From their conception they have constantly been a great distance from each other, but they had always been able to communicate. Like most love stories they started out slow and shy. Stolen glances here and small smiles there. But as time progressed their interaction became bolder, conversations began go on and on, they were not constrained by time, they were simply left to get to know each other. As their conversations grew and their bond became unbreakable the Sun became desperate.
He wanted to no longer be separated from the Moon that he had grown to love. He thought to himself “It is only fair that I am with the one that has my heart” The Moon also wanted to be with the Sun but she knew the role that they had been chosen to play and she knew the repercussions they would face for going against the Universe. She begged him not to try to come to her. The Sun did not listen. He began to trek to his Moon but on his way he destroyed, his heat was too much for the debris he passed leaving destruction in his wake. The Moon called out to the Sun “You have to stop, you are destroying” The Sun did not care anymore he was now closer to the Moon than he had ever been before.
The Sun was so consumed by happiness and the need to be beside the Moon that he did not notice what his heat was doing to her. By the time the Sun reached the Moon she had been destroyed, left with craters all over her once smooth surface. The Sun called out to her in a plea for forgiveness. But there was no answer. He wept, realizing what he had done. A voice spoke out, it was the Universe speaking “Moon tried to warn you of what this would cost but you did not listen.” The Universe wept for the loss of the Moon and as a punishment for the Suns actions and the love that had sprung between the two planets he sent their souls to a planet that had been created by the suns journey called Earth where the two would be forced to continue on the cycle that they had created. They would always find each other but they would never be able to have a love free of destruction.
It was Maria’s thirty- seventh day at Auswitzch and she had lost 17 pounds. Her beautiful face and dark features were sunken in. She shared a bunk with Annie; her younger sister, the only family member she had left. Their father was separated from them when they were forced out of their ghetto by the gestapo and their mother died just last week from starvation. She would give her food rations to Maria and Annie to keep them as strong as she could.
Death was just something that Maria had become accustomed to during her time at Auswitzch. She spent her days daydreaming about walking on grass instead of dragging through mud. At night she would sneak out behind her housing unit and count the stars. It was against the rules but she was no longer scared.
He was just doing his job, but he wasn’t sure why anymore. He had been told that Jews had no redeemable qualities, but he couldn’t imagine any of that being true when he saw her face lit up by the moon. He didn’t talk to her that night or any other night and he would come to regret it.
The next morning they both woke up with a feeling of dread. William’s dread was accompanied by the knowledge that today was gas day. This time, unfortunately, had become more frequent as the war pressed on. Today he was to collect the women from their bunks in the early hours of the morning, then escort them to the gas chamber. His stomach churned at the thought, more than it usually did. He pondered on when he had become this person, someone who couldn’t even look into the mirror for fear of seeing the truth of who he really was. The cold bitter wind seemed to be warning the both of them that this was not going to be a happy day.
She followed the young soldier as he escorted them to an unknown destination. He turned and looked at the group once but all he could see was her. He gasped at the overwhelming pain in his chest and unexplainable longing for her.
They walking in and undressed. They were told that they were going to be taking a shower. Some of them cheered but Maria knew better. She caught a glimpse of William. She was so used to the guards having stone cold straight faces but his expressed sadness and pain. She knew that she was about to meet her creator. She was corralled into the large concrete room with hundreds of others and the officers stepped out and locked the doors. Chaos broke out when the gas started to fill the air. People were trying to beat against the doors and scratching the walls until their finger nails bled or they fell to their death.
Maria just stood in the middle of it all and took it all in. It’s all that she could bring herself to do.
None of the other guards cared about what was going on behind those doors. It was as natural to them as brushing their teeth when they woke up in the morning. They had done it hundreds of times, and considering that they were all Nazis without any relation to the people in these camps they weren’t too torn up about it. Well, none of them except for William. He couldn’t believe what he had done. He remembered everything, from their first lifetime together and the first time that she died to today. He screamed in frustration at falling prey to this curse once again. He clenched his fist, feeling his nails break the skin of his palm. What did they have to do to escape this cycle of rebirth and death?
Seventeen year old William and his best friend Link spent their nights bussing tables at his dad’s diner. When they weren’t working, they were out trying to finesse the pretty blondes at the drive in. William was every girls dream guy. He slicked back his blonde hair so that his twinkling blue eyes would shine a little brighter on his bronze face. Link wasn’t too bad himself. He was a little shyer than William but when they were together there was no stopping them. They were the two most popular boys at West High. Everyone was as used to them as the smell of pinesol and cigarettes that floated through the halls and seeped inside the lockers.
Although he was the golden boy who had it all, he couldn’t seem to find true happiness. He found many things interesting, but nothing satisfied him entirely. He was going to be starting college in only a few months and still hadn’t decided where he wanted to go or what he wanted to study. With his grades and football scholarships he could go to any school he wanted. All he knew is that waking up every morning and being excited about what the day would bring was very important to him.
This last semester of high school was going to be a big deal for William. West high was going through a desegregation process. Civil rights movements were beginning to spark a change in the South. East high students would be attending West high starting Monday. The whole town was in a frenzy over it. The white kids wanted the black kids as far away from them as possible and the black kids didn’t want to be treated like anything less than human which was inevitable in this situation.
William seemed to be the only kid not bothered by it. He didn’t have the same views on racial issues as his family and friends. Hating people simply for the way they looked didn’t make any sense to him. He was nervous that his indifference would show and his friends would distance themselves from him. Acting like he hated this change too was the only solution that he could think of at the time.
Maria was just as, if not more, nervous than William. She tried to stay out of the way of white people as much as possible. The few encounters that she has had with them in her life were less than pleasant. She was never and would never be treated as equal. They all looked at her like something less than human. She couldn’t even go shopping with her mother without being spat on or called racial slurs.
On her first day at her new school she did all that she could to look as “white” as possible. She straightened her hair and wore a brand new baby pink dress with a bow that tied in the back, not that anyone would be paying too much attention to her outfit anyways- they were more concerned with the color of her skin.
Her first class of the day was creative writing with Mr. Warren. The students groggily filed in five, and some, ten minutes after the bell had rung. As the teacher was starting class he looked around and noticed the new students in his classroom.
“Good morning! I’m Mr. Warren, I have been teaching for thirteen years now, and this is my fifth year at West High. I have a wife and three beautiful children. Why don’t you tell us a little more about yourself!” he gestured to one of the newbies.
“Hey, my name’s Joseph… I uhhmm am a senior and I play football” he scratched the back of his neck awkwardly and slouched back down into his seat.
“Well it is a pleasure to have you here with us!”
And just like that Mr. Warren went on with his lesson, making Maria look around and question whether she and the other black kids were actually in the room or if it was something she had just imagined. A couple of the girls snickered in the corner when they saw they dazed and confused expression on Maria’s face.
“What? You actually thought he would acknowledge YOU? Hahaha you people really are dumb.”
She closed her eyes and tried as hard as she could to make herself invisible. “Only six months” she would tell herself “Only six months until I can leave this red neck town and all who inhabit it.”
When the bell rang Maria practically flew out of the class not paying attention to anyone she passed, and not noticing Williams gaze longing to tell her that everything is going to be okay.
According to her friends, Marias day surprisingly wasn’t the worst. In gym class Jordan was not only last to be picked for dodgeball, but he was also the main target. Even his own teammates were against him. In biology students threw body parts of the frog they were dissecting right at Mishell, and the lunch ladies refused to serve Brenda in the cafeteria. They were all fed up and knew that they couldn’t make it at this school if things didn’t change soon.
They met at the park under the old oak tree with the tire swing they used to all push each other on not too long ago. Maria led the meeting.
“I’ve brought you all here today because after only one day at West High our lives have all drastically changed. Not only are we not treated as equals while out in public, we are also being treated as lesser at school, which for us, used to be our only safe environment. You all know as well as I do that something needs to be done, and it needs to be done now.”
By the looks on their faces Maria knew that everyone felt the same as she did. They were just too afraid to speak up.
“There aint nothing’ we can do about it.” Mumbled Jordan under his breath.
“oh… but that’s where you’re wrong.” Maria fired back.
“I have a plan if you guys would just hear me out. Tomorrow we gather up some of the white kids and stand outside of the school doors arm in arm as a united front. That way people will see that we aren’t any different and can get along just the same.”
The group busted into fits of laughter, they knew it would never work. Her friends were still laughing as they got up to leave. No one was on board with the idea. They all agreed that they would rather be beat by high school students than by the Ku Klux Klan.
Maria’s friends might have given up home but she refused to back down. She stomped home with her fists balled and rage in her heart. She alone was going to make a difference, even if her life depended on it.
The following day, after five hours of blocking the schools main entrance Maria was on every local news station. She had also unintentionally gathered up a nice little group of supporters. Whites and blacks all gathered around with Maria, though not all of them were there for support. She could fill a water bottle with the amount of spit on her shoes. By now the students had finished school and were just observing this poor little black girl and snickering at the thought of all the trouble she was going to be in.
“Wouldn’t it be one hell of a story if we stood up there with them” William said as he nudged Link in the elbow. Link didn’t even bother to acknowledge his comment.
“You know what? I think I will..”
“What has gotten into you?” link fired back. “Ever since we found out they were coming you’ve been acting weird, what? Do you want to be like them or something’? Well then now’s your chance to go right ahead the KKK won’t even care about the color of your skin, as far as they’re concerned anyone who supports their kind might as well be their kin…” before he could finish his rant shots were fired.
William couldn’t tell where they had come from or what was going on with all of the screaming and running, he did know that he needed to find Maria and make sure she was ok.
When he saw her lying there lifeless on the concrete with a gunshot wound to the chest a wild beast was awoken inside of him. He went into a fit of rage and charged the hateful men in the white robes. He took the gun straight from Maria’s murderer and shot him point blank. The chaos came to a screeching halt and all eyes were on him. Nobody including himself could believe what he’d just done.
Like a flood, every memory he had of Maria came rushing in. They were so in love. He was the sun and she was the moon. Once again their love was forbidden and there wasn’t a thing he could do about it. He got on his knees and cried, longing for a way for them to be together. He looked up at the crowd who were intently watching and anticipating his next move. William gathered every ounce of strength he had left, got up, walked over to where his beloved lay, and shakily held the gun to his head.