I remember it as if it were yesterday.
My father's boot steps, I could hear them … stopping at the door. Then a knock. Mother, who was stressed all evening last night, had a smiled after a long time. She opened the door, a there to greet us was old dad. "Your home! Emmet, Hannah, papa's home!"
"How have you squirts been!" my father asked, carefully making sure not to hold me to tight. I could remember his long yard stare, and it wasn't until recently that I finally realized the meaning of what was on his face.
"Our son George won the spelling bee last week!" my mother said.
"Really, that's awesome." my father said.
It was the next morning. Our father's return home, created the situation that would have to celebrate a joint birthday party for the year. Just as well I guess. I didn;t mind much, by my sister wined.
"Oh watermelon cake, if you keep wining you wont get any!" The father said. He must have not been sure if it was clear he was joking, though it was clear to me as bright as the morning sunlight.
"Oh come on honey!" my mother said.
"Relax, relax! I'm just kidding. We can have separate parties next year. Anyway lets sing together. Happy birthday to you.." But the angels in heaven, had other things in store. Not a speck of food, nothing left to store. Yet then I didn't realize it yet.
Not wanting to move, having friends here in town, mother told me we could have a better life elsewhere. At that point, I hoped it was a promise.
It was when I walked through the middle school halls that I met my friend Emmet. I noticed he was hitting on the girl that he had a crush on, and then continued walking with me to class. I thought I heard the slightest spitting sound, yet not the rhythm of moving lips. The footsteps of shoes on the floor in the hall barely lit by the flickering L.E.D light.
"Emmet, act like an adult!" I said.
"Shut up." he said.
I arrived to class on time, got our homework outside of my notebook, but Emmet arrived in the classroom late once again.
"Emmet, that's a tardy slip for you. One more and its a detention." said the teacher, an elderly female teacher.
We sat at lunch together with his sister Hannah, and my sister. Hannah played with Emmet a little bit by trying to grab his lunch. "Hands off!" Emmet said, and smashed her hand with his fist.
Hannah picked up her hand and cries and asks, "What was that for Emmet!"
"Your not very generous." George said.
"I'm very hungry!" Emmet said.
"She's probably hungry too." George said.
"Shut up, just shut up!" Emmet said, I chuckled. Hannah is still wining from her hand that hurts. "Oh grow up Hannah."
"You grow up Emmet." I said.
My and my sister walked home to the rundown depravity that was the moonzurg munster. I opened the door, Bebee went inside first. We were going to visit Emmet. Instead we found … that his mother was holding Hannah in her arms. His sister starved to death, and I wondered to myself if she was better off dead so he no longer had suffer hunger in this world. For our rations in the ghetto had decreased ten fold.
And I was already feeling old …
My first taste, a moment kiss of death.
We sat in class, and I noted that poor Emmet was quieter than usual. Even the girl he had lovey lovery feelings for, or at least I thought so, tried to get his attention to ask what was wrong. He just shrugged her off.
"Fuck you bitch." Emmet said, because he realized that he loved his sister, who he had ignored all this time. He evidently did not care very much that his teacher would fuss at him for saying that.
"You want a detention Emmet?" teacher said..
I walked to the grave yard where Emmet and his sister rested feeling bad that I could not buy them flowers. My best, I made do with what I had. My sacked lunch from earlier. Placed it on the headstone, with an angel carved on it.
It was the girl I remembered Emmet crushing on that asked me about my best friend. But she found out that he was to busy to talk to her. Though she pretended not to know, on some level I wonder if she knew. Nothing left of my friend, not a speck from the ash. I stared at the window a little bit longer that morning
We walked home, devastated because of the lack of positive interaction between me and him before he killed himself. He couldn't handle the death of his sister. I only know, because one of his friends told me at school I didn't know very well.
"Hey Georgie, where's Emmet?" BB asked.
"I don't know BB." George said, I didn't have the heart to tell her the truth. There was no more of Emmet and me.
Later that night, my father loaded up his shot gun, looked at his wife, who leaned forward on the table, with her hands in her face crying.
"I'm sorry dear, I don't know what to do." my father said.
"I just don't know wants going to happen to Georgie and BB!" The mother weeped. For she must have known more than we, that there was nothing left to see.
We slept in our beds in our crappy bed room. The wallpaper was peeling, the whole room was cracked and torn. But at least the air conditioning was still ran. Though I wasn't sure for how much longer.
"Georgie, why aren't the other's out to play?" my darling sister asked.
"They are probably just busy with homework, it's late. We need sleep." I said. There were fewer children left in town. Everything back then was hush hush.
Emmet visited me in spirit, told me everything was going to be ok.
But was that true?
The sounds of sirens driving in the neighborhood. We stared out of the window. There were tall guards, men in black military uniforms. Dragging citizens out of their homes, the few that were left because many starved to death. My father was the only ones left to fight back because the father would not give up his gun.
He didn't last long.
We were shipped in a black van, though not tied. I saw that Bebee acted like a normal girl her age, wondered if she will soon wake up to the reality of the situation. She stopped spinning to the rhythm of the music box. It's melody played in my head forever.
"Play with-" BB began to say, however George interjected with, "I don't want to play your stu."
BB Interjects George, and asks her mother "Why does Georgie not want to play?"
"Why don't you ask him sweat heart?" Our mother said. BB attempted to ask me. But I was to stressed to respond. That was the last words I ever said to her. I wish it were something else, but no changing that.
"He's probably not feeling well honey. I know, why don't you lay down and sleep?" The mother proposed.
My family were split up by gender into two separate trains. My father stared at me while we rode the train, filled with smoking prisoners. Smoke filled the air.
"Everything is going to be OK George, were going to go to a special place. A promised land, were the flowers never die. A better life." Although the father somehow I knew then he must not have believed it.
I began to suspect that something was seriously wrong. Looked at my nervous father with his sad sad eyes.
My and my father arrived at camp, went through mandatory camp inspections before going into the bunkers. Loaded up our stuff in their rudimentary shelves, that were more like scrap would. I began to worry about the fact that BB was missing, so asked father where she was, and he said he did not know.
"Did you lose track of her?" I asked.
"No," He stared at the window, then hugged me tight. Then continued in a whisper. "… they took her away George!"
Prisoners dug ditches into the soft dirt at around 9:00 A.M. Guards pointed the gun at my father, and fired the shotgun. The bullet barely nicked his head, and caused him to turn to face the guard. The guard, even seeing the prisoners face, fired a second time. I don't remember anything else.
I still remember the song he sang to us:
When the paradise comes to thee,
Remember to laugh, and count to three,
Ride with the windmills, like the wind,
Remember to unwind.
I am laughing, but don't mistake for laughter. The last lyric of dad, your father out of time. When he went to work that morning, before everything went to hell. The sound of a music box melody, now plays in my head forever.
An image of my darling sister Bebee forever as I stared, into the lonely image of a news telecast on a scraper screen.
When the paradise comes to thee,
Remember to laugh, and count to three.
Come dance with me.