It was 1953. She was twenty three years old, dressed in a dark blue dress with short sleeves, an old one of Frau Hermann's. She had dark blonde hair. A close enough brand of German blonde. She lived in Molching, Germany. When she was 14, her beloved Himmel street had been bombed. There were no survivors, except her.
She spent five years living in the Mayor's house after that. When she was 19 she decided it was time to move on, be on her own. The mayor's wife, Ilsa Hermann was kind enough to pay for a small apartment. She made her money helping Alex Stiener in is tailoring shop.
Rudy Stiener had nothing after that bombing. Most people didn't even know he had a life. The soldiers who had found him thought he was dead at first; turns out he was just in a coma. A coma that lasted a long, long time. Liesel had once told him about her friend Max and how he would sleep for weeks at a time. That's nothing, he thought, compared to me. Rudy Stiener had been in a coma for one year and three and a half months. The doctors knew he wasn't dead, he was breathing, but when the soldiers found him he hadn't been. When he finally woke up, he had grown, he was older, and he was starving.
It was his decision to never return to that street. Everyone he knew was dead. His father, he was sure, had died in the war. He bought a one way train ticket to Munich and began a new life there. He only had those memories to hold onto. He thought about how he never even got to kiss that girl he loved so dearly.
Rudy was twenty three years old. He decided it was about time to return to his hometown of Molching. He missed visiting that old Amper River. He always used to go there with his best friend Liesel Meminger.
***A QUICK FACT***
That boy had never stopped loving her.
He had taken the train to Molching that evening. By early morning he arrived. The first thing he did was not visit the remains of his beloved Himmel Street, but visit the ever flowing Amper River. He remembered how he had rescued Liesel's book from that river. He was certain she was going to kiss him! But he had no such luck.
That very morning Liesel made her way to the Amper River. She sat by the river bed and breathed in the clean air. The sky was a calm blue, speckled with cotton candy clouds. Just as she cracked open her book, she heard footsteps behind her. No one ever really came to the river's bed. People usually went over the bridge. She glanced behind her. She saw a young man with hair the color of lemons. He had bright blue eyes that she recognized so well.
In an instant, it flashed before her eyes.
The soccer ball, the name calling, the stealing, the book rescuing, the befriending, the charcoal covered skin, the running, the dirt (or shit) covered boy.
The dying. She had seen him dead. She had kissed his dead face. She had told him to wake up.
Rudy Stiener was dead.
As Rudy Stiener approached the river's bed, he saw a girl. A girl wearing a blue dress. She had dark blonde hair and she was reading a book. She glanced behind her, and in an instant he recognized those dark brown eyes. Those eyes that the Führer would not accept.
But she died. She couldn't have survived.
Rudy had never been a shy boy, but he was now. He made his way to the shore and sat a good ten feet away from the familiar girl. When he thought she wasn't looking, he glanced up to see her face, but she was looking straight at him.
It was her. It was definitely her.
Before she knew it, she was crying. What was her brain doing? Was her mind playing tricks on her.
She heard the man speak her name.
"Rudy…" she wept. She shot up from the ground just as he did and almost tackled her old friend. She squeezed him and he squeezed her and she was crying, they both were.
After six minutes and thirty seven seconds of continuous hugging and crying, the released one another. Their eyes were red and their cheeks were stained with tears.
"How are you alive?" she wept, "I saw you dead, I saw your dead body! I watched them take you away!"
He shook his head. "I was dead, only for a short while. I started breathing again. I was in coma for over a year."
"Why the hell didn't you come back, Saukerl?" She snarled.
"Because everyone was dead, Saumensch!" He protested.
"I wasn't, you dummkopf!" she stared down. "What about your Papa?"
"What about my Papa?"
"He's alive, Saukerl!"
Rudy began to cry again. "My…my Papa is alive? I heard everyone in his unit had died!"
She shook her head.
The two friends spent the rest of the day by the shore of the river. Rudy looked over at the book by Liesel's side. The Whistler.
"Hey, that's the book I rescued from the river!"
"Sure is, Saukerl."
He smirked at her. "I never did get my kiss, you know."
Liesel blushed as she remembered kissing his lifeless body.
"You never will, Arschloch."
Rudy rolled his eyes.
"I come back from the dead and I can't get one kiss? Saumensch."
Liesel looked at his face and remembered all the times when she was 14 years old that she wanted to kiss him, wanted him to kiss her. At that, she took him by the collar and pulled his lips to meet hers. It was one of those long, sweet kisses. She soon shoved his head away. He looked rather flustered.
"How was that, Saukerl?"