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I looked into her eyes, entranced by the dark liquid green. She smiled nervously as if something was about to happen that would change our lives forever. I ran a hand through my dark brown hair, closing my eyes for a brief second. I didn’t want to lose her.
“Move forward,” an older man came and pushed me to the ground. Spitting out dirt, I stood up and walked on. I brushed the dust off my pants and looked back at her. Her short white dress swirled in the wind, along with her long black hair. I longed to reach out and touch those curls that shaped her delicate face.
“I love you,” I whispered; she nodded as if she had heard me. Even from far away I could see tears glistening in her eyes, threatening to overflow. I brushed a finger across my cheek, surprised to feel a drop of water running down my own cheek.
Suddenly, I cut my eyes to the boy beside me. I swept my gaze over his dirty shirt and paused on the yellow star stitched onto his shoulder. I remember stitching my own star onto my clothes. As if sensing my stare, the boy looked up and I saw my blue eyes in his. The corners of his mouth hitched up and he mouthed something to me. I stood there with a confused look on my face; I hadn’t understood him.
A loud shot rang out, scattering the birds on the tall iron fence. My eyes wide, I looked up and was relieved to see her still standing there. She had her arm wrapped around a small girl around the age of ten and was whispering silent words into her ear. She glanced up and once again smiled at me. I felt myself grin back until I noticed she was almost there. Three men in uniforms stood around a small table staring at everyone who went through.
I had already seen too much: a boy being shot for defending his sister, a mother separated from her children and even a small infant being taken to a building far away where gas leaked out from the door. Once again, I was pushed from behind and had to keep moving.
We were abruptly stopped in front of a building. A younger man, also in uniform, held up a piece of paper and started calling off names. I heard mine and stepped forward to join the others. The boy that was beside me tugged on my shirt. I turned my head and watched him mouth the words, “I love you daddy.” I clamped my mouth shut and tried to smile at the little boy. He seemed to realize I couldn’t say anything, so he dropped the hem of my shirt and stepped back to the wall. I watched him mutter a few words to himself, but was distracted by the red splatter that covered the wall. I shuddered visibly and turned back to the man reading out names.
After the names had been called, all twenty of us were led towards the building were the gas leaked out. I glanced at the fence but didn’t see her anymore. She had disappeared and was probably gone from my life forever.
“Get in or you will be shot. No further questions.” A man’s voice came from the wall of the building. I didn’t dare look at another wicked smile and gray uniform. We were pushed into a room only big enough for twenty. Yet, they shoved another thirty others in with us.
“Michael! Michael!” I immediately shifted my gaze upwards as my name was shouted above the noise. A small figure came pushing towards me through the throngs of people. I shook my head, shocked, but amazed at the sight of her. Her white dress was now covered with streaks of dirt and her hair was in tangles around her face. She wrapped her long, lithe arms around my neck as mine snaked around her small waist. She looked up at me with such love in her eyes that I almost started crying.
“Amanda. Oh, Amanda,” I murmured only loud enough for her to hear, “I love you.”
“I love you too,” she replied with a heartbreaking sigh. I leaned down and pressed my lips to hers, hoping to calm her down.
As we broke apart, a visible greenish gas filtered through an opening in the ceiling and I could hear people coughing. I took one last look into Amanda’s dark green eyes and pressed my lips into her hair.
“Don’t ever leave my side,” she warned with a broken voice.
“I won’t,” I promised her, my lips moving against her hair. All of a sudden the gas reached my parted lips and I starting coughing along with the others. Through watering eyes, I could see men and women already on the ground, dead. I gasped for air; I needed to survive this.
God, why are you doing this? I asked myself. My knees gave way and I collapsed onto the floor. I felt Amanda’s hand slip into mine and for a minute, I felt comforted. The American’s would come and put an end to this. All of those Nazis will never get away with murdering all of these innocent people. They will be saved, I thought sleepily. Then, I closed my eyes for the very last time.