horror and suffering

It had been a fine spring day, the day I actually asked him. I'd noticed it before, of course, because children would. We were in the garden and he rolled up his shirtsleeves and there it was.
"What's that?" I said, pointing to the number on the thin translucent skin of his underarm.
"That was once my identity," he said. "During the war. In a camp."
"What kind of camp?" I asked.
"Like a prison," he said.
"Did you do something wrong?" I said.
"No, no," he said.
"Why were you there, then?" I asked.
"Ahh," he said, raising his index finger in front of himself. "The big question. Why were we there indeed?"
I looked at him, waiting for the answer, but he gave none. And then I looked back at the number: six digits, standing out harsh and dark as if they had been written yesterday.
"There's only one story that comes out of a place like that," Abraham said quietly. "Horror and suffering. Not for your young ears."
"I'd like to know, though,"I said. "I'd like to know about horror. And suffering."
And Mr. Golan closed his eyes and rested his hand on the numbers on his arm as if they were the numbers to a safe and one he rarely opened.
"Then I will tell you," he said. "Come closer. Sit here."

Fra side 14 i romanen When God Was a Rabbit av Sarah Winman.


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