I'm going to do something today that I don't think I've ever really done on this blog before- give you my current "final" copy of something. Though there is still a lot of work to be done on the following snippet, it's part of draft three of Remembrance, which, as of yesterday afternoon is the final product until I get my edits back.
Speaking of edits, since sending out my current draft of the novel to my friend, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I'm nervous. Really, really nervous. Because I know that he'll tell me whether it's good or not. And while I want that- ahhhh!
So anyway, enough of my rambling. Here's today WIP.
For two weeks, life went on as usual, which struck Ruthie as absurd. How could they all manage to forget what had begun just days before? How could they forget that every second, their lives were at risk?
She wondered, and yet she did it, too. She talked and laughed with Nora and Annie. She teased her brother. She complained about small things like homework and chores when people were making much greater sacrifices not so far away. And when she swore she saw Jimmy in the library and the soda shop and grocer’s, she told herself that it was just her imagination and looked in the other direction.
As much as everyone managed to return to their normal lives, however, there were reminders of the losses that had already been suffered all over the city. The buildings that had been hit were still in shambles. Ruthie overheard someone on the street say it could take months to clean up the wreckage, and that was only if no other buildings fell victim to the Germans. The air raid drills were constant and could happen at any moment. People were now using the underground as a make - shift shelter and sometimes, the people waiting down there had to sleep in the station overnight. Each time she walked home or to school or to the store or the cinema, Ruthie prayed that she would not have to run down to the tube station and take cover.
There were also the posters. Since the bombing, missing persons posters had gone up all over the city, tied to telephone poles and tree trunks, pinned to bulletin boards. Some had even been shoved through the Halperts’ mail slot so that when one of the family entered, they would see someone’s black and white photograph staring up at them from the floor. Ruthie always studied these blurry pictures closely. If she saw one of these people on the streets, she wanted to be able to recognize them. She did not know what she would do if this did happen one day – certainly shouting, “I found you!” or chasing after them would do no one any good. But this was a dilemma she had not yet faced. Though she tried to look at every face she passed, none of them matched those lost people in the pictures. She looked especially hard for Jimmy and Arthur Henderson. Her heart hurt every time she passed one of their flyers, with “HAVE YOU SEEN THESE CHILDREN?” written in large letters above the brothers’ smiling school photographs.
It was the pictures themselves that made the posters so upsetting. While the word ‘missing’ reminded one that that person was no longer at school or at work or sitting at the dinner table with their family, Ruthie was haunted by the grins, smirks, and shy smiles that looked out at her from the paper. When she looked at those faces, she remembered that these were past events – this person, this parent, child, brother, aunt, might not be smiling like that anymore. Whenever these thoughts came over Ruthie, she could not help picturing those people with scared expressions. What must they be feeling now? Or were they not feeling at all?