Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: Oneshot of Patty's reaction to the news of Anton's death. Based on Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene.
"Patty," my father said. "Tell these officers you don't know what this is all about." I looked at him, wishing I could honestly tell him that I did know, but afraid inside of his reaction.
"Miss Bergen," an officer said, "Do you recognize this shirt?" he held up a blue and white striped oxford shirt. My father's shirt, emblazoned with his initials on the pocket. The shirt I had given Anton.
As the officer showed me the striped shirt with a dark purple stain across the back, the world froze as my mind put the colors together. Purple was composed, my art teacher lectured in my head, of blue….and red. Red, the color of blood. Blood? The world was frozen, the officers standing closely around me, waiting to see my reaction, ready if I tried to run. My first reaction was anger.
"You monsters! You killed him! You killed Anton! Monsters!" I screamed, beating my fists on the broad chest of the officer holding the shirt. I snatched the shirt away from him and crushed it to my chest. It smelled of dirt, sweat, and blood. But it also smelled of Anton. The officer tried to take it back, saying it was evidence.
I kicked him where it hurt, breaking the circle of officers. I lit across the yard, running, running, not wanting to stop. They chased after me, but I wasn't a member of the track and field club for nothing. I ran to the edge of our small town, stopping at the town line. "Thank you for coming to Jenkinsville! Have a good trip!" The town sign mocked me. Anton had come to Jenkinsville. His "trip" was death.
I stood with my hands on my knees, the wind finally knocked out of me. The officers caught up, with my father in hot pursuit. I clutched the blue shirt to my chest, curled up into a ball on the ground, and waited. Waiting, I knew that even if I had "betrayed my country," it had been worth it to love Anton. And as the officers surrounded me and pulled me to my feet, I knew it had all been worth it, to love someone. To love Anton.