Shattered hopes.

Before you begin reading this story I would like to point out that this is in fact fiction. This is a story I made up for my advanced History class as we were learning about the Hitler Youth. Although based on the truth, I understand that this may be one-sided to some people. I do not wish to offend anyone. Thank you. 

I sit here, motionless. Oblivious to the bullets flying round me. I look down to see my shaking hands, they are covered in blood. Stuck in my nails and in the creases on my skin, smothering me. I panic, I don’t even know who’s blood this is. I start frantically rubbing at my hands trying to forget all the faces of the dead. The rubbing is not helping, it’s just spreading it further up my arms. I stop, breathless. Tears start streaming down my face, this isn’t what I thought it would be. I will never look at the Nazi’s in the same way. The terrible things that they’re doing to people. I remember the camps and the smell and the tears and the screams. I start breathing heavy and throw up all down myself. I can’t seem to keep anything down. I try and wipe it off my shirt but it’s just smearing. I cry out in disbelief. I’m dirty, tired and I just want to go home. I make myself as small as possible and hold my shaking knees against my chest. It’s getting cold and I’m all alone. I close my eyes and think about home and how I envy the oblivion I used to live in.

I wake up to find myself in my old bed. My duvet hugs me with its warmth and security. Have my prayers been answered? Am I home? Unwillingly, I get up out of bed and cross my room to find my clothes nicely folded awaiting me. Confused, I put them on and gallop down the stairs. That’s when I smell it. The smell of freshly baked bread and frying bacon. My mouth instantly fills with saliva. I walk into our tiny kitchen to see my Mother dancing and singing round the cooker. I laugh and walk forward. She notices me and turns around, “And what do you think you’re laughing at!” Mother says, giggling. She motions for me to sit down at our dented wooden table and hands me a plate piled high with food. “What’s the occasion?” I ask but Mother just smiles. I can’t hold on any longer for her to answer so I wolf it down. It tastes so good, the oil from the bacon seeping into the bread. I savour the last bite and then drink a whole glass of milk. “You better go now or you’ll be late for school!” Mother exclaims. I stand up and walk over to her. I give her a huge hug and when she comes down to my level I whisper in her ear  “I love you.” Tears are in her eyes and she gives me a meaningful cuddle. I straighten my uniform and open the front door. One last smile and I step out, closing the door behind me. I gasp as I turn around, to my surprise my friend is waiting for me at the gate, like he used to. I run down the path towards him with a huge grin on my face. “You alright Erik” Daniel says. I smile and nod. We were sent to be spies for the Nazi’s together. I remember the conversation we had on the train about how when we returned all the girls would want to marry us. Two months later I watched him die. How was here now? Was that just a bad dream? Were all those tears wasted? We walk to school together, just like old times. I keep looking at him and looking around for the bullet hole which killed him but he looks so healthy, so I stop and just enjoy this moment of pure bliss.

I’m sitting in my maths class, in my usual seat next to the heater. I look around the room at all the smiling faces. There’s Nazi flags hanging on the walls and mini posters on every desk. Don’t they realise the monstrosities they are? They are supporting Hitler, the person who’s burning people alive. Destroying families, homes and hopes. We get given some work to do on the board. I read it through and tears well in my eyes. The question is manipulating children to justify why we aren’t supposed to like disabled people and how they aren’t worthy of the money they get given. I sit there in stunned silence. The anger in me gets bigger and bigger until I can’t control it any longer. I jump up, my seat clashing down on the wooden floor. “This question and this country is an abomination. Don’t you see that Hitler and the Nazi’s are trying to manipulate us?! Trying to justify the unspeakable things that do! We are all a disgrace to God.” Everyone in the room is staring at me, their mouths open in shock. Even Daniel is shaking his head. Have I gone too far? I just wanted  them to know that the Nazi’s aren’t something to celebrate and wave flags for. I look at the teacher, trying to read her expression but realise she doesn’t have one. She looks down as if ashamed and asks me to get my stuff and leave. I grab my bag and run for the door. As I open it there is a Nazi soldier standing in front of me. His face looks like stone, his jaw clenched. He grabs his gun and before I know what he is doing. BANG! I stumble back, clutching my stomach. Bloods pouring out, I can taste it in my mouth. I hear screams as I drop to my knees. He salutes and screams, “ALL HAIL HITLER!”

I wake up with a start, shivering, in a cold sweat. It was a dream. Daniel’s dead. Mum’s gone. I’m all alone and I have no one. No one to comfort me. I’m so thirsty. Wait a second, I can see a bottle of something on the top of the hill. I stumble to my feet, dizziness over comes me. I start to walk towards it. My eyes are blurry. I rub them and look again, I still can’t make out what it is. I reach the top the hill and bend down to retrieve it. Maybe God is on my side, maybe he put it there to remind me I’m not alone. I pick it up and rub the mud off. It’s a bomb.  BANG.

Eleanor and Park

Eleanor and Park.

I can’t believe how in love I am of this story! I’m actually obsessed with it 🙂

Now, I bought this book after scouring over Amazon, looking for a couple of summer reads. I’m not gonna lie, the only reason I bought it was because it has a good write up by the man himself, Mr John Green. The blurb doesn’t give this book any justice and without the recommendation I would not have bothered with it.

Thank goodness I have! The book is a simple love story and yet the book is not simple at all. It’s written in a way I can only describe as ‘teenage talk’. The characters are complex and yet have the same emotions any teenager would have when starting to have their first crush and boyfriend/girlfriend.  The chapters are split into sections between the girl’s point and view and the boy’s point of view. They are completely different – almost polar opposites- and yet their relationship develops in a way that is so real, so innocent, so magical that you know it’s love. It’s not full of the ‘love at first sight’ rubbish but shows the real way that people tend to get to know each other. The writing is beautiful and the story doesn’t get boring at any stage. The characters feel emotions that you might have felt in your life and this makes them more relatable and easier to love and care for. Also, the characters flaws are instantly shown and they don’t waltz around with their perfect hair and flawless face. They are down to Earth characters and this makes them easier to love. This is because no one likes perfection, it cannot be obtained and using characters that are, apparently, ‘perfect’ just divides the readers with the characters, making for a rubbish read with you, as the reader, getting nothing out of it.  I believe this story is written from experience just from the sheer brutality of pureness and faultlessness of the piece of writing.

The book is beautifully written and, although I have yet to finish the story, I will definitely be looking into the writer and seeing if he or she has produced anymore stories. I would strongly suggests for you to buy this book, even if you are male. It is the sort of book that both sexes can relate to and find a good read.

Information about the book

Title : Eleanor and Park

Author : Rainbow Rowell

Review from John Green (writer of The Fault In Our Stars) :

‘Reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book’.