Briar Rose, Rebecca Berlin, A Child Called It, Cabot Street- Holyoke
Rebecca was walking down Cabot Street on a snowy, New England night. The roads were brown with sand scooped away with last night’s snow. Slosh lie in potholes interspersed along the road. She wore an old brown trench coat she had bought five years ago.
“Finally, an ending to the story of Gemma”, Rebecca said to herself.
Ever since Rebecca had lost Gemma she had an all new take on life. She had been even more sympathetic than she had been before. Ever since Gemma passed, she had always given change to the needy, reading books to kids at the local library, and even helping her neighbor bring in the groceries.
While walking down the street, Rebecca had encountered a teenager, maybe fourteen or fifteen, walking up the street alone. He wore shabby clothes with holes in them, and a thin fall jacket. It looked like it barely kept him warm. The one thing he lacked was shoes, and you could tell by the color of his feet, which was a deep reddish-purple.
Rebecca stopped to ask, “Why are you alone? And what’s your name kid?”
“My name is Dave Pelzer.” The teen replied
Rebecca reached into the depths of her brain, his last name had sounded familiar. The name had been the last name of Gemma’s other daughter, Catherine.
She asked the boy politely, “Is your mother’s name Catherine?”
There was a short pause, and Dave replied, “Yes! How did you know?”
“My aunt’s name is Catherine Roerva Pelzer, you must be my cousin!”
Dave’s smile had broadened, since he had just heard that he had other family besides his abusive mother. He had been surprised because Rebecca was so nice and sympathetic of his current status.
“Why are your clothes so worn and ripped, dear?” Rebecca asked with a worried look on her face.
“I have just escaped the grips of my mother, she was horrifyingly abusive. She has done things to me that she wouldn’t even do to a fly.” Dave responded sadly.
Their conversation ran deep, especially about Dave’s abuse at home. Once Dave had told the whole story, Rebecca was disgusted by the acts Aunt Catherine had committed to Dave. Rebecca wanted to learn how she could help, but Dave wanted to talk more to her long-lost cousin.
Once Rebecca had learned about Dave’s life, she compared it to the Holocaust. She couldn’t believe that Dave was referred to as “A Child Called It”. Rebecca never realized that hate of this magnitude had still existed, and Rebecca began to break down into tears.
“Why are you crying? You shouldn’t be crying, this doesn’t affect you at all!” Dave responded.
“My grandmother, Gemma, I loved her so much. She recently passed away and I guess your path and her path are alike. She was in a holocaust death camp, Chelmno and escaped. I compared your story to her story. She called it the story of “Briar Rose””, Rebecca explained.
“I guess in a way your right” Dave had agreed
“Lets get you some new clothes, something to eat, and some sleep”, Rebecca had said wholeheartedly. They walked down Cabot Street, both happy to know that their lives had merged together