I looked down upon my son. He was looking straight back at me, worry on his innocent little face. I wish I didn’t have to leave him. Especially with people I know won’t be able to love him like I do. I knelt down in front of him and took his tiny soft hands in mine. “Teddy, son.” I said softly. “I’m not leaving you, I’ll come straight back to you as soon as I can, okay? I don’t know how long I’ll be but…” My voice started to get painful, too emotional. I brushed a wisp of his perfect blonde hair out of his eyes and stood up. I walked him towards the immense wooden doors of his grandparents’ mansion. They stood just in front, faces wrinkly and emotionless.
“Tom” said the grandfather Bill, gruffly, by way of greeting. I nodded. They’ve never seen me with any respect for as long as I’ve known them. They didn’t think me a suitable husband for their daughter and still blame me to this day for her death.
“You had best be off then” the grandmother June barked with a stern look on her face. “Those Nazis will be waiting for you”. And they lead Teddy into the hollow house and the doors slammed shut. Her last words stung terribly. I stood for a moment, staring at the prison encasing my precious son, then walked slowly away, wiping tears from my face.
Inside this huge place was too much like a crypt to be called a home. It had three floors and ten bedrooms and Bill and June were the only ones who inhabited the place. Bill went off to smoke his pipe and read the paper while June took young Teddy upstairs. From the way they were both acting, you could definitely tell that they were related. Both harbouring uncharacteristic, stern walks. Both remaining silent unless required to speak. Both of them hid any emotion behind their mask like faces. She showed him to the rooms in which he was allowed to go. First the second floor bathroom, which had a dull colour scheme of white and grey. Nothing interesting, just the usual necessary features. Then teddy’s room, Nothing special here just a dusty bed, wardrobe and desk. Then June pointed out her and Bill’s room. “You are not to go anywhere near here unless there is an absolute emergency” she said. The top floor was out of bounds completely. She then left him in his bedroom to unpack his small backpack and do ….. Something.
Several weeks passed with barely any conversation between the old couple and their grandson except the formal “good morning”s and “good night”s and when Teddy thanked June for his meals. He spent most of his time, quiet in his room, constantly stretching his little brain for ways to keep his mind occupied and make the long hours go by. One morning he went downstairs to breakfast to find June in the dining room with Bill, they looked as though they had just been in deep conversation. He halted just as he entered. Baby blue eyes fixed on them both. “come here boy” said his grandfather, gruffly. He walked slowly over to them, eyes still fixed.
“I’m afraid we have some bad news for you…” said June. It was very strange for Teddy to hear her say anything without absolute confidence in what she was saying. It shook him slightly.
“It seems that your father has been killed in the war”
“and you’re going to be living with us for good now” said Bill.
Teddy looked from one to the other and then back again. Still he said nothing, face blank.
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