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It was september 4th, 1939, and the news was spreading like wildfire.
“Extra! Extra! Germany invades Poland unprovoked and Britain and France Declare war on germany!”
Even through her best efforts, Ruth couldn’t escape the cacophony outside as the kids in her neighborhood shuffled to school and all her old friends hurried to get the groceries before lunchtime. She got up to get lunch, the kids next door to her had made her a picnic basket for the next day, but she couldn’t attend. She had recently bruised her hip and even minor movements like walking, standing up, or sitting down would hurt her.
As she ate, she started to doze off. Frustrated with herself for almost falling asleep before lunch was even finished, she made a cup of coffee to wake herself up. Ruth, however, had hardly gotten three hours of sleep last night, and couldn’t quite manage. No more than thirty minutes after finishing lunch, she had begun snoozing.
When she woke up she immediately hurried to get dressed and ready. She ran out from her tent and, to her surprise, found the general already taking role with the town’s militia, and all her friends getting to work. She immediately got to work, ripping the shrapnel out of the soldiers wounds and bandaging them up.
“Why are there so many wounded? They shouldn’t have attacked yet!” She shouted over the screams and rips. The soldiers all had bad head and shoulder wounds, many couldn’t be fixed and they were slowly bleeding out, pleading, praying, for their lives.
“They didn’t attack, they were attacked, this was just a night patrol, they were out watching the border when a whole folley of cannons was unloaded on them.” her friend, Margaret, whispered. She could hardly muster anything louder than that, for one of the soldiers who had just perished was probably her future husband. He had snuck through the border and the patrols. He was supposed to be working as a spy but got sent out to the front lines. He was shot twice in the shoulder and neck, he had likely passed by now.
All of a sudden, two soldiers became deafeningly loud, according to them, someone had poisoned them. All of the nurses wrote it off as a symptom of their pain or trauma. Minutes later however, when they started pointing at one of the nurses tending to another soldier.
“It was her! That woman with the blood stain on her hip.”
When Ruth turned around to see what all the commotion was about, she was shocked at the nurses response. Instead of ignoring them or comforting them like they were supposed to, the nurse wheeled around and punched the man square in the face. He was laying in a cot and it broke and crashed to the ground. Ruth ran over to help the man as the other nurses ran over to restrain the woman. As soon as Ruth got over there she fell back in silence.
The dark blue eyes, his long pointy nose and his dry, cracked lips. She thought it might have been him but he was balding, Robert had a full head of hair, thick and golden. She ran up to get a closer look but she tripped and fell. She tried to grab hold of something but she was frozen still, she hit her head and everything went black.
“No, it wasn’t him, it couldn’t have been him,” Ruth muttered to no one in particular. She opened her eyes hoping to realize that of course, it couldn’t be him, He was thrown in prison years ago, with a life sentence. She got up and immediately the door opened, in some strange man walked, she whipped around to see who it was and immediately ran away. She got to the kitchen and tried to call the police, but he was already upon her. She shouted for help, hoping that her neighbors would hear and come to her rescue.
Ruth ran from him then got to her room and locked the door. She picked up her bedside lamp and smacked him across the head. By the time anyone arrived, the police had been called and they restrained her. The man who’d tried to kill her stood up, and force-fed her some ridiculous pills.
When she woke up, she had no idea where she was, but she could feel her husband cradling her.
“Who are you?” She demanded from him.
“Honey, it’s fine, but you need to remember your medications, please.” She could feel the sadness in his voice, and his heaving breaths.
“Honey, you have to remember, you’ll die,”
Then it hit her, that was all years ago, her brother, Robert, who had attempted killing her for unknown reasons, was long gone, he died three years ago. The war was over, there was no more fighting. She was going to be alright if she could just… remember.