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chasing the american dream

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The moment I came to America I knew it wouldn't be the same.

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Chapter 1

The moment I came to America I knew it wouldn’t be the same. I had grown up on the outskirts of Paris France on a farm both run and operated by my poppa. He was an honest man and just wanted what was best for us.

My mother died when I was 11, giving birth to my little sister Anette. But that was years ago. I learned that I had to get over her death. Or I would be stuck in the past. And that is no way to live.

I am 15 now, in school, and stronger than I used to be. After my mother’s death, My poppa broke, and I had to be the adult. And to be honest that’s a lot to ask of and 11 year old. But I managed even between running the farm and the war.

On May 9 1940 the real struggle began. The war that had been raging in Germany and America had finally come to us. I always knew it existed. But I also feared it. And I guess that fear had just blocked out the very idea of it existing. And when it finally came I was more surprised than I’d ever thought I would be in my life.

“Adriane, Anette” my father’s voice booms. I looked up from my homework, Anette was in the corner playing with her doll. My momma made it before she died. Anette had never met her so it was all she had of her.

“yes, sir”, I reply politely. “Grab your things only the essentials,” he said with tension. “Is candy essential”? Anette said trying to be funny not realizing the importance of my father’s words.

“No Anette this is serious”, my father snapped. I could see the tears starting to form in her pale blue eyes. His tone surprised me too. So surprised actually that I dropped my pencil. As it tumbled to the floor my father realized his mistake.

Even when Anette truly didn’t deserve it, poppa always managed to put on a good face. She could have burned the house down, and he still wouldn’t be mad. That was one of his greatest traits. Forgiveness. But I could tell this time was different.

He placed some papers on the table and embraced my sister. As he soothed her, I examined the paper. They were tickets, boat tickets. I guess poppa actually did it. We were really leaving France.

It all happened so fast. My father had me pack two suitcases. one for me and one for Anette. I pack clothing and a toothbrush for each of us. and a little surprise for Anette. I stuffed some of her favorite candy between her mint green pillow and her light blue winter coat.

as I packed so many thoughts began to rush to my head, what if we can’t find a house, what if the boat crashes what if I don’t fit in. all of those fears were very reasonable.

but at least we had family there, I thought. maybe this won’t be so and. maybe just maybe. I actually might get to live a happy life in America. still, I can’t believe this is happening. I thought that I would inherit the farm one day and continue my father’s work. I thought that I would grow old here surrounded by my friends and my family. I thought this would be my home forever.

my cousin Beatrice and her parents Margaret and Arthur moved from France to America a couple of years before.

my uncle Arthur was my mother’s brother and a farmer just like poppa, but they were Jewish like my momma so the war affected them differently than it did for us. they had fled out of fear. though it seemed like the right thing to do my mother fought with him constantly, trying to convince him not to leave.

‘’Arthur what are you thinking’’, she would say. “I am thinking about the good of my family”, he would always reply. Their fights often ended in my uncle giving up and saying “you sure are a stubborn one Michele”. she would laugh and shack her head.

I walked down the stairs to find my father pacing the kitchen. Anette was standing by the door ready to go with missy doll in her hand. She called her doll that because it was her mother’s nickname.

“poppa” I whispered trying to get his attention. “yes Andrea” he responded calmly. “I’ve packed everything we need. I hope he is proud I thought, longing for my father’s admiration. ″good″, he said worriedly.

I placed the suitcases on the table and looked around.

good by, house, good by memories. Of course, I knew I wouldn’t really lose them, but the mere thought of it shocked me to the core. this is really happening I thought. of course it is, even though we are only half Jewish and didn’t celebrate any Jewish traditions. we were still considered outsiders. my father always wanted more for us. but he made a decision that took that away. he married my mother. my father even though, german had fallen in love with a Jewish woman who changed his life forever.

he had grown up like a king. his father, my grandfather was a very wealthy german businessman. he was very small-minded against Jews. he owned most of the businesses in town, so even if his rules were un- far many people had to follow them. or risk their families well-being.

his mother often helped with the factories, but more frequently than that she was at home, watching over my poppa. He went to the best school and always had the best food and clothing. She would literally buy the world for him! though she loved him dearly, she was very stick.

he never let him have any Jewish friends. In her eyes germans were superior. But most of all she certainly didn’t expect him to marry a Jewish woman.

in their eyes, he would be the perfect child, destined for success the moment he was born.

my father did not live up to these expectations .he stayed out late with his friends. he skipped school and stole. in addition to his parent’s reaction to it all. it seemed as if his parents didn’t care this only added more fuel to the flames. it seemed nothing would take him out of this behavior.

Of course, though there was one thing. Love. my mother would always tell me stories of how my parents met. Poppa would inert up and say it, was love at first site. Momma would giggle. And I would gag as she kissed him.

Their meeting was nothing out of the ordinary, but it made such an impeach in both of their lives.

My mother had grown up very poor and often wandered the streets looking for work. She hardly found any, being a woman and Jewish. But she had hope and like she would always tell me. Hope is strong enough.

That day was like any other she was walking up and down, the main street peering inside shop windows and enjoying the sight and sound of the growing city.

Poppa was sitting on the window sill of his father’s bakery. Out of all my grandfather’s businesses, his bakery was by far the most successful.

Momma often stopped there on her way home, it was routine every day the same.

She entered the bakery sitting up straight and trying to look presentable. she peered over the glass dome that contained her favorite treat. Poppa noticed her drooling over the deserts.

I’ll just walk over there he thought, won’t do any harm. As he trouted over their momma began to leave the shop, wait I didn’t catch your name he said interrupting her departure. Oh, she said startled my name is Michelle, my name is joseph he said quickly.

The rest Is history.

I looked around the room remembering my father’s and my mother’s past. they both started their lives so differently from each other, yet it seemed as if they were destined for each other.

Maybe it was always my destiny to go to America, maybe I am right where I need to be.

” I miss you, momma,” I said looking off into the distance.

“We all do Adriane”, poppa said sighing. oh, I guess I said that out loud I thought

Good-by mom, wish me luck, I thought looking at my mother’s picture sitting on the window seal.

Poppa then grabbed his suitcase and headed for the door. wait what were, leaving write now, I said shocked. yes, Andrea, he said annoyed.

“We’re going to America,” he then added.

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Deleted User: Too bad it hasn't been updated for 2 years. Sad 😔

Liz Mang: I liked how she kept the chapters just right and the writing was refreshing, how the villain turned to be good.

minpom: Great read recommend this book however there are some grammatical errors that need addressed .when will book 2 be started looking forward to reading it

rutewhitestone23: Love this story! I had kind of gotten away from this genre, and am glad the titles caught my eye. Waiting for a happy ending 😉

belu: me gusta mucho la manera en la que relatas todo, haces que uno se meta muchísimo en la historia, encontré en fic de casualidad pero posta que tranquilamente estaría siendo uno de mis favs hasta el momento!!! 🥹🫶🏼

Annelin Viste: Strange and interesting 😊

babygirl420liz: MOREEEE! POST MORE

sweetromance2: Very engaging story. I can't wait to read more.🌹

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