by Jake Barnes
We were in Evie's apartment in Amsterdam. Evie, Johan, Katia--a Dutch girl who didn't shave her legs, Mary, and I. Mary and I were American tourists.
Katia didn't like me; I don't know why. Maybe because I didn't speak Dutch, so everybody had to speak English.
Johan was telling stories about the occupation. The Germans were stupid, he said. When they arrived, they interviewed everybody. The officer who interviewed him, Johan said, asked him if he was a Jew. Johan told him no; he was a Catholic. “Aha!” the Nazi said. “A Catholic Jew!”
Johan said he worked in a factory during the remainder of the war. They sabotaged the machines every chance they got.
I was standing by the fireplace as they talked, and I idly picked up a book from the mantel. As I did so, something fell out and fluttered to the floor. It was a six-pointed fabric star.
The room was silent until Evie cleared his throat and said, “Come on, come on, you people. Let Johan finish his story!”