Lilian’s correct story
was a series of meaningless movements and my thoughts remained invisible.
It would have been easier to write them onto the blackboard, but they would have lost their force, as words always did when written down…
$IWHU ¿QLVKLQJ , UXVKHG RXW my leather bag bouncing on my back.
It was misty, a soft rain moistened my blonde hair.
I turned around, hearing rapid footsteps behind me.
The new Jewish boy from my class was coming towards me.
He was tall and dark haired, freckles covered his skinny face.
He motioned for me to follow him.
As we walked through the ruined city, we were careful not to attract any unwanted attention in the paved streets.
I wondered what the new boy expected of me.
We arrived at a tall building. The top had been bombed, bricks lay piled up next to a OHDÀHVV RDN WUHH
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:H VWDJJHUHG XS IRXU ÀLJKWV of worn stairs before we reached an apartment.
I followed the boy cautiously.
He spoke to a young woman, occasionally she nodded.
Then she smiled at me and led me into a cramped room.
I was humbled by what I saw.
It seemed that everything was valued in this space.
Once the woman had closed the door, she handed me an instrument, a viola.
As I touched it, I was reminded of happier times…
Slowly I lifted the beautiful instrument to my chin and played a note.
It was a low, hesitant tone, almost like a moan.
Then I added more, letting it grow into a phrase…
Suddenly I recognised the gift I had been given, suddenly, music became my way of speaking.