Chapter 13: Silent
It was an uncommonly hot and humid afternoon. With the sun glaring over the ocean, the beach was more crowded than usual. Ivy, Julia, Uli, and Ben were all there as well. Julia and Ivy sat next to each other on the sand, hiding from the sun under large umbrellas, while Uli and Ben were just coming out of the water and headed their way. Their faces and shoulders already a bright crimson, Julia said to them “You both are going to get really burned if you don’t sit in the shade for a while.“We’re men, we can take it,” Ben smirked, causing Julia and Ivy to tilt their heads back in laughter. Smiling, Uli said “That’s right! It’s you ladies I worry about, you are... what’s that?” Everyone at the beach suddenly went quiet and they heard it too.
The roar of a hundred beasts was coming towards them. Squinting at the sun and trying to cover it with their hands, they saw what the loud roar was: two large, shiny, flying masses.
“Airplanes!” Uli excitedly got on his feet and followed them with his gaze until they flew overhead and then disappeared in the distance.
“Whoa...” Ben sat in place, frozen in admiration. Julia and Ivy were also awestruck and even slightly open-mouthed.
“Did you see those? They’re amazing!” Ben exclaimed. “Amazing? They are more than amazing, they are powerful,” Uli sat down again.
“Were they German? Why were they flying over us?” Julia asked. “We can’t have planes anymore, so I don’t know,” Uli frowned and Ben shook his head in uncertainty.
“They were German, probably having a practice flight,” Ivy stated. They all looked at her questioningly. “Well, I think so anyway. I glanced over some papers Father had on his desk the other day, and there was something about an aviation force that is in the works, I didn’t actually read them though.”
“What else did they say?” Ben eagerly asked. “I don’t know Ben, I just said I didn’t get to read the papers.”
“This aviation force, if it means I get to fly one of those... I’m going to join it,” Uli said.
“You’re probably too young for that now,” Julia told him.
“Well obviously, but when I’m older. I’ll have my own airplane, you’ll see,” Uli said to no one in particular, he just stared at the sky, lost in thought.
“Me too. Being a pilot would be so cool,” Ben stated.
Ivy and Julia looked at each other with raised eyebrows and wordlessly agreed that the sun had affected the boys’ brains.
Ivy had spent her last month in Kiel trying to have the time of her life, but the truth was that she couldn’t enjoy anything she did at all. It was the worst summer she’d ever had by far. The thought of her departure constantly occupying her mind, distracting her, and sometimes giving her a headache. She didn’t just worry about leaving, but also about what Berlin, her new school, and the kids there would be like. The only thing that made her happy about moving to the capital was that her grandparents and brother would be there, and she’d get to see them often.
Uli had been pretty cheerful through it all, but Ivy suspected he was just putting on an act. He had become very good at hiding his feelings. Uli kept a serious and stern face most of the time, only changing his expression when he smiled or when he kissed her. Ivy was normally shy about kissing him, but that hadn’t mattered in the last few weeks. They had kissed everywhere from her father’s Mercedes Benz, when it was parked in the closed garage, to the Ferris wheel of the traveling circus.
Now it was her last day in Kiel, and after having said goodbye to all her friends except Julia, Ivy silently walked home with Uli. Julia had said she would come by Ivy’s house in the morning, before her departure. Uli said he’d come too.
“It all works out, in the end,” Ivy broke the silence.
“What does?” he asked.
“Everything. Look at your parents for instance, you thought that your father would be angry with your mom for being pregnant, but he was actually delighted. Worrying is pointless, if it happens it’s because it was meant to be,” she replied.
“What about the bad things?” Uli stopped walking.
“What about them? We can’t worry about them, Uli. Will they happen, will they not, regardless, we move on. I’ve stopped worrying whether we’ll continue to be friends or not.”
“Why? You think we won’t be?” he asked her.
“No, I know we will, because we’ll both put our best efforts into it,” she smiled. He nodded in agreement and they continued to walk in silence once more.
Ivy didn’t fall asleep until the sky was already lightening to a pale pink in the horizon, and by then it was too late. Simone woke her up an hour later and from then on Ivy knew it was going to be a long day. Her head felt like it would burst into tiny pieces if she moved too swiftly, her eyes burned and her stomach felt queasy.
Before she knew it, she was in a mint green and white dirndl, with her hair in two braids that crossed at the top of her head. She stood outside her house watching two soldiers carefully loading all their luggage and belongings onto a truck.
After a while, when the soldiers were almost done and her parents came out to help load the last items, Uli arrived.
“Hey,” he smiled. “Hey, oh look at your face!” Ivy giggled. Uli looked as though he was on fire, and when she touched his cheeks, they felt like they really were on fire.
“It hurts a little actually,” he told her. “Sorry... You should’ve listened to Julia. By the way, where is Julia? We’re leaving soon and she hasn’t come yet.”
“I don’t know. My parents are almost here though. I’ll miss you, Yvonne,” he said.
“I’ll miss you too, Ulrich,” she smiled.
“Alright Ivy, say goodbye, we’re leaving in a minute,” Peter told her. Simone just stood in the garden, staring at their soon-to-be former house. It had sold fast.
Mr. and Mrs. Werner arrived just in time to bid Simone and Peter their farewells. Simone got in the passenger seat of their Mercedes Benz as the soldiers started the truck and Peter finished shaking hands with Ulrich senior and with Mr. Schmidt. When Peter got in the driver’s seat and started the car, he yelled at Ivy “Let’s go, hurry up!”
Ivy turned to Uli and hugged him, and when she pulled away, she saw it. The sad, hurt, fragile boy slowly revealing himself from within the strong and hard-faced bully. Tears were gathering in his pale blue eyes and Ivy had to look away as she said “Auf Wiedersehen, Uli.”
“Auf Wiedersehen...” he responded.
She walked away, a painful knot swelling in her throat. But she wasn’t going to cry, because there was nothing to cry for. Everything was going to be fine. She got in the car and right off it started moving. When Ivy glanced back, she saw Uli walking away a good distance from his parents. Everything is going to be fine, she told herself, I’ll see him soon enough. Knowning that it wasn’t true, that it would be a long time before she saw him again, she began to silently weep.