Hitler was dead. And even though we were occupied by an enemy army, we were finally free again.
Well, everyone except Papa. He was lost. Life was separated into two parts for him: before and after. Kind of like how my life is now. Before America and after.
His before life was one of pleasures and music. The orchestra and cigars. Philosophical discussions. His cello. After life was filled with city ordinances, rebuilding his once beautiful city, and creating new jobs.
The soldiers’ lives were filled with repairing the bombed out buildings. Making courtyards safe again. Overhauling a functional marketplace.
Lily’s life carried on where she left off: she continued to make sour faces at my attempts to make people smile, irrationally living out her fears in every moment she was awake, and constantly pestering Mutti for attention.
New freedoms, however, were my new life. I befriended them. I showed them that we were human. When we were tense, I pounded out waltzes on the piano. I learned how to play poker with the soldiers. I flirted.
There was nothing more to do.