Short Story: “Adalbert”

Written by: Jennet Kurbandurdyyeva


The air I breathed in woke me up. When I opened my eyes, she came to my  mind. Thoughts about her made me smile. The sun was rising and I have to get ready. I went straight to bathroom. I saw a basin full of cold water. Decided to dunk my head and in that moment everthing stopped. All voice was gone and my vision was getting darker and darker. Then I closed my eyes and started to see what I want. I was busy by watching the beauty of it but something happened. I noticed that I am out breath. So I took out my head with deep breath. Dried my hair with towel then went to my wardrobe. Took my navy blue pants and the vest with bright white shirt.  While I am putting on my clothes, she came to my mind again. I saw the five mark on the tripod. Took the money and my book, then quietly put my shoes on. I didn’t want to wake my dad. So opened the door really carefully. The cold weather smoothly went over from my chicks. I took my dark brown jacket and closed the door.                                                                         Outside was really cold. So I put my book inside my jacket. Then put my hands in to my pocekts. While I am walking, I saw uncle Hugbert. He was doing the same job, feeding his chickens. Then I noticed a rose smell. When I looked to the left, I saw lady Anna was making rose juice. She saw me and waved her hand. I waved back with a exciting simile. Then I started to run because I dont want to be late and lose the chance of seeing her. I was running really fast. So I was holding my book with my right hand. After entering the school gate, I stopped and gathered my breath. Then I leaned on a the wall and waited for her… waited… Finally, she entered the gate but she was looking down.Did something happened? Why she is unhappy? To end my curiosity, I stepped forward and said “Good morning Ms.Ziber?” She looked up and showing me a fake smile and started to walk faster. I didn’t want to bother her. So I didn’t say anything. But I was really curious and sad.                                                                      My friend Leonard tapped my back and said “Hey, Valdemar. ” When I turned around he saw my face and asked “What happened?” I didn’t say anything. He looked up and saw Ms.Ziber. Leonard was really smart, so he asked me “Do you love her?” My face turned red and my mimics didn’t know what to do. I said “NO!” He looked deep inside my eyes and said “You shouldn’t. You know the rules. If soldiers know that, she can get executed.” The word execution silenced me for a while. Then Leonard said “Ms.Ziber is sad because her grandmother died.” I looked up with suprise on my face. Then he added “And do you know Ms.Ziber’s name?” I said no by shaking my head. He said “Lena, her name is Lena.” I replied: “How do you know all this things?” He looked at me with his sprakling green eyes and said “The advantages of being in twelth grade. Come on, we are going to be late to school.”                                                          So, I went to my class. Then Ms.Ziber came in. Her perfume was smelling like a pharoah’s heaven.  She took out her notebook and while she was taking attendance, the school director came in with two soldiers. Everbody shut their mouths. The director stepped back and soldiers stepped forward. They started to look around. Then one soldier started to stare at me and pointed his finger. Another soldier grabbed my hand and took me to the front of the door. In the hallway there were a lot of twelve and eleventh grades. But I don’t know why they chose me too. Then soldiers commanded us to stay in one line, front of the nurse room.  Leonard found me on the line and came front of me. He looked really scared and worried. I never saw him like this before. So my fear started to grow up. He hold my hand and said “Everything is fine.” I believed him because he always tells the truth. He went inside the room and I was next. The nurse opened the door and said “Come in. ” She meausured my height and weight. Then doctor turned to the soldier and said “He is ready.” That soldier grabbed my hand and took me to the another room. One corporal was smoking and writing something. The soldier left the room. Corporal deflated his smoke and said “Come closer.” I stepped forward. He asked:

–          “What is your name?”

–          “Valdemar.”

–          “Lastname?”

–          “Adalbert.”

–          “How old are you?”

–          “I am 16.”

–          “Valdemar, now you are a soldier… under Führer’s rules. You should be honored.”

My brain stopped. I couldn’t understand what just happened. The soldier came back and led me to the truck. This truck was full of students. And it was too high from the ground. I was trying to get in and somebody pulled me up. It was Leonard. We sat down. I had a lot of questions. But Leonard gave  me that look. So I just looked down and said nothing.The truck took us to the campaign. We trained for two weeks then they sent us near the Volga lake. Everybody was really hungry. The onion soups or wet breads were not enough food. But we don’t have any choice. The place was really dry and cold.But the taste of Volga lake water was good. We made tents. And every two soldiers must sleep together by hugging eachother so not to freeze to death.                                                                                                      Leonard was like my brother. When I hugged him, I felt like I was at home. Every night we are deflating all lights so Russians cant find us. That night it was really cold.  It was 4am. Siren sounds turning on. The sound was really scary and putting oppressing to the human spirit. We grabbed our rifles and ran to the foxholes. The sun was rising. We took our positions and waited the command for fire. I see two Russians but still can’t shoot. Finally, our sergeant gave the command. But Russians started to throw a gas mist bomb. We couldn’t see anyone because of the poisined mist. And one Russian was running towards me. I shot his stomach and he fell into me. He was a heavy guy. So I fell over with him and my head hit the stone…I passed out.                                                                                                                                                              When I opened my eyes the guy was on top of me. Pushed him with all my strength. His blood was all over my body and my hand. I stood up and while I was cleaning off the blood, I felt that something was touching my back. When I turned around, a Russian guy was holding his rifle on me. I was really scared. He stared at me and shook his head like “Why are they sending young children to the war.” So while he was putting his rifle down, I saw Leonard. He had a big stone in his right hand and he threw the stone at man’s head. And he passed out. Then Leonard held his stomach and knelt down. I can tell that he was having a lot of pain. I ran next to him and said “”Leonard, look at me! Leonard, are you alright?” The way he looked at me, killed my all hope. He said “Valdemar, go! Before they come, go! Run and don’t even turn to look back. ” I was suprised and said :

–          “No, I am not going to leave you here. Never!”

–          “Valdemar, look at me. I am done. But… but you still can do this.”

I didnt know what to do. Should I run like a coward or stay like a honorble man? I decided to run, like Leonard said. Leonard was smiling when I left him. I ran and ran. Then I heard screams, bombs and guns shootings. I stopped and knew that Leonard was dead. I gathered my breath and started to run again.Then walked, I walked… for like two days. I was so hungry and thirsty. While I am walking, I fall down and pass out.                                                                                                                                                                               I opened my eyes to the smell of bread and tomatoes. The house was small but clean. I looked to the right and saw a table with garlics on it. When I looked left, there was a door and one old guy came in. I was worried. He saw my face and smiled. He put cucumbers on the table and took off his coat. Then he opened the bowl and gave me soup. I was suprised and happy. Then he said:

–          “Do you feel better?”

–          “Yes, sir. Thank you so much.”

–          “Why are you here?”

–          “What do you mean?”

–          “You have soldier clothes. So, why are you not at war? Did you escape from the war?”

I couldn’t say anything. I stopped drinking my soup. He said:

–          “Well, you should not go back to Germany.”

–          “Why?”

–          “They will put you in prison or execute you for deserting. If you want my advice, stay here. Help my farm.”

–          “But…”

–          “But, what?! You think somebody is waiting for you?! No. They think that you are already dead.”

My mind was really complicated. What should I do. Really? Do they really think that I am dead?

–          “Ok. I will help you with your farmer and stay here.”

–          “Good.”

–          “But what is your name?”

He didn’t want to answer but a couple seconds after he said:

–          “Sergey.”

–          “Sergey?”

–          “Yes, Sergey Bernski.”

–          “Are you Russian?”

–          “Yes.”

–          “How can you speak german?”

–          “My wife was german…but she died two years ago…What is your name?”

–          “My name is Valdemar Adalbert.”

–          “Well Valdemar, we are starting to work tomorrow morning ok? So sleep well.”

–          “Ok. Have a good night.”

I turned around and stared out the window. I couldn’t believe what just happened. Two days ago, I was killing Russians. But  now, I am eating their food… and can’t even go back to my country. I wanted to cry so badly. But I didn’t. My whole life is changed now… When I woke up, we worked for whole day. And for dinner Uncle Sergey cooked a really big steak. It was delicious. I was warming up to him. Then he handed me his birth certificate. I wasn’t expecting that. He said:

–          “Take it.”

–          “Why?”

–          “I am old. I dont need it anymore.”

–          “But..”

–          “Take it, I know it will be useful to you one day.”

Well, I took it then put it under my pillow. Next morning, I woke up from a nightmare. And when I looked around something was wrong. Uncle Sergey was still sleeping. He never did this before. I got up and shook him. He was dead. I was in shock. I didn’t know what to do. It was like he knew he was going to die. That’s why he gave me his certificate. I did a really good funeral for him. Then took all of the money we made and his photo of him and his wife. I locked the door and took the train to Leningrad(St.Petersburg).                                                                                                                                                         The way was really long. But I made it. When I got off the train, it was spectacular. I stepped down and the police checked my certificate. He looked at me and said “Welcome to your country, Sergey.” I shook my head and gave a fake smile. Now what should I do? So I went and bought news papers to find jobs. But every job didn’t want me beacuse I couldn’t speak Russian properly. I just knew few words that Uncle Sergey taught me. So I decided to do what I know. I joined to the Russian Soviet Army. And they were sending soldiers to Poland. So I was in big truck with thirty Russian soldiers in it. They were making fun of me because  I was looking like german. But I was german. I couldn’t say anything. Laughed with them.                                                                                                                                                                                             Finally, we came to the Poland. Our job was to walk in the town with two soldiers. My mate was a corporal. His name was Alexandr. On his belt, he has shiny grey pistol. So we were walking on the streets. And while passing front of the church. There was a wedding. Alexandr said: “Let’s watch it.” I was really happy and excited. The doors opened and everybody started clapping. I was trying to see the bride and groom. And I saw her…her…Lena…Something blocked my throat. I couldn’t breath. My eyes were dry and hurting. My legs…I couldn’t feel them… I gathered my mind and got the pistol from Alexandr’s belt and ran to Lena. Alexandr was suprised and coming after me. Lena saw me and said “Valdemar?” I looked at her with full of anger and love. Then I pointed my pistol to groom and she started to scream. They started to run away from me. And Alexandr jumped over me. I pushed him and started to run to Lena. Then I heard a gun shot and felt something from my back…pain. When I looked back, Alexandr had shot me. I couldn’t move. I just fell down and saw how beautiful sky was. All sound was gone and my vision was getting darker and darker. Then I closed my eyes and started to see what I want. I was busy by watching the beauty of it but something happened.  I saw Uncle Sergey, he held my hand. I hugged him. He hugged me back.                                                                                                                                      Two years later… Leonard lit his smoke and opened the news paper. The top news was “The engineer at Volswagen company and father of two childs Frank Munowits killed his wife (Lena Ziber) and his self yesterday night. Everybody thinks that it because of his failure at his work.” Leonard closed the news paper and deflated his smoke. Took a deep breath and looked out the window.


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