, "Bekah?"
She smiled at me, "Yes?" Her head rested on her hands, folded behind her head.
My throat was suddenly dry, but I forced myself to continue. I said, "I want to show you something."
She seemed to sense that something was going on. She asked again, "Yes?"
I summoned up all of my courage and I began to unbutton my blouse. She smiled at me as I threw it and began taking off my skirt. As soon as I dropped my bra and panties I could see that she was breathing heavier than usual. I stalked over to her and I straddled her belly. Leaning down, I pulled her sweater over her head and made quick work of unfastening her bra.
After I slid her skirt and panties down, she rested one hand on my shoulder and brushed the other across my lips. She asked, "Can I kiss you here?"
I leaned down and straightened my body so that I was lying on top of her. I nodded and she pulled my head down, until my lips met hers. Tender at first, she increased the pressure of her lips against mine. I felt her tongue brushing against my lower lip, so I opened my mouth for her. Her tongue slid in and brushed against mine. This was enough to take my breath away. Never before had I experienced anything quite like this!
After minutes, we finally broke apart and I sat up. I was still on top of her and she was still smiling. She asked, "Can I touch you here?" Her hands rested just above my breasts.
"Yes." I told her.
Her hands came to rest on my shoulders and slid down to my breasts. Upon seeing my nipples harden, she ran her fingertips over them again. She asked, "Can I kiss you here?"
"Please?" I asked her. I couldnt believe the things she wanted to do! When I started this, I didnt know what to expect, and I didnt know what to do. Nonetheless, I was so aroused it did not matter.
She pushed me off of her, and onto the bed. She rolled on top of me, and captured one of my nipples in her mouth, while one of her hands massaged the other. My hands seemed to move on their own. I pushed her head closer to my breast and moaned when she began nipping at it.
Looking up, she asked, "You like?"
"Yes." I gasped.
"Good." She husked. She ran her hands over my stomach and then crawled up to look me in the eyes. She told me, "If there is anything I do that you dont like, or that makes you uncomfortable, please tell me. I dont want to hurt you, Fia. I just want to make you feel good."
I nodded to her and pulled her into another passionate kiss. It was like she had ignited a fire within me that I never knew how to spark. Only she had the magic in her to make my heart feel like a blazing inferno. While I kissed her, her hand came to rest between my legs. I moaned into her mouth when I felt her fingers gliding through my wetness.
She pulled away from me and slowly put her hand to her lips. Her tongue snaked out and across her fingers. The look on her face could only be described as sensual. That alone turned me on to the point of no return. I asked, "Can I?"
She put her fingers to my lips and I tasted myself on her. She smiled and asked, "Well?"
I told her, "I want you "
"You do?" She asked. I felt her hand between us, and heard her sigh as she touched herself.
She brought her fingers up, and I took them into my mouth. I knew then that this was what I wanted- -there wasnt a doubt in my mind. I dont think she thought twice about it either. That was the night we made love for the first time and it was the night that we knew we were meant to be together. It was also the night that our love saved her life for the first time.
Bekah and I walked toward her home, hand in hand. It was the morning after we made love and Bekah did need to get back home. Most thought it was odd, or downright treason to see a German walking that close to a Jew. I did not care, because Bekah and I had been friends for a very long time. Our fathers were good friends, neither of whom returned from World War I.
It was probably close to noon the next day. Bekah spent the night with me and she was planning on staying again. She did this often, but liked to check in with her family on a daily basis. We walked up to her house, and immediately knew that something was wrong. Her front door was wide open and all of the lights were on. We entered, and the house was a complete mess. Chairs, lamps and tables were over turned and there was blood on the carpet. Bekah inhaled deeply and walked into the kitchen.
I looked around and noticed the stove was still on. Water had boiled over onto it and the floor. The oven was smoking. Bekah turned the oven and burners off and again surveyed the room. The table was set for dinner and the milk in one of the glasses was curdled.
"Where is my family?" Bekah asked me.
I swallowed hard. I knew where her family was and I knew that she did too. I replied, "Bekah?"
She refused to look at me. She walked out of the kitchen calling for them. She yelled out, "Mother!? Nona!?" There was no reply. Bekah began to panic.
I followed her into her brothers room and heard her call out, "Solomon!?"
There was a small reply, "Beky?"
Both of us looked at each other and Bekah asked, "Where are you, Solomon?"
"Bed." Came the weak reply.
She looked at the bed, which was empty, then walked to it and dropped to her knees. She looked under and then gasped. "Solomon " she sighed as she pulled the little boy out. He was badly beaten, and there were a few bullet wounds in him. His leg, shoulder, and arm were pouring blood; he should have been dead a long while ago.
"Beky, I waited for you." He breathed out. He smiled lightly and proudly.
Bekah held him close to her and told him, "Im here."
"Mama loves you and so does Nona." He said.
Bekah nodded and said, "I know."
He whispered, "I love you."
"I love you too." She told him.
He said, "Goodnight Beky." He smiled and then closed his eyes and snuggled closer to Bekah. After a few moments he stopped breathing.
I couldnt believe that a seven-year boy waited to die. I knew that he idolized Bekah, but he actually waited in pain to die in her arms. Waited to tell her that her family loved her and that he loved her.
Bekah did not cry. She just sat there holding her baby brother in her arms. I went to her and whispered in her ear, "We have to go, Rebekah. Please, we need to get some of your things and go."
She nodded slowly and then picked up Solomon. She laid him on his bed and tucked the covers around him. I heard her softly whisper, "Goodnight, Solomon. Sleep well."
I took her hand and led her to her bedroom. We put all of her clothing and a milk bottle of money she had saved in a bag and fled the house quickly. We knew that if we were caught there now, we would both be dead, or worse.
That long day passed and finally Bekah slept in my arms. Her head rested on my shoulder and she was clinging to me. Her leg was thrown over mine and I held her close. I kissed the top of her head and I smiled at her. Although we were living in a very dangerous world, she looked so much like child sleeping soundly, safe inside of her mothers belly. She looked peaceful, and I knew that from now on sleep might be the only peace she found.
I sat on the floor with Bekah in my arms. I kept kissing her cheeks and running my fingers through her hair. I told her, "Im here, Bekah, I am always here. I love you."
She buried her face between my shoulder and my neck and continued to sob. I could tell how frightened she was; she didnt need to tell me. She finally asked, "Youre really here?" She looked at me, tears still trailing down her cheeks.
"Yes." I whispered. I tilted her chin up and kissed away her tears.
She whispered hoarsely, "I thought someone took you, Sofia. I cant lose you I cant live without you."
"Come on, Bekah, lets get up." I said as I stood. I helped her up and pulled her close. My head rested against her chest and her cheek against my temple. I asked, "Do you want to eat?"
"No we can save it for tomorrow." She replied.
"Okay." I agreed. I asked, "Do you want to go to bed?"
"Yes." Bekah told me.
"All right, let me go put the food away and then Ill come back." I said. She nodded, so I disentangled myself from her and made my way to the kitchen.
I went to the kitchen and put the food away. Several minutes later I returned to find Bekah smoking a cigarette and staring out the window. I moved behind her and wrapped my arms around her waist, resting my cheek against her back. I smiled, realizing that she had gained most of her weight back.
"Ready for bed?" I asked.
She put out her cigarette and nodded her head. I turned her around and she let me undress her for bed. I slid her shirt over her head, and then sat her down. I unlaced her shoes and took them off, along with her socks. I slid off her jeans and got her out of her bra and underwear, then led her to the bed. She lay down while I undressed myself and minutes later I was right next to her.
"Sofia, I need you to hold me, please?" Bekah asked. It sounded more like she was begging.
I felt like crying. My wife, someone who was usually so strong, was begging for something she knew she could have with out asking. "Come here."
She crawled over to me and wrapped her arms around my stomach, her head rested on my chest. I pulled her close and kissed the top of her head. I whispered, "Goodnight, Bekah. I love you."
"I love you too." She whispered. She kissed me and then added, "I cant live without you, Sofia. If not for you I would have died so many times. You make my life worth living."
"And you make mine." I said. Moments later she drifted off and I whispered, "I love you, Rebekah. Youll never know just how much." I smiled, and didnt worry that she was asleep. I knew she heard me, and I knew that she felt the same way.
Three: December 1946
I smiled to myself as I walked down the streets of New York. Everything was decorated for Christmas and a thin veil of snow blanketed the city. Bekah was at work, and I made sure I let her know that I might not be home when she returned. I was Christmas shopping, and with the holiday around the corner I still had no clue what to get for Bekah. It wasnt as though she had been of much help in that department. Shed always reply, "If it comes from you, Ill love it." I was just glad that for the past few years she did celebrate Christmas. Since the death of her family she had all but given up her religion. Shed say it wasnt the same without them and that maybe there wasnt a God. I felt that we all needed something to celebrate. I knew it wasnt the birth of Christ she was celebrating, but the good company and happy atmosphere.
For the past seven years, Bekah and I would have our own celebrations. She had no family, and she could not be seen while we had guests. Since 1939 it had been the two of us together, celebrating everything from our lives to our love. Although we have built so many wonderful memories together, it seems t only the ones holding pain as well as happiness that come to mind. Our last Christmas was a nightmare, spent in a concentration camp. But we had each other and that was all we needed to get by.
It was a bitter cold morning that would lead to a bitter cold day and night. We all realized it was Christmas, if not for the fact we kept track of days, but we could hear merry voices of the Nazis. We were all huddled in our bunks trying not to think of the pain we were all in. We were all trying so hard not to think about our empty bellies. They hadnt feed us in nearly two days, and we doubted they would for at least another.
Bekah held me close to her and asked, "How are you?"
I inched closer to her and asked, "Why cant we just die now? If this is my life I dont want to live." I didnt want to cry, but I did. I felt my lower lip trembling and before I knew it I was sobbing into Bekahs shoulder.
Bekah began to rub my back and whisper in my ear, "Hush, Darling. Everythings going to be all right, my angel." Eventually I did calm down and Bekah asked, "Do you really want us to die?"
I nodded and asked, "What do we have to live for?"
She tilted my face so that I was looking into her eyes and kissed my forehead. She whispered, "If you need a reason to live, Fia, then let me be that reason. I dont want to die, and if you do then I will be nothing. Let our love be your strength, because it is mine. I need you, Sofia. With out your love and without you by my side I am naked and exposed and so very far from my home." She kissed my lips softly.
Her words reached a place deep within my heart and did give me the courage to live another day. The things that she said touched me so deeply that I felt guilty for wanting to die. I knew that I was as much her home as she was mine. I stammered, "Bekah, I I "
Her bottom lip trembled and she allowed a single tear to fall. "Ive lost so much already, Sofia. Please dont die? Dont leave me alone." She begged.
"Oh, Bekah, never! That is my gift to you this year; I wont leave you. You are my one and only reason for living. Please know I will never, ever leave you!" I felt more tears cascading down my cheeks.
She wiped away my tears and whispered, "If we ever get out of here, Sofia, I promise Ill build us a life. I promise youll have everything."
"All I want is you, Bekah." I told her. I placed my hand over her heart, "All I want is this."
She smiled as a few more tears trickled down her cheeks. She whispered to me, "Then Merry Christmas, Sofia. That is yours forever."
I woke up alone in bed on the morning of Christmas Eve, which didnt bother me very much. In fact, I would have slept longer if not for the smell of something burning. I didnt even think to get dressed, I just jumped up and ran to the kitchen. "Bekah!?" I called out. The panic in my voice was evident, even to me. I was almost convinced I was back in Auschwitz; the burning reminded me of the crematoriums.
"Its okay, Fia!" She called back. Her voice was confidant and reassuring.
I entered the kitchen to find Bekah in her bathrobe, staring down at a frying pan. She was poking something with a spatula and cringing at it. I asked, "What did you do?" I was trying to calm myself down, but tears were already streaming from my eyes and rolling down my cheeks.
"It was supposed to be breakfast in bed, but, ummm " She turned around and smiled sheepishly. She asked, "Whats the matter?"
I stuck out my tongue at her and approached the pan. I looked in and saw little bits of what appeared to be coal stuck to it. I asked, "What was it supposed to be?" I hoped she would let it slide, because I didnt want to upset her.
"Scrambled eggs. The toast is over there." She said, motioning to the table.
I looked at the "toast" and cringed. I asked, "Black toast?"
Bekah shrugged and replied, "I like it like my coffee?" She tried. She then added, "I was going to make today special."
I slipped into her arms and told her, "You already have."
"How so?" She asked as she took off her robe and wrapped it around me. She stood clad in her striped pajamas. They looked a lot like the ones that our fathers used to wear.
I inhaled the scent of her on her bathrobe and found it to be very comforting. I replied, "Just by trying. You want me to make something edible?"
"Only if you let me scrape the frying pan." She bargained.
I stood on my toes and kissed her lips. I said, "Well someone has to do it, because its the only pan weve got."
Bekah rested her hands on my hips and lowered her lips to mine. She kissed me tenderly, and increased the pressure of her mouth.
I tangled my fingers in her dusky hair, as I pulled her bottom lip into my mouth. Her lips parted, letting me in; I brushed my tongue against hers.
Bekah pulled me closer, and she let her hands slip inside of my robe. Her hands rested on either of my breasts and her hips pressed against mine. When we finally broke apart she smiled again and said, "Good morning, baby."
"Good morning, Rebekah." I replied.
"So are you going to tell me why youre crying?" She asked. She pulled me over to the kitchen table and sat down in a chair. She then pulled me into her lap.
I rested my head on her shoulder and relished the feeling of her strong arms wrapped around me. I replied, "No "
"Why?" She asked. I knew that Bekah was being patient with me. She tenderly kissed the top of my head and rubbed my back with one of her hands.
I kissed her neck and told her, "I dont want you upset."
"Tell me?" She asked again. She used a soft and comforting tone.
I relented and whispered, "The burning reminded me of Auschwitz and the crematoriums. Sometimes Im afraid, Bekah."
"I know, Fia. Sometimes Im afraid well have to go back. Even here in America I cant forget." Bekah told me. She tilted my face up and kissed my lips. She continued, "But if we forget, then who will remember? If we forget it can happen again."
"Then we wont forget." I told her. I looked into her eyes and I said, "Im just so happy that I had you with me."
"I know and I feel the same. You were my light." Bekah told me.
"Breakfast?" I asked her.
She nodded and agreed, "Anything."
After breakfast, Rebekah and I decided that spending a day doing nothing would suit us. I lay on our sofa, wrapped in Bekahs arms. There was no special reason she was holding me, just that she wanted to. She asked me, "Are you happy?"
I nodded against her shoulder and replied, "I am very happy, Bekah. I have you and you are all I will ever need to be happy. Are you happy?"
"Almost elated." She replied.
I looked up and gazed at her. Her chiseled features had gone incredibly soft, and a warm smile covered her face. Her blue eyes twinkled mischievously. I loved the way they crinkled when she smiled. I asked her, "What do you mean, almost? You arent elated right now?"
Bekah let me go and asked, "Let me up, Sofia. I need something "
I shrugged and allowed her to move from beneath me. She disappeared into our bedroom and emerged a moment later. She helped me sit up and then knelt between my knees. I asked, "Whats going on, Bekah?"
Bekah looked up and cupped my cheeks with her hands. She said softly, "This was supposed to be your Christmas gift, but its close enough and I cant wait any longer," She reached into her pocket and pulled out a small gold wedding ring, with a small diamond in the center. Continuing, she said, "I always dreamed that I would ask you properly, and I wanted to do it with a ring. I never thought I would have the chance to do so, so I asked you before. Now I am doing it right. Sofia Theresa Reinhardt, will you marry me and be my wife?"
I smiled and I was speechless! The first time she asked me we were both so hurt, and sick. I always wondered if she regretted asking me, or if she had done it for some other reason. I just never understood how she could love me the way she did. I replied through my joyful tears, "Yes, Bekah, I want to be your wife forever."
Bekah smile grew even greater as she slipped the ring on to my finger. She told me, "Im so amazed at the way you love me, Sofia. I am so amazed at the way I love you God, Sofia, I love you!" She pulled me up and pulled me close to her.
Our lips met quickly, in a kiss like no other. It was full of love, tenderness and caring, but at the same time we were consumed by urgency, passion and lust. Before I realized what was happening we were undressing each other, and comfortably naked. Bekah guided me down, onto the couch and slipped her thigh between my legs. I adjusted mine so it was against her center.
We broke from our kiss and I said, "Dont be amazed, Bekah. If you think I could ever be without you then stop thinking " I moaned as she pressed against me.
"All I want to do is make love to you, Sofia, for the rest of my life." Bekah whispered. She moved down a little bit and began to nip at my neck. All it took was a moment of time and a few sweet words, and I surrendered myself to her completely.
Christmas morning, I did not wake up alone. Bekah lay by my side, contentedly playing with my hair. I opened my eyes when I first realized what she was doing, only to be pulled into a strong embrace. Bekah whispered to me, "Merry Christmas, Fia."
I smiled at her and replied, "Merry Christmas, baby." I kissed her softly .
For us, the Christmas of 1946 was one of the happiest either of us had ever. We were together and safe and more importantly, we knew that we would always be together now.
Four: February 1947
"Rebekah!" I screamed as I watched the uniformed men, the Nazis, take my best friend since childhood. The only thing I knew was that Bekah was not going anywhere. Not if I could help it, anyway. Rebekah Joskowicz was my best friend and in more recent years my love, my lover. My mother tried to hold me back, but she couldnt.
Bekah screamed, "Sofia!" She didnt want to go. She knew what was in store for her. As I broke free from my mother Bekah called, "No stay where you are!"
I reached her and the men and wrapped myself around her. I flailed, trying to ward them off, "No, you cant take her!"
One of the larger men seized me and spat out, "Jew lover. You shame your country so well take you too."
Fear embedded itself in both of our hearts. I acted out of instinct and I never thought that I could be dealt this kind of fate. Bekah cried, "I told you to stay "
"I know you did " I replied with tears in my eyes. I took one last glimpse of my sobbing mother and mouthed, "Im sorry."
We were both hauled off to what could only be described as hell on earth.
We were dragged to the nearby train station and thrown quickly into a boxcar already more than full. The door was slammed and bolted shut; we were instantly terrified. I looked up at Bekah and sobbed, "Im sorry I couldnt "
Bekah pulled me into her arms and held me close. She whispered, "I know you couldnt, Fia." She placed a soft kiss on the top of my head.
One of the men turned to us and asked, "What did the German do to get here?" A few of the others snorted in my direction.
Of corse, they could tell that I was German. I had light blonde hair and bright blue eyes; according to my father, I was the perfect Aryan. In contrast, Rebekah was tall, with soft brown eyes and almost black hair. It was easy to see that she was Jewish.
Bekah rested her hand on my head and told them, "She tried to save me. I have been living with her since the war started and they tried to take me. She ran to stop them so they took her too. She is no enemy."
I was glad for Bekahs kind words and comforted by her embrace. I told them, "Her fate is mine " I noticed that they werent as ragged as some of the other Jews Id seen. We found later that this was only their second day on the train and that we were being taken to Auschwitz.
I woke up with a start, and started sobbing and curled into a ball. I must have been crying loudly, because seconds later I felt Bekah spooned behind me. She held me close and I got as close as I could to her body. She asked me, "Whats wrong?"
I asked her through my tears, "Why did I let them take us?" I knew that it was my fault that Bekah was outside. That was something that always haunted me.
Bekah shook her head and placed a gentle kiss against the back of my neck. She told me, "Its not your fault. I had been inside for so long. I knew I shouldnt have talked you into letting me outside. Its not your fault." She rolled to her back and I rolled with her.
I positioned myself between her legs, with my head resting on her chest. I admitted, "I always thought that you might blame me- - I thought you might stop loving me because of it."
"Oh Sofia, Id love you even if the sun never rose again." She kissed the top of my head and began caressing my back. She added, "I love you so much."
I asked, "Hold me?"
Bekah nodded and told me, "Ill hold you now and stand by you forever."
I smiled through my tears, because I knew that what she said was the truth. I knew that she would stand by me forever, because we had already been through so much in the past year. I knew that if we could overcome the year of 1944 then we could face anything that God decided to throw at us and come out strong and still so in love. I knew that at the end of every storm we would be greeted by sunshine and happiness together, hand in hand. There was nothing that would, or could, ever tear us apart.
Epilogue: July 1947
It seemed to me as time passed that things between Bekah and I just kept getting better. We were celebrating Independence Day in America and from our apartment, we could see the fireworks going off. Blues, greens, reds, and purples filled the dark sky. The cheers of the people below us reminded us of just how fortunate we were to be living in such a great country.
I leaned against the fire escape; Bekah had her arms wrapped snugly around my waist. She placed a light kiss on my cheek and said, "I love you, Sofia."
I turned my head and looked at her, my eyes were filled with adoration. I admitted to her, "Ever since we were young, Bekah, I always wanted to grow up and marry you."
"You did, yeah?" She asked with the cockiest grin I had ever seen. Continuing, she said, "Its a good thing you did, Sofia, because I cant picture my life any other way. One thing though- -when I was younger I always thought I could get you pregnant."
I smiled and I laughed. I asked, "What made you think that?"
Her smiled faded a little bit. She explained, "When my mother was pregnant with Solomon, she told me that when two people love each other, then they can have a baby. She said a piece of each person come together to make a baby. Well, I loved you, and I always figured those pieces were our hearts."
I smiled, "Youre so sweet, Rebekah." I turned in her arms and draped mine over her shoulders, and around her neck. I said, "Youre everything and more than I ever thought you would be. As for a baby, we had Benny. Maybe not under the best circumstances, and maybe not the way wed have wished " A tear rolled down my cheek, as I remembered our little boy.
Shortly after the incident with Bekah, Richter stopped calling on her, but continued to give us extra food. I was not sure why, but I think she had grown on him. Morning roll call ended and we were having our breakfast. I had been throwing up more than usual, and lately, I was constantly hungry. Well, hungrier than I normally was. Bekah would give me some of her food at lunch, just to make sure I ate. Everything seemed calm for us; there was no work to be done, but the crematoriums were working overtime. That much we knew. I sat on an empty bunk, and watched Bekah speak to one of the older women. I was suddenly afraid, when I felt a heavy wetness between my legs.
"Bekah!" I screamed.
She and the older woman she was talking to came running over. They both looked at me strangely. Bekah asked "Whats wrong, Fia?"
"Im wet " I told her.
Bekahs jaw dropped and her face went pale. She admonished, "That is not something that needs a public announcement! Its personal!"
I realized what she thought, and I was mortified. I quickly corrected, "Not that kind, Bekah. I look at my pants." I was blushing and I knew it. I climbed off the bunk and Bekah cocked her head.
She asked, "Did you have to go that bad?"
The older woman, Nana, slapped her shoulder. She looked ashen as she told me something I couldnt have even imagined. She said, "I think youre going to have a baby."
Bekah clenched her jaw. I opened my mouth, but no sound came out. I finally asked her, "Do I look pregnant to you?"
Nana shook her head and replied, "Youre always hungry and youre always sick."
Bekah snarled, "Look at where we are, woman! Everyone is always sick and we are all hungry!" I could tell by the look on her face, and her tone of voice she was very angry.
"Have you been with men?" she asked me.
I shook my head, "No I mean yes I was raped a long while back and " I could feel a contraction starting and I sat back down again.
"Sofia " Bekah whispered to me. She sat down and started stroking my hair. She said, "Im so sorry for all of this." It always amazed me how in a heartbeat, she could go from a snarling harpy to being gentle as a kitten.
"Not your fault "I breathed out. I shot her a pleading look; I needed help, and quickly.
"Do you know what to do, Nana?" Bekah asked.
Nana nodded her head. She replied, "Ive done this before and during my time here. Sofia, I need you to lay back against Bekah. Bekah, against the wall."
Bekah nodded and sat against the wall, and I leaned against her. I asked, "Now what?"
Nana softly told me, "I need you to take your pants off."
I blushed again and complied. I wondered how many other women this had happened to. I suppose being with no food you dont gain any weight.
"Open your legs and hold your knees." She told me.
Bekah made a poor attempt to lighten the mood. She whispered in my ear, "Weve been here once or twice for different reasons, havent we?"
I elbowed her and growled, "Bekah " I did as I was asked. I closed my eyes as Nana checked whatever she checked down there.
Nana said, "Youre quick half there. It shouldnt be long now."
I winced as another contraction ripped through me. A few women had assembled to see if they could help, but they couldnt.
A girl, Hedi, left and came back with an old dress. She said, "It was all I could find to put the baby in."
Nana nodded and asked, "Can you find something to cut the cord with?"
Hedi nodded and left again.
I guess it was an hour later, Nana told me to push. I was frightened, but I knew Bekah was right behind me. I pushed, and I pushed hard. Nana nodded her head and told us, "I can see the top of the head. Hedi, bring the dress."
Hedi did, and I pushed once more. It hurt and I felt something push through. Nana told us, "Hes out."
She wrapped him in the dress and tied off the cord with a piece of cloth from it. She laid the baby boy on my chest. I knew then, why I never knew I was pregnant. Our baby boy could not have weighed any more than a pound. Nana severed the cord with the head of a shovel as Bekah helped me clean him off.
Our baby let out one scream and was then silent. He was alive for all of five minutes and he died in mine and Bekahs arms.
I started sobbing and Bekah tried her best to comfort me. She held us both close to her and asked, "What do you want to call him?"
I shook my head and told her, "You give him a name, Bekah I want you to do it. He was your little boy too."
Bekah kissed the side of my head and she rested her hand on the babys small form. She said, "Call him Benoni. Like in The Torah, Child of my sorrow. Benoni Jacob."
I whispered, "Benoni Jacob Joskowicz."
She asked, "What about your name?"
I whispered to her, "He has a good name, like his Mama. You "
Bekah, I knew, was trying hard not to cry; trying to be what she thought was strong for me. She held me closer to her. A bit of time passed, and they cleaned me up as best as they could. Bekah said, "Say goodbye to him, Fia. We need to take care of this."
I cried harder than ever. I pleaded, "Dont take my baby, Bekah!? Let me keep him, please!?"
Bekahs face hardened a little bit. I could tell she was fighting to hold back her tears. She said firmly, "No, this has to be done before anyone finds him."
I dont remember how, but she won. She took our little boy outside, along with the shovelhead and again started digging. I know our little boy is buried next to Ilse. I know because I walked past and saw her star, and next to it, a smaller star with a cross underneath. For that I loved Bekah. I knew that the officers did not care what you did with the dead, but it was a punishable thing to mark their graves with The Star Of David.
Bekah promised me it would hurt less in the morning. It did not hurt less in the morning. I dont think it did for either of us. In two hours I was given the knowledge I would have a baby, the gift of his life, and the pain of his death. Some of the other women told me they had seen this sort of thing happen in Auschwitz and Belsen. I had even heard of it, but I never thought it could happen to me.
For weeks I was withdrawn and more depressed than usual. Bekah tried her best to comfort me, but she couldnt even comfort herself. In the end, we were all we had. Every night after that, I would cry myself to sleep, because I didnt know what to do. She pretended she was fine, but I knew she wasnt.
Bekah did not sleep much after that. When she did, it was only if I would hold her. Though, she never told me, I knew why she was hurting. After Ilse, she swore that she would protect our children. She promised ribbons and she promised safety. All of these things she could have provided, had we not been in here. We were here, and she couldnt get us out as long as there was war. She felt as though she failed me and our baby boy.
Bekah kissed away the tears on my cheeks and told me, "When he was born, Sofia, I took one look at him and fell in love. I wanted to cry, but I couldnt I thought that was being strong for you."
"You were always strong to me, Bekah." I told her.
"Even though I couldnt save him? Even though I cant build you the perfect life, with everything that you deserve?" Bekah asked me.
"Youre here my life is perfect." I told her.
Bekah sighed, "I know, but from the time I saw him I just wanted to build him a perfect life. I wanted to give him everything, Sofia. I wanted to see him grow up- - he was just so tiny, but so beautiful. His hair was like mine, but his eyes were yours. I just wanted to make everything alright."
I took Bekahs hand and led her to the window of our apartment. She helped me through the window, and then followed after me. She decided to slump down onto our armchair, and I then slid into her lap. Her arms encircled my waist and I whispered; "He was beautiful and you did make everything right." I wiped the tears from my eyes and continued, "You did give him everything that you could. I know you did."
I leaned to the side and rested my head on her shoulder. She smiled lightly and told me, "Not as much as youve given me."
We sat that way for what seemed to be hours. How long it was I will never be sure, but finally Bekah broke the silence. She said, "There were so many things that I wanted to do, Sofia. For you and with you, but I cant do them, can I?"
I rested my hand against her cheek and asked, "What did you want to do?"
"I wanted to keep you safe and I wanted us to be able to go somewhere after we were married. Those were the only two that ever mattered." She said.
"I wanted to keep you safe, Bekah. As for a honeymoon, thats not important. What is important is that I have you with me always." I gently reminded her. Kissing her lips softly, I did my best to let her know how much I loved her and needed her.
"I need you, Sofia. No matter what happens well always have each other?" Bekah more asked than stated.
I smiled once more and nodded. I told her, "Even if we find ourselves in a place where there is no sun, and no moon. A place where theres no heaven or hell; a place where streets and people have no names, we will always have each other."
Bekah sighed and smiled at me. She kissed me once more and said, "Then I dont need to hear anymore. I know well be okay we have to be."
After that night we were okay; we were more than okay. In time, our lives became calm again, and Bekah and I grew even closer. I never thought that it would be possible to love her anymore than I did, but I was wrong. With every day that passed I would love her so much more. I would be one thousand times more thankful for my life just because she was part of it. Not a day ever passed where she didnt tell me how much she loved me, or how much she cared. Yes, after that Bekah and I were more than okay. Wed be okay forever.
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