Chapter 1

Disclaimer: I don't own Summer of My German Soldier or any of the characters. They belong to Bette Greene.

Note: The excerpt from the book is in italics. The place where I started my twist to it is in normal font.

I left my sack at the foot of the garage steps and crawled my way through the blackness. "Anton," I whispered. But behind the closed door, there was only silence. A feeling of loss swept over me. "Anton!" I cried, hitting the door with my fist. "It's me! Patty!"

Abruptly the door opened. "Quiet!" As he led me through the blackness I tried to find my voice. " I thought, I thought you had gone," I said and then somewhere came crying. Only after my tongue had tasted saltiness did I know its source.

Anton squeezed my hand.

"I'm sorry," I said. "I didn't know I was going to do that." Anton brought my hand to the slightly moist inner corners of his own eyes. "Just wanted to point out that the biggest difference between us is that you cry more noisily than I."

I laughed, feeling grateful for the darkness which concealed my eyes.

"We both knew that I couldn't stay. It had to happen, P.B., you always knew that."

"No, I didn't!" I breathed in deep. "Anton-" I needed to say his name aloud again as though it were a magical incantation. "Anton, I won't even be that much trouble. What I'm trying to tell you is-" The hurdle felt too high for vaulting.

"P.B., I don't think-"

"Don't talk. Listen to me." It was my hurdle, and I had to clear it myself. "I don't think you oughta leave me, not now. I haven't learned all those things you were going to teach me-things about Emerson and-and- Oh, Anton, let me be with you, go where you go."

His thumb pressed against my palm. "You know what you are asking is impossible, but if you're saying that you love me-"

"Yes," I answered, wandering if it came out audibly. "Yes."

"Then know this, Patty, it is not one-sided. I love you too, and I will miss you, but it is far too dangerous for you to travel with me. As to me staying here, it is endangering me."

I tasted the saltiness on my tongue again.

"It's for the best, P.B."

"Just let me go with you!" I said in a voice consumed in both anger and desperation.

"I don't care if it's dangerous! I don't care if I die! I'll die if I stay here too. I'd much rather live a short and full life than a long and empty one."

Anton just stared into my eyes, but he wasn't intently staring. He was looking far past my eyes and into his world of thought.

"Please let me go with you," I said, my voice barley a whisper and more of a whimper.

His hand lightly traced my jawline as he continued his staring. He finally spoke

"Come with me then, Patty," he said with a sparkling, intense eyes.

I through my arms around his waist. He wrapped his arms around me in return. He stood there in silence for only a moment before he broke away.

"The train comes by about ten fifteen. Are you packed?"

I nodded. "My bag is downstairs."

"Good. We should go now."

He got his bags and opened the door. He quickly climbed down and offered up his hand to me.

We left toward the field that separated my house from the tracks. I took one look back and said a silent goodbye to Ruth and Sharon. I had nothing else worth saying goodbye to.

I felt a hand on my shoulder. I took one last look into Anton's eyes and it cleared every last doubt I had. I turned and started walking away. I didn't look back.