From Darkness

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Chapter 4: Wishes

On a warm Summer afternoon, with birds softly singing and squirrels lazily resting in the shade of large chestnut trees, Kristian was too bored for his own good. He was grounded that day, but he really wanted to play football, surely all his friends were at the park playing it. While kicking his ball around in the house, which he was forbidden from doing, he had broken Mother’s favourite vase, one that had belonged to her grandmother decades ago. Now his ball was locked up in the attic and he couldn’t go out, he was stuck at home with Ivy while their parents were in town.

He was fourteen years old already, this was ridiculous! Kristian decided that although he was grounded from leaving the house, he could still play with his ball in the backyard. The backyard was, after all, part of the house, was it not? If only he could find the key to the attic...

He went in his parents’ room looking for the key and instead found Ivy standing in front of the large mirror, with a pair of Mother’s heels, dress, pearl necklace, and hat on.

She turned around immediately and stared at him as a thief caught red-handed. She had also put on a great amount of pink blush on her cheeks and bright rouge lipstick on her lips. “What... Yvonne, what are you doing with Mutti’s stuff? You’re going to be in so much trouble,” Kristian said. “No, Kristian please, don’t say anything. Don’t be mean!” she said with pleading eyes. “You’re too young for this, makeup and heels are for real women, you’re just a child Yvonne,” he told her in a tone of voice that very well imitated his father’s tone.

“Don’t be so condescending Kristian, besides I am nine years old, soon I’ll be a real woman. You think you’re so old already don’t you?” “Oh my God, nine years old! Silly child...” he turned around and on his way kept saying “So much trouble.”

“Wait, wait, why did you come into their room huh?” Ivy took off the heels and ran after him. “That’s none of your business...” he replied. “Well I don’t think you were up to any good, so if you tell on me I’ll say you were going through their things, they’ll hate that,” she told him with a ‘you know it’s true’ look on her face.

“Okay fine, if I help you, you have to help me,” he said, “Okay, what is it?” Ivy asked.

“I want to find the key to the attic, help me find it and I won’t tell them what you were doing,” Kristian said. “Deal, give me five minutes,” Ivy went off into the bathroom to wash her face and change back into her own clothes.

When she came back she said, “I can’t help you look for the key.” “What? You promised!” he said furiously. “Calm down Kris, I won’t help you look because I know where it is. Vatti keeps it in a drawer in the shed. If you ever paid any attention to anything you would have noticed it’s there. Also what do you want from the attic?” but he was already on his way to the shed before she had even finished her sentence. “Jackass” she whispered after him.

When their parents arrived a few hours later, they found Kristian in the backyard dribbling his ball. “Kristian! What the...”

“Leave him honey, it’s okay,” Simone patted her husband’s shoulder.

“Vati can I go to the beach?” Ivy asked. “Who are you going with? Uli?” Ivy nodded.

“Okay, but come back before dinner, it will be ready soon,” he said. “Thank you,” she smiled and ran.

~

She didn’t know if Uli would actually be there, but she hoped he would be.They usually went to one spot on the beach in particular, because it was Ivy’s favorite and because it was usually deserted. There was a small cave formation on the edge of the salty water. The cave was hollow but it ended a few meters inside. At sunset, it was a simply beautiful view because the sun would shine golden light inside the cave, making it a nearly magical place.

Running on sand isn’t easy, but she made it to the cave quickly and sure enough there he was, Uli. Sitting on the wet sand, doodling with a sharp rock, he got up as soon as he saw her. “Hey, what are you drawing there?” Ivy smiled. “Um... it’s nothing, just doodles,” he said as he swiftly erased it off the sand with his foot.

“Have you been here long?” she asked him, sitting next to him and watching the soft waves flow back and forth. “Just a while. I had to get away from my house. Hate it there...” he said, hugging his knees to his chest. Ivy knew his father was mean to him, she wished there was something she could do to make him feel better.

“You can come live with us, you know. I’ve told you before, my parents would be happy to have you live at home,” she hugged him. “My father would kill me if he found out Ivy, but it would be great to live at your house.”

Uli was born in Munich, and just a year before starting school his parents moved to Kiel. His grandparents were still there, while Ivy’s grandparents were living in Berlin, where her parents were born. Uli’s father, also named Ulrich, had fought in The Great War just like Peter. Unlike Peter, Ulrich Senior had enjoyed every bit of it. His life had been left feeling empty after the war ended. Uli hoped to one day be able to make his father proud, it was his second only wish in life.

His first was to marry Ivy, when they were grown ups, someday.

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