Everything seems slow, unreal, all is unreal, I can’t hear anything, feel anything. No, that’s not true. I feel so much that I can’t feel, does that make sense? No, nothing makes sense. He is gone.
Naked, violated body on the ground; lying in the pool of blood. Eyes, emerald eyes, stare into death, the life is gone. I blink my eyes, but it is the only thing I see; his dead body
on my mind, last look, the weary smile.
Lieutenant is dead, I don’t care, and everyone else seems to. I’m glad his dead, I might have killed him myself if he hadn’t. Taste of alcohol on my lips.
”Drink.” Sergei urges. Where am I? Where is he? Suddenly I can not see the body. It’s cold, dark. Wind on my face. How did I end up outside? I don’t remember walking. I walk forward and I throw up. He is dead. I fall on my knees on the ground. I don’t care, I wish to die.
”Get a hold of yourself.” I throw up again; I’m sweating, even in the cold. Bombing, somewhere sounds of the war, the endless war. His eyes are looking in to mine, his smile is shy. His body is warm. He is whispering, beautiful voice, beautiful words. What is he saying? What did he tell me? His eyes, green eyes, like the leafs in the forest, reminds me of summer, emeralds. Such sadness. His touch, his hands are trembling.
He lays down, looking at me, the light of the fire on his face and on his body, last kiss, and last touch. What did he tell me? Standing outside, fighting me off, yelling at me; such powerful words, from such a beautiful mouth. Saving me. It was I who was suppose to save you. His body is so warm, the softness of his hair, the kiss of his sweet lips. Come back, come back… Where did you go? Where are you, only yesterday I held you… You were kneeling on the ground, playing with the snow. Smiling, smiling to me. I love you, did you know?
Small moments, flashing through my mind, your voice, your smile. Crying, screaming, you’re hurting and it’s killing me, even now it’s killing me, slowly, painfully. I’m dying inside, help me… I’m tired, I can’t do this, can’t breath. I can not… How can I go on? I’m sick of this world, sick of the war. What is the point? I never got the point.
I feel numb, alone, cold, only you could bring the warmth back. Do you hate me now? All the pain… I am sorry, so sorry. I should have… could have… I love you, without words I loved you, will continue on loving you. I want you back… I want that last night together back. I want to see you kneeling on the ground, playing with the snow, I want to hear you laugh, I want to tell you that I love you, I want to learn to know you better, understand you better. I only know your name, your first name.
Did you laugh a lot before the war? Were you making people around you smile, I know you did. You made them happy. Were you happy? What did you dream of? I wanted to know. I want to know. Were everyone as mesmerized by your beauty as I was? I want to know, I want you to tell me… But you are dead, they murdered you… Again and again I see how they raped you, in front of my very eyes, your last screams are echoing inside my mind, your eyes so filled with pain, with tears… The gun shot, you fall back on the ground, lifeless eyes, how can it be? This world…it makes no sense…
In haze goes the rest of the night, by morning I am still as confused, still as broken. I haven’t eaten, haven’t slept. There’s nothing, nothing to keep me going. Why should I live? Give me a reason, give me the will…
Sergei walks over to me and I look up.
”He asked me to give you this.” He says quietly and gives me a letter of some kind; Sascha, it says. In confusion I open it, there’s another letter inside, with the name; Emma. I read the letters on the paper, not understanding. Elias has written this, it’s the only though on my mind as I desperately try to make out what it says.
”I don’t understand… what does it say?… Sergei; I don’t understand this!” I get all upset because of it. His last words and I can’t read them!
”Of course you can’t read it… I can translate it for you’’’ He says gently and I hand the letter to him, waiting anxious. I see him quickly reading it through, I see the sadness in his eyes and before he starts he sighs.
“Dear Sascha…. There’s not much time, I know what waits for me and I am almost certain that I won’t see the following morning…. It’s difficult to find the right words… I hope you are safe. You’ve been so good to me, my only comfort in this place; my warmth and my secure, I love you; as crazy as it is and I know you feel the same way, your attempt to safe my life proved it. I don’t want you to go on blaming yourself, you did what you could and I want you continue doing so in the future. Do everything you can to survive!
I want you to know who I really am, my last name is Lahti, I was born April 23th in 1927. My parents have died, my mother was very ill when they took me and I don’t think she made it. I have two siblings; Aino who is 6 and Olavi who is 4, I can’t be certain of their fate but in my heart I feel that they’re still alive.
I’m telling you this, because I am giving you my last request and I trust you with my whole being; survive, fight, do anything you can to survive this war, when it’s over I’m asking you to find my siblings, I don’t want them to always have to wonder what my fate was. Tell them I’ve died, but spare them of details, lie if you must that my death was quick and as painless as possible.
Tell them how much I love them.
And if possible, I’m asking you to find a third person, who is important to me; her name is Emma, she’s my best friend. She moved to Stockholm in the summer of 1939, he mother married there and their lastname changed from Koivu to Lindgren. I will write another letter to her, to explain what I can, I enclose her letter with yours. If you can’t find them, I understand, it might be difficult.
And lastly Sascha, thank you, thank you for everything. If you are there today, I know there is nothing you can do, I also know it’s the last place you’d want to find yourself in. If you are blaming yourself, I want you to stop. You are as much the victim of this mindless war as I am. I don’t know what else to say… Every moment in your arms was precious. Thank you for holding me, yours; E.L”
Tears are clouding my vision, for awhile we are both silent. I miss him so madly it will surely make me crazy and yet I want to honour his request, I owe him as much so no matter how painful it will be I will do what I can to survive.
Next day, some bigger commanders would arrive. Lieutenant is dead, what happened? They will ask, can’t really tell them, that a 15-year old boy, (who would have turned 16 in just few days, I realise with sadness) he raped, killed him and then himself. I do not know what explanation they’ll give, and I’m too absorbed in my own grief to care.
Another night falls, it does not bring any comfort. Will this pain ever end? I feel emptier than I’ve ever felt before. Closing my eyes, he is all I see, his voice all I hear, but when I open my eyes, I can’t find him. Walking into the room they kept him in; seeing the mattress on which he slept on…. He is not there. His body is demolished, no evidence. I should have been faster than them…
War, what good does it ever do? Waste of innocent lives, pointless sacrifices. Silent victims that will never tell.
But I promise. I will do everything. I’ll do everything to survive this war. I’ll live to tell them, that is what you wished and that is what I’ll do.
All I can hope, that someday, living with this pain gets easier. I’ll miss you forever, only you could understand, without words, you would understand…
Web published: April 9th, 2009.
My Secret Shore