Epilogue 51

I sat on the rocks staring at the waves roll in, crashing forcefully against the jagged shore. I tuned in to hear the roar of the ocean and the fierce howl of the storm. This scene was a far cry from the sun drenched beach of my memories, but it was safe here - I would hurt them no more.

The sun broke suddenly through the heavy skies, sending a bright shaft of light to dance gracefully on the ocean crests. The gap in the clouds gradually broadened and soon I too was bathed in the warm glowing balm of the sun.

I looked up at the sky, closing my eyes against the brightness, and was, for the first time in ages, at peace.

My reverie was interrupted by a gentle touch at my elbow. I opened my eyes to see Elsbeth at my side, smiling.

She took my arm in hers. “It’s time to go home, Aaron.”

I nodded.

Epilogue 50

Anne opened her eyes and looked up at the white, hospital ceiling.

“Mummy?”

Liesel woke from her restless slumber on the chair next to Anne’s bed and leapt up.

“Anne!” she cried, hugging her daughter fiercely, tears flowing from her eyes.

The remained like that for a while, Liesel stroking her daughter’s hair gently.

“I’m so tired, Mummy”

“That’s ok, Sweetie,” Liesel replied, “Mummy is here. You get some rest.”

Anne nestled into her mother’s arms.

“Mummy?”

“What is it, Anne?”

“Grandpa says he loves you very much and told me to say bye-bye for him. He said he’s going on a long holiday.”

Liesel looked at her daughter’s big eyes.

“Tell him, I love him too, ok?”

Anne nodded sleepily and closed her eyes.

Epilogue 49

The darkness clung to us like an icy cloak, dragging us down, but I pressed onward towards the light, holding Anne tightly in my arms. I felt a wave of rage as I resisted the pull, but with all my strength continued forward. Finally, with a horrible scream, we were free of its pull, standing again in the middle of the field of wild flowers.

Anne clutched me, her eyes shut tight.

“It’s over, Anne.”

She opened her eyes and looked up at me. I saw both Liesel and Jojo in those eyes.

“Can we go home?” she asked.

I smiled at her. “We most certainly can.”

She beamed. “I miss Mummy.”

“Me too.”